According to the latest figures from the Health and Safety Executive, the construction industry topped the list for fatal injuries in the UK during 2017/18. For the period, there were a total of 144 workers killed at work (38 in the construction) across the UK which was an increase of 9 from 2016/17.
It is quite clear from these statistics that we all still need to be made aware of the common dangers on a construction site and we have listed them, and how you can reduce the risks, below:
Working At A Height
Falls from a height is the most common cause of fatal injury to workers in the UK, killing 35 people during 2017/18.
The law states that all employees risk assess work from a height before carrying out any tasks so that a plan can be created and implemented to ensure the safety of all those involved. There should also be suitable training put into place and the correct safety equipment must be provided to reduce the risk of a fall or any injury from working at a height.
Construction sites are noisy places but did you know that this excessive noise is a health and safety risk.
Power tools can produce loud noise that, over time, can cause long-term damage to your hearing such as deafness. Furthermore, noise can be a distraction that leads to other accidents on site; therefore, it is important that you suitably trained and provided with the correct hearing protection equipment such as Ear Defenders before working on a noisy construction site or with loud power tools.
Asbestos still kills thousands of people every year even though it was banned from use in 1999, and that’s because any buildings constructed before 2000 will most likely contain the dangerous substance.
If you are likely to be exposed to asbestos then you need to ensure that you are taking every precaution to keep yourself safe such as carrying out some Online Absestos Awareness Training, wearing a well-fitted dust mask and other PPE such as coveralls, washing your hands and clothes immediately after working with asbestos and keeping food and drink away from the exposed area.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Uneven flooring, spillages and trip hazards left lying around are all major contributors to slip, trip and fall injuries in the workplace – and these are all common on construction sites.
It is important that you keep the site as tidy as possible by mopping up spillages, clearing up materials and rubbish and putting up clear warning signs where necessary to reduce the risk of an slip, trip or fall.
Construction sites can involve people working at hundreds of metres of height with others working on the ground below them which means the risk of an object falling and striking someone is very high and can result in death.
The easiest and most important thing you can do is ensure that head protection is worn at all times whilst on site to reduce the severity of any injury from a falling object.
Lifting, pulling and pushing objects and materials is a daily activity on a construction site which is a safety hazard if not carried out correctly.
Manual Handling Training is one of way of clearly communicating the dangers and how to prevent them whilst also ensuring that you are aware of how to lift and carry items without putting yourself at risk of a back or leg injury.
It is also important to plan your route before moving an object to make sure there are no dangers or obstacles on the way, and always ask for help if an item is too heavy to handle alone.
Exposed wires and live electrical parts are commonly present on site. Accidents can be caused by touching live parts directly or indirectly from a conducting object. Electric shocks can be a very common cause for falls from ladders and scaffolds. Construction staff should be placed on an Electrical Safety Training Course to gain the all important awareness to the dangers of electricity on site and how to prevent them.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome is brought about by repetitive motions when using hand-held power tools that causes deterioration of blood vessels, nerves and joints.
Construction workers are at the greatest risk because they use power tools on a regular basis over a prolonged period of time.
The best way to protect yourself is to complete the appropriate training before using and tools, to check the equipment regularly and to carry out any necessary maintenance.