Construction Site Safety Best Practices
2 May 2019
Construction Site Safety
Assess the risks
Slip, trips and falls
According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death in construction. Think about the exposed high-rise buildings or buildings with scaffolding around them. Even falls from ladders cause a significant amount of on-the-job industries. Injuries occur when workers do not install scaffolds securely or use ladders incorrectly which is the leading cause of accidents.
Hazardous materials/ Chemicals
A concerning rising safety hazard in the construction industry is the mishandling and misuse of hazardous materials.
The use of hazardous materials and chemicals is commonly identified as a key hazard in manufacturing industries but can often be overlooked in construction. Perhaps unknowingly, construction workers are handling, using and emitting hazardous materials every day on site.
Access all hazardous materials and Chemicals that will be on the construction site before the work begins and make sure the workers know the safety procedures around them. For more information on how you can educate your employees on hazardous materials and chemicals please click here.
Electricity is one of the great inventions of the past century, but there’s no getting around the fact that it can be extremely dangerous if it’s not handled properly. Any construction site has the potential to expose construction workers to electricity. Many tools and pieces of equipment require electricity to operate. This is why it’s so critical for any type of construction worker to receive appropriate safety training for the use of electricity on a job site.
It’s also important for construction workers to have access to appropriate safety gear and equipment if they are required to work with or around electricity.
Heavy and/or powerful tools
The greatest hazards posed by hand tools result from misuse and improper maintenance. The employer is responsible for the safe condition of tools and equipment used by employees. Employers shall not issue or permit the use of unsafe hand tools. Employees should be trained in the proper use and handling of tools and equipment.
These tools also often cause hand-arm vibration. According to the HSE; By law, as an employer, you must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to hand-arm vibration so that you can protect your employees from risks to their health.
Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said;
“Research shows that 10 people a week in Ireland take their own lives – 8 out of these ten are men. The construction sector is 96% male. We know from feedback we have received that workers in the construction sector are part of these statistics. As an industry we have focussed a lot of our effort in the past at managing safety issues – recently we have realised that we need to give time to managing people’s wellbeing…. the slogan for the day is “ Mind Your Head”.
For more information on how you can educate your employees on Mental Health please click here.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The fundamental principle is that personal protective equipment (PPE) should only be used as a last resort. The safety and health of employees must be first safeguarded by measures to eliminate workplace risks at source, through technical or organisational means (e.g by substituting hazardous chemical ) or by providing protection on a collective basis (e.g providing scaffolding instead of harnesses).
The employer has to make an assessment of the hazards in the workplace in order to identify the correct type of PPE to be provided and to ensure that PPE is appropriate to the risk. Care must be taken in selecting PPE as certain types give reasonably high levels of protection while others, that may appear almost the same, give relatively low levels of protection. Source – Health and Safety Authority
If you would any further information on how you can be more safe or have questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us either by mailing Shane@elearn.ie or calling Tel +353 1 693 1421.