Health and safety is a crucial factor to consider within all industries. However, the construction industry has significantly higher levels of risk and so regulations must be strictly enforced and followed. Any leeway could cost workers their health and ability to work, as well as slowing the project and creating additional costs. Understanding what areas to focus on could lead to a seamless safety program, minimising on site risks and liabilities.
Personal Protection Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) acts to protect workers in a range of roles from avoidable injuries. If the use of all PPE is enforce across the entire job, there will be a noticeable improvement in your onsite safety. Like most things, if done correctly from the beginning you can significantly reduce onsite risks. Often PPE is not taken seriously or monitored enough, this must be addressed and improved as this lack of concern can be the cause of your next on site incident.
The effects of vibration
In recent years, frequent exposure to vibration has been linked to a range of medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Conditions such as these cause high levels of pain when gripping, resulting in an inability to work, loss of income and potential loss of job. A control of vibration at work regulation was implemented in 2005 in hopes of protecting workers from potential associated health risks. The regulations take into account time and surface area, capping a workers daily exposure to vibration once reaching the threshold.
Education is highly important when requesting people to follow site safety regulations. If people are well aware of the risks they face on a daily basis while on site, there will be a healthy fear and appreciation for implementing safe practices. Once they know the risks present, it is important to gear them with the tools, equipment and techniques to avoid these dangers. Adequate safety training will ensure your workers employ best practices when it comes to onsite safety. After educating workers and making them aware of risks, don't assume you have avoided future problems. You need to ensure regular quality checks are conducted and professional development training is continued.
A common cause of injury is the malfunctioning of plant and equipment. Regular checks and services are important to avoid injury due to unfit equipment. It is vital to monitor all plant and equipment. You must ensure you are aware if anything is faulty, missing or past service date. If all plant and equipment is checked at least once a month, safety should not be an issue when it comes to operating.
There are incidents which will occur that cannot be predicted and are often unforeseen. Ensure you have a well established contingency plan so in the unlikely event of unforeseen problems arising, that you have an action plan in place. Start with the obvious, if there are clear hazards which have the potential of becoming issues ensure these are planned for and precautions have been taken. Be sure to allow yourself time in your project time line for damage control, in some cases you may need to stop work in the interest of safety, be sure to plan for this to avoid running over time.
So while some of the images in this blog may be humorous, safety is no joke - risks are faced on site each day which could effect your workers and the completion of your project. As an on site manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your safety program is enforced and followed. In order to keep track of your safety responsibilities we have created a risk assessment checklist. This checklist will ensure you're covering all your bases and stay on top of all onsite safety requirement.