Construction work sites are dangerous workplaces. The industry accounts for 3.1 million jobs making a 9% of the employment in the UK alone. There were 40 deaths among construction workers with 81,000 other work-related injuries in 2019/20, as per the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
These figures tell a wide range of hazards construction workers an exposed to in their day-to-day operations. Some prominent risks to construction staff include falls from height, work equipment hazards, falling objects, slips, trips, falls, or electrical hazards.
So, this post will cover some effective safety tips to be safe in construction workplaces.
Effective Ways to Improve Health & Safety Within the Construction Sites
Below are some simple tips to stay safe while undertaking construction work activities:
1. Wear the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
When workers enter a work site, they must make sure they have the right gear for work and are properly wearing their PPE. Having a correct PPE could make a big difference between a serious and a minor injury at work. Therefore, one should never deny the importance of using it at work.
2. Be Mindful & Follow Safety Sings
Safety signposts and labels help upper management create safety awareness in their work area. These signs are a helpful way to warn the workers about the danger, so they do not conduct their activities near such a place.
Employers must also make sure that their workers and employees understand the safety signs and act and behave accordingly around them.
3. Provide Clear Instructions to the Workers
Employers and managers must also have site inductions for the new joiners who are unfamiliar with their work environment. They must receive clear instructions so that hazards and risks can be avoided to their optimum.
4. Provide the Right Health & Safety Training
Health and safety training plays a key role in controlling and reducing workplace accidents and injuries. Employers should have proper training sessions for their construction workers including working at height training, slips, trips, and falls training, construction risk assessment training, IOSH managing safely in construction, electrical safety training, and other relevant information.
5. Keep the Workspace Clean & Tidy
The construction work areas must be cleaned daily to ensure that they are free from dust, debris, stagnant water, or other cleaning issues. A messy workplace can result in some major problems like slips, trips, and falls hazards that account for a large number of workplace accidents.
6. Maintain Proper Housekeeping
Proper housekeeping is also a key component of ensuring a safe and secure workplace. Employers and employees must ensure that no tools or equipment is laying around in the workplace unattended. This will help prevent serious accidents or injuries.
7. Have an Emergency Response Plan
A proper emergency response plan from the employers and managers directs the workers and staff on what to do when an emergency occurs at work. It could be anything from environmental disasters, fire hazards, airborne diseases, waterborne diseases, or other incidents.
8. Have Clear and Concise Communication
Effectively communicating and consulting with the employees is also one easy way to ensure high workplace safety standards. When employers are unable to convey their message to their workforce properly, there are high chances of errors and mistakes occurring at work.
9. Don't Work in Unsafe Areas
Both employers and their workers need to analyze their work and never work in an unsafe work area. Nearly 14% of fatalities at construction sites occur due to collapsing, overturning, moving vehicles, or falling objects.
Therefore, workers need to be vigilant when working in such situations and employers must examine the risk they may face.
10. Report Near Misses or Unsafe Behavior
Reporting incidents and near-misses have shown to be an effective approach to creating a safe work environment. If any employee or a worker notices unsafe behavior or condition at work they must immediately report it to the management so further actions can be taken to avoid them.
A near-miss occurrence left unattended or unnoticed can turn into a severe accident or can cause serious injury. So, to avoid such incidents it is better to identify and control them before they cause trouble.
11. Conduct Pre-checks on Tools & Equipment
Checking the work equipment, tools, and machinery before starting work to ensure they are capable of use is also one of the significant ways to minimize accidents and injuries. They must be inspected regularly and maintained in good order to make them suitable for work.
When talking about construction hazards, the list may go on. But taking necessary precautions and vital control measures can mitigate the risk. Employers, employees, and construction workers altogether can implement the above-mentioned tips within their work areas to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive workplace for all. It will help prevent accidents and legal costly claims.