Business is now back in full swing, many organizations have returned to work with gusto, and many HR managers are already back in the office.

However the construction industry is a specialist sector and HR is not usually on site.  Therefore, responsibility for instilling the necessity to follow health and safety procedures, for complying with the law and checking up on qualifications and certification will often fall to the site manager.

Many site workers such as labourers and floor workers, hired to do the groundwork will be contractors, who are skilled professionals, however it is your business that is responsible for ensuring they are sufficiently trained and understand the safety measures, PPE and equipment to remain free from harm.

Here are the main hazards that employees and contractors in construction are likely to encounter:

 

Moving machinery and raw materials: Heavy equipment is used to move around machinery, which helps in speeding up the process of construction. However, there is not only a risk of the equipment being used incorrectly if employees and contractors are not adequately trained, there is also  a risk that these materials and equipment are not secured and stored correctly.  If this is the case, a minor trigger can cause heavy equipment to fall, potentially injuring workers.  Make sure that your equipment is both operated and stored in accordance with safety standards and correctly secured whilst moving.  PPE can offer some protection, so ensure that all on site personnel (including any admin workers or visitors) have a PPE kit, high visibility jackets, and helmets when they’re working or in the vicinity of moving objects, or walking underneath any active construction areas.

 

Accidental trips fall and slips: As a responsible employer, you should ensure that employees receive specific training on working at heights. However, even with trained personnel, accidents still occur and the industry is hazardous. 39 employees died in an accident while working in construction in 2021 alone.  While nobody likes the thought of engaging with a wrongful death lawyer where negligence has occurred, there are so many other factors involved, not least the impact deaths and injuries have on their colleagues.  Providing the necessary harnesses and safety gear to your site workers will safeguard them and offer protection.  There is no 100% guarantee, but as a responsible employer you are required to take every reasonable step to prevent injury.

 

Noise pollution:  Construction Sites tend to be very noisy places, with most of the equipment creating noise.  This noise can cause damage to the hearing of site workers, and adequate noise protection is essential. Sometimes excessive noise levels can cause the eardrums to bleed and rupture where workers are not protected.  All site personnel should be equipped with ear mufflers to cover their ears – and think, too, about any admin staff who may be working on an on-site portakabin – they may be close enough to be affected.  The newest technology in ear protection can even be equipped with noise-cancelling functionality. Providing your site workers with such equipment while drilling and other activities will help you ensure their hearing remains protected.

 

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome: With constant exposure to heavy vibrations at a construction site, from items like drills, your workers can contract this debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome or HAVS affects the bones, nerves, and blood vessels, making movement painful for the patients. Make it a point to ensure that your site is rid of unnecessary vibrations, or help your workers avoid this disease by using shock or impact-absorbing gear.

 

Excavation Procedures: Excavatory activities may look simpler than building structures, but unearthing old debris and buried structures are much more difficult due to the elemental factor. During excavations, it may be possible that the structure being explored or demolished is unstable. This may lead to accidents which can injure your workers, and in the worst case cause fatalities. It is imperative that site managers do not allow their workers to work on an unsupported excavation. Inspections before, during, and after the procedure will also help you form a detailed report regarding the safety and structural integrity of the site, and no shortcuts should be taken.

 

Asbestos Infections: If you have heard about the term asbestos, you know what kinds of fatal diseases it can lead to. If your workers are working at old sites, quarries, abandoned properties going through redevelopment, or quarries, make sure that they’re provided with hazmat equipment and safety masks to protect themselves. When inhaled or touched, asbestos can lead to respiratory complications and even cancer that can cost a worker their life. Successful construction businesses ensure that they check for asbestos at any site before they embark on their construction activities.

 

Wrapping Up:

Now that we have showcased seven of the most commonly found safety hazards at a construction site, we hope that you do your best to mitigate them. With the proper affiliations, gear, and safety drills, you’ll be able to minimize the occurrences of accidents or fatalities at your sites and ensure all your workers remain safe from harm. We hope you gleaned valuable insights from our article; stay tuned for more business-related reads!