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Health And Safety Checklist For Construction Sites

Health And Safety Checklist For Construction Sites

Construction sites can be dangerous places to work. The average construction site has a lot of hazards on it, and it’s important that you take health and safety seriously, if you’re going to protect yourself and other staff on site. If you don’t, workplace injuries and accidents could become a big problem.

Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

Movement

A construction site is constantly changing across daily tasks as well as phases of work and includes a potentially very dangerous combination of moving objects, large vehicles, equipment, heavy loads, people, and uneven terrain. Additional risks can also come from the uneven ground, as they could cause trips, slips, or falls. 

To handle this, make sure you clearly separate traffic from people. Use barrier runs to create safe zones where people and visitors can move around away from the moving vehicles. Make sure trip hazards are clearly marked or blocked off. Use barriers to safely cordon holes, and rising stages of buildings to minimize the risk of accidents, and anyone needing to call a construction accident attorney. Create safe loading and unloading zones for heavy equipment. 

Harmful Materials

Historic building materials, such as asbestos or lead paint, can present risks to your construction workers. Asbestos was widely used in construction a few years ago and is still in many properties that are being demolished or refurbished now. Asbestos is largely harmless when undisturbed, asbestos can have serious health effects if it’s particles are disturbed. Construction dust can also present another danger in the air, which can cause serious respiratory or visual issues. There are lots of other harmful substances that construction workers are exposed to, like chemicals, paints, vapors, and gases. 

Site managers and the companies they work for are responsible for preventing harmful materials and for taking prompt action in the event of a problem occurring. Planning engineers should be aware of the likelihood of finding asbestos. You must have someone on site who knows how to identify asbestos and safely manage its removal and disposal from the site. Whenever anyone is working with hazardous materials, such as dust and toxic substances, eyes, and airways must be protected with the proper safety equipment. 

Working At Height And Falling Items

Construction, demolition, and repair can all involve people needing to work at height. This can include floors, ceilings, and roofs that are under construction or are damaged. Hazards can arise from movement and accessibility issues in reaching and working in high-up areas. Falls from a height are one of the most common causes of injuries on a construction site, and injuries from debris, tools, or materials falling from a height taking up a large proportion too. 

All staff working on the site should be trained in the safety processes needed to safely work at height. Make sure you have strict procedures in place to prevent objects from falling. Risk-assessment should take place regularly, as accessibility issues can just get worse as work progresses. Make sure appropriate equipment is always used, such as properly erected scaffolding, rather than a ladder. 

Electricity

The construction industry has more deaths caused by electrocution than any other industry. Construction workers are at risk from electrocution thanks to their use of tools, as well as having to work closely to overhead cables and power lines. 

All movement and work around overhead cables should be risk assessed thoroughly so all workers, not just electricians, are safe while working. All workers who work with electrics should be qualified electricians. 

Noise

Noise, such as the repetitive sounds from high-decibel machinery and tools, presents a risk to construction workers. Noise has a physical effect on the ears, and can also be a distraction. Noise makes it harder for workers to communicate on-site and they may miss warning signals or alarms. Prolonged exposure to tool noise over a few years can cause an occupational injury, such as hearing loss, deafness, or Tinnitus. 

Make sure you carry out an adequate risk assessment and put in place training and processes to protect construction workers from the whole site and machinery noise. Safeguards, such as ear protection, must be in place after a full risk assessment. 

Manual Handling

Manual handling is more than just picking up or moving heavy objects on site. A construction site, this also includes using mechanical lifting tools. Accidents and occupational injuries from poor manual handling are common on construction sites. 

Give proper training to make sure any manual handling is competent and risk-minimal. Make sure your staff know how to safely use any lifting equipment. 

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