How To Manage Common Construction Site Hazards
Construction sites can be risky places to work and spend time around. The average construction site has a lot of potential dangers on it, and it’s important that you take the safety of everyone on site very seriously, if you’re going to protect yourself and other staff members working on the site. If you don’t, workplace injuries and other accidents could become a major issue.
A construction site is a place that is always changing due to the different daily tasks as well as stages of the work. This involves a potentially deadly combination of moving objects, large vehicles, equipment, heavy loads, workers, and uneven terrain. Additional risks can come from uneven footing, as the terrain can cause trips, slips, or falls.
To manage this, make sure you clearly separate any moving vehicles and other traffic from human beings. Use barrier runs to create zones where people and visitors can safely move around away from any moving vehicles. Make sure that trip hazards are also marked. Use barriers to safely cordon off holes, and rising stages of buildings to reduce the risk of mishaps, and anyone needing to call their construction injury attorney.
Some building materials, such as asbestos or lead paint, are often found in older buildings and can create risks to your site workers. Asbestos was commonly used in construction a few years ago and is still found in many properties that are now being demolished or refurbished. Asbestos is harmless if left undisturbed, but it can have serious effects if the particles in it are disturbed. Construction dust can also present another hazard while it’s in the air, which can cause respiratory or visual issues. There are lots of other dangerous substances that workers on construction sites are exposed to, like chemicals, paints, vapors, and gases.
Site managers are responsible for managing harmful materials and for taking prompt action in the event of an accident occurring with them. Anyone working on site should be aware of the likelihood of finding asbestos during the work. You must have somebody on site who knows how to identify asbestos and safely manage to remove it and disposing of it. Whenever anyone is working with hazardous materials, such as dust or any toxic substances, you must provide the proper safety equipment to protect the eyes and airways.
Working At Height And Falling Items
Construction, demolition, and repair work sometimes involve people having to work at height. Hazards can also arise from movement issues when reaching and working in high-up places. As well as people falling, injuries can also be caused by debris, tools, or materials falling from a height too.
All staff working on your site ought to be trained in safety processes to help them safely work at height. Make sure you have strict procedures in place to stop anything from falling. Risk-assessment should take place frequently, as accessibility issues can just get worse as work progresses. Make sure proper equipment is always used, such as properly erected scaffolding, rather than the wrong ladder.
The construction industry has more accidents caused by electrocution than any other industry. Construction workers are at risk from electrocution thanks to their use of power tools, as well as having to work up close to overhead cables and power lines.
All movement and work around any kind of cabling should be risk assessed thoroughly so all workers, not just electricians, are safe while working. All workers who work with electrics should be properly qualified electricians.
Noise, such as from tools, also presents a risk to workers on construction sites. Noise has a physical effect on the ears, and can also be a distraction. Loud noise makes it tougher for workers to communicate as they work, so they might miss warning signals or alarms. Prolonged exposure to noise from tools over a few years can cause an occupational injury, such as hearing loss, deafness, or Tinnitus.
Make sure you always have a proper risk assessment done and make sure everyone has training and processes to protect construction workers from noise on the site. Safeguards, such as ear protection, should be in place.
Manual handling is more than just picking up or moving heavy objects around the worksite. On a construction site, this also means using mechanical lifting tools. Accidents from poor manual handling are common on construction sites.
Offer training to make sure any manual handling is done correctly and safely. Make sure your staff knows how to use any lifting equipment you provide.