A construction site can be a dangerous place that can cause harm to those working on the site. Here are 10 things you need to know in order to stay safe. If there is anything we are sure about, it is that construction sites are menacing. Equipment, debris and materials can cause serious injuries if they fall on a person or someone gets caught in a machinery accident.
But safety doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, it can be easy – if you know what you need to do to protect yourself and your workers. This brings us to the following list of 10 things you need to know about construction site safety:
Safety on a construction site is a priority, and the better prepared you are, there is less chance that you will have an accident. What are some things you can do to ensure that your team is ready for any activity, whether that be a job site safety inspection or an incident on site? You need to have a good WHS management plan in place and a well-organised site. Furthermore, you should have the right safety tools and equipment to mitigate risks.
You need to make a site map with the locations of all building materials, tools, and other storage areas. A site map will help you identify the location of every hazard to which workers could be exposed.
In fact - despite the giant strides in workplace safety, injuries on construction sites have remained higher than the national average for the past 5 years.
According to data by SafeWork Australia, the following are the most prevalent construction work-related injuries include:
These are the major causes:
Construction workers are also at risk of exposure to chemicals, lead and asbestos. Finally, don’t forget about the danger from heavy lifting or long hours spent at the construction site. All of these injuries lead to direct losses that cost construction organizations millions of dollars in medical bills, workers compensation claims, equipment damage etc.
“Using an incidence-based, ‘ex-post’ approach, this study found that the ”mean cost of a construction accident incurred on stakeholders ranges from AUD$2040 to AUD$6,024,517.” Also, the indirect consequences to employees including loss of lives, livelihood, and disabilities is a burden that has a huge impact on the economy.
According to SafeWork Australia, falls from a height were the leading cause of fatalities in construction sites for the past five years. According to a report by SafeWork Australia, 28% of all workplace fatalities in the construction industry was directly the result of falls from working heights.
This is an important message to pass on. If you are working on higher levels of a construction site, make sure your workers know the dangers of falling and how to prevent it.
Even if you have fulfilled all the requirements for safety, there is always a risk of injury. There are many ways to reduce that risk and one way is by using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Construction workers are expected to wear PPE when they work. This equipment includes safety harnesses, hard hats and goggles.
Don’t forget to check if PPE is in good working condition before using it, and replace equipment that is damaged or worn out. With the right PPE and precautions, you can keep injuries to a minimum on your construction site.
Make no mistake about it, construction site safety is not a one-man job.
There are a lot of things that are involved in construction site safety. It is not just about implementing the right set of policies or wearing PPE. Think of it this way: everyone involved in a project plays a role in construction site safety. On the job, workers need to be safe and follow all the rules they have been given by their supervisor. Management needs to make sure they have the right safety equipment and that everyone knows what their roles are. After-hours, workers need to follow all health and safety guidelines.
Construction site safety is everyone’s responsibility and it involves all the people involved in a project, even those on and off the site. A site where everyone pulls their weight will be productive and successful.
Without everyone’s effort, construction site safety may take a hit.
You should be aware that construction workers who have been trained in proper workplace procedures are less likely to be injured on the job. This assertion is supported by many studies just like this research as shown that safety training is “regarded as the most important factor in preventing safety accident hazards.” Construction workers who receive proper training are also more productive as they understand what their role is and how it contributes to the success of a project.
Training is important because it shows workers what they need to do in order for them and their workmates to stay safe and healthy. Popular topics to be covered during training should include prevention, risk management procedures, PPE use and first aid.
The primary duty of care lies with the PCBU (Safe Work Australia). This means that employers should have a thorough understanding of all the work hazards on site and how they contribute to an unsafe workplace environment, as well as strategies to eliminate or minimise them.
The PCBU must provide workers with all the equipment, facilities and information they need to ensure their health and safety. This also includes the provision of safe access, exit routes which are free from obstruction, control over hazardous work activities, and training in health and safety procedures, the provision of first aid equipment and a safe working environment. Failure to meet the requirements of this duty can result in an employer being held responsible for any injuries or fatalities that occur on site.
A SWMS is compulsory for ‘high risk construction work’ such as where there is a “risk of a fall over two metres or, any movement of powered mobile plant or, work carried out on or near energised electrical installations” according to WHS laws. SWMS must be prepared for new or modified work processes, as well as where workers are exposed to different hazards.
SWMS is based on the risk assessment and contains all information about precautions you need to take to avoid accidents. It is a legal requirement for all construction sites that have more than one worker and it should be on-hand at all times.
A newly hired worker would likely have to learn everything from scratch and that includes the risks associated with their specific job. According to this research, that analysed data over a 10-year period the “claim rates decline as time on the job increases” and “workers in the first month on the job were over four times more likely to have a lost-time claim than workers with over one year in their current job.”
Factors that contribute to a higher risk of injury include being unfamiliar with the environment, lack of experience in performing certain tasks and not knowing what to do or where to go in an emergency. Because of this, it is important that a new construction worker receives proper induction training on site and from their supervisor to ensure they are fully aware of the hazards they may face and how to prevent injuries.
The role of technology goes beyond just being a distraction. We now have tools and apps to assist us in our everyday tasks, including when we are working on construction sites.
WHS management systems like Kiri Align can keep workers safe by allowing them to report hazards and issues in real time, it can also be used to monitor and track your workers as well as equipment. It could help you with data collection and analysis to identify risks, prevent accidents or hazards that can cause injuries. Technology can also assist with safety training, including WHS courses that you may need to complete. This way, employees will learn everything they need to know about their job and how to stay safe while working.
Without doubt, technology is a game changer when it comes to ensuring your workplace and employees are safe.
A construction site might be considered a dangerous place, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in constant fear of an accident. There are a number of things you can do and steps you can take to make safety your number one priority.
Be sure to start a FREE trial of Kiri Align today and see how it can help you create a safer work environment.