Construction sites are breaking new ground every day, as the growing demand for retail and residential spaces continues. Every site has its share of hazards, some unique to the location and project and some common between every build.
Reducing the number of risks on a work site is an important way to protect your workers and the efficiency of the site. Workplace accidents and injuries can cost a lot of time, as well as money. Here are some ways that anyone on any site can minimalise health risks and protect themselves and others.
Remember Every Type Of Hazard
When assessing risks on a construction site, no matter how big or small it is, many people get too caught up in the obvious safety risks like heavy machinery or slips and fall hazards, neglecting the basics. Even if you are not using flammable materials or fuels, fire poses a massive threat to any construction site.
If you are monitoring and assessing hazards on a building site, always think of fire safety. Having a professional fire risk assessment performed before construction, like the ones from The HR Dept. Ltd, begins is a clever idea. This can then be followed up at later phases in the build. If the site changes a lot through the build, you may need to down tools and complete a fresh assessment. New risks are generated by substantial changes to the site.
By minimising fire risks, you are protecting the safety of the construction workers, their equipment, and the site itself. This also gives you peace of mind, letting you concentrate on other health risks knowing that your fire safety assessment is complete, and the hazards have been identified.
Do A Daily Briefing
Communication is the key to success in any endeavour. If you have ever spent any time on a construction site, you know there is no lack of communication between labourers. They banter like old friends, and many of them are. You can use this to help underscore the importance of safety in daily briefings before the graft begins.
The chances are any construction team on site are men aged 18 to 40. This age group typically does not take their personal safety too seriously, sadly, but they do care about the safety of their friends. Trying to get the importance of workplace safety and risk assessment across to construction workers can be difficult when you frame it in terms of their own personal safety.
When you make risk assessments, if you make them about workers protecting each other and their friends and things will change. Workplace banter will now take on a safety element, with workmates looking out for each other and giving warnings and briefings of their own, minimising hazards and risk.
Get To The Root Cause Of Risks
Many construction site hazards are the result of a domino of other risks, knocking each other down and snowballing into something bigger that poses a larger threat to workplace safety. When assessing risks on the work site, look for connections to other hazards and how the demands of the job will influence and increase the risk.
The quickest way to reduce hazards is to reduce the amount of equipment and supplies on-site. Think about the risk of having large stocks of bricks, concrete supplies, or timber poses. The same is true of equipment, especially mechanised tools, and vehicles.
By identifying the knock-on risks of having things ‘lying around’ you will see that they pose a bigger threat than a trip or fall, or someone stubbing their toe on timber.
Having a designated storage area, that is well-maintained and fenced off, can reduce the number of hazards, and minimise risks on your work site that you may not have anticipated before. Getting to their root cause and dealing with that reduces the risks that grow from them.
Utilise Tech To Monitor Health And Safety
Though it may seem intrusive to some, installing CCTV on a construction site can have massive benefits to health and safety and can also be very useful in the event of an accident. Being on camera can influence the way workers do their jobs and help them to remember to work and behave safely too.
If the worst happens and someone is injured, or there is a ‘near-miss’ on the site, CCTV can help you to determine what went wrong and minimalise that risk in the future. It can also be useful to establish the sequence of events that led up to a workplace injury and be valuable in reconciling any culpability or compensation.
The systems can also protect the site and construction safety when no one is on site. Break-ins cost construction companies tens of thousands of pounds a year. Vandalism is also a problem. The cameras can help you identify perpetrators and security weaknesses, helping you protect the site and its supplies.
Construction site safety does not need to be difficult or slow down the building process. By planning ahead and identifying risks early, as well as seeking professional help, any site can stay safe and productive.