The construction industry is amongst the largest in the UK. It employs over 3.1 million people, which amounts to more than 9% of the national workforce. It has also been listed as the UK’s third most dangerous industry. Of course, there are ways to make construction sites better for workers. Here we will look at some tips for improving construction safety.
1. Always Wear the Correct Protective Equipment
This may seem obvious, but correctly wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) makes all the difference to construction safety. Your hard hat could be the difference between life and death in the event of an item being dropped. Steel toe-capped boots provide more than adequate protection from heavy objects. High visibility vests and jackets will reduce the likelihood of struck by accidents. If your worksite lacks adequate PPE, bring this up with your manager or supervisor; they are legal requirements.
2. Ensure Scaffolding is Secure
Almost half of construction site fatalities occur as a result of falls from height. This can be avoided by ensuring scaffolding is properly constructed and maintained. By placing scaffolding on level ground, you reduce the likelihood of it wobbling or falling. If any repairs are required, carry them out immediately. A loose bar could be the cause of a fatal accident.
3. Health and Safety Training
Staff and supervisors alike should have adequate health and safety training for their roles. This may be in relation to a specific piece of equipment or job role. Staff should know what risks are associated with the work they are doing, and how best to avoid hazards. In some cases, it may also be beneficial for all your staff to have some first aid training.
4. Report Problems
Complacency is a leading cause of accidents in the workplace. The best system for encouraging construction safety is to say something if you see something. Faulty equipment is a leading workplace hazard, and workers refusing to follow rules increases the chances of accidents on construction sites.
Construction sites should be well marked with signs regarding health and safety rules. It is of paramount importance that staff and supervisors adhere to these rules, and that signs are well-placed for maximum visibility. Constant awareness of rules, as well as clear marking of dangers, are crucial to construction safety.
Whilst construction sites are often hectic environments, that is no excuse for compromising construction safety through clutter. A messy environment increases the risk of accidents. Whilst some mess is unavoidable, steps can be taken to make your workplace tidier. Keep routes as clear as possible and avoid trailing cables on walkways.
Another means of encouraging construction safety is to equip workers with lone alarms. This is especially true if any staff operate without supervision, making them lone workers.
A lone alarm provides workers with extra peace of mind in the case of an accident. At the press of a button, an alert is broadcast to a 24/7 Monitoring Team. By speaking over the built-in speaker phone, the team member can determine the nature of the emergency. Using this knowledge, they then alert emergency contacts and, if necessary, the emergency services.
These devices also come fitted with fall detectors and GPS locators for added security.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 24th November 2021 to reflect current information.