Construction is a challenging and dangerous job where injuries are potentially life-threatening. Construction workers may experience work-related cuts more than other priority industries. They’re also more likely to suffer severe injuries caused by falls from height and may be prone to ill health due to exposure to airborne hazards, vibration, and noise.
Because of the risks associated with working in the construction industry, it has become less appealing to many. Add up to that the threat of environmental disasters and traumatic explosions. But though risks are unavoidable, most hazards linked with construction sites are already determined.
Thus, it’s safe to assume that most responsible employers fully understand their role to take care of their workers in every construction project. Read on if you want to know how the construction industry protects their workers on the job site.
1. Promote Awareness of Potential Hazards
The first thing every worker needs to know before setting foot on a construction site is hazard awareness. It's like a proactive state of mind that will help workers prepare for and prevent accidental injury or illness by being aware of their environment's potential risks.
Because when workers don't understand the danger at hand, they can be more susceptible to any unknowing mistake that can put everyone's lives at stake. Thus, regardless of experience and position, anyone working in the construction site must maintain alertness on these hazards.
It can be done by equipping the workers with the risks associated with their job and providing ways to prevent them. Though it's the employers' primary role to identify any type of workplace hazards, everyone should be proactive about their safety. That's why workers are urged to report any potential hazards right away.
Once it is identified and assessed, any potential hazard should be eliminated as soon as possible to prevent further harm. Therefore, if the workers don't know these potential hazards and safety measures, they should not work on the construction site.
2. Ensure Construction Safety and Health Training
Education and training play an essential role in equipping the workers about hazards and controls to work more safely and productively. Thus, they are required to have sufficient health and safety training before they enter the construction site.
By doing this, workers will develop the skills and competence necessary to work safely at height or in confined spaces up to using any equipment. It's worthy to note that safety training isn't a one-time deal. But it's a continuous process that even experienced workers are required to attend regular training sessions throughout the year.
Safety strategies need to be refreshed and updated now and then. Because safety is the priority of construction, employers need to ensure that everyone is adequately trained. Besides the general training, such as fall protection and proper use of ladders, there are also specific training in handling unique hazards.
Since everyone has a role in ensuring safety, even employers, managers, and supervisors undergo such training. They also need to fulfill their duties to provide sufficient leadership, direction, and resources for the company's safety and health program. When they fail to do their part, the frontline workers' protection in the job site can also be at risk.
3. Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Risks in the construction site cannot be eradicated. But wearing the correct personal protective equipment protects the workers against health or safety risks on the job. It can also reduce their exposure to existing and potential hazards, such as slippery wet floors or loose falling debris.
It's essential to note that accidents are eminent in the construction sites where there is an absence or inadequate use of personal protective equipment. Providing workers with this necessary equipment is one of every employer's effort to create a less threatening environment. This way, the chances of injuries and casualties will be removed immediately.
Besides supplying the right tools for the right tasks, employers also need to ensure that workers know how to operate such equipment. They must know their proper usage- from protective helmets, eye protection, high-visibility clothing to safety footwear, harnesses, and even respiratory protective equipment.
4. Utilize Technological Advancements
Technology has been known to improve efficiency and safety in almost every workplace, and the construction industry is not an exception. Employers are also utilizing technological advancements to implement safety measures in every construction project.
Through the use of construction technology, it's easier to properly train and monitor workers to prevent accidents and reduce serious injuries. Workers could be trained and exposed to confined spaces or working at height in a safe and controlled environment with virtual reality simulators.
There are also site sensors installed over a construction site to detect exposure to temperature, noise levels, dust particles, and inflammable organic compounds. By using these sensors, workers can be immediately alerted when they're at risk from permissible exposure levels.
From increasing productivity to enhancing collaboration and safety, construction firms are already beginning to adopt these technological innovations.
5. Conduct Site Inspection and Supervision
There's always an opportunity to get injured when faulty equipment is used or a safety rule is violated. That's why inspection and supervision in the job site are significant to ensure workplace safety.
Any equipment used in every construction, like in Storm Pros Construction , is inspected regularly to secure that there are no malfunctions or defects. It is both the worker and employer's responsibility to pay attention to any defective equipment to prevent any serious accident.
Besides that, consistent supervision is necessary to ensure that proper safety standards and procedures are observed in the construction site. Else, the safety and health programs of the company will be put into waste.
Potential Hazards In The Construction Industry
Construction and site work are very dangerous professions with high work-related accidents and deaths. Some hazards are obvious while others aren’t. Here are three potential hazards to be aware of in the construction industry.
1. Falling From Heights
Working at height sadly runs the risk of falls. The threat of workplace falls is considered one of the most paramount dangers in the construction industry. Due to this, measures are put in place across the world to ensure employers meet standards and regulations. All employers must provide good quality PPE to all members of the team. Not only this, but they must provide extra protection when necessary. This equipment might include safety nets and handrails for example. Employers must have full fall protection equipment inspection once per year. Pelsue’s OSHA equipment inspection checklist is a good resource to rely on here. They even have a PDF version which you can download and send around to the team if you all want to use it on the go.
2. Confined Space Incidents
Construction sites consist of many tight spaces that require work being conducted in them. As this is the case, extra precaution must be taken by employers to ensure the crew’s safety when operating in confined spaces. These spaces can be deadly, and many are killed and injured as a result of the complexity of confined space tasks. The different types of confined spaces can include storage tanks, sewers, and reaction vessels. Due to the high level of risk, employers are encouraged to have rescue teams on-site at all times. This is because construction sites cannot rely on emergency services while in a time-crunch, so having members of the team well trained and available for rescue is an excellent way to ensure your team’s safety. Employers are also recommended to have materials such as work tents, to protect against the elements in an outside confined space emergency rescue.
3. Mental Health
When examining the stats surrounding poor mental health among construction workers, mental health can be considered a hazard. For a long time, mental health has gone unnoticed and underappreciated. As time passes by, employers are beginning to recognise that support and understanding must be available for all staff members. Alarming statistics suggest that the construction industry has the second-highest rate of suicide. Some of the reasons for poor mental health in this field are the high-pressure environment, season lay-offs and the fact that it is a male-dominated industry. Not should employers take this responsibility as a whole to ensure employee mental health, but the availability to access helpful materials should be filtered down to the site and team supervisors. Employees should know who they can speak too, and not be afraid to talk.
Safety measures are necessary whether you are working in the construction industry or not. As an employer, you have to protect your workers from the risks associated with their jobs. On the other hand, as a construction worker, it's vital as well to work in a company that's fully concerned about your health and safety. If you're a consumer seeking a construction service provider, you also need to prioritize safety above all else.
Daniel Blake juggles his time working as a freelance writer and studying as a design student. His writing career is evident in many published articles on various websites and magazines. His forte lies in real estate, design, and tech. Daniel is also a confessed bookworm who binges on reading thrillers whenever his time permits