22nd June, 2021
Construction workers are more likely to be injured or killed at work. There are many risks for construction workers to navigate, but the hazards you face in construction are varied, as no two sites are the same. These construction site safety tips are a great place to start.
Construction sites are high-risk places to work, and it's shown in the data. According to HSE statistics, you are four times more likely to get killed at work and over 50% more likely to get injured at work if you work in the construction industry.
The fatal injury rate (1.74 per 100,000 workers) is almost four times the All industry rate. Source: RIDDOR, 2015/16-19/20
There are many health and safety risks found in construction work that you won't often find in other workplaces. Demolition, work at height, excavations, machines and plant, traffic close to workers, contamination, overhead work, confined spaces, hot work. And that could all be on the same site!
Employers have legal health and safety responsibilities to control these hazards. Construction even has its own set of health and safety regulations - The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, also known as CDM. But navigating through the various hazards, legislation, and best practices can be daunting, especially on a busy construction site. So in this post, we're going to break down several areas you can focus on to reduce the risks and keep your workers safe on site.
Good safety standards start with good planning. If you set up your site right at the start of your project, good health and safety standards will be easier to follow. So get safety right from day one with these quick tips.
Use the construction site set up to-do list for a more detailed look at setting up your construction project.
Construction sites are busy places. Right from the start of your project, you will have deliveries and machinery turning up on site. Keeping people and vehicles apart is the key to avoiding accidents on site.
Use the construction site traffic management plan to plan safe routes on your site.
Uncontrolled collapses and falls through fragile materials are just two of many things that can go wrong during demolition. Buildings can also contain live services and hazardous materials, creating hidden dangers.
Most construction projects will involve some excavation work, whether it's for foundations, installing new services, or altering drainage. But there can be dangers under the ground, hidden out of sight, and it's even more dangerous when you dig a hole.
I'm willing to bet that every construction site needs to consider safe lifting and handling. Whether you move materials by hand or using lifting equipment, take a load off your mind by following these safety tips.
Not sure if you're lifting safely? Here's how to correct your manual handling technique.
Work at height is so dangerous it has its own regulations. The Work at Height Regulations covers all working at height, and these safety tips will help you comply.
For a more detailed look at working at height, read getting safety right when working at height.
It can be tricky to manage fire risks on construction sites. The building is unfinished, you haven't installed the fire systems yet, fire doors aren't in yet, and hot work is often needed. Check out these construction site fire tips to get your site fire safe.
Want more fire safety tips? Read 13 fire prevention tips for construction sites.
You might have expected PPE to be first on the list, but it's the last. Because PPE is your last line of defence, and while it's important, it's not as effective as other control measures, like elimination or engineering controls like barriers and guards.
PPE you need on construction sites includes:
You'll usually need hard hats, boots and hi-viz on all construction sites. Other PPE will be necessary depending on the tasks and activities you do. Your risk assessment will help you identify the control measures you need.
If you need help creating health and safety documents for your construction site, we have over 500 health and safety templates you can use to get started. Spend less time worrying about paperwork and more time working safely.
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.
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