Minimising Health And Safety Risks For Construction Workers
September 26 2019 - Last year, the number
of work-related fatalities in the construction industry went up by 27%, and, according to the Health and
Safety Executive (HSE), every year around 58,000 building workers are injured in an accident. In any
business, safety measures are essential for employee welfare, but, in the high risk industry of construction, implementing strict regulations and making
sure that workers follow them is vital in order to prevent unnecessary serious injury and even death. Whether workers are
labouring on houses and high rise tower blocks, or installing the underground infrastructures that support them, ensuring
they are adequately trained, protected and supervised will help to keep them safe.
Avoiding Health Hazards Underground
Working underground on infrastructures such as drains and sewers can lead to accidents caused by falling objects
or being trapped. In addition, workers may
be vulnerable to health hazards from microorganisms present in sewage. These can
lead to illnesses such as gastroenteritis, skin infections and asthma. Wherever possible, exposure to sewage should be minimised.
Robotic cameras can be used to inspect drains, and sewers can be pumped clear before reconstruction work begins. However, when
workers are required to enter sewer systems, employers should provide suitable protective clothing and equipment, and ensure
that adequate washing facilities are available on site. Risk assessments of the site and health checks for workers should be
undertaken regularly. Whether toiling underground on sewer systems or completing the first fix of a bathroom, the correct tools
and good quality materials will make the job safer and quicker to
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Working Safely At Height
HSE statistics show that nearly half of all accidents and fatalities that occur within the construction industry
are as a result of a fall from height. Ladders are used in almost all areas of construction, so
learning how to use ladders safely is essential for workers. Good practice includes positioning ladders correctly at a 75 degree angle, keeping three
points of contact on the ladders at all times, and taking care not to overreach. Working at heights is already very dangerous,
but some workers may need extra supervision to ensure they don't take unnecessary
risks. Research from The University of Greenwich found that a third of labourers working on high-rise buildings were potentially putting their lives at risk by not
responding quickly enough to evacuation alarms. This highlights the need for all construction workers to receive emergency
training, adequate supervision, and clear instructions from employers.
Working in the construction industry can be hazardous. Extensive safety regulations, guidelines and practical
measures are available to protect labourers in all areas of building work. However, it is important for both employers and
workers to take all necessary steps to strictly follow these measures in order to avoid unnecessary illness, accident or