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Four ways to improve construction site safety

man holding hard hat

Construction sites can be incredibly dangerous places so it’s important to take health and safety in these areas very seriously.

A good record isn’t just important to your business, it’s also a vital part of protecting your workplace. If accidents do occur, this can not only destroy your reputation but you may also lose any accreditations you have, you will struggle to get onto tender lists and inevitably, work will dry up.

Below are four simple and effective ways to improve construction site safety.

Ensure staff are properly trained

One of the reasons why construction sites are so dangerous is because of the equipment that is used. Chances are that many workers will be working from great heights as well which naturally poses a risk.

Before you let anyone loose on your site, ensure that they have the skills, qualifications and training they need in order to do their job safely.

Report any incidents

It really is very important to report any near misses that happen on site because if they’re ignored, there’s every possibility that eventually, an accident will occur.

Heinrichs study was carried out in 1950 and showed that for every 10 near misses there are, there will be an accident. By implementing a system where these kinds of things are reported, it can help you to identify potential risks and therefore seriously reduce the chances of an accident occurring.

Use safety equipment

Proper use of safety equipment can help to protect both your employees and the general public. Site fencing is ideal for restricting access to particularly dangerous areas and it can also prevent the public from accidentally wandering onto your construction site. Scaffolding should also be a staple building product on any site and it should be used on all jobs that are carried out from a height.

Other important safety equipment that should always be used include:

  • Eye and face protection such as safety glasses or face shields. This prevents foreign objects getting into the eye and protects the face from any potential electrical hazards.
  • Foot protection. A lot of heavy materials are used in construction and workers must therefore wear safety-toed footwear that is slip and puncture resistant.
  • Hand protection. Workers should wear the correct type of gloves for the work they’re carrying out and they must fit snugly in order to prevent anything from slipping out of their hands.
  • Head protection. This is an incredibly important part of construction site safety because construction workers are particularly susceptible to head injuries. Hard hats should be worn at all times and make sure that they are regularly inspected for dents, cracks and deterioration as this could impact their effectiveness.

hat and harness

Electrical safety

Working with electricity is dangerous, particularly when people don’t know what they’re doing. Before dealing with any electrics, always ensure that the power is switched off and have an effective lockout system in place should anything go wrong.

When using electrical equipment, ensure that there aren’t any frayed, damage or worn cords showing because this could pose a risk. Also check that any ladders, scaffolding, equipment or materials aren’t within 10 feet of electrical power lines and most importantly, make sure that anyone dealing with electricity is properly qualified to do so.

Please visit the HSE website for more information about electrical safety in construction.