Between machinery, scaffolding, loose rubble and heavy loads, building sites are hazardous environments. Every year, building site accidents cause serious injuries and death, so it’s worth sparing a thought for safety on your building site to ensure it’s a safe place of work.
The People On Site
Due to the array of hazards on building sites, access to your building site should be restricted. Only people involved in the construction project should be permitted entry. If the building site is left open, strangers or children could enter the site and put themselves at risk. All people who access the building site should be trained and informed of the dangers posed by their environment. When work is being done on a building site, it should always be done in teams; if a person working on the site sustains an injury, he or she may not be able to get help if they are the only one there. Finally, heavy machinery should be given a wide berth by workers in order to prevent collisions or other accidents.
Protective Clothing and Equipment
The nature of work on construction sites means that protective clothing and equipment is essential at all times. All aspects of work should be performed with the relevant safety precautions in mind, so any climbing of poles should be done with a safety harness, for example. It is obligatory on many building sites that workers wear steel-toe boots or other safety footwear in order to protect their feet in the event of something falling on them. Likewise, hard hats should be worn to prevent head injuries. Other protective equipment that may need to be used depending on the task being performed includes goggles, ear protection and gloves.
Working at Heights
More than half of all building site fatalities are caused by people falling from a height, so it’s important that every precaution is taken when working at heights. All scaffolding used on a building site should be secure and steady before anyone climbs up and all platforms higher than two metres must have a guard rail and toe boards to prevent people from falling.
Ladders should be removed when the building site is empty to prevent any trespassers from climbing up and potentially injuring themselves. Any roofs being worked on should be inspected to ensure they are safe to walk on, and work should not be carried out on roofs in adverse weather conditions.
Safety should be the key concern on any building site and all workers should be aware of the correct safety procedures and know when to use safety equipment. An informed, well-trained workforce is far less likely to sustain injuries when on construction sites, so it’s in your interest to make sure everyone knows the necessary precautions to take when working on site.
This article was written by building site manager Harry Lynch on behalf of a leading provider of safety footwear.