When working on a construction site, health and safety are paramount. Recent estimates suggest the number of injuries and, subsequently, fatalities in the construction industry are higher than any other. An average of 64,000 non-fatal injuries occurs each year in the UK, with 49% issues relating to falls. Medtree, a leading distributor of medical supplies and first aid kits worldwide, are sharing the most up-to-date health and safety requirements for construction.
Construction site managers have a duty of care they must follow for:
To ensure you meet the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1947, you must undertake a risk assessment. The assessment highlights any hazards your employees face, putting into place provisions. For those unsure of what to include, you can find templates online.
All construction sites must take risk assessments of the site and equipment as a basic government requirement. The risk assessment should reduce the number of incidents, although accidents may still occur. Your assessment must feature:
Equipment or conditions deemed unsafe onsite must be resolved immediately. Your duty is to provide a safe and free from incident workplace. Should issues be identified, work must stop until those incidents have been resolved.
There are a number of hazards construction workers face on a daily basis – particularly with the use of highly-dangerous equipment and working conditions. As an employer, you must do all in your power to protect your staff.
Falls account for the largest number of incidents and fatalities in construction. Unstable surfaces, lack of necessary equipment, protection and human error. Fall protection must be in place for staff working on surfaces with unprotected edges or sides, six feet from the ground. You can ensure protection by:
All employees should be directed to familiarise themselves with potential hazards around their workstation and alert managers where sufficient protection is not installed.
Around 2.3 million construction employees work with or on scaffolds. From that, there is an estimated 60 deaths annually due to unsafe scaffolding. Your scaffold should be designed and erected by fully qualified companies and include:
Ladders & Stairways
Unsafe ladder equipment is one of the primary reasons for a large number of falls. If you fail to implement secure ladders or stairways, your employees cannot safely carry necessary tools and material – thus affecting their job. However, you should:
Not only can exposure to toxic substances lead to physical injuries, chemical burns and long-term issues, but also lead to fire and explosions. To avoid this, ensure you:
Overhead lines, cable harnesses and circuit assemblies all contribute to the risk of exposure to electrical shock. You must identify all hazards and resolve them, while providing proper training:
While you must identify potential hazards within the conditions and equipment your staff are working, it’s essential you provide them with the proper personal protective equipment. Incidents may still occur, even with all preparation in place, but these safety checklists will minimise the risks.
Eye and Face Protection
Eye and face protection is essential to avoid foreign objects getting in eyes, and should be worn at all times for jobs involving welding, cutting, grinding and more.
Hard hats are a crucial component of construction sites. If a hard hat is severely damaged, it must be replaced immediately. It’s worth noting that hard hats should be inspected routinely for any signs of dents, cracks and general deterioration.
Hand and Foot Protection
Employer’s gloves should fit the hands snugly for each job. The gloves should be inspected and provided for the correct projects, such as heavy-duty rubber gloves for jobs involving concrete. For foot protection, staff should receive anti-slip, puncture and steel-capped boots, preventing the likelihood of crushed toes.
As a basic requirement for construction sites, you must have a well-stocked first aid kit. All staff must be able to access the first aid kit and should include:
Your duty of care must implement steps to an emergency plan. Once you have steps, your emergency plan must be distributed to all staff. These are Medtree’s steps for safety: