Every job comes with a level of risk, but some industries are more prone to hazards than others. Construction is one of the more dangerous places to work, but accidents can be easily avoided when the correct construction health and safety measures are put in place.
Our suggested measures and processes play a crucial role in reducing the number of risks on a construction site, and that’s why they should always be implemented from the get-go. Site safety should always be a priority before, during and after the construction is finished. When you don’t introduce health and safety measures on-site, it becomes very easy for risks to rise and for accidents to happen as a result.
Ensuring that your construction project is safe, secure and has all the necessary safety measures implemented is vital to the smooth progression of your development.
Finedale Construction has a vast amount of experience as a main contractor and property development construction company. As we move into 2021, construction site safety measures are adapting to modern risks. We wanted to share some of our most vital site safety measures for 2021 with you.
Why is site safety on a construction site so important?
Construction health and safety is vital to the success of any development. This is because the construction industry is prone to hazards and can be dangerous at any given time. Not only does site safety save you time, money, and effort, it could save someone's life.
What is the leading cause of injuries in the construction industry?
Construction is an ever-changing environment. This can open up the possibilities of more accidents and hazards, but following national safety guidance can significantly reduce this risk.
Past research from HSE has shown that around 3% of all construction workers in the UK will sustain a work-related injury and that 4% will suffer from a work-related illness. The majority of accident-related injuries on a construction site are usually caused by trips and slips, lifting or handling heavy objects and falling from heights.
With so many risks, site safety cannot be stressed enough. It is good to remember that creating a safe construction site means your employees can work on your site feeling appreciated and valued. A construction company that values its employees will often have a low turnover rate and reduced sickness.
Ways to improve construction health and safety on your site
Covid-19 risks and construction site safety
One of the newest risks to site safety is an outbreak of Covid-19. As a result, many sites are now implementing social distancing rules, increasing sanitisation and changing shift work patterns.
With the outbreak of the pandemic, the world has had to increase its awareness of PPE. For years, PPE has been vital in preventing physical injuries and illness caused by hazards onsite. More recently, PPE, such as face masks, has become a great way to minimise the spread of Covid-19 when social distancing is not an option.
When it is not possible to social distance, HMG has suggested that a face covering is worn to reduce the risk of transmission. This includes within the construction industry. Please note, this does not mitigate the need to supply PPE face masks for staff working with dust and spray hazards.
In addition, it is advised that construction sites have an extra non-recycling bin for workers and visitors to dispose of single-use face coverings and PPE to reduce the risk of infection spreading.
(For the latest information: Working safely during COVID-19 in construction and other outdoor work)
It’s extremely important - as well as being a part of the HSE rules and regulations - every single person wears that necessary PPE equipment on a construction site. This isn’t limited to just your workers; it includes all other staff members, subcontractors, and visitors. Therefore having a stash of spares always comes in handy if a trade or visitor turns unexpected without any PPE.
Working safely in covid-19 within the construction industry
If you want to know some other steps you can take across your construction site, Finedale Construction interviewed with PropertyInvestorsUK on some of the safety measures Finedale Construction has implemented since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
While it can be daunting, implementing these new measures ensures the virus does not spread throughout your workforce and company. The great news is that implementing these steps keep you and your workers safe and happy on-site, and you won’t have to halt construction due to an outbreak.
(As we all know, the measures are changing quite quickly, so please check the HMG website for the latest information.)
Fall arrest systems
As several residential construction projects are growing in height - fall arrest systems are becoming increasingly popular. Fall arrest systems are systems used across various construction sites to provide a blanket of protection for workers if they fall from a height. They allow you to minimise the risk of injury or death by having the relevant and necessary fall arrest systems in place on your site.
Fall arrest systems can be installed internally when part of a building’s structure, such as the floors, are missing and externally fitted below scaffolding. By doing so, you can reduce the distance by which a worker may fall. Another fall arrest, which is imperative on equipment such as scaffolding, is guards. These help to prevent materials and products from falling and potentially injuring anyone working below.
You can rent whole systems designed for the space you require to protect, or buy movable temporary ones.
How do you continue to manage health and safety in construction?
One of the best ways to keep on top of your construction site’s health and safety measures is with onsite safety inductions. This is increasingly important with the more recent actions many construction companies have had to implement. By carrying out site-specific safety inductions, you can highlight generic and site-specific risks to those present on your project.
This is also an excellent opportunity to point out to your workers and visitors where relevant safety equipment is located, eyewash stations, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and the procedure to follow if there is an accident.
Signage and walkways
Finally, signage plays an integral part in ensuring everything runs smoothly when working on a construction site. Not only for information purposes but for construction health and safety purposes too.
You should have relevant safety signage shown at key points around your site; some examples include:
Site entrance and exits
Potential trip and fall hazards
Areas where machinery is likely to be operating
Areas where pedestrians may be walking
Segregated areas to reduce to risk of covid-19 transmission
Finedale Construction’s commitment to health and safety
Although we have provided you with some health and safety elements to consider, there are many more that should be addressed when working on a construction site. If you are unsure of what else you may be required to do, it’s best to seek HSE advice directly.
Thanks to our vast amount of experience within the construction industry, site safety and security are considered with us from the start of the project. If we sound like a company you are interested in working with, we are always keen to hear about new development opportunities.