What Are The Top 10 Health And Safety Risks In Construction?
Risk assessments power safety on construction sites. Risk management avoids fatal injury, ensures Health and Safety Executive compliance and reduces slips, trips and falls. Our new Under Construction app is designed to help businesses achieve all this simply, smoothly and in an auditable fashion.
Under Construction has been specifically designed to be customisable, so that constructions firms are able to fit the app to their specific needs, processes and structures. But companies in this sector also face similar challenges. And awareness of what health and safety risks look like more broadly can help identify local priorities.
These, then, are the top ten health and safety risks in construction. Our new app can help you limit your exposure to each of them.
- Working from height
Working at height is part and parcel of construction work. But unsecured equipment, lack of safety rails on unprotected edges can cause serious accidents. Put in place rigorous checks to ensure working from height is, where necessary, also safe.
- Falls, trips and slips
The same goes for falls elsewhere: slippery surfaces, spillages, or messy sites are the enemy of even the surest feet. Proper site checks are the way out of this bind – and Under Construction can help document these for everyone to see.
Sometimes the worst happens, and a structure itself falls down. These incidents aren’t unusual. But unless they’re properly managed, they can harm people and other structures. Carrying out regular checks is the best way to ensure ongoing compliance, and, in turn, reduce the risk of sudden collapse. Again, Under Construction doesn’t just enable these sorts of capabilities – it enforces them via regular push notifications.
- Moving equipment
Not all movement is accidental – obviously on any site equipment will need to be moved around on a regular and continual basis. The key is to have processes and checks in place to ensure this is safe, both for those doing the moving and everyone else on site. An app in a worker’s pocket can provide the work-area checklists necessary to keep things running smoothly – and safely.
Speaking of equipment, power tools of various kinds can cause serious damage to workers’ nerves and blood vessels. Limiting their use – both in terms of using alternatives where possible, and restricting the time spent using them – is a key element of any responsible site plan. Each tool can be assessed based on its HAVS and PAT tests which can be uploaded readily via the app.
Noise, too, is a problematic consequence of power tools and other on-site machinery. 85dB is the key threshold – louder than this and a worker’s hearing will become damaged over time. Under Construction can facilitate thorough and regular reviews of noise levels on-site to protect a workforce’s ears.
- Manual handling
All of this equipment – and other objects on-site – are heavy and cumbersome. Construction firms need policies in place to protect workers from physical injury. Our app doesn’t just enable to ask the right questions and put in place the appropriate checks – since it is centrally updated and in every worker’s pockets, it lets individuals check their risk against agreed policies, too.
Asbestos is a perennial threat on construction sites involving older buildings. From ceiling tiles to insulation, legacy asbestos can still cause serious harm to workers on-site. Assessment of sites and asbestos locations is made easy by Under Construction audits and RAMS forms.
- Airborne dust
Not only asbestos dust is a problem, of course: concrete dust or sawdust, or dust from laying ballast and even from brushing floors, can have respiratory implications. Controlling risky tasks is made easier by an auditing process that is visible to everyone, and easily co-ordinated.
Direct contact with a power supply is the most obvious, but not the only, serious electrical event that can happen on a site. Full surveys of cabling, power sources and wiring – and the appropriate labelling of site areas – is key to avoiding them.
Under Construction can help with all of these, and in a way that is tailored to each firm, project and site. In this way, you can ensure you’re keeping your workforce safe from the most notorious health and safety risks in construction.