Heavy-duty equipment, handheld tools, and working at a great height are just a few of the reasons that a construction site is a dangerous environment. In fact, a recent study by GoCompare Life declared that construction is the UK’s most high-risk industry as it has a higher rate of work-related fatalities than any other sector.
While fatalities are still rare, injuries are fairly commonplace on construction sites. Companies that fail to put in place adequate health & safety measures are at risk of employees claiming compensation for an accident at work if they can prove that it was not their fault. Safeguard your employees and your business by employing these four key guidelines for construction site safety.
Communication is key
Effective communication between you and your team is vital on a construction site. Before the project begins, be sure to do a thorough induction session. This should include a tour of the site with emphasis placed on potential hazards, as well as an in-depth demonstration of all equipment. You should also encourage the team to report any risks they identify as the project gets underway, most especially equipment that seems to be faulty.
Use proper signage
While the induction is essential, it is not a magic wand that waives away all risks. It is important to use proper signage around the site that reminds the team of all rules and regulations in relation to health & safety. This could include explanatory descriptions next to each piece of equipment, and frequent reminders that all employees must be wearing the correct clothing for work in that area.
Provide quality PPE
Speaking of the correct clothing – it is vital that your employees are provided with quality PPE. This term covers all clothing and accessories designed to protect physical health in hazardous environments. Typical PPE needed for a construction site includes safety helmet to protect against falling objects, cut-resistant gloves with grip, sturdy boots, and high-vis vests. Ear plugs are also recommended to safeguard employees while working with tools that operate at dangerous decibels. Safety glasses are advisable as well, especially when employees are using handheld equipment.
Practice good housekeeping
Last but certainly not least, it is essential to practice good housekeeping. Keeping the construction site in good order will help to reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls. Make sure that pathways are kept clear throughout the day, and that any equipment is tidied away in a secure place whenever it is not in use. You should also set up designated safe spaces where workers can take time to rest and relax away from the noise and hazards of the high-risk areas of the site.