Construction companies are the most badly hit by accidents at sites. It leads to massive loss of productivity and revenue in addition to other perils like prosecution and bad press. As per HSE report – 1.7 million working days and over a billion pound are lost every year due to on-site injuries and sickness. So, the billion-pound question is: how can a construction company take care of workers’ health?
Here is the answer:
1) Employ only CSCS Card holders:
First and foremost, ensure every tradesman carry a valid CSCS Card. When each and every tradesman knows how to keep one and others safe and healthy, half of your worries get taken care of.
2) Ensure use of protective gears:
See to it that all workers have and use relevant protective gears. Helmets protect from head injury, skid-proof and insulated boots are vital to dodge major threat of falls and electrocutions, glasses take care of harmful dust and smoke, gloves keep off potential harms from electricity and toxic chemicals while body-harness and safety net are must for those working at height. Do routine checks on gears and replace ones that are faulty or ill-fitting. This way you can cut down on injuries caused by faulty tools and equipment failures.
3) Secure excavation sites and trenches:
Collapse and cave-ins are big safety-hazards at excavation sites and trenches. Put supports and shielding in place and make way-out available to workers in case someone does fall. Do fence all such sites – mark dangerous if necessary – to keep random people away.
4) Make scaffoldings safer to work on:
Make sure scaffoldings are put up, moved and dismantled by competent tradesmen. Having safety-net, guardrails and toe-boards around scaffolding are life saviors. Strictly make sure all workers use body harness. Designate a competent person/team to monitor and repair in case of damage – the structure before the work begin every day.
5) Train workers to minimize chemical hazards:
Train workers on how to handle chemicals properly and identify associated risks. Every worker must know what to do in case of chemical spills or other such emergencies like who to alert and what to do in the meanwhile to contain the damage. Make “spill clean-up kits” available and accessible to all. Post clear warning sign on toxic chemicals to prevent accidental damage. Appoint a qualified person/team for maintenance and daily safety check.
All workers are entitled to work in environments where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under health and safety law, the primary responsibility for this is down to employers. Employers have a duty to consult with their employees, or their representatives, on health and safety matters. So if not for safety, take these steps to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law.
A safer construction site improves productivity, revenue and brand name of the company and having a 100% safety-trained workforce help a great deal in this quest.
Have a safe, healthy and productive year!