How can a construction company take care of workers’ health?
Construction companies are the most affected by site accidents. This results in a huge loss of productivity and revenue in addition to other dangers such as prosecution and bad press. According to the HSE report, 1.7 million working days and over a billion pounds are lost each year due to workplace injuries and illnesses. So the billion pound question is: how can a construction company look after the health of its workers?
Here is the answer:
1) Hire only CSCS card holders:
First and foremost, make sure every trader carries a valid CSCS card. When every single trader knows how to keep others safe and healthy, half your worries will be solved.
2) Ensure the use of protective equipment:
Ensure that all workers have and use appropriate protective equipment. Helmets protect against head injuries, slip-resistant and insulated boots are vital to avoid a major fall and electrocution threat, goggles take care of harmful dust and fumes, gloves protect against potential harm from electricity and toxic chemicals, while body belts and the safety net are mandatory for those working at height. Carry out routine checks on the gears and replace any that are defective or do not fit. In this way, you can reduce injuries caused by faulty tools and equipment damage.
3) Secure excavation sites and excavations:
Collapses and cave-ins are a major safety hazard at excavation sites and excavations. Put supports and screens in place and provide an exit for workers in case someone falls. Fence off all such places – mark as dangerous if necessary – to keep bystanders away.
4) Make scaffolding safer to work on:
Ensure scaffolding is erected, moved and dismantled by competent tradesmen. Having safety netting, handrails and footboards around scaffolding are lifesavers. Strictly ensure that all workers use body belts. Designate a competent person/team to monitor and repair in case of failure – the structure before starting work each day.
5) Train workers to minimize chemical hazards:
Train workers on how to properly handle chemicals and identify the risks associated with them. Every worker should know what to do in the event of a chemical spill or other similar emergency, such as who to notify and what to do in the interim to limit the damage. Make “spill cleanup kits” available and accessible to all. Place a clear warning sign on toxic chemicals to prevent accidental damage. Designate a qualified person/team for maintenance and daily safety inspection.
All workers have the right to work in an environment where the risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. Under the Health and Safety Act, employers are primarily responsible for this. Employers have a duty to consult 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 a company’s productivity, revenue and brand name, and having a 100% safety trained workforce helps a lot in this quest.
Have a safe, healthy and productive year!
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