STEPS TO HEALTH AND SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION

Health and safety in construction is an important factor in defining a successful construction project.

 

There are various hazards in the construction field:

  • From falls while working on heights, slippery areas, obstacles in work areas, and such factors. Mechanical lifts can be used for carrying heavy loads that block the view, causing falls.  Everyone involved in the working area should wear shoes with appropriate grip.  Care should be taken while working near edges and gaps.  Proper lighting itself is a great help in preventing disasters.  Special care should be taken while working at heights.  Good quality ladders should be properly positioned before use.  The scaffolding should be planned with care during erection and taking down.
  • Vehicles on the construction site pose another danger. A separate space should be arranged for the workforce and visitors to park their vehicles.  Other heavy vehicles, cranes, etc. required for the construction should be handled by trained staff.  Vehicles should not take up pavement space, making the general public to go on the road.  Cranes should be well tested if it has the required strength to carry out the job.
  • Falling construction material and heavy particles is another cause for concern. Proper boundaries must be marked with fences in order to avoid any damage to outsiders.  Materials should be stored in a specific place in such a way that no falling over occurs.  If materials are stored at heights they should be in such positions where there are good hand grips.  Helmets for the work force will prevent head injuries.  Deliveries should be planned so that materials do not have to stored in bulk, causing obstructions and discomfort.
  • Good waste management is important for health and safety in construction. Flammable waste can be disposed of as and when needed.  Waste bins can be placed at specific places and properly disposed of when filled.  Hazardous chemicals or gases should be handled with care.
  • While considering health and safety in construction, welfare of the workforce is also of significance. Toilets and washing facilities need to be provided.  Clean drinking water is essential and so are changing rooms.  A healthy workforce will help in a successful construction.
  • Protecting the general public in and around the site under construction is important as well. Unauthorized access must be limited; especially children should be discouraged from visiting the site.  It should be ensured that falling materials never fall outside the boundary.  Manholes, excavations, etc. should be well marked and barriers placed so that mishaps can be avoided.  Dust, noise, and vibration are annoying to the public and should be kept to as minimum as possible.  Construction work in schools, hospitals, etc., where there are children and elderly people, should be well planned, in order to cause minimum discomfort and danger.  Hazardous substances should be locked away after use.
  • Health and safety in construction work near overhead electric lines and underground cables must be taken care of to avoid grave accidents. Safe digging practices and cable locating devices can help prevent danger from underground cables.
  • Fire safety should be ensured by a responsible person in the construction field. Good escape ways, warning methods, and fire-fighting means must be well planned.  Combustible materials should be stored away carefully.
  • The objective of health and safety in construction during the demolition is to avoid accidents from falling, management of noise and vibration, and better traffic management.

For more information about health and safety in construction visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/

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