Construction and Safety

Safety in Construction Site

One of the most crucial parts of the construction process is workplace safety.

Construction sites are especially hazardous locations to work.

It is critical that everyone involved understands their own responsibility for the safety of themselves and their coworkers.

One approach to accomplish this is for construction groups to develop and carefully enforce a safety policy.

Safety Policy and Standards

The following should be drawn from this policy and properly put into the form of a safety manual:

  • safety standards
  • work safety instructions and procedures
  • safety regulations
  • safety training
  • Everyone on the worksite should have access to this manual.
  • Everyone should be aware of the consequences of any safety violations. 

What is an accident?

Accidents are described as unplanned, uncontrollable, and undesirable events that disturb the usual functioning of a person or persons and cause injury or near-injury or damage to plants and equipment.

Construction and Safety
Construction Accidents; Source

Accidents related to the site

The majority of construction accidents are caused by

  • A worker is thrown from scaffolding and ladders.
  • Objects that fly and fall
  • Ladders, formwork, and scaffolding collapse.
  • Material handling in a dangerous environment 

How to prevent accidents on site?

  • Accidents are avoidable if sufficient precautions are taken during the construction process.
  • The supervisor should not begin construction work without first conducting a safety briefing.
  • The briefing should address the day’s tasks as well as the necessary safety precautions.
  • Plants and equipment should be thoroughly inspected before use.
  • Any hazardous work should be discussed in depth, and everyone should be aware of the safety precautions that must be taken.
  • Safety meetings and training should be held on a regular basis to ensure that no staff are unaware of workplace safety.

What is an unsafe act?

An unsafe act is any action taken by a person that increases the likelihood of an accident occurring.

Commonly discovered unsafe acts (using broken or defective hand tools, incorrect personal protective equipment, inadequate safety procedures, working with poor housekeeping) 

What is an unsafe condition?

An unsafe condition is one that exists in the workplace that enhances the likelihood of an accident occurring. (Equipment condition, work platforms, lighting, ventilation, and sound)

Contributing factors to accidents

  • Codes or standards that are insufficient
  • Management’s failure to enforce safety regulations
  • Design flaws in temporary or permanent work.
  • Inadequate temporary work maintenance
  • Insufficient personal protection equipment 

Who is the Site Safety Officer?

Each site should have a site safety officer in charge of overseeing the worksite safety.

His responsibilities will include implementing and monitoring the company’s safety standards, regulations, and procedures on a daily basis.

He should take on the responsibility of ensuring everybody on the site is safety trained.

Construction and Safety
Site Safety Officer; Source

Responsibilities of Safety Supervisors

  • To take appropriate care on the worksite for his own and others’ safety and health.
  • The examination of job hazards, or the identification of possible dangers,
  • To guarantee that equipment and instruments are safe and fit for their intended use.
  • Follow and enforce workplace and site safety rules, procedures, and practices.
  • He should ensure that he is competent in all aspects of safety corresponding with his duty.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

  • Wear adequate safety equipment.
  • Employers are responsible for providing and utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.
  • PPE is equipment that protects the user from health and safety hazards during work.
  • Some examples of this kind of equipment are safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear, and safety harnesses.

It also contains respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

Construction and Safety
Personal Protective Equipment; University Of Minnesota

How to encourage worker participation in safety programs

  • People who are properly placed in jobs are trained and competent to accomplish the work that is allocated to them.
  • Set up a safe place to work and keep the site clean and organized by stacking materials in the right places and making sure the paths to them are clear.
  • All dangerous activities and conditions must be reported.
  • All incidences, including near-misses, accidents, and injuries, must be reported.
  • Imposition of control measures on supervisory responsibilities as well as on workers’ mental and physical health.

Worker-related control measures

  • The supervisor conducts daily safety interactions.
  • An employee’s personal stress
  • Adequate safety indoctrination and on-the-job safety training
  • Promotion and public awareness of safety
  • Employee engagement in the site safety program
  • Regularly planned safety meetings
  • Effective supervisor-employee communication on all aspects of workplace safety
  • Physical examinations prior to placement
  • Re-examinations at regular intervals
  • If a worker is unsure about his ability to accomplish a job successfully, he should inform his boss.
  • Workplace medical systems and first aid are adequate.
  • Recognizing the physical limits of freshly hired employees

General safety

Every work crew should have a safety representative and someone skilled in first aid.

This does not have to be the same individual.

His responsibilities would include implementing and monitoring the company’s safety guidelines on a daily basis.

The use of jack hammers or concrete or asphalt saws for joint cutting should be done only when the operative is wearing the proper protection apparel, such as earmuffs or plugs, goggles, and masks.

Similarly, any work that must be carried out near risky sites, such as where there are overhead or buried cables, should be appropriately fenced off by scaffold poles, goal posts, and so on, with a clear sign of the voltage.

Tipping delivery vehicles under high voltage cables must never be permitted, and tipping lorries must always be supervised by an experienced banker, with special care paid to vehicle reversing and the establishment of turning spots and cleaning-out facilities.

Reversing of contractors’ plant and delivery vehicles is the most prevalent cause of significant accidents, and occasionally deaths. Every heavy tool and equipment should be outfitted with loud reverse warning devices.

Horseplay, children, and animals should not be allowed on any construction site.

Speed limitations on the site should be carefully enforced.

Only qualified, certified drivers should operate mobile plants, and no unauthorized person should operate any plant or equipment.

Read Also: What is Site Planning in Construction?

I am Kaumadi Ganiarachchi, a dedicated civil engineer with expertise in construction, structural analysis, project management, and structural design. With hands-on experience and a deep understanding of the engineering domain, I bring practical insights to my writings, aiming to inform, inspire, and guide readers in the ever-evolving world of civil engineering. Here is my LinkedIn Profile and About Us Page

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