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27th February 2018
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Safety On Building Sites

Builders

Before you begin work on a building site, you should ensure that all safety measures put in place. The health and safety of people who work on the site should planned from the moment you think of starting a building site. Admittedly, the building industry is a very dangerous and hazardous industry to be in, but someone has to do the job, or we all won’t have these fancy buildings we love so much.

The numbers from this study prove that about 3% of all construction workers in the United Kingdom have had an injury which is work-related and a little above 4% are currently living with a work inflicted illness. This tells us that people in construction are not safety inclined and health issues aside, there’s a lot of loss regarding hours put in and optimized. Employers are likely not getting the best from their employees as they are slowed down by avoidable hazards and accidents which has them taking sick leaves and cashing in on health insurance every other week.

It is true that working at building sites is very dangerous, and while every job comes with risks, the risks workers face in the building and construction industry is almost ten times that of other sectors. Numbers do not lie and studies by the Bureau of Labor, as well as a couple of corroborating agencies all, concur. In 2015, it was reported by the Bureau of Labor that there were more than 4,800 fatalities of workers, and this is aside the thousands of injuries which happened. The primary cause of building site fatalities is: being hit by massive objects, faulty machinery, falling from heights and electrocution.

The Occupational Safety And Health Act Of 1970

In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), was set up for people who work in the United States. Summarily, this Act gives the workers, the right to safety while at work and the freedom to make complaints if their workplaces do not meet safety standards as prescribed by the United States. OSHA equally has the right to have several workspaces inspected if allegations made as well as ensure workers have the proper safety training on avoiding accidents and hazards at the workplace.
Apart from empowering the workers, OSHA also enforces contractors and employers to make sure their sites are safe, and their employees have access to not only safety training but also the right safety materials.
Failure to follow OSHA’S rules or violation of the rules and regulations will earn the parties involved penalties or fines which range from small fees to outright ban.

Responsibility For Building Sites

Ensuring that everyone on site is safe is the work of the leading contractor who got the job. In the case of a lawsuit, the principal contractors will be held responsible, at least that’s what the OSHA Safety and Health Regulations for Construction says. “in no case shall the prime contractor be relieved of overall responsibility for compliance with the requirements of this part for all work to be performed under the contract.” What this means is that the main contractor has to step up and take charge of safety on site or be ready to be held accountable if a hazard occurs.
Although some main contractors try to draw up agreements that limit their liabilities or protects them from it, OSHA is pretty strict about it and insists that the main contractor and subcontractor will have to share responsibility for whatever hazards happen at the construction site, regardless of any agreement drawn up.

Builders Scafolding

Risks in Building Sites

The building and construction industry is full of accidents and hazards waiting to happen. Construction is a hazardous business and industry to go into and while putting safety first will not eliminate these risks, it will reduce it to a manageable figure. Potential dangers or possible accidents at a building site include:

  • Falling from a high level
  • Exposure to dust and smoke
  • Mechanical malfunction
  • Objects falling on you
  • Accidents from operating equipment
  • Lifting heavy materials

Avoiding Injuries in Building Sites

In the previous year, the rate of injuries in the building industry was very high with 43 construction workers being involved in fatal injuries. Employers have stated that majority of these injuries stemmed from the falling down of the employees, some were also injured when lifting heavy objects and falling off from the construction platforms. This statistics stresses the importance of safety during construction; there are two systems which you can use to prevent these incidents from occurring.

Skills acquisition- it has been noticed that the primary cause of injuries is that most workers are not trained efficiently in the area that they are put in. When employees adequately prepared, they will be able to know what to do in any situation at all.

Safety equipment- equipment like harnesses, helmets and other safety equipment needed in construction should be made available because they can be very helpful in preventing accidents.

Basic Safety Rules For Building Sites

With all that, here’s a couple of safety rules and regulations that will keep you safe and reduce the risk of an accident:
1. Be sure to have your complete PPE on always. From hard hat down to safety boots, be geared up at all times.
2. Never start work without instructions from your supervisor.
3. Make sure your workspace is clean and debris free. This will cut down on slips and piercing accidents.
4. Behave responsibly, so you and others are not put in a risky position
5. Ensure you adhere to all safety instructions put up on the building site.
6. Be sure your work area is safe. Refuse to work in places where proper safety measures are not in place.
7. Always ask questions when you are not sure. It would keep you safe rather than assuming and ending up with a broken body part.

Benefits Of Safety At Building Sites

A lot of the building accidents which reoccur can be avoided or reduced if adequate safety measures are taken. Not only are the workers kept safe, but it reduces your running costs seeing as you won’t have to pay avoidable hospital bills, insurance fees, legal fees as well as all the problems that come with a potential lawsuit.

Conclusion

No matter what deadlines you are on, one thing is sure, safety on building sites should never be overlooked. It is essential that every worker on the site; experienced or new, young or old should be trained appropriately on safety measures. Building supervisors and contractors must invest effort and time into ensuring that not only are safety measures put in place for the workers but these measures must be followed to the letter. If safety is prioritized at building sites, construction hazards will go down drastically.

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