The construction industry is one of the most dangerous to work in, but the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other official bodies are working hard to improve the situation. Many workplace injuries and fatalities in this industry are entirely avoidable, but managers, supervisors and workers need to work together to put proper safety systems in place.
Construction industry risks and hazards
The following are some of the most common risks and hazards facing people working within the construction industry, as well as how they can be reduced or eliminated completely.
• Asbestos. Asbestos awareness training is essential for people who may potentially come into contact with this cancer-causing substance. An asbestos management system also needs to be put in place to prevent exposure.
• Falls from working at height. Working at height training is essential for employees working at height, as well as providing proper edge guarding, equipment and supervision.
• Injuries from machinery. Common accidents involve severing fingers or even limbs, especially when using abrasive wheels. These accidents can be prevented by properly training employees to use machinery safely, as well as providing proper supervision, emergency stop facilities and proper guards on dangerous machinery.
• Injuries from lifting and manual handling. Employees need to know how to properly lift and handle heavy objects, or they could experience back injuries and other problems.
See part 2 of this guide for more common construction industry health and safety risks and how to prevent them.