Construction safety is one of the most important aspects of any construction project. Every construction worker deserves to go home safe and sound at the end of each day, and that’s why it’s so important to understand the top construction safety risks and take steps to mitigate them.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know about construction safety: its importance, the most common construction safety risks, and how you keep your workers safe.
What is Construction Safety?
Construction safety is a principle that emphasizes the safe construction of buildings, roads, and other structures. Construction safety encompasses the safety of all construction workers and the general public who may be affected by construction activities.
Why is Construction Safety Important?
Construction safety is important for a variety of reasons. But, first and foremost, construction safety is important because it saves lives. Every year, construction workers are injured or killed on the job, and construction safety can help to reduce these numbers.
In addition to saving lives, construction safety is important because it can help to save money. Safe construction projects are less likely to experience delays due to accidents or injuries and are also less likely to be sued if something goes wrong.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that for every $100 spent on construction safety, companies save $300 in workers’ compensation costs. So, not only is construction safety important for ethical reasons, but it makes good business sense as well.
What are the Top Construction Safety Risks?
There are a variety of construction safety risks that workers face every day, but some are more common than others. The following are the top ten construction safety risks, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:
Working at Heights
Falls from working at heights are one of the most common construction accidents and one of the most deadly. Workers who work at heights are exposed to various risks, including falling objects, electrical hazards, and slips and falls.
To mitigate the risks associated with working at heights, construction workers should always use fall protection equipment, such as guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. Workers should also be trained in how to work at heights safely.
Falls, Slips, and Trips
The three most common types of construction accidents are falls, slips, and trips. These accidents can occur when workers are walking on uneven surfaces, carrying heavy loads, or working in cluttered areas.
To prevent falls, construction workers should wear proper footwear with slip-resistant soles and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Construction workers should also be cautious when carrying heavy loads and use proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries.
Moving Equipment and Machinery
Construction workers are often required to operate heavy machinery, such as cranes, forklifts, and bulldozers. This equipment can be very dangerous if they are not used properly. In addition, they also pose a risk to other workers who are in the vicinity.
To stay safe around moving equipment and machinery, construction workers should receive proper training on how to operate the equipment. They should also be wary of their surroundings and avoid areas where machinery is operating.
Construction workers are often exposed to electrical hazards like live wires and energized equipment. These hazards can lead to electrocution, burns, and other injuries.
To stay safe from electrical hazards, construction workers should always follow safety procedures when working with or around electricity. Avoid areas where there may be live wires or energized equipment.
It might be surprising to consider noise a construction safety risk, but statistics show that it is a leading cause of construction accidents. In addition, noise exposure can lead to hearing loss, and it can also be a factor in other accidents, such as falls and trips.
To stay safe from noise exposure, construction workers should wear ear protection when working in noisy areas.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a permanent condition that affects the nerves and blood vessels of the hands. Construction workers are at high risk of developing HVACS due to prolonged use of vibrating tools and equipment such as jackhammers and sanders.
To stay safe from HAVS, construction workers should use vibrating tools and equipment for short periods. They should also take breaks often and use gloves to reduce vibration exposure.
Asbestos is a construction safety risk that is often overlooked. This fibrous material was once used extensively in construction, but it has since been banned in many countries due to its link to cancer. According to the Health and Safety
Construction workers should be aware of the risks associated with asbestos and take precautions to avoid exposure. These precautions include wearing personal protective equipment, such as respirators, and avoiding problematic areas where asbestos may be present.
Manual handling is the act of lifting, carrying, moving, and lowering objects during work operations. Apart from hand-arm vibration, the characteristics of high-risk manual handling involve sustained, repetitive, or awkward postures.
Construction workers should be aware of the risks associated with manual handling and take precautions to avoid injuries. These precautions include using mechanical aids, such as hoists and trolleys, and following proper lifting techniques.
A trench is a construction safety hazard that is often overlooked. Unfortunately, this hazard can be very dangerous, as it can collapse and cause injuries or even fatalities.
To stay safe from collapsing trenches, construction workers should be aware of the risks associated with trenching operations. They should also take precautions, such as shoring and trench boxes, to avoid injuries.
The final safety risk is a rather common construction hazard: dust. Many construction activities, such as sanding and drilling, can create dust. This hazard can cause respiratory problems, such as asthma, and it can also be a factor in other accidents, such as trips and falls. Dust can also get in the worker’s eyes, leading to injuries like a corneal abrasion.
Construction workers should wear personal protective equipment, such as respirators and dust masks, to stay safe from dust. Proper eyewear protection, such as safety glasses should also be worn to avoid injuries. Workers should also be aware of their surroundings and stay clear of areas with excessive dust.
Create a Construction Safety Checklist with DATAMYTE
DATAMYTE provides the best solutions to ensure work productivity, quality, and safety. With its Digital Clipboard software, project managers can create a construction safety checklist to ensure that all safety risks are mitigated.
With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, safety managers can do the following:
- Create customized safety inspection checklist templates.
- Share safety inspection checklists with workers on the field.
- Encourage construction workers to report any safety concerns.
- Receive real-time notifications when a safety concern is reported.
- Follow up on safety concerns and track their resolution.
- Generate real-time reports regarding inspection data analytics.
You can be sure that your construction safety checklist is being followed and that all safety concerns are being addressed. This will lead to a safer construction site and fewer accidents. So book a demo now to get started!
When it comes to construction safety, many risks need to be considered. This guide has outlined the top construction safety risks and how to mitigate them. By following the tips in this guide, you can ensure a safe construction site. And with the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can be sure that your construction safety checklist is being followed and that all safety concerns are being addressed. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!