Common construction site hazards that you need to be aware of

While it is your responsibility to protect people’s well-being at work, in order to prevent slips, trips, and falls, you need to put in place control measures and procedures for preventing hazards from ever materializing. You also need to ensure that employees uphold and follow all on-site safety protocols. Some ways to do this include:

  • Design of premises: Avoid single steps and sudden changes in floor level by tapering scaffolding. If this is unavoidable, clearly highlight sudden steps with signage. Ensure there are numerous plug sockets and wiring running through formwork support so that cables don’t need to be trailed across the floor.
  • Trailing cables: As construction sites are a flurry of active movement, plug-in equipment as close to where it needs to be as possible. For stationary equipment, if trailing cables are unavoidable use cable tidies and cover strips.
  • Organize work activities: On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever before you need to prevent rushing or overcrowding in spaces to avoid close proximity. Work shifts should be well maintained and all employees on-site should know how to use equipment safely. It is advisable to restrict access to areas where temporary trailing cables are unavoidable.
  • Manual handling: All employees must use proper manual handling techniques, and manual handling activities must be organized to ensure safety. A person carrying a load, especially at a height may not see an obstacle and could seriously injure themselves by tripping or dropping the load. Add corner mirrors or install flag bearers. Also, ensure that all support structure is built to the correct load bearing estimates.
  • Lighting: Owing to the extreme temperatures in the Kingdom, work on sites often continues well into darkness when temperatures are cooler. In cases where there is poor or low lighting, accidents can happen when workers cannot see hazards. Ensure all walkways and areas are properly lit.
  • Fall and height hazards: Fall hazards need to be taken into serious consideration as falls are the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities and are one of the main causes of major injuries. Hazards may be created by:
  1. Working on a ladder incorrectly or using one that is not stable.
  2. Working on a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) that is not safe for use or is being operated on an incorrectly estimated bearing load.
  3. Working close to an opening, hole in the ground, or excavation site.
  4. Working on scaffolding that is old, worn out, not safely secured, or incorrectly set up.
  5. Not using safety gear when working at height, eg., harnesses.
  6. Using inappropriate platforms for accessing heights.
  7. Surrounding hazards, eg., high winds, overhead power lines, and other at-height obstructions that can throw off a person’s balance.

Post time: May-07-2022