Accident rate in the construction industry is among the largest across all industries. This is why there is always a concerted effort by construction safety experts to bring this rate to its barest minimum in this ever-changing working environment. But a lot of employers are still not fully aware of their duty of care to visitors, employees, and other individuals who are directly or indirectly related to their construction activities. It’s therefore important to x-ray the major cause of concern bordering on safety in the construction industry. With adequate research and lifetime experience, we have highlighted the top challenges in construction safety risk control.
Working at height
Height is known to contribute to one-third of all fatal accidents in the construction industry. Demolition and reconstruction of buildings always require workers to work at height, which has led to several falls. The risk of height falls is usually increased by mobility and access restrictions. For enhanced safety of workers, they need to undergo more training such as awareness training to help them curb some of these risks associated with height.
The construction industry is a place with a lot of activities going on at the same time. Moving objects in the vicinity sometimes pose a threat to the safety of workers and other individuals. Although this does not have more impact on accidents like the height challenge above, it has contributed its quota to increase accident risks of workers. Construction sites can become quite hectic with the sheer number of constantly moving tradespeople and vehicles. Movement of dumper trucks, supply vehicles, and overhead lifting of equipment on uneven terrain, all contribute their own shear to pose challenges in construction safety risk control.
The construction industry is not deprived of noise. This can also constitute a source of hazard to some extent.
Excessive and repetitive noise can constitute a long-term hearing problem, which can lead to countless accidents. Some employees have resorted to the use of earplugs to minimize the effect of noise when working, but this does not really provide total protection against hearing damage. The most ideal solution is for employees to be provided a complete noise risk assessment to help them identify which noise issues are very critical and which ones have a minor impact.
Material & Manual Handling
Construction sites are crammed with materials and equipment always being lifted and carried around to aid construction work. Whether by the use of equipment or manually, movements will always have a certain level of risks. This aspect of the job (material lifting) is what employees cannot do without in the construction industry. So, the most important way to minimize the level of risk is by providing adequate and proper training on the lifting and handling of materials in construction sites. Also, if the duty of the employee involves equipment handling, his or her competency should be properly tested before they are put on the job.
Construction sites cannot do without electricity and workers get exposed to the risk of electrocution daily. Most electrical hazards occur during refurbishment work on domestic and commercial buildings. Apart from electricians who are mostly exposed to the risk, other non-electricians like joiners and plumbers who occasionally perform electrical work also stand the risk of electrocution.
With all these challenges and potential hazards inherent in the construction industry, how best can these risks be managed? Managing these risks is already a challenge on its own, but the most important way to deal with it is to have a proper risk management system in place. This system should be able to make assessments efficiently and quickly. Proper employee training on safety rules will also help them avoid certain types of hazards in the construction industry.