Construction sites have a reputation for being extremely dangerous work environments. And to be a construction worker is to put oneself at the risk of facing a multitude of potential hazards and fatal injuries. It’s a highly unpredictable job that requires constant vigilance and precautionary measures on the part of both employers and employees. Injuries and fatalities resulting from falls from heights, collapsing scaffolds, electrocution, collapsing trenches and injuries from repetitive motions are a common occurrence when working at a construction site. And in managing a construction site you are responsible for the health and wellbeing of all your employees. It is both a legal requirement and an ethical responsibility that requires you to enforce safety measures to protect your employees from the risks posed by the work environment. And here are some ways in which you can effectively control any risks to the health and wellbeing of your employees at the workplace:
Assess risks at the worksite
One of the most important precautionary measures that employers can take to prevent workplace accidents at a construction site is to identify and assess risks in the workplace. This is to ensure all potential hazards and risk factors are controlled and that employees will not be subjected to any injuries or hazards resulting from faulty equipment or perilous structures. For example, scaffolds are structures that are notorious for being dangerous. And if a scaffold is being used at your worksite, it’s crucial that you ensure its safety before being used by your employees. The scaffold should be carefully inspected by a professional or a competent employee to make sure that it is of good condition. If the scaffold has deteriorated or is in less than perfect condition, it should either be repaired or replaced before use.
Employee health and wellness
Construction workers are particularly susceptible to health risks arising from the prolonged exposure to toxic compounds. Specific dusts, especially asbestos, has been proven to be the cause for a number of occupational cancers. Other work-related diseases such as asthma and fibrosis are known to arise among workers when working in dusty environments. Thus, employers should assess the level of risk posed by the work environment and respond with adequate measures to minimize said risks. Employers can provide periodic health check-ups, onsite flu jabs, health insurance, disability insurance and other health benefits as part of a comprehensive employee benefits package.
Employers should also be mindful when hiring employees and all potential employees should undergo a complete health evaluation such as workplace flu shots to ensure that those with serious health issues are not allocated to work than could worsen their condition.
Provision of safety gear and training
Employers should ensure that all workers are equipped with the relevant protective gear as required by their respective workstations in order to protect themselves against workplace hazards. If workers aren’t wearing the proper safety gear required of them, it’s crucial that they are warned about the consequences of failing to wear them. Well-fitted helmets and protective eyewear should be a must at every work station. If workers work with or near loud machinery or if the worksite is noisy, ear plugs should be worn at all times. Protective gloves should be worn by workers handling toxic chemicals and harmful materials.