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Construction sites have the unfortunate reputation of being dangerous. While there is a certain level of risk that is inevitable, a responsible employer makes sure that they do everything they can to minimise it. It’s safe to say that every construction project has its own challenges that should be considered – but the ensured safety of its employees should be at the top of this list.
In Singapore, the year 2021 saw nearly 13,000 work accidents. Of this number, 37 resulted in death, and over 600 were major injuries. The top contributing industry to these casualties was the construction industry, with 13 deaths, most of which were caused by fatal falls. These numbers are troubling but are made even worse by the fact that they were preventable.
In this article, we talk about safety should be a priority at construction sites and how to enforce workplace safety wherever possible.
First and foremost, it is vital that your workers always wear the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on site. The use of PPE goes as far back as the first century for a reason. The gear is the most important safeguard against the dangers at the construction site and actively saves lives. For example, the most recognisable protective gear would be the hard hat, which is crucial for protecting the head and skull. It is crucial to check that the gear is fully-functional and the broken ones are replaced.
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your workers are getting their breaks. They are important when ensuring worker welfare and safety as it allows them the necessary recovery time after long hours of work. This way, they’ll remain alert, efficient and productive. They will then be less likely to get into an accident.
Safety signs are designed to be universally understood. Some of these signs can reduce the risk of accidents by up to 80%. Displaying them clearly at construction sites is a major help in preventing workplace accidents. Make sure that particularly dangerous areas are blocked off and that everyone on site is aware of any high-voltage or toxic zones.
Plenty of accidents occur due to equipment malfunctions. This equipment can include anything from vehicles that provide tipper truck services to forklifts to bulldozers. Because of their scale and operation difficulty, regular and consistent equipment checks must be made to prevent these incidents.
The more meetings on safety you hold, the better workers will be able to recall essential safety protocols. Establishing an open environment ensures healthy communications. Workers will also be able to understand the safety precautions in place better. They can speak about their doubts and concerns with their employers, who can then address them effectively.
The people overseeing everything on-site should also perform regular safety checks. These checks should be done to ensure there are no dangers or hazards like broken equipment or chemical exposures. Safety checks tend to be conducted by a group of qualified people. They are trained to keep an eye out for things others miss. Any potential threats will thus be removed, leading to a safer work environment.
Training courses regarding safety and compliance with protocols should be made mandatory before an employee starts work at a construction site. These courses go a long way in ensuring that employees are aware of how to protect themselves. A well-trained, self-aware team is a safe team.
As mentioned above, the most significant contributor to deaths at construction sites is falls or slips. It is estimated that, globally, one fatal death occurs every 10 minutes because of this. As such, safety protocol and equipment that protect against falls are requirements on site. This is important so as to prevent anything serious from happening.
The safety of workers is not something to be taken lightly. Even though accidents in the construction industry are unfortunately too common, they can and should be avoided. We at JustGo hope that you follow these guidelines to help ensure a healthy and safe construction site.