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The Importance of Health & Safety in the Construction Industry

19th July 2019

Bromak understands the importance of health & safety in the construction industry. We place high importance on the health, safety & well being of our temporary workers. This is why Bromak are accredited with various health & safety qualifications, including CHAS, SMAS & Safemark.

We also place high importance on the well being of our temporary workers. It’s for this reason

that we have trained 10 of Bromak’s employees in Mental Health First Aid. This was provided so that our trained employees would be well equipped to help anyone experiencing ill mental health. Including not only Bromak’s employees, but also our temporary workers and even clients who may be experiencing ill mental health or emotional distress.

Health, safety & well being in the construction sector is always a concern, and an issue that most contractors and construction workers will be well aware of. Even so, given the severity of the consequences of ignoring health & safety on site, it’s always worth refreshing our knowledge and remembering the importance of health & safety in the construction industry.

Our post highlights and explores some of the main health and safety risks in the construction industry.

Potential risks in the construction industry.

There are a variety of potential risks which construction workers may be exposed to on site.

No workplace is 100% risk free, but there are differences in the types of risks associated with each industry. In the construction sector there were over 80,000 recorded cases of work-related bad health in 2018. 58,000 of them being non-fatal injuries and 38 of them resulted in death (2017/18). These statistics are provided by the HSE. This again highlights the importance of health & safety in the construction industry.

Some of the main causes of illnesses, injuries and death include:

Working at height:

Many construction sites involve working at height. This is a major cause of accidents said to cause almost half of all construction site deaths over the last five years. Hazards from working at height include lack of guardrails and inadequate edge protection, unsecured ladders, loose tools and more.

Exposure to dust, debris and toxins:

Working long-term in a dusty (including silica dust, wood dust and lower toxicity dusts) and toxic environment can have harmful consequences. It can lead to issues such as occupational asthma, lung cancer, silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Noise:

The HSE estimated the number of workers with work-related hearing problems to be at around 23,000 from 2015/16 to 2017/18. This is caused by extended exposure to repetitive or sudden loud noises which can lead to permanent deafness.

Electricity:

Did you know that there are over twice as many deaths from electrocution in the construction industry compared to other industries? As well as tools, employees are also at risk of electrocution from their proximity to overhead cables and power lines.

Mental Health:

There were 14,000 work-related cases of stress, depression or anxiety in the construction sector. Long working hours, working away or alone & working to strict deadlines can all contribute poor mental health. Taking care of yourself mentally is just as much of a priority as taking care of yourself physically.

Health & Safety guidelines for construction workers:

It is ultimately your employer who is responsible for health & safety. However it is also your responsibility to comply with all health and safety rules and regulations on the construction site you’re working on.

  • Ensure you locate the HSE poster in the site office. Familiarise yourself with your employers and your own responsibilities. It will also detail the steps you need to follow if there is a health and safety concern on site.
  • If you are starting work on a temporary assignment via Bromak, you will be issued with a Bromak Health & Safety Guide at the start of your assignment. Please make sure you read this guide thoroughly.
  • Always wear adequate PPE for your role.
  • Follow all site safety rules at all times.
  • Make sure you comply with all the health & safety policies.
  • Look out for yourself and others on your site!

For a more detailed view of the risks on construction sites and steps you can take to prevent them, you can view our detailed health & safety guide here.

If you ever have any concerns about your health, safety or well being on a construction site whilst working for Bromak, please don’t hesitate to contact your Recruitment Consultant. Your Recruitment Consultant will always be happy to help with any issues you are experiencing, whether or not they’re related to health & safety.

If you or any of your workers require additional health & safety training, please visit 3B Training’s  website to find out about courses near you!

(Article written in collaboration with Peninsula Group)

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