Construction sites in the U.K. are governed by strict health and safety regulations. Unfortunately, however, accidents still happen. From 2020 to 2021, there were thousands of significant injuries and 39 fatal accidents reported in the construction industry, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). That’s a substantial improvement from previous years, but it’s still far too high. Here are five ways you can further reduce construction accidents in the U.K.:
Review and Update Policies
Construction is an ever-changing industry, so it’s essential to keep up with the latest innovations and best practices. Review your health and safety policies regularly—preferably once a year—and update them as necessary to reflect changes in the law or industry standards.
Your employees are on the front line of construction work, so they’re in the best position to identify potential hazards. Make sure you have an open-door policy regarding health and safety concerns and take any issues raised seriously. Investigating fears and taking action to mitigate risks will show your employees that you’re committed to keeping them safe. Here are ways you can efficiently address concerns in your projects:
The very first step in addressing concerns is through open communication. When an employee raises a health and safety issue, listen to their concerns and take them seriously. This will show your employees that you’re interested in their well-being and willing to take action to mitigate risks.
Investigate the Concerns
After you’ve listened to the employee’s concerns, it’s time to investigate. This may require research, but it’s essential to get all the facts before taking action. Once you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the best action to address the concerns.
Once you’ve taken action to address the employee’s concerns, follow up with them to make sure they’re satisfied with the outcome. This will help build trust between you and your employees and show that you’re committed to keeping them safe.
Comprehensive Health and Safety Training
Ensure all your employees receive comprehensive health and safety training before starting work on any construction site. Here are some ways you can do that.
One way to ensure your employees receive comprehensive health and safety training is to test their knowledge. CSCS exams are a great way to do that. The CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) is a card scheme that demonstrates an individual’s competence in the construction industry. There are different levels of CSCS cards, each with its exam. The higher the level of the CSCS card, the more complex the exam.
Another way to ensure your employees receive comprehensive health and safety training is to offer refresher courses regularly. These courses should be mandatory for all employees, regardless of their experience level.
In addition, they provide ongoing training throughout their careers to ensure they stay up-to-date on best practices. You could even offer incentives for employees who complete additional training courses or suggest health and safety improvements that are implemented successfully.
Construction workers are exposed to various potential hazards, so they must have access to high-quality PPE that will protect them from injury. Here are five of the most critical PPEs you need to invest in.
The OHSA has stated that falling debris is one of the most common causes of construction site injuries. To protect your employees from head injuries, provide them with hard hats that meet the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Z89.1 standard.
Another type of PPE that’s essential for construction workers is safety glasses. These will protect your employees’ eyes from debris, dust, and other hazards. Make sure the glasses you provide meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard.
Earplugs or Ear Muffs
Noise-induced hearing loss is a severe problem in the construction industry. To protect your employees’ ears, provide them with earplugs or earmuffs that meet the ANSI S3.19 standard.
Protecting your employees’ feet with boots that meet the ANSI Z41 standard is also essential. These boots should have slip-resistant and electrical hazard-resistant soles to protect your employees from slips, trips, and falls.
Construction workers must be visible at all times, so other workers and vehicles can see them. Therefore, provide them with high-visibility clothing that meets the ANSI 107 standard.
Investing in high-quality PPE can help keep your employees safe on the job site.
Regularly inspect equipment and tools
All equipment and tools used on construction sites should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re in good working order. This includes everything from ladders and scaffolding to power tools and vehicles. Defective equipment is one of the leading causes of construction accidents, so don’t take shortcuts in maintenance and repairs.
By following these five tips, you can help reduce construction accidents in the U.K. Remember that health and safety should always be a top priority on construction sites; otherwise, accidents will happen—potentially devastating consequences for your employees, your business, and your bottom line.