One of the problems with a construction site is that, despite all precautions, it can never be 100% safe, but that doesn’t mean that safety measures are pointless. Amid some people’s cries of “Health and Safety gone mad!” we should remember that there is a difference between being overly cautious and taking proper care to reduce the risk of accidents.
With a few simple steps, many accidents could be prevented from happening, thus avoiding pain and suffering for the victims and compensation costs for those held liable.
A lot of ways of preventing accidents on a construction site are common sense, such as:
- Ensuring everyone wears hard hats. This includes visitors to the site for the simple fact that a hammer dropped from a height won’t discriminate between a builder and someone dropping off a delivery.
- Lifting properly. Back injuries and other problems can be prevented with proper lifting techniques. Manual handling training may seem unnecessary to some, but the alternative is an injury that can make your life a lot harder.
- Taking breaks. Adequate breaks at appropriate intervals are essential for construction workers. The danger of working through lunch and not stopping is that you are more likely to make a mistake. On a construction site there is a lot more danger than most workplaces, so it is important to get time to relax before returning alert and refreshed to the work environment.
- Using tools properly. Employees need to be shown how to properly use tools. This helps to minimise the risk of conditions such as vibration white finger which can result through repeated use and leave people unable to work.
- Having the right kind of first aid kit. Recently, legislation has changed so it is important to ensure you have the right kind of first aid kit for the construction site. Prior to the changes in 2011, a lot of companies had first aid kits that didn’t have the right contents and standardising this has made sure that people have the right kind of dressings, tapes to bind the dressings and other items to treat people appropriately.
- Accident and log book. All accidents need to be logged so that they can be assessed and steps can be taken to make the working environment safer.
Making a claim
If you feel your workplace could be safer then it is important to make your concerns clear. It is not about getting people in trouble but about reducing risk as much as possible.
While some accidents are unavoidable, it is the responsibility of management to be sure that unnecessary risks are avoided.
If you do get injured at work and it can be proven that the company did not take steps to avoid risk then you can make a claim for compensation.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline 24 hours a day for more information and to find out what we can do to get you the compensation you deserve and to make your workplace safer in the process.
Date Published: October 17, 2013
Author: David Brown