Every year several thousand construction workers are injured following a trip or slip whilst working on a building site. According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 1,000 of these injuries involve fractured bones or dislocated joints.
Through effective management of working areas and access routes some of these could be avoided; the industry loses more time to relatively minor slips, trips and falls than to any other cause.
NHBC, the leading provider of health and safety services to the home building industry and the organiser of the UK’s only industry health and safety awards scheme, recommends the following top tips to help identify some of the more common risk factors and how to avoid them for a safer site:
- Avoid trailing cables and keep them raised off the floor
- Ensure you have plenty of bins and skips around the site and make sure they are regularly emptied
- Make sure walkways and stairs are well lit
- Identify emergency routes and make sure these are kept completely clear
- Ensure temporary platforms are erected on a firm and level surface
- If you designate a pedestrian route make sure it is a proper path with a firm level surface of finely crushed hard-core
- Where possible get your final road and pavements in first to avoid working in the mud
- Ensure all work areas have proper access without having to clamber over or through obstacles
- Make sure you have enough on site storage so that material doesn’t have to be stored in the plot
- Avoid lapping boards on scaffolds
- Use proper steel road plates where paths and roads cross open excavations
- Make sure access routes to scaffolds are clear of obstruction
- Clear snow and ice from walkways and scaffolds before allowing access
Stephen Ashworth, Health & Safety Services Manager, said, “Over recent years, we have seen big improvements with regards to safety on site and the number of injuries to construction workers has reduced. Here at NHBC we’ve seen the importance given to health and safety on house-building sites across the UK, through record levels of entries into the NHBC Health and Safety Awards and higher levels of take up for its health and safety services.
“One way to avoid injuries on sites is to make sure a safe work environment is provided. Taking a proactive approach to safety on site will help keep your workers safe.”