Construction sites rank high on the list of dangerous workplaces. The combination of many people, heavy machinery, weighty materials, unstable surfaces and exposure to the weather can lead to disaster if employers do not manage sites properly.
The first thing employers must do is assess the site before beginning any work. Each location will have unique hazards that they need to account for at the planning stage. For instance, dangerous gas in the subsoil, unstable soils, overhead or underground power lines and harsh weather that is likely to occur during the construction period.
Here are three more things employers need to look at:
You might be a loyal and experienced workforce, but that does not mean you have the knowledge and skills to handle every job. Companies may need to hire outsiders with specific talents or train their current workforce to handle new situations. What they cannot do is assume it will be fine.
Machinery can make work quicker and safer. Yet sometimes employers use machinery which is faster but increases the danger. For instance, if you need to demolish a building, a crane with a wrecking ball could quickly achieve it. Yet, there will be situations where this is unsafe and what is required is a team to dismantle a structure piece by piece.
Protective clothing and equipment do not cost a lot of money in the scheme of things. Harnesses, hard hats, steel-toe boots, eye protection and earplugs can prevent expensive and life-changing injuries. Yet some employers still cut corners here, hoping no one will notice.
- Continuous assessment
Employers must keep on top of things. Construction involves changing a site, which could lead to new hazards or the intensification of existing ones.
If you are injured while working on-site, getting help to examine if your employer fulfilled all their obligations can help you claim the compensation you need.