Minimising risk in construction

Risk - A situation involving exposure to danger.

You will never eliminate risk so it is important to minimise the risk you put yourself and others under.

Prevention is the best form of protection. From entering the construction site with the appropriate PPE to the completion of a project.

Providing appropriate safety training, the correct equipment for the job, regularly maintained equipment, personal protective equipment, regular breaks and safety meetings all contribute towards a safer working site.

Safety Training

Once you have received a construction related safety training certification you are not automatically able to perform tasks without further fault.

You have been assessed as competent by the assessor (if you pass!!) in the area you have studied, however further thought and planning needs to be considered with every task you carry out.

Topics covered on your training course will familiarise you with regulations and legislation that have to be followed, as well as highlighting hazards that you may come across in this particular area. Safe working practices can be tested by both theory and practical assessments during your safety course.

However, each job has a different requirement that needs to be investigated fully before it commences. In most cases risk assessments and method statements are necessary to undertake the activity. It may bring to light extra measures that must be put into place. This may include adding safety netting, extra safety platforms, crash bag, harnesses as well as using standard practice. In some situations, you may have to admit that there is no way to complete the job in a safe manner.

Equipment

Using the correct equipment for the specified job is important. You may have restrictions to adhere to when using certain pieces of machinery. Hand arm vibration guidelines are one of the restrictions that limit the amount of time in a working day that you can use the equipment for. This should be recorded and the task may have to be split between others to get the job done.

Items such as Lifting equipment, electrical equipment and Large plant items need inspection certificates. These can be requested from your hire company and should be kept with the item itself and a copy left in the site office as a back up. If you are using your own equipment it is important to keep it regularly tested and logged. Daily visual inspections on top of certifications are very important, when using both mechanical and non mechanical items as good practice.

PPE

Standard Personal protective equipment includes a hard hat, high visibility jacket and safety boots but some tasks and sites may require more. Gloves, goggles may be required as standard on larger building sites. It is important to assess the individual jobs that you carry out to ensure your safety as well as the safety of those around you. Using the correct grade dust masks and dust suppression methods are other pieces of equipment that are very important when carrying out certain tasks. There are trainers who will come to you and face fit your employees. Face fit testing is to ensure a correct fit on an individual.

Regular breaks

Fatigue can lead to loss of concentration. It is important to take regular breaks to ensure that you are aware of the hazards around you and keeping you and others safe.

Safety meetings

Sharing past experiences and thoughts of how you are going to carry out a task may open your eyes to new and safer ideas. This also allows time to review current safety policies and procedures.

Cost, time and quality are key factors when embarking on a construction project. These 3 factors should never mean safety should be compromised to achieve set goals.

For more information about workplace health and safety obligations, visit the Health and Safety Executive website

Courses available from Strong Safety Training

CPCS – NPORS- SSSTS – SMSTS - IPAF – PASMA - UKATA ASBESTOS AWARENESS – WORKING AT HEIGHT – FIRST AID – FACE FIT – FIRE MARSHALL – CAT & GENNY – SCAFFOLD INSPECTION – CDM REGS – FORKLIFT – DRIVER CPC – CONFINED SPACE

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