When it comes to construction work, health and safety procedures are essential. With construction workers facing a range of hazards, from falls and cuts to electrocution and burns, it's crucial to have a strong focus on safety – safety is important. Committing to safety protects both workers and the public and can improve the reputation of a construction company, as well as avoid costly compensation claims and legal fees in the event of a workplace accident.
Key Safety Statistics to Know
The United Kingdom construction industry is particularly high-risk, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reporting that it has the highest rate of fatal injury compared to other industries in Great Britain, accounting for one in five worker fatalities each year. The five-year average for construction industry fatalities at the moment is 36.
The most common site injury is slipping and falling, amounting to 39 fatalities of the 123 UK workers deaths in 2021/2022 year. Unlike in other industries, of course, falls here could mean plummeting through the roof, plunging down a pit, or falling off the side of a building. In fact, falls are the most common cause of fatalities and serious injuries, accounting for half of all fatal and major injuries in construction. To tackle this issue, the HSE has launched the "Focus on Falls" campaign, with the goal of halving fall-related deaths and major injuries by 2030.
Why Construction Safety Is Important
Improving safety in construction must be the goal of both contractors and the workers themselves. Workers deserve to do safe work when they’re on a construction site. All the safety measures can be taken, and incidents will still happen. These accidents occur due to workers themselves not following safety protocols. Regular training, improved safety tools like pit covers or stair covers, and a comprehensive strategy are all necessary to improve construction industry conditions.
A commitment to occupational safety and health, including a focus on construction safety, is necessary to protect workers, improve the industry's reputation, and reduce the risk of financial consequences. By implementing strong safety measures when people work on-site, including training and safety protocols, construction companies can create a safer job site for all those working on it.
Increase in Worker Health, Safety, and Satisfaction
When workers feel safe on a job, they immediately feel better about the work that they do. Fearing for your health or safety can not only cause a hostile work environment, but it can also result in employees quitting, reporting their employer, or refusing to do work until conditions improve.
Decrease Liability Risks
In addition to the threat of injury, a lack of safety can also have financial consequences for a construction project. In 2019/2020, over 6,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by the construction industry in the UK, with a rate of 396 injuries per 100,000 workers. These accidents and injuries can result in compensation claims and legal fees, making it imperative for construction companies to prioritize safety.
Improve Uptime and Productivity
When health and safety are taken into consideration, workers can focus on the job at hand. This keeps productivity levels high. It also means that there’s no downtime while the injury is being tended to, an investigation is launched, and improvements are made. Overall, it keeps things faster and more efficient.
How to Increase Safety on Construction Sites
A comprehensive safety program that includes construction safety training and a fully planned safety equipment strategy is essential to address safety issues and ensure safe work on a construction site. It's important for construction companies to implement and enforce a strict safety protocol to reduce the risk of accidents occurring and to protect workers.