If you manage a construction site, you are probably already very familiar with the array of Health and Safety requirements. Construction sites are hazardous places, and it is vital the correct processes are in place to keep everybody safe.
The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance for the construction industry, but here are our top five safety tips for all construction managers.
Tip 1: Training
There is no substitute for having workers (and managers) well trained in their craft. This will ensure they are fully aware of the risks involved with working on a construction site and how to protect against them.
From a worker’s perspective, training may focus on personal safety and general awareness. For managers, they need to know their responsibilities in identifying risks on site and how to mitigate them and ensure that workers are appropriately protected.
Whether it’s inspecting work already done or operating a hydraulic winch, good training is essential.
Tip 2: Fall Protection
The majority of injuries and deaths on construction sites are fall-related. In addition to workers being aware of their own safety, construction managers have a responsibility to ensure that the correct fall-protection is in place.
This could mean ensuring that guardrails or safety nets are installed around unprotected edges or making sure that workers are fitted with the correct personal fall-arrest equipment.
Falling objects need to be considered too. As such, everybody on the construction site must wear a hard-hat.
Tip 3: Scaffold Inspection
Scaffolding should be regularly inspected and only used if it isn’t slippery. Managers should also ensure that workers only access the scaffolding via agreed points and never increase their height or reach with additional structures.
Equipment should never be left unattended on scaffolding.
Tip 4: Ladder Use
Using the right tool for the job is essential. Need to lift or pull something heavy? Use a hydraulic winch. Need to climb? Use a ladder. But use the right one properly. Wrong ladder choice, failing to secure it properly before use or trying to carry tools and climb at the same time are all common reasons for falls.
Tip 5: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Managers should ensure all workers are provided with PPE – hard hats and eye or face protection – as required.
Safety is an important part of any construction manager’s role.