Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places on earth. These sites are often called graveyards because of the high death ratio. A construction site is any piece of land where a building is built. These sites have heavy machines, big rolling tanks and large tools. These are also the sites where hazardous materials are present, most short circuits happen, and most deaths happen because of falling off of high buildings. This makes a construction site a deadly zone.
Globally, around 20,000 workers lost their lives because of these hazards, thus it is important to manage workplaces and create awareness around it. Pakistan is on the top when it comes to construction and workplace hazards and threats. The lack of awareness, pathetic conditions and no workplace management has led to an increase in the death toll of workers.
Only in 2023 more than 10,000 die because of unsafe and pathetic workplace conditions, a major chunk of it goes to the lack of awareness prevailing in Pakistan around workplace incidents and accidents, thus stressing more importance of NEBOSH course. In this blog, we’ll be covering the various construction hazards and preventive measures.
How Dangerous is a Construction Site?
Construction sites rank among the most hazardous places on earth. Construction sites have dangerous environments that have the potential for fatal injuries, severe accidents and long-term health implications. The level of danger at a construction site depends upon the scale of the project and the nature of hazardous materials.
One of the main reasons why these dangers are prevalent at a construction site also has to deal with the lack of knowledge and education about these risks. Courses like that of NEBOSH cover these risks and as well as teach how to manage such risks. With a reasonable and affordable NEBOSH fee, anyone can be equipped with training in health and safety management.
Common Hazards Found at a Construction Site:
As discussed earlier, construction sites present a wide array of risks and hazards. Here’s a list of common hazards that are mentioned categorically in the NEBOSH course and can be found at a construction site;
1. Falls from Height
This is one of the most prevalent hazards. Workers who work at elevated roofs or heights fall due to imbalance or no protection gear.
2. Scaffold and Ladder Folds
Pakistan faces these hazards the most because of the use of wooden ladders. These ladders do not provide workers with balance and lead to falls or collapses
3. Trips and Slips
These happen due to the slippery slope or areas where there are chances of materials that are less viscous and have less friction. Since slippery surfaces provide us with less friction, workers trip and slip. Because of these, the spinal region is injured and greatly affected.
4. Stuck by Hazards or Moving Objects
It is no surprise that falling and moving objects are a major hazard at construction sites. These objects can be big tools, machines or vehicles.
Electricity has killed more than 10,000 workers just in 2023. The most common accidents are that of high voltage electric shocks. Working with live wires, overhead power lines and faulty are all the main causes of death among construction workers.
6. Noise Hazards
These hazards are also quite prevalent. Construction sites are usually places with loud and shrieking noises. This leads to hearing loss and permanent hearing disability among workers.
7. Machinery and Equipment
Working with heavy machines or equipment without proper protection or safety measures causes most accidents.
8. Hazardous Materials
A lot of workers develop severe skin allergies and diseases because they deal with hazardous materials like asbestos, lead or silica.
9. Manual Handling
Handling heavy objects and equipment the wrong way can lead to severe physical injuries and musculoskeletal disorders.
10. Fire and Explosions
These hazards are related to flammable materials like welding operations, hot work, or inadequate fire safety measures.
Consequences of Hazards at a Construction Site:
Construction site hazards can lead to various consequences. These consequences range from affecting a worker’s well-being to a worker’s physical health. The following are some important consequences of these hazards;
- Injuries and fatalities
- Health issues
- Work interruptions or delays
- Financial losses
- Loss of productivity
- Environmental impacts
- Emotional and psychological impacts
- Legal liabilities
How can these Hazards be Controlled?
Following are some important preventive measures that can help us control and minimize the various hazards that are lingering at the workplace;
- Risk Assessment: This is the first step. Always conduct proper risk assessments to analyse and identify potential hazards on construction sites.
- Training and Education: This is also a very important step, a crucial one indeed. Workers must be provided with proper counselling and education to ensure a safe and healthy environment. This lack of education and training can be done by the inclusion of NEBOSH Course.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Company owners must ensure that all workers have protective equipment. This includes safety goggles, gloves, headgear, helmets and more.
- Ventilation: Proper ventilation must be provided so that workers can breathe properly and so that harmful dust or chemicals are removed via ventilation and pipes
- Application of engineering controls: This includes the installation of guidelines, using fall arrest systems, and enclosing dangerous machinery.
- Regular maintenance of equipment: This includes the daily inspection of tools and equipment, especially before any operation or work so that faulty or expired tools are removed.
- Proper electrical insulation: Insulating electrical wires is a crucial aspect covered in the NEBOSH Course, aimed at minimizing the risk of electrical shocks. This involves the use of plug pins, double insulation, and safe handling of portable electric tools.
- Emergency Preparedness: Develop and communicate emergency procedures and train employees with emergency drills.
- Compliance with rules: Companies or organizations must adhere to rules and regulations so that a safety culture is promoted and that companies stay updated with guidelines.
- Worker Involvement and Communication: Workers must be encouraged to communicate and share their everyday problems at construction sites so that those problems can be minimized.
It is very important to identify hazards and mitigate them once they are identified. Precious lives can only be saved and only if we implement a combination of preventive measures and identify hazards in their early stages.