One of the most critical roles of a construction project manager is to maintain safety in construction. Aside from the obvious ethical considerations of keeping workers safe, there are enormous financial expenses involved with a dangerous workplace. As a manager, you have the opportunity to make a significant difference in this crucial area.
The basic factor you should consider before starting any building job is health and safety. Before you step foot on a building site, be sure that all areas of health and safety have been examined. Construction health and safety are especially critical since the business is prone to hazardous conditions and can be dangerous at times.
What are the possible accidents or risks at construction sites and the necessary safety measures?
At construction sites, there are many opportunities to work at heights and use heavy machinery, so we should carry out work under thorough safety management. Even in such a situation, the fact is that the accident itself has not yet been completely eliminated.
In this article, we will explain the risks of accidents that can occur at construction sites and introduce safety measures to prevent accidents in consideration of the causes of accidents.
Possible Risks / Accidents:
Examples of accidents that can occur at a construction site are due to a variety of factors. Here, we will introduce examples and risks of possible accidents at construction sites.
At construction sites where there are many opportunities to work at heights, the risk of accidents such as falls is extremely high. In fact, the biggest cause of fatal injury in the construction industry is said to be a fall from a high place. In some cases, workers lose their balance when handing over luggage on the scaffolding and fall and get injured.
It is also possible that workers will be involved in the collapse of ditches and slopes during excavation of buried objects, or the collapse of buildings under construction.
- Traffic Accident:
Road traffic accidents that occur when transporting construction equipment and building materials by car are also possible accidents during construction work. Workers working on or near the road can also be involved in a car accident.
At construction sites where there are many opportunities to lift or move large and heavy machines and building materials, there is also the possibility of accidents caused by the collision of those machines and building materials with workers.
- Being caught:
The pinching and entanglement that occurs when working with equipment and automobiles is one of the most frequent accidents at construction sites.
What are the factors that cause an accident?
There are several factors that can cause an accident at a construction site.
- Workers’ conscious factors:
This is a case where the consciousness of each worker induces an accident, such as due to a decrease in the attention and concentration of the workers, or because the preliminary inspection was not performed reliably.
- Worksite environmental factors:
In this case, the work environment itself impaired the safety of the site, such as not installing handrails in the work area at a high place where there is a risk of falling, or the scaffolding was not properly assembled.
- Management factors:
There are cases where the physical condition of the workers is not properly managed, and cases where each worker is forced to do unreasonable work due to lack of manpower. In some cases, a fall accident occurred when working at a high place in a state of hard work and fatigue, and it can be said that this is one of the factors that cannot be overlooked in these days when labor shortages have been pointed out.
- Equipment / tool factors:
This is a case where an accident is triggered by a defect or deterioration of a machine or tool. This also applies to the fact that machines and tools have not been standardized and that they have not been properly inspected and maintained.
Risk measures to be taken before an accident occurs
Accidents must be avoided at all costs in order to carry out high-quality work on schedule while giving top priority to human life. Here, we will introduce risk countermeasures at construction sites that should be taken to prevent accidents.
- Raise worker safety awareness:
Poor safety awareness of workers increases the risk of accidents at construction sites. It is important to take measures to further raise workers’ awareness of safety by utilizing in-house training and external training.
- Introduce risk assessment:
Risk assessment is a term used to describe efforts to identify, eliminate, or mitigate risk factors in the workplace. Specifically, we should identify potential risks, estimate the degree of risk, and consider countermeasures. As soon as the countermeasures are finalized, it will be a procedure to implement them in the field.
- Allocation and management of personnel with a margin:
Many cases of accidents that are thought to be caused by a shortage of personnel have also been reported. In particular, the occurrence of accidents due to a shortage of guides when working with construction equipment and vehicles is also regarded as a problem. It is necessary to establish a management system for workers and to secure and allocate sufficient personnel.
- Response/impact after the risk occurs:
As a general rule, accidents should be prevented, but in the unlikely event that an accident occurs at a construction site, it is necessary to take appropriate measures. Here, we will introduce what to do when a risk occurs at a construction site and the expected impact of the risk.
If an accident happens:
If an accident occurs at a construction site, you must take appropriate measures in order as follows:
- Lifesaving activities and measures to prevent the spread of damage and the occurrence of secondary damage:
First, we should prohibit entry to the place of occurrence and evacuate workers near the site. If you have a machine in operation, stop it. This response will prevent the spread of damage and stop secondary damage.
At the same time, we should grasp the situation at the site and rescue any injured people. This rescue operation must also be carried out in a safe place. Call an ambulance and accurately report the “first report” to the person in charge at the site or your boss.
While waiting for an ambulance, we should provide life-saving measures and first aid. In particular, if the injured victim seems to be unconscious, give top priority to human life.
In addition, it is necessary to learn the location and usage of emergency measures and AED (automated external defibrillator) in advance so that you can respond to such situations. After the ambulance arrives, be sure to have an attendant accompany the injured person to report the progress to the company.
- Cooperation in maintenance and investigation of the accident site and preparation of necessary documents:
The accident site should not be cleaned up and should be left as it is. Since it is an important evidence place at the time of disaster investigation, it is necessary to keep it off-limits and to be in a situation where it can be investigated.
Once the investigation begins, you will need to cooperate with police and labor base hearings. At this time, you will have to submit various documents, so be prepared.
Documents required for accident investigation:
- Accident breaking news
- Documents that record the progress up to the disaster in chronological order
- Site photos and documents to explain them
- Documents that can be confirmed by the victim, company name and company profile, foreman and work manager
- Sketch of the accident site
Penalties and implications imposed after the risk occurs:
In the unlikely event that an accident occurs, the contract fee with the insurance company will increase, the cost for preventing recurrence will increase, and so on. It is expected that the owner of the business will suspend the nomination, the on-site supervisor will be held liable for negligence, and compensation for damages to the parties concerned will be unavoidable.
And above all, it can significantly reduce the credibility of the company itself and leave customers away. There is no doubt that thorough safety management is required with the intention of preventing the occurrence of risks.
Risks other than possible accidents at construction sites
We have explained the risks of accidents at construction sites, but at construction sites, we can assume various risks other than accidents. Let’s also look at the potential risks other than accidents.
At the construction site, many workers are involved in the work. In addition, there may be cases where people other than those involved can easily enter the outdoor work. Under such circumstances, it is of course possible that your belongings and materials will be stolen.
- Information leakage:
In the construction industry as well, IT is becoming more and more popular, and there are many sites where work is being carried out while communicating using information equipment. If information security risks are not adequately addressed, there is a risk of leakage of important information.
- Natural disasters:
There is also a risk of damage caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, and eruptions that occur during work, rather than accidents during work.
Simple Construction Site Safety Rules / Safety Measures to keep your construction safe:
Regardless of their vocation or sector, all employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees’ health and safety. There are extra concerns to consider for construction workers who are exposed to high-risk areas.
It is your responsibility as a construction project manager or site manager to take the appropriate safeguards and protect your workplace from unwarranted dangers. Here are some tips for keeping your construction site safe so that you and your staff don’t have to deal with any excessive worry.
- Start with safety training
- Minimize and manage risk
- Increase site security
- Wear your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at all times
- Do not start work without an induction
- Keep a tidy site
- Make entry and exit points
- Follow safety signs and procedures
- Compliant chemical storage
- Never work in unsafe areas without safety
- Report defects and near misses
- Never tamper with equipment
- Use the right equipment or tool
- First aid kits and equipment must be placed on the site
It is said that many industrial accidents still occur at construction sites, despite the progress of thorough safety management. Let’s make sure to improve the working environment based on the Industrial Safety and Health Act and train workers to prevent human error. It is also important to avoid overwork and properly allocate and manage personnel in order to prevent deterioration of workers’ attention and judgment. We should make a site a better workplace where all workers can work safely while preventing accidents and eliminating other risks factors.