The importance of health & safety training for construction workers

Construction worker is a broad term which encapsulates a vast array of job titles, from bricklayers and boilermakers to cabinet makers, carpenters and many more besides. However, one element which ties all construction workers together is the danger inherent in their work.

Construction Safety ConsultancyAccording to recent research, the construction industry accounts for just 5 percent of the Irish workforce, but a staggering 22 per cent of the country’s fatal workplace accidents, and 10 per cent of its serious injuries.

In this day and age, even one workplace death is too many, which is why it is so important for businesses, contractors and self employed construction workers to take their health and safety responsibilities seriously. Whilst there are some injuries which result from factors out of the control of both employers and employees, the vast majority of accidents could have been avoided if workers had received the appropriate level of health and safety training.

Who is responsible for your safety?

If you work as an employee for a construction firm, your employer has a duty to protect you by providing the information, instruction, supervision, equipment and training required to safely complete your work. You also have certain responsibilities as an individual, which include:

–         Exercising reasonable care for your own safety and the safety of colleagues and members of the public who might be affected by your work.

–         Correctly operating machinery whilst wearing all the necessary protective equipment and reporting any defects as soon as they have been identified.

–         Co-operating with your employer on all health and safety matters.

–         Not misusing or interfering with any equipment provided to protect your health, safety and wellbeing.

What are the potential hazards?

Construction workers are exposed to a wide range of hazards through the course of their work. These hazards vary from trade to trade and job to job, and although workers will only be exposed to most hazards for a few minutes at a time, the majority of hazards are likely to reoccur. There are also hazards caused by those working nearby, which might put a secondary worker at risk.

The main hazards in the construction industry include:

–         Falls from height

–         Slips and trips

–         Carrying heavy loads

–         Falling objects

–         Working in confined spaces

–         Being struck by a vehicle

–         Dust inhalation

–         Injuries from hand tools

–         Exposure to dangerous substances

–         Injuries from  vibrating machinery

With so many potential hazards, it is vital that employers do everything they can to reduce the risks by implementing thorough training and keeping their employees up-to-date and informed. For more information about health and safety training for construction workers, call businesssafety.ie on 0818 333 212 or complete our online enquiry form.