Health and safety is an important aspect of running a business, whatever sector you are in. However, for the second year in a row, the construction industry had more fatalities than any other sector in 2016/17, so it’s important that you take every step to manage risk.
The law requires all firms, whether small or large, to manage hazards and risk, and train their employees to comply with regulations. So take a look at our tips to ensure that you’re working within the law.
Make sure you plan and monitor
Everybody in your business has a duty to ensure that they minimise the risk to themselves and others on a construction site. Whether you are working on a large site on a house build or you’re fitting someone’s kitchen, there are risks to health and safety.
It’s a good idea to plan, manage and monitor all work that you’re carrying out and assess the risks that may be involved. You will minimise any risks just by knowing what they are and how to prevent them.
When you hire new staff, you should do an induction with them. You should make sure that they have the right safety training before they start work, and should include primary risk evaluation and taking precautions.
Keep your site clean and tidy
It’s a pretty obvious one, but you should make sure you keep your site clean, tidy and organised to reduce risk. Make sure that there is a clear separation between working space, transport space and site space. Of course, this might not be needed if you’re working in a domestic property.
Some ways you can separate the different areas include:
- Fencing off site boundaries
- Ensuring that unused tools and materials are put away in designated areas when not in use
- Making sure all staff are aware of site rules
- Making sure that the site is only accessible by authorised and trained staff
Working with Machinery
Of course, you’ll be working with tools and machinery in your everyday job. And they are some of the most dangerous objects on a construction site, according to statistics. So to reduce the risk of injury to yourself, your staff or the public, consider taking the following precautions:
- Wear the appropriate workwear
- Ensure that you’re using the right tool for the task
- Make sure all the tools and machinery are in good condition before you start
Working at height
For all you tree surgeons out there, you’ll know that there are risks with working at height. There’s a much higher likelihood of fatalities if you work at height, so you should do the following before undertaking a job that involves you having to work at height:
- Identify risks and plan precautions to ensure that you carry out work with the least risk possible
- Make sure the weather conditions are suitable to work at height
- Use equipment to reduce the risk of falls (e.g. scaffolding, harnesses)
It’s essential that you take precautions when you’re working on site. As long as your staff are aware of health and safety legislation and everyone works to reduce risk, you’ll run a safe and compliant company.