Construction is an ever-expanding industry, but with its growth comes many risks and hazards that workers and employers must be aware of. In Alberta, Canada, the construction sector is no exception. Below we will take a closer look at some of major risks in the construction sector followed by a few training tips.
Please note that the information below is not an in-depth list on construction-related risks or hazards. The article is not a resource for workplace hazard assessments, training, competent worker assessment &/or hazard prevention and should not be referenced as a workplace guideline in any way. Always contact your employer, association, worksite and/or provincial/state Health & Safety legislation for best practises.
Top 9 Safety Hazards in Construction
- Struck by Objects
- Caught in or between objects
- Vehicle incidents
- Explosions and Fire
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
- Respiratory Hazards
- Skin Disease and Injuries
Falls are one of the most dangerous hazards in the construction industry, causing serious injury or even death. Workers can be injured by falling from great heights, such as scaffolding or roofs. Workers must utilise suitable fall protection equipment, such as harnesses, lanyards, and guardrails, and operate safely at heights to avoid falls.
Electricity is a necessary aspect of building work, but it can also be a significant hazard. When workers come into contact with live electrical lines or equipment, there is extreme risk for bodily harm. Workers must be trained in electrical safety , utilise suitable protective equipment, and adhere to safe electrical procedures to avoid electrocution.
3. Struck by Objects
Heavy gear and equipment, as well as materials and tools that can easily become loose or fall from great heights, are frequently seen on construction sites. Objects can strike workers if they are not adequately secured or are operating in close proximity to these hazards. Workers must wear suitable safety equipment , be aware of their surroundings, and ensure that equipment and supplies are correctly secured to avoid being struck by items.
4. Caught in or between objects
5. Vehicle incidents
Heavy equipment and vehicles are frequently going in and out of construction sites, and employees can be struck by these vehicles if they are not properly designated or if they are not paying attention. Workers must be trained in traffic control and be aware of their surroundings when working near vehicles to avoid vehicular incidents.
6. Explosions and Fire
Building sites can potentially be dangerous due to the possibility of explosions and fires. Explosions or flames caused by inappropriate usage of equipment or materials, such as combustible liquids or gases, can hurt or kill workers. Workers must be trained in proper fire safety and follow safe practises when operating equipment and materials to prevent explosions and fires.
7. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Heavy machinery, equipment, and power tools frequently make loud noises on construction sites. If workers are exposed to these loud noises for an extended period of time, they may develop noise-induced hearing loss. Workers should wear suitable hearing protection and be trained in proper hearing protection practises to avoid hearing loss.
8. Respiratory Hazards
Workers on construction sites may also be exposed to respiratory dangers such as dust, gases, and chemicals. Employees who are exposed to these dangers for an extended period of time may develop respiratory issues. Workers must be trained in proper respiratory protection and must always use suitable respiratory protection equipment when working with hazardous products to avoid respiratory dangers.
9. Skin Disease and Injuries
Construction work frequently requires manual labour and exposure to the outdoors, and workers who are not properly protected might suffer skin disorders and accidents. Exposure to the sun, wind, and rain can cause skin disorders and injuries in workers.
Appropriate workplace training is critical in avoiding the hazards and risks involved with construction employment in Alberta, Canada.
Here are some of the ways that good training can aid in the prevention of some of the most dangerous risks in the construction industry:
Employees should be training and deemed competent on effective fall protection practises, as well as how to use fall protection equipment such as harnesses, lanyards, and guardrails. Employees should also be taught in working at heights safely, including how to handle ladders and scaffolding.
Electrical safety training is often required for workers, covering the proper use of electrical equipment and the dangers of electrical hazards. Employees should also be trained in recognising and avoiding electrical risks.
3. Struck by objects
Employees should receive training on the use of safety equipment such as hard hats, safety glasses, other PPE and steel-toed footwear. Employees should also be trained on environmental awareness, including adequate equipment and material securing.
4. Caught in or between objects
Employees should be taught about suitable excavation practises, including excavation site marking & damage prevention as well as recognising and avoiding trench & heavy machinery hazards. Various levels of Ground Disturbance training may be beneficial.
5. Vehicular Accidents
Employees may benefit from traffic control training, including suitable signage and markings, in order to identify dangers and control traffic flow. Employees should also be trained to be aware of their surroundings, including how to wear luminous clothes and safety vests properly. Many programs are available on Defensive driving and other awareness programs.
6. Explosion and Fires
Employees should be taught on fire safety, which includes handling and storing flammable substances and gases. Employees should also be trained to recognise, prevent and avoid fire threats, as well as to follow safe evacuation or fire suppression protocols.
7. Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Employees should receive training on hearing protection procedures, such as how to wear earplugs or other similar PPE. Employees should also be trained to identify and avoid dangerous noise levels.
8. Respiratory Hazards
Employees must be trained in proper respiratory protection, including mask and respirator use. Employees should also be taught how to recognise and avoid respiratory dangers like dust, gases, and chemicals.
9. Skin Diseases and Injuries
Employees must be instructed on skin protection, including the use of sunscreen, moisturisers, and protective clothes. Employees should also be trained to recognise and avoid skin dangers such as from sun, extreme cold and wind exposure.
In conclusion, effective workplace training can be valuable tool in avoiding the hazards and risks involved with construction employment. Employees should be trained to recognise and avoid hazards, as well as to use protective equipment, follow policies and site rules.