Health and safety on a construction site – key reading

In developing countries such as India and China, constructions sites are common views in the cities and along major roads. Some examples of construction projects are highway constructions, building co…

In developing countries such as India and China, constructions sites are common views in the cities and along major roads. Some examples of construction projects are highway constructions, building constructions and metro train constructions. These construction sites pose serious hazards to the workers, passer-by and environment. Hence, safety precautions at these sites are made compulsory by various authorities.

This article highlights three key areas to be addressed for thorough safety precautions at construction sites as below:

  1. Processes, procedures and rules to be followed by the workers at construction sites
  2. Safety clothing and wear to be worn by workers at construction sites
  3. Safety equipment tool to be used at construction sites

Processes and rules in safety are extensively described in *OSHA manual. OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It provides technical information and guidance on occupational safety and health topics.The content is based on recent search publications, OSHA standards, and consensus standards. Construction sites is the main focus area of OSHA Manual. These manual is referred worldwide by safety officers.

Safety wears are worn to protect workers and staff at construction sites from head to toe. These safety wears manufactured with compliance to international standard such as ISI and CE and has special design features for protection purposes.Safety helmets are worn to protect head portion, are made of hard polymer. Safety goggles are worn to protect eyes. The design and material used for these safety goggles are specific to protect the eye portion from various angles e.g flying debri. It also has UV protection feature.Safety masks are worn to protect nose and lungs from dust and hazardous gas emitted at construction sites. Safety reflective jackets are worn by site workers so that they are more visible to construction vehicles and passing vehicles during nighttime or in area of low visibility. Safety Hand Gloves are used to protect hands. There are various types of hand gloves made from different materials used for different purposes. Electrical gloves are used to handle high voltage instruments. Kevlar gloves are used to carry sharp materials. Rubber dipped, Nitriles dipped and PVC gloves are used to carry oily and hard objects. Cotton knitted gloves are disposable low cost gloves worn to to carry things at construction site such as small bricks etc. Foot protection is also critical as construction sites are scattered with sharp and hard objects such as bricks, nails and iron rods.Safety shoes for foot protection have metal inserted at the front (steel toe) for protection against kicking or falling of hard and sharp objects. Some quality safety shoe also have metal inserted in the sole for durability.

There are variety of health and safety tool or equipment. Most of them function on the basis of providing warning to the people of the potential hazards near them. Warning tapes, also known as danger tapes protect hazardous construction sites against trespasser. These tapes has visible red color zebra lines which indicate the danger. Hazard Lights or blinking lights which could stand out-door climates, are used to warn passer-by be it vehicle or people to be more careful at the area. Road speed bump are used to slow down vehicles at construction sites. These speed bumps are made of strong thermoplastic material which could stand significant stress over time. Other safety tools include road barriers and safety cones that allow managing traffic flowing through the construction sites and block vehicles from entering hazardous areas. Some safety tools are to alleviate situation shall the accident happen. First aid kit is crucial to provide early treatment shall any accident happen. These first aid kit contains necessary items such as scissors, tapes, bandages and critical medicines. Fire extinguisher and fire hydrants are to prevent or overcome fires while it is still small and managaeble.

As a conclusion, if the above three safety areas addressed properly, accidents can be significantly reduced. Authorities be it government or site contractor management, shall invest sufficient resources to address these areas.