Construction Site Management – Safety On Site

The question of safety on construction sites is possibly a matter of common debate, just like in all other areas of life. Occupational health and safety is a concern for almost all industries. The construction site offers a host of potential hazards all of which would have consequences ranging from simple injuries to loss of life. The following are examples of such hazards:

· Cuts from sharp cutting tools, ranging from saws to machine blades.

· Impacts from hammers, moving plant and the like.

· Burns from naked frames.

· Electrocution.

· Pierces from nails, rods and the like.

· Crushes from falling objects like stones, trees and rubble.

All these are hazards that any construction worker is faced with day in, day out. It also faces any other visitors to construction sites. The latter could be in more danger owing to their ignorance. It is the duty of those in charge of site management to ensure that these hazards do not fall upon any persons on and out of the site. This they can achieve by:

· Provision of protective gear: These are usually in the form of clothing like safety boots, goggles, overalls, gloves, helmets and reflective jackets. These should not only be provided on site, they should also be worn as appropriate.

· Proper professional conduct: Acts of omission on construction sites are usually very costly and dangerous. Things like unattended electric cables could very easily lead to fires or electrocution. Unattended plant can be as dangerous.

· Good communication methods: It is important to ensure that it is clear to all and sundry where hazards occur or where accidents are likely. Things like open pits or unsecured beams should clearly be visible as so. This can be done by use of proper signage or by having persons directing everyone.

· Access control: Only the right persons should visit the site, and with a clearly defined purpose. Trespassing on site should be stopped by all means. Any visitors to the site should only walk around the site with guidance from a knowledgeable site worker. Furthermore, such access should only be allowed to adults.

· Proper Construction Methods: The standard operating procedure in construction should be followed at all times. An example is the provision of ladders rather than the use of makeshift platforms to work on heights. Along the same lines, tools, plant and equipment should be checked for good working order before they are put to work. Routine maintenance procedure is key in this regard.

· Safety clinics for all workers or visitors: This is arguably the ultimate solution to safety on construction sites. Creating awareness is equal to arming workers with good safety standards at all times. This goes beyond just highlighting the obvious hazards occurring on site. It should include remedial measures in case of accidents. A good example is teaching these people on first aid procedures.