Six Tips to On-Site Safety

Working in the construction industry teaches you many things, one of which is the importance of health and safety on site.  Over my years in building I have witnessed many accidents and even broke a couple of bones myself. Accidents are waiting to happen everywhere you turn which is why such a lot of emphasis is put on training to be safe.  The Health and Safety Executive also have regulations and there are laws to follow too.  If you are heading into the industry here are a few words of advice for you to help you stay safe and not cause injuries to others around you.

    1. Yes you must have training and you really need to pay attention. I know the idea of learning about things, many of which may seem like common sense, is annoying, but it really is necessary.  When you are given training, don’t switch off and assume you know everything.  The lessons you’re being taught could very well save your life.  There are risks all around you such as falling from height, trips slips and falls and crushing let alone vehicles and machinery hazards.  You must put your training into practice and to be able to do that you will need to fully understand it.
    2. Wearing the right protective clothing is vital.  When you are working make sure you have on the right shoes, hats and clothing. Wear high visibility jackets for the other people’s benefits not just your own.  You have to think how your actions will affect others and if someone was to run over you because they couldn’t see you not only would you be seriously injured a (at best!) they would have the guilt to live with too.
    3. You are part of a team so you must act like one. Look out for the people you are working with and if you spot anything they are doing which is dangerous be sure to intervene. Speak to your supervisors and managers if you are unsure of anything or if you think you may require extra equipment or a new risk assessment carried out.  Never worry in silence as your observations could have been missed by others putting everyone in danger.
    4. Follow the safe methods of work you are provided with. Safe working methods arise from risk assessments for each different type of job.  The safe method of work could involve certain actions, specific machinery, safety equipment and demands on who needs to be present.  These aren’t just created because the law demands it, they are designed to help reduce and control the risks to your life.  Even if you think there is a faster way of working still stick to the method you are shown.
    5. If you think your employees are not complying with the law raise your concerns. You have the freedom to contact the Health and Safety Executive if they don’t act responsibly or are neglecting the safety on site.  Inspectors will be able to come and evaluate the situation which may lead to Notices being awarded and even prosecution if it’s obvious laws are being neglected.
    6. Keep your eyes peeled, follow the rules and pay attention to the signs. Never walk in the way of vehicles, always stick to the designated areas to avoid being hit. Learn the regulations which affect you directly, if you work at height for example and learn what you need to know to make sure no laws are being broken. The more you can learn the better and the more chance you have of understanding how to stay safe and avoid accidents.

on-site safety

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/europedistrict/4148970389/

Almost all construction firms now demand you hold CSCS cards to show you are competent.  The cards also offer some basic health and safety training making them valuable to you too.

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