Health and Safety Procedures in Construction Projects

Construction sites need to be carefully managed to prevent hazardous events from happening. For this reason, there are several rules and procedures to follow to ensure the safety of workers, the surrounding environment, and the people that live near the site. These rules can save lives, ensure that the construction project is delivered within the scope and on time, and eliminate unexpected costs that may arise from machine breakdown or labor injuries.

Safety Training

Safety training is an integral part of the construction project regulations that require teaching the workers injury management. Sharing relevant safety and health information with the workers is necessary for understanding hazards on the construction site.

It is important to:

  • Teach and distribute safety data sheets
  • Monitor workers
  • Give recommendations on the safety of chemical equipment
  • Conduct job hazard analyses
  • Wear the right clothes and construction wearables
  • First aid education
  • Use the right tools

Capacity Management

Capacity planning for optimized workforce management is one of the aspects of resource management. The manager is required to ensure that the project has enough workers at any given time and must not push workers to the limit of their capacity.

Capacity management is important for several reasons:

  • Researches show that construction workers who take fewer breaks and feel more tired are more likely to experience hazardous events and difficulties in conducting their job.
  • Labor-intensive methods such as transportation can be done through machines and allow the job to be done safely and easily.

Scheduled Regular Breaks

Regular breaks throughout the day improve the productivity of the workers and decrease the risk of accidents. Most of the time, workers have the right to take breaks when working during the construction site independently of their employment contract. However, the optimized schedule breaks are 15 minutes around every 120 minutes and at least 30 minutes of lunch break. This can vary according to the weather conditions.

Maintenance and Monitoring

Maintenance is one of the most crucial activities during a construction project as it protects both the labor and machines to continue the necessary work. On one side, monitoring reveals the need for adjustments in construction procedures, and on the other side, throughout technical supervision, all the activities can continue as planned.

Maintenance and monitoring activities include:

  • Reporting of machinery performance
  • Labor health and performance
  • Site monitoring

Site Access Management

Site access management is forced by law as it ensures public safety before and when construction works are taking place. It is necessary to define site boundaries and fencing to prevent people from entering the site. Fencing of the site may include:

  • Falling objects – Using netting or toe-boards can prevent objects from falling on people that pass near the site.
  • Openings – Underground works require a lot of excavations that need to be well taken care of. Using barriers to block these openings can prevent serious injuries.
  • Noise – Construction sites are one of the noisiest environments especially when they are close to residential areas. It is important to consider the noise levels enforced by law that might be damaging for passers-by or residents of the area.
  • Pollution – Construction projects usually create a vast number of hazardous substances and dust in the surrounding area. Ensuring to keep these substances away from the site parameter and pollution control is important, especially in the city centers.

Take the Necessary Training

Workers must be taught how to inspect the tools and machines before using them. Using the right tools in the right place and at the right time decreases the risk of accidents and delays in projects. Making checklists available to keep everything in routine and knowing what to examine can also improve productivity.

Weather Monitoring

Many construction works are at risk of weather dangers. For this reason, it is important to take seasonal considerations into account and determine what actions to take to promote safety. These include:

  • Hot temperatures – Workers who work in hot temperatures may be dehydrated and are exposed to the sun. It is suggested to take regular breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Cold temperatures – Even though most construction works take place in warmer weather, some of them expand to winter which brings concerns about accommodation. It is recommended that workers wear layers and shift the work hours in the warmest part of the day.