Some work environments are just more dangerous than others. A building site, for example, presents a much higher level of risk than an office. However, when safety procedures are in place and routinely followed, then the risk of personal injury can be dramatically reduced.
In this guide, we’re going to look at what the employer’s responsibilities are towards their workforce as well as highlight key tips that can help keep everyone safe.
The Employers Responsibilities
While everyone has a responsibility for workplace safety, it is the employer who is required to make sure that risk is minimised. This includes –
- Ensuring that their staff had adequate training and skillset to complete tasks
- Provide all necessary safety wear, including hard hats and goggles, high-vis jackets, and ear guards
- Ensure that all equipment is maintained and in safe working order
When an employer fails to meet these requirements, then they have a liability when it comes to workplace accidents. With employees being able to claim within 3 years of the accident, it’s clear that safety at work must be a top priority for everyone.
Top Tips for Building Site Safety
Here are our tips that can help to keep you and your colleagues safe at work.
1. Planning Ahead/Prepare Your Tools
- Clearly plan out your tasks before starting work each day. Identify which tools will be needed and ensure that they are correctly maintained and prepared before use. Never be tempted to use a tool that isn’t designed for the job.
- Store any tools that must be kept out of the weather in well-sheltered areas. Ensure they are not blocking or causing safety hazards around doorways, windows, etc. Ensure that there is no overspill anywhere else on site, which can create tripping hazards for anyone working nearby (including yourself!).
2. Follow the Plan
- Follow a comprehensive plan when it comes to completing the work. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts or improvise with the agreement of the management team.
- If you’re unsure of what needs to be completed or how to undertake a task, it’s essential that you seek advice before starting.
3. PPE & Protective Clothing
- Make sure you have the correct protective clothing for each task ahead of time. You should ensure that this includes steel-capped boots, PPE such as goggles/safety mask/hard hat, Hi-vis jacket, etc., ear defenders, and a first aid kit
- You should also make sure that others around you, including visitors to the site, follow requirements for the wearing of PPE
4. Keep an Eye on the Weather
- You should make sure you are aware of any severe weather warnings before starting work; lightning and high winds can make a building site a very dangerous place to be.
- When returning to the site after bad weather, ensure that there is no structural damage and that all scaffolding is secure before use.
5. Make Safety Your Top Priority
- Never get distracted when working on-site; it only takes seconds for an accident to happen or for someone to get injured. That means having ear defenders on while operating machinery, not climbing ladders without being properly trained, etc.
- Always follow instructions provided by the supervisor or site manager.
6. Take Regular Breaks
- When you’re working on a job with tight deadlines, it can be tempting to skip breaks. But when you become tired, that’s when the risk of an accident begins to increase
- Keep hydrated, especially when working in warm climates or summer months. As you dehydrate, you can begin to feel lightheaded and dizzy, and that could be incredibly dangerous on a building site.
7. Stay Alert
- Finally, keep an eye out around your site at all times. If you identify a possible risk, don’t assume that someone else is dealing with it. Ensure that you either take action yourself or report the situation to someone who can deal with it.
If You’re Involved in a Building Site Accident
If you suffer a personal injury when working on a building site, it’s important that you have the opportunity to place a claim for compensation. It’s likely that you will need to take time off work, and there may be other costs and expenses that you incur due to the injury.
To help with this process, make sure that you take notes of exactly what happened and, if possible, take photographs of the scene of the incident.
Remember not to admit fault as this may be used against you in the future. Similarly, don’t shrug off any injuries that you might consider to be minor. It may be that the pain develops over a period of time, even if you felt fine at the time of the accident.
Finally, you will need to find legal assistance in placing your claim. When you have an experienced team behind you with a complete understanding of the law, it’s far more likely that your claim will be successful.