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Construction Site Accidents

Worker injured on floor receiving treatment

During 2017/18 38 construction workers lost their lives in the workplace. Thankfully this is slightly lower than the annual average between 2013/14 and 2017/18 which shows that more is being done to protect workers. The fatal injury rate in terms of number of fatalities per 100,000 workers employed in the construction industry is 1.64, which seems relatively low but is still around 4 times higher than the annual average of 0.45 across all industries.

Workers in the construction industry suffer the most injuries and fatal injuries in the UK. Construction sites are typically full of hazards whether it be the heavy machinery, heavy materials or plant equipment they can all cause serious injuries to workers.

All employers have a legal obligation to protect their employees from harm while in the workplace. Sometimes the suitable health and safety procedures are not put in place or are not suitable for the task. This can lead to serious injuries or even fatal accidents.

Construction site injuries in the UK

During 2017/18 38 construction workers lost their lives in the workplace. Thankfully this is slightly lower than the annual average between 2013/14 and 2017/18 which shows that more is being done to protect workers. The fatal injury rate in terms of number of fatalities per 100,000 workers employed in the construction industry is 1.64, which seems relatively low but is still around 4 times higher than the annual average of 0.45 across all industries.

Between 2015/16 and 2017/18 an average of 58,000 workers in the construction industry suffered non-fatal injuries. Of these 58,000 injuries 24% were due to slips, trips or falls on the same level, 21% were injured while handling, lifting or carrying, 19% were injured due to a fall from height and 12% were struck by moving, including flying/falling, objects.

How can workers protect themselves?

Workers should actively try and protect themselves from injury by ensuring they only carry out construction work they have the relevant skills, knowledge, training and experience in. The should also make themselves aware of the health and safety risks involved in working on a construction site and learn how to minimise the risks to themselves.

How can employers protect their employees?

Employers should do all they can to ensure the workers they employ are safe at all times while working. They should do this by:

Providing suitable Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is designed to enable workers to complete their jobs safely, it includes hard hats, safety footwear and high visibility jackets. This equipment should be mandatory for all workers and visitors present on construction sites.

Ensure a safe site

Construction sites should be kept in a clean and orderly condition, they should be robustly planned to ensure they have been organised in the safest way possible. Clear routes should be laid out for traffic and the same for pedestrians to ensure the two don’t come into contact.

Conduct risk assessments

Risk assessments should be carried out on a regular basis on construction sites as the environment is always changing as work progresses. These assessments should identify the potential risks to employees and eliminate them if possible.

Provide appropriate training

Employees should be kept up to date with all the latest training available, this will help them minimise the risk of suffering an injury. Only workers who have received specialist training should be allowed to complete certain tasks such as operating vehicles.

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