Safety measures at construction sites helps to prevent unforeseen accidents. Accidents at construction sites may lead to loss of life and involve huge cost.
Accident can be defined as an unforeseen circumstance or event which happens abruptly to cause damages to property and injury to the person(s) involved. Any of such occurrences that may interrupt or interfere with the orderly progress of activities in a construction site can therefore be termed as an accident.
Why to Prevent Accidents at Construction Sites?
Safety is one of the most important aspects of modern construction management today. The maintenance department of every construction company play a large part in making sure its plant / machines is in good working conditions as well as ensures the safety of its own personnel by providing safety guidelines for maintaining and operating machines and equipments.
Costs Associated with Accidents at Construction Site
An accident prevention program in construction work site should also be initiated for every new project in order to reduce the overall cost of construction. The most effective way of justifying the money outlay for an accident prevention program is to compare the reduction in the total cost of accidents with the cost of the accident prevention program.
The total cost of accidents to the employer includes both the direct cost and the indirect expenses incurred. The direct cost consists of compensation, medical bills and sometimes legal payments paid directly by the company or through their insurance schemes.
Indirect costs of construction accidents can involve one or more of the following losses:
- Cost of lost time of injured workers
- Cost of time lost by other workers who stop work due to an accident
- Cost due to the damaged equipment and/or other property
- Cost due to spoilage of materials
- Cost due to delay in progress of work
- Cost of payment of wages to the affected employee during the period of injury
- Cost of lost production resulting from the slowing down of other employees activities
- Cost of time lost by the supervisory staff
Safety Measures to Prevent Accidents at Building Construction Site
Safety and precautions should therefore be an integral part of the operations of each construction site. The entire managerial staff of the company is to initiate and contribute to the support necessary to keep the site operational at all times.
This will enhance the success of the program as well as ensure project activities are completed as scheduled without delay. Each operation has its own peculiar hazards and a safety program should be developed to suit the particular hazards.
Safety Measures to Prevent Construction Accidents
Portland cement is alkaline in nature while concrete is a controlled mixture of cement, aggregates, and water. Because it is a fluid mix, wet concrete and other cement-based mixes are caustic and will burn the skin after prolonged contact.
Contact with wet concrete, masonry mortar, cement, and cement mixes can cause skin irritation, severe chemical burns, and serious eye damage.
The following safety measures will therefore serve to reduce the accident rate in mixing and placing of concrete used in the casting of footings, foundation walls, floor slabs, beams, columns, retaining walls, sidewalks, driveways, and patios in a building project.
- Wear sturdy work gloves, long sleeves, and full length trousers to protect your hands, arms, and legs. Indirect contact through clothing can be as serious as direct contact, so promptly rinse out wet concrete or mortar from clothing.
- Wear rubber boots when placing and handling concrete for slabs and flatwork, because you may sometimes have to stand in the wet mix to spread and screed the concrete.
- Make sure the boots are high enough to prevent concrete from getting inside them.
- To protect your eyes from cement dust and from splattered mortar or concrete, wear safety glasses or goggles.
- Since masonry involves heavy lifting, be careful to avoid back strain and injury—always bend your knees, keep your back straight, and lift with your legs.
- Small, shallow concrete footings can sometimes be formed by earth trenches if the soil is stable, but most concrete work requires building forms to shape and hold the mix until it hardens. Forms for concrete must be strong, tightly fitted, and rigidly constructed.
- The deeper the concrete, the greater the pressure it will exert on the formwork, so don’t be afraid to use an extra stake or two to help ensure that forms will not bulge or bow out of shape during the pour. Drive supporting stakes slightly below the height of the string so they won’t interfere with leveling or finishing the concrete surface.
- On residential projects, it is more common to use wheelbarrows or buggies to move the concrete from the mixer to the forms. You can build ramps and runways over the forms to keep them from bumping the boards or displacing the reinforcing steel out of place.
Read More: General Safety Issues at Construction Sites