Maintaining a safe working environment within a large scale building project

You probably have heard of accidents on building projects, which have left workers with permanent injuries or some even dead. It’s so sad to know this still takes place even with health and safety precautions and state of the art equipment. With the increased number of mega building project being undertaken by both the government and private sector, the number of victims is expected to rise. Construction is by its nature a high hazard business, and the risks are known because the job itself involves a huge range of potentially dangerous activities. This, however, does not mean by any chance that it should not be a safe working environment for all the people working at building sites. The right steps can be taken to mitigate the problems.

There should be a provision of the right gear to all personnel working at the sites. They should be provided head and eyes protection. The company hired to do the construction work can also set a clear policy against letting anyone into the construction site if they have not put on the right gear. Safety should not be an option but rather a compulsory requirement for everyone. Think how many news stories we’ve read recently where those who do not have overhead crane training have caused serious injury or harm to themselves or another worker. Having the right training is a requirement, not a choice and must be reinforced.

There are various activities taking place simultaneously in building projects, especially in the construction of large buildings. While some workers are building upper floors, others are painting the lower floors and installing windows and even electrical wiring.

A good coordination of activities should be adopted to ensure every worker is safe and up to speed with the potential hazards from every position. Accidents such as those caused by falling construction materials, silica dust, asbestos and electrocution can be easily be avoided this way. Let everyone be his ‘brother’s keeper’ by considering how an individual’s action is likely to affect others.

That said, there are various government set regulations concerning the safety of workers in construction sites to enable development firms to manage their sites safely with minimum health risks from construction works. Some say though that as an industry it will always have risks and it can never be 100 per cent safe, we couldn’t disagree with this more. We shouldn’t just sit back and allow large firms to hand out excuse after excuse when something terrible goes wrong. It’s up to them to ensure each and every one of their workers is safe and construction workers should be treated as employees, even if the majority are agency workers who move from project to project.

The building of large projects does not need to be a matter that leads to the death of workers, accidents and adverse health effects to both workers and surrounding population. It can be easily managed to ensure the highest degree of safety. It just needs everyone to play their part. The important fact here though is the work doesn’t start from the ground up, the board of directors for big development agencies have to take responsibility and put focus in the right places.