Every day, construction workers face some of the biggest health and safety hazards in the workplace, ranging from extreme heights to operating heavy machinery and more. However, construction companies can create a safe working environment that lowers these risks and creates a low-stress working environment. Since construction is a key component in building cities and communities, proper risk management is important for everyone. Read this blog to learn more about the importance of safe construction practices in the workplace.
Common Health and Safety Hazards in the Construction Industry
Here are some of the top health and safety hazards that construction workers experience:
According to the Mesothelioma Center, construction workers experience some of the highest asbestos risks among all careers. When construction workers encounter asbestos on-site, they could potentially develop diseases, including several types of cancer and lung diseases.
To protect your workers and help manage asbestos risk, here are a few places you should check before starting a construction process:
- Ceiling tiles
- Electric panels
- Fire doors
- Floor tiles
This check-step is a good strategy for improving safety on-site and showing your team that you care about their long-term health.
Construction workers work from extreme heights to construct roofs, bridges, and more. Since working from heights is severely dangerous, construction workers need to wear sufficient fall equipment to guard themselves and potentially save their lives. One of the most common health and safety violations that the OHSA finds is improper fall protection.
To mitigate these risks, construction companies must set up fall protection measures such as railings and nets. Also, fall arresting systems are one of the best ways to ensure employees’ safety. Fall arresting systems consist of lifelines and body harnesses to secure the worker and help them complete their work.
In addition to asbestos, construction workers often experience debris, gas, and fumes on-site that can be extremely dangerous to their long-term respiratory health. That’s why inhaling toxins is one of the most severe health and safety hazards on construction job sites.
Construction companies must mandate that employees wear personal protective equipment to limit any possible exposure to hazardous substances. In 1970, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists created guidelines for how much airborne materials can safely exist on job sites. Follow these threshold limits to help keep your employees safe.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Slips, trips, and falls are a top safety concern for construction workers because they often work in high-risk situations, including heights and rocky surfaces. According to the CDC, over 10,000 construction workers in the U.S. are injured from serious falls every year. To prevent fatal injuries, here are a few risk assessment check-steps to do:
- Conduct a thorough on-site risk assessment before starting a project
- Ensure that construction workers wear personal protective equipment
- Mandate that all workers complete proper safety training
- Invest in fall protection systems
Using Machinery to Lift Objects
Construction sites involve heavy machinery and objects that are constantly moving around the construction site. Cranes are one of the most common machines that companies use to move tons of weight.
To prevent accidents and manage safety, construction companies need to implement lift plans to organize the construction site around moving vehicles and objects. This organization may consist of schedules so that sites don’t try to move multiple objects simultaneously.
Lift plans often include training and qualifications required to operate heavy machinery. At Northern Construction, we collaborate with engineers to develop lift plans, which allows us to ensure we include the property safety factors to achieve safe task completion.
Designing for Health and Safety in Construction
Here’s how we incorporate the latest health and safety standards into our construction design:
Constantly Improving Our MOD Rating
The National Council of Compensation Insurance uses an Experience Rating Modification (MOD) system to evaluate safety on construction sites. The MOD rating numbers work inversely, so the lower the number, the better the rating. For example, at Northern Construction, our MOD rating is .72, which means that we have a better MOD rating than most of our competitors. The average MOD rating is around 1.0.
When insurance companies see that construction companies have an excellent MOD rating, they can qualify for lower insurance premiums which helps lower costs. Also, good MOD ratings show insurance companies and project owners that they can trust a construction company.
Exceeding Health and Safety Standards
When you contract with a construction company, you want to ensure that they exceed health and safety standards instead of simply meeting them. At Northern Construction, we strongly prioritize safety to create a safe experience for everyone involved. Also, we want to show our workers that their long-term mental and physical health is equally important.
We conduct extensive health and safety training and risk assessment to build a safe working environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists some of the most common health and safety violations, including face protection and machine guarding. We are vigilant about exceeding the standards and keep an eye out for new ways to improve on-site safety.
Work with Northern Construction Today
Looking for a top-tier construction company with one of the best health and safety management systems in the construction industry? At Northern Construction, we’re one of the safest construction companies in the Northeast, and we have the MOD rating to prove it. We’ve worked with a diverse set of industries, ranging from energy projects to highways and beyond.
Contact us today so we can start planning your project and designing for workplace construction safety for everyone.