Jobs in the construction business are one of the most dangerous in the world. In 2015 alone, 37% of total fatalities to workers were due to falls from heights in the construction sector of Canada.
Although this number dropped to 30% in 2016, if you’re in the construction business you have every reason to be worried for yourself and your colleagues.
The business is constantly changing with the introduction of new technologies and procedures along with the risks and hazards. In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of those hazards.
Slips and Falls
The most common cause of fatalities is falling from heights. There’s a good reason why construction workers are required to wear so much protective gear. Construction sites have different areas being worked on and completed at different rates. So a worker can trip on an uneven surface or obstacle that wasn’t there a few hours ago.
On a typical construction site there are trailing cables, slippery surfaces, loud noises and distractions everywhere. These are all hazardous to employees and construction supervisors can use different methods to tackle these hazards.
Designating a space specifically for walkways is one of the easiest ways to prevent accidents. Workers should only be allowed to walk in an area where there’s no construction material. Overhead space can be used for extending cables, and waste collection units can be placed to keep the site organized.
Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
HAVS is an extremely painful condition that affects construction workers who use hand-held power machinery for prolonged periods. Although it’s preventable, the disease requires elaborate testing and is under-diagnosed in Canada. And once the disease progresses, it becomes irreversible.
The Society of Occupational Medicine performed a survey and concluded that workers in Ontario with HAVS delay seeking professional help. This is due to unawareness and lack of safety checks, both of which are completely preventable.
When minerals are disturbed due to construction activity, they may release asbestos in the air. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibre that can cause serious and often fatal diseases, such as pleural thickening and lung cancer.
Construction workers are more likely to come across asbestos and should be adequately prepared to identify and mitigate risks associated with the presence of this dangerous material.
Metro Safety Training, located in BC, can be contacted for enrolling your workers in workplace safety courses. If you work in the construction industry, contact us for a course in asbestos awareness or fall protection inspection training to protect yourself and your team.