Construction, one of the most hazardous industries for an employee to work in, has very high death and injury rates globally. Workers are exposed to potential risks on a daily basis. This is the reason why staff at construction sites have to be regularly trained on how to identify and avoid workplace hazards.
The Law Concerning Workplace Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1970 was passed in the United States to place the responsibility on employers to ensure that all employees and staff have safe working environments. In construction, this requires taking action to remove or reduce the number and severity of hazards encountered on site, as well as providing adequate and ongoing training to ensure workers are able to identify and avoid any risks that they are exposed to.
In the UK, the Health and Safety at Work Act was passed in 1974, and serves the same function as the Occupational Safety and Health Act in the United States; to ensure that all workers retain the right to carry out roles and functions in a safe environment.
Hazards Found on a Construction Site
Construction workers are exposed to a number of hazards while on site. Heavy machinery poses a risk of crushing, which can cause severe injuries or even death. For those working in the vicinity of electrical cables, the risk of electrocution can have similar consequences.
Those working at height run the risk of falls. Even those not involved with operating heavy machinery or working from height can be at risk of injuries or conditions, such as stepping on a nail or suffering temporary hearing loss from working in a noisy area.
The Importance of Safety Training in Construction
All workers of a construction firm have to be updated on safety training. Without proper training, workers in the construction industry wouldn’t be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to spot potential safety risks given the dangerous work conditions. All employees must be trained to safely remove or minimize work hazards to prevent more harm and injury. If workers feel that their health and safety is at great risk, they might feel neglected, affecting productivity levels and employee loyalty.
Safety training is also a great way for employers to prevent legal complications. By ensuring that they have provided their employees with the necessary training to prevent injuries and accidents, the construction company can prove that they have taken steps to maintain health and safety in the workplace.
The Consequences of Being Negligent when Providing Training
Any company that is found to be negligent in providing employees with a safe working environment is at risk of employees suffering serious injuries or even fatalities on construction sites. This leaves the company vulnerable to compensation claims, which can be financially damaging, or even crippling for smaller businesses.
The reputation of a company will also be severely affected, resulting in unhappy workers who may seek employment elsewhere. Clients who are not confident in a company’s ability to manage a safe site may take business to a competitor with a better safety record.
Safety is of paramount importance in any company; but some industries find themselves more exposed to risk than others. Managing this risk is a vitally important part of business, and can avoid complications and problems in the future.