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Construction sites can be dangerous places, with hazards ranging from falling objects and electrical accidents to respiratory issues and hearing loss. That's why it's crucial for construction companies to prioritize the health and safety of their workers by implementing strict regulations and protocols. It is also critical that workers themselves have good knowledge of the correct health and safety protocols to ensure that their employers are safeguarding their staff correctly.
It's worth noting that health and safety regulations on construction sites can vary by country, state, and even city. The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for example in America sets the standard of how employees keep their workers safe across all types of industries and across all states. Any employer must be aware of the OSHA standards and any changes to them; talks of the OSHA standards being adjusted have begun as recently as 26/08/2022 with the US department of labor considering revising standards for occupational exposure to lead,
There are several equivalents to the OSHA standards across the globe, with European Union participants being subject to the EU-OSHA and the UK having the HSE. Any employer who does not comply with the rules and regulations of their governing body is likely to face heavy disciplinary action and almost definite closure.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
One of the most basic things the OSHA standards includes are rules provided on the use of PPE. Though the rules change from industry to industry, generally in construction, hard hats, safety glasses, and earplugs should be used to help mitigate the risk of injury or illness on the job. Regular safety inspections of the worksite can identify and address any potential hazards, and adequate training and education for workers on how to safely perform their tasks and identify risks is also essential. A clear chain of command and protocols for reporting accidents and incidents is also important.
Audiometric testing should ideally be discussed for work environments which are particularly noisy. By regulation it is illegal for employees to be subject to a noise level of 8 hours continuous equivalent noise exposure of 85 dB or a peak sound pressure level of 140 dB.
It is also worth noting that ensuring the health and safety of construction workers is not just the right thing to do, it's also good for business. Accidents and injuries can lead to costly legal battles and lost productivity, which can negatively impact a company's profit margin and operating costs. By prioritizing safety, construction companies can not only protect their workers, but also protect their own financial interests.
The health and safety of construction workers and workers of all other industries should be a top priority for any company. A comprehensive approach that includes personal protective equipment, regular safety inspections, and clear protocols for handling emergencies, as well as compliance with relevant regulations, is essential for protecting workers and ensuring the success of the construction project.
In other news to see how Brexit has affected the lives of small businesses, click here.
OSHA's New Construction Regulations: What You Need to Know