Two safety tips that can lower the risk of labourers being injured on building sites

Posted on: 20 August 2018


Due to the hazardous nature of construction work, injuries occur quite often on building sites. However, there are steps that site managers can take to lower the risk of labourers getting hurt during their time on construction sites. Carry on reading to learn what these steps are.

Implement strict rules regarding the unloading and transportation of timber deliveries

The process of unloading and transporting the timber that is delivered to a building site can result in labourers sustaining both minor and major injuries.

For example, if a labourer picks up a stack of newly-delivered timber with their bare hands, they may end up with multiple splinters in their fingers, or they may lose their grip on the timber and accidentally drop it onto their own feet or onto a nearby worker (due to how heavy construction timber tends to be, this could result in a broken bone). Additionally, if they are not particularly strong and they attempt to pick up several pieces of timber at once, or if they fail to follow safe lifting techniques whilst performing this task, they could pull a muscle in their back or develop a herniated disc.

To prevent these types of injuries from occurring, the site manager should insist that the people who are responsible for unloading and putting away timber deliveries follow certain rules when performing this work. The site manager should, for example, insist that labourers put on high-grip, thick gloves before they start handling the timber (to protect their hands and minimise the chances of them dropping the wood). Additionally, labourers should be instructed to use lifting equipment (such as hand pallet trucks) where possible.

If they have to manually lift timber deliveries, they should follow safe lifting procedures when doing so (such as, for example, keeping their knees bent and not twisting their back whilst holding the timber)

Keep the site tidy at all times

One very simple but highly effective way to reduce the frequency with which labourers are injured on a building site is to keep the site itself neat and tidy at all times. If hazardous construction refuse is strewn around a building site or if power tools are left lying on the ground, there is a very good chance that the labourers walking around the site will end up being hurt by these discarded items.

For example, if there are saws, chisels and other sharp tools on the ground, and a person trips and lands on one of these tools, they may end up with deep cuts on their hands and head. Likewise, if they fall over discarded construction debris (such as old plaster, torn-out ceiling tiles, etc) they could end up being exposed to harmful substances (such as asbestos) that could leave them with immediate and long-term health issues.

As such, it is important for site managers to ensure that they keep their sites neat and tidy. Refuse generated by building activities should not be left on the ground but should instead be placed in a construction waste bin.

Additionally, after workers have finished using a set of tools, they should immediately place them in a storage box on the site, rather than leaving them lying around.