Whether you’re offering odd jobs, electrician services, plumbing, or home design, there’s no denying that the construction industry is a lucrative option for anybody looking to start their own business. And if you’re trained in a trade like bricklaying, electricity, or even painting and decorating, you’ve got a great foundation for starting your own successful company.
But whatever type of service you offer, health and safety need to be a top concern for any construction company. Keep these common risks in mind and constantly re-evaluate what your company is doing to avoid them.
Airborne Fibers and Toxins
While construction is not the only industry responsible for toxins and airborne fibers leading to breathing problems and worse, it’s definitely a top contributor. The issue here is that many conditions caused by poor air quality can take years to develop, which creates a false sense of security and can even lead to workers and supervisors becoming lax with the correct use of PPE.
Inhaling isocyanates, which are used in glues, varnishes, paints, flooring and building insulation
Various wood dust
Dust caused by stone masonry or removing rubble and debris from sites
All of these can lead to conditions such as silicosis, COPD, occupational asthma, and even lung cancer. So, using correct PPE at all times is crucial.
Injuries from Materials Handling
There are various types of injuries that can be caused by handling and working with materials when the correct protection gear isn’t used or safety guidelines or not followed. For example, drilling or milling can lead to flying debris, which has serious potential to injure the handler’s eyes, face, and body if safety precautions are not taken; drilling and milling machine guards are essential.
And, incorrect lifting, carrying, holding, lowering, pushing or pulling of heavy materials can lead to injuries, including muscle strains, bruises, punctures and even broken bones. The most common injury caused by incorrect handling is soft tissue damage, which tends to affect the neck, shoulders, elbows, hands and wrists, lower back, hips, legs, knees, and ankles and feet. They can occur immediately, or begin as a manageable twinge-like pain that gradually worsens. Healing can take months or years, which is why it’s so important for construction companies to implement strict safe handling guidelines.
Construction companies using noisy machinery should take strides to protect hearing. Construction sites can be problematic when it comes to dangerous noise levels, and since noise levels can vary, workers can often be lax when it comes to wearing correct hearing PPE.
In addition, further problems can be caused when incorrect hearing protection equipment is issued to workers; this can increase reluctance to wear them, or even lead to further hazards when workers wearing them are no longer able to hear warning calls, or if the gear affects the effectiveness of other PPE.
No matter what type of construction company you’re starting, keeping health and safety at the forefront of everything you do is paramount.