What is Construction Safety?
Construction, based on statistics, is the most dangerous land-based work sector in the world. In the United States, there were nearly 1,300 fatal occupation injuries in the construction sector in 2010. In the same year, the construction industry experienced nearly 500,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses. As a result of these threats and the implied dangers of the construction industry, construction safety is a contested issue.
Construction safety refers to the implemented protocol applied by a construction management company or contracting organization. Construction safety is required on all construction sites to limit the amount of work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. Construction safety is the broad term which encompasses all measures and precautions attached to a construction site.
The field of construction safety can include the issuance of safe materials or a protocol, which workers and companies must follow to ensure that the project is conducted in a safe manner. Regardless of the type of construction safety, all protocols are administered and enforced on a site to limit the negligent or wrongful activities that precipitate injuries or deaths.
What does construction safety aim to prevent?
The most common safety hazards of a construction project revolve around motor vehicle crashes, excavation accidents, malfunctioning machines, electrocution, falls from heights and injuries that result from falling objects. In addition to physical injuries, construction workers are susceptible to contracting illnesses or diseases. The main health hazards on a construction site that will cause illness are solvents, noise, asbestos and those activities that require the handling of malignant agents.
Falls from injury are the most common cause for injury in the construction industry. Labeled in the OSHA handbook, fall protection is required in areas and activities that include: ramps, walkways, excavations, runways, hoist areas, holes, formwork, leading edge work, work on unprotected edges, overhand bricklaying and related work, roofing, precast erection, residential construction, wall openings.
The height limit where construction safety requirements are mandatory are not officially defined; a previously distribute issue of Work at Height Regulations labeled 2 meters as the cutoff height. This limits; however, has been superseded by any heights that may result in injury from fall.
Construction safety, when implemented to prevent injuries from falls, will provide a construction site with guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, safety net systems, warning line systems and positioning device systems.
Efforts to improve construction safety:
There are numerous groups and organizations who work towards improving conditions and safety within the construction industry. The premiere government entity, in the United States, for promoting construction safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a branch of the Federal Government’s Department of Labor, which serves as the regulatory institution responsible for the oversight and authorization of employment and labor undertaken within the commercial marketplace in the United States of America.
While the Department of Labor serves as the overarching regulatory body, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) serves as the regulatory body undertaking the oversight of standards and practices undertaken in the workplace; this includes the determination and examination of the respective measures of workplace safety enacted by an employer.