Reducing risk on construction sites – A guide

Construction sites are dangerous places with risks at every turn. Managing the risks on a site prior to work commencing is very important and should be undertaken following the legal regulations laid out by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) and with clear accuracy and dedication. There are a few different ways that you can reduce risk on a construction site, from utilising competent, high-standard plant hire, to carrying out thorough risk assessments and promoting awareness and training to all contractors on site.

Creating a safe working practice where all the different elements come together perfectly, and safely, is paramount to any management of a construction site. Without this knowledge and understanding, hazards can cause problems, creating accidents that can lead to injuries and even fatalities. In 2020 there were over 81,000 injuries and accidents reported in the construction industry. This shows the importance of reducing risks.

Conduct regular risk assessments

Assessing risk on your site should be a priority before any work begins. You should highlight any hazards and risks and have plans in place to mitigate. Update and assess risk at regular intervals throughout a construction project, as things change quite rapidly on sites and can look and feel very different on the 30th day than they did on the 1st

Understand the root cause of risks

Understanding the causes of the potential hazards and risks on site will help you determine the best way to approach them. The most common causes on injuries on site are caused by slips, trips and falls, defective equipment, falls from height, electric shock, and vehicle accidents. By understanding this and looking at why they occur in each type of accident, you can home in and focus on your approach to preventing each specific hazard on your site from causing an accident.

Training and briefings

With this greater understanding of the causes of accidents you can begin to give effective training and regular safety briefings. An example of this would be keeping construction workers safe during heatwaves, with the high temperatures we have experienced in the UK this summer this is something that is vital to keeping people safe on site. 

Using plant hire to reduce risk in construction

There are a few ways in which your plant hire contract can help reduce risks on a construction site. The best plant hire companies have the safest machines, updating and upgrading their fleet every year to ensuring the latest technology is used to improve safety standards. They pre-test machinery prior to a plant hire contract commencing, provide safe delivery and collection and on-site training for operators.

Before any construction project starts it is important that you have a plan of action in place. Understanding all potential hazards that are in play and knowing what you will do to reduce risk and keep contractors, suppliers, and passers-by safe, should be your number one priority before any machinery is moved onto the site and any contractor picks up equipment and materials. Looking through this short guide should give you the basic ideas of how to reduce risk on construction sites.

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