Vol. 1, Issue 25 (Sep 04) European Week for Safety & Health 2004

Construction workers and others employed in the construction industry are employed in a hazardous occupation. Risk of death and injury still remains high despite the efforts of many.

Problems such as musculoskeletal problems are still reported with nearly one in two employees in construction reporting back pain.

Construction workers are exposed to many hazardous substances, in particular asbestos hidden within the building fabric. The following key hazards and risks should be considered prior to works starting and considered as on-going risks.

  • Falling from height,
  • Being involved with vehicles,
  • Electrical shock,
  • Being buried during excavation,
  • Being struck by falling materials,
  • Exposure to asbestos materials,
  • Suffering back injury from poor handling,
  • Coming into contact with hazardous substances,
  • Suffering from hearing loss due to loud noise.

Control measures should be put into place and checks made to ensure they are working and are meeting the legal requirements.

Management on Site.

Employers with project supervisors must co-operate and protect workers’ health and safety, this can be achieved by:

  • Avoiding risk to all workers,
  • Evaluating risk that cannot be avoided,
  • Combating risks at source,
  • Using collective measures to protect workers,
  • Using individual measures where there are no other alternatives.
  • Establishing emergency procedures,
  • Informing workers of risks present and the necessary control measures,
  • Ensuring that the appropriate training is given.

Worker Consultation.

Consulting the workforce on health and safety measures is not only a legal requirement, it is an effective way to ensure that workers are committed to health and safety procedures and improvements. Employees should be consulted on health and safety measures and before the introduction of new technology or products.

Before Work starts.

Health and safety should be designed into construction before, during and after the building phase. It is cheaper and easier to control the risks to workers in construction before works starts on site, for example by:

Putting into place a purchasing policy for machinery and work equipment (for example buying tools with low noise and vibration emissions).

Setting health and safety requirements in tender specification.

Planning the work process to minimise the number of workers who could be harmed (for example schedule noisy work when the least number of workers are likely to be exposed.

Starting control activities before getting to site (for example (by planning, training, site induction and maintenance activities).

Setting down the procedures for effective consultation and participation of workers on OSH issues.

Ensuring all persons, including managers, are trained and are able carry out their work without risk to themselves or others.

This year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work will not only highlight risks in the construction sector in over 30 countries, but also provide tried and tested practical solutions.

The week is between 18th and 22nd of October 2004,

Run by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work the campaign will include.

Multilingual information packs and web sites, plus posters, leaflets and other materials to raise awareness of key issues.

You can receive a campaign pack from HSE infoline on tele 08701 545500

A web page that you can source further information

The European Week campaign is backed by the Irish and Dutch EU Presidencies, the European Parliament and the European Commission as well as the European Social Partners.

We at Grove Services (UK) Limited have signed up to the Campaign Charter (in August 2004) to show our commitment – you should consider your current position.

Below is the logo for the event and is used with acknowledgement to the campaign.


Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 news