Health and safety in the construction industry

Although the UK construction industry has made excellent progress in improving its health and safety record recently, it still unfortunately remains one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain. The Health and Safety Executive statistics show that while only around 5% of the British workforce is employed in construction, it accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees. It has also been found that construction workers face a high risk of occupational ill health, as a result of exposure to respiratory, skin and physical health hazards, such as asbestos, dust, noise, hand-arm vibration and cement and so it is vital that everyone involved in construction whether it be clients, designers or contractors takes steps to ensure the health and safety of the tasks and projects they are responsible for.

Contractors are particularly at the forefront when looking at the risks on site such as working at height, vehicle movements around the site and protecting workers from injury from asbestos and dusts. In order to effectively control the risks from construction work, all parties involved must therefore work together to identify hazards and implement suitable control measures. This involves planning for and managing hazards on site no matter the size or duration of the construction project.