Construction Safety & Hygiene practices -- A must for all at construction site

Introduction

Construction safety is one aspect, which like quality, is most of the times given minimal attention by the management as well as the personnel at any construction site. Or else, the policies are often well drafted on papers and reports, but seldom put in practice at work sites. The construction firms may give ‘quality’ a serious thought a few times, but the irony is that ‘safety’ is most of the times ignored very easily.
One of the main reasons behind this behavior of the managements and the personnel of the executing agencies could be attributed by the fact that they fear being penalized for neglecting quality in monetary terms, since quality is somewhat which can be very visible at least in the finished products. On the other hand, safety aspects are put on the back burner easily assuming that nothing adverse can happen at work-site. The other adverse factor igniting this attitude is the fact that even in case of some mishaps taking place, it is the insurance companies, which make up for the loss up to the insured value. As such, the contracting firms almost lose nothing more than a meager penalty and/or compensation to the affected.

Understanding the Importance of Safety

It is a general misnomer among the industry personnel and managements that safety practices are more or less designed to save the losses to a life, or a process set-up, or the likes. This certainly is a very narrow view of the overall requirement. The safety and the safety management as a whole must include not only an accident and the resulting injury or loss of limbs/life/etc., but also the socio-economic effects of such instances, which by any means have larger impact to all concerned. In this context, it must be imperative to adopt a holistic approach towards any and all practical factors that may affect the good health as well as the well being of the work force, establishments, and other material assets.

Important Measures To Implement

With the continual rising awareness and requisites put in place by the regulatory bodies worldwide, there has been an endeavor to follow safety guidelines by some of the Managements, Construction firms, Project Owners and the workforce alike. A few of the important measures that are now the requisites for projects, and which are also becoming a part of the signed Contracts are:
  • Imparting safety awareness to the workforce of all levels, be it the managers or the ordinary labour
  • Promotion of an active safety culture on site
  • Ensuring the provision of adequate time and content with regard to health and safety
  • Ensuring that hazard identification and risk assessment are carried out throughout the various stages of the project
  • Ensuring that first aid and the health & safety monitoring procedures are developed and maintained by quality staffs on a continual basis at work places
  • Ensuring the consideration of health and safety issues within the preparation of design and carrying out of the works on site
  • Ensuring that staffs at all levels are aware of their responsibilities for health and safety, and who advise and assist others in executing of such responsibilities
  • Ensuring that all those working on site have taken part in site safety induction drills
  • Ensure that emergency procedures are developed, are in place, and are understood by all parties
  • Ensuring that a positive health and safety culture is promoted at all areas of the workplace
  • Ensuring that accidents/incidents are adequately investigated and recorded so as not to get repeated
  • Conduct frequent health and safety inspections and safety management audits, and following up on actions framed thereafter

Practicing Safety: A Must For All

Observing and practicing safety policies and measures can save numerous lives and enormous amounts of capital that go wasted mostly due to negligence and carelessness. Safety measures should not be seen as mere formalities, but an integral part of any and every work routine.
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