Working in the construction business has always been associated with some form of danger or another. This is an inherently hazardous industry and this is reflected in the number of deaths and serious accidents that occur every year. In 2012-2013 there were 39 deaths within the construction industry. Although this number has dropped dramatically since 1981, HSE are striving to work together with the construction industry to further reduce this tragic statistic. This article will further discuss how Health & Safety intends to make the construction business as risk free as possible in the future.
Types of Construction Work
The construction business is a huge industry and as such it contains a myriad of jobs, and each of these jobs carries a specific risk element. Here is a list of the most common jobs within construction in 2013:
- Basic Construction Workers – 110,000
- Construction and Building trades – 199,000
- Electricians – 128,000
- Carpenters and Joiners – 182,00
- Plumbers and Heating Engineers – 138,000
- Production Managers – 126,000
Most Common Accidents/Deaths Within Construction
- Falls – These could be from considerable height or simply a slip that causes a serious accident.
- Heavy Machinery – The sheer size and power of these machines can cause havoc if not operated and maintained with care.
- Electrocution – Many construction sites contain bare electrical wires, these can be lethal if not insulated correctly.
- Falling debris – Even a small piece of slate or stone can be extremely dangerous when falling from 50 or 100 foot above.
- Power Tool Injuries – Just a small slip when holding a power tool can cause a traumatic injury to the operator or passer-by.
HSE and Construction
When you consider the large number of people who are involved in the UK construction industry and pair this with the risk associated with machinery and working environment, it is clear that these practices require a very strict set of regulations. The Health & Safety Executive have strived to make the construction industry as safe as possible and this has been managed by placing certain regulations and approved training courses.
A Typical Training Course
Every UK employer has a duty of care to provide to his/her employees and this includes keeping them aware and out of harm’s way when going about their daily tasks in the workplace. Although there are a myriad of task specific HSE approved training courses currently offered in the UK, they all tend to include the following modules:
- Using correct safety clothing for the task in hand
- Identifying hazards in the workplace
- Understanding the legalities of Health & Safety in the workplace
- British and European standards
- Assembly and dismantling procedures
- Codes of Practice in the workplace
- Functions of components and limitations
There are a number of training course providers who offer a wide range of HSE approved training courses for the UK workforce, including construction workers. CITB are a company who specialise in offering the construction industry the widest range of industrial training courses in the UK. They are The Industry Training Board and are a partner in the Sector Skills Council for the UK construction industry. As such they are proud to work with the construction industry to provide training that encourages a safer, more professional and fully qualified UK workforce.
CITB’s Strategic Plan
CITB are a forward thinking company who are committed to deliver the specific skills required by the UK construction industry in order to minimise safety risks to the workforce. It is only with the help of companies such as CITB that the UK may see a further drop in the injury and fatality related statistics that we have to endure year after year. As long as the construction industry helps to support companies such as CITB, these hopes may eventually be a much welcomed reality.