Since reducing the risk of fatal accidents and death rate within the construction industry is not an easy job, taking timely, effective preemptive measures is the only way out. Read further for a fair idea of what can be done and how!
The rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with the construction industry is much higher than most other areas of work. The most common reasons that make construction work perilous is possibility of deadly accidents with vehicles and falls from extreme height.
On an average, every third fatal accident at a construction site has one or more vehicles involved. Frequently occurring transport accidents at work include:
- Victims being stuck by moving vehicles, especially while reversing
- People falling from vehicles or hit by things falling from vehicles
- Overturning vehicles leading to serious injuries
What Can Be Done to Prevent Vehicle Accidents in Construction?
The first step towards reducing high death rate in construction industry is to reduce the risk of fatal accidents at construction sites that involve vehicles. Employers need to fulfill their legal duties and play a pivotal role in that case, especially by assessing risks and taking practical measures to ensure the safety of everyone around.
This may include maintaining accident records, training and consulting employees, and co-coordinating and cooperating contractors. The focus needs to be on planning and implementing collective safety measures, instead of giving individual measures extra importance. The basic idea should be to replace the hazardous with the harmless.
Taking Preemptive Measures for Vehicle Accidents in the Construction Industry
Practically, accident prevention should not start after the work has already begun on the construction site. Instead, designers, architects and planners can considerably diminish the risk of vehicle accidents by designing and planning well in the pre-build phase.
Risk assessment is the most important aspect that every employer ought to take care of, followed precisely by the conveyance of complete information to the contractors, verifying that the construction site is fully safe for the workers.
A thoroughly carried out risk assessment process involves:
Looking for Potential Hazards:
After you have evaluated the work the finished tasks, identify potential dangers that may be associated with the presence of heavy vehicles at the site. Operations such as reversing, loading and unloading always have a higher probability of damage being done at the workplace.
Factors that increase the likelihood of occurrence of such accidents more include rough terrain, continuous exposure to bad weather conditions, labor working under multiple contractors, and time pressure. You can involve both the workers and their contractors in the risk assessment process, explaining to them what has been planned to reduce the level of risk.
Try preventing the following things in particular:
- Running over pedestrians
- Overturning vehicles
- Vehicle accidents caused by falls while climbing or working too close to power lines
- Vehicle malfunctioning
Identifying Who May Be Harmed
Figuring out every possible factor that can harm individuals on the work site is the first step towards implementation of safety measures. This will include everyone from contractors, workers, self-employed individuals and even the general public. Pay special attention to the areas where vehicle movement is mandatory and you can’t exclude the public.
It is also possible to take note of the likely hazards during the designing stage while the construction cost estimation is being done. Take note of the design for safety and also ensure to calculate cost of making safety provisions.
Prepare an Action Plan after Evaluating the Risks
Evaluating the risks associated with each hazard on the site will help you calculate the possibility of harm and the level of severity. Check whether you have taken enough protective measures to ensure the safety of people on-site. Thoroughly revise all important aspects such as workplace design and signs and signals. Ensure that all workers have the proper personal protective gear that is needed to complete the job safely.
Once the risk assessment process is completed, list all preventive measures based on priority. When it is time to take action, take all the workers and contractors along. Though your focus should be on implementing measures to prevent any accident from taking place in the first place, it will be equally important to have be prepared for the worst and have all emergency provisions in place too.
Author Bio: Laura Laurel is a Stanford graduate in civil engineer with specialization in Civil Designs, Cost Estimation and 3D Modeling. She began her career as a construction trainee at Viatechnik LLC, rose to be involved with road and bridge construction. She loves to write about Real Estate and Construction Related Subjects.