Tackling the most common but preventable health and safety issues on house-building sites

Every year several thousand construction workers are injured whilst working on building sites. According to the Health and Safety Executive, during 2016/17 around 1,200 of these injuries were due to slips, trips or falls.

Effective management of working areas and access routes could prevent some of these injuries. With an estimated 2.3 million working days lost each year in construction between 2014/15 and 2016/17 due to workplace injury (17%) and work-related illness (83%)*, NHBC, the leading provider of health and safety services to the home-building industry and the organiser of the UK’s only industry health and safety awards scheme, highlights the the most frequent reported items in the final quarter of 2017:

Workers working on scaffold with no guardrails in place
No fall protection on open stairwells
Access routes blocked with site materials
No eye protection being worn when using a paslode nail gun
No respiratory protection being worn when using a disc cutter or saw
No pedestrian/traffic segregation in place, with operatives and members of the public walking in the road with the site traffic
Scaffold not being erected correctly in accordance with TG 20.13
NHBC health and safety advisers can provide coaching and advice to site managers, and when the right measures are in place, the safety of a site can be dramtically improved.

Stephen Ashworth, Health & Safety Services Manager, said: ‘Over recent years, we have seen big improvements with regards to safety on site and the number of injuries to construction workers has reduced. Here at NHBC we’ve seen the importance given to health and safety on

house-building sites across the UK, with record levels of entries for the NHBC Health and Safety Awards and higher levels of take up for our health and safety services.

‘One way to avoid injuries on house-building sites it to make sure a safe work environment is provided and taking a proactive approach to safety on site helps keep workers safe.’

NHBC will be announcing the commended winners for the Health and Safety Awards 2018 on 23rd May 2018.

Further advice for construction workers can be found here: www.nhbc.co.uk/Builders/ProductsandServices/Healthandsafety.