Share this article:
Dermot Carey, Head of Health, Safety & Manpower, CIF
The single most important consideration for any construction company is the safety and well-being of their employees.
Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in reducing accidents and fatalities across the construction sector. The CIF and the Health and Safety Authority have worked hard to get the safety message out there, particularly to the vast number of micro-enterprises in the sector. Research shows that unfortunately the majority of serious incidents occur within companies with less than 5 employees.
A study by the ESRI shows that construction workers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than workers in general industry. The HSA and CIF will continue to highlight the dangers associated with the main cause of accidents in the sector – working at height and heavy machinery. It’s vital that your workers are properly trained and aware of the dangers of working at a height and from proximity to heavy machinery. If you can effectively manage these two high risk activities then you radically reduce the chance of any harm coming to your employees.
The Health and Safety Authority has commenced a nationwide inspection campaign beginning this Monday 13th June, aimed at reducing accidents and ill-health in the construction sector. HSA inspectors will be visiting construction sites all over the country to engage with employers and their employees with a view to making their workplaces safer and healthier.
During this week it is expected that up to 500 inspections will be carried out, focusing on occupational health issues such as; management of dust and respirable materials, manual handling of loads, management of noise, management of vibration risks.
The simple fact is that adequate safety precautions on construction sites reduces the number of days lost due to work-related illnesses and physical injuries. The tendency is for employers to focus entirely on one-off accident prevention only as they are often dramatic and traumatic accidents. However, I am also urging our members to effectively manage health hazards that occur over a longer timeframe. You should audit your organisation to measure ‘safety issues occurring over a longer timeframe’ that can be equally damaging to health such as exposure to dust.
Staying on top of health and safety is critical for all businesses. While doing so can be challenging, there is no room for complacency when it comes to the safety of construction workers. By adopting a safety conscious culture in your organisation you are promoting the well being of your staff, and saving lives.
For further information on the Health and Safety services carried out by CIF, please visit: