Safety, Health and Wellbeing Calendar 2022
Quarter 3 (Jul-Sep) – Look Up, Look Down and Look Around

July 2022

Excavations and Temporary Works
This month, the focus is on hazards associated with excavations and temporary works, including the dangers of working near underground or overhead services. Trenching and excavation are dangerous tasks because they pose the risk of cave-ins. Workers involved in trenching and excavation also risk falls from height, falling loads, hazardous atmospheres and working close to plant. For these reasons, extra precautions must be taken to only work in protected trenches.
In terms of health promotion, July is Sarcoma Awareness Month. Sarcomas are malignant (cancerous) tumours affecting bone, cartilage or soft tissues in the body. Circa 200 persons/year in Ireland are diagnosed with a form of sarcoma – Click here for more information.

August 2022

Safe Working at Height
Throughout August, the focus is on safe working at height, to include MEWPs, cherry pickers, scaffolding etc. Work at height continues to be the greatest causal factor for fatalities in construction, with most occurring at relatively low heights of 2-3 metres above ground level. The key messaging to ensure Safe Working at Height is to (a) undertake risk assessments for work at height activities, (b) follow the ‘General Principles of Prevention’, taking steps to avoid, prevent or reduce risks, (c) ensure work is planned, organised, and carried out by a competent person, and (d) choose appropriate work equipment and prioritise collective measures to prevent falls (such as guard rails and working platforms) before other measures which may only reduce the distance and consequences of a fall (such as nets or airbags) or may only provide fall-arrest (personal protection equipment).

September 2022

Safe Lifting and Loading
In September, attention is drawn to safe lifting and loading practices, to include use of mobile and tower cranes. According to Scott Hunter of the National Construction Training & Safety Ltd., “Any lifting activity requires a high level of competency of individuals, team-work and pre-planning. When used correctly on firm and level ground, and with a fully trained and competent lifting team, mobile cranes are also one of the safest items of equipment.” Additionally, safe lifting is as much about load preparation, load securing and transportation. Load securing for road transport is covered specifically by Road Traffic legislation, which requires that loads carried by vehicles must be properly secured at all times.
During September, we also recognise three important campaigns: Heart Month (see: How to keep your heart healthy), World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th (see: Lighthouse Club), and National Walking Day on 25th.

Member Toolbox Talks

July 2022 – Excavations & Trenches

“As a contractor, your company likely performs work that involves excavation and trenching. These tasks are extremely dangerous, and without proper preparation, supervision and control measures they can prove to be deadly”.
“Don’t allow an excavation or a trench to become someone’s grave”.
Peter Mulvihill, Health & Safety Manager, Clonmel Enterprises Ltd.

July 2022 – Temporary Works

“Temporary Works is an area of construction that workers aren’t always aware of, unless they are directly involved in it. It is important that everyone working on a construction site understands what Temporary Works is and report any elements of Temporary Work changes or defects to Site Management”.
Sinead Gaines, EHS Manager, P.J. Hegarty & Sons

August 2022 – Work at Height

“Unsafe and unplanned work at height practice continues to be one of the main factors behind work related fatalities in the construction industry each year. Personally I feel that with the correct planning and thought behind each task we can reduce this number and achieve our goal of ZERO work related fatalities. As an industry, if we follow the General Principles of Prevention for managing risks from work at height, implement and adhere to procedures, combined with risk assessing and carefully planning each task we can ensure that each and every person who enters our sites daily has the opportunity to return home to their loved ones. My role as a Health & Safety professional is to ensure this is possible.”
Gary Hutchinson, John Sisk & Son Ltd.

September 2022 – Truck Safety Awareness

“Be seen, be safe and stand clear of moving plant. Avoid being complacent whilst working around machines on your site. Remember the truck driver is the only person to operate the controls on their truck, so wait for their assistance and don’t interfere with the truck’s controls”
Paul Maher, Group H&S Manager at Kilsaran

CIF Member-only Content

Sample Lift Plan

21st September 2023 doc (230.50 KB)

CIF Management of Temporary Works Design

20th September 2023 pdf (5.28 MB)

CIF Guidance – Rescue from Tower Cranes

21st June 2023 docx (0.00 KB)

CIF Guidance – Interacting with Emergency Services

20th September 2023 docx (382.01 KB)

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Useful Downloads

AB Access Scaffolding Ltd. – Scaffold Site Audit and Do’s Don’t’s

CIF – Toolbox Talk – Managing Hazardous Energies

HSE – Health Information and Awareness Calendar 2022

HSE (UK) – Safe Use of Ladders and Stepladders

NASAC – Do’s and Don’ts on Scaffolds

National Cancer Control Programme – SunSmart Risk Assessment Tool

Useful Links

Links are provided to resources, which reflect the focus areas for the CIF for July, August and September of 2022.

Useful Videos

A selection of videos is provided, relevant to the focus areas.

Vehicle Safety Walk Around with Clive Kelly Safety Ltd – Excavator

Join the Construction Industry Federation