When it comes to workplace accidents, construction is about the worst-performing sector of the modern economy, rivalled only by agriculture.
Anything that site operators can do to limit the danger to staff and members of the public is worthwhile. For this reason, health and safety is critical. This means raising awareness amongst workers, providing adequate training, and mandating personal protective equipment that’s appropriate to the task being performed. In almost all cases, this means head protection and rugged footwear that’ll stand up to the rough terrain of a construction site.
Why is Health and Safety Important?
There are several reasons to consider health and safety important. Even if one of them doesn’t win you over, you might consider the others.
It is morally right
Employers have an ethical duty to reduce harm done to their workers. In some cases, a failure to take health and safety seriously doesn’t just harm individuals making choices; it has more diffuse consequences that cause harm to others. For example, failing to wear a hard-hat might encourage others to take the same step.
Injuries in Construction
As we’ve seen, construction is among the worst-performing sectors when it comes to workplace injuries. According to data gathered by the Health and Safety Executive, around 74,000 workers were suffering from work-related injuries over the three-year period between 2018 and 2021. This does not include the 39 fatal injuries to workers that occurred in 2020/21.
Businesses are Legally Responsible
Under UK law, employers have a responsibility to look after the health and safety of their employees. If they fail to abide by this responsibility, they could face serious legal consequences. This means carrying out risk assessments, publishing a health and safety policy, and ensuring that workplace accidents are reported.
With fewer workers laid off with injuries, productivity on site can be bolstered. As well as this, workers can enjoy the feeling that their wellbeing is being looked out for, and that the personal risk to them is lowered – which can yield substantial productivity benefits. You might find that changing the safety culture in the workplace causes it to be more profitable.
Attracts Jobhunters, Investors and Partners
Outside parties who might wish to involve themselves in your business will consider your health and safety record. This will indicate to them just how much risk is involved in working with you. Here, we’re including jobseekers, whose health and safety at work might be a decisive factor, and potential investors, who would rather not be exposed to legal risk in the future. By being pro-active and vocal in your health and safety efforts, you’ll send a clear signal that you take these matters seriously.