05/18/2004

Avoiding common dangers at small construction sites

Construction is a risky business. Construction work exposes workers to a wide
range of health problems: from asbestosis to back pain; hand-arm vibration
syndrome to cement burns. This checklist gives basic advice on health and
safety in construction, but cannot provide detailed guidance. It is not
all-inclusive and is not intended to substitute for a comprehensive workplace
health and safety program.


  • Are dangerous substances on site being properly stored and used?
  • Are suitable protective measures being used to prevent or reduce exposure
    to dust (for example, wood, cement, silica)?
  • Is there asbestos on site?
  • Is everyone on site wearing proper head protection and footwear?
  • Are there any ways that a risk can be controlled without using personal
    protective equipment?
  • Are workers using the right PPE for the job?
  • Is the site fenced so that the public cannot get in?
  • Are measures in place to protect members of the public (such as people
    passing by the site)?
  • Can everyone get to their place of work safely and work there safely? For
    example, is there safe access on scaffolding?
  • Are the appropriate signs in place (for example, traffic routes, authorized
    personnel)?
  • Is the site tidy, well lit and well laid out?
  • Are adequate fire precautions in place (for example, fire extinguishers,
    escape routes)?
  • Are there first-aid facilities?
  • Are existing power lines (buried or overhead) identified and systems of
    work in place for dealing with them?
  • Are precautions in place to ensure that electrical systems are maintained
    in a safe condition?
  • Are vehicles and people kept apart?
  • Are the vehicle and plant operators suitably trained and, where necessary,
    licensed?
  • Are traffic routes maintained in a safe condition?
  • Is there adequate clearance around pivoting vehicles?
  • Do the machines' safety devices (such as sound signals, guards) work?
  • Have lifts and hoists been properly installed and checked by competent
    persons?
  • Is all the work equipment and machinery maintained in a safe condition?
  • Are scaffolds erected, altered and dismantled by competent people?
  • Do you make checks of the conditions of the scaffolding periodically and
    after adverse weather conditions (such as high winds)?
  • Are measures in place to stop workers and objects from falling?
  • Has the need for manual handling been eliminated where possible (for
    example, by the use of mechanical equipment)?
  • Is material supplied in manageable sizes and weights, where possible, to
    reduce the risk of back injury?
  • Have workers been instructed and trained in how to lift safely?
  • Has an assessment been made to reduce the risk of work-related upper limb
    disorders (for instance, in concrete casting, reinforcing, welding or
    painting)?
  • Are all measures to reduce exposure to noise and vibration in place?
  • Are there arrangements for health surveillance where necessary?
  • Is there fall protection everywhere that requires it?
  • Are fragile roofs and parts of roofs (such as skylights) clearly
    identified?
  • Are holes protected with clearly marked and fixed covers to prevent falls?
  • Are there safer ways to do a job other than off a ladder (for example, by
    using mobile access equipment)?
  • Are any excavations adequately supported or otherwise constructed to
    minimize the risk of collapse?
  • Is there protection to stop vehicles and people from falling in
    excavations?
  • Does a competent person regularly inspect the excavation?

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: Stevens Publishing