5 common Health and Safety Risks in a Construction Site

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As one of the most important links in the chain of life, construction jobs have always been dynamic and hazardous at the same time. However, although safety measures have improved exponentially in the last few years, these processes can still be improved and polished. Building construction requires everyone involved to adhere to strict health and safety protocols to safeguard the well-being of workers and people surrounding the area of construction. In this article, we will explain and delve into the 5 most relevant health and Safety challenges workers and companies face in the construction industry, and we will shed light on how to prevent these hazards that can be encountered in building construction.

Trips and falls

The most common area for injuries is slipping or tripping. Working outside in poor weather can easily lead to slipping; therefore, having the correct footwear and temporary flooring in bad areas is highly recommended. Tripping is also a big risk if tools are left lying around. To avoid this, make sure to store all unused equipment away, and if there are any spillages, make sure they are cleared up and not left unattended.


Something that can be easily forgotten about but can have long-term implications is being exposed to loud noises. Being exposed to this without the correct protection can lead to reduced hearing or complete deafness. Ensure you are entirely up to date with the correct PPE to reduce the impact of loud noises on the construction site.

Respiratory diseases

Another common risk is the dust produced during tasks such as drilling and sawing and using chemical products that are required to complete a certain task. Wearing the correct PPE will greatly reduce the risk of inhaling dust and chemicals, which could cause long-term illnesses such as pulmonary issues, silicosis and asthma. You can also make sure there is proper ventilation around the construction site to reduce the amount of dust and chemicals.

Asbestos is also a health & safety risk. Removing asbestos can be extremely harmful and damaging if not done correctly, and it is therefore, anyone dealing with it must have suitable training, or they will need to hire an asbestos removal company.

Electrical Risks

Electricity can kill or severely injure people and cause damage to property. Some of the main hazards of working with electricity are:

  • electric shock and burns from contact with live parts

  • injury from exposure to arcing (when electricity jumps from one circuit to another)

  • fire from faulty electrical equipment or installations

  • explosion caused by unsuitable electrical apparatus

  • static electricity igniting flammable vapours or dust, for example, in a spray-paint booth

You must ensure an assessment is made of any electrical hazards. A risk assessment should take place, and during this, you must make sure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment are suitable for their intended use, the conditions in which they are operated and that they are only used for their intended purpose.

Chemical Hazards

Construction work can involve a number of hazardous substances to which you can be exposed to. You should be aware of each one and the risks they carry.

  • Construction dust - construction dust is not just a nuisance; it can be a real risk to your lungs.

  • Lead - lead is still commonly used and found in older buildings. Breathing in lead dust and fume inadvertently or swallowing it can cause serious health problems.

  • Solvents are found in many products, such as paints, thinners, resins and glues. Poorly controlled work with solvents can create both short-term ill-health effects and longer-term disease.

  • Harmful micro-organisms - Construction workers can be exposed to various diseases caused by micro-organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless and tasteless poisonous gas produced by gas appliances and engines when there is insufficient air for them to work correctly. Carbon monoxide can kill.

Collapsing environment

Collapsing environments such as trenches can leave workers seriously injured. Ensuring risk assessments are complete will help minimise the chances of a collapsing environment.

Ensure your site is ready for construction by following all health and safety protocols. Each area of the construction site carries different processes and risks. So, make sure each one of your employees knows how to act on the site and is aware of the risks and how to properly prevent them.

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