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Work begins on major Nottinghamshire flood scheme

Work begins on major Nottinghamshire flood scheme

The Government has announced that works have began on the Lowdham Cocker Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme, a Nottinghamshire flood scheme. The new £26 million flood storage reservoir will protect homes and businesses in the Nottinghamshire village. Environment agency officials, local MPs, councillors and members of the local flood action group

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Basic Overview of OSHA Regulations for Construction Sites

Thousands of people yearly are injured or die on construction sites around the country. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created more than 50 years ago to ensure as few incidents as possible. The purpose of this authority is to mandate safety standards for workplaces so

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6 Key Health and Safety Considerations on Construction Sites 

Construction sites are inherently dangerous environments for employees, site visitors, and the general public. They involve risky operations, the use of heavy tools and equipment, and the presence of hazardous materials/chemicals that might cause injuries or illnesses.  Additionally, dust, vibrations, waste, and sound created by on-site activities may be a

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MSA Takes Safety to New Heights

Company gears up to showcase innovative safety solutions at Safety and Health Expo   For industries that are inherently dangerous and require men and women to work in hazardous situations and conditions, protecting people and sending them home safely at the end of each day is paramount.   Developing a

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Prevent Fire from Spreading on Construction Sites

Every year construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment work catch fire, which results in workers being injured, destroyed properties, and unexpected costs that some businesses might never recover from. This is why it is important that protective fire measures are put in place to protect a construction site. Implement the right

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Common Health and Safety Risks and How to Prepare for Them

Safety is one of the most important aspects to maintain in any construction project. There are regulations governing how health and safety must be handled, including the right safety measures to put in place and HSE policies to follow. Despite the extensive regulations, health and safety risks must also be

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

Health & safety

Work begins on major Nottinghamshire flood scheme

Work begins on major Nottinghamshire flood scheme

The Government has announced that works have began on the Lowdham Cocker Beck Flood Alleviation Scheme, a Nottinghamshire flood scheme. The new £26 million flood storage reservoir will protect homes and businesses in the Nottinghamshire village. Environment agency officials, local MPs, councillors and members of the local flood action group attended an official ground-breaking ceremony. The flood storage area will be able to hold up to 100,000 cubic meters of water when the Cocker Beck floods. Construction work will involve cutting into an embankment of the Cocker Beck and using compacted soil and ultra-low carbon concrete to create a raised reservoir. Moreover, trees will be planted on the site as well as the creation of three hectares of new woodland nearby. Paul Lockhart, Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at the Environment Agency said: “We are delighted that we are now in the position of being able to commence the construction of a major Flood Alleviation Scheme to protect the people of Lowdham. “The reservoir we are building will provide a very high level of protection against flooding to 191 properties, and it represents excellent value for money for the taxpayer. “We would not have been able to achieve this without the long-term support of the MP for Newark, Robert Jenrick MP, our local authority partners (Nottinghamshire County Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council), the members of the Trent Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, and, most importantly, the local community Flood Action Group (FLAG) and the Parish Council, who have been very supportive throughout the process.” The Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP for Sherwood and Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries said: “As a serving Defra Minister, and local MP, I am acutely aware of the distress and cost that flooding causes to our communities. “This £26m Reservoir Scheme will provide a very significant level of protection from flooding to the community and will, I’m sure, give confidence to the people of Lowdham so they will be able to carry on with their lives without the constant worry of future flooding.” The scheme that will generate £50 million for the local economy will be completed in Spring 2026. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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Basic Overview of OSHA Regulations for Construction Sites

Thousands of people yearly are injured or die on construction sites around the country. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created more than 50 years ago to ensure as few incidents as possible. The purpose of this authority is to mandate safety standards for workplaces so that employees can go to work in the safest environment possible, whether in a quiet office or a bustling construction site.  By its very nature, construction is a dangerous industry. Heavy equipment, sharp objects, tripping hazards, heights, and any hazardous situations could occur. The OSHA provides regulations and standards to minimize and mitigate those risks to protect workers. Here is a basic overview of OSHA regulations relating to construction sites.  Heights and Fall Prevention As you can imagine, working from heights is very common on construction sites and presents a unique set of risks. As a result, OSHA has several guidelines about safely working from heights to keep workers and the general public safe. For instance, scaffolding must be able to hold four times its weight safely. On top of that, it must have guardrails and toeboards to prevent falling over.  The OSHA also has guidelines for working near power lines which can pose a severe risk to someone working from heights. They also have safety standards for every type of ladder used on a site. This includes how to secure them properly and how to climb on and off of them. Stairways on construction sites must have proper hand and guardrails and be debris-free. Nothing can be stored on stairways, including at the top and the bottom. If a stairway gets wet, it must be cleaned immediately to prevent slips and falls.  Electrocution Electrocution is another major cause of injury and death on construction sites. Therefore, workers must be conscientious when dealing with any appliances or exposed wiring while on the job. As part of their guidelines, OSHA mandates that no worker can access or work on electrical circuits and outlets until the power is cut and the ground wires are attached. Also, any damaged wiring has to be replaced immediately. This includes power cords.  Tools that require electricity to operate must be inspected regularly. If a possible defect is concerned, it must be repaired or disposed of immediately. Do not use a tool that may have frayed or damaged electrical components. Any equipment, including ladders and materials, must be at least 10 feet away from electrical power lines.  Communication Communication among construction workers is a big part of OSHA’s safety guidelines. This means that workers must talk and communicate with each other, and management must make sure that all employees have safety training and reminders. In addition, there must always be an MSDS data sheet on-site if dangerous chemicals are present. It must be easily and quickly accessible by anyone on the site, not just management.  Any possible hazards on the job site must be efficiently communicated to workers. For example, upon discovering an unsafe condition, or a chemical, management must let everyone know about the danger and provide the steps to avoid it.  Waste Management Loose waste can be a dangerous component of any construction site. The OSHA has several guidelines to make sure that removing waste to keep the job site safe and clean is done properly. For example, if you work more than 20 feet from the ground, any material waste you produce must be dropped to the ground using an enclosed slide or a similar implement. If you are dropping waste through the floor to the level below, the drop zone area must be marked and blocked off to prevent someone from walking underneath. In addition, using disposal equipment will make disposal more efficient and safer for workers. For example, self dumping hoppers can hold a large amount of waste, are moved easily using a forklift or other lifting equipment, and can be emptied without requiring human hands to touch the disposed of material.  Personal Protective Equipment Employers are responsible for making sure that all employees have the right personal protective equipment for their jobs. Every job has different risks, but some common basics are required. This includes protection from head injuries by wearing a hard hat while on the job site. In addition, debris can fall from above, or a worker could trip and fall.  If working with heavy machinery, operators must also have proper hearing protection to avoid hearing loss over time. All workers should have protective work boots or shoes; some may even need leg and shin padding for their work. Due to the risk of flying debris, sparks, and wood chips, all workers must have eye protection in the form of goggles, shields, or both.  Safety is paramount. If your staff isn’t safe on the job, there will be injuries, productivity issues, and staffing problems. Besides, it looks unprofessional to any partners, clients, or the general public that might be interested in what you are doing. So ensure you keep your workers safe with the OSHA’s guidelines and regulations. 

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6 Key Health and Safety Considerations on Construction Sites 

Construction sites are inherently dangerous environments for employees, site visitors, and the general public. They involve risky operations, the use of heavy tools and equipment, and the presence of hazardous materials/chemicals that might cause injuries or illnesses.  Additionally, dust, vibrations, waste, and sound created by on-site activities may be a nuisance to the surrounding community or even affect the ecosystem. Therefore, everyone around a construction site, including workers, visitors, and site owners, must take all the necessary safety and health precautions. Here are some of the standard safety and health precautions to observe at construction sites; Avoiding Accidents When Driving Trucks On and Off the Construction Site Construction site safety is of utmost importance, and everyone should adhere to standard safety regulations and procedures. Head protection is the minimal safety requirement – but there’s also crane safety, scaffolding and fall protection, proper tool storage, machinery operating procedures, and so much more. You should never work on a construction site where proper safety equipment is not in place. If you’ve been injured on a construction site as a result of negligence by the construction site owner or head contractor, you may be entitled to compensation.Knowing a good law firm that specializes in construction accident and injury cases, like Abels & Annes, can help you recover the rightful compensation that you deserve. Be Cautious When Working With Electricity and Electrical Equipment Most construction sites need electrical installation. For example, lifting equipment requires the use of electricity and weights.  When dealing with any electrical equipment, it is crucial to be extra careful and ensure that the unit is in good working condition. You should also ensure that you adhere to the equipment’s safety instructions.  If the machine has no instructions, be sure to seek assistance and precise guidelines from the site manager or colleague who previously used the device. Provide Personnel Protective Equipment All construction site owners should provide suitable safety clothes and equipment for their employees. As a worker, you must always wear the appropriate attire and equipment at all times within the construction site.  These include helmets and well-fitting safety glasses when using tools or operating equipment. You should use earplugs or muffs when working in noisy conditions and wear protective gloves when handling poisonous chemicals. Provide First Aid Kit While it may be impractical for employees to have their first aid box wherever they go, site owners must provide first aid supplies for workers to use in case of accidents.  Having first aid kits on site allows workers who suffer minor burns, wounds, or falls to get treatment and resume duties. However, even when you have no visible injuries, it is always good to seek medical attention if you get involved in an accident on a construction site. Mark Traffic and Evacuation Routes  Construction sites are characterized by the movement of various types of equipment, employees, supervisors, visitors, supply trucks, and lorries. Therefore, it is important to mark traffic and evacuation routes in a manner that ensures everyone’s safety. For example, all traffic and emergency routes should have proper and visible signs. If possible, equipment movement should have a separate way from people. In addition, there should be signs to indicate any obstacle that might restrict access or exit.  Ensure Scaffolds Safety Scaffolds are temporary constructions that enable access to the building’s exterior perimeter, typically obscured by its height. In most cases, scaffolds are made of wood or metal such as steel or aluminum.  Regardless of the materials used, construction site owners must ensure that the scaffolds they use are constructed under the guidance of a qualified individual. More importantly, they must be examined properly before erection to ensure they are free of faults that might jeopardize the framework’s stability. 

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Injuries on construction sites are costing businesses £3.16 billion a year, new data reveals

The total cost of construction injuries was up 34% in 2020, costing the injured employee more than the business or government combined Injuries and ill-health in the UK construction industry are now costing upwards of £16.2 billion, new data has revealed. Around 20% (£3.16 billion) of that cost was incurred by employers and 22% (£3.5 billion) by the government. Yet the majority of these costs (59% or £9.56 billion) fall upon the injured and ill individuals themselves. The data also suggests that many people are going into work when sick or injured. Between 2017/18 and 2019/20, there was a 12% decrease in working days lost through work-related injury or illness. The figure dropped to 2.1 million, from 2.4 million between 2015/16 and 2017/18. The findings, collated by specialist providers of plant hire in London, Herts Tools, used construction statistics from Health and Safety Executive reports from 2018 to 2021. The analysis demonstrates the impact of accidents in the construction industry and how workers and workplaces are being affected. Continuing to work through illness or injury can have severe, long-term consequences for physical and mental health. Physical injuries might be aggravated by carrying on with regular duties – especially if manual labour is required – causing further absences in the future. Construction site injuries are growing in number, but both prohibition and improvement notices are becoming less common. When compared to 2017/18, 61% fewer prohibition notices were issued in 2020/21, and improvement notices were down 54% over the same timeframe. In addition, there were 63% fewer prosecutions, giving those who suffer accidents little hope of achieving justice. Stefano Lobban, director at Herts Tools, says: “Although there will always be accidents in the construction industry, we can never stop trying to reduce them. These latest findings show just how far we have to go, with the cost of workplace injuries rising relentlessly, despite the UK having some of the most thorough health and safety regulations anywhere. “Training is key to protecting workers, whether it’s highlighting dangers or teaching workers to make their own risk assessments on site. Then there’s ensuring workers have all the PPE they need, such as helmets, safety goggles and slip-resistant footwear. Workers should also be encouraged to be honest about their health and not risk their future wellbeing by working on through injury or illness. “I hope these findings act as a wake-up call to the industry and we’ll see a reduction in incident numbers next year.” Phil Beaumont, Health and safety consultant, says:  “First and foremost, it’s important for sites and companies to implement rules, procedures and policies that people can easily follow to stay safe at work. Minimising future accidents also depends upon keeping a record of incidents and continuously assessing what went right, what went wrong, what was irrelevant and what more could have been done previously. “If a company reports an accident at work concerning one of its workers – depending on the severity of the accident and cause – they should carry out a thorough risk assessment for the returning person. This ensures they’re capable of doing the tasks they’re assigned and won’t aggravate their recovery. This should also include manual handling and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments.  “It’s also worth looking at a buddy system, temporary assignments, reduced hours or planning a stepped return to work for the injured party.”  How can companies prevent accidents on construction sites?  Provide training and plan all work at height properly Use the correct equipment and regularly check it to prevent falls Avoid slips and trips by keeping floors clean, dry, well-lit and free of obstacles Clear up spillages quickly, deep cleaning after working hours Install safety guards on machinery and provide safety goggles Store heavy objects close to the ground, fit debris nets and outlaw throwing tools

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New safety performance displays to be launched across SIG Distribution

Following the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act in 1974, the United Kingdom has gone on to have one of the best combined health and safety records in the world. Taking place from 17 to 21 June 2019, UK Health and Safety Week celebrates excellence in health and safety, while recognising there is still room for improvement. At SIG Distribution, Health and Safety goes beyond a check list of do’s and don’ts. Our goal is to achieve zero accidents, through proactivity and education, creating a culture of awareness and compliance that even the smallest action in our business plays its part in ensuring the safety of everyone that encounters our business. This includes our people, customers, our industry and the communities we serve. Since the launch of our Zero Harm prorgamme in 2014, several initiatives have been launched to support this ambition, and the latest will see the installation of ‘Incident Performance Placards’ at the entrance to each of our SIG Distribution centres.  Through proactively displaying key accident performance information, including days since last lost time accident, total accidents and number of work days lost in the year, everyone working at and visiting these locations will be aware of the centre’s performance and can drive continuous improvement to health and safety together. This drive for ongoing improvement will be reinforced through the inclusion of a performance rating on each placard, from A to C, based on the centre’s most recent audit score and recent accident performance. Rupert Tubbs, Operations Director for SIG Distribution, said “Zero Harm means sustaining a work environment which supports the health and safety of our staff, customers and visitors and minimises the impact our business has on the environment. “The new placards will be used to convey a clear, unambiguous message that can be easily understood by everyone.”

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MSA Takes Safety to New Heights

Company gears up to showcase innovative safety solutions at Safety and Health Expo   For industries that are inherently dangerous and require men and women to work in hazardous situations and conditions, protecting people and sending them home safely at the end of each day is paramount.   Developing a safer world   Global Safety company, MSA, is getting ready to showcase its range of safety solutions at the upcoming Safety and Health Expo, taking place at the ExCel in London from 18th to 20th June 2019. As one of the UK’s biggest health and safety events, the company will be taking the opportunity to talk to customers and industry peers about the latest trends in safety, and how it is continually innovating its products and solutions to meet the latest safety needs.   From its V-Series range of fall protection harnesses, to its latest SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) for industry, the company is excited about the opportunity this event brings.   “Protecting people is what MSA is all about – be that while working at height, fighting fires or maintaining oil rigs and telecoms towers,” said Jennifer McGurrin, General Manager of Global Fall and Industrial Head Protection at MSA. “For us, innovation must be a constant, from developing new products to enhancing what we already have. We hope through this event to demonstrate some of our successes in the UK market. Visitors can see, touch and feel out products – they will even be able to have a go on our virtual reality experience, which really gives a feel for our products in action.”   Creating a Safer Workplace with Software as a Service   Making its Expo debut will be Safety io – MSA’s first subsidiary focused entirely on leveraging MSA’s market-leading gas detection technology with industry-leading innovation in cloud-based software.    Safety io uses wireless technology and cloud-based computing to enable a broad range of “connected” safety activities. With MSA’s gas detection products serving as enablers, Safety io delivers the ability to remotely monitor gas level readings in the workplace, track the safety of associates, monitor instrument maintenance status and, in the event of an emergency, notify workers of the need to evacuate with the push of a button.    “In many respects, Safety io challenges safety-minded organisations to expect more from their gas detection systems and programs,” said Gustavo Lopez, General Manager for Safety io.  “The services we offer are designed to enable worksite managers to make informed decisions, reinforce best practices and pursue a safety-first, injury-free workplace.”   Software platforms currently available from Safety io – which are available as subscription-based services – include Fleet Manager and Live Monitor. Fleet Manager allows organizations to proactively track and monitor the calibration of their gas detection equipment and make standard operating procedures more efficient.  Live Monitor enables the remote tracking and monitoring of all workers performing difficult and hazardous job functions in real time fashion.    Customers, safety experts and the public can explore these and other new product solutions and latest technological advancements from MSA, as well as speak with the company’s team of safety specialists, at this year’s Safety and Health Expo at stand number SH2270 from the 18 to the 20 of June.   Hi-res images available on request.     About MSA   Established in 1914, MSA Safety Incorporated is the global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. Many MSA products integrate a combination of electronics, mechanical systems and advanced materials to protect users against hazardous or life-threatening situations. The company’s comprehensive product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining and the military. MSA’s core products include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, portable gas detection instruments, industrial head protection products, firefighter protective apparel and helmets, and fall protection devices. With 2018 revenues of $1.4 billion, MSA employs approximately 4,800 people worldwide. The company is headquartered north of Pittsburgh in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has manufacturing operations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. With more than 40 international locations, MSA realizes approximately half of its revenue from outside North America. For more information visit MSA’s web site at www.MSAsafety.com.

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Fall protection installation: what does a specialist installer look like

The installation of fall protection systems can, unfortunately, be perceived as an inconvenience or, worse yet, an opportunity for cost-cutting. Fall protection equipment is vital to the safety of those that work at height but can count for little if incorrectly installed. When lives are at stake you don’t get a second chance to make the right decision. That’s why it’s beneficial to partner with quality installers that can fully support you from the output, says Stuart Pierpoint, UK Sales Manager at HCL Safety.   What does a quality installation look like?   First and foremost, a quality installer should offer a range of installation options and be capable of accurately tailoring their services to suit each project’s unique requirements. After all, no two installations are the same and can often be dependent on the system specified and on-site practicalities. To effectively counteract potentially unexpected challenges and each project’s nuances, the installer should always be appropriately trained, competent, and experienced.   Partnering with a quality installer also means that you receive much more than just the installation itself. You’re buying into a complete 360-degree offering, from the initial concept of design to pricing, to certification, servicing, and training. Covering all these things with one dependable partner can give you peace of mind and helps maintain consistency of quality.   Issues surrounding poor installation   Poor installation can cause many potential issues, all of which can lead to life-changing injuries or even fatalities. This is tragically demonstrated by the fact that falls from height remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities, according to HSE statistics – not to mention the negative impact on your business   Fundamentally, bad installations come down to a lack of experience and competence which can culminate in a lack of attention to detail and/or poor planning and design at the outset. For instance, installing lifelines across roof lights or too close to an edge for a fall restraint application are mistakes which can have serious consequences and put operatives in dangerous situations that are often completely avoidable.   New build vs. retrofit   Typically, when faced with installing a system on a new build, there is a greater understanding of the building design, materials used, the fixing theory and the likely load requirements of a system. While this makes installation somewhat more straightforward, it’s the installer’s responsibility to keep the project compliant at each stage, from specification and contract stage, right through to installation and aftercare services. Any mistakes or inaccuracies could lead to increased costs or delayed projects.   With retrofit projects, installers normally have less information at their disposal. It’s therefore crucial that they conduct a thorough site survey before any work commences. Understanding the unique characteristics of the building will help the installer accurately propose the right fall protection solution at hand.   Fulfil your obligation   Your responsibility to provide a safe working environment does not end when you specify a fall protection system. Firstly, not all fall protection systems are made equal. Carry out research and consult professionals to make sure that you’re installing the very best solution for the job at hand. Fall protection systems can often be let down by installation and in the wrong hands the risks are potentially catastrophic. Be sure to partner with fall protection specialists offering a quality end-to-end service. Doing so will help ensure that you’re not only fulfilling your safety obligation, but your ethical one too.   For more information, please visit www.hclsafety.com

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Prevent Fire from Spreading on Construction Sites

Every year construction sites and buildings undergoing refurbishment work catch fire, which results in workers being injured, destroyed properties, and unexpected costs that some businesses might never recover from. This is why it is important that protective fire measures are put in place to protect a construction site. Implement the right products A crucial step to prevent a fire from spreading is implementing the correct safety products, with fire extinguishers being one of the most life-saving products that one can have on site. Fire extinguishers should be located at identified fire points around the site and should be appropriate to the nature of the potential fire: Wood, paper and cloth – water extinguisher Flammable liquids – dry powder or foam extinguisher Electrical – carbon dioxide (C02) extinguisher Consider how to detect fires Although a standalone alarm unit may be sufficient for a smaller site, as a construction site grows, there is a higher risk of a fire breaking out. By installing fire detection and wireless alarm systems, one can ensure workers are alerted in the event of such an incident. Carry out thorough staff training It is so important to ensure staff are confident when using any type of fire safety equipment – they need to know what risks to be aware of and what actions to take in the event of a fire. All new employees should also receive fire safety training. Review and update your risk assessment According to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), a ‘responsible person’ must carry out, and keep up to date, a risk assessment and implement appropriate measures to minimise the risk to life and property from fire. The HSE recommends following these five steps when carrying out the risk assessment: Identify hazards: consider how a fire could start and what could burn Identify those at risk: employees, contractors, visitors and anyone who is vulnerable Evaluation and action: consider the hazards and people identified in 1 and 2 and act to remove and reduce risk to protect people and premises Record, plan and train: keep a record of the risks and action taken. Make a clear plan for fire safety and ensure that people understand what they need to do in the event of such an incident Review: your assessment regularly and check it takes account of any changes on site.    

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Common Health and Safety Risks and How to Prepare for Them

Safety is one of the most important aspects to maintain in any construction project. There are regulations governing how health and safety must be handled, including the right safety measures to put in place and HSE policies to follow. Despite the extensive regulations, health and safety risks must also be mitigated from the planning stage. Anticipating risks and making plans on how to deal with them isn’t as complicated as you think. Many of the risks faced by construction projects are actually risks that can be foreseen. To help you plan better for potential health and safety risks, we are going to take a look at the common risks to mitigate in this article. Crowded Work Environment Crowds gathering in certain areas of the work environment is considered a serious safety risk that needs to be handled properly. When workers gather in one particular area of the site, the risks of a workplace accident causing harm to more people gets significantly higher. There are other situations that are completely avoidable. When heavy machinery is used to perform certain tasks, it is not uncommon for workers to gather around the work area and watch. Their presence is a serious risk; the workers are exposing themselves to serious risks of injury. A good way to mitigate these risks is by creating clear policies and setting up boundaries around the work areas, especially when machinery is in use. This way, you can limit the number of people present in these areas to a minimum; only authorised and essential personnel must be allowed near the work area. Machine Loading Another high-risk point in a construction project is when heavy equipment is being loaded and unloaded. There are a lot of risks to think about, from the machinery rolling off the transport truck and harming people around the area, to the trailer or truck not having enough room to reach the unloading and loading area. Similar to crowded work areas, risks associated with getting heavy machinery in and out of the site can be reduced with a series of tight health and safety policies. Making sure that only essential workers are present is a must. You can also use additional tools to help keep these processes as safe as they can be. Lights are essential when the work is done at night. Safety strips, lines limiting the work areas, and other safety tools can also help manage the work area better, all while keeping that area safer for workers and the equipment you are loading and unloading. Uneven Terrain Slopes are among the most dangerous things you can face on a work site. When building on uneven terrain, extra precautions must be taken to ensure sufficient attention to health and safety. Working on slopes also requires special handling in most cases. When moving trucks and other machinery up a slope, for example, the process should be straightforward. As long as the machinery has enough power to get to the top of the slope – or the work area – you have fewer risks to worry about. Going down the slope, on the other hand, is actually riskier than you realise. Many workers on the site will take going down a slope as an easy thing to do, causing them to focus less on safety and the safety measures put in place to prevent accidents. Machinery rolling down the slope can damage property in the work area and harm workers too. Machinery Issues When talking about machinery issues in a construction project, you know you have a lot of risks to mitigate. Bigger risks like heavy machinery tipping over due to uneven terrain or excessive load are usually easier to manage. They are serious risks that require special handling from the beginning. Smaller risks, on the other hand, are trickier to handle. Issues like a piece of nail getting caught in a circular saw are seemingly small issues that are often overlooked, but they are issues that can also cause serious harm to workers near the work area. The best way to mitigate these risks is by making safety equipment and protective gear a necessity. The level of protection can also be set above the required limit so that workers remain safer while working around the project site. Safety training is just as important. Employees must complete the necessary health and safety courses; taking it a step further and getting your staff through all the important courses – rather than the bare minimum – is also greatly recommended. The fact that finding good health and safety training is easy in the UK makes it even better; you can browse around this site for health and safety courses in your area led by trained experts. Combined with other risk mitigation tips we covered in this article, you now have enough to cover the health and safety basics for your next construction project.

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Historic Building Project Requires a Sensitive Approach to Help Clear Years of Disuse

Shanco have completed the first stage of an interesting project for Yorkshire Water.  The project presented numerous challenges in terms of logistics and health and safety. What, at a first glance, would seem to be a simple site clearance project, would in fact need some intelligent solutions to ensure success.  The Press House was once an active part of Yorkshire Water’s Waste Water Treatment Works and comprises of a beautifully decorative stone façade with inner brick walls and a large basement area beneath the ground level slab.  The building was in something of a state of disrepair, with an enormous amount of vegetation growth throughout, including a number of large trees. Yorkshire Water required the careful removal of the vegetation to expose the concrete slabs and walls to decide if the building was in a suitable condition for restoration. The Key Challenges: Access was restricted within the Victorian building, and the ground level slab full of voids.  During the initial survey stage, it became apparent that there were no suitable access points available for the larger plant and machinery, without carrying out demolition work or disrupting Yorkshire Water’s operations. After reviewing numerous options, a solution was developed to engage with a specialist crane company to lift the plant and equipment over the building’s external walls and lower them down through the roof void.  The 50 tonne crane lifted numerous pieces of large plant, including two 1.5 tonne diggers and two 1 tonne dumpers. This solution required extensive planning and coordination by Shanco to ensure all lifts were carried out safely. The clearance of the heavy vegetation was then able to progress at a much faster rate. A potentially unstable ground floor slab, full of voids, presented significant health and safety risks. Managing works within a building that has been exposed to the elements for many years presented several health and safety challenges. The slab was full of voids and holes from the old press equipment and so the potential for operatives to fall from height was a very real risk.  Barriers were installed around the voids to act as edge protection and to clearly identify them, and signage used to further highlight the hazards.  Whilst plant and equipment were used in the basement, vegetation on the ground floor slab was carefully removed using hand tools to manage the risk. Operatives worked from within the safe barriered areas and used extended tools to clear mossy areas in inaccessible locations. The potential presence of a small amount of asbestos required constant assessment. The existing surveys of the building suggested that there was the potential for a small amount of asbestos to be present in the form of pieces of roofing sheet debris left over from the roof removal. Lucion Environmental provided a watching brief and deployed an experienced Asbestos Consultant to remain on site at all times. Their role was to ensure the risk management procedures were correctly observed and to provide advice and assistance. They also regularly monitored air quality and undertook tests for the presence of asbestos.  Although the building surveys indicated that the severity and likelihood of any exposure to asbestos was low, all Shanco Operatives had Asbestos Awareness training and were given additional instructions to manage the risk as part of the bespoke site induction.  Dust masks were worn at all times by everyone on the site, and Face Fit testing was carried out to ensure the respiratory equipment provided fitted correctly and was effective for each individual. Operatives wore disposable coveralls as an extra precaution.   A solid understanding of the technical requirements leads to a successful outcome. Working as Principal Contractor gave Shanco complete control of the works and the site, which was essential in ensuring the right strategy was developed.  All the technical and logistical challenges were met through effective planning and experienced management. By considering each individual element and identifying what impact the various challenges would have, the team were able to provide a total project solution. This initial phase of the overall project was completed in just 4 weeks in line with the customer requirements and will hopefully be the first stage in the preservation of a beautiful building with an interesting history.

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