Construction Safety

Construction sites are the most dangerous land based work sector and construction hazards are rated as eight times more risky than those from manufacturing sector. The implementation of feedback mechanisms and developing wider appreciation of safety among executing agencies on a continual basis is required. The leading safety hazards on site are falls from height, motor vehicle crashes, excavation accidents, electrocution, machines, and being struck by falling objects. Some of the main health hazards on site are asbestos, solvents, noise, and manual handling activities. As per the findings of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the field of safety in construction, the accident rate in construction is four to five times higher than that of the manufacturing sector on the global scale. Although, there is precious little authentic data on the accident rates, causes or preventive measures taken by the Indian construction industry, as per one report released at an all India level, 165 per 1,000 workers get injured during construction activities. This is very high compared to the rates in the developed countries and even in certain developing countries. Safety in construction is frequently pushed to the bottom rung of priorities by the builders, contractors and engineers. The myriad of contractors, sub-contractors and vendors usually employed at a construction site also makes construction safety all the more a difficult task. While monetary loss heads the list, loss of man-hours and material progress are equally irreparable when scaffolding fails, a roof collapses or a fatal accident takes place at site of work. Finally the legal actions and culpability that invariably follow, haunts the management executives also. Keeping these in mind, hazards at a construction site can be dealt with both proactively (through HIRA, management systems, training) and reactively (through statutory compliances).