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For Qatari residents: Do you prefer a summer or winter World Cup 2022?

Are you OK??

Written by  Author |   Mon, 15 September 2014 12:12

Construction is considered one of the most dangerous land-based works. According to a study, in the United States, there were 1,225 fatal occupational injuries in the construction sector in 2001 with an incidence rate of 13.3 per 100,000 employed workers. That same year, the construction industry has experienced 481,400 nonfatal injuries and illnesses at a rate of 7.9% full-time workers in the industry. Hong Kong is also notorious for its high construction accidents rates. Although the accidents rate has dropped from 350 per 1000 workers in mid-1980 to 60 per 1000 workers in 2007, it still accounted for nearly 20% of all the industrial accidents in Hong Kong.

The problem is not that the hazards and risks are unknown, it is that they are very difficult to control in a constantly changing work environment.

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. Falls from heights are the leading cause of injury in the construction industry. Employees on construction sites also need to be aware of dangers on the ground. The hazards of cables running across roadways were often seen, until cable ramp equipment was invented to protect hoses and other equipment which had to be laid out. Motor Vehicle Crashes are another major safety hazard on construction sites.
Workers in highways and road work zones in general are exposed to a variety of hazards and face risk of injury and death from construction equipment as well as passing motor vehicles.

Workers on foot are exposed to passing traffic, often at high speeds, while workers who operate construction vehicles are at risk of injury due to overturn, collision, or being caught in running equipment. Regardless of the task assigned, all construction workers work in conditions of poor lighting, poor visibility, inclement weather, congested work areas, high volume traffic and speeds. In 2011, there were a total of 119 fatal occupation fatalities in road construction sites. In 2010 there were 37,476 injuries in work zones, about 20,000 of those injuries were construction workers.

Safety remains a priority among construction workers. Regulations and campaigns addressing construction zone dangers and encouraging workers to be cautious but using safety tools is a must.

Construction conditions have improved ten-fold from 15 years ago, and as technology increases, so do safety tools and working conditions of construction jobs.

Construction safety products
Hard hats and steel-toe boots are perhaps the most common personal protective equipment worn by construction workers around the world. A risk assessment may deem that other protective equipment is appropriate, such as gloves, goggles, or high-visibility clothing. Tools that protect respiratory organs - respirators, which prevent builders from dust, aerosols of harmful emissions - are also important. Protective head gear performs complex functions - construction helmets, or masks for welders protect against shock, mechanical pressure, burns, electric shock, sparks, metal drops.
Personal hearing protection like special headphones, differ in the degree of protection against noise are within the safety tools. Safety belts protect the worker from falling from a height on construction sites, on overhead power lines, communication lines and radio and other high-rise constructions.

Safety helmets
Falling objects, overhead loads and sharp projections are to be found everywhere on construction sites. A small tool or bolt falling from 10 or 20m high can cause serious injuries or even death if it strikes an unprotected head. Head injuries often occur when moving and working in a bent position, or when arising from such a position.
Safety helmets protect the head effectively against most of these hazards, and should be worn whenever a person is on site and particularly when in an area where overhead work is going on.
These areas, known as "hard-hat areas", should be clearly marked with safety signs at entrances and other suitable places.
The rule applies to all: managers, supervisors, workers and visitors.
NS®, MSA, Bullard, NFL, Fibre-Metal hard hats are among the best-selling brands in the world

Eye & face protection
Where necessary, workers should be provided with and wear the following personal protective equipment and protective clothing: Clear or colored goggles, a screen, a face shield or other suitable device when likely to be exposed to eye or face injury from airborne dust or flying particles, dangerous substances, harmful heat, light or other radiation, and in particular during welding, flame cutting, rock drilling, concrete mixing or other hazardous work. Eye protection must be suitable, comfortable and available to encourage workers to wear it.

Safety spectacles can protect eyes from low energy impacts and, depending on the lens characteristics, from glare, UV and IR radiation. Lenses are usually made of toughened glass or polycarbonate. Available in a range of styles, most frames have adjustment, so that they can be matched to the wearer. Most manufacturers can supply safety spectacles with prescription lenses.
Goggles can protect eyes against medium impacts and, depending on design and marking, against droplets and coarse dust, as they form a seal around the entire periphery of the face. The lenses are usually made of antifog coated polycarbonate or toughened glass.

Face shields can protect eyes and face against impacts, liquid splash and hazards like molten metal splash or electric arcs etc. They usually have adjustable headband or harness fitted with either a one piece ear shield protecting the entire face, a metal mesh screen or an opaque shield into which lenses are fitted. Some designs integrate head, eye and respiratory protective in one unit.
NORTH, Bollé, 3M, Honeywell and Uvex are renowned suppliers of eye & face protection equipment.


Hearing protection
Noise which is continuous at a level of 85-90 decibels (dB(A))or more is injurious to hearing.
Earmuffs or ear plugs must be used if working with or near a noisy machine.

Ear and eye protection kits could be snapped into standard hard hat and helmet attachment slots. This kind of hamlets when using Kevlar fibers, become very resistant to impact.

Hand protection products
Hands are extremely vulnerable to accidental injury, and in construction more injuries are caused to hands and wrists than to any other part of the body.
Open wounds, abrasions, fractures, dislocations, strains, amputations and burns occur.
They are largely preventable by better manual handling techniques and equipment, and by wearing suitable hand protection such as protective gloves and gauntlets.
Gloves with a thin plastic coating can be used for work requiring dexterity, such as bricklaying and component assembly
Thicker latex coated palm give exceptional grip, dexterity and durability.
Excellent abrasion and tear resistance.
Some gloves have an anti-bacterial treatment to reduce odors.
Best-selling brands include Ergodyne, CLC, PIP, OK-1 Safety, OccuNomix, Youngstown Gloves, Wiley X Gloves, North Safety, DeWalt, Radians, Remington and Black & Decker.

There are many types of safety footwear now available such as:
Light, low-cut leather safety shoes for climbing jobs, normal safety shoes or boots for heavy-duty work. Rubber or plastic safety wellingtons or gumboots provide protection against corrosive substances, chemicals and water.

Waterproof and Hi-Viz clothing
Waterproof clothing and head coverings are used when working in adverse weather conditions and provide distinguishing clothing or reflective devices or otherwise conspicuously visible material when there is regular exposure to danger from moving vehicles
The provision of waterproof clothing makes economic sense to the employer because it allows work to continue in wet conditions.
Modern fabrics ‘breathe' so s to allow moisture to escape and avoid condensation. Modern fabrics are also light and strong, so they are much easier to work in than those available a couple of decades ago.

Respiratory equipment
Whenever there is doubt about the presence of toxic substances in the atmosphere, a respirator must be worn.
The correct type of respirator will depend upon the hazard and the work conditions. Advice on suitable types of respirators and filters should be sought from appropriate safety and health authorities.
The simplest masks are disposable paper types. These are only effective against nuisance dusts.
For protection against airborne particles, e.g. stone dust, masks with a coarse filter fitted in the cartridge should be used.
For protection against gases and fumes, e.g. when using paints containing solvents, masks with a filter containing activated carbon should worn.

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October / 10 / 2014
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