Health & Safety in the construction industry


Health and safety is of paramount importance in any industry, but none more so than the construction sector, where the risks and consequences can be very severe.

Construction related incidents accounted for 38 fatalities in the UK in 2017/18, more than any other sector of British industry. Companies must take the utmost care to look after their employees by properly training them in the risks of health and safety.

Across all industries, including construction, working at height was the number one cause of death in 2017/18. Many such accidents involve working on scaffolding, a major risk factor of construction projects.

Other common causes of death within the construction industry include moving vehicles, moving objects (including objects falling from height), getting trapped, and accidents involving equipment or tools.

There are also some serious health concerns which must be taken into account, such as exposure to dust and toxic substances. The construction industry accounts for around 40% of occupational cancers, caused by inhaling toxic substances such as asbestos, silica and coal tars.

There are almost 100% more musculoskeletal disorders within the construction industry than any other. Manual handling injuries, caused by lifting heavy objects or poor lifting posture, and vibration injuries, caused by long-term use of vibrating equipment, are the most common causes of these disorders.

Construction workers are also at increased risk of sensory loss. Prolonged exposure to harmful dust can cause loss of sight, while repetitive or sudden loud noises can affect hearing, even resulting in permanent deafness.

Scotton Construction takes all the necessary precautions to protect our workers from the health and safety risks of the industry. Everyone working on our construction sites and engineering plants is CSCS certified, we have Achilles UVDB Verified status and hold CHAS accreditation.

Sean Drury