What is a Construction Risk Assessment?
A construction risk assessment is a critical examination of health and safety hazards at a construction site. Performing regular construction risk assessments can help construction stakeholders comply with health and safety regulations. Construction risk assessments can help safety teams implement corrective measures to protect workers from health and safety threats.
This article will briefly discuss 1) the Fatal Four in construction and how to prevent them; 2) the best mobile app to streamline your construction risk assessments; and 3) the top 4 construction risk assessment templates you can download and customize for free.
Click here to download the top 4 best construction risk assessment templates.
The Fatal Four: Most Common Construction Site Fatalities and how to Prevent Them
The construction industry poses numerous hazards accounting for a high number of serious injuries and accidents. Most accidents are due to the Fatal Four, namely falls, electrocution, struck by object and caught in/ between objects.
To help you avoid such incidents, we have listed each of the fatal four, their common causes and some safety best practices to follow.
Injuries from falls are the most common cause of construction site fatalities. Incidents mainly account to lack of personal fall arrest systems, poor general safety equipment (safety net, guardrails etc), and improper use of ladders or scaffolds. Employers should establish effective fall preventive measures to protect employees from such risks:
- Train employees on correct procedures when working at heights i.e. correct usage and choice of ladders, correct usage of personal fall arrest systems
- Encourage workers to wear appropriate PPE (i.e. hard hats and complete safety harnesses)
- Safety equipment on site must be in place at all times (i.e. horizontal lifeline, personal fall arrest system, safety net, guardrails, proper ladders and scaffolding)
- Make sure elevated platforms are safe and secure
STRUCK BY OBJECT
Struck-by hazards are the second highest cause of fatalities among construction workers. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), struck-by injuries accounted for 80 construction worker deaths in 2017. Struck-by object incidents include workers getting accidentally hit by a falling debris or by equipment moving parts. The following safety practices can help mitigate struck-by-objects injuries:
- Wear appropriate PPE ( i.e. hard hats, safety goggles and steel-toe boots/ shoes)
- Train employees to be aware of their working environment for possible discharge from equipment or any falling debris
- Steer clear of swinging equipment/ load and equipment with moving parts
- If possible, avoid areas where work is being performed overhead
Electrical hazards account for more than 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries each year. Injuries and other incidents are often caused by faulty wires or equipment, unsafe location of electrical outlets and improper use of extension or cords. Here are safety tips to follow to reduce risks from electrical hazards:
- Implement Lockout-tagout (LOTO) procedure at all times
- Always wear appropriate PPE (i.e. safety goggles/ glasses, face shield and insulated gloves)
- Follow safe distances when working with overhead power lines
- Provide training on proper usage of electrical equipment and electrical safety
CAUGHT IN/ BETWEEN OBJECTS
According to OSHA, accidents caused by getting caught in or between objects accounted for 50 construction worker deaths in 2017. Caught in/ between object accidents may happen when a worker’s body or hand's gets caught, pinched, squeezed or crushed in moving parts of unguarded machinery. Prevent caught in/ between risks through these safety tips:
- Avoid wearing loose clothing and jewelry
- If applicable, pull your hair up
- Be aware of your surrounding work area
- Avoid usage of equipment with missing parts or equipment that have been de-energized
- Avoid the radius of a moving equipment or equipment with moving parts
What is iAuditor and how can I use it for Construction Risk Assessments?
iAuditor is the world’s #1 mobile inspection app and can help streamline your construction risk assessments. No need to carry sheets of paper for your inspections; conduct risk assessments using your mobile device. Set and assign corrective measures in a few taps. Generate a final report without leaving your site.
We have created these four construction risk assessment templates which cover construction risk assessments, a site safety observation report and a general risk assessment template. Download and customize these templates for free. No programming skills needed.