The 5 Most Significant Safety Risks In Construction

The 5 Most Significant Safety Risks In Construction


You manage a busy construction operation, perhaps across multiple sites and maybe nationwide. That means you can’t keep an eye on everything. Prioritisation is one approach to ensuring that you do keep a focus on the more important things. So what can you do to optimise your holistic view of how well your company is instigating measures to improve safety for employees and the general public?

Knowing the most common safety risks, measured by count of incidents, certainly gives you a valuable assist in focusing on those. The better your company mitigates these Top 5 Construction Risks, the fewer the count of accidents that your company could have avoided with better H&S measures.

What Are The Top 5 Health And Safety Risks In The Construction Industry?

The HSE statistics tell us that roughly 640,000 to 70,000 accidents or injuries occur every year in the UK construction industry. Those non-fatal injuries logged under RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) numbered 5,055 in 2016/17.

The causes ranked by count of incidents were:

Non-Fatal Injuries (Only Causes Responsible For 10% Or Greater Are Reported)

24% Slips, trips or falls on same level

21% Injured while handling, lifting or carrying

18% Falls from a height

13% Struck by moving object, including flying/falling object



Fatal Injuries From 2012/13 To 2016/17

49% Falls from a height

10% Trapped by something collapsing/overturning

10% Struck by moving vehicle



Slips, Trips And Falls

It’s pretty staggering to think that the cause of most non-fatal accidents is essentially falling over something or slipping. The expression about untidy rooms “like a building site” is pretty revealing in that we expect construction sited to be untidy, with excavations, uneven ground, mud, equipment and materials lying around. Awareness training both about putting stuff out of harm’s way and raising consciousness about keeping one’s eyes peeled is the best approach.

Handling Materials

Safe handling, lifting and carrying is one of the first H&S training courses that most employees receive in most industries. The fact that the rate of incidents is so high would seem to point to the need for more frequent refresher training.

Working At Height

The force of gravity is one of the biggest killers of all. From falling tools, falling off ladders and scaffolding, falling into holes in the ground, the majority of these incidents are avoidable with better training and greater awareness.

Struck By Moving Objects

A busy construction site is a scene of constant movement at times where you need eyes in the back of your head to avoid some of the moving hazards. The risk is heightened by the nature of the terrain with uneven pathways and slippery gradients making movement somewhat unpredictable.

Other Hazards

Construction sites are home to many other risks, from electricity to asbestos, from vibration injury to collapsing structures and others. Each needs individual risk assessment and thorough training regarding precautions and awareness. Health and safety consciousness needs to be constantly reinforced in the workforce to stand any chance of reducing the count of incidents.

Professional Assistance

Engaging a team of experts like ours at Workplace Risk Management helps to plug the gaps by assessing employee awareness and competence regarding H&S issues in construction. It greatly improves your compliance levels and helps to cut down on accidents on your sites.

Contact us today and find out how we can dovetail with your existing operation.

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