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Health

Construction safety

11 September

All workers must be protected from ill health that could be caused or made worse by construction work activities, such as noise induced hearing loss, vibration white finger, asthma, silicosis, dermatitis, burns, eye injuries, Weil’s disease, hepatitis, tetanus, asbestosis etc. Employers have a duty of care for each and every one of their staff members and must adhere to the most up to date construction site protocols.

Check out the HSA key points to maintain your general health & well-being below: 

• Activities that could give rise to ill health must be identified and risk assessed

• Employees must be advised of the possible health risks from exposure to noise, vibration, dusts, fumes, wet cement, vermin, UV light etc. and how to protect against them

• Tools and equipment that emit the least noise and vibration should be used and must be maintained in good condition

• Suitable hearing protection must be provided and worn where there are high noise levels and warning signs must be put in place

• Task rotation should be used to reduce exposure to vibration and suitable gloves provided and worn where needed

• Exposure to hazardous dusts must be avoided where possible e.g. by avoiding stone with a high silica content, hardwood dusts, MDF etc. and by ordering materials in the correct size to avoid on-site cutting

• Dust levels must be minimised (e.g. by dampening down and using tools and equipment fitted with water attachments or dust extraction/ collection)

• Exposure to hazardous fumes from welding, gas cutting or solvents and paints, must be minimised by using ventilation and/or suitable respiratory protective equipment

• Suitable eye protection must be worn when welding, using a consaw, compressed air, cartridge operated tools, or breakers, and when handling chemicals

• Over exposure to the sun should be avoided and suitable outdoor clothing provided for working in inclement weather

• Suitable appropriate personal protective equipment must be provided and worn as needed e.g. respiratory protective equipment, hearing protection, eye protection, gloves, safety footwear, overalls

• Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) must be suitable for the task and the user, and it must be fitted, used and stored correctly

• Adequate welfare facilities must be provided and employees informed of the need to wash hands thoroughly before eating, drinking or smoking and of the need to cover any cuts

• A relevant vaccination programme (hepatitis, tetanus) should be

 

For more information visit www.hsa.ie

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