Construction work has many hazardous tasks and conditions such as working with height, excavation, noise, dust, power tools and equipment. The most common fatalities are caused by the fatal four;
- Being struck by an object
- Being caught in between two objects.
How to avoid accidents;
- Sort out, put materials together safely and remove construction waste as soon as possible: A littered construction site is a recipe for unforeseen accidents. The contents of objects on the ground are a major cause of injuries on a site. Stack together unused materials.
- Hoard off all construction sites and restrict access to the site: This is not only a safety measure but the law. If you have a construction project and you have not sealed it off, you are breaking the law. It is advisable to have a register of all construction workers in the site.
- The site needs to be well lit. Even after construction work is stopped in the evening, any movement of persons in the dark should only be done if the site is fully lit.
- Look out for any lifting equipment and moving cranes and be alert always: Whereas modern equipment have a very high factor of safety, you and your labourers should always be visually alert of your own safety.
- All machinery must be well serviced and before using any electrical equipment, make sure the cables are in good condition: Accidents happen owing to malfunctioning of machinery and circuits on site. Avoid dragging cables on the ground especially if there is water in the vicinity
- Don’t drink or take drugs while working – the number of intoxicated workers we have in Kenyan construction sites is quite mind-boggling. If possible, buy an ‘Alco blow’ and test or sniff all labourers on site. In fact, if you ever look keenly at the actors in Zero Sufuri’s Video ‘Zimenishika, zimenishika, zimenishika JO!’- Those are watu wa mjengo hapo in the background. Intoxicated workers are a big hazard.
- Don’t step on timber planks – We have experienced gory impalements by nails left inside timber planks. Even small nails can cause serious injuries and then you have to go receive a tetanus shot in your buns. And especially if you are a man, statistics have shown grown men fear needles. So, if you don’t want a shot in your mattercores, avoid stepping on littered timber planks on your site.
- Ensure all timber pieces of form work and profiles are removed all nails before storing them in designated piles and discarding them from your site.
- Wear protective gear, this is critical.
- Hard hats – This protects from falling objects and knocking your head on surfaces and elements.
- Steel-toe boots – feet are the most injured part of the body in construction sites, protect your feet.
- Reflective vests – People’s sight is not as good as we may want to believe, construction workers especially.
Gloves and facemasks – for protecting labourers hands who are carrying stones and other hard and heavy materials. Also, for filtering site dust to protect the labourers’ respiratory system.