The Future of Construction Health and Safety

Given the risks and hazards present on construction sites, risk assessments and safety precautions are essential to keep workers safe at work. The increasing pace of digitalisation has significantly changed how construction companies implement safety measures. There’s now a large number of machinery, software, and digital tools that make construction sites safer for workers. 

Here’s what you need to know about the future of Construction Health and Safety.

1. Digital Safety Reports 

At first look, paperwork may not seem like the most significant aspect of construction safety. But companies should not dismiss proper documentation when keeping workers safe. Besides, ignoring it is why many contractors end up in hot water, eventually ending in the courtroom. 

Safety reports can be tedious. But they are an essential part of risk management, critical for ensuring safety in construction. Safety managers must conduct inspections and develop file safety reports to ensure compliance at the workplace. In case of incidents, these reports help companies analyse what went wrong and develop strategies to prevent it in the future. Construction is dangerous by nature, and failing to incorporate the findings from safety reports further increases the risk.

The last few years have seen the arrival of technological innovation. Unfortunately, many safety processes in construction remain unchanged. Construction companies should embrace digital safety reports, which allow them to capture and analyse safety data more accurately. It also makes it easier and quicker for them to implement necessary changes.

Adopting innovative processes for creating safety reports also benefits employee recruitment. As many companies face labour shortages and struggle to hire new employees, digitising safety reports can take them in the right direction since the new generation of workers is digital experts who prefer to work in innovative companies.

2. Autonomous Cranes 

Autonomous cranes are among those technologies that could enhance safety in the construction industry. The technology upgrades cranes into autonomous robots to ensure safe and collision-free operation. With this technology, cranes can perform tasks autonomously or controlled remotely. Equipped with object detection capabilities, the crane can detect the presence of workers or other objects nearby, thereby preventing collisions, accidents, and delays. 

The popularity of Autonomous Cranes is growing, particularly in the construction industry. It can lift, lower, or move objects horizontally. The machinery has pulleys and cables for moving things around, which is especially helpful for transporting heavy construction materials.

Manually operated cranes require skilled workers, taking considerable time and effort. Furthermore, it is highly susceptible to human error and could result in delays and fatal accidents. By integrating autonomous cranes into your construction projects, you can optimise the performance of tasks and reduce the risk of mistakes, injuries, and accidents. Through this optimisation, companies can save on costs associated with the reduced time for workers to perform tasks, not to mention the potential injuries to workers.

3. Accessible Training 

Health and safety training is critically important for workers in the construction industry. It’s a high-risk environment, and danger can present itself at any time and in any place. The training helps workers to prepare for any situation that could unexpectedly arise. In addition, it allows workers to remain updated with the changing laws and regulations on health and safety. Thankfully, providing training to workers has become easier than ever, thanks to online training. Construction firms must give access to online training and courses to help employees carry out their work safely. 

In-person training can be a problem for many companies since it can be challenging to organise the worker’s schedule around training. These workers have heavy workloads and other commitments to prioritise, and attending in-person training can use up the time they are supposed to dedicate to resting.

Online safety training is accessible to everyone and is not exclusive to a particular place. Workers can access the training courses anytime with a stable internet and a device. Thus, it’s a more convenient option, especially for workers in a busy environment like construction. Since online training courses are easily accessible, employees can better absorb important information. They will not be forced to adapt their schedule to the training and can go on breaks anytime. As a result, they can better absorb the training.

4. Importance of Site Organisation 

Site organisation is an essential aspect of construction health and safety. An organised construction site ensures the safety of employees. Thus, construction companies should be aware of the vital areas involved in site organisation as it establishes a foundation for sustainable and safe operations.

According to data from HSE, about seven workers die each year while working on construction sites. These are due to vehicle and plant movement. Construction site organisation is all about preventing accidents and ensuring the safety of workers, visitors, and the public. 

Some of the vital areas in construction where risks of accidents are high are the access points and walkways. Companies must designate and separate entryways for vehicles and pedestrians. The walkways for pedestrians should have clear markings and be clear of obstacles. When walkways need to cross vehicle areas, companies must install appropriate lighting and signage.

Vehicle movement on construction sites poses the highest risk of accidents. Construction companies must facilitate safer movement within the construction site. These include having separate parking areas for visitors and workers and must be away from the site.

5. Robotics Carrying out Human Tasks 

Implementing robotics is one of the most effective ways to eliminate safety risks in construction. Also called automated technologies, robotics can carry out repetitive tasks flawlessly, minimising the fatigue factor from a human to perform tasks repeatedly. Companies can program these machines with all the relevant safety rules and regulations in construction.

Lift robots can also help lay bricks and eliminate strenuous labour, allowing human workers to focus on the safer part of the construction process. In addition, robotics enables humans to operate machines remotely, significantly minimising risks. For instance, a remote-controlled bulldozer doesn’t need a human driver to control it, which keeps everyone safe on site.