We all know how busy it gets on site and that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day! We all let the less important things slip when we’re rushed off our feet but it’s important not to let issues like health and safety get left behind! The FMB has put together some top tips to help you stay safe.
- Don’t overload your vehicle
Vans are part and parcel of the kit for construction firms, but all too often companies break the law by overloading vehicles with equipment and supplies which could lead to a hefty fine and put lives at risk. Every vehicle on the road has a specific maximum axle and gross vehicle weight - this is usually found on a plate or sticker within the vehicle or in the driver handbook. Prevent your vehicle from becoming overloaded by knowing the weights of your vehicle and load, redistributing your load appropriately after any drop-offs and check your Gross Vehicle Weight before setting off. If you don’t own a weighbridge you’re permitted to drive to the nearest one available.
To find your nearest public weighbridge, visit Trading Standards office.
- Eating healthily
A study by a money saving website found that over a third of workers in the UK have to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at work at least twice a week - making it difficult for workers to eat healthily. It can be difficult to prepare and store food on site so it’s important to find out beforehand what you’ll have access to in terms of preparing and storing food. Ideas such as bringing soup in a thermos, baking your own breakfast bars, preparing sandwiches (much healthier than pre-packed!) and having plenty of snacks such as unsalted nuts, raw vegetables, fruit and hard boiled eggs can all help prevent you from visiting the butty van!
- Wear sun cream
Did you know construction workers are six times as likely to develop skin cancer? It’s not enough to apply the factor 15 when the sun hits, you need to make sure your first application is before you go outside and then reapplied every two hours. Ensure you have a wide-brim hard hat and a bandana around your neck to provide further protection and prevent over heating
- The first aid box
Do you have a first aid box on site? Did you know that the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 requires all construction sites to have a first aid box with enough equipment to cope with the number of onsite workers? There must also be an appointed first aid person, and onsite details informing workers of the first aiders name and location. The first aid box should contain a leaflet giving general guidance on first aid, individually wrapped sterile plasters, sterile eye pads, individually wrapped triangular bandages, safety pins, large and medium individually wrapped sterile wound dressings and disposable gloves.
- Staying safe online, not just on site
Despite ensuring security measures are in place to minimise burglary and machinery thefts on site, protecting against cyber-crime and online scams is often overlooked by building firms. Did you know 77,000 construction companies were targeted by online criminals in 2016? Four types of cyber-attacks that builders should be aware of are phishing, telephone fraud, man-in-the-middle account fraud and hacking. Visit the FMB Members Area of the website and watch the E-Learning on cyber-crime to ensure you’re aware.
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