Current Safety Concerns on Irish Construction Sites

June 24, 2014

The Snapshot

  • Safety standards on Irish construction sites have significantly improved.
  • However more resources are required to protect workers
  • Between 2009 & 2012 the Construction sector recorded a significant number of fatalities in the workplace
  • For anyone working at height, safety considerations are paramount.

The construction sector in Ireland has a poor record in terms of protecting workers through effective health and safety measures and this is demonstrable through the high level of serious injuries that have occurred and the fatalities that have arisen on numerous sites across the country over the years.

However over the last two decades serious efforts have been made by both government and employers to try to improve safety conditions for workers.

As Instant Upright works with a large number of customers within the construction industry in Ireland this is an area in which we take an active interest.

Although some progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that Irish construction workers are operating in the safest possible environment.

This table from a report by the H.S.A. displays the sectors that recorded the highest level of days lost due to injuries in 2011 and the Construction sector features prominently.

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These statistics also go on to outline that unfortunately between 2009 and 2012 the construction industry was one of the top-ranked sectors in which fatal accidents occurred.

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These are very sobering findings for all those currently responsible for the safety of construction staff within Ireland. Clearly greater efforts need to be made by all stakeholders to protect workers and of course workers themselves need to be very diligent about minimising the risks they take in the course of their day-to-day duties.

Work Place Accidents

The same report provides us with this insightful overview of the cause of non-fatal injuries experienced by workers in 2012.

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These types of statistics are completely unacceptable in any modern work place, particularly if you included the associated hazards of working on a construction site. At Instant Upright we are constantly reviewing the health and safety advice that we provide with all of our products to ensure that our customers are following best practice, are protecting their workforce and are protecting their own business against this risk also.

We can provide full certification on all our products, in line with the latest industry safety regulations and other legal requirements.

Working at Height

The H.S.A. has recently stated that it is particularly concerned about the safety risks connected with those working at height in the construction industry.

They recently published this document which highlights some of their concerns in more detail. One of the key risk factors that the H.S.A. has identified is the use of wooden scaffolding boards that degrade by environmental conditions over time, making them structurally unsafe and hazardous for those working on sites where they are in use.

One of the main advantages of the scaffolding solutions that Instant Upright provides is that we fabricate them exclusively from aluminium. This results in a lightweight and portable product, with the added advantage of aluminium being extremely cost effective.

This video highlights some of the further innovative features of our scaffolding products:

Legal Safety Requirements & Resources

New regulations came into effect on the 1st of August, 2013 to ensure greater welfare of workers in the construction industry. This was done primarily to bring Ireland into line with the rest of Europe in relation to project supervision of construction and building sites.

The H.S.A. has also produced this valuable resource for building contractors employing 20 or less staff. The H.S.A. has specifically produced this learning tool to assist small contactors to establish and maintain an effective safety management system.

The latest Irish statutory regulations regarding safety, health and welfare at work in the construction industry can be viewed here.

Those who employ staff on a construction site are responsible for their safety and the safety of the general public in and around the site. Given the potentially tragic consequence of a failure in Health & Safety standards, it’s no surprise that most of our customers do take this responsibility very seriously and the use of our products is, in itself, a strong signal of this commitment.

Instant Upright – Putting Safety First

At Instant Upright we only design, manufacture and deliver the highest quality products to our clients. If you have any further questions regarding the services that we offer, please have a look at the FAQ’s section of our website, or alternatively you can contact us directly in Dublin today.
We would also be interested to know what are the biggest safety issues currently being experienced by the Irish construction industry, onsite?

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