Three Ethical Questions About Safety at Construction Sites

Three Ethical Questions About Safety at Construction Sites

Construction is among the most dangerous industries in the modern world. Alongside agriculture, forestry and fishing, it causes serious injury and death on a scale that’s unheard of elsewhere in the economy.

Construction site operators have a duty to protect workers – both in a moral sense and a legal one. Let’s take a look at a few key questions that those in the industry might pose to themselves and their employers.

Are safer workers better workers?

By taking measures to protect workers, we reduce their risk of being involved in an accident. On top of that, we reduce the severity of accidents where they do occur. For example, equipping site workers with safety goggles might reduce the impact of stray sparks and pieces of debris, during the operation of tools like drills and circular saws.

When workers perceive that their health and well-being are being taken seriously by their employer, moreover, they will tend to become more productive, and less stressed. This means less downtime, a superior standard of work, and ultimately, a more rewarding work environment for everyone. 

Are your safety measures legally sufficient?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a legal duty to provide workers with a safe environment. Fail to comply with this law, and you might face legal challenges. 

In cases where an employee suffers an accident in the workplace that might have been prevented by appropriate safety measures, employers might find themselves at direct risk of legal action from the affected employee. The best way to guard against this possibility is to proactively provide the required protections, and to put mechanisms in place through which employees can raise concerns before any accident occurs.

Do workers have the right protective gear?

In construction sites, certain items of protective gear are particularly consequential. High-visibility jackets might ensure that workers are seen, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions. Ear defenders might guard against premature deafness in workers who are dealing with pneumatic drills and other noisy equipment.

Of particular importance is footwear. Quality men’s safety boots will reduce the risk of trips and falls, which are a notorious cause of workplace injury. Moreover, They will tend to guard against puncture wounds, which can be a major problem in environments where sharp objects are often left on the ground.

For protective equipment to do its job effectively, it will need to be substantial, comfortable, and non-restrictive. If workers feel that their equipment is preventing them from doing a particular job, they might elect to dispense with it altogether – which defeats the purpose of introducing protective equipment!

By investing in quality equipment, we can guard against this possibility.

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