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Construction & Built Environment Level 3

Unit 1. Health , Safety and welfare in construction and the Built


Accident is an unplanned, unwanted event that causes
harm, damage or injury to people or property.

Incident is defined as an unexpected event that did not

cause injury or damage this time but had the potential.
(Near miss or dangerous occurrences are also terms for an event that
could have caused harm but did not.)

Hazards is an unsafe condition or activity, that if left

uncontrolled can contribute to an accident.

Risk is the assessment of probability of loss and

potential amount of loss.
Causes of construction accidents

Samuelson & Lundholm, 2006

Body parts that mostly get injured in workplace

This information is from Summary of Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics 2005-2006: Health and Safety Authority
Root Causes for Construction Accidents

Inadequate construction planning

Lack of proper training
Deficient enforcement of training
Unsafe equipment
Unsafe methods or sequencing
Unsafe site conditions
Not using safety equipment that was provided
Taking shortcuts
Being over-confident
Starting a Task with Incomplete Instructions
Ignoring Safety Procedures
Mental Distractions from Work
Failure to Pre-Plan the Work
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences
Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)
It imposes a legal duty on all employers, employees and
the self-employed.
Under this regulations you must report to the HSE or HS
death at work, major/minor injuries that result in three or more days
absence from work, work-related diseases and near misses
accidents, dangerous occurrences and gas incidents.
It is mandatory for all on-site workers to abide by these
RIDDOR Regulations
classification of injuries.
Major injuries Minor injuries
fracture other than to fingers, thumbs
or toes
Minor injuries are those that
dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or keep an employee off work for
spine more than three days.
Amputation You will need to record the
loss of sight (temporary or permanent) following
Any type of injury leading to date and time of injury
unconsciousness or requiring
resuscitation or admittance to hospital a brief description of what
for more than 24 hours. happened
acute illness requiring medical the name and address of the
treatment where there is reason to
believe that this resulted from
person injured
exposure to a biological agent or its the date and method of
toxins or infected material reporting.
- Near misses (Incidents where someone could have been injured)
Other legisations
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (1970) OSH Act
set forth by fed government to impose safety standards on industry under the
U.S. Department of Labor set standards for general and specific industries companies
comply by: keeping records, keeping employees informed on safety matters,
complying with standards for injury avoidance, etc...

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

mainly for research and education functions finds hazardous types of working
conditions by reviewing research human factors professionals use the standards or
Consequences of accidents
Consequences to humans
Long terms side effects including disability caused by the fracture,
poor health, lung disease caused by asbestosis poisoning etc.
Moral consequences
A company that has a high accident rate and does nothing to
control this will eventually have a demotivated workforce.

Financial consequences
Payment of an employee off duties due to injuries, pause of work
due to the accident etc.
The cost of an accident can be split into the insured costs that can
be recovered from an insurance company and the uninsured costs
that cannot be covered by insurance e.g court fines, loss of
reputation, cost of accident investigation, overtime or additional
labour required.
How Can You Prevent Accidents?

Employees are most likely to have an accident in the workplace when

they first start work on site. This is often because they are unaware of
the health and safety rules or regulations

Accidents may be avoided by ensuring that:

- you are fully aware of the safety rules on site (attend initial site
induction and any subsequent toolbox talks)

- you are aware of the risk assessment for a task and understand the
method statement to be used prior to completing a task

How Can You Prevent Accidents?

Report any unsafe working conditions to your supervisor, even if another

contractor is responsible

Ensure that your working area is kept clean and tidy (Help prevent slips,
trips and falls)

Watch for

If You Witness An Accident

Tell any investigators exactly what you saw

If not you could

be breaking the

If You Are Involved In An Accident

If you are injured or feel ill in any way always report it to a first aider

Make sure any cuts or lacerations are cleaned and treated by a first

If not your hand could go from looking like this

To looking like this

Accident report procedures
Company Objective ZERO Accidents


MANAGER immediately who will then lead
the investigation
Immediately report to FIRST AIDER and then TEAM LEADER

FIRST AIDER treats person, completes accident

TEAM LEADER MUST take the injured persons
Book report form. Informs Team Leader and
statement on accident form before they leave site
Works Manager.
to start the investigation off

TEAM LEADER must complete as far as possible, an

Investigation form within SAME SHIFT. Preventative actions may
take time to complete. Report to be handed over to Works
DO WITHIN SAME SHIFT Manager. Once all actions complete, form handed to Managing
Director for Sign off and then filing.

WORKS MANAGER informs Managing Director when someone

is either: Taken to hospital OR Injury may be a RIDDOR

TEAM LEADER informs WORKS MANAGER if injured person

DO AT START OF NEXT SHIFT does not return to work next shift, MANAGING DIRECTOR

WORKS MANAGER and HR visit injured person next day, inform

DO BEFORE THIRD DAY RIDDOR Reporting person of outcome.

If the accident is fatal ,it should be reported to local authorities

Local authorities or person reports within timescales as mentioned in the Labour Act
RIDDOR 2007.
Reporting dangerous occurrences

collapse, overturning or failure of load-bearing parts of lifts

and lifting equipment
plant or equipment coming into contact with overhead
power lines
electrical short circuit or overload causing fire or explosion
collapse or partial collapse of a scaffold over 5 metres
high, or erected near water where there could be a
risk of drowning after a fall.
Why the safety records of accidents should be kept?
The dangerous occurrences that often are not reported
because no one has been injured. If you keep a record of
these and find that a pattern is emerging, it is advisable to act
on this occurrence. Why?
Because soon enough one of these may result in a fatal or
serious injury.
They are a historical record that can be used for future
To provide evidence in the event of a claim against the
All accidents have to be recorded within an accident book,
which must be kept secure and the correct procedure
followed in filling in the forms.
Accident Report Books
An accident that causes death, major injury or absence from work for more
than 3 days must be reported to the HSE using an Accident Record Form.
Minor accidents are usually reported in an Accident Book.
A manager or supervisor normally completes accident reports. You might need
to give information if you are involved or witnessed the accident.

Must be filled in if you are injured in any way, no matter how minor
The following details should be recorded in the Accident Report Book:
- The date and time of the accident

- Details of the accident

- The address of the injured person

Accident Report Books must only be filled in by you or by someone

acting for you

Reporting Accidents
Who should carry out the investigation?
For an investigation to be worthwhile, it is essential that the
management and the workforce are fully involved.

line managers
health and safety professionals
union safety representatives
employee representatives
senior management/directors
Benefits of accident investigations

Identifying the immediate, underlying and root causes allows effective

measures to be implemented to prevent a recurrence.
Gain a better understanding of the risks associated with work activities .
Reduction in the number of accidents and ill health resulting in financial
savings, such as insurance costs.

Legal reasons for investigating an accident

To ensure you are operating your business within the law.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
requires employers to plan, organise, control, monitor and review their
health and safety arrangements. Health and safety investigations form
an essential part of this process.
You are expected to make full disclosure of the circumstances of an
accident to the injured parties considering civil legal action. The fear of
litigation may make you think it is better not to investigate, but you can't
make things better if you don't know what went wrong.
The accident investigation

Accident investigation is the process of analyzing what went wrong. The process must be
thorough and methodical.
If the accident is a fatality or major, it may be conducted by the HSE/ HS Representative.
So that the accident may not reoccur in the future injuring another person.
Because it is a legal requirement under RIDDOR.
To provide defensive evidence in a civil claim from the injured party.

The process may take the following form:

1. The accident location is photographed to record the area.
2. A statement is taken from the person who had the accident.
3. The accident report form is filled in and sent off if it is reportable under RIDDOR.
4. Witnesses are interviewed to provide further evidence as to the cause of the incident.
5. An analysis of the accident is undertaken to establish the primary cause, as there may be
more than one.
6. New control measures are devised to establish if the existing system of working can be
7. Any changes to the system of working or control measures are then implemented.
8.These changes are then reviewed periodically to see if they are working.
9. If the changes are not, then the process is reviewed until a successful outcome is established.
10. The new safe system of working is monitored periodically.
The importance of collecting accurate accident data

A construction company for many reasons should collect

accident data.
Accident data can be used to prevent future accidents .
many clients require to see your accident data. Why?
Because part of the tendering procedure and applying to work for a
client involves the client checking the contractor for competency.
This can be done by looking at the number of accidents that a
company has had over the last three years.
Levels of investigation
When should it start?
Adverse events should be investigated and analyzed as
soon as possible.
The urgency of an investigation will depend on the risks involved (e.g. a major
accident involving an everyday job will need to be investigated quickly).
The Five Stages of an Accident Investigation
1. Reporting
2. Gathering information
3. Analyzing information
4. Identifying risk control measures
5. Action planning and implementing
Stages of an Accident Investigation
1. Reporting
Reporting :After an accident occurs, it is important that it is
recorded and reported speedily.
In most cases, accidents only need to be reported internally, i.e. kept
within your company or organisation.
Fatal accidents which include dealth should be reported to
the Local Authority.
2. Gathering Information
The next step is to gather information about the accident
and about the events that led up to it.
Gathering witness statements or carrying out interviews with
people who were injured or involved is essential.
Gathering information key points
Some of the things to consider during the information gathering stage are:
What happened?
Who was involved?
What was the nature of the work being carried out?
Was equipment being used at the time? If so, was it properly maintained?
Where on the premise did the accident happen?

What were the weather conditions at the time?

Were procedures being followed at the time? If not, copies of those procedures should be looked
Was the worker experienced on the job?
What was the injured person actually doing at the time of the accident and immediately before the

What personal protective equipment was being worn at the time of the accident?
What was the injury and how did it occur?
Were any first aid measures taken and, if so, by whom?
Who was the site supervisor?
Were there any witnesses?
Stages of an Accident Investigation
3.Analyzing the Information

Once information has been gathered, it should be examined carefully

and the cause of the accident should be established.

Immediate causes, for example the dust, or blade or substance

Underlying causes, for example unsafe acts and unsafe conditions

including the ventilation switched off or the guard removed

Root causes, an initiating event or failing from which all other causes or
failings spring. Root causes are generally management, planning or
organisational failings (lack of training, inadequate funding made
available for maintenance etc)

To prevent accidents, you need to provide effective risk control measures which address the
immediate, underlying and root causes.
Stages of an Accident Investigation
4. Identifying Risk Control Measures
Risk control measures are workplace precautions put in
place to reduce the risks to an acceptable level to prevent
accidents and cases of ill/poor health.
After the accident has been examined and the root causes
have been identified, control measures can be identified
that will cut off the root.
Control measures can include:
staff refresher training
providing personal protective equipment
implementing simple procedures for doing the job
providing better equipment
improved maintenance etc.
Stages of an Accident Investigation
5. Action Planning and Implementing
The final stage of the accident investigation is to ensure that a plan is put together for implementing the
control measures that have been identified.
The employer should:

Provide an action plan with SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time

Ensure that the action plan deals effectively not only with the immediate and underlying causes, but also
the root causes.

Check and review your risk assessments

Include lessons that may be applied to prevent other adverse events, e.g. is there a training need which
can be applied in other areas of the organisation?

Provide feedback to all parties involved ensuring the findings and recommendations are correct, address
the issues and are realistic. The employer must also inform them of the results of your investigation.

Carrying out your own health and safety investigations will provide you with a deeper understanding of the
risks associated with your work activities.
The role of the individual in accident recording and reporting
The following procedure outlines what you should do following an
1. A trained first aider should administer first aid to the injured person.
2. If required, an ambulance must be called to take the injured person
to hospital or to the site facility.
3. Rescue teams may be on site to assist if it is too dangerous to
approach the injured person.
4.The accident scene must be left intact if at all possible.
5. The injured persons supervisor must be informed immediate.
6. The companys health and safety department must be informed.
7. The HSE/ HS Rep. must be informed by phone if it is a fatal
8. A full accident investigation must be carried out.
Injury report form
Incident investigation, reco
rding and
Case study:
So how should you report an accident? You must follow any company
procedure that is in place; you will this outlined in the companys
health and safety policy. Now, imagine that a rough terrain fork truck
on your construction site has just hit a worker. Write out the
procedure you would follow from the point of giving first aid to the
injured person.

The company you are working for is conducting a review of its

health and safety policy. You have been asked to look over the past
three years accident statistics to identify if there are any trends.
When you look through the data, you find that there area large
number of foot injuries to one set of workers manufacturing concrete
lintels in the construction yard. 1 Explain how your collection of data
could contribute to a reduction of injuries to these workers.
2 What could you do to improve this situation?
3 How would you monitor improvements?
More tips: What can you do to prevent accidents?
Toemployers and employees
Keep the work and storage areas tidy.
Plan deliveries to minimise the amount of materials on site.
Make sure corridors, stairways, footpaths and other areas used by pedestrians are kept clear of obstructions at all
Have clearly designated walkways with good conditions underfoot (leveled if rutted, stoned if muddy, gritted when icy).
Where small changes of level cannot be avoided (eg doorways into buildings) consider the use of soundly constructed
temporary ramps or some other way of providing easy and safe access.
Have proper arrangements for the disposal of waste materials, eg provide clearly identified areas where waste can be
left for later collection. Dont forget that this is just as important for work inside buildings; you might want to consider
providing wheelie bins or wheeled skips for people to put their rubbish in. Ask yourself the following questions:
Whose job is it to clear up the waste?
How often does this need to be done?
Are bins provided? By whom? How many? Where are they positioned?
Who empties the bins? Where to? How do they do this?
Whose job is it the make sure the waste is removed from site?
Keep inside and outside work areas adequately lit.
Pay particular attention to maintaining good conditions at the foot of access stairs and ladders.
Ensure everybody on site wears footwear that provides good grip.
Use cordless tools when possible to avoid having to manage cable runs.
Where cables are needed for temporary lighting or mains-powered tools, run these at high level, particularly along
If temporary coverings are used to protect finished floor surfaces, make sure these do not create a risk of slipping or
Use mechanical plant to move materials to storage areas that are convenient to where they will be used. This will
reduce the need to carry objects over poor ground.
Make sure that steps leading to site cabins are properly constructed.
Make sure everyone knows what they have to do to manage their own materials, waste and equipment to keep the site
tidy and reduce the risk of tripping.