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5 Safety Hazards to Consider Whilst Building or Decorating

Whether you are a builder, construction worker or just looking to do some DIY work at home, there are various different safety hazards you need to consider before starting any work. Safety should always be the first thing you look at, especially if you are working with a sub contractor or someone else is giving you a hand. All precautions should be laid out clearly to reduce risk to an absolute minimum. 

1. Heights 

Particularly when it comes to scaffolding, heights can be a huge safety concern. Scaffolding is typically used to allow for elevation of materials and workers to allow them to complete required works up high, but workers should be very careful when working from height. Working at height has been one of the most common causes for fatal injuries to workers. If you are carrying out any work like this you should ensure you have suitable training and we would also recommend a safety net on the ground, should anything happen. Overall, you should only work from height if it is absolutely necessary.

2. Asbestos

Asbestos is seen as a thing of the past by many people, however, it is still prevalent throughout many properties, both commercial and domestic, that were built prior to 2000. The main things to look out for are artex ceilings, old pipework and insulation that was put into the building. It can be quite hard to identify asbestos if you haven’t seen it before.

The asbestos may be better off undisturbed but in some cases you may require an asbestos removal in Kent to prevent your safety being compromised. Your local asbestos expert will be able to advise on the best place of action, depending on the condition of the asbestos and its whereabouts.

3. Slippery Surfaces

You have definitely heard of the stereotypical ‘banana slip’ but slippery surfaces cause hundreds of injuries in the workforce a year by falls that are caused as a result of slippery surfaces. All slippery surfaces should be marked with clear signage and you should also make a conscious effort to wear suitable footwear. This also includes outdoor slips caused by mud or ice - you may need to combat these with a gritty material to reduce risk here. 

4. Electricals 

Most electrical safety issues occur as a result of cables or wires sticking out and are not concealed properly. Electric shocks are also sadly quite common in the construction industry due to negligence during the initial electrical work. It can also be caused whilst plumbing works are carried out if this comes into contact with the electrics. It is always worth asking a fully qualified and experienced electrician to check over the electrics set up in the building before carrying out any work, to be safe.

5. Noise 

Noise can be an issue both from a health point of view but also when you look at concentration whilst work is being carried out. Persistent noise over time can cause hearing loss, tinnitus and poses an overall risk to someone’s health. More importantly during work if the person working cannot hear very well due to the noise, it could cause issues with their concentration levels. If the work being carried out has risks, this could be dangerous. If noise can be minimised then it should be as much as possible. 

We hope you have found this useful. With most things in life there is always a risk of some sort but it is vital to ensure you have a clear plan in place to minimise these risks as much as possible. A risk assessment is recommended, especially for commercial jobs where insurances and other factors come into play.

Stay safe!

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