Any construction site comes with its risks, but for tradesmen working with shuttering and formwork, getting things right and doing it safely can be crucial not only to their own health and safety but to the safety and construction of the building itself.
With formwork and shuttering, care should be taken at every step of the way to ensure the safety of the site, your employees, you, and the public. Want to know where to start? Take a look below.
Good Insurance Policy
While insurance doesn’t prevent accidents, it can certainly act as protection against financial strains and losses in the case that something does happen. For those working with shuttering and framework, insurance can really make a difference when you run into issues, including public damages, injuries, illnesses, and employee accidents while on the building site. Employer’s Liability Insurance is a must-have for all businesses, so those in charge of employing staff need to ensure that this policy is in place. It will protect you and your employees in cases where an accident has caused injury or illness by covering legal and compensatory costs.
Similarly, public liability insurance for shuttering and formwork will provide financial protection for accidents or damage caused by your business where a person’s property was damaged or they were injured or have fallen ill as a result of your business. It will cover any legal fees, compensation, and other associated costs.
Risk assessments are a crucial part of health and safety on a building site, and every team should run their own assessments to be safe, communicating with others at the same time. If you are on-site to conduct shuttering or formwork, you should always ensure you are conducting a full risk assessment and that previous assessments are provided to your team from previous work that you can compare with. By conducting these assessments, you can better determine what could pose a problem during the process and what may need to be put into place to ensure the safety of you and your employees.
It is your legal responsibility to reduce risk and operate safely, so this means making sure you’ve conducted assessments on any equipment, machinery, chemicals, materials, and, of course, the location itself. If you are unsure, consult the HSE for guidance.
Access To First Aid
On a building site, there should always be at least one person able to administer first aid and access should be available at all times. Not every injury on site is a huge one – even a cut or a bruise needs to be handled properly by a qualified first-aider and can often help to avoid claims for injury coming to your door in the future. The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 requires that all construction sites have at least one first aid box with enough supplies to treat everyone on site, as well as someone appointed to handle it. If you are moving from site to site, having this with you can help to ensure that you and your employees are always safe even if other teams have failed to meet this requirement.
Once you’ve assessed the risks and gotten first aid access arranged, it’s time to start setting up to manage the risks you’ve found. Risk management can be something as simple as providing proper PPE to your staff, to cancelling days of work due to poor or uncertain weather. Risk management on a construction site is often similar no matter the work you’re doing, however as a formwork or shuttering engineer, there is more to consider. You need to also be considering the removal of that formwork, how to ensure you are doing it safely and adequately testing the concrete and how employees can stay safe while doing this.
You could introduce extra checks and inspections, additional criteria for checks, and more. In general, having a clear and concise plan of action in case of emergency for all of your employees to access at all times will help to reduce accidents and improve chances when accidents do occur.
Another part of risk management, as well as a vital part of the job anyway, is proper training, and not just for your employees. Machinery and equipment alone change regularly, with new upgrades and systems being introduced that need to be learned and mastered before use on a site, and health and safety is also always changing to help improve conditions for workers. Keeping up with regular and above-adequate training can help to ensure that your employees are up to speed and that you are also on the same page.
For more information about the insurance policies we offer for Formwork and Shuttering installers, we are on hand to help. Simply get in touch with a member of our team to find out more or to get your bespoke quote from Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.