Construction Safety: Role of Site Safety Inspections

Construction site safety inspections are the most effective means of identifying hazardous conditions at the worksite.

Construction Safety: Role of Site Safety Inspections

The construction sector in Kenya has earned the reputation of being a dangerous or highly hazardous industry because of the disproportionately high incidence of accidents and fatalities. 

While many injuries at construction sites in Kenya go unreported, a recent study shows that the construction sector accounts for almost 20% of the fatalities of all industrial workers but employs only 6-8% of the industrial work force.

Article 6(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, 2007 (OSHA), requires the employer (Occupier) to carry out appropriate risk assessments in relation to the safety and health of employees and, on the basis of these results, adopt preventive and protective measures to ensure that under all conditions of their intended use, are safe and without risk to health. 

The employer is also required to take immediate steps to stop any operation or activity where there is an imminent and serious danger to safety and health and to evacuate all persons employed as appropriate.

Construction site safety inspections are the most effective means of identifying hazardous conditions at the worksite. Construction sites require constant monitoring and observations to keep ahead of safety issues. Qualified safety professionals are able to identify potential OSHA violations, liability issues, and risk exposures as  well as offer strategies for mitigating hazards before they lead to injuries and damage your company’s reputation.

Almost all safety inspections at construction sites use some form of a checklist. There are hundreds of them available from a variety of sources and they can vary from a couple of pages to 20, 30, or more pages. A general internet search will lead to many inexpensive or free checklists available both all-purpose and specific projects.

If carefully chosen to match the type of construction activity (roadway, high rise building, demolition, landfills, residential, multi-family housing, land clearing, bridges, tunnels, etc.) all have value - at least to identify the physical weaknesses related to worker safety on a construction project.

It is however good to note that no construction site safety inspection checklist can be perfect for any project. A checklist will not make a site safe and as such a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) also called a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) is required for each task performed in advance of the work beginning. 

All the same, a checklist can be useful if it is recognized as only one element of a construction site safety program and the person using the checklist must have some knowledge of safety and the work being performed for the type of activities performed.

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