What does a construction worker do?
Construction is an industry that requires working at ever-changing locations and work environments. This profile refers to general construction workers. Others at a construction site include electricians, carpenters and plumbers.
Some of the main duties of a general construction worker are to:
- Install various commercial, industrial or residential systems.
- Ensure that projects conform to building codes and regulations.
- Use, clean and maintain various types of equipment.
- Supervise or apprentice other workers.
What are some health and safety issues for construction workers?
- Pain or injury from physical overexertion, repetitive manual tasks, or working in awkward positions.
- Exposure to moulds, fungi and bird or rodent droppings.
- Exposure to lead, wood dust, asbestos, paints, solvents, and other toxic chemicals or materials.
- Working in extreme temperatures and UV radiation.
- Working with hand tools, powered tools and heavy powered equipment.
- Excess vibration in the hands, arms or body from powered tools or equipment.
- Confined spaces.
- Working at heights.
- Electrical hazards.
- Working with cranes, hoists, and other material handling equipment.
- Slips, trips and falls.
- Respiratory and fire hazards from wood dust.
- Shift work or extended work days.
What are some preventive measures for construction workers?
- Keep tools and equipment in good working order.
- Use correct personal protective equipment and apparel, including safety footwear.
- Keep all work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Avoid awkward body positions or take frequent breaks.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Follow a recommended shiftwork pattern, and be aware of the associated hazards.
What are some good general safe work practices?
Where can I get more information?
General information is available in OSH Answers or through the CCOHS person-to-person Inquiries Service.
Document last updated on May 28, 2004
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