Three safety precautions to consider in construction
Keeping employees safe when working in construction is of paramount importance. Construction companies are responsible for providing a safe work environment and for ensuring that the right measures are put in place so that harm doesn’t come to any of their workers. Here are three safety precautions for construction organisations to consider to improve site safety.
One of the most common causes of injury on a construction site is electrocution, due to the increased usage of power cables and electrical transformers, which can be hazardous to the safety of workers. To avoid having loose wires and knotted cables, which can be particularly dangerous in wet conditions, consider putting these either underground or overhead, where they would be out of the way.
It would also be a good idea to properly store electrical tools when not in use. This prevents accidents such as people tripping over and also improves the longevity of the equipment. You can also make sure that extension cords are regularly checked for adequate and safe power output, as this could result in a hazard if they produce too much.
To be safe, electrical equipment used in construction must be UL approved and should come with a three-prong grounding plug.
Ensuring employees go through the relevant safety training is one of the best ways to improve the overall safety of your construction site. While completely eliminating a risk is not possible, training programmes will help to significantly reduce the level of danger to employees by providing them with knowledge of what to do and how to respond to an emergency or high-risk situation.
There are several training programmes on all the ways danger can find its way into a workplace, and it is recommended that employees attend them to maximise their safety and wellbeing.
Safety and security protocols
A third way to make make your construction site safer is to implement safety and security protocols. This will further reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries, as well as stop equipment from being stolen. Make sure to protect machinery and heavy equipment from damage and theft by placing them in a secure location - away from any windows and if possible, locked in a storage cabinet. In addition to security, it is also important to consider the safety of pedestrians on the site. You can provide them with high visibility jackets so that they can be seen more easily by employees, and helmets for head protection. It also worthwhile making sure that any contractors follow safety guidelines when on site.
Safety is the most important aspect of the construction industry and should be taken seriously. If something looks dangerous, report it, and by doing so, the chances of injuries and accidents happening will be significantly lowered and, as a result, the site will be safer.
University of Dresden constructs carbon concrete building
The Technical University of Dresden, in partnership with German architecture firm Henn, is constructing the first building to be made out of concrete and carbon fibre, rather than traditional steel.
The combination of materials, known as, “carbon concrete” has the same structural strength as its steel-reinforced alternative but less concrete is used, according to researchers at the university.
The building, called “The Cube” is currently under construction at the University of Dresden’s campus in Germany, and is believed to be the first carbon concrete building in the world. Strengthening the concrete, the carbon fibre yarns are used to create a mesh into which the concrete is then poured.
Unlike steel, the mesh is rust-proof meaning that the lifespan of carbon concrete is longer than that of the more typical steel-reinforced concrete. This also allows the layers to be much thinner than steel.
The design and shape of The Cube
According to the companies, the flexibility of carbon fibre allows the walls to fold up and become a roof. In a statement talking about the building’s design elements, Hen said: “The design of The Cube reinterprets the fluid, textile nature of carbon fibres by seamlessly merging the ceiling and walls in a single form, suggesting a future architecture in which environmentally conscious design is paired with formal freedom and a radical rethinking of essential architectural elements.
"The wall and ceiling are no longer separate components but functionally merge into one another as an organic continuum.” Displayed as a showpiece for TU Dresden’s major project, backed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, The Cube aims to explore the potential uses of carbon concrete in construction.
"Carbon concrete could contribute to more flexible and resource-saving construction processes, and switching to carbon concrete could reduce the CO2 emissions from construction by up to 50%," Henn said in a statement.
Bio-based carbon fibre under development to reduce carbon footprint
While carbon fibre may be lighter and stronger than steel, it has a much higher carbon footprint. Describing the material’s impact on the environment, Dr Erik Frank, Senior Carbon Scientist at the German Institute of Textile and Fibre Research Denkendorf (DITF), said it is “usually very bad.” To reduce the carbon footprint, Frank is finding ways to make carbon fibre out of lignin, a common plant-based substance found in the paper manufacturing industry.