Back to Risk

Everything to Know about Safety Incident Risks

The meaning of Safety Incidents, causes and how to mitigate Safety Incident risks in construction.

What is Safety Incident?

Safety Incident in construction refers to any event that results in injury, illness, or close call that could have caused an injury or illness. These incidents range from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries or fatalities caused by Safety Hazards. Understanding and addressing the causes of these incidents are crucial for improving safety standards and preventing future occurrences.

What does Safety Incident Risk mean?

'Safety Incident' Risk means a possible occurrence related to the construction that impacts the health or safety of workers. It is a risk that there is a breach in safety practices or a failure in the control measures that are supposed to protect workers. A 'close call' or 'near miss' is still considered a Safety Incident, even though no one may have been harmed.

Safety Incident Risk Example

An example of a safety incident in construction would be a worker falling due to an unsecured scaffolding hazard, one of the most common causes of fatal injuries in the industry. Other incidents include trench collapses, electrical shocks, and being struck by construction equipment.

Without rebar caps, workers risk incidents or serious injuries from accidental contact with protruding rebars.

The History of Safety Incident

The construction industry has historically been among the most hazardous due to the nature of the work. Over the years, mostly due to a heap of deaths, there have been significant efforts to improve safety through regulations, technologies, and practices. Safety standards continue to evolve as new risks emerge and new safety technologies become available. Government bodies have emerged, such as Safe Work Australia, which develop national policies relating to work, health and safety.

Safety Hazard! A publicity stunt in 1932 New York city saw eleven ironworkers sitting on a steel beam 850 feet (260 meters) above the ground during construction of the RCA Building in Manhattan

Causes of Safety Incident

Safety incidents can occur due to several factors:

  • Inadequate Safety Measures: Insufficient safety protocols or failure to adhere to established safety standards.
  • Poor Training: Lack of proper training for workers on how to safely perform their tasks.
  • Equipment Failure: Malfunctioning or poorly maintained equipment leading to unexpected incidents.
  • Human Error: Mistakes or oversight by workers or supervisors.
  • Hazardous Working Conditions: Working in environments that inherently pose high risks of accidents.

Likelihood of Safety Incident

The likelihood of safety incidents is relatively high in the construction industry due to the complex, dynamic, and often hazardous nature of construction sites. Effective safety management and compliance with safety regulations are crucial to minimize these risks.

Consequence / Impact of Safety Incident

The impact of safety incidents can be significant, ranging from minor injuries that require little to no medical attention to major incidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. Beyond the immediate health impacts, safety incidents can lead to project delays, increased costs due to workers' compensation claims, legal liability, and damage to the company’s reputation.

Safety Incident Clauses in Construction Contracts

Safety incident related clauses in construction contracts generally emerge as amendments to ensure safety obligations and responsibilities to the Project Owner:

  • Incident Reporting: Clauses that specify the procedure for reporting safety incidents, including time frames and notification requirements.
  • Investigation Requirements: Obligations to investigate safety incidents to determine their causes and to implement measures to prevent recurrence.
  • Safety Compliance: Requirements for compliance with all relevant safety laws and regulations to minimize the risk of incidents.
  • Penalties for Safety Breaches: Provisions for penalties or contractual consequences in the case of safety breaches that lead to incidents.

Mitigations and Treatments for Safety Incident Risk

Effective mitigation and treatment strategies for safety hazards include:

  • Comprehensive Safety Training: Providing thorough and regular training to all personnel on safety practices specific to their roles and responsibilities.
  • Regular Safety Audits: Conducting periodic safety audits to identify and rectify potential hazards.
  • Safety Equipment and Technology: Investing in high-quality safety equipment and adopting new technologies designed to prevent accidents and protect workers.
  • Cultural Emphasis on Safety: Promoting a safety-first culture where all employees are encouraged to prioritize safety and report potential hazards without fear of repercussions.

Risk Management and Reporting of Safety Incident Risk

As we've seen above, there are alot of considerations when it comes to Risk Management. Implementing Risk Management and Reporting controls will make managing this risk easy, and ensure success of your Capital Project.

  1. Risk Management Plan: Download a free Risk Management Plan Template and put a Risk Management process in place.
  2. Risk Register: Download a manual Risk Register Template or use an automated Risk Register solution to track all risks, causes, consquences and mitigations.
  3. Reporting: Create automated Risk Reports, Project Status Reports or Dashboards for communicating with stakeholders. If you need a free Report Template, you can find some examples here.
Mastt provides fast, easy to use Risk Management tools that save time, automate Risk Management, and ensure risk free Capital Project delivery. Why take the 'Risk' 😂.

Why take the 'Risk'? 😂 Start today with Mastt's fast, easy Risk Management solution

Replace spreadsheet risk registers instantly and unlock opportunities to complete Capital Projects earlier with reduced costs using Mastt.

Take control of every step in your Capital Project lifecycle