What are the Basics of Plastering Health and Safety?
Over 1000 plasterers were seriously injured on site in 2010 in the United Kingdom. Basic health and safety standards, as provided for and required in the Health and Safety Act 1974 regulations and upheld by the Health and Safety Executive have been introduced over many years to improve safety in the workforce.
One of the trades affected by these changes in standards is plastering. But what does plastering health and safety consist of in the present day?
General Health and Safety Basics
Good health and safety practice on any construction site includes a full risk assessment, identification of who is responsible for the health and safety of the staff, and ensuring that you are up-to-date with new information about hazards or materials.
Is the workplace efficient and organised properly? Do you have the correct protective equipment and are you displaying the right signs and notices? Do people visiting the site understand the health and safety risks on site?
Is there a first aid resource? Who has the key and are the contents appropriate to the job you are doing?
Who will report health and safety breaches and problems? Under new regulations all breaches, injuries and illnesses need to be logged and reported to the health and safety executive.
Particular hazards such as asbestos are risks to all but particularly to plasterers and those working with walls and ceilings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
In addition to the general basics there are specific requirements for plasterers. These include specific protective equipment, including:
- Odour masks
- Shoes safe for use on ladders
- Eyewear to protect against airborne particles and plaster
Working at heights
Working at heights and ladder stability are key. There are many hazards linked to airborne particles, such as plaster, glues, adhesives and linings. Plasterers will use hazardous equipment, such as heat strippers, drills and hammers.
Working alongside other tradespeople
They also work closely to electricity and often alongside other tradesman, such as plumbers, tilers and roofers. This is an important point as there will be health and safety issues effecting a wide range of other people whilst you are plastering, so a cross trades risk assessment is required.
Whilst it is easy enough to assess the risk of falling off a ladder or possible electrocution it is hard to log potential damage to the lungs, eyes or other parts of the body from airborne threats.
This damage can happen over a prolonged period of time. A basic plastering health and safety tip would be to have regular medical checks on lung health and eye examinations.
Construction sites are dangerous places. A plasterer needs to be aware of risks to himself and others and consider risks across the construction site.
The CSCS Health, Safety & Environment test
Sitting the CSCS Health Safety and Environment test is a must for all plasterers whether you are a labourer, skilled worker or looking to move into a supervisory position.
The test is professional recognition that you meet the health and safety standards relevant to your job, and that you are up to date with current health and safety regulations. To find out more about the CSCS test, click here to visit our CSCS test page.
image source: flickr