Safety First in Construction

Safety in Construction sites

How Developers can Safeguard Occupants and Employees

With the need for residential and commercial property developments constantly on the rise, the number of developers is also increasing. In a flourishing market, it’s crucial for these companies to keep a close check on the physical safety and wellbeing of the occupants of the buildings being constructed as well as that of the employees working on-site during construction.

Safety in the construction industry is regulated by the National Building Code (NBC) through a standardized set of guidelines that involve:

  • General building requirements.
  • Administrative regulations.
  • Fire safety procedures.
  • Structural design regulations.
  • Development control rules.
  • Conditions pertaining to building materials and plumbing and building services.

Should the structure fail to comply with the NBC Code, the developer will be forced to face the consequences. This may result in approval being cancelled or even in the demolition of the building. Some of the safety guidelines are:

  • Elevators have to be installed in buildings higher than 13 meters.
  • Emergency exits have to be installed to ensure safe evacuation, in case of an emergency like a fire.
  • For each floor that accommodates more than 20 people, two exits should be installed.
  • A minimum of one staircase that serves as a fire exit has to be installed.
  • Several floors have to have booster pumps, pipelines and water tanks installed.
  • All buildings have to have a handrail of minimum height installed.
  • All balconies that are two meters or more in size and overlook interior or exterior open spaces have to have guardrails or parapet walls installed.
  • Plumbing work has to be installed. This includes drinking water, toilet services and sewer systems and should be installed with the required safety methods that help avoid the spread of diseases and also prevents accidents.
  • Buildings that are covered in part or completely by metallic surfaces have to adhere to safety measures that avoid lightning.
    In addition to compliance with the NBC code, other recommended approvals include a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Pollution Control Board, a NOC from the local electricity board and fire department and clearance from the local authority on explosives. It is also recommended to obtain compliance with the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA), which features a range of rules surrounding safety standards during construction.

Health and Safety Methods Developers Should Take to Protect Employees

It is the responsibility of every developer to ensure that workers have a safe work environment. Developers who have over 50 workers are required to issue a health and safety policy statement and to ensure that the policies in the statement are followed. This is usually the Building and Other Constructions Workers (BOCW) Act which clearly depicts the health and safety measures required to ensure the wellbeing of employees. In light of this, developers should:

  • Ensure safety on the construction site by providing suitable protective gear like eyewear, helmets, footwear and gloves.
  • Take required precautions while demolishing a building to avoid it collapsing.
  • Provide adequate lighting when moving loads.
  • Take precautions to prevent dust inhalations during work.
  • Ensure that workers lift and move limited weights.
  • Make medical facilities available to workers on site.

Going Forward

The construction industry’s main objective should be to reduce injuries, accidents and deaths by maintaining safety standards. By simply following safety codes and using quality materials, this is possible.


More to explore

Leave a Comment