Accidents in Construction Sites In Kenya.
Accidents within construction sites can be categorised in the below categories.
1. Foundation accidents.
These occur when the excavated ground opens up pockets of Sulphur dioxide or other poisonous gasses. These gasses poison the labourers as they dig the foundation . Areas such as Ngong town are prone to such pockets of poisonous gasses under the ground.
Also, the foundation walls can collapse and burry the labourers while digging deep foundation pits or septic tank pits.
At ground level, accidental stepping of nails is very common. This injures the foot.
Walls can collapse and injure people nearby. Such cases occur when masonry walling has been stacked up more than 4 courses high within a day. The mortar will still be wet hence not strong enough to bring the stones together.
The formwork that the labourers use to stand and place the mortar on can sometimes snap and lead to a fall.
During the hoisting and placement of roof trusses, the temporary wooden joists used to temporarily hold the trusses usually break. This leads to the heavy wooden trusses pushing people to the ground from the roof area. This is especially fatal fro ground plus 2 and above heights.
Also, during laying of the roof cover, labourers can accidentally slip and fall to the ground. The fatality depends on the number of storeys of the building.
Also, objects can accidentally fall from heights and injure the workers at the lower levels.
Also, nails tend to ricochet especially when using hard wood such as blue gum .This can lead to serious accidents to the people around.
During electrical wiring, it’s common for labourers to be electrocuted in the course of their work.
Works such as painting, plastering, ceiling fixing require that labourers stand on formwork to reach the top most parts of the wall and ceiling. If the formwork is not firm enough, it can snap , leading to dangerous falls.
Careful consideration and evaluation on the type of formwork is essential. Use of helmets , boots and overalls is also a good method of preventing accidents.
First aid boxes should be within reach within the site.
Use of the right, well trained personnel for a particular task and use of the right tools for work needs to be enforced and implemented. For example, a mason should not try to work on the roof since his skills are not appropriate for the task.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.