Majority of inspected construction sites violate safety requirements

Construction site.
Construction site. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Based on a recent Labor Inspectorate (Tööinspektsioon) survey, 47 construction sites out of 58 violated safety requirements. Nine of these followed the requirements, however, with everything in order.

The construction sector is a field with a high-risk assessment, to which the Labor Inspectorate pays special attention. Falling from the heights at work is the main cause of accidents in the construction sector area. The Labor Inspectorate notices that if the employer and the employee had taken safety at work more seriously, they would have prevented the accident. 

During the course of their work, the inspectors looked at construction sites nationwide, in Harju, Lääne, Pärnu, Põlva, Rapla, Saare, Tartu, Valga, Viljandi and Võru counties. 

They checked workplace ergonomics, the condition of tools, ladders and scaffolding, personal protective equipment (PPE), work on roofs and documentation. 

Most problems were identified with guardrails in front of openings and stairs. In addition to that, the condition of the scaffolding was problematic. Several parts of the scaffolding had partial or no guard fences, partitions or lower guardrails. The construction hoists met all the requirements. The number of violations related to the order and use of ladders has decreased. 

There is a continuous problem with construction sites owning personal protective equipment. One-third of the sites did not have fall protection equipment issued to workers. Only two out of fifty-eight construction sites had proper safety belts, safety harnesses, safety cables and ropes. 

Construction site workers have a remaining problem which is they don't know how to properly use the safety helmet. Helmets are issued to the workers, but the problem is in the workers themselves as they do not want to wear them. The helmets are missing a chin strap and when they bend down, it falls off their head.

Few roofing works were carried out on the visited sites, but violations were discovered in almost half of them. Safety plans for construction sites had been compiled and updated. Furthermore, in most cases, they had also been introduced to employees. 

Nine construction sites out of 58 were identified as being without violation of the safety requirements: Two in Harju county - Vanalinna ehitus OÜ; RVO Ehitus OÜ, one in Lääne county - ABB Power Grids Estonia AS, two in Põlva county - AMARK EHITUS OÜ; Nordecon Betoon OÜ, one in Rapla county - AS TREV-2 Grupp, two in Tartu county - KRC Ehitus OÜ; OÜ Energia ja Ehitus and one in Valga county - Embach Ehitus OÜ. 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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