As green technologies expand and more and more focus on green construction develops, there is an increased concern about how this will affect lone worker safety. With unique challenges in building these new constructions, there are also new safety measures that need to be implemented.
These are vital to review since safety measures have serious consequences for the people working on projects like these. Green construction is partially intended to improve and protect the health of future building occupants. However, questions have been raised about the safety of green construction for contractors and construction workers. With this in mind, what are some of the pros and cons of green construction on lone worker safety?
Pros of Green Construction on Lone Worker Safety
Pros of green construction on lone worker safety include the health benefits that the occupants of the building will later enjoy. One goal of green construction is to improve the safety of building materials and air quality for the people who are regularly in the building. For this reason, workers aiding in the construction of green buildings may also be more protected by pollutants and other hazardous materials.
Additionally, because many of the technologies and methods used in green construction are new (or at least not familiar to the average construction worker), a review of the safety measures and careful implementation is much more likely. Workers benefit from these measures to increase lone worker safety on the construction site, and a review of the safety guidelines keeps them fresh in everyone’s mind. The impact of a frequent review of the safety guidelines should not be discounted, considering that many workplace accidents and injuries occur due to lax safety standard observations.
In addition, studies have shown that the use of green construction materials, as well as the effect of green construction layouts, are not to be discounted. Workers enjoy a safer environment because they are working in a place designed to be safe for future occupants. Working with low-VOC materials was also linked to fewer health risks.
Cons of Green Construction on Lone Worker Safety
There are, however, cons of green construction when it comes to protecting construction workers. Some of the most significant findings are an uptick in injuries when working with recyclable materials and performing tasks with which workers are unfamiliar. Many of these technologies are vital to the construction of green buildings. However, construction workers who are unfamiliar with building processes may be at risk. The unique challenges of new building techniques needed for green buildings may cause harm to inexperienced workers.
Some of these new techniques are considered “high risk” and include installing atria, vegetated roofs, and photovoltaic panels. Findings also showed an uptick in injuries. These include eye strain, falls, and strains from installing renewable energy measures and reflective roofing materials. Additionally, there was more exposure to hazardous materials in jobs that included tasks like the construction of green wastewater technology. These findings show that there are unique challenges in providing for the safety of workers in green construction.
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