The prevention and protection of occupational risks for the building sector and, specifically, for bricklayers, is legislated, in Spain, by Law 31/1995 on the Prevention of Occupational Risks and by Royal Decree 1627/1997.
This regulation specifies the minimums that must be met in the construction work environment. To clarify some points in this regard, the main occupational risks in construction are analyzed below and the means of prevention are exposed.
Occupational risks in the building sector
Depending on the project in which they are working, the risks of these professionals can be very diverse. However, they all fit into one of these categories: safety risks; hygiene and environment; and ergonomic or psychosocial risks.
The most common ones are falls, cuts, entrapments and collisions, as well as hits against objects and tools.
Related to hygiene and environment
In this category we include chemical hazards, noise, vibrations or high/low temperatures.
Ergonomic and psychosocial risks
Finally, among the ergonomic and psychosocial risks we can include reduced workspaces, geographical mobility, hard and continuous physical activity, repetitive movements in manual operations or forced and maintained postures over time.
Occupational risk prevention for bricklayers
Risk prevention measures in the masonry sector can be generalized in three phases:
- Continuous training. Professionals should be trained specifically in the work they perform, as well as in the associated risks.
- Organization of work. Coordinating the different team members avoids temporary changes and establishes breaks correctly.
- Constant improvement of the environment. A constant analysis of the environment allows us to find aspects to improve of occupational safety.
Safety elements for a bricklayer
The main safety elements used for the prevention of occupational risks in construction are:
- Helmet and safety glasses. The helmet must be type A or B and must always be worn. The glasses should offer lateral protection and should be used whenever working with concrete mixer or cutting concrete.
- Safety clothing, harness and belt. For work at height and, in general, to isolate the body from hazardous chemical or physical agents.
- Safety shoes. It is one of the most important safety elements for bricklayers, due to the continuous possibility of suffering injuries from hits, crushes, cuts or other damage. They should be worn permanently and, of course, should be quality footwear.
- Hearing protection. Plugs or helmets that reduce noise by up to 15 decibels.
These are the main risks and occupational risk prevention measures that a bricklayer must take into account .