October 1st marks the start of the CIF Construction Safety Month 2023 in Ireland. Further details about the range of activities and webinars planned for the months can be found at https://cif.ie/safety-month/.
Globally, an interesting report has been issued in Singapore this month which confirms that incidents in the manufacturing and construction industries accounted for more than half of the major injuries reported in the first half of the year. Further details available at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/workplace-injuries-deaths-health-safety-report-mom-3803706
The above report from Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) highlighting an increase in major injuries within the manufacturing and construction sectors in the first half of 2023 highlights the vital role of environmental monitoring in these industries. This is particularly true when focusing on sound level and dust/air quality monitoring, both crucial in ensuring the safety of workers and minimising nuisances to neighbouring residents and businesses. The rise in reported cases of noise-induced deafness, as noted in the MOM report, is a direct consequence of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise commonly found on construction sites. Environmental monitoring systems that offer real-time reporting on sound levels can assist companies in promptly identifying and mitigating this excessive noise exposure, thus reducing the risk of health issues related to noise.
Beyond noise, the dust generated from construction activities poses its own set of challenges. Inhalation of construction-related dust can trigger or worsen respiratory conditions. The importance of real-time monitoring of dust and air quality cannot be overstated. Early detection means construction sites can adapt and implement measures to reduce dust emissions, ensuring the health of the workforce is not compromised. Furthermore, high levels of noise and dust from construction activities can severely disrupt the daily lives of nearby residents and businesses. This often leads to complaints, challenges in community relations, and, in some cases, legal confrontations. Here too, environmental monitoring systems prove invaluable, ensuring that activities remain within acceptable limits, facilitating a good relationship with the surrounding community who are likely to be impacted by the ongoing works.
Speaking about the Singapore report, Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad, emphasised the significance of a safety-first mindset among businesses. Implementing environmental monitoring signals a commitment to this ideal, broadcasting to both workers and stakeholders that health and safety are paramount. This proactive approach not only ensures compliance with standards, it increases worker morale and enhances the reputation of construction contractors by demonstrating their commitment to safe operations.
Interestingly, MOM is intensifying its inspection efforts, especially in smaller-scale construction sites, therefore having a reliable environmental monitoring system in place is essential. Such systems allow project owners to stay ahead of potential regulatory breaches, offering real-time data that can guide immediate corrective actions. This not only ensures compliance but also serves as a deterrent, ensuring companies remain vigilant in maintaining safety standards.
While the challenges in the construction and manufacturing sectors remain considerable, the role of environmental monitoring as a critical tool in addressing these issues is clear. As construction becomes an increasingly professional sector, it is vital for leaders to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to safety, health, and environmental best practice.
Download the Sonitus Systems ‘Guide to Environmental Monitoring for Construction Companies’ here: https://www.sonitussystems.com/insights/guide-to-environmental-monitoring-for-construction-companies/
Sonitus Systems offers both the hardware and software for a range of environmental parameters on a continual basis, with real-time information available through our Sonitus Cloud dashboard. For more details on our indoor and outdoor noise and air quality monitoring products and services, please contact the team at https://www.sonitussystems.com/contact-us