Health and Safety in the construction sector

Types of work-related hazards

A hazard may be defined as the potential of a person, substance, equipment, activity or process to cause harm.  Hazards take many forms, which may include:

Hazards related to construction activities

The construction sector has been considered as the pillar Mauritius' economic growth for a long period. In 2019, it consisted of over 120,000 workers (both directly or indirectly employed), which represented at that time around 22% of the total workforce.  Today, with Rs 40 billion worth of new projects, the construction sector is has now been taken to a new level and therefore providing job security to many Mauritians.

One thing to be noted however, is that according to the Mauritius Occupational Safety and Health Statistics, the construction industry is the sector with by far the highest rate of fatal accidents (see Chart below for comparison).  

The most common causes of construction site accidents include:
  • Lack off all protection for workers on elevated structures (e.g. safety harness)
  • Lack of protection for people on the ground from falling objects (e.g. hard hat)
  • Slipping and tripping hazards from construction materials and debris (e.g. mud, grease, holes, trenches and other obstacles)
  • Missing guards or protections on power tools (e.g. use of safety goggles and protective gloves when using hand drill, grinder, etc.)
  • Unsafe equipment (e.g. poor scaffolding assembly)
  • Unsafe property conditions (e.g. inadequate lighting, poor ventilation, etc.)
  • Horseplay (e.g. fooling around with tools and equipment, reckless driving of work vehicle, etc.)

On the other hand, numbers show that the Manufacturing sector is involved with the highest rate of non-fatal accidents, followed by the Construction sector (see Chart below).