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Safety Culture in Construction

Health and safety is always a priority in the construction industry. Day-to-day tasks can involve working with heavy machinery, handling chemical and working in challenging environments. Issues can quickly arise, so it’s essential to have a strong safety culture.

Safety culture protects workers and ensures the health and safety procedures are always a priority. Keeping the construction site safe helps minimise accidents onsite, avoid legal issues and maintain productive outputs.

Read on to see how you can build a better safety culture onsite.

What is safety culture in construction?

Construction safety culture means putting site safety before anything else. Your employees are a valuable resource and deserve to be cared for at all times – a health and safety culture ensures that this is the case.

Construction is a hazardous industry where things can quickly go wrong, especially when you face pressures associated with build completion times. But a developed safety culture ensures procedures and systems are followed at all times.

The importance of health and safety in construction

Health and safety should always be the number-one focus in the construction industry. According to the HSE, there has been an average of  59,000 non-fatal injuries to workers over the last three years in the UK. While following safety procedures is standard throughout the industry, the data suggests we must do more to protect employees.

The benefits of a safety culture in construction also apply to firms. If an injury occurs onsite, you’re the one that pays. Health and safety is the law, so if accidents result from poor training and compliance, you could receive a fine or even be blacklisted from future jobs.

Better safety in construction also creates better results. Looking after your workers means less downtime due to injuries or absences and helps keep projects on track. Employees will feel confident onsite, knowing how to work safely through understanding their role in the site’s overall health and safety culture.

The common hazards on a construction site

While the common health risks in construction can vary, some occur more frequently. This can include:

  • Slips and falls –  26%  of the non-fatal injuries (mentioned earlier) were slips, trips or falls. Cables, uneven ground, slippery surfaces from weather or liquid spills can cause slips and falls.
  • Health risks – such as manual handling, noise pollution and prolonged inhalation of dust and debris.
  • Onsite traffic – construction sites are busy places, with lots of movement on and around site.
  • Storing hazardous substances – if stored onsite.
  • Working at height – such as scaffolding, ladders and rooftops. Employees must conduct risk assessments when working at height and always be supervised to ensure correct procedure.

With the proper training and a shift in mindset, you reduce the above issues and maintain a safe and efficient working environment for all teams.

Refuelling safely with Western Global's fuel tanks

How to improve safety culture in construction?

Building a safety culture is more than compliance and inspections. It means actively embedding health and safety practices throughout day-to-day tasks, engaging all employees – rather than just stakeholders – and putting your teams’ safety first.

Building a positive health and safety culture in construction can take time. Check out our top tips below to help you maintain a safe, productive and profitable site.

1. Comply with health and safety regulations in construction

Job sites require inspecting daily, at the end or the beginning of each shift. Routine planned inspections should be carried out throughout the day to address hazards.

Safety culture in the construction industry should feel more than a box-ticking exercise. Daily inspections help you prioritise safety; incorporating it into your routine allows you to identify potential risks before they become an issue (e.g., tools left lying on site, leaks, or equipment damage).

Ensure inspections include checks on equipment, large machinery (e.g. cranes), and chemical storage (e.g. fuel tanks). Ensure that employees fully understand what checks these inspections entail and why they are needed daily. Regular training and employee check-ins can help with this.

Take a look at our guidance on inspecting your fuel tanks here, as well as ways to comply with IBC and UL 142.

2. Training Staff

Proper employee training is one of the simplest and best ways to build a safety culture in construction. Workers will need regular refreshers with updates on legislation changes, variations in working environments, and other critical information.

Training and retraining your staff shows your teams that you take their safety seriously. It also means making all workers accountable and feel more involved in protecting others. So, whether you’re handling power tools or cleaning equipment, employees know the safety procedures for each task.

3. Reduce and manage onsite traffic

The less movement onsite, the better. Daily, construction sites can be populated with workers, machinery and deliveries, all trying to navigate the area simultaneously. Moving around your site can be tricky without the right traffic management, and workers are more prone to accidents.

One way of minimising traffic is by reducing deliveries onsite. Bulk fuel storage can help here – by safely housing larger volumes of fuel stock; you can easily access fuel for longer periods. This also reduces downtime associated with delivery schedules. Many fuel management tools are available to help you stay on top of usage, meaning you can order bulk fuel in advance, capitalising on lower costs and only requesting deliveries when needed.

As well as this, cubed fuel tanks such as Western Global’s TransCube are compact and stackable, saving more space onsite. Ideal for sites that are logistically challenging or with limited access.

Traffic management can be hard to organise when each site is different. The size, set-up, and access points of working environments change, so site routes must be revisited often. Use clear signage when creating vehicle ‘zones’ that drivers and pedestrians can see, and set up parking and unloading areas as far away from working areas as possible.

4. Fuel Tank Safety

As with any hazardous substance, handling fuel comes with safety risks. That’s why fuel must be stored correctly, and any potential issues minimised. Fuel is vital to keeping your site up and running, so implementing safer refuelling procedures can help embed safety practices into daily work.

You can do several checks to stay safe when storing fuel onsite, starting with its location. As we’ve discussed, construction sites are busy places, so your fuel must be kept away from high-traffic areas. This location should be clearly marked and regularly cleaned. You must also ensure that your fuel stock is kept away from flammable materials – including vegetation around the working site.

Fuel tank inspections occur every six months at a minimum, but it’s best to perform weekly checks to keep your tanks in top shape. Leaks and spills are only noticed if regularly inspected, so always check that pipes and fittings are in working order.

Bunded tanks safely store fuel onsite. With a secondary containment built into your fuel tank, all fittings are housed within the tank,  behind the exterior wall. This wall also provides an extra protective layer for your fuel, meaning your tank can handle more wear and tear and contain  spills. It’s a safe and convenient way of storing your fuel. View our range of bunded tanks here.

 Read more about looking after your fuel tank. 

5. Keep your site clean

Drilling, cutting, and equipment cleaning can lead to a dusty working environment. Prolonged inhalation of this dust and debris can lead to severe illnesses.

When thinking of a health and safety culture in construction, ‘safety’ often takes priority. But the UK government’s 2025 construction strategy states: ‘The industry must also bring the same focus to health as it has to safety’. Work-related illnesses lead to a significant amount of lost days in construction, so keeping your site as clean as possible can help reduce team absences and shutdowns.

Water bowsers are an effective way of keeping your site dust free. You can store sufficient water onsite, spray large areas to suppress dust and efficiently clean equipment. Water bowsers make construction cleaning a quick and easy task.

Explore our water bowser range.

Construction site safety with Western Global

With Western Global, you can store fuel safely onsite and refuel as and when needed. Our tanks have a bunded design to provide that extra layer of protection, ensuring your fuel is always safe, with little risk of spills or leaks.

Our  TransCube Global fuel tanks have a strong galvanised frame, meaning that it’s durable, robust and can withstand plenty of wear and tear. They can be forklifted straight onto site, full of fuel, reducing fuel deliveries and overall traffic flow. TransCubes can also be stacked, taking up less space onsite.

Western Global is ISO45001 accredited and has a complete health and safety system in the UK developed to identify and manage risk and prevent wherever possible, work related injuries or illness. Our Safety Committee comprises team members from all areas of the business and includes Employee Representatives to help build a proactive safety culture. Accidents and near misses are reported monthly at Board level. Our customers mean a lot to us, and we want to help keep everyone safe on-site.

To find out more about our market-leading products, click to browse our fuel tank range or speak to our team for more information.

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