Is offsite manufacturing a safer way to build?
It’s a sad fact that the construction industry has more reported annual deaths and injuries than any other in the UK. According to the HSE, there were 30 fatalities in 2022 and around 60,000 injuries – ouch!
Construction sites are dangerous places to work and while most people in the industry adhere strictly to health and safety regulations, accidents will always happen when there is risk.
Risk of course is the main factor when it comes to accidents; lessen the risks and there will be fewer accidents.
How can offsite manufacturing reduce the risk of accidents in construction?
UK houses are still predominantly built with concrete, masonry, and steel, but in recent years, timber frame is being increasingly specified because of its environmental, cost, and time-saving benefits – timber frame housebuilding grew by £70m in 2022 and could increase by more than £150m by 2026.
Offsite manufacturing not only reduces construction time, but also reduces labour, waste, and the need for on-site machinery – all of which reduce the risk of accidents.
As timber frame manufacturers, we work in a controlled environment where safety is paramount and where it is managed at a micro level. Every piece of equipment, every method of work, and every inch of the factory is optimised for safety.
Compared to traditional construction methods, offsite manufacturing help to reduce the overall risks of accidents:
- Timber frame systems are built offsite in a controlled environment
- On-site labour is reduced therefore risks are reduced
- Prefabrication means fewer on-site slip or fall hazards caused by bad weather
- A house can be constructed in days instead of weeks
- There is less on-site machinery so less risk of accidents
- Fewer on-site vehicles are needed
- There is less waste which can reduce trips and falls
- Timber frames are lifted into position by cranes so there is less work at height.
We all know that even with the most stringent safety standards, accidents will still happen. However, offsite manufacturing is safer because the risks of accidents are lower.
The construction industry is already shifting toward more modern and efficient ways of building so in the coming years we hope to start to see that our industry has helped to reduce the number of unnecessary accidents and fatalities.
In the meantime, stay safe, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like more information.
Reference: HSE Construction Statistics 2022