Safety, Hygiene and Health at Work: a fundamental pillar in civil construction

Workers of any profession are confronted daily with many hazards in the workplace. Health and safety at work identify and assess a wide range of potential hazards in the workplace, requiring interventions, from accident prevention and the most severe risks. The prevention of diseases and accidents at work should be the objective of health and safety programs to prevent accidents.


Over the years, safety, Hygiene and Health at Work have proved to be increasingly fundamental for development and business success, as it has been improving the quality of employees’ work: reducing accidents, occupational diseases, and consequently absenteeism. Thus increasing business productivity and competitiveness.

The labour market is constantly evolving and transforming, so it is essential to identify the primary sources of risk that move in it to raise awareness and educate workers and employers to create risk prevention and control strategies.

Segurança no trabalho

After identifying the risk factors, it is essential to assess them, having as a first step the identification of the danger, aiming at the implementation of measures that eliminate it, and when its elimination is not possible, the correction of the risks must be carried out. That workers are exposed to in their work. Thus, risk assessment is understood as the process of assessing the health and safety of workers arising from hazards associated with equipment and the workplace.

According to Law No. 102/2009 of 10 September, amended by Law No. 3/2014 of 28 January, it is the employer’s responsibility to assess and report on the risks to which workers are subject during the performance of their duties.


Safety at work in the construction sector


The civil construction sector has evolved over the years, has created jobs and contributed to economic development, but it is also the sector with the highest accident rate in the country, ranking 2nd in fatalities, according to PORDATA ( Database Contemporary Portugal).

In Portugal, according to data from the ACT (Authority for working conditions), in the first five months of 2021, there were 37 fatal work accidents, with the construction sector being the most affected (15 cases), followed by the manufacturing industry ( 10). In (15 cases) in civil construction, (11) were caused by falls from a height.

One of the leading causes of the high accident rates is the negligence on the part of some leaders of the companies in the field and the negligence of workers in the use of safety equipment.

Other factors considered very importantly are the physical and structural situation of buildings and environmental aspects, human and psychological factors also contribute to the causes of this problem. Thus, to reduce risks and increase safety, it is crucial to implement norms and habits in the routine of those who work in this sector.

Safety at work

The main causes of accidents due to the negligence of work safety in civil construction:

  • Negligence
  • Lack of training
  • Workers and material falls
  • Disorganization and lack of signage
  • Misuse of equipment
  • Electrical shocks
  • Skin diseases and burns
  • Lack of attention

Finally, it is worth remembering that, in honour of the victims of fatal accidents in the workplace and occupational diseases, the National Day for Prevention and Safety at Work is celebrated on April 28th. This day also aims to draw attention to the importance of taking preventive measures to ensure safety at work.


Back to the top