Physical Aspects Of Construction Work Conditions Construction Essay

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Bricklaying is a kind of craft, which is main work in construction. Bricklaying is based on the constructing of the building through the bonding of the stone, brick etc. with the bonding materials called mortar, which are prepared on the basis of sand, lime and cement. Bricklaying is one of the few branches of handicraft, which does not undergo changes. The basic union of bricklayers is bricklayer and to his scope of activities includes building of brick and stone buildings. This occupation is grown on several levels of requirements and on several levels of skills and knowledge. From profession of mason in later times were separated two another professions- such as: civil engineer, architect. In recent years brickwork has developed rapidly and nowadays workers uses many types of bricks and techniques of brick layering.

There are various types of bricks used in masonry:

Common Burnt Clay Bricks

Sand Lime Bricks (Calcium Silicate Bricks)

Concrete Bricks

Fly ash Clay Bricks

Fire Clay Bricks

We distinguish two types of bricks between of density.

LD bricks with density in dry state £ 1000 kg/m3, used in plastered walls or otherwise protected walls from water penetration

HD bricks with density in dry state > 1000 kg/m3, used in non-protected walls from water penetration

Brick dimensions

"Brick sizes are generally coordinated so that two rows of bricks laid alongside, with a mortar joint between them, are the same width as the length of a single brick laid across the two rows. That allows headers, bricks laid at 90 degrees to the direction of the wall, to be built in and tie together two or more layers of brick. The thickness of a brick wall is measured by the length of a brick."

Every person before becoming a bricklayer must have a suitable an educational background consisting of:

Differentiation of basic types of material,

How to use and caning equipment and tools,

How to organize transport of material in workplace,

How to appointment of foundation and groundwork profiles,

How to do correct groundwork foundation, ballast,

How to adequately protect and mark the place of work,

How to keep workplace in clean,

Typical brick worker should be mature and he should also stand out of good physical condition to ensure smooth move in the workplace. Overall health and ability to work in this profession must be confirmed by a medical doctor working on the detailed studies. Employee to perform his work must cooperate with operators of heavy equipment and he have to participate with surveying service in stakeout of arcs and falls.

Bricklayer is accountable to the foreman, manager, inspector supervision, or directly to the investor in his quality of done job. He also is accountable to the inspector of health and safety in the safe operation for approach to work the principles of hygiene as well as rules for the implementation of safe work. He is responsible for co-helpers for any joint work done. Worker must observe the deadlines for work and must demonstrate expertise.

Research question

The question that I ask: is it really Polish bricklayers group is adequately qualified and a good way prepared and educated for the job? Is it true that the masons are provided with all security measures to protect them from injury, and if so, which affects the high accident rate on construction? I want to refute the argument, which is well known to all, that construction in Poland and the health care worker is not in high level.

Purpose aim-definition

The aim of my work will be answer and analysis procedures for workers in the workplace. I would like to present the situation in the Polish masonry, as well as to prove that the Polish part of the building workers, it mean bricklayers, they have good qualifications and sufficient training to carry out the works. Prove that the impact of the high rate of accidents in the Polish construction industry is not bad training or inadequate knowledge of the employee, but the irreverent approach to the job and unprofessional behavior during working hours. Compare the training an employee and assigned protective equipment with the most common accidents in the workplace, which aims to confirm the thesis that training does not affect on the type of accidents bricklayer.

Methods of research

To write about bricklayers and masons and to prove me right I found many articles in the internet that show most frequent causes of accidents and injuries to employees of the building. To confirm my thesis consulted for books that describe the training of a bricklayer, his responsibilities and the required protective equipment when working. Statistics and analysis of accidents and fatalities during the masonry work has been used from the Polish Central Institute for Labor Protection-National Research Institute.


Bricklayers and VET

In the construction industry many workers cannot find work in his country where the employee has been trained and gained qualifications. At that time, increased need for experienced workers, but the difficulty was to examine the level of an experience person, recognizing a person's level of competence, skill and knowledge. Nowadays, the difficulty is to measure off and relying on employee referrals and experiments as proof of their capacity to trade. These factors have forced the creation in Europe EQF (European Qualifications Framework), which aims to facilitate mobility, recruitment and career development staff launched. Bricklayer it is just a perfect example of a working unit who is almost impossible to explore and recognition of qualifications.

Bricklayer in Poland has always been active in working on the labor market depending on the regulated VET (Vocational Education and Work and Training) and the qualification system. "In most continental countries, among others in Poland VET is provided through comprehensive programs, which are part of the wider school system and thus constitute the continuation of 'education' (commonly based on a curriculum, with a broad content) rather than 'training' as more narrowly focused on the job. VET is aimed at developing the individual for the occupation and employment as well as for life as a citizen in wider society. We can distinguish between school- and work-based systems with the latter dominating in most countries. Poland stands out in that the dominant route is through the 3-year vocational school, which is based on a mixture of classroom- and workshop-based provision. Some countries for example Poland identify 'competences' as key learning outcomes of VET. However, these systems are essentially input-based. Competences relate to sets of activities in the workplace and are based on the integration of knowledge, practical know-how and more generic (personal and social) competences, which are commonly not spelled out in detail."

Knowledge and scope of know-how In Poland3


General education and occupation specific



Occupational (Scope)


Social studies:

Sociology and psychology of work

Technical drawing

Labor law

Health and safety

Organization and planning of the work; materials, tools and equipment; earth works; brick walls; ceilings, lintel and cornices; woodwork and iron work; concreting; plastering; joining; repair; demolition

"The Minister of National Education approved the core curriculum of bricklayer vocational education. The core curriculum determines 80% of the educational scope and conditions. The other 20% of the education is devoted to adjusting the curriculum to the demands of particular labor market needs. The core curriculum corresponds to the requirements of the external exam confirming the qualifications and the standard of bricklaying professional qualifications".

Bricklayer exam

 Graduates should be able to:

Read and understand information presented in the form of descriptions, instructions, drawings, sketches, diagrams, technical and technological documentation.

Process and operational figures

Safely perform professional tasks in accordance with occupational health and safety, fire protection and environmental protection.

Plan activities related to the implementation of tasks

To organize workplace

The Bricklayer's technical training requires all apprentices to complete a practical assessment three levels, as well as a standardized examination for each level.

Bricklayer involves

Bricklayers under direction, lay brick and masonry to line and grade in or on a given structure or form of work. They lay brick or masonry units in the particular bond specified for walls and partitions; work with refractory and insulating units for boiler settings and combustion chambers; do fireproofing, block arching, terra cotta cutting and setting; construct brick masonry sewers and manholes; estimate materials required for small jobs; keep job and other records; read and follow plans and specifications; may supervise assigned personnel; and perform related work.

Some of the physical activities performed by Bricklayers and environmental conditions experienced are: crouching, working in confined spaces, using hand tools, carrying tools and equipment weighing up to 50 lbs., bricklayer need to be physically fit and patient with the weather.

Protective equipment in the masonry

Bricklayer at work is exposed to many dangers. To avoid unwanted accidents worker is equipped with special protective equipment. Construction manager is to provide its employees, including bricklayers following protective clothing:

Protective clothing against excessive dirt during the winter clothes and shoes warmed, adapted to the weather conditions

Shoes which protect against falling objects

Gloves to protect against rough and harsh elements

Eye protection

Head protection (helmets) when hazards from falling objects

If an employee is in immediate danger situation, the employee has the right to refrain from performing the work (then retains the right to remuneration may not refuse to take another equivalent job, the immediate removal of threats is not possible)

the use of efficient and appropriate tools

use of proper lighting job in accordance with

authorization to work only staff with appropriate qualifications, health and trained in safe work practices

the use of individual protection measures required, shoes and protective clothing

application of the principles of safe working as a bricklayer

compliance with instructions and guidance issued safety and health at work

and operation of putting the scaffolding in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations, contained in the technical documentation of physical product

perform work from a ladder in an emergency with the provision of appropriate safeguards against the slipping of the ladder, through the use of ladders with the 'feet' rubber, setting a ladder to be level and firm ground of assurance staff

determine the correct sequence assembly of individual components of scaffolding installation instructions or a plan developed assembly scaffold

Safety and health at work of masonry

Before starting work should bricklayer:

refer to the scope and type of work,

check for posted signs indicating the status of the scaffolding and the work carried out on the scaffolding.

check materials in the workplace are arranged in a way that ensures freedom of movement

check whether the level of the scaffolding work is below the level of the wall erected by at least 0.3 m

check the status of the scaffolding work:

stability of the platforms,

safe entrance to the stage,

guard rails (height of 1.1 m and an intermediate barrier curb with a height 0.15 m) for work in trenches to see if the walls of excavations are properly protected.

During the performance of masonry work must follow certain rules:

All holes in walls, ceilings, and others whose bottom edge is less than 0.8 m from the floor or platform shall be protected by a protective barrier height of 1.1 m and an intermediate barrier curb with a height 0.15 m,

Holes left behind in the performance of the work should be protected or tightly covered,

Pits the slaked lime should be fortified walls and railings should be enclosed with protective height of 1.1 m located at a minimum distance of 1 m from the edge of the bottom

To work on lime slaking use protective glasses and dust respirator.

After operation:

Organize the workplace,

Clean the tools and put them in designated locations and remove the remains of mortar

It is forbidden:

Walking on the freshly-made walls, ceilings and unstable false work,

Relying on barriers and the deflection of the outside edges of the structure without additional security

Simultaneously carrying out works on two or more floors in the same vertical without ceilings, or other security. Workplaces should be mutually shifted by about 1.5-2 meters

Implementation of the work of the foundation if the distance between the trench slope and erected a wall is less than 0.7 m,

The discharge of materials, tools and other objects from a height,

The use of ladders,

Leave tools, materials and other objects at the edges of the platforms of scaffolding,

Climbing a construction scaffold

Goats rely on bricks and other fragile materials or objects,

Excessive burden than acceptable standards, platforms scaffold

Walking and cross over the cable to transport ready-mixed concrete or mortar

Pushing a clogged duct feeding the mortar from the inlet,

Increasing the pressure pump over the limit,

Inefficient use of hand tools.

In case of fire:

Warn persons in danger inside,

Turn off the power of the building with electricity and cut off the gas,


Alert the fire brigade,

To inform his superiors about the fire,

Decide whether to evacuate people

Proceed to carry out fire fighting using fire extinguishers.

During the fighting action, the principle of absolute submission to the commands of the driver fire fighting and rescue action.

In the event of an accident:

Give the victim first aid

If necessary, seek medical attention,

Notify their superiors.

Most frequent accidents in the masonry

Construction worker is exposed daily to various threats. Sometimes a healthy physical condition is not sufficient to protect the worker before the accident. Most accidents happened as a result of "Slips, trips in the fall of persons", of which the vast majority of it falls on the same level. Percentage of deviation, like others, does not differ substantially from the one recorded in the previous year.

Accidents causing injury by events

Slip, stumble, fall people - in this same level

To slip, fall, collapse factor material - the fall from the top factor (shock injured by falling from the top factor)

Uncoordinated, inappropriate movements

Fall of person from height - at a lower level

Another deflecting

Loss of control over the tools (mechanized or not) or with the workable tool

Loss of control over the means of transport or equipment supported mobile (mechanized or not)

To slip, fall, collapse of the material factor - at the same level

Invalid steps

Other, not specified or unspecified variation in group. The movements of the body without physical effort


Accidents in Polish masonry 2006

The most common injury on a construction site while performing masonry work, which caused harm to the employees it was "Struck by object movement." According to studies, this result is 24% of all vehicles. The next factor that causes bodily injury is a bricklayer Collision with or against a stationary object "23.61% of cases. Many times an employee has injuries as a result of wounds" Contact with the subject of sharp, rough. "There were 18% of accidents. These 3 types, categories of events that cause damage and accidents in the workplace which contribute to more than 65% of the total amount of accidents.

The number of accidents by events causing injury

Struck by moving object

Collision or blow to the stationary object

Contact with the subject of sharp, coarse, rough

Physical or mental stress

Other Event

Imprisonment, crushing

Contact with electric current, dangerous chemical substances and preparations

Aggression on the part of the human or animal

No data

Drowning, burial, closing

Accidents in Polish masonry 2006

As it turned out, the most common accidents on construction sites which were recorded in Poland emerged from the recklessness and carelessness of the employee. High rate of deductions for vehicles moving builders indicate that it is also guilty of a machine operator and, above all, construction manager for the bad management and coordination of the construction. Scrapes and cuts with sharp protruding masons building construction elements are the result of poor job security after work. It also found a high number of accidents by falls from height. Many masons who work at heights such as the lifts or ladders, they underestimate the height which is in standard is considered to be dangerous (1m) and must be equipped with protective equipment.

Age groups of people most susceptible to accidents

Distribution of accidents by age of victims. Accidents in Polish masonry 2006

Based on studies in Poland, the statistical office reported that most accidents occurred in the two age groups. These groups are 26 and 48 years. Analyzing the results from previous years, was equalized distribution of the number of accidents in the group of victims between age 33 and 45 years of age - the number of accidents to them at a similar level. As a result, the average age of the victim has fallen from more than 38 years to 27 years. It is disturbing that young workers are so frequent accidents. As a result of this phenomenon, a specific emphasis it should checks and warnings for young employees and also requires special measures to strengthen the prevention of accidents. While the second group must be under constant review by the rest of the employees and by the construction manager, because the age of about 50 years is considered one of the retirement age. You should decide whether there should be replaced with experienced workers but the old, young, but with no experience.

Accidents by the number of hours worked

The structure of the number of accidents in construction according to the number of hours worked in the work of starting work. Accidents in Polish masonry 2006

Analyzing accidents at work in the construction according to the number of hours worked from the time work until the accident, we note a clear increase in the number of accidents at work after working for seven hours. The results of this phenomenon are too short interruptions imposed on the employee's working time. Employees during his last hours at work have less focus and become careless. Short time for rest and recuperation does not allow for the proper functioning of the worker at the workplace. As a result of that mason is more susceptible to the dangers in the workplace.

The exact analysis by the Central Statistical Office located in Poland was that it was just in the masonry is the biggest rate of accidents at work in construction. However, these professions accidents much less likely to produce serious consequences in comparison with other professions and construction industry as a whole, because the accidents are mainly light. Comparing the fatal accidents in the Polish construction, masonry is one of the lowest places on the list.

Table of accidents in different occupations work.

Bricklayer and masons

Carpenters, carpenters and related workers

Laborers in general construction

Assemblers and installation of sanitary facilities

Laborers in the construction of roads, water and related

Other assistant workers



Road building workers

Metal construction workers



Finishing work workers

Municipal network workers

Assistant workers in mines


Fitters of electric lines

Insulation workers


Plasters workers

Floor workers


Water building workers

Electrical mechanics

Pipeline fitters

Mold makers


As seen above, most accidents occurred during the execution of masonry work. Over the year, 693 accidents a very big result. Nevertheless, these incidents were caused solely by voluntary disregard for the rules and lack of staff, and not by inadequate training of staff, or insufficient knowledge of occupation and threats at work.

Structure of the consequences of accidents at work in masonry

Fatal injury

Hard injury

Light injury

Accidents in Polish masonry 2006

As we see in diagram above there is only 0,58% of fatal injury. Compare to the another craft it is not in high level. Masonry is characterized by a high rate of light injury which is caused by inattention of workers and this is a reason why bricklayer and masons are on top of diagram of most accidents at work.


Based on the above tables, diagrams, charts, studies and other evidence I am inclined to say that masons education is high, and is responsible for accidents only contempt for danger. I base my conclusions on the basis of strong demand Polish bricklayers abroad. Polish controllers of safety and health should strengthen the knowledge of small employers with responsibilities for occupational safety and health, in particular, aware of the need to risk prevention. The security situation in the Polish construction industry is still, unfortunately, is not high and therefore should take a greater emphasis on the checks of employees or work within the prescribed equipment.