Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Spotlight on the construction industry
For ages people have been building shelters and houses using bricks and blocks bound together by mortar. As a result, the trade of bricklayer gradually evolved into what it is today. However, working methods, materials, tools, equipment, and workplaces may vary between workers, construction projects,1 and countries, leading to differences in health and safety risks.
In the Netherlands, codes of practice are developed for various professions in the construction industry aimed at reducing health and safety risks. These codes are based on consensus between health and safety experts, employers, and employee organisations. Recently, such a code of practice was developed for bricklayers.2 The facts presented here are based on that document or other sources as research studies, expert opinions, questionnaires, and interviews conducted with employers and employees. The risk assessments are compared with international standards and scientific literature. The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the tasks, health and safety risks, and control measures to reduce or eliminate hazards of the job and in the workplaces of bricklayers and their assistants.
TASKS OF THE JOB
Bricklayers are engaged in building and renovating houses, offices, and industrial complexes using bricks, blocks, and mortar. Each day the Dutch bricklayer handles some 800–1100 bricks or an average of 165–220 blocks.3,4 The bricks and blocks are delivered to the construction sites by truck, in packages or in bulk. The bricklayers’ assistant is responsible for the preparation and the transportation of materials and equipment to the actual workplaces. The bricklayer builds the walls by adding mortar and placing the bricks (one handed) or blocks (two handed) in their correct position. In general, one assistant works for two to five bricklayers. Over the years, bricklaying, transporting materials and equipment, and block laying have developed into three specialised …