3.0 hours Building Green Course Syllabus
3.0 Elective Hours
Green home construction workers face many of the risks that workers in traditional construction face like electric shock, falls and repetitive motion injuries. However, green construction poses distinct safety risks for workers such as falls installing white roofing, falls from roofs and overexertion installing PV panels, and exposure to carcinogens when installing solar panels. In addition to the health risks to workers, these safety concerns could have serious liability and financial implications. This lesson will discuss safety concerns in sustainable construction.
Although green building enhances the health and safety of people and communities and protects the environment from degradation, constructing these high-performance structures jeopardizes workers health and safety. This is counter to the goal of sustainability, which is to create conditions that allow human beings to co-exist productively and harmoniously with nature while meeting the economic and social needs of people in the present and future. It would appear on the surface that green building should be safe and healthy for everyone, including workers. However, workers are not necessarily safer working on green buildings compared to traditional buildings.
Workplace safety in green construction is important because unsafe construction sites lead to injury, illness, and death among workers. Not only is this counter to sustainable building, but it could expose designers, builders, and homebuyers to financial and legal liabilities. This course describes the unique safety concerns of sustainable construction and how to avoid liability.