Wednesday, 15 Aug 2018

Construction Worker Safety

If you own a company of any sorts, you surely know that the wellbeing of your staff is of the utmost importance. Ensuring the health and wellbeing of your employees will not only keep them safe and satisfied, but also contribute to a more efficient and productive workplace.

While all industries should consider occupational health and safety risks and preventative techniques, there are certain fields where this consideration is especially important. Construction is one industry in particular that can be really dangerous when the right safety measures are not taken. There are all sorts of ways that construction workers and business owners can maintain on-site safety, including the adoption of height safety procedures and installation of roof access ladders.

Unfortunately, in many cases, simple techniques such as these get overlooked or pushed to the sidelines because they are seen as too expensive or difficult to integrate. While maintaining high standards of safety in your Australian construction business may require putting forth a bit of extra effort, the payoff is worth it. You would not want to be liable for an on-site injury to any of your employees, and you most definitely would not want to be associated with any workplace fatalities.

For this reason, both construction workers and site managers need to educate themselves on the risks of working at heights, operating large/heavy machinery, working within close proximity to power sources, and any other common activities that may occur on the average construction site.

Common Construction Site Risks

To begin, let’s take a look at a few of the most common accidents that occur on construction sites:

  • Being struck by falling objects
  • Exposure to harsh or irritating chemicals
  • Ear damage as a result of load and excessive noise
  • Vehicle accidents, either as an operator or as a pedestrian
  • Tripping over loose objects
  • Falling from great heights

The last of these hazards is by far the most greatest risk that construction workers face while on the job. For that reason, it’s extremely important that construction companies work with the assistance of qualified height safety engineers in order to fully assess the safety of their workplace and take any necessary measures to minimise risk for their employees.

That being said, construction requires a high level of care and attention all around to reduce potential hazards for anyone on site. That primarily requires action on the part of management and business owners to guarantee that all possible methods of prevention are taken and consistently maintained over time.

Methods of Prevention

Here are a few of the most effective ways in which construction company owners and site managers can help keep themselves, their employees and any passersby safe while working:

  • Always ensure that all staff are wearing proper protective clothing and equipment when on site
  • Train each and every employee on how to stay safe while on site and how to look out for others to make sure they are doing the same. (Note: This is especially important for junior staff and apprentices)
  • Get all equipment regularly checked and serviced to ensure it is in appropriate working condition
  • Install height safety measures to prevent falls or protect staff if they are to occur
  • Hire a height safety engineer to analyse your risk factors and provide guidance on how to combat them

While the risks of construction work may seem overwhelming upon first glance, they can easily be avoided when the right precautionary measures are taken. Developing a solid, tested and consistent approach to workplace safety is crucial for keeping yourself and your employees safe regardless of what their specific roles entails.

Why Professional Assistance Matters

While you may think it’s acceptable to manage things on your own and take full control of your workplace safety regimes, it’s highly advised that you seek the assistance of professional site safety analysts. For one, they have a level of expertise that you may not. They have an understanding of what safety regulations are required by Australian law, and they are specifically trained to identify risk factors that may otherwise be overlooked by the average person. They will also definitely notice things that you wouldn’t simply given the fact that they provide a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective.

Additionally, seeking professional guidance is particularly useful when integrating new safety equipment onto your construction site that you have not used before. Some of these items may be unfamiliar and difficult to get used to, but height safety engineers and other construction safety professionals can ease the adoption of these tools and train you how to use them all properly.  

The number of annual construction site injuries and fatalities in Australia is extremely high, but it doesn’t need to be. If you know what potential threats to look out for and have procedures in place to avoid mishaps, you can actively work towards reducing this statistic. For more information, read up on your local safety laws and standards, and consider reaching out to a local height safety engineer team for advice.