Within the period of a decade in Australia, 401 workers died on construction sites. A majority of these construction site deaths were as a result of falls from heights, electrocution and vehicle collisions. A 2015 report identified the most common injuries obtained in the construction industry to be cuts, Sprains and Chronic Joint or Muscle Conditions. In these construction environments, communication, cooperation and consultation are imperative to ensuring all people on the site remain safe. There are also legal Workplace Health and Safety Frameworks in place to ensure safe workplaces. In an attempt to reduce construction site accidents, all workers are expected to undergo mandatory safety training to educate them on worksite risks.
General Construction Induction Training (White Card)
In Australia, all workers in the construction industry are legally required to have a ‘White Card’. This card recognises workers having completed an introductory course on construction site safety. The white card assessment is available online through registered training offices, and does not take extensive periods of time to complete. White Cards do not expire, unless a worker doesn’t set foot on a job site for 2 years, in this case the white card is no longer valid.
Preventing Some Hazards on the Construction Site
Personal Protective Equipment: One of the easiest things construction workers can do to increase their safety on the construction site is use the correct protective equipment. Protective eye goggles, gloves, hard hats, steel capped boots and reflective, high visibility clothing are the basics to creating a safer work environment. Workers should consistently inspect their safety equipment to check for faults, and should replace immediately if faults occur. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure all workers have the correct safety equipment.
Stairways and Ladders: Ladders must meet the Australian Standards for ladders. Workers should always inspect the ladders and scaffolds prior to use to ensure it is in excellent condition, and also only use it if they are physically able to. Workers with injuries or an inability to safely climb should not do so. Workers must always maintain three points of contact with the ladder, i.e. two feet, one hand. Extension ladders should be positioned at a 1:4 ration, that is 1m from the wall for every 4m of height.
Check out this Video for Using ladders safely
Workplace safety is incredibly important and should never be compromised. A deadline is never as important as your life. 401 people died on Australian worksites in 10 years, from incidents that could have potentially be prevented. Always be aware of your construction site, and report anything that might seem unsafe.