Management of Health and Safety in Buildings and Civil Works

Health and safety management at construction sitesWith multiple teams, heavy machinery, castings and concrete works and precarious spaces – Construction sites are busy and fairly dangerous spaces. With proper coordination, consultation and cooperation organisations can ensure the health and safety of all members present on site.

What is Construction Work

Construction work is any work carried out in connection with the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting out, commissioning, renovation, repair, maintenance, refurbishment, demolition, decommissioning or dismantling of a structure, or preparation of a building site.

National Approach

Due to the nature of risk to life involved in certain industries, the Australian government has been proactive in creating laws and strategies to enable the safe working conditions. The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 has identified the construction industry as a priority due to the high number and rate of work-related fatalities and serious injuries.

For a number of years, construction has consistently been among the top few industries with the highest number of serious claims. Since 2006-07, it has had the fifth highest incidence rate of serious claims of all industries. The Strategy aims to reduce the incidence of serious injury by at least 30% nationwide by 2022 and reduce the number of work-related fatalities due to injury by at least 20%.

Since the Strategy launched, Safe Work Australia and all jurisdictions have been working collaboratively with the industry, unions, relevant organisations and the community to reduce traumatic injury fatalities and injuries in the transport industry.

Precautionary Measures on Site

The old adage “Prevention is better than cure”, cannot be ignored when we consider the safety of staff and works on site.

Personal Safety Equipment

Basic personal protective equipment for construction workersEquipping the staff members with personal safety equipment can save the PCBU (Person conducting business or undertaking) a fair amount of heartache. Helmets or hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, safety boots and earmuffs are the basic construction wear if provided to the workers can immediately reduce claims and injuries.
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Safety Equipment

Depending on the nature of the construction, equipment like safety harnesses, safe cage lifts, safety eyewash, and fireproofing can ensure the work is carried out with minimum problems.

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Safety Officer or Consultant

It is also fairly common, and a norm growing in popularity to hire a safety officer or consultant to guide from workers to the management staff the proper guidelines and processes to ensure the injuries and fatalities can be prevented while working on the site. The safety officer also makes rounds of the site to ensure that staff is adhering to the guidelines.

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Storage System: How to Avoid Potential Accidents on Construction Sites

Prevent potential on-site accidents with these effective storage solutionsConstruction sites are not only the most busy places of work, but also accident-prone areas. Brimming with hundreds of construction workers, site safety comes into limelight. The safety of the people working at the construction sites becomes a matter of great importance.

Amongst many safety issues relating to the construction sites is the issue of storage. For the safety of the construction workers, a good provision of safety storage needs to be given. Storage is not only essential for safety purposes but also to organise the equipment and tools that are used by each worker. Storage spaces are also used to keep the personal belongings safe as well as the tools. There are safety storages that are specially designed to keep important documents and contracts.

Why are storage spaces important in construction areas?

Storage is the capacity of an area to hold material and goods for a certain period of time in a way that it can be retrieved whenever required. A good storage space will not only contain the material but also keep it protected against external contaminating agents, weather, theft and vandalism and breakage. The factors that bring about a requirement of storage space for any construction project can be broadly classified into five sections:

1. Physical Nature of the Material to be Stored

When building projects are undertaken, after the planning stage comes the material sourcing stage. The material that is required for construction differs in size, shape, medium, weight etc. All this material requires a proper storage else it will go bad over a period of time. This is where a well-maintained storage facility comes into play. Space requirements of every material will differ. Bricks and cement bags will require a different type of storage facility in comparison to tool and equipment.

2. Protection of the Material

There are construction material that need to be protected from getting contaminated. There are materials that can contaminate other things around it and require protection. Such materials need to be kept in specially designed storage boxes or containers that are airtight and do not permit any escape of the substance contained within. Flammable goods also need to kept in a well protected space to avoid any sort of accident. Site safety plays a major role in storing such goods.

3. Security of the Goods

Keep your goods safe using security lockers and safety cabinetsBuilding projects always require purchase and storage of large amount of goods. These goods need to be kept safe from harms way.

A secure storage facility will make sure that these materials will stay safe from theft and vandalism. Construction safety is not the only area that is to be looked at here.

There is need for safety of tool and equipment used by the construction workers as well. Security Lockers and storage cabinets can solve this problem.

4. Ownership of the Equipment and Material

Whose equipment is it anyways? This is a very important point of consideration when you are working at a construction site. There are hundreds of people who come to work each day and in such a situation, the security of one’s personal belongings as well as tools comes in one’s own hands. In order to save your things from getting misplaced, tool boxes and personal lockers offer a good storage solution.

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Essential Safety Equipment for Construction Workers

Basic personal protective equipment for construction workersEvery industry has its unique processes that involve both, humans and machines. All these processes pose some hazards which require unique safety measures. However, there are some risk factors that are common for all sectors. These risk factors can turn out to be life threatening, if proper precautions are not taken.

Construction and mining sites are no exception to the risk of hazards, be it huge or small. Though the industries have advanced their processes and with high technology, there is always a risk to human life at the sites. This makes it imperative for both, employers and employees to follow a strict protocol for safety precautions.

Here is a list of some of the basic personal protective equipment (PPE) for construction workers:

Eye and Face Safety Equipment

Wear protective eye and face gears to stay safe at workThe eyes and face are most sensitive parts of the body and hence they need utmost precaution at construction sites. Majority of eye injuries take place due to foreign particles, gasses or objects that get into the eyes while welding, cutting, grinding, nailing, working with concrete etc. Working at sites with extreme winds, sparks, smoke, or dangerous chemicals also requires high precautions and safety equipment.

The essential safety equipment may vary according to the kind of work one is assigned to. For instance, stringent safety measures need to be adhered to by people working in close vicinity of welding machines or any acidic substance. There are many safety gears available in market that are specifically designed to be used for certain tasks. Based on safety requirements of various industries, ProjectLink has listed out the top eyes and face protection gear to choose from.

Head Protection

Hard hats are essential to protect head from major injuriesConstruction worker or not, if you are even walking through a site while the work is in progress – you have to wear a hard hat. This is the most important and fundamental requirement for any construction site. At construction sites, there is always a risk of objects falling from heights, and causing serious injury to your head. The hard hat is a vital gear that shields workers or visitors from falling object and/or direct contact with any harmful material. These hats are also useful for a protection from rain, direct sun rays, and electric shock.

Predominantly these hard hats are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) or advanced engineering resins, like, Ultem. They are capable of protecting person’s head from major injuries. Many of these hats also designed with accessories like face shield, hearing protection and ventilation to keep the wearer comfortable. Other advanced accessories that can be attached to these hats include, radio, walkie-talkies, mirrors, lights, cameras etc.

It is essential to keep these hard hats in good condition, and immediately replace them in case of any damage.

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