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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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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Advanced Industrial Solutions to Work at Heights

Safety equipment for workers working at heightsWhat comes to your mind when you look at a new skyscraper being constructed? Huge cranes, forklifts, scaffolding, many kinds of ladders and temporary stairs etc.

For a new entrant in the construction industry to understand what ladders, stairs, and scaffolds are, can be an overwhelming experience. Even if you have been in the industry for long, you would appreciate the experience and knowledge you have gathered over time to learn the benefits for using such equipment definitely helps in creating a safer, healthier and comfortable working environment for your construction workers.

Various types of scaffolding and stairs are available for construction workers to use. You will be surprised to know how utilizing the right type of equipment for your construction site could help you to build smarter, safer and quicker.

ProjectLink has gathered a list of smart solutions for working at heights that could help you to create a better and safer environments for your workers.

Aluminium Stairway

Aluminium stairwayLadders always carry the risk of falling or associated construction hazards. In order to reduce such risks, shifting to using safety stairways has a lot of merit. One of the popular additions in ProjectLink’s database, Aluminium Stairways from Global Scaffold, are a considerable option for construction site safety stairways. These stairways are lightweight, durable, and safe, and eliminate the need for ladders on site. These safety stairways are compatible with A-frame Scaffolds and Quick Scarf, and the side trails improves the work efficiency and makes them a safe option for the workers.

Find out more and request a quote for these Aluminium Stairways »

Mobile Towers

While use of ladders can work fine for lower floors, using ladders for work on second or higher floors is neither easy nor safe. In such situations, switching to scaffold towers is the perfect solution for your construction site, and even for any DIY project. Erecting scaffold towers to desired heights is quite simple, and these are very easy to deploy at different sites.

One of the popular scaffold towers in the market, is Mobile Towers. These towers come with adjustable scaffold castors with locking brakes and they carry a 450kg load rating (the maximum permitted on Aluminium Mobile Scaffold Towers). Moreover, these lightweight Mobile Towers come with a LIFETIME GUARANTEE.

Find out more about Aluminium Mobile Towers and know about their free deliveries »

Design Engineering

Take consultant for your customized equipment to work on heightsIf you are working in industries such as steel making, minerals processing, production facilities etc., your need of ladders or high platforms might differ from the traditional construction ladders and scaffolds. Given the efficiency requirements and safety norms, zeroing in on the right kind and quality of ladder/high platform can be quite a challenge.

In situations these like, working with professionals like, Sherwood Design & Engineering PTY LTD, can bring in lot of value to your business. Sherwood Design and Engineering offer a competent team of engineers who can design structures, platforms, walkways, ladders and stairways to relevant codes. You can now get your own customized solution for working safely at heights.

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QuickScaff

Scaffolds are always a better option to ladders, especially, while working on a giant building project. The task becomes easier if you opt for more efficient, lightweight scaffold that has an easy erection mechanism to attain the desired height. QuickScaff is something that fits perfectly into that profile.

Aluminium QuickScaff from Global Scaffold, are one-third of the weight of its steel counterparts, and has a maximum freestanding height of 4 meters. Use of scaffold offers significant savings on labour cost and improves work efficiency. The most attractive feature of this scaffolding is the exceptionally simple mechanism to erect it to the height of 20 meters (Licensed).

Find out more and request a quote for this Aluminium QuickScaff »

Vertical Fall Arrest System

Vertical static linesLadders have been commonly used since ‘Adam’, and hence they become an easy choice for most. However, use of ladders always carries life risks, especially, when they are used for work at exceptional heights.

When it comes to safety, most builders prefer using ladder cages; these can prevent workers from falling backwards. However such cages prove to be ineffective in preventing downwards fall. Given this, these cages are not a full-proof protection option for employees working at great heights. This really underscores the reason behind increasing interest towards opting for vertical fall arrest systems.

A vertical fall arrest system attaches the workers to the ladder at all times, be it climbing on or off the ladder. One of the leading suppliers of height safety equipment, Anchor Point Engineering recommends and installs two very well-known Vertical Fall Arrest systems, the Sala “Lad-Saf” and the Sayfa “Arresta”. Both of these systems can be attached to existing ladders and give the workers a confidence to work freely, without worrying about falling.

Find out more about these Vertical Static Lines for fall protection from ladders »

Portable Work Platforms

VRS Squirrel Series portable work platformFinally, there is a perfect solution for all the business owner who have to manage multiple projects at different locations, simultaneously. This also holds true for people who work on projects that involve loading (and climbing onto) trucks with various deck heights, or picking packages from multi height shelves.

The VRS Squirrel Series from Accumax Global, offers a safe, fast and efficient mobile platform to work at heights. These portable solutions boost productivity by offering highly versatile, adaptable (with easy to fit option), and safe platform to work on. These VRS Squirrel platforms are currently being used for varied usages, from tradesman on building sites, to maintenance workers in oil refineries, to cite a few.

Find out more about the portable VRS Squirrel Series »

We understand the requirements of a particular equipment can vary from industry to industry. It’s quite possible that your business might need something different and customized than all these equipment above. ProjectLink offers a comprehensive list of Australia’s leading suppliers for high quality and advanced equipment to work safely and efficiently at heights. Check out the complete list and shop exactly what you are looking for!

Source: https://www.projectlink.com.au/blog/advanced-height-safety-equipment/