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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How Replacing Streetlights to LED can Help the City Councils

How can LED street lights make the streets a safer place while minimizing expensesIn our previous post, we spoke about the importance of city lighting. Lighting helps improve safety, reduces crime and also uplifts the overall look of the city. Lighting is an important aspect of city planning. Just like roads and other amenities, lighting is an important mandate for all city councils. Read our post about the importance of city lighting »

Over the last five years, most city councils across Australia have actively initiated the process of replacing old streetlights to LEDs. The advantages of opting for LED Street lights are manifold.

Cost and Energy Savings

LED lighting can reduce your carbon footprint significantlyThere are more than 2.3 million street lighting lamps in service in Australia, this contributes to nearly 1.5 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions each year and costing nearly $400m in energy and maintenance costs. It is stated that a change to widely accepted energy efficient technologies could save councils nearly 80% in energy costs. In addition to adopting renewable energy sources for public amenities, replacing traditional lighting with LED lighting is one of the first proven steps to reduce carbon footprint.
“Old lights use four and half times the electricity. The 80W mercury vapour streetlights cost 437% more in electricity compared to LEDs.”

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Return on Investment

While the implementation in LED light replacement appears to be a high investment. The capital cost of the new lights, installation costs, project management and other costs (such as a residual value of old lights), the initiative will pay themselves back in as little as 5 years.

“Long and predictable lifetime: The projected lifetime of LED street lights is usually 10 to 15 years, two to four times the life of currently prevalent High Pressure Sodium Lamps. (LEDs themselves do not generally fail or “burn out” in a way comparable to other technologies, and barring catastrophic failure of other mechanical or electronic components of the LED fixture, lifetimes are typically set by a decrease in luminous output of 30%.”

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