Safety is no accident.
It’s well-known that the building and construction industry is one of the highest risk industries in Australia. Every year there are far too many workers who get seriously injured or killed on a construction site.
According to Safe Work Australia, there are around 3 fatalities per 100,000 workers and 8.1 serious claims per million hours worked. It’s reported that every year there are around 12,600 workers’ compensation claims from the construction industry for injuries and diseases that involve one or more weeks off work, that’s an average of 35 serious claims per day!
The reason the construction industry is deemed such a high-risk industry is due to the nature of work that’s performed. A ‘fall from a height’ accounts for the largest proportion of fatalities, followed by being hit by falling objects, slip accidents, and vehicle accidents.
Make safety your top priority.
It makes sense that safety has become a top priority in the construction industry due to the high number of work-related incidents, injuries, and illnesses to the workers in this industry. Safety on a construction site is not only vital to the workers on site but also for protecting the public.
Accidents have a significant impact on construction projects. Accidents are usually associated with costs like workers’ compensation, medical expenses, and legal services. However, construction accidents can lead to many indirect costs such as, replacement staff and, implementing corrective measures. While minor incidents may only cause light injuries, a severe accident can mean the end of a project or even a company. The human consequences of accidents can’t be quantified in monetary terms.
This October is National Safe Work Month, a timely reminder to commit to building a safer workplace. By creating a culture of safety on your site, you can protect yourself and your clients from these risks. No job should be unsafe, and no death or injury is acceptable. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone.
How to build a culture of safety on your construction site.
A safety culture can’t just be a book of written policies, it must be a top-down approach and must be put into practice by the executive officers to show your workers that you’re committed to keeping them safe.
People tend to be more careful once they’re aware of the possible risks. Every person who enters the construction site should be properly inducted and must be made aware of any risks or accident prevention measures. Every project is different with unique risks so regardless of any previous experience or training, safety is ongoing, and awareness should be too.
Training is the easiest way to help improve your company’s safety culture. The state’s Safe Work websites provide plenty of training advice and resources for safety in many industries including construction. Workers should constantly update their knowledge because information will change as new construction methods and technologies are introduced. Ongoing training will help your workers better retain what they’ve been taught, and it keeps safety top of mind.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
To ensure safety on project sites, construction workers must be equipped with proper gear and tools for the job at hand. Appropriate PPE may include eye & face protection, foot protection, hand protection, head protection, and hearing protection.
Communication is key, and the best way to prevent accidents is by understanding the hazard and being aware of the risks. Accidents are more likely when workers are not well informed about the tasks and the potential risks.
The top 5 safety benefits of prefabrication.
There’s a slow but steady trend towards more prefabrication as a construction method, especially in this pandemic period. In addition to being fast and efficient, prefab construction has the additional benefits of higher quality outcomes, cost savings, time savings, better site security, less environmental impact, and mitigates labor shortage issues. However, it’s also a great improvement for site safety.
Due to the componentry being made offsite, a lot of the safety risks associated with prefabricated construction are greatly reduced. Working at heights is reduced since most of the manufacturing would be in a ground-level warehouse. Assembling the prefab products onsite may still involve some working at height but the time and staff involved are reduced. Manufacturing is usually in a well-lit, dry, and well-ventilated building out of the weather elements, reducing more risks like slip hazards. Workers also have adequate space to perform their jobs on the production line and easy access to the proper tools and machinery compared to onsite construction.
LESS WASTE AND CLUTTER
By removing material off the job site, there’s a better workflow for the entire project. Less materials are stored onsite, reducing clutter, and creating a cleaner, more organised, and a safer project. Due to the nature of prefabrication, the products are mostly shop drawn which also eliminates waste onsite.
LESS ONSITE WORKERS
Less workers onsite mean less workers who could be injured or killed on site. Your site will be less crowded with less potential for workers to run into issues, also in the COVID-world, it means less chance to have a positive case onsite and less people to have to self-isolate should that be required.
Prefab construction also provides safer working conditions because a safety culture is more easily met and policed in a factory environment which leads to improved quality control procedures. Not only is there a reduced risk of slips, trips, and falls, but there’s also a reduction in onsite activity. By incorporating prefabricated components in your build, it’ll help to reduce the top causes of construction site injuries and fatalities.
Saving costs, saving lives.
Contractors are embracing prefab construction more and more. Lower costs and streamline construction processes are the obvious benefits, however, the possibility to save lives, not just dollars also factors heavily in their decisions when evaluating construction methods for their projects.
We also supply temporary stair treads, Safe-T-Treads™ to provide safe access to the decks before the Fast Tread® stairs have been core filled. With ladders and stairways accounting for approximately 24,882 injuries and 26 fatalities in the construction industry per year, the Safe-T-Tread™ system is helping reduce these statistics.
Handrails can be installed on the Fast Tread® stairs prior to the stair flights being installed, this gives you immediate edge protection in the stair shaft and is another way to reduce the fall from height injuries.
For more information on FTI prefabricated formwork construction systems call 1300 751 701.