Queensland Floods Cleanup – Mud Army: 7 Tips To Look After Yourself!

Like most people and companies in Queensland and NSW, our hearts and thoughts go out to the thousands of individuals, families and businesses who’ve been devastated by the recent flood disasters.  Especially those who’ve only recently recovered from the 2011 floods, and families who’ve suffered personal and financial loss.

brisbane floods
Picture Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-28/residents-along-the-brisbane-river-prepare-for/4487908?section=qld

One of the inspiring upsides of these sorts of catastrophes is the way people and communities pull together to help each other out.  Case in point:  the famed Queensland “Mud Army” which already is resurrecting itself from two years ago!

From Townsville, through Bundaberg and down to the border of Tweed Heads, and inland to Laidley and nearby areas this great Aussie phenomenon can be seen in action.  Working mostly unknown and unacknowledged, these often seemingly tireless contributors can arguably do far more than corporations and government put together!

As the long and arduous clean-up and rebuild work begins in Queensland and NSW there is a need for a “shout-out” for safety.  In the selfless assistance being provided, often contributors own safety is overlooked or largely neglected.  Here are some tips for Mud Army volunteers:

  1. Be careful where you tread.  Underneath muddy waters, no matter how deep or shallow, can lurk all sorts of dangerous things!  Nails in timber, broken glass, sheered tin or metal, electrical cables, to name a few.  Make sure you know what’s under the water as best you can, especially before putting your hands and feet in!
  2. Wear strong foot and hand protection.  Strong boots, or gumboots, and tough gloves are essential to prevent nasty injuries, possibly requiring a hospital visit and tetanus jab, at the least!
  3. Be super careful when using electrical appliances or tools, near water.  As everyone would know, water and electrical power don’t mix!  But a dropped power tool, together with live electricity can be too late to retrieve before it does potentially life threatening damage.  Watch out generally for electrical cables as well, to make sure they don’t cause trip hazards, or are exposed to sharp edges.
  4. Slip and trip hazards:  With slimy muddy surfaces becoming exposed as flood waters recede, or are cleaned up – the possibility of slip hazards on flood sites is huge.  Awareness if more than half the key to prevention – keep your wits about you, and recognize that you most likely need a lot more careful support, than you would working in a normal environment.
  5. Fatigue and heat exhaustion.   From here on we mostly now face a marathon not a sprint – the life saving urgency is mostly dissipating now.  So don’t kill yourself in the first day or two, when an extra few hours taken at a sensible pace would do the job just as well, with much less physical and emotional cost!
  6. Dehydration – With humidity and temperatures still very high, remember to drink lots of good ‘ole water when you’re working hard.  You can tell by how dark or light your urine is!  If it’s a dark yellow, you’re dehydrated and you need to drink more.  Remember, coffee, wine and soda pop drinks don’t do that much to really re-hydrate, water is best!
  7. Remember, just because you’re a volunteer, you still have statutory obligations to uphold. One important one is to remember that if you are working in, or on a house or property that is being substantially “renovated” (re-built) as a result of the flood, that property is classified as a Construction Site.  As such, you much possess a White Card (Construction Safety Induction Course) to legally be allowed on the site.  Failure to have a White Card on a Construction Site can (and does) lead to prosecution.  The easiest and fastest way to get your White Card is online at www.whitecardonline.com.au Removal and disposal of rubbish is also subject to dangers – remember to carefully secure your load, and make sure to put red flags on any dangerous protruding parts of the load, before you start your trip.

WhiteCardOnline and Urban eLearning wish every flood victim and Mud Army Volunteer, along with all the emergency service personnel and volunteers, the very best over the next days, weeks and months!


Why Should I Complete The White Card Course Online

There are many reasons why completing the white card course online is better than in person. To name a few, the online course gives you the option of completing each section at different times, rather than having to take an entire day to cram the information into one session. In addition, the online course gives good clear directions, that are read out for each section.  Don’t worry, if you don’t succeed at first, you can just re-take the test!

Construction Induction Card

This white card course allows you to exercise safety on the construction site, and as such you are allowed on construction sites around Australia.


Two Perfect Employment Opportunities

Before you go out looking for a job in the construction industry there are a few things that you should make sure you have done. The first is to get your construction industry white card which you can get online rather fast and easy with the white card online course. Once you have got this card, then you need to do some preliminary and essential research into the job market so that you can get out there and start making a solid income. But this is essential, you don’t want to just go out into the market and get the first job that comes your way. If you are like me, then you will want to go out and get a job that will allow you to earn a lot and have a lot of fun. This first article displays a skills shortage which is seen in Australia, and specifically to do with Heritage listed buildings and their upkeep. Essentially, what is needed is stonework, traditional plastering and stained glass conservation.

Skills shortage puts heritage at risk

  • by: David Beniuk
  • From: AAP
  • April 28, 2012 12:00AM
port arthur

Sandstone ruins of church at Port Arthur, Tasmania Sep 1996. ruins/Tasmania Source: The Advertiser

A SHORTAGE of old fashioned building skills in Tasmania could put 40 per cent of Australia’s heritage-listed buildings at risk of falling into disrepair.

The state’s building industry training board has warned the know-how needed to conserve a huge list of heritage properties is fast disappearing.

Tasmania is home to around 5500 heritage-listed buildings, which account for 40 per cent of all such buildings in the country.

The Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board has commissioned research on the demand for skills like stonework, traditional plastering and stained glass conservation.

“If we actually add in the properties that aren’t registered, I’d suggest that Tasmania probably has even a larger proportion than that,” board chairman David Hudson told reporters on Monday.

“All of those are obviously deteriorating over time, and if we get to a stage where the skills needed to repair and remediate these buildings aren’t available then, yes, they are all at risk.”

Mr Hudson said the problem existed throughout Australia, citing a 2010 report on Victoria, which has 14 per cent of Australia’s heritage properties.

“Perhaps it’s perceived as an older skill, one that’s not needed any more,” he said.

“Property owners are actually finding it difficult to find these practitioners, which means either the work isn’t done or, sometimes even worse, it’s done by someone who hasn’t got the appropriate skills which actually makes the deterioration worse.”

Researcher Andrew Jones said a small but highly skilled workforce was needed to replace ageing tradesmen close to retirement.

“The main driver of heritage skills training in the state at the moment is personal interest,” Mr Jones said.

“We need to try to make sure that maybe there’s some more formal training available for the younger tradesmen and women.

“If we don’t act now, I think in 10, 15 years’ time we’ll have a situation where we no longer have highly skilled specialist heritage practitioners available to do work on properties.”

The research is due to be completed in mid-May.

Source:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/skills-shortage-puts-heritage-at-risk/story-e6frgcjx-1226338593176


The next article is rather simple, it describes a fairly important job opportunity for you, and any construction workers who may be looking for jobs. It describes how the ACTU (Australian Commission for Trades and Unions) is planning to have all buildings in Australia free of Asbestos in the next few coming years. This means that there will be a large expanse of jobs in the coming years that will be designed to clear asbestos out of buildings, and this is something that you can take advantage of, so long as you have the right qualifications. This includes having the ohs white card course card, which you can get fast and straightforward online.

AUSTRALIA’S buildings must be asbestos free by 2030 regardless of the cost of the widespread removal of the deadly construction product, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says. ACTU president Ged Kearney today called for an independent asbestos authority to be established to carry out a nationwide audit and removal of the material which can cause terminal lung diseases.Ms Kearney could not put a price-tag on a national removal scheme but said the cost was irrelevant.”The cost of lives… cannot be measured in dollar terms. We must put resources into this and we must make absolutely sure we get Australia asbestos free.”

Asbestos was mined and widely used in Australian buildings, primarily in cement sheeting, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Exposure to asbestos caused over 9000 cases of the terminal cancer mesothelioma between 1982 and 2006, the ACTU says.
Ms Kearney said the 2030 target was realistic but only if the Federal Government’s asbestos management review laid out a comprehensive national plan when the final report is submitted in June.

“To achieve this we’re going to need a national audit of all asbestos containing material with government buildings and dumps as a priority,” she told reporters in Melbourne.

“We want a prioritised removal program starting with government owned sites and we want to make sure asbestos is only removed by licenced removalists.”

Source:  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news-old/australia-must-be-asbestos-free-actu/story-fn3dxity-1226340781051


So if you want to be able to work anywhere around Australia and take advantage of opportunities like this, then get online and complete the white card training online. This will allow you to work anywhere in Australia and on any construction site, unlike the previous cards that were available. So take advantage of this new opportunity and find employment anywhere in Australia, so long as you get online and complete the white card course!


Construction Management and Economics

Construction management is an interesting area within the construction industry, and it requires a lot of planning. But to choose this, you have to complete the white card online course. After completing this course, check out the video below on construction management and economics.

Construction management is one of the higher up positions on the field, and if you would like to be in that position you need experience. To get on the site, though, you first have to complete the white card course, so get online today!

Rising Mining Construction in Australia

Mining in Australia has been increasing over time, and you should be able to take advantage of these new jobs that are always becoming available. But you could only do this if you had your construction induction card, so get online and complete the white card process. For more information on the construction industry and the rising mining sector, check out the video below!

There is so much opportunity in the construction industry, and it is one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia. There will always be a need for construction and with the white card you can pretty easily move to where the work is in Australia!


Fine Employment Opportunities in Australia

There are a lot of good job opportunities throughout Australia, especially when you have your White Card, since you can work on any site in Australia (unlike the old cards, which only allowed you to work in your state). But one particularly good looking job opportunity was in the defense housing companies. Check out what they do in the article exert below:White Card Online

“Established in 1988 primarily in response to the dissatisfaction of Australian Defence Force members who were seeking out appropriate housing options, Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is now an industry leader in both quality and innovation. Supported by nearly twelve thousand investors while receiving approximately five hundred investor enquiries monthly, DHA has developed a strong reputation as a provider of good quality homes for members of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

DHA engages with a wide variety of construction industry-specific organisations such as the Urban Development Institute of Australia, the Planning Institute of Australia, the Master Builders Association of Australia, the Housing Industry Association and the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

As a Government Business Enterprise responsible for providing adequate and appropriate housing for Australian Defence Force members, DHA operates via three main activities: purchasing properties outright, leasing properties from owners, and building and developing new properties. Each year, DHA receives a rolling forecast of housing needs from the Department of Defence so that it might plan out its future purchases, leases, and construction activities in each region for the next four to five years. Approximately two thousand new leases are commissioned each year.

Funding for these various activities is provided through DHA’s sale and leaseback program, whereby investors are afforded the opportunity to purchase properties managed by DHA, to be leased as Defence housing. The company typically aims to strike a lease agreement with its investors for a period of ten years, which is sometimes extended to fifteen or even twenty.

“We’re a very unique organisation,” comments Peter Howman, Chief Operating Officer of DHA. With a national scope to its business, DHA is largely immune to many of the issues which affect developers at the local or state level. “If the construction or the housing market is not so good in a particular area… but we’re still required to deliver housing there, we can do that because we may have houses in our portfolio in other states such as Queensland where the industry is going very well.” DHA can then balance out its portfolio by selling properties in the more lucrative markets.

In this way, Peter Howman says DHA doesn’t see itself in competition with developers, despite currently holding well over a billion dollars in development projects. Most typically, DHA only engages in development projects in areas where not enough retail land is available to meet its specific requirements at the time.

“It ebbs and flows, depending on the market at the time,” explains Mr Howman. “Post-GFC, a lot of developers are finding it difficult to get funding to finish their developments, so consequently we’ve had to step into the market.”

Being a Government Business Enterprise, DHA must operate in a commercially active way. As such, it aims to provide housing using the best commercial practices not only so that it may deliver a quality product for both its clients and its investors, but also to provide satisfactory shareholder returns.

“We try wherever possible to engage with local suppliers and contractors. We feel it’s important for us to do that because the locals prove time and again to be absolutely invaluable with the specific knowledge that they have. They understand the regional and the local planning guidelines and the community expectations. When we deliver a development, we’re delivering it into a community and we want that community to take ownership of the whole development.”

This community appreciation arises out of the organisation itself, as emphasised by Mr Howman, who says: “The organisation really hinges around our people. We have what we think is a very good workplace culture and a very strong focus on work health and safety. They are motivated, engaged employees who like coming to work – that’s important for us.”

All DHA staff work under the Australian Public Service Act and so are public servants although the majority have heralded from industry, which enables the DHA to harness those essential practical skills. Says Mr Howman, “It’s a good way to actually get that mix where people come from industry and join DHA, spend some time with DHA and get to understand how the government works. So we get a good cross flow and pollination of staff and ideas.”

DHA offers a variety of professional development opportunities for its staff so they may keep abreast of the current issues affecting the industry. Working for DHA also offers a very wide range of job opportunities within the construction, development, and real estate industries.

Explains Mr Howman, “We’ve got a fairly large property management business where we manage nearly nineteen thousand properties, and then of course we’ve got a sales program where we raise around three hundred and fifty million dollars per annum. Overall, it’s quite a complex business, so it’s a great company for those who want to get in right across the breadth of the housing industry.”

“It is very difficult and challenging to orchestrate, but I think that’s why we are able to attract staff into our business – because of the coordination and the interaction between the different businesses. It’s quite an exciting and dynamic business, because the challenges that you face in the Northern Territory, for example, are different than those you face in Adelaide or Sydney or Melbourne, and you’ve got to be dealing with all of these issues simultaneously.”

Affordability is one of the big challenges affecting the housing sector as a whole. Across the nation, retail land is scarce and the time it takes in planning and rezoning brings up the costs. To succeed in the face of these challenges, DHA is aiming to develop innovative cost-effective construction methods.

“Our main aim is pretty simple – it’s to provide high quality sustainable housing that meets the needs of the Australian Defence Force. We want to be leaders in the housing industry, and part of why we say that is because the volume of what we build and the type of clients that we have provides us with the ability to assist the whole industry with moving forward using some of the newer innovations. We spend a lot of time and energy looking into modern architecture and design functions that really push the envelope of the standard housing and development construction of today.”

Article was sourced from Australian Construction Focus Online, http://www.australianconstructionfocus.com.au/index.php/2012/04/05/defence-housing-australia-2/

A Few Interesting Points About This Article:

There are a few interesting things revealed in this exert, listed below

– They mentioned that they can build in any area as “If the construction or the housing market is not so good in a particular area… but we’re still required to deliver housing there, we can do that because we may have houses in our portfolio in other states such as Queensland where the industry is going very well.”

– This means, ideally, that you will be sure there is a constant level of employment in a firm such as this, and also a steady level of advancement capability. This makes it an ideal company to work for, with steady and rewarding jobs.

– They also stated “We spend a lot of time and energy looking into modern architecture and design functions that really push the envelope of the standard housing and development construction of today.”

– The work is obviously new and ‘different’ as seen in this quote, so construction for the defense force is not really as dull as it first may seem (you aren’t even given orders!).

This next article is more to do with a traditional construction and engineering firm. The interesting thing is that this firm combines engineering and construction to deliver “the whole package” as they say. Still note though, that both engineers and construction workers need to complete their white card courses online! Check it out below:

“Brunton Engineering and Construction Pty Ltd was founded in 1996 to service industrial organisations with specialised civil engineering requirements. Building on proprietor Geoff Brunton’s extensive industrial and engineering background, the company aims to provide a complete structural, civil and mechanical engineering, design, implementation, manufacturing and project management capability. Operating from a modern office and factory complex in Somerton on Melbourne’s northern fringe, Brunton Engineering is strategically situated in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, close to all major highway connections.

Geoff told us that Brunton Engineering’s core advantage is the fact that “we can do the civil work and the mechanical work. You have got a combination of talents and experience that can look after the complete project.” This means a client does not have to engage first a builder, then a mechanical contractor, and then an electrician or plumber. “We can do the whole show.” Brunton Engineering carries out a lot of factory relocation work. “In the past we have done a lot of relocations of machinery and plant and the refurbishing of sites to prepare for a move.”

The company has an extremely useful brochure for clients who want it to prepare for a move. Geoff says it’s all about the little things – no-one ever gets a move 100 per cent correct but taking account of less obvious but nevertheless important items makes the move go smoother. He recounts a tale of a client who had failed to notice that his new premises featured gates too narrow for semitrailers to enter. Other tips that one might expect to be taken into account (but often aren’t) include making sure the fire regulations are in order and that there is sufficient power, gas, water and compressed air. “Sometimes it is the most obvious thing that no one looks at, but usually it is not the big things that get messed up but the little things, and no matter how many times you do it there is still something that will go wrong, I can assure you.”

As you can see, this article demonstrates the more classic issues that clients have with projects, and details exactly what it is that their construction workers and engineers do. One more interesting thing about choosing this company type for employment is that it incorporates a lot of teamwork into the processes as they state “we can do the civil work and the mechanical work. You have got a combination of talents and experience that can look after the complete project.” The combination of talents would make this an interesting work environment, but the employment might not be as constant as those working for a defense construction firm. There will always be a need for the defense forces, but civil and mechanical engineering is a volatile industry!

Before you can even START applying for jobs in any of these firms, you first need to go online and apply for white card online, to get your oh&s white card. This will allow you on any site in Australia, and is very crucial for construction.

As a final note, another industry that you might want to look into in Australia is the mining industry where there is a reasonable skill shortage. You might have to travel a bit but I’m sure it would pay off. Check out the video below on it: it’s a bit old but it still applies.


Choosing Construction and What You Will Be Using – White Card Online

The white card construction course online teaches you several things to do with construction, and while it teaches you how to be safe on the site, you also need to be able to enjoy your job. This means that you have to like construction, and as such you must think about whether or not you would really like to get into the construction industry. There are several things about construction that you might find appealing, and the first of which is that it is manual labor with your mates, that also requires a fair bit of planning and creativity. There are also several opportunities within the industry, such as promotions and bonuses that you might want to consider, when considering the industry.

What Kind Of Life Will I Expect? White Card Online Teaches

A construction worker lives a pretty good life, lets be honest. And they often progress through the ranks to a more highly paid position, and essentially they really do have a great life. The work is challenging and the mates you will gain become endless, but this only really can happen if the construction industry is for you. You need to be expecting a hard days work all the time, and you have to be able to think on the job, while always exercising safety and using your common sense. This is something that the white card online course teaches, you need to be on the ball all the time as a lapse of judgement could result in the safety of a co-worker being compromised. When you are working with machinery and heavy equipment at heights, this can be very dangerous. But not only this, you need to be on the ball when constructing so that the building you make is safe and structurally sound.

You might want to check out this video below, on the lifestyle of an American Iron Worker. It’s a much harder one! But you do get used to it (apparently)

The Essential Tools For This Lifestyle

If you think that the construction industry is best suited to you, then you will want to get familiar with the primary equipment that you will be using. This includes a lot of pieces of machinery and construction tools, but one fundamental aspect of construction is the scaffolding necessity. But apparently American iron workers have no such need for scaffolding as seen in the video above! So let’s take a look at some of the origins and applications of scaffolding.

I know that this does not exactly sound like a largely interesting topic, as you probably see scaffolding as a necessity – something white card online makes you use for your own safety. But scaffolding is actually an interesting invention, and it has been used for decades. There are even different kinds of scaffolding based on different countries. You might already know that they use bamboo as scaffolding in some Asian countries, and it is very dangerous. This danger is not something that you can expect in Australia as the white card online process ensures your safety when working on a construction site. This means that everyone on the site knows how to operate and work safely, and knows how to use scaffolding safely.

In The Ancient World – Before White Card Online!

Sadly, White Card Online has not been around for ever! So safety on construction sites has not been present in the ancient times, when scaffolding was first used. The first recorded scaffolding was in ancient Greece (the early 5th century). It was also seen to be used in Egypt, Nubia, and China around that time. This genius invention allows the construction of large and several story buildings.At this point in time, people couldn’t simply complete safety training in a fast online process!

White Card Online

In the Modern Day – White Card Online

The modern day construction site is a lot safer than an older construction site, as you can see simply by looking at some historical photographs. The famous picture of construction workers eating their lunch on a piece of garter at the site of the new york empire state building, even shows that there are massive differences in safety standards between then and now. But nowadays, scaffolding must be approved and tested before being used. Because it is essentially a light construct that is used to gain access to higher stories in building site projects, so it can be very dangerous and requires a lot of safety regulation so that nobody is injured or hurt. Even when you look at it, you realize that it is just lightweight steel used to create a structure, which has revolutionized the building process.

Grab Your White Card Online Today!

The White Card may not seem like much, in fact it really is only just a small piece of plastic. But it represents the safety training you have undertaken to allow you to work on a construction site. This kind of White Card Online training means that you can look out for your mates and yourself when on the construction site, making dangerous construction safer.


Top 10 Paying Jobs For Tradesmen

If you are looking into construction because you like it AND are in it for the money. Then you might find it interesting to see just which jobs end up paying out the most money. So here is the top 10 list! But remember you first need your construction induction card (white card).

1. Elevator Installer/Repairer

2. PowerHouse Substation and Relay Repairers

3. Transportation Inspectors

4. Petroleum Pump System Operator, Refinery Operator and Gauger

5. Power Line Installers and Repairers

6. Commercial Divers

7. Boiler Makers

8. Subway and Streetcar Operators

9. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians

10. Oiler and Gas Rotary Drill Operators

Before you even think about signing up for any of these paying jobs though, you need to complete the white card online course so that you can do them safely!


30 Stories in 15 Days

Yes, it is possible. There has been occurrences of fast building projects but I’m sure that this has to be one of the fastest . Check out the video below to see for yourself!

Remember that before you can work on a construction site you first need to complete the white card online process, as it teaches you safety on the site and allows you to get your construction induction card


Highway Construction Documentary

There are several areas of construction that you can move into, and one of these is highway construction. This kind of construction is difficult and relies a lot on machine labor, so you need to be experienced in using machinery. You could also check out the lifestyle that would be present in the industry, by having a look at the documentary below.

This kind of construction can be interesting and challenging, but if you think it might interest you, then get online and complete the white card course, so that you can get your oh&s construction induction card