According to WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, the construction sector continued to have a high number of workplace injuries and fatalities annually.
“Last year seven construction workers lost their lives, and a number of these tragic incidents involved vehicles or powered mobile plant being operated on site,” she explained.
She also explained that because heavy and mobile machinery are common to the construction industry, often used only for short periods of time, hazards need to be assessed and re-assessed constantly, keeping in mind that construction sites are dynamic and changing all the time. As construction progresses and the site change, so will the hazards and risks presented.
“As construction sites change and develop, so do the risks to people on the site,” she said.
“Part of the obvious risks with mobile machinery is that they move from place to place at different times, which means managing the risks to employees and site visitors must be an ongoing process.
“That’s why it is critical that employers outline to workers the work that needs to be done, the potential risks involved, and identify how the risks must be controlled. Appropriate training and clear exclusion zones are essential, because pedestrians and powered mobile machinery simply do not mix.” she said.
There were some safety measures that Ms Williams said should be considered:
- All operators of heavy plant and machinery should be appropriately trained and competent.
- Machinery must be regularly inspected and maintained.
- Where a traffic management plan is necessary, it must be reviewed and updated regularly