Skip to content

Tag: building

Expert Says Australia Must Embrace Industrialised Construction

According to experts, if we want to reduce building times and costs, we need to embrace industrialised construction.

In the post on Sourceable.net the writer highlights how having a building’s components pre-cut in a factory can drastically reduce turnaround time. For example with traditional construction methods a company may take around 51 weeks to deliver a 4 storey project, while using pre-cut components could reduce that to just 5 weeks on site – it’s the ‘mass production’ approach to construction.

While these techniques have become popular overseas, they are now slowly being introduced here in both Brisbane and Melbourne.

But how does industrialised construction work and how will it transform Australia’s building sector, the writer asks. For the answers read the full post on https://sourceable.net/australia-must-embrace-industrialised-construction/

NSW Government Take Aim at Dodgy Building Certifiers

Source: Pixabay.com

The NSW Government announced a crackdown on dodgy building certifiers, saying any corrupt certifiers would be barred from the industry.

The recent debacle involving Sydney’s Opal Tower, when a crack was discovered in a precast concrete panel inside the building, a full investigation was launched by government. Fears that the building was unstable prompted evacuation, at a time when the government is under pressure to ensure safety of buildings in Sydney.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean warned dodgy certifiers that they will be found and have the book thrown at them.

Under a new disciplinary policy, corrupt certifiers will be immediately kicked out of the industry, Kean warned. Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/crackdown-dodgy-building-certifiers-way/#.XFgfQ80lHQV

How Toxic Work Stress Can Affect Your Health

Source: Pixabay.com

Everyone experiences some form of stress at some time in their lives but toxic stress left unchecked can have devastating effects on our mental and physical health.

Experts have warned about the danger of toxic stress. Safe Work Australia said that 92 per cent of serious work related mental disorder claims can be attributed to mental stress.

In a 2015 study, Stanford University organisational behaviour professor Jeffrey Pfeffer found that poor management in the USA was responsible for almost 8 per cent of annual health costs and 120,000 deaths annually.

He argued that mental health and stress in the workplace is not being addressed, but rather only the physical health and safety of workers was being focused on.

Signs of Toxic Stress:

According to US Clinical psychologist Monique Reynolds from the Centre for Anxiety and Behavioural Change, the first sign of a destructive job is loss of sleep. These people will likely wake up in the middle of the night thinking about their to-do list.

If you have a pattern of insomnia, it could be a sign of unhealthy job stress.

Another sign is chronic tension in the neck and shoulders which also causes migraines and tension headaches. Dr Reynolds said that because our nervous systems are constantly on edge in these toxic jobs, we are constantly waiting to react to that unpleasant boss or co-worker.

If you have had previous bouts of mental illness, this can cause you to “cross the clinical threshold”, experts warn.

Research also shows that chronic stress can affect your immune system and make you sick more often.

Read more at: https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/stress-from-toxic-working-conditions-can-cause-serious-health-risks-and-lower-sex-drive/news-story/a364f34172e34cd6ddb0b2a11d75daec

Funding for Investigation into High Construction Suicide Rate in NZ.

Source: Pixabay.com

The New Zealand construction industry is facing a similar mental health crisis as Australia, looking to the Mates in Construction programme as inspiration for its own plan to tackle the issue.

With Mates in Construction proving successful here in Australia, with a marked decrease in suicides in the industry, SiteSafe – a New Zealand based organisation is looking to mirror a similar approach.

The organisation has received funding to study why the suicide rate is so high in the industry and why mental health issues are so common among construction  workers.

A recent study found that 6.9 per cent of overall suicides were in the construction industry.

SiteSafe is looking into 300 suicides of construction workers to learn more.

The Mates in Construction programme has reached more than 120,000 workers in Tasmania and suicide rates have fallen as a result.

In a male-dominated industry, it is important to identify alternative ways to get workers to open up about their mental health as they may be less likely to speak out.

Read more at: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/construction-sector-look-into-high-suicide-rate-company-collapses-add-stress?variant=tb_v_1

The NT’s High Workplace Fatality Rate Prompts Demands for Harsher Penalties

Following a review of the Northern Territory’s workplace health and safety practices, harsher penalties have been called for, to address the high rate of workplace deaths in the state.

In the report, the NT WorkSafe inspectors say their relationship with the coroner’s office has deteriorated and the skills of the work safety authority’s personnel needs to be improved.

The review also points out the need for NT WorkSafe to be perceived as being politically independent.

Under the current workplace health and safety laws in the NT, there have been no imprisonments. The independent review into workplace health and safety best practice in the Territory has now recommended the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws. Unions and lawyers have been calling for these laws for a long time.

Review author Tim Lyons states that these laws should carry the same maximum custodial sentence as manslaughter under the criminal code which is life imprisonment or a $10 million fine for a body corporate.

See more at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-13/nt-workplace-health-and-safety-review-industrial-manslaughter/10895670

Safety Campaign Launched to Teach Tradies About Working Around Electrical Networks

Western Power has launched a safety campaign to educate tradespeople and businesses about working safely around the electrical grid.

The safety campaign – GamePlan is a suite of tailored safety videos, designed to educate and support tradespeople preparing and working safely around the network, in order to avoid incidents.

The campaign features free videos which encourage people to adopt an athlete mantality towards to safety. Featuring an elite athlete the campaign encourages people to be methodical and prepare for success.

Authorities say a good game plan will ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/03/new-campaign-aims-educate-wa-tradies-safely-work-around-electricity-networks/#.XI6tIbglE1l

Airborne Fungi Pose Health Risk to Construction Workers at WestConnex

Source: Pixabay.com

Construction workers working in the M4 East tunnels in Sydney’s inner west were exposed to extremely high concentrations of airborne fungi. It posed a potentially “high risk to all persons”.

Recently 500 construction workers walked off the site after the findings were revealed. They had failed to receive adequate assurances from the contractor building the tunnels.

A confidential report by a Mycolab laboratory found the average of 4 samples taken from inside the tunnels had an “extremely high” rating of airborne fungal concentrations.The concentration found was significantly higher than outdoor airbourne fungal concentrations, which may pose a health risk to everyone present and particularly to sensitised individuals.

Construction staff and electricians refused to enter the tunnels until steps were taken to safeguard their health, walking off the site.

Construction Companies May Be Hit with Penalties Related to Workers Roof Fall

Two construction firms may face penalties of up to $1.5 million each if found guilty of charges relating to a workplace incident which involved a worker falling 3 metres from a roof.

The 2017 incident occurred when a 31 year old worker, alongside his 2 co-workers on a roof of a breezeway were trying to remove asbestos sheets from a school building roof in Darwin’s Northern suburbs.

At the time of the incident the worker was crouching on the edge of a void in the roof, attempting to remove an asbestos sheet when he slipped.

He fell 3 metres through the void onto concrete, fracturing his left shoulder blade and spine. He was not able to work for 14 months.

Read more at: https://www.mybusiness.com.au/management/5542-companies-could-face-1-5m-fines-after-worker-fall

WorkSafe Clamps Down on Falling Objects on Construction Sites

In the past 5 years, 5 people have been killed by falling objects at Victorian building sites and 721 people have been injured.

To respond to this high rate of incidents, WorkSafe inspectors have been visiting construction sites across the state.

Falling items are of particular concern because they pose a risk to workers as well as others in streets near work sites.

A piece of timber fell 22 floors in January at a Southbank site, snapping in half while being lifted to a loading bay.

In a separate incident, MDF sheeting fell through an open window 63 floors to the ground.

A 48 year old man was killed and another worker was seriously injured after being struck by a load of concrete which fell from a crane at Box Hill.

WorkSafe health and safety executive director, Julie Nielsen reminded us that said even a small object can cause serious injuries when falling from a great height.

See more at https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/disaster-and-emergency/vic-builders-on-notice-over-falling-items-ng-s-1925733

Sydney Worker Dies after Scaffolding Collapse

Source: Pixabay.com

A fatal incident has taken place at a construction site in Sydney where a scaffolding collapsed claiming the life of an 18 year old apprentice.

Another worker was critically injured in the collapse.

The teenage formworker Christopher Cassaniti was pronounced dead a few hours after the temporary structure fell at the Macquarie Park building site.

His co-worker suffered lower body injuries and was freed by Fire and Rescue NSW workers. He was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital for treatment.

NSW Police are investigating the death and the CFMEU has expressed it’s anger at the incident.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/01/rescue-operation-underway-after-sydney-scaffolding-collapse-traps-worker