The building and construction industry in Tasmania have welcomed the announcement by the state government that people considering entering the trade will now have an opportunity to undertake a Tafe-based training program to prepare for work on a construction site.
The 2 week program will be paid for with existing TasTafe funding and will help prepare up to 100 people to enter the construction industry and hopefully avoid a looming skills shortage.
The Master Builders Association (MBA) recently warned that thousands of workers and apprentices would been needed in the industry next year and this is the state government’s way of tackling the labour shortage.
These trainees will still need to undergo White Card training before actually being allowed to work on a construction site.
The latest Housing Industry Association/Ai Group Performance of Construction Index indicates that apartment buildng grew at its fastest rate in 10 years last month and this has boosted construction overall.
The increase was despite the contraction in construction of standalone homes, for the first time in 5 months.
According to the index apartment building activity rose 9.2 points to 72.4 in October. This was the highest reading in the 10 year history of the survey.
Also the headline index rose 0.2 points to 52.1, the third straight month above the crucial 50 mark.
To continue the economic growth that our country has enjoyed for over 2 decades, the government is encouraging competition, innovation and entrepreneurship to keep productivity at healthy levels in the construction industry.
During the latest Construction Leaders Forum hosted by the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, 25 leaders from the country’s largest contractors united to shared their ideas about how to increase innovation and productivity in the building sector. The event was supported by the Australian Constructors Association and the Australian Institute of Building.
In an article on Sourceable.net, some of the suggestions put forward during the talks were highlighted including
increasing the predictability of delivery
Drive greater integration and collaboration
Move to a service-based rather than a product-based delivery model
As our cities become more dense, developing faster and more efficient ways of construction is going to become more of a priority.
Australia isn’t a world leader when it comes to prefabricated construction but it is likely to gain in popularity as the demand of housing continues and the construction boom rolls on. Prefabricated construction methods can help us minimise costs, traffic delays, and health and safety risks associated with construction. It can also cut construction time down substantially.
Overseas in countries like Canada, timber construction is reaching new heights but here in Australia we are limited to just 3 storeys.
Now according to a post on Sourceable.net we may soon be seeing timber buildings constructed up to 25 metres here on our shores. The Australian Building Codes Board is expected to adopt changes which consist of the use of appropriate layers of fire resistant plasterboard and sprinklers covering both timber framing and massive timber systems.
Timber building could help save time as construction costs continue to soar.
National Safe Work Month may be over but that doesn’t mean we go back to old ways of flouting safety. Especially as the year draws to a close, it is important that safety remains at the top of the list of priorities on high risk work sites in the construction industry.
Whether you’re an experienced construction worker, just starting out or in management, you are at risk just by setting foot onto a construction site because you are at the mercy of your co-workers.
There are normally so many trades people working together at any time on a construction site, usually the site is confined and the actions of one person have implications for everyone around them. It’s important to co-ordinate tasks as much as possible but even then risks still exist. That is why everyone on site needs to be on the same page about safety.
First we need to identify the risks and come up a strategy to manage them – as a priority we should attempt to eliminate hazards altogether but this isn’t always possible.Control measures can ensure that risks are minimised if elimination of the hazard are not possible.
It’s up to site controllers to investigate potential hazards on the construction site before work can proceed but workers themselves should also evaluate their surroundings before proceeding with work and perhaps placing themselves in harm’s way.
Some of the dangers to look out for include unstable grounds, power lines and hazardous materials. It’s important to keep in mind that each site will vary and the hazards work presents will also differ from site to site.
Another important part of safety in the trade fields is Personal Protective Equipment. Although it is low down on the hierarchy of controls, when other controls aren’t enforceable, an item of PPE could be lifesaving.
Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while at a construction site whether you are working or overseeing the work. Examples of PPE include hard hats, safety glasses, dust masks, gloves and the proper clothing like thick-soled construction boots.
Employees in the construction industry have a legal obligation to adhere to your employer’s health and safety requirements, including use of PPE.
Workers that refuse to cooperate with these safety policies may face disciplinary action or prosecution. Employers have a responsibility to pay for and provide PPE and employees must utilise it as required.
Employers and employees must work together to enhance site safety, of which training plays a crucial role. Workers need to be in possession of a White Card to prove that they have completed construction induction training. It’s up to employers to ensure all workers have this minimum accreditation and are provided with additional site and task specific safety training.
An article on Sourceable.net recently highlighted the “exciting changes” that the construction industry is likely to undergo with the new government in place. The new Prime Minister has promised to focus on cities and the built environment but during this time of optimism, the writer of the post explained it is important that we learn to build “smarter”.
Part of building smarter involves continuous improvement, the writer points out. Construction technologies and innovations are constantly evolving which is why Australia’s construction industry needs to keep up with global developments.