Most construction companies and even their employees view safety as a complicated issue which has many in-depth facets, making it difficult and arduous. But the truth is construction safety can be summed up with a few key statements. When simplified and compressed, using a few basic tips it becomes easier for employers and workers to understand and facilitate safety on site.
- Identify the Hazards
- Assess the Risks
- Deal with the Risks
Identifying the Hazards
Before work on a construction site can begin it is important that employers and principal contractors identify the hazards that will occur. Hazards may be common to the construction industry or unique to your specific site.
Assessing the Risks
Once the hazards have been identified, each hazard should be examined to determine the risk each one poses to work safety and its seriousness, not all hazards are equal. Once the risks have been assessed, employers can move on to the next stage of the safety process…
Dealing with the Risks
Dealing with risks will involve firstly attempting to eliminate it. This is not always possible, there may not be a less hazardous process which can then replace the hazardous one. The employer must then attempt to minimize the risk as much as possible. Implementing the correct control measures is vital to minimizing the risk the hazards present to workers. Developing a safety plan for work on site will provide a blueprint of how safe work should be conducted on site by incorporating the control measures implemented for each hazards, as developed by the employer.
Training is arguably the most important aspect of construction site safety. This is because implementing all the necessary safety controls will be irrelevant if workers aren’t informed and trained on these controls.
It is an employer’s duty to ensure that workers receive the necessary safety training before beginning work on a site. This training should incorporate all the necessary safety information relevant to the site including control measures, emergency procedures, escape routes, reporting procedures etc. This training will also have to be adapted according to the site, no 2 sites will be the same so the training needs to accommodate the specific safety requirements of the site. Also this training should be comprehensively delivered to workers in a language that they all understand.
In addition to site specific safety training, the law of the country is that every construction worker undergo additional safety training, “Work Safely in the construction industry”CPPCCOHS1001A commonly referred to as The White Card. This training is aimed at unifying the safety processes of the construction industry in Oz and ensuring that every worker who steps onto a construction site has at least a basic understanding of the hazards and safety protocols used in the building industry. This is important not only to fulfill a mandatory legal requirement but also to ensure that worker’s ignorance do not present a risk to themselves or others on site.