Some interesting facts about the state of OHS in Oz is the subject of an informative infographic from the folks at ComplianceandSafety.com which gives us some idea of where we are headed in terms of health and safety in this country.
The infographic reveals that the construction industry is the fourth most dangerous industry in Oz based on injury claims, topped only by the Transport and Storage, Manufacturing and Agriculture/fishing/forestry industries.
The statistics also show that labourers are twice as likely to suffer from work related injuries than non-labourers and men are twice as vulnerable as women.
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The construction industry can learn a few valuable lessons from the facts revealed by this inforgraphic such as the importance of correct manual handling procedures. According to the graphic 1 in 5 injuries were back related which means more attention should be given to minimising the risk involved with this hazard. Poor manual handling is one of the most common hazards that construction workers are confronted with. While no site is free from the hazards of manual handling, by knowing how to minimise the risks of manual handling workers can reduce its harmful effect on the body. Not much attention is given to this type of hazard because it seldom kills or disfigures anyone, but the injuries that occur are often disabling, long term and very costly.
The news is not all bad though. The number of claims has dropped since 2008/2009 to date which indicates that we are making progress in workplace health and safety and harmonization of workplace safety standard of laws for the health and protection of all workers regardless of industry seems to be working. Australia also has one of the lowest rates of workplace fatalities which isencouraging. Unfortunately asbestos remains a major concern with numbers of infections rising each year.
Construction workers involved in renovation construction work are most at risk of inhaling, ingesting or absorbing deadly asbestos fibres. These asbestos containing materials may be toxic to human beings but was used in the past to make building materials more durable. For this reason when embarking on a renovation project, workers may disturb these fibres and release them into the air to affect themselves and others.
The most common diseases caused by asbestos exposure are Mesothelioma, Pleural disease and asbestosis. Australia shockingly has some of the highest numbers of these diseases in the world. The reason these diseases are so deadly is because they are only discovered years after exposure, when the person’s health is too far gone to fix, although no cures exist at the moment anyway.
Another important fact reflected in the Compliance and Safety Infographic is that an alarming number of people were killed due to the actions of others. The loss of innocent bystander’s lives is an unacceptable statistic which needs to be tackled in all industries.