The truth is there are a myriad of safety issues on construction sites especially the larger sites where a number of different tradespeople are working simultaneously in a somewhat confined space – exacerbating the risks.
There are however some construction issues that are more prevalent and keep rearing their heads on sites across the country, while the white card course teaches workers what the most common construction hazards are and how to minimise the risk involved with them, here are some safety tips for issues that keep popping up:
- Maintain good housekeeping and clean up daily: Surprisingly slips and trips are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. To minimise this risk ensure that trash, spills and unsafe obstacles are cleaned up or removed in a timely manner. The likelihood of an accident is reduced a great amount by keeping the place clean, orderly and uncluttered.
- Ensure the premises are secure: It is important to keep unauthorized individuals from entering your workplace. Ensure access is strictly controlled and the entire area is properly fenced and high risk areas are cordoned off exclusion zones.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies: Emergencies such as fires, natural disasters and even health crises of workers (for example cardiac arrests) can happen on the site and it is vital that the appropriate plan is designed and taught to workers to know how to react in these situations. For example in the event of a fire workers need to know how to avoid harm and the emergency escape routes etc. Ensure that workers have a safe route of escape should an emergency occur on the site. This will involve identifying safe escape routes and ensuring that they are marked clearly and kept unobstructed at all times. Workers should get to know the emergency response procedures and escape routes well- there is no time for confusion when an emergency does occur.
- Stay Equipped: Not only must PPE be provided by employers, but training and instruction on the correct use must also be provided. Workers have the responsibility of ensuring they utilise, correctly the PPE that is provided to them, for their own safety. Ensure that you are utilising the personal protective equipment that you are provided and instructed to utilise by your employer. Keep your safety equipment in good order and up to date.
- Communicate about safety issues: Ensure that you maintain good communication and report any safety issues and near misses on site. Also keep an eye on your co-workers to ensure that they are operating safely and sticking to the control measures as you have been trained to. Because workers are on ground level and are continuously coming into contact with various hazards they can provide valuable information and guidance to employers with regards to safety measures. Also because they are the ones encountering safety precautions, they are the best to use to evaluate safety systems set in place. Employers need to listen to workers and consult with them on safety issues.