Returning to work after a long holiday can be daunting. Quite often it’s difficult to get back into the swing of things especially if your holiday did more harm than good in terms of rest and rejuvenation. Many people say a good holiday requires a holiday to recover from. But when it comes to construction work, getting back into the work is more than just a matter of productivity, it is in many cases a matter of life and death.
Now WorkSafe WA has issued a reminder to all worksites to prioritise safety when they return to work. The relaxed attitude from the holidays cannot carry into the new year especially at work were one mistake could cost you or a co-worker dearly.
This financial year alone, WorkSafe WA has recorded 9 work related deaths, something it attributes to complacency towards to safety. The Commissioner of WorkSafe WA has appealed to workers to be cautious of the hazards and safety on worksites.
Also around this time in addition to the high number of deaths due to workers lack of safety attention, there are also a number of injuries which cause workers to stay away from work on sick leave which places more pressure on their co-workers which in turn negatively affects safety.
Employers are tasked with getting workers out of the “holiday mode” and back into “work mode” if they are to avoid inconvenient and costly, not to mention tragic accidents.
SafetyCulture.com.au reported on the call by WorkSafe WA for worksites to put safety first:
WorkSafe WA reminded all workplaces to make safety a high priority when returning to work afterthe festive season.
WokrSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said there had been nine work-related fatalities in WA so far this financial year, and employers and workers should avoid complacency.
“People returning to work after the festive break need to be especially mindful of workplace risks, and I appeal to everyone in the workforce to remain vigilant and aware of any potential risks,” said Mr Mcculloch.
“It is unfortunately quite common for workers to remain in “holiday mode” after the festive season, and lack of proper attention to the task at hand – especially in the more hazardous areas – has been known to have tragic results.
“I urge every employer and worker in WA to reacquaint themselves with the safe methods of work applicable to their jobs before launching into a fresh year of work.
“In 2009/10, WA recorded nine traumatic work-related deaths, with 21 in 2010/11. There were 17 fatalities in 2011/12.
In addition, every year around 17,000 Western Australians suffer an injury or illness serious enough to have to take time off work.
“It is particularly important to be vigilant at this time of the year. Nine work-related deaths is nine too many, and we all have the right to return home from work safe and healthy every day.”
One of the issues that also need to be addressed around this time of year is the number of new workers entering the workforce. These ”newbies” are often the source of accidents and in the construction industry in particular it is vital that these novice workers are appropriately trained, one mistake from them could result in their death. This includes both general construction safety training in the form of a national White Card as well as site specific training. They must also be supervised until they have developed the experience and expertise necessary to operate independently on a work site as dangerous as a construction site.