Safe working practices are essential in every industry, but even more so in the field of construction, with many different crews working simultaneously on the same site. The scope of work includes excavation, working at heights, noise, dust, and the use of power tools, which add up to a risky environment whichever way you look at it.
Causes of accidents
Common causes of site accidents include, falling from a height, objects falling onto a person, and electrocution, with most fatalities falling under one of those headings. Local government has strict safety rules in operation, and many inspections are carried out to ensure that standards are being met, and safety guidelines are being followed.
All personnel that enter the restricted area of a construction site must wear protective headwear, which is commonly called a hard hat, for obvious reasons. Steel toe capped boots are another must wear for site workers around the world, with other accessories such as goggles, gloves, and high visibility clothing, all being used. Protective eyewear is important, and anyone who is working in construction in Western Australia, and requires prescription safety glasses in Perth, there are online optometrists that can supply the perfect solution.
Many construction sites cannot keep out non-workers, and roads must sometimes be closed off while certain work is carried out. Some projects involve working on a site that is currently occupied, and with business as usual, extra safety measures are often needed.
Education within the industry
Significant progress has been made with training programs to educate all levels from upper management to the general labourer. There are certain safety procedures that a new site must undertake before work can begin. All existing debris must be removed, holes filled in, and gas, water, and electric points must be clearly marked. The strategies employed to increase safety in the workplace include,
- Accountability at all levels
- Proper staff training
- Management safety planning
- Correct protective equipment
- Adequate safety information
Safety model for construction companies
There are thirteen models to help building companies improve safety, and they are,
- Recognition and reward
- Employee engagement
- Training and competence
- Sub-contractor management
- Risk awareness – Management and tolerance
- Learning organisation
- Transformational leadership
- Human performance
- Shared values, beliefs, and assumptions
- Strategic safety communication
- Just and fair practices and procedures
- Worksite organisation
- Owner’s role
Large construction companies are encouraged to work on the above models within their organisation, and very often are given government subsidies to encourage participation. The management would compile a safety report, and ensure that the above models are practiced at every level.
A safer future
A combination of better education, more awareness, and government control, have brought us to the point where safety in the workplace has never been better, and with continual efforts to improve safety procedures worldwide, the construction industry is moving forward into a safer future, which is good news for everyone.