Work Construction Site Safety | Workplace Tips | JP Promotions

Importance of safety 

In Australia, construction is one of the largest industries in terms of workplace safety incidents. Safety is important in construction because injuries and fatalities have a significant impact on workers, their families, and the industry as a whole. Construction workers are exposed to many risks while working, including falling from heights, being struck by heavy objects, electrocution, manual handling injuries, and more. Construction workers are also at risk of exposure to hazardous materials, such as asbestos, silicon, and toxic chemicals. Therefore, it is imperative that employers have the right measures in place to maximise work safety in the construction industry.

Safety obligations to ensure work health and safety

Everyone has a role to play in workplace health and safety and maintaining a safe work environment. This includes business owners, employees, clients, and visitors. Workplace health and safety laws require businesses to take reasonable steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees and anyone else who may be affected by their work. This means identifying hazards, assessing risks, and implementing control measures to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks in the workplace. Reasonable measures may include providing quality  Australian workwear for protection, safety management plans, training, and more.

Consequences to employers 

In Australia, employers have a duty of care to their employees. Each state has different regulations in regards to the safety management obligations of employers. In Western Australia, businesses are bound to the  Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 which requires employers to maintain a high level of health and safety management at their workplaces. Failure to comply with occupational health and safety laws can result in significant penalties, including fines of up to $3 million and/or imprisonment for individuals, and $10 million for corporations. In addition, employers may be liable for civil damages if their employees are injured at work.

Ways to ensure safety 

As a result, putting additional health and safety management procedures in place on construction sites is crucial. Here are some examples of ways you can improve safety on a construction site and reduce the risk of serious injury and exposure to hazards.

Provide workplace training 

This one is a no-brainer. If you want your construction workers to be safe while working, you need to provide them with the proper training. Before any employee steps foot on your construction site, they should be trained and inducted. This includes both safety training and job-specific training. By providing your employees with the right training, you can help them avoid potential accidents and injuries. Another form of training to consider is  manual handling training. This type of training can help your employees learn how to safely lift and move heavy objects whilst also helping them to become aware of hazards and to create a safe work site.

Supply personal protective equipment (PPE) and uniforms

Another way to ensure that your construction workers are safe is to supply them with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and proper Australian workwear. PPE is actually a mandatory requirement for most occupations in construction. PPE includes hi vis workwear such as  vests and uniformsfire safety garments, hard hats, safety glasses, gloves, and steel-toe boots. By supplying your employees with the proper PPE, you can help them avoid potential injuries. There are also legal requirements around the legal compliance of hi vis workwear. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure these standards are also met.

Workplace management plan 

This should be the first step in ensuring a safe working environment. It is a comprehensive document that outlines the company’s safety policies and procedures. The plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant. The plan may include policies and procedures on the following: 

  • Working hours and conditions 
  • Examples of unsafe work practices 
  • Use of equipment and machinery 
  • Handling of hazardous materials 
  • Emergency procedures 
  • Incident reporting and risk management procedures 
  • First aid training and procedures 

Ensuring that employees are aware of the workplace safety management plan and understand their roles and responsibilities is crucial for its effectiveness. Employees should also be given the opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations on the plan.

Adopt the use of site signage 

Construction site signage ensures that all working on site are aware of potential hazards. There should be a clear system in place that alerts workers to the location of any hazards. This can be done through the use of signage, barriers, and cones. Site signage should also be used to identify different areas on site such as key exit and entrance points, high traffic areas, safe areas, and more.

First aid training 

First aid training can easily be completed in a day and can be the difference between life and death. It's an incredibly important skill to have as you never know when you'll be in a situation that requires it. It's especially important if you're working in a job that involves potential hazards.

Site Security 

Investing in site security is a must. This can include things like security fencing, CCTV, and security guards. It's important to deter potential thieves as construction sites are often full of valuable tools and materials. Secure sites are safe sites as they're less likely to be targeted by vandals. 

Keep the site tidy

Maintaining high standards of construction site tidiness greatly minimises safety risks. It is important that all materials are stored safely and securely, away from the edge of any excavations. This will help to avoid potential trips and falls. Any trip hazards should also be clearly signposted. All rubbish should be disposed of properly in order to avoid attracting pests onto the site.

Reduce workplace incidents by adhering to site safety standards 

It takes multiple health and safety measures to ensure high standards of work health and safety. Construction sites with the correct safety practices in place to manage risks not only reduce the prevalence of workplace incidents but also benefit from increased efficiency and productivity. At JP Promotions, we've supplied heavy-duty branded workwear to companies in the construction industry for over a decade. When looking to invest in safety workwear for your team, don't hesitate to get in contact!