Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Building Contractors

The Constant Casualties of an Unsafe Work Environment

There are very few workplaces that come close to the dangers of a building construction site. The sheer amount of machinery, instability of structure and constant work make it hazardous for even the most experienced construction professionals. These problems are only compounded when contractors don’t abide by the various safety regulations that have been established. It leads to unnecessary loss of life every year in Australia. Even simple measures can go a long way in ensuring the safety of workers at a building site. Here are a few essential safety tips for building contractors in Australia.

1. Safety Gear and Equipment:

Though this is an obvious precaution, it is shocking how many companies fail to observe the basic rules for safety of workers. Uniforms that have been designated for various operations, especially high risk ones, must be handed to the staff and it must be ensured that they comply with these regulations. Even those not in the direct area of operations must be encouraged to wear helmets, safety vests and boots. There are many government authorized safety courses must also be conducted from time to time to educate the staff.

2. Ensure Immediate Assistance in Emergency:

There must be sufficient first aid kits and personnel for the entire building site. First aid procedures and emergency phone numbers must be displayed in prominent areas. All the personnel should be aware of first aid responsibilities and where the first aid equipment is located. Workers must also be well aware of emergency plans so that there will be no need for panic during any emergency.

These emergencies could include:

  • Bombs threat
  • Fire
  • Chemical leaks
  • Building collapse

In any situation, workers must be trained to react accordingly.

3. Emergency Lighting:

According to Australian Law, it is the duty of the contractor to provide for battery powered lighting in case the main lighting is cut off in an emergency. This is done to provide a safe passage for workers to escape. Lighting must be installed in all the principal escape routes. It should also be provided on switchboards of the main lighting area so that repair work can be done safely. A higher lighting level of 20 lux is mandatory for all emergency lighting.

4. The Health and Safety Co-ordination Plan (HSCP):

The HSCP is a document that needs to be prepared by the contractor to describe how safety is to be managed on the site.

Legally, only projects of value greater than $ 250,000 are required to do it, but it is highly recommended that all contractors go about making this document.

The document must contain:

  • Names and contact information of all safety personnel
  • Detailed analysis of how health and safety is to be co-ordinated
  • Rules for managing injuries or accidents
  • Mandatory Safety rules.

 

These are just some of the basic safety measures that contractors can take to ensure a healthy work environment. Many more government standards need to be complied with to provide the best conditions for safety of the employees. No stone should be left unturned in this quest.