Construction site safety. When was the last time you reviewed your site safety policies?
When a construction site is in full swing, it’s a hive of activity. There can be numerous people on site at any one time all carrying out different tasks and focusing on different things. Add to this the use of machinery and equipment and it’s a recipe for disaster.
SafeWork NSW reports that between 2012 to 2015 over 30,000 workers were injured on construction sites in NSW due to unsafe work practices.
With this in mind, site safety needs to be paramount and it’s the site supervisor’s responsibility to ensure each and every person who enters the construction site is doing so safely to minimise the risk to themselves and to others on site.
Read on to check you have all aspects of construction site safety covered on your construction site.
1. Construction Site Safety Site Training
Construction site safety begins well before work begins on site. It starts with training and awareness of everyone entering the site.
Each worker on site must have carried out their own safety training in relation to their skill or qualification and should hold and provide safe work method statements (SWMS) outlining the risks, hazards and safety procedures in relation to their trade.
On top of this, every single person entering a construction site is required to undertake general construction induction training and hold a general construction induction card (otherwise known as a white card).
Adequate training and ongoing awareness around safety helps to keep construction site safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
2. Construction Site Safety Protocols and Standards
Following on from the initial site training, it’s important to follow on with further training and site safety awareness through regular site meetings to discuss safety and other site issues.
Holding regular site meetings or tool box talks to address any site concerns or safety issues sets the standard for the site and conveys to all workers the importance of maintaining safe work practices on site at all times.
Setting a standard with your site protocols, especially when it comes to construction site safety is crucial.
3. Construction Site Safety Barriers and Barricades
We cannot speak enough of the importance of adequate safety barriers around the perimeter of your construction site. Installing temporary fencing around your construction site is an absolute must when it comes to construction site safety.
Construction sites don’t just pose a risk to anyone working on site, they also pose a risk to the general public. In a recent article we wrote about the dangers of the general public wandering onsite and the hazards associated with that.
Installing temporary fencing around your entire site reduces the risk of injury to the general public and helps as a visual reminder to your site workers that they are entering the construction site.
Don’t forget, when it comes to safety barriers, scaffolding and edge protection must also be considered and installed if required to ensure every single worker onsite is able to carry out their work in a safe manner.
4. Construction Site Safety Signage
Site safety and hazard signage is an obvious but none-the-less important element to site safety.
Safety signs are imperative to ensure everyone entering your construction site is aware of the risks and dangers before they enter. What may be obvious to you, may not be obvious to others, so it’s always best to make it clear through adequate signage.
Securing safety signage, to the sites temporary fence or other safety barriers at the sites entry and exit points is one of the best ways to display your signage. This makes the risks and safety requirements crystal clear to everyone entering the site.
With site signage constructed out of lightweight, weather resistant, durable and cost-effective corflute board, there is really no excuse not to have it.
5. Individual Safety Protection
Construction site safety does not just encompass the site as a whole. Individual safety measures are also a must when it comes to the overall safety of your construction site.
As the site supervisor, it is your responsibility to ensure every single worker on your site is adequately equipped and compliant with safety standards as they carry out their tasks and duties. This includes wearing proper footwear, gloves, protective eyewear, ear plugs, helmets and safety harnesses.
While different workers will require different individual protection requirements it is the responsibility of the site supervisor or builder to ensure everyone is supplied or comes equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to carry out their job safely.
Testing and tagging of all electrical equipment on site should also be a top priority.
6. Construction Site First Aid
No one wants to think about things going wrong where an injury has occurred, but unfortunately, they can and do happen. Site safety means taking every precaution to prevent accidents or injury. It also means being prepared when things do go wrong.
First Aid includes:
- Having a fully equipped first aid kit on site,
- Having a designated first aid officer available at all times, and;
- Putting a clear first aid procedure in place should an accident or injury occur.
Time is critical if someone is injured on your site and being prepared for the worst can make all the difference to the outcome.
While this is not an exhaustive list ensuring complete site safety. Implementing these measures can go a long way to keeping your construction site an accident free one.
Not only are these measures common sense, they are also required by law. The following links provide more details about construction site safety laws and your responsibility as a construction site supervisor:
- Housing industry site safety pack
- Managing workplace safety
- Construction Work Code of Practice
- NSW Legislation – Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017
Hire Rite Temporary Fence has you covered for all your construction site safety fencing. Book your projects in today and tick that job off your list.