With only eight weeks until the festive season, builders, sub-contractors and workers will be under pressure to get jobs completed prior to the holiday season.
As a WorkSafe inspector, I have attended numerous construction sites during this period where workers have been killed or injured as a result of largely-preventable workplace incidents.
While there are always a number of factors that contribute to any incident, in my experience a common factor in many of these incidents was rushing to get the job done.
The pressure to get the work finished all too often results in taking safety short cuts and duty holders losing sight of some fundamentals of a safe construction workplace.
So in the weeks leading up to the holiday period, builders and sub-contractors need to ensure supervisory staff are especially vigilant. It’s important to reinforce safety with workers through site inductions or tool box talks and encourage them to take that extra five minutes to review safe work method statements (SWMS) before starting work.
Worker fatigue can also become an issue at this time of year, particularly when working long hours due to extra hours of daylight available or during days of high temperatures. Fatigue can effect judgement, resulting in workers making mistakes or not identifying risks.
Be proactive and regularly remind workers that November and December are statistically high-risk months on construction sites. Reinforce the potentially disastrous consequences of taking short cuts, not only for themselves and their workmates, but also their families and friends.
Avoid tragedy in the lead up to this holiday season by staying focused on the most important aspect of construction work, ensuring you and your mates get home safely to your families every day.
Credit: WorkSafe Victoria (03/11/17)