Bowens - The Builders Choice

Don’t let the silly season lead to silly mistakes on site

The mad rush before Christmas is common across all industries, and none more so than construction. Deadlines for handover are higher than ever at this time of year and everyone is keen to finish up before the holidays. But the silly season often leads to silly mistakes.

Furthermore, Work Health and Safety statistics confirm that while construction industry workers make up about one third of the Australian workforce, they account for over half of all serious Workers Compensation Claims. From muscle strains and ligament damage to serious falls, vehicle collisions and sadly death. Indeed, recent high-profile accidents on constructions sites are a strong reminder that you can’t put a price on extra vigilance on the work site.

With this in mind, it’s a timely reminder to take extra precautions on the work site.

Personal protection equipment is paramount. Hi-viz workwear, safety googles, hard hats and steel capped boots are a must. And while Australia is well known as the sunburnt country, it’s sunscreen that should be worn on site.

It’s important to plan ahead. At this time of year trades are in demand, supplier stocks are depleting and workers can get fatigued. Some forward planning goes a long way to ensure things get to site when you need them.

“At this time of year trades are in demand, supplier stocks are depleting and workers can get fatigued.”

The first thing you need to ensure a safe work site is safety fencing. In Victoria, no building site can start construction without a properly erected temporary fence. Temporary fencing not only deters unauthorised access to the site, it prevents the public inadvertently entering an unsafe space.

Once erected it’s important to keep fencing secure on site. Trades are notorious for dismantling temporary fencing to deliver timber, concrete, bricks and other materials, but who is responsible for putting it back together again? The answer is, it should not be dismantled in the first instance, but if it is, it’s much easier to put panels back together if they have been secured with a panel sleeve rather than a clamp which too often gets lost in the dirt never to be recovered.

Another feature of the Australian summer is our not so friendly native snakes. Some of the deadliest Australian snakes including Tigers, Copperheads and Brown snakes are all common in Victoria and with the suburbs continuing to encroach on their territory, sightings are becoming more common. Keep clear, keep calm and keep your site tidy. Too often in the rush to get the job done, worksites can become untidy, creating the perfect environment for snakes to hide out of site under wood and debris.

“Too often in the rush to get the job done, worksites can become untidy, creating the perfect environment for snakes to hide out of site under wood and debris.”

Not only that, untidy sites are an accident waiting to happen. Uncontained rubbish, vegetation, concrete and debris can get underfoot, offcuts become a trip hazard and debris can fly through the air causing cuts, lacerations, or worse. Rusty nails are notorious for piercing boots and sharp objects are an accident waiting to happen. The solution in simple – all rubbish and debris can easily be contained in a rubbish cage or enclosure, not only preventing serious injury but improving efficiencies on site.

So, if you want to enjoy your Christmas pudding this year, remember a few simple rules – induct your trades, protect yourself, plan ahead, secure the worksite, beware of your surroundings and keep the site tidy. A happy New Year to all from Bowens Hire.

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