One of Australia’s leading construction companies was recently fined a whopping $281,250 following an accident that almost cost a worker their life. A crane collided with a platform where an employee was working, the worker sustained leg and back injuries but narrowly missed being crushed.
Following an investigation, Jennifer Taylor, chief executive of federal work health and safety regulator Comcare, said it was “an accident waiting to happen. With inadequate communication and isolation measures in place and shortfalls in supervision, instruction and training.”
It’s easy to think that something similar could never happen to you. But with different vehicles and equipment working all going at once on a construction site, a safety-minded culture must come first. Prevention is key to minimise the risk of an accident, so here are some steps to ensure your workers, equipment and site are performing at their best and safest.
Recognise the Signs
If anything feels off, don’t ignore it. Just like good construction, safety starts with a solid foundation. Look at your current system and see what needs changing, outline the potential risks and assess the steps needed to prevent disaster. Vehicles and equipment overdue for maintenance, operators in need of training, unorganised paperwork or lack of supervision on site are just some of the factors that could be overlooked. Figuring out what is and isn’t working is the first step because possible hazards can’t be addressed if no one sees them coming.
Make a Plan
A good plan makes the building blocks for a strong and secure workplace. While check ins with workers and regular equipment inspections are essential, they can take time. Using technology such as GPS fleet tracking do this in real time without interruption, makes compliance easy. You can track driver behaviour and vehicle and equipment maintenance. This means the need for training or repairs can be monitored and scheduled to avoid excessive downtime. You can appropriately plan for the specific needs of the job. Being on top of all the goings on within your team also means you can’t be blindsided by the unexpected. No one wants to be a day out from a long-term project only to find their tools are acting up or not enough crew for safe operation are on are hand.
Become a Leader in Safety
A good plan doesn’t feel like extra work, it takes the burden off and makes you wonder how you ever got by without it. There’s no point spending the money and time integrating something that is bothersome and doesn’t fit within your work culture. You and your crew will use it once or twice before ignoring it and reverting to the old, more hazardous method. Safety doesn’t just end at ticking a few in-house boxes. It’s about creating and maintaining an overall culture of safety and wellbeing within your entire fleet. Ensure everyone in the organisation receives the training they need to make it part of day-to-day operations. They need to know not just how to follow procedure, but why. Proactively use your data to continually identify and refine any shortcomings in operations, making safer sites an ongoing mission.
When you make safety and compliance a high priority the chance of accidents is minimised. No one can predict the future but you can take every step within your power to make sure yours doesn’t involve a messy lawsuit or injured crew.
To learn more about how we can help in the construction industry, visit http://www.teletracnavman.com.au/areas-we-serve/heavy-construction.