Back to Basics: How to keep your team safe on the construction site

We all know construction can be dangerous, but did you ever wonder how it ranks against Australia’s other tough jobs?

According to Safe Work Australia, construction work is any work carried out in connection with the construction, alteration, conversion, fitting-out, commissioning, renovation, repair, maintenance, refurbishment, demolition, decommissioning or dismantling of a structure, or preparation of a building site. has created a list of Australia’s most dangerous jobs based on Safe Work Australia's Key Work Health and Safety Statistics for 2017. In the construction industry, there were 35 fatalities and the industry accounted for 12.28% of all Australian workplace compensation claims in 2016. 

While the numbers look scary, the odds aren’t stacked against you. We’re going back to basics and we’ve put together some tips to ensure you’re doing all you can to take care of your team’s safety.

Start with an induction card

Knowledge is power, especially when power tools are involved. The most important part of any tradie’s training is receiving their induction card. This gives them the skills they need to stay safe on the job, and is also a legal requirement to be on a worksite in Australia.

Let your legs do the lifting

It doesn’t matter if a team member is picking up a bag of cement or a single brick, the technique used to lift objects will affect back and joint health. So, make sure they do it right. How to lift like a pro:

  1. Bend at the knee.
  2. Keep a straight back.
  3. Keep feet firmly planted on the ground.
  4. Always avoid twisting.

Remember, most people will try and lift more than is safe to do so. If someone’s struggling, offer an extra pair of hands or a trolley. No object is worth the pain of a bad back.

Get the right tools

We know tools are expensive! But so are days off, compensation claims and the costs of lower quality work. Repetitive use, poor design or damaged tools, can cause health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, white finger and trigger finger. To reduce the likelihood of this, make sure your team has training on proper use, and is taking regular breaks.

Take a seat, mate

With proper planning, your worker shift times can be carefully designed to maximise productivity and minimise fatigue. Make sure that your team are taking regular breaks, getting plenty of rest between shifts. Otherwise they may suffer poor judgement and lower response time, which can lead to injury.

Put a safety plan in place

With a proper process for reporting and addressing incidents, any potential hazards on the worksite will be resolved quickly. To keep a danger free construction site, make sure that your team knows the process for reporting incidents and hazards and that they are addressed in a timely fashion. There’s no point reporting a trip hazard if it never gets moved!

Grab our construction and manual safety poster pack

The construction industry is building the future of Australia, and the safety of construction workers is something Gallagher Bassett is passionate about.

Accident rates have a significant effect on premium costs. The higher your accident rate is, the higher your premiums will become. To make sure you are taking measures to reduce accidents in on your worksites, contact us today to discuss ways you can improve safety on your worksite.


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