Safer is Better

INTRODUCTION

Safe Work Australia reports that, in 2019, an average of three workers across Australia lost their lives in a work-related incident every week. Each of these tragedies touched the lives of countless others – Mothers, Fathers, partners, children and grandchildren, friends, and workmates.

Things today are better than days gone by. Safer working practices, training, and attitudes have reduced fatality rates by over 50% since 2007, but there is still so much to be done.

The construction industry is third highest on the list of affected industries, with men 26 times more likely to suffer a fatal accident than women.

Serious accidents are obviously more frequent still. In fact, one in every 100 workers reported a serious accident in the most recent reporting year.

At Hammers Workforce, we see every member of our team as part of our extended family. We want all our working family to return to their loved ones at the end of each day’s work – safe and healthy.

HIRING FOR SAFETY

At Hammers, safety begins before you even walk in the door. We know that the construction environment has a higher element of risk than many other industries, so we do our best to select candidates who demonstrate a high level of safety awareness.

People who are alert to threats, who see and report unsafe situations or practices, are more likely to remain safe themselves and improve the overall safety of the team and the job site where they are working.

TRAINING FOR SAFETY

Since 2011, Workplace Health and Safety regulations have mandated that all workers complete training to prepare them to work safely in the construction industry. Completion of an approved course is part of the National Code of Practice for Induction for Construction Work declared by Safe Work Australia and will result in issuance of a ‘White Card’.

While the White Card is an excellent safety measure, it is only the beginning of the safety practices that are implemented and mandated by Hammers Workforce. Some additional measures include:

  • Ensuring correct Personal Protective Equipment is in use.
  • Induction training for all new employees.
  • Site-specific training and awareness briefings.
  • Ensuring the tools and equipment are well maintained.
  • Procedures and practices for reporting safety incidents and breaches.
  • Correct work procedures and use of tools – we never take shortcuts.

INCIDENT NOTIFICATION

The Queensland Building and Construction Commission has overall carriage of safety in the construction industry in Queensland. They undertake enquiries into safety incidents and, to ensure they can do that job effectively, legislation was introduced in November 2017 to require all QBCC licensees to report safety incidents.

Licensees face harsh penalties including the loss of their licence and fines up to $133,450 for failure to notify a safety incident. It’s therefore important that any incident which results in death or serious injury or exposes a person to the risk of serious injury or illness, is reported by the fastest possible means.

FUTURE OF SAFETY

Incident investigation helps to continue the trend of reducing accidents and incidents for all workers. It’s the feedback mechanism that helps us all develop safer working practices and avoid accidents before they happen.

Workplace safety is most definitely a case where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” as the old saying goes.

Hammers Workforce wants you to know that we take safety seriously. If you hope to work with us and join our workplace family, you need to do the same. When it comes to safety, we expect and demand the highest possible standards.

REFERENCES

QBCC Website

Worksafe QLD – General Construction Induction

Safe Work Australia – Key WHS statistics Australia 2020