The Construction Site: A dangerous workplace
September 23, 2013 1:42pm CST
It is fairly obvious that some vocations are by their very nature more dangerous than others. For example, it is far less likely that an employee working in an office will get involved in an accident than if he/she were to work on a construction site or in a mine shaft. Construction and mining are very old career options. They go way back and have always been considered very risky. Architectural wonders of the old world have claimed many lives through their construction processes. Things aren’t nearly as bad as they used to be these days, but we are still a long way from perfecting a system that will make these vocations risk-free. Also, not all technological advances are working to our benefit when it comes to health hazards and risk reduction. For example, in the old days, they didn’t have to worry about so many different chemical health hazards as we do these days. It is very true that modern societies have recognized these workplaces as dangerous and acted towards making them more humane and safe for workers. It still takes a tremendous effort from both the workers and the employers to achieve a level of safety that is acceptable for everyone. Laws have evolved enough that they force construction companies to take better care of their employees. This doesn’t really come as a surprise when we look at the annual statistics that deal with accidents and injuries that occur in the construction industry. The number of accidents and injuries surpass any other industry by a considerate amount in both US and EU. Above I mentioned that safety procedures need to be a joint effort between the employer and the employees and I stick to my original statement. The reason for this is that a significant amount of these accidents occur due to human error and a large number of them can be prevented through diligence and alertness on the part of the workforce. It is true that it is the employer’s responsibility to provide all the necessary safety equipment and dictate the safety procedures and protocols that will reduce the risk of an accident happening, but all this is futile if the workers themselves don’t recognize the threat and abide by the rules and regulations provided by the employer. Education and experience exchange This is one of the cheapest and easiest steps you can take to raise the level of safety on your construction site. While the employer can view risk assessment from a more statistical point of view, workers can provide a more firsthand point of view and talk from experience and that’s why it is so important that these two sides of the same coin exchange ideas and work together towards the same goal. These educational steps take very little time and show great results when we look at the bigger picture. WHS Management Plan The WHS management plan is a document that contains all the crucial information regarding construction site safety. It also serves as a reminder to the people who are responsible for safety. The fact is that there is a lot to be done when it comes to regulating safety mechanisms and this document helps you keep track of progress of things. A well designed WHS plan can help you include better safety mechanisms and enrich your general knowledge of safety procedures. When deciding on a WHS plan, it is a smart move to go for those that have been written in a, let’s say, simple style. The reason for this is that flashy language doesn’t really have a place in this kind of document. It needs to be straightforward, to the point and easy to understand so everyone can get the necessary information fast without having to decipher what the document is trying to say. Construction companies are legally obligated to have a WHS management plan when working on projects that are worth $250,000 and there are severe fines for disregarding this law. The fact that WHS plans also include safety procedures that target the safety of people that live and pass next to the construction site is a prominent reason this law has been passed. The Effort Pays Off Taking the time and putting in the work to raise the level of safety on your construction site will benefit your company greatly in more ways than one. A good safety record will help you get bigger projects and create a name for your company. You will also protect your workers and therefore avoid changes to your staff which will, in turn, give you a better team and help you meet deadlines. Source:
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