Each day construction workers are exposed to a number of hazards presented by the environment, the work processes, tools, equipment and machinery. While there are some hazards that are common to all work sites such as slips, trips and falls, there are certain factors that make the risks even greater on a construction site. Every year there are workers killed by the hazards mostly due to negligence on the part of the employer, site manager or workers themselves. While the responsibility to provide a safe work environment and system of work lies with the employer, workers also have a duty of care to fulfil according to federal workplace health and safety laws.
Employers as well as employees need to ensure that workers are adequately trained to handle the hazards that construction work presents before they can begin work in the construction sector.
According to statistics provided by SafeWork Australia the construction sector is one of the worst in terms of workplace fatalities. On average 13 people a year are killed on a construction site or as a result of construction work.
Taking these alarming statistics into consideration as well as the fact that due to the boost in construction the number of young, inexperienced people entering the industry is likely to increase drastically this year, safety training is not just an option but a necessity.
Recognising the need for uniform safety training for the construction sector, the federal government mandated general construction induction training, known as The White Card.
Workers entering the construction industry can now complete one general safety training course, The White Card course and use it to work anywhere in Oz. The White Card is the national safety induction card for work in the construction industry and can be completed online, so there is no excuse for workers not completing the training, whether they live in a busy city or a rural town.
What Students Learn
Because the course is delivered completely online, the assessments are also completed online and over the telephone.
In addition to fulfilling a mandatory requirement, the White Card course teaches workers practical tips that they can apply to work on the site in order to avoid injury and avoid endangering their co-workers while performing their duties which also forms part of the legal responsibility.
Workplace Safety Guidelines on issues such as personal protective equipment, bullying, housekeeping etc. are covered by the course.
The Basic Principles of Risk Management including elements of construction work such as need for a safe working environment, how to identify hazards and eliminate or minimise them and the injuries that can result from these hazards. Information on Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) is also covered in brief.
The course covers how to assess the risks and determine how people can be hurt. Workers also learn about common construction hazards, including biological, chemical, ergonomic and physical hazards as well as those hazards presented by the work design.