Construction is one of the most high risk industries globally but there are certain countries where occupational health and safety doesn’t play a very central role. It is in these countries that we normally hear about construction accidents because productivity is usually valued over safety. These are usually developing countries where workers are so grateful to get a job that they are often willing to put up with safety abuses.
However even in the safest countries in the world, where a huge emphasis is placed on health and safety, sometimes accidents still take place. Canada is one of those countries like Oz which requires construction workers to be trained on general construction safety and accidents are rare (as compared with other countries) yet an accident which took place recently almost claimed the lives of 3 people on a Surrey based site.
The accident involved a crane which was delivering building materials at the time. That country’s work safety authority has launched an investigation into the incident which sent the 3 workers to the hospital.
The following excerpt from a Canadian website explains more:
The agency says building materials were being delivered by crane to a site at 152nd Street and 102 Avenue, just behind the Guildford Library, when material broke loose and struck three construction workers.
The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Monday morning.
A construction worker is treated by first responders after an accident in Surrey on May 12, 2014. (CTV)
Two people are in critical condition at Royal Columbian Hospital and a third victim is in stable condition at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
According to the report 2 of the victims were employees of the contractor while another was employed by the company delivering the building materials. This highlights a very important issue that applies even to us here in Oz – the importance of construction safety training also known as the white card course.
It is compulsory that everyone involved in construction work undergo this mandatory training regardless of where in Oz they work and what type of work they undertake. Even people whose job takes them onto a construction site regularly such as a delivery operator has to be in possession of a valid White Card and the incident above proves why. Even people who simply visit construction sites need to be trained and aware of the hazards present on construction sites and how to behave in a “safe” way.
One of the issues covered by the White Card training is Struck-by accidents as this is one of the most common accidents within the construction industry.
The post went on to explain:
A prevention officer is now determining what led to the incident, including the crane condition or setup, or any training or supervision issues.
A crane specialist and engineer have been brought in to assist the investigation.
A total of 6,629 construction workers have reported being struck by objects on general work sites in the past five years in B.C.