Security of construction sites is an important part of not only worker safety but public safety as well. Members of the public don’t have the knowledge of hazards and controls necessary to safely be on a construction site, as experienced workers have. This puts them at risk of injury and illness. In the past there have been people killed who have entered construction sites without being authorised to do, many of these trespassers being children, some teenagers looking for a place to chill out with their friends or mentally ill ndividuals.
In a recent incident a man was arrested after climbing about 30 storeys up the scaffolding of a building under construction in Melbourne’s CBD. The man apparently climbed up the building at the corner of Elizabeth and Terry Streets recently and climbed a crane at the top of the building without using any ropes.
Bystanders witnessed the man lying down on a thin piece of scaffolding about 30 storeys up. The man was extremely fortunate that he didn’t fall and die.
According MFB Commander Rick Gili fire crews had to be called in to try to get the man down. Gili was quoted in an article on Abc.net.au stating:
“In the end, the fire brigade assembled their high-angle rescue team to go up and rescue the person along with two other police,” he said.
“As they made their way up the person decided to climb down.”
To watch the spectacle, a crowd gathered at the base of the building as the man was brought down. Once safely down he was handcuffed by police and taken into custody for questioning. A police spokesperson said he was cooperating with them.
This type of absurd behaviour needs to be guarded against because the outcome can be a lot worse. Not only can members of the public place themselves at risk, they can place the safety of others at risk too. They can threaten workers and set back productivity. People can tamper with equipment and machinery, steal materials and equipment and injure workers with careless behaviour.
Children can also wander onto construction sites and anyone who has ever been onto a construction site knows that they are no place for children. The recent death of Erwin Makafana on a Sydney construction site is an example of what can happen if children are present on a construction site, especially left unattended.
The boy was found at the site of a church under construction. He had been playing with some concrete slabs which fell on him, crushing him. He died shortly thereafter.
Unfortunately unguarded machinery and unlocked machinery, equipment and building materials can present a serious risk. Sites need to be securely fenced and locked when closed and the public should not be able to gain access.
Everyone on a construction site ultimately needs to be in possession of a White Card as proof of having completed Construction Induction Training.