An eye opening article on Bendigoadvertiser.com.au discussed the serious safety issue surrounding Bendigo construction work. According to the post figures from WorkSafe indicated that more than 250 Bendigo construction workers have lodged compensation claims for serious workplace injuries in the past 5 years which resulted in $12 million worth of pay-outs.
The figures released by WorkSafe show that one construction worker has been injured in Bendigo every week on average since 2008. According to a WorkSafe Inspector for the region, Peter Sullivan, every injury costed approximately $52,000 for treatment, wages and other associated expenses.
This is because as Mr Sullivan pointed out, local construction sites were in breach of a number of health and safety regulations. In fact more than 130 health and safety breaches were found at local construction sites in a year mostly due to poor planning and lack of housekeeping.
A new WorkSafe campaign aims to tackle these high levels of safety breaches in the construction industry in order to bring down the high injury rates as well as reduce the severity of injuries. Many of the injuries, Sullivan pointed out, may not be life threatening but they are often painful, long lasting and costly due to the long periods of time spent off work.
According to WorkSafe better planning is the key to improving site safety. Lack of planning is the root to most safety issues on construction sites because people begin to take shortcuts and improvise which leads to further issues.
The campaign has taken an interesting approach by introducing a smartphone app in a bid to get workers to talk about safety thereby raising awareness about the issue.
The post goes on to explain:
Mr Sullivan said a growing number of construction projects across the region highlighted the need to discuss safety practises.
“If you look at the jobs coming up – the new Bendigo hospital, the art gallery – work is going to increase in this area. We want to work with employers to talk more about safety with the whole of the workplace.”
According to WorkSafe statistics an average of five injuries on construction sites are reported each day, across the state.
Mr Sullivan said a lot of the injuries could be avoided by safer work conditions.
It all boils down to general planning. It gets around a lot of the problems. It’s when they don’t plan that problems occur. When things are tough people start to take shortcuts.”
In its new campaign targeted at the construction industry, WorkSafe has released a “Top Tradie Cup” smartphone App, in a bid to get workers to talk about safety.
WorkSafe chief executive Denise Cosgrove said the number of incidents showed a greater need for awareness of safety.
The said the app would test tradies on their safety knowledge as well as football trivia, for the chance to win prizes.
“We know that creating a safety culture encourages behaviour change which will ultimately lead to fewer workers being injured on site,” she said.