The most important aspect of Construction Site Safety is ensuring that you are all co-workers have received general construction safety training. Possession o f your White Card proves that you have gained all the knowledge necessary to work in a hazardous job, such as construction.
Remember construction sites are some of the most dangerous work places and account for the majority of work related injuries and fatalities. It is for this reason that workers need to learn all the safety measures required to avoid injury at work, as well as to avoid causing injury to fellow co-workers.
The White Card Course covers in more detail the hazards presented by construction work and the control measures to overcome them but here are a list of the most common:
- Working Safely from Heights. This is particularly important because most falls from heights in Oz occur on construction sites. It is important that workers utilise the correct fall protection systems and harnesses when working from heights. Employers need to ensure that workers are trained on safe work from height methods and these are practiced on site. Ultimately workers need to get their White Card to learn more about safe work from heights.
- Practice and promote good housekeeping. Ensure that the site is continuously being cleared of debris and waste. Ensure that no bricks, cement, pipes and other building materials are not left lying around because they can present a tripping hazard. Liquids left unattended can present a slipping hazard.
- Always utilise Personal protective equipment as instructed and provided with. In particular always wear your hardhat, even if you’re just walking around below the building site. Things fall off scaffolding, roofs etc. and quite often workers can be hit by falling objects, sometimes fatally.
- Ensure that scaffolding are erected by qualified people and are standing on sturdy, even ground. Always ensure that you are using fall protection when working on scaffolding.
- When building trenches ensure that strict regulations are followed and that there is no chance of the trench collapsing.
- Any worker in the vicinity of a crane in operation can be injured or killed if an accident occurs, for this reason workers should be trained on overall crane safety and how to safely avoid being injured during these crane operations. Exclusion zones on construction sites are an extremely important consideration when cranes are involved in order to protect workers not involved with crane work from injury.
- Ensure all workers that operate heavy machinery and vehicles are certified to do so. Also ensure that proper exclusion zones are set up and pedestrians and vehicles are separated as much as possible.
Once again the most important tool a construction worker has in his/her possession is the knowledge of how to work safely on site, knowledge gained through White Card training.