White Card Update: Safe Masonry and Concrete Drilling

Source : US Army Corps of Engineers

According to Workplace Health and Safety Legislation employers, workers, self-employed people, people in control of workplaces, and the manufacturers and distributors of plant and equipment are all responsible for health and safety on a construction site.

Employers need to provide a safe and healthy working environment and provide information, instruction, training and supervision to workers so that they are able to safely perform their tasks. However workers also have a responsibility to ensure their own safety and that of their co-workers. They can do this by following training and instruction they have been given, wearing appropriate PPE provided and using equipment as instructed by employers and manufacturers.

Even though PPE are the last level and least effective method of reducing the risk of hazards on a building site, when engaged in masonry work or concrete drilling the use of PPE is compulsory and employers should provide these PPE free of charge to workers and ensure that workers are trained on how to use them.

The first step is hazard identification, by identifying the hazard it is possible to develop a safe method of overcoming it. The next step would be assess the risk associated with the hazard and for masonry and concrete drilling there are many such as a loss of control of machinery or a kick back injury from obstructions in the material being cut. Once risks have been assessed, safety measures can be developed to control the risks, this may include substituting machinery for less dangerous equipment, isolation of plant or use of engineering controls etc.