Basics of Safety in Construction

Basics of safety in the Construction industry

Getting back to basics is a great habit to get into – regular checks on basics will keep Site Supervisors and workers sharp and constantly alert for any slip in safety standards.

The following is a list of basics to keep bringing to the attention of everyone working on the site, or likely to visit the site, even for short visits.  This is a basic list, and attention should not be limited to this list, and often time allows for more in depth examination of safety standards and procedures, so a more thorough check needs to be conducted.  It is imperative to ensure no corners are cut.

  • What is the length of the job?  Is a basic check of safety required, or is it a longer job that may require closer attention to hazard control?
  • Has the machinery and equipment to be used on the job been properly maintained, and is there a safe area for it to be set up? Is the proper equipment being used by the Tradies for their specific expertise, eg electricians, plumbers, carpenters must all have fully maintained and safe equipment and use it as per manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Are there safety guards required for any of the equipment and are they in place and in good working condition?
  • Has everyone on site completed the compulsory white card training?
  • Are the appropriate tools available, property maintained and being used as per manufacturer’s instructions?  Are the tools being used in the right way for the right purpose?
  • Have all power leads been tagged and tested, and RCD’s being used with all electrical power tools?  Are leads in good condition and suspended off the floor, and out of the way of any visitors to site?
  • If scaffolding is being used, has this been erected safely, by an experienced scaffolder, is it properly maintained and regularly checked for any damage?
  • Have the ladders being used on site been checked and maintained?  Are the right ladders being used for the right job eg fibreglass ladders for electrical work?
  • Is Protective clothing being used or provided for all workers?  Helmets, work boots, brightly coloured safety vests etc?
  • Minor in juries can occur when no accountability is maintained with regard to safety on Building sites.  Site Supervisors must be alert and aware, and well trained in injury prevention.  However, it is all the more vital for major injuries and death from workplace accidents that must be at the forefront of management and workers attention.

Before commencing any new job, check out the Workplace Safety website at

http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/11867/What_are_inspectors_looking_at_RTFJ_100809.pdf for a full list of what Safety Inspectors will be looking for on any building site they inspect.

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