What is Safety in Construction?

So What is Safety?

Okay, so we’ve said so many times on this site that a white card is designed to help teach you how to stay safe on a work site. But what exactly is safety? And what do we mean when we talk about safety. The general definition of safety is ‘the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury. Or can also be defined as something designed to prevent injury or damage. And when it comes to the construction industry this can be seen by the use of safety barriers, safety helmets, body protection, gloves, eyewear, ear plugs, earmuffs and the list goes on. These types of equipment are aimed as a preventative measure against injury and death and therefore are in place to keep construction workers ‘safe’.

Historically, the safety of workers hasn’t been the highest priority for employers. Although employers have generally always had a duty of care to their employees however accidents were a regular occurrence and employers were not fined heavily when an employee was injured. Boy have times changed. Workplace safety is now one of the most important things employers have to consider when doing everything on a workplace construction site. It is a key issue for both employers and employees and it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure they keep themselves safe as well as everyone else around them. Safety at work is now such an important requirement and there are now laws in place that have been introduced to ensure that both employees and employers are legally required to ensure there is a safe working environment.

 In Australia the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 was designed to reduce the number of accidents occurring at work, and to outline the responsibility and what happen to both employees and employers who do not work in a safe way. Those that do not act in a safe manner can be fined and in some instances can be sent to jail. For those in the construction industry – the safety laws are very strict and there are safety inspectors that will attend workplaces to ensure they are safe and that they are abiding by the laws that have been put in place. Safety inspectors that audit construction sites will always ensure that every person who is working on a construction site has received their white card training and are in possession of a white card. If safety inspectors find that people on a construction site do not have their white card then they can fine the employee $3,000 and can fine the employer $11,000.

Safety Induction Training

This entire site is dedicated to help those who are entering the construction who need to find out more about completing their white card and to complete safety induction training. Safety Induction training has been implemented in numerous industries throughout Australia to provide people with an overview of Occupational Health and Safety principles that will encourage them to work safely on a worksite. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of safety on a worksite and it really can’t be taken for granted.

The Importance of Safety demonstrated in the Media

I was watching an ad on the tele the other day which was about a young father who was almost killed on a worksite and he was returning home to his family and it really hit home to me and I won’t lie – I teared up a little (I am a girl so I can get a little more emotional than some – but male or female, it’s likely to strike a chord with you too). When we look at statistics I think we sometimes forget what it means when we’re told these stats what it truly means. In Australia 133 people die each year in workplace incidents and tens of thousands of people are injured and this of course has economical costs but there are so many hidden costs that we just can’t put a figure on. The grief and loss that is felt and the long term effects on families, friends, workmates and the community is something no one ever wants to happen in their lives – or the lives of friends and family.

If you want to have a look at the advertisements I’m talking about in particular then head over to YouTube and watch it here or here.

This is a couple of comments that have been left by some people who have watched the videos.

“I am a survivor of a serious work accident, and although im single with no kids this video is very touching, there is not enough awareness about how to be more safe”

“I have kids on my own and I can imagine that this could happen to my family as well. Work safety is not about work, it is about you! Great video! Really touching! This reminds me why I became a safety engineer!”

That’s it for this article – I hope we’ve helped you understand a little bit more about what safety actually is and how important it is to make sure you stay safe on a worksite! If you’re going to work in construction then make sure you complete your white card training and even checkout the white card game. It gives you a great look at how to stay safe on a workplace and Victoria Uni have turned it into a game! Pretty cool too so make sure you check it out!

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