Many corners of New South Wales (NSW) are buzzing with construction activity. The region is pouring lots of money to upgrade, rehabilitate, and improve its infrastructure and services. It is earmarking over $70 billion for its long list of projects within the next four years.
The construction boom can be both a boon and a bane for businesses involved. On the upside, it means continuous projects, revenue, and livelihood. On the downside, it can increase workplace injuries and even fatalities.
According to Safe Work Australia, construction had one of the highest rates of worker fatalities in 2016. It also ranked third among the industries with the most number of deaths over 10 years. As a contractor or construction business owner, it is your responsibility to safeguard your workers’ safety.
Provide Them with Highly Visible Vests
Australian regulations have made it mandatory for certain people to wear high-visibility clothing. These include construction workers who spend a lot of time outdoors, near excavations, and close to moving traffic.
One of the most common types of high-visibility clothing is the vest. The kind of garment depends on when the person works. For example, a class D vest is ideal for daytime only. If they need to work at night, they may change to a class N or a class D/N, which is wearable at any time.
Some vests, though, tend to increase the feeling of heat or discomfort, especially during daytime. Companies such as Green Triangle Distributors now offer fluorescent cotton vests, which are more breathable. They’re excellent in cities such as Sydney where summers can mean 40-degree weather.
Know the Region’s Safety Rules
In Australia, the rules involving workers’ safety have become standard. It’s all thanks to the national government’s initiatives, collaboration with stakeholders, and approved acts. New South Wales, though, might still introduce variations.
The region uses two types of legislation as bases for its codes of practice. These are Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 and Work Health and Safety Act 2011. It can also implement changes to its local rules. Safe Work Australia NSW has a comprehensive list of guidelines.
One of the vital components of the NSW workers’ safety rules is the definition of the primary duty of care. To be specific, whose responsibility is it? The region recognises PCBUs (persons conducting business undertaking). While the contractor or business owner must protect its workers, so do other relevant parties. These can include the manufacturers of the construction supplies and equipment. Workers are not PCBUs.
Involve Workers in Creating Business Safety Regulations and Standards
No one else understands the risks involved in the job than the workers themselves. They are, therefore, the best sources of suggestions and inputs. A part of a business’s duty of care is to consult the employees about the subject.
The collaboration can also help avoid common conflicts between the management and its employees. It also helps set realistic expectations on the obligations of both parties. Most of all, it can encourage active engagement, which motivates employees to do more in the job.
Accidents happen, but many of them are preventable as long as you take the necessary measures. To make sure that you can succeed in your NSW construction business, know the rules. Remember the suggestions above.