Staying Safe on the Job: Working in Construction

Construction sites in Queensland have long held the top position for the industry with the highest incident rates resulting in the rate of workers compensation claims being well above average. With such a significant proportion of construction work being considered high risk work (75%, in fact), and for good reason, the numbers prove that more can be done to protect you, Queensland’s tradies, on the job. While most are aware of the risks associated with the work before they begin, it is equally as important to have an understanding of what your employer is responsible for when it comes to providing a safe work environment.

The largest incidents happen to machinery operators and drivers with 7.5 fatalities every hundred thousand of workers and while we hold onto a glimmer of hope as the overall numbers continue to decrease annually, there is still plenty to be done when it comes to staying safe on the job site.

So, what can you do when it comes to staying safe at work?

Staying safe in the age of COVID

It should go without saying at this stage, but washing your hands more regularly than you think, is a mind-blowing way to prevent yourself getting sick from COVID, but also from the common cold and flu in the colder months too. Chatting with your supervisor about having regular access to hand sanitisers and masks, especially where social distancing cannot be practiced, is also a no-brainer if it’s not already in place.

Keep up to date with training

It’s 2020 and things can change at the speed of light. This means staying on top of current workplace health and safety training where possible. In theory, this should be the responsibility of your manager to coordinate but if you feel like it might be time to revisit it, let them know. By law, there are certain training requirements that must be undertaken depending on your field such as:

  • Asbestos Assessment or Removal training
  • First aid training (which must be renewed every 3 years)
  • WHS entry Permit Holder training
  • Construction Induction training (i.e. White Card); this doesn’t expire, however, if you have been out of the construction industry for more than 2 years, you will need to redo the course.

It might not be the most exciting thing you’ll spend your time doing, but it could save yours or your mates life.

Know your duties

Working on construction sites means you often need additional licenses to operate various machinery and tools. While you might know your way around the gadgets, if you do not have the appropriate license and it’s not in your job requirements, your employer has no right to request you to use them. If you’ve also noticed your employer cutting corners on work health and safety (WHS) procedures, this could increase your risk of injury and others. Be sure to have an understanding of the rules and regulations that should be in place and bring any concerns to the attention of your managers

It’s Queensland; slip, slop, slap

The highest skin cancer rate in Australia is Queensland, and it’s not a great title to have. For most construction workers, the daily grind means spending a significant portion of your day outside. While it might be just another thing to add to your morning routine; it should be a non-negotiable to slap on the 50+ SPF, a wide brimmed hat, and protective clothing.

Start with your frame of mind

Beyond taking care of the tools on the job or your Ute, make your mental health and frame of mind a top priority. As one of the primary industries responsible for a big portion of claims and injuries in Australia, being lacklustre at work could turn into something serious, or even fatal. It could be time for a break if you’re starting to feel exhausted to avoid putting yourself and the rest of the crew at risk.

All Queensland workers have rights and are entitled to a safe working space whether it’s an office or a construction site. Your employer has a duty of care to ensure you are capable of performing your daily activities relating to your job. Our team of workers compensation claim lawyers have extensive experience in the field and will give you the best opportunity possible to getting a positive outcome. Reach out today for a free case review and experience the difference of Gouldson Legal.