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Date PostedNovember 7, 2013

Best and Worst Safety Actions on Site

With an industry as risky as the building industry is, there are certain dos and don’ts that play an important role in promoting safety and the wellbeing of employees. There are certain commonly undertaken activities that enhance site safety and there are also some common mistakes that are made which can very easily result in injury or even death.

Some of the Mistakes made include:

  • Valuing Productivity over Safety

Many companies and their supervisors tend to rush workers in order to maintain high productivity levels. This is detrimental if done at the cost of safety. For example if a worker has to undertake a work from a height and they should be utilising scaffolding, because it takes longer to erect and is more costly the supervisor may suggest using a ladder, even though it is unsafe to do so.

  • Encouraging workers to improvise

The above example is also an example of improvisation which can easily go wrong. Using a tool for another purpose other than the one it is intended for is dangerous.

  • Failing to provide the appropriate training

Perhaps one of the greatest mistakes made is expecting workers to work on a construction site without the safety training to do so with endangering themselves and others. Safety training should include general construction safety induction training as well as site specific training to familiarise them with the hazards and control measures unique to the site.

  • Failing to provide supervision of workers

Certain tasks and workers should be supervised to ensure that they are doing the job in the correct, safe manner. Also there are some activities such as heavy vehicle and machine operation that requires operators to be assisted or supervised because of the risks and hazards such as blind spots.

  • A lack of personal protective equipment

Employers that fail to provide the necessary PPE to employees are placing workers at risk and decreasing their chances of surviving an accident on site.

  • A lack of on-site safety communication

A common occurrence in the very male dominated industry of construction is a lack of communication. This has a number of negative consequences including compromising safety and increasing the rate of suicide in the industry.

Measures which Promote Safety include:

  • Safety training –both White Card training and site specific training give workers the knowledge foundation needed to work safely on a construction site.
  • Supervision of workers, particularly new, inexperienced or apprentices is vital in order to ensure safety.
  • Promoting good, two-way communication among workers and between employees and those in charge of them.
  • Regular Revision of safety training and safe work procedures is necessary as the construction progresses to ensure the continued effectiveness of the control measures.
  • Correct and appropriate provision of PPE by employers and correct use by workers is also important to ensure that workers aren’t seriously injured should an incident occur.
  • Addressing the most common safety issues on the specific site and tackling problematic issues
  • Regular review of safety procedures to ensure continued effectiveness.


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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