Interesting Safety Induction video

Learning the fundamentals of construction safety is crucial, which is why The White Card training is so important. If you haven’t completed the white card course yet, you should do it asap and if you have, here is a video highlighting some common construction safety issues to refresh your memory.

 

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Commonly Occurring Hazards on Construction Sites

Source : Francisco Javier Argel

For every construction worker the risk involved with construction work is something that needs to be taken seriously. In order for construction workers to safely (and legally) enter a construction site in Oz they must undergo general construction safety training in the form of the White Card. The White Card teaches workers everything they need to know about general safety on a building site and equips them to work without endangering their lives and the lives of their co-workers.

One of the subjects covered by the White Card training is “Identifying and Explaining Common Construction Hazards”.

There are numerous types of hazards on a construction site and some sites are more dangerous than others. In fact construction has been identified as one of the most dangerous industries based on safety statistics gathered on various industries in Oz.

Hazards can be biological, chemical, ergonomic and physical or may be caused by the design of the work site.

Biological hazards include hazards such as infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are spread through contaminated blood and on a construction site particularly when sharp instruments or needles penetrate the skin. It can also be spread when bodily fluids are spread from person to person (for example by splashing into eyes or onto broken skin). Contamination can be prevented by wearing gloves if necessary and using a container for the disposal of sharp objects to prevent it from piercing any other workers.

Another hazard type is Chemical. Hazardous substances cause a risk to construction workers if it is inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin. When dust or fumes, gas or vapour is inhaled it can present a hazard to the worker and even result in asphyxiation this is the biggest threat involved with inhalation of hazardous substances. It can also be absorbed into the skin, such as pesticides that come into contact with skin and make their way through the skin into the blood stream causing contamination which can lead to sickness and even death.  The third way that hazardous chemicals such as asbestos and silica cause a risk to construction workers is when it is ingested through the mouth or transferred from the workers hands into their mouth.

There are also a number of work processes on a construction site that cause ergonomic concerns. Manual handling is one of the hazards on a construction site that are often ignored because they do not cause disfigurement or open wounds and so their seriousness is underestimated. The problem with the injuries caused by manual handling is that is can start as a minor pain and develop into a debilitating injury.

Various aspects of the design of a building site may also present a hazard. Examples of these are excavations, electrical hazards, power lines over head etc. Each site will have its own design and so there will be hazards that are unique to the site and those that are general to the construction industry. Site specific training should also be organised by the sites principal contractor to ensure workers are familiar with these site specific hazards and how to overcome them.

The final type of hazard on site is physical hazards. These include working from heights, falling objects striking workers, working in extremely hot or cold environments, noisy work sites, confined spaces and plant and equipment hazards. These are the most common hazards found in the building industry and also claim the most lives.

By learning to identify hazards prior to commencing work, hazards can be either eliminated or controlled so that they do not present a risk to the health and safety of workers and visitors to the construction site.

This update endorsed by the safety training team at www.whitecardaustralia.com.au

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