Addressing The Risk of Fires on Construction Sites

fireAn article on SafetyCulture.com.au recently reminded us of the importance of risk control when it comes to fire and explosion on construction sites.

Besides the serious injury and possible fatalities fires and explosions can cause, they can also cause significant damage to property and cripple a project.

As the article detailed, the law dictates that any person conducting a business or undertaking must prevent the possibility of fire or explosion from an ignition of flammable substances associated with a hazardous area or a hazardous atmosphere.

There are a number of measures suggested for controlling risks of fire and explosion. Read more about them at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/controlling-fire-explosion-risks-workplace/#.V2AmTbt97IV

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2 Men Assaulted a Construction Worker before Blaze Erupted at Melbourne Pub

melbourne fire

Source: SkyNews.com.au

As a fire erupted in Melbourne at a pub in the south, a construction worker was assaulted by 2 men at the site.

Police are treating the fire as suspicious and an arson chemist will be brought in to investigate.

A construction worker who arrived at the site is suspected to have disrupted the criminals who then assaulted the man. They were wearing balaclavas at the time. Shortly afterwards the fire broke out.

Source: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/10/05/07/22/fire-engulfs-pub-in-south-melbourne

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Watch as Construction Site Burns

There are a number of hazards on the average construction site that can result in a fire, which is why fire response and evacuation procedures need to be developed before work on site even begins.

The construction site fire in this video was set on purpose but a number of possible ignition sources on construction sites means it can occur at any time and people’s lives are put at risk. It can also set work drastically, costing millions. Watch the fire below…

 

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Construction Worker Injured in Fire

A 51 year old contractor was seriously injured recently on a construction site in Glenlogie when he was trying to build containment lines to contain a fire and instead injured his leg in a machinery accident.

Read more about the accident below with a short post from SafetyCulture.com.au:

worksafe-vic-logo1A contractor that was working to contain a fire yesterday afternoon at Glenlogie, about 45 kilometres east of Ararat, in Victoria’s west was injured and flown to a Melbourne hospital for treatment.

The 51-year-old man received serious leg injuries in a machinery accident. The Country Fire Authority said that at the time of the incident the man was using equipment to build containment lines.

WorkSafe inspectors will be investigating the cause of the incident.

http://www.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/contractor-injured-when-trying-to-contain-fire/

2013 has not started off on a good note for the construction industry with the death toll already nearing 10 and we’re only in the second month. In fact half of the workplace deaths that occurred this year were in the construction industry – this is a bad reflection on the OHS standards on construction sites across Oz.

But why exactly are we seeing so many tragedies and accidents on construction sites? Just the other day a well-known and highly experienced crane operator was killed in a 35m fall from a platform on a Melbourne construction site. These are the types of incidents that we need to avoid and in order to do so, we need to get back to making safety a priority.

Begin by training workers appropriately, first white card training to familiarise them with the general hazards they will face on a construction site and then site specific training so that they are able to deal with the hazards unique to their place of work. Also have daily or weekly safety meetings with staff to discuss any issues or changes to the site that may require attention. Employers should make sure they listen to workers and engage in 2 way communication rather than just telling workers about the hazards they need to manage, hear what safety issues  they are experiencing and come up with ways (taking their suggestions into account) of overcoming these problems.

The high turnover of workers and temporary nature of work sites, as well as the fact that there are a lot of contractors and subcontractors working at any given time means that new people are constantly entering the site, these new people need quality safety training and education.

A number of tradesmen working simultaneously on a site, with limited space and dangerous equipment can be a hazard especially considering that most worker deaths occur at the hands of another worker. That is why each person must be responsible, not only for their own safety but for the safety of those working around them. To become familiar with their duties and responsibilities in terms of safety, workers must undergo white card training. In addition to being mandatory, it could save their life and protect the lives of their co-workers as well. Remember safety is not just the responsibility of the employer, workers need to do their part, after all it is their lives on the line every day.

 

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