Did you know that the rate of serious injury claims in the housing construction industry is higher than any other industry?

In fact, 60 per cent of all housing construction injury claims are considered major, in comparison to the NSW average of 35 per cent.

Good planning and scheduling can address some of the main types of hazards:

  • muscular stress – which can result from lifting or handling bulky and awkward objects
  • tripping or falling over – while moving materials around on site
  • falling from heights – due to unprotected edges or stairwell voids
  • exposure to the sun – due to a lack of awareness around long term effects of exposure.

You can save time, money and injuries with a few expert tips:

Plan when and how materials will be delivered so you know what work is happening onsite when the delivery is scheduled to occur and who will be onsite to receive it. By making a calendar of deliveries you will know what equipment will be required to assist with the movement of materials. You can also train workers ahead of time to learn how to move material safely.

Consider planning and costing hired mechanical equipment, such as cranes or other lifting devices. The money outlaid on a crane or lifting device can be offset by workers spending less time moving loads, leaving labour free for productive tasks. A crane that lifts trusses for a two storey house may save a whole day’s worth of labour and a lot of back pain.

Forward planning and scheduling jobs can help predict when you will have an unprotected stair well void or exposed edges. You can then implement safety controls such as void or edge protection. The internet has plenty of scheduling tools you can adapt to suit the needs of the job.

To avoid excessive sun exposure, schedule tasks for the cooler parts of the day, rotate tasks between exposed workers, work on the shaded side of the building where possible and make shade available for break times. Consider natural shaded areas, canvass, shade cloths, or portable gazebos.

Safety does not have to compromise productivity. With good planning, both small and large businesses can increase productivity and prevent injuries.

Watch the time lapse video to see how quickly and safely this house comes together through good planning.

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Workplace safety

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