Construction Safety

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Building a safety-first culture

Construction can be dangerous. The combination of heavy machinery, working at heights and the use of a wide range of materials contributes to the building sector being a higher-risk.

In Queensland this year, workers have been killed in vehicle rollovers on building sites, falling objects have injured people, and others have suffered electric shocks or electrocutions.

Builders do vital tasks delivering new offices, homes and community projects. Their work is essential. But it is also essential to reduce the inherent risks facing workers as much as possible, to make sure everyone goes home safely every day.

Safety protocols and cultures are important to prevent accidents and ensure the wellbeing of all involved. This is what great building companies do, to avoid any problems for their staff and others.

More than this, it is the law. Understanding and effectively applying the laws and regulations is a high priority for RAW Commercial Projects to avoid any problems for our staff and others.

Keeping workers safe

Safety in construction is not just a priority for RAW Commercial Projects, it is a necessity.

We are a small, close-knit team, many of whom have worked together for years. We care about each other. That’s why safeguarding the lives and livelihoods of our people is non-negotiable for us.

When working on a fitout across southeast Queensland, we follow procedures to protect each other and other people in the community who interact with the work site.

A safe construction site is one where workers can perform their duties with zero harm. It’s also a place where projects can progress smoothly and efficiently, free from the delays caused by accidents and emergencies.

Preventing accidents and mitigating risks

Accidents and injuries are all too common in the construction industry, but they are not inevitable.

We take proactive steps to mitigate risks and prevent accidents from occurring. By identifying potential hazards and implementing safety protocols, and enforcing strict adherence to safety guidelines, construction companies can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents on the job site. This is known as good work design by Safe Work Australia.

Hazards should be identified, assessed, controlled and then the process reviewed regularly.

As well as preventing accidents through processes, it is more important to create a safety culture. This is where everyone is accountable for their own and others safety. This includes pointing out hazards, reducing them, and acting quickly.

At RAW Commercial Projects, we foster safety leadership across the company and lead by example. This includes encouraging active participation and engagement from all employees in safety initiatives and decision-making processes.

We want to have a culture of safety where everyone is involved and everyone contributes to better outcomes. This benefits us all.

Efficiency through construction safety and reduced downtime

Safety incidents also have implications for project efficiency and productivity. Accidents can result in unplanned downtime, delays, and increased costs.

By proactively addressing safety concerns and implementing preventive measures, we can minimise the occurrence of safety incidents and ensure that projects progress smoothly and efficiently.

Investing in safety promotes productivity and profitability by reducing disruptions and maintaining project timelines.

It can also be a legal issue. In the event of a safety incident resulting in injuries or fatalities, construction companies may be held liable for damages through civil lawsuits or face criminal charges for wilful violations of safety regulations.

Additionally, contractors, subcontractors, and other parties involved in the project may also be held accountable for safety lapses under the principle of shared responsibility.

Legal disputes stemming from safety violations can be long and expensive, taking a financial and reputational toll on the company.

By taking proactive measures to prevent accidents and injuries, construction companies can mitigate liability risks and protect themselves from legal repercussions.

Compliance with work health and safety laws

Queensland’s Work Health and Safety laws set out the standards to make sure workers stay safe in all workplaces.

It is a legal requirement to follow these laws, with significant penalties for breaches. This also includes personal liability for directors.

The Work Health and Safety Act aims to reduce the risks, make sure issues are dealt with and resolved fairly, promote healthier workplaces, and improve overall standards. IT was updated in 2024 to include beefed-up standards for industrial manslaughter.

It sets out the requirements for businesses, but also the responsibilities of workers and visitors.

The Work Health and Safety Regulations explain how to prevent or minimise risks in a workplace. This includes designing a workplace to ensure workflows are smooth, people are separated from hazards, and workstations can accommodate workers of different sizes and capabilities.

Processes must be within manageable workloads, reasonable hours and appropriate. Likewise, equipment must be fit-for-purpose, effectively stored, used and maintained.

If there is an incident, builders are required to notify the Queensland Building and Construction Commission as well as Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

Where there is a breach, the QBCC has the power to suspend or cancel a building licence or impose penalties.