Right from the drafting stages, the Australian Work Health and Safety laws identify the construction industry as a target industry and an area of interest. Through collaborative efforts among all relevant stakeholders, the policy seeks to reduce injury and fatalities at the work place.
Construction sites are inherently high-risk and careful attention need be employed to avoid injury.
A Safe Work Australia report reveals that up to an overwhelming 40% of construction workers attribute frequent cases of injury at the workplace to a lack of training
Obligations for workers
The model WHS laws stipulate that the worker is under obligation to observe and comply to certain standard. Let us have a look at the specifics of these obligations as specifically applies to the construction industry.
Comply and fully implement all instructions received that pertains to workplace health and safety
The construction site manager and foreman have the responsibility to provide proper instruction on all things safety for every worker, and more so for new workers. The workers on the other hand, are duly obliged to comply and follow these instructions. The worker should make a point of raising any concerns and seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities in order to gain a full understanding of the instructions and comply accordingly.
Make proper use of personal protective equipment according to instruction given.
For construction workers, this includes slip and puncture-resistant work boots, hard hats, safety gloves, safety masks, earmuffs among others as is necessary for the particular site.
Not willfully injure self and others
This includes deliberate actions that may cause injury to self and others. Such actions include the improper use of equipment on the site, which remains to be one of the most common causes of injury in construction sites
Not willfully place self and others at risk
Every worker at the construction site is under the obligation not to do any such thing as would put self and others at risk of injury. To this end, positioning self between a stationary object and a moving object, failure to wear PPE among other actions amount to willfully placing self and others at risk.
On-the-job injuries are quite common in many construction sites. Business owners and contractors looking to be compliant with the WHS laws should invest in providing an initial proper training for the workers as well as regular reinforcement of the safety practices and standards and the workers’ obligations.
Here is a great video to watch