I was reading an article this morning on the statistics of fatal and serious injuries in American construction sites. America takes safety very seriously yet many injuries occur.
10 000 serious injuries occured last year from falls alone and it got me thinking about South african construction sites.
Many companies that I work with that are trying to conform to safety regulations are merely happy to tick the boxes to be regarded as compliant.
If you take the fall protection plan as an example it is quite easy to download or copy a fall protection plan and put it in your safety file, and on some sights you may get away with this from the site safety supervisor. More often than not a good safety officer will pick up that the plan does not go further than being on paper and is not site specific.
An effective fall protection plan should be written for the specific site and the challenges you may face. These could be working on scaffolds in an ongoing developement, refurbishing an existing building and being at heights in doors or outdoors.
A fall protection plan also needs to take into account the specific team that is working on the site and as the site will continuously change the plan needs to adapt and get reviewed.
A fall protection plan needs to be communicated and trained with the staff on site and the correct safety harnesses and equipment need to be utilized. Even once the staff have been trained a supervisor shall check on a daily basis that the plan is being followed.
By doing this you shall minimize the risk of an incident, save lives and save yourself from being fined.
As a safety professional I have assisted and observed many contractors on construction sites and I realise the challanges companies face. Companies are pressed for time with deadlines causing more pressure and a faster work pace and by rushing anything mistakes and injuries are going to occur.
The large amount of construction contractors out there means that more often than not price may get you the job. This means lower profits and to pay a proffessional or to spend extra money on safety seems like a waste.
I urge you to take safety very seriously, rather spend the extra money on covering yourself and protecting your staff than answering a call about a death in your workplace.
Thank you for your time. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me and I will gladly assist you.