Focusing on the importance of workplace safety for construction companies, officials in New Zealand are making a concerted effort to see to it that 2013 is a safer year in this industry.
According to information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, its inspectors passed out more than 1,000 notices and written warnings to construction companies performing work at height unsafely nationwide a year ago.
In an effort to protect workers, inspectors a year ago assessed more than 1,600 construction sites tied to the Preventing Falls from Height project, which seeks to lessen injuries and fatalities caused by falls in the construction sector. The project is continuing over the next 12 months, with construction workers being urged to make safety a priority in the New Year.
Sites Targeted That Put Workers at Risk
“The Ministry will continue to target sites that carry out work at height unsafely and those companies that put their workers at risk,” stated Francois Barton, the Ministry’s Southern Division general manager. We want to see enforcement figures improving in 2013 – safe work at height should be standard practice in the industry.
“Despite the high number of notices and warnings issued last year, it has been very positive to see some construction companies using innovative solutions to ensure their staff are safe while working at height. Companies are using adaptive scaffolding systems, mobile stair systems instead of ladders, and soft landing systems to stop workers getting hurt from falling off the top plate.”
Barton added that a sizable number of these solutions are also increasing productivity by bettering access for builders and the tradespeople that work alongside them.
Hundreds of Construction Workers Injured Every Year
Builders, roofers, electrical workers, painters and decorators are most apt to fall from height and get seriously hurt while they are working, according to officials.
“Tradespeople are going back to work after a few weeks off, so now is the time for a renewed focus on safety issues,” Barton remarked.
Hundreds of construction workers are injured on building sites every year – these accidents are preventable if precautions are in place. Workers must make safety a priority, especially during summer when there is an overall increase in workplace injury, according to Barton.
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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