Accidents: 6 simple risk management tips for a building site
5 November 2015
Accidents: 6 simple risk management tips for a building site
Accidents happen right? 
Well actually, it’s better if they don’t. 
Especially on a building site where accidents can be life threatening - or ending, not to mention expensive (think legislation and fines).

6 ways to avoid accidents

Here are 6 simple actions you can take now to minimise health and safety risks to you and your workers (and help comply with New Zealand Health and Safety Legislation)

1.  Avoid silly mistakes: Make sure your crew is well fed and rested 

Fatigue is bad. It can lead to a lack of awareness and alertness. Then you’re more likely to have an accident or make a silly mistake. 
Look out for fatigue and act quickly. Manage work hours (so they’re not too long), take regular breaks, drink lots of water and eat regularly. 
Bleary eyes in the morning? Make sure your team understand the risks, and that it’s not OK to come to work in a less than fit state.

2.  Avoid hearing damage: Always wear earmuffs

These days we all know that loud noise is not good for your hearing. It’s still surprising the number of people you see without protection though. 
Did you know that continued exposure to loud noise and vibration is also extremely fatiguing? It can lead to poor concentration, acceptance of lower standards and lack of concentration. 
So wear personal protective equipment such as earmuffs. Always.

3.  Avoid strikes from falling objects: Raise awareness and wear protection

Falling objects are another common risk on construction sites. People working at height should have barriers such as scaffolding sides or hoardings in place. It may also be wise to tether easily dropped tools or equipment. 
For the people down below there should be adequate warnings about the overhead work, and they should also be wearing personal protective equipment such as hard hats. 

4.  Avoid falling from heights: Get some good scaffolding gear

If you’re working up high there’s a risk you’ll fall. If you have easy access to some good scaffolding gear you’ll be more likely to use it and avoid risks to yourself or your workers. 
You’ll also need to make sure you have, and use, safe working procedures to prevent or minimise the risks of working at heights.

5.  Avoid trip hazards: Keep things tidy

Trip hazards account for a significant number of workplace accidents. Tripping or slipping might seem minor, but can lead to some serious injuries. 
Good housekeeping is probably the first and most important factor in preventing slips, trips and falls. Also having a safe, non-slip working surface is very important. 
Laying down Ovaboard can help you here. You can protect floors from damage without creating any trip hazards in doing so. (shameless product plug)

6.  Avoid breaking the law: Comply with NZ Health & Safety  Legislation

Make sure you’re familiar with your responsibilities under current (and upcoming) legislation. 
The guts of it is you need to be proactively identifying and managing risks in your workplace. 
For more on this, check out our article Health & Safety at Work Act. Are you ready?
This pearl of wisdom brought to you by Ovaboard. Ovaboard temporary floor protection protects floors while you work. Learn more about us. 
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