October is National Safe Work Month around Australia. According to Safe Work Australia, the organisation behind the initiative, the total economic cost of work-related injuries that caused time off and compensation during 2012-13 was $61.8 billion. That's 4.1 per cent of the entire GDP of the country in that same period. The number of injuries in the workplace, particularly those in the construction sector, is too high, and you should be taking every step to ensure your company does not add to the tally.
To make sure you're looked after in the best possible way, make sure you have the right equipment. Kennards Hire can help, whether you're a tradesperson or a DIY enthusiast simply doing a bit of garden landscaping up a tree. Don't become a part of the statistics.
Why is Safe Work Month so important?
While workers being injured on a construction site or at home is bad for their health, it's also bad for financial stability within a business.
According to Safe Work Australia's report on Work-related Injuries and Fatalities in Construction from 2003 to 2013, the median compensation payout for each serious injury claim from 2009 to 2012 was over $10,000. If your business has health and safety insurance, then you may not be liable for such a cost. However, if your business was not covered, either because you don't have insurance or because it was negligence that led to the injury, then that's a serious chunk of money to lose. You're also without an employee for a long period of time, meaning your productivity could be reduced, unless you hire a replacement, which costs even more.
Between 2000 and 2013, an average of 12,600 employees made a work-related injury claim each year. That's 35 per day, and 35 per day too many. A whopping 28 per cent of all construction deaths were caused by falling from height. If your business operates on ladders, scaffolding, cranes or on the sides of buildings, you need to take Safe Work Month seriously, and think about the best ways to prevent any sort of injury, let alone tragedy.
What can be done to reduce injuries on construction sites and at home?
To ensure your work site has the best available safety equipment when working from height, for example, make sure you head into your local Kennards Hire branch.
In there, you'll find professionals who will be able to give you every piece of equipment you might need. When working at height, this could include:
- A roofer's kit, with a lanyard and fall harness;
- A simple safety harness;
- A fall arrestor beam anchor, which can be placed temporarily or permanently, and provides a safe anchor point for harnesses to be attached; and
- A bosun's chair, for work in difficult or confined spaces where being seated is vital.
Working at height can be safe if the right equipment is used, and all the right safety procedures are followed. If your employees don't follow them, or are not aware of them, the wrong equipment might be used, or the right equipment might be used in the wrong way.
You need to understand the best ways to approach each situation.
The same goes for DIY work at home. If you're doing something with power tools, or at height, or in an unfamiliar environment, you need to understand the best ways to approach the situation. It might be wearing the right sort of gloves, eye, ear and mouth protection, or strapping into a harness the correct way.
Whatever your next project, think about safety risks involved and how to minimise, or even eliminate them. During Safe Work Month, businesses should revisit their existing best practices for all safety procedures and make sure they're up-to-date, effective and providing real protection to all employees.
Kennards Hire makes it easy, but it's up to you to use the best equipment.