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How to, Construction - 3 min read

How Do I Make My Site Safety Compliant?

Jason Hook

Head of Sales and Marketing

Sep 29, 2016 7:08:00 AM

The construction industry experiences the third most worker deaths by sector in Australia each year.

Safety compliance in the building and construction industry isn’t a matter of keeping the lawyers happy. It’s a matter of ensuring every person on site is able to return home safe at the end of the day.

Yet with a constant flow of trades, tools, materials and machinery, maintaining a safe working environment is challenging. Below we outline the essentials of making your site safety compliant and offer tips to simplify this process. 


Risk Management Programs 

Safe Work Australia outlines a four-step process to risk management:

  1. Identifying hazards

  2. Assessing risks, including the type and level of harm that could be caused.

  3. Controlling risks

  4. Reviewing control measures

For building and construction workers, an effective risk management program won’t only improve the safety compliance of the site, but also drive productivity. Oftentimes on-site risks like messy workspaces, ill-placed materials and underperforming tools can damage project timelines.

The risk management measures outlined by Safe Work Australia can be applied across multiple industries, however there are also construction-specific standards to be met for building and construction workers.

4 time saving email templates 

Meeting National Standards

The National Construction Code outlines minimum requirements for safety, health, amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of new buildings. It includes things like test methods, waterproofing, installation of smoke detectors and accessibility for the disabled. 

The National Construction Code can be downloaded from the ABCB website.

Safe Work Australia’s National Standard for Construction Work  “aims to protect persons from the hazards associated with construction work.”

“It assigns responsibilities to individuals to identify these hazards and either eliminate them or, where this is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk they pose,” it reads.

While it’s not a piece of light Sunday reading, the National Standard for Construction Work is a project manager’s bible for ensuring their site is safety compliant.


On Site Safety Strategies 

Australian labourers are legally obliged to stop work if they feel their health and safety is at risk on site. So not only are unsafe sites a health hazard, they can damage project timelines if issues aren’t addressed quickly.

Project managers should conduct regular safety audits of their worksite. These should include; 

  • Equipment inspections,
  • Reviewing emergency procedures,
  • Marking materials that may present risk,
  • Ensuring signs and barricades are in place where necessary.

Projects working to tight deadlines can sometimes let health and safety fall by the wayside. However, project managers can lean on construction technology to stay on top of timelines.

For project management advice for builders, download our free resource - The Builder's 10 Minute Toolkit:

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