Your carefully planned schedule of work for the year has gone out the window. There has been one delay after another – rain, increased absenteeism because of COVID, material shortages, delays on projects you have contracts for—the list goes on.
You finally arrive on site with your team ready to start work. You eye the scaffold suspiciously. You have been working in the construction industry long enough to know it isn’t right – it doesn’t look or feel safe. You know it has been up for a while and other trades have used it, so it can’t be that bad, can it?
What do you do?
You can put your team to work and hope the scaffold holds up and no one falls at least until you are finished and move onto your next job. That’s taking a big risk, but it means you can get started and there won’t be any further delays.
Or you can contact the principal contractor and tell them you aren’t going to start work until the scaffold has been checked. Alternatively, you can contact Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and ask for an inspector to come and check the scaffold.
Doing the right thing means you are looking out for your team’s safety even though it will cause more delays and may get the principal contractor offside (which may affect more work coming your way). Doing the right thing means you are helping change the culture of the construction industry. Make it known that you will not accept unsafe equipment, plant and conditions. Speak up and look after the safety of your workers.
Building bridges - Jed's story
WHSQ Safety Ambassador Jed Millen had been in the construction industry for close to 20 years when he fell five metres from a bridge that collapsed without warning. An accumulation of avoidable mistakes resulted in a serious spinal injury and caused years of physical and emotional pain for him and his family and friends.
Building bridges – Jed's story is a poignant reminder of the importance of communication, coordination and leadership when it comes to safety in the workplace.
Your business can apply for Jed or another of Queensland's Safety Advocates to attend your event and share their story to increase awareness and influence behaviour change, free of charge.