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What’s the importance of the construction industry in the Australian economy? A report by the National Industry Insights shows that this industry produces more than $360 billion in revenue that generates 9% of the country’s GDP. It’s estimated that, by 2024, the home improvement and construction industry will employ 1.28 million Australians as well. But occupational hazards have made construction and home remodeling/renovation one of the most dangerous industries in the country. According to Safe Work Australia, 17 construction workers died in 2020, and this industry was considered the second-worst for employees in the same year. So, how can employers ensure the safety of their workers? We’ve compiled some suggestions here to help constructors enhance workers’ protection:

Organize health & safety training

It’s the employer’s responsibility to prepare employees for occupational hazards associated with the construction industry. Therefore, health & safety training ensures that workers are familiar with the dangers that can befall them and strategies to prevent such accidents from occurring. Even OSHA recommends similar training sessions for construction employees. These sessions teach them about escaping dangerous situations, e.g., working at height, in confined spaces, or with heavy machinery.

Establish a safety culture

Worksite managers and home improvement contractors need to establish a culture of safety in the working environment. Prioritize workers’ health, safety, and overall well-being. Safety culture includes not just implementing the suggestions we’ll talk about now. But it also means that you must remove hazards even before they harm your workers.

There have been several instances where construction workers were diagnosed with mesothelioma – cancer caused by asbestos exposure. So, eliminate all traces of dust, mold, and asbestos. If you’re working in Southeast Queensland, look up “asbestos removal Brisbane” on the internet to get specialized help for clearing toxic substances from the premises. Similarly, run a quick local search to identify companies in your neighborhood that provide niche services to keep your worksite safe and enhance your safety culture.

Keep the first-aid kit at hand

Accidents are often unprecedented and require instant action to reduce their consequences. Thus, ensure that finding the first-aid kit isn’t difficult. Employees must know how to locate it. Ascertain that it’s visible and accessible to encounter accidents when you least expect them. Remember that “time is of the essence” when a worker gets wounded. A quick remedy can potentially save a person’s life. Hence, delegate to one employee the task of keeping the first-aid kit well-stocked for disasters.

Avoid crowded areas

Ensure that the workplace isn’t crowded to avoid unfortunate accidents. People often assemble to watch heavy machinery at work on-site for enjoyment. Caution dictates that spectators should keep their distance from these machines and must never approach them beyond the limit of safety. Moreover, healthcare guidelines during this pandemic discourage crowded workplaces to eliminate the risk of infection among workers. So, ensure people remain distant from the operating location.

Wear head protection

Ensure that construction workers have access to proper PPE (personal protection equipment) to avoid injuries/fatalities. Falling objects contribute heavily to workplace accidents. Protective devices – therefore – eliminate dangers associated with threats such as exposed wiring and low-hanging items. In areas where workers are vulnerable to falling objects, wearing “hard hats” ascertains the safety of your employees. This piece of equipment protects workers against hidden/sudden dangers on-site.

Ensure forklift safety

According to OSHA, forklifts account for 100 deaths and 95,000 injuries annually in all industries. But further injuries/fatalities can be prevented by implementing forklift safety measures. Forklifts are dangerous machines only experienced professionals must operate. These machines are also operated nearby other workers so injuries can be diminished by strict regulations. These regulations dictate how forklifts must now be modified with prior approval only.

Implement fall protection

Poor scaffolding contributes to several wounds/deaths in the home improvement industry. OSHA reports that around 2.3 million construction employees use this technique annually. It’s even dangerous when appropriately erected, and only alert workers can escape falling. So, it’s essential to inspect scaffolding for stability. Transport material carefully upwards and consider weight limits when ascending them. Also, keep framing 10 feet away from power lines to make them safer for your workers.

Display clear signs

Accidents don’t engulf construction employees only, but even bystanders are also vulnerable to such dangers on-site. It’s crucial to display clear signs of danger for both workers and onlookers. This practice will highlight the risks associated with the workplace and strongly advise people to take precautions. For instance, these signs can indicate hazards, including falling objects, chemicals in the vicinity, or heavy machinery nearby. It constitutes a cost-effective method of saving people’s lives.

Employee wellness programs

Many employers organize employee wellness programs targeted towards improving the mental and physical health of construction workers. These programs will cover workers’ dietary habits, obesity management, hypertension screening, and alcohol abuse to prevent burnout in your organization.

Moreover, employers must ensure that workers aren’t consuming junk food on-site. Focus on healthy eating/drinking with fruits and vegetables. Keep food trucks off the location and promote nutritional meals among employees.

There’s an app for everything

We’re living in a modern world where there’s a smartphone application available for anything you need! Similarly, we have digital applications for the construction industry you can install to monitor the workplace effectively. We have wearable devices that alert everyone when an accident occurs. These devices have become popular among construction employees because they minimize danger to workers. So, use these “smart” solutions to enhance the safety of home improvement workers.

Conclusion

What job is the most hazardous for an Australian worker? Experts have listed all occupations based on hazards associated with them, and construction – after agriculture and transport – ranks third! Some calculations show that 123 construction workers died during 2008-09 to 2012-13. These deaths were caused by falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, or getting electrocuted. This industry also accounts for 16% of workplace deaths and 11% of workplace injury claims. Investing in workers’ safety isn’t just mandatory for employers, but it is also cost-effective since every dollar spent on safety training saves you 4-6 dollars! So, do implement the safety tips we’ve mentioned in this article.

Building a new home is one of the most exciting projects there are. However, it’s important to think everything through. Poor planning, when paired with too small of a budget, can lead to disastrous mistakes, and cutting corners is not an option when building a new home. Before you jump into a full-scale homebuilding process, there are a couple of things you need to be cautious about in order to save yourself from the typical home-building pitfalls. Here’s a list of the seven most common mistakes made when building a home and what you can do to successfully avoid them, saving yourself both time and money.

A poorly planned design of the home

When building your new home, one of the most important things you can do is think in advance. Not taking the time to think about your long-term goals will result in the poorly planned design of your home. Therefore, think about what your long-term goals are. Are you planning on having children or expanding your family? How long do you plan on staying there? Will it be suitable to live in once you reach old age? Although these things seem so far from the present, they ought to be considered. After all, you’re designing the home for your future self.

Constructing the home without any building know-how

Constructing your home is a personal decision, and tackling the building on your own is acceptable if you’re experienced, have the know-how and the time to do it right. However, if you’re someone who has no clue how to build a home, hiring a professional will save you time and money. Or you can let the experts tackle only certain rooms. Hire it done – opt for reliable kitchen manufacturers to design your dream kitchen and rely on an experienced plumber to install plumbing. That way, you’ll know that everything is done properly and will last you for a long time.

Placing the rooms in areas not suitable for them

Where you decide to place certain rooms is a matter of personal choice and preference. However, there are some general rules you should stick to when deciding on your home’s floor plan. You certainly don’t want your bedroom to be next to central living areas where there’s a lot of noise and traffic. Rather, place your bedroom at the far end of the house to ensure some peace and quiet. On the other hand, it would be best to place your kitchen near the dining and living areas, and close to your garage or back entrance for smooth traffic flow.

Building rooms that won’t be utilized as much

When you’re designing the house of your dreams, you and your partner might have different ideas of what it is supposed to look like. While you might want a home that is small and practical, your partner might want to have rooms for specific purposes. Before you start building, think about whether you’re really going to utilize this additional room. In case you decide to build a spare room, make sure it is a multi-purpose room. A home office that can easily transition to a guest room is certainly going to be used more often than say, a sewing room.

Poorly planned storage spaces

Storage is basically the prime real estate of the home. Although not the most exciting part of designing a home, making sure there is enough storage space is a crucial part of building a house. While you’d probably much rather spend time picking the finishes for your countertops and focusing on smaller cabinetry details, the aesthetics and finishing touches should be near the bottom of your priority list. Plenty of storage can go a long way in improving the functionality of your home and can have a huge influence on your lifestyle and organization once the construction process is complete.

Insufficient sources of natural light

In order to design a living space that is bright and airy, you need to make sure that natural light is abundant. Make sure that your contractors understand that you want to incorporate as much natural light as possible. Poorly lit interiors won’t do anything good neither for the atmosphere nor for the overall aesthetics of your home. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter how much square footage you’re working with as long as you know how to make the most of it, and proper lighting can completely transform the space, making the room feel more spacious than it really is.

Painting the walls in bold colors

Last but not least, a common mistake that many homeowners make when building their new home is related to colors. Choosing bold colors for your home might seem like a good idea now when they’re en vogue, but in a couple of years, those same trendy hues might date your interiors, making them look old and passé. Therefore, it’s best to stick with classic and timeless shades. A neutral color palette will look great in five, maybe even ten years. If not, it’s still easier to paint over a white or beige wall than the one covered in bright red.

There you have it – seven common mistakes to avoid when building your new home. Keep them in mind so you can design a space that will suit all your needs and look great, too!

Unsurprisingly, the field of construction is physically and mentally challenging. Workers are tirelessly rendering their services on the construction site while exposing themselves to countless dangers. In the 21st century, don’t you think the construction industry should also evolve? To boost efficiency and generate better returns, it needs cutting-edge tools and resources.

It could be in the form of pre-construction planning, site management, employee safety, and risk mitigation. These things foster construction site efficiency while allowing supervisors to work on the pressing concerns of this sector. If you are thinking about how to speed up the construction process, look below. Here are six convenient ways to make the construction process easier and faster.

Invest in Construction Management Software

After changing the dynamics of business, educational institutes, and the manufacturing sector, technology continues to transform the construction industry. You can find multiple construction management software to organize yourself by getting rid of the paperwork from desks. Similarly, it handles all the management tasks, billings, invoices, timesheets, job scheduling, and much more. With everything organized in one place, you can readily speed up the construction process.

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes, things don’t go the way you imagine. There could be potential delays due to natural calamities, thunderstorms, or power outages, making it essential to have a backup plan. You can invest in generators to combat electricity issues as they are pretty affordable. Look for websites like https://www.ablesales.com.au/diesel-generators-perth-melbourne-brisbane/diesel-generator/ to grab the best prices. Similarly, in the case of thunderstorms, keep yourself updated by looking at weather forecasts.

Train Workers & Supervisors

Training is one of the crucial aspects when it comes to improving efficiency. Supervisors need sound management techniques to keep the projects running smoothly, while workers have to master critical skills. For instance, you can teach workers a more efficient way to install steel beams, complete work quickly, and move to the next phase. Moreover, to reduce waste and redundant practices, consider opting for LEAN training. It promotes collaborative teamwork to improve performance by replacing wasteful steps with ones that add value.

Service & Maintain Equipment

In construction sites, equipment is nothing less than workhorses. Without specialized machinery, getting work done is impossible. Therefore, one way to make the construction process faster is by focusing on equipment management. Alongside lasting longer, you can enjoy lower overhead costs. You can either sign service agreements, providing maximum care across the machine’s lifetime. Otherwise, you can find ways to maximize the fleet’s fuel economy. These systems monitor your equipment, review data for better costs, and detect performance anomalies.

Improve Communication

Do you communicate with workers? Your role might be limited to supervision, but it is imperative to make yourself available to the crew. Eliminate all the communication barriers, letting workers come to you with any problems that arise. Likewise, tell them your expectations and completion goals to make sure everyone is on the same page. Make it a daily habit of meeting workers, getting feedback to detect any pitfalls, and seeing how much they have accomplished. You can also select one day in a week to review processes, answer questions, and brainstorm solutions.

Offer Performance Incentives

Motivated workers are nothing less than a treasure when it comes to construction work. Why not offer performance incentives to keep their morale up? Bring in some production management models that rewards site manager and crew members. It monitors performance and determines the workers who meet the project benchmarks. As far as rewards are concerned, it can be monetary and non-monetary. Thus, you can offer cash bonuses, gifts, praise, or a day off from work.

Final Word

Even though we are witnessing countless technological changes, construction sites work differently. They are solely dependent on human resources, meaning to pump up the processes; you have to ensure relevant measures. Alongside bringing technology, make sure to implement strategies that can motivate employees, keeping their productivity levels up.