Following the correct procedures in BUILDING SAFETY can save lives.

My name is Jarod Grey and I have been over seeing building and construction safety protocol for over 30 years. I am proud to say I have been responsible for saving many lives but have also seen my fair share of accidents. My aim is to promote building safety and awareness for everyone involved in construction. From the "do it yourself" handyman to right through to major construction sites with trained and licensed professionals, my advice and recommendations can help keep everyone safe and out of harms way.

Close Call On Brisbane Construction Site

Flying Debris From West End Construction Site

I have been consulting on a large construction site in  West End, Brisbane this week. It is a new 8 storey apartment building with shops being made available on the ground floor. Most of the floors have finished and plumbing has started up to the 5th floor so far. I wanted to write a quick post to share what happened on the site today.

To say it was a close call is an understatement. I was at the base of the building discussing the next stages of the building with one of the engineers, Doug Michelson. We were just about to grab a bite to eat for lunch, it was past 12pm and most of the guys were taking a break. As we started walking out of the building site a 10 feet long concrete pylon came crashing to the ground about 2 metres from Doug Michelson. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There I am, a safety consultant inspecting the site for the 3rd time this week and a huge pylon nearly kills the two of us. Luckily we had started walking or I may not be here sharing this post,

The Lesson Learned

We immediately asked everyone who was left above to come down for an emergency meeting to find out what happened. It turns out that 2 of the tradesman had brought up too many pylons, they were trying to save time. They were both given the rest of the week off while management can work ou what to do.

So I quick warning to all those construction workers wanting to save time. do not rush. Making deadlines is important, every day costs thousands of dollars, we get it. But breaking rules and cutting corners to save an extra 30 minutes work is just not worth it.

Please stay safe, Jarod Grey

Asbestos Removal – Australian Safety Guidelines For Removing Asbestos

Safety Guidelines For Removing Asbestos in Australia

Asbestos Removal Safety Guidelines

Asbestos removal is a very crucial process which is often recommended to be performed by licensed contractors. However, if you are in Australia and you have decided to remove them by yourself, this write up will give you a few techniques that will not only ensure your safety but also the safety of those people around you during the process of removal.

 

Safety Guidelines For Removing Asbestos

Here are a few tips you should put into consideration while removing asbestos by yourself;

Tip#1: What to Wear:

There are several things you will require having in hand in order to be in a position to remove asbestos successfully from your home. For instance, a set of disposable coveralls with booties, rubber boots, rubber gloves and vented eye gear are some of the things you will need to have in order to make the entire process successfully.

Most of these mentioned items can be purchased at any contractor supply house or hardware. Note that you should never attempt undertaking an asbestos removal process if you are not wearing protective clothing. Before you move into any non- contaminated area in your house, it is important that you dispose of your contaminated clothes.

 

Tip#2: Safety Gear & Equipment:

Asbestos Safety Gear and Equipment

Make use of tank sprayer and liquid detergent when washing the asbestos area after you have removed any large piece. To completely seal the containment area, it is ideal that you use thick plastic sheeting. You can make use of a large dust pan to catch asbestos dust while you are working. Wallboard taping can be used to seal the area while a putty knife can be used to scrape asbestos.

 

Tip#3: Creating an Air- Lock:

Creating an Air Lock

Basically, before you commence any asbestos removal process, it is often recommended that you create an ‘air- lock’ area, whereby you together with your helpers can remove and dispose of the contaminated clothing properly before you leave the work area. You can do this by simply encasing a place just inside your doorway with a sheet plastic which has got openings on either side. Have very large, thick plastic bags labeled clearly with hazardous waste labels in order for you together with your workers to be in a position to dispose of the contaminated clothing products before you enter the ‘clean’ zone of the house.

Tip#4: The Removal Process:

Before you remove any asbestos, first and foremost, you must thoroughly wet it in order to prevent fine particles from coming loose in the air. Make use of a spray bottle or hose, depending on the size of area to be covered, so that you can saturate completely the asbestos area. You must be sure that the plastic sheeting is kept wet in order to prevent the tiny asbestos fibers from clinging to it.

Tip#5: Disposing of Waste:

Asbestos Disposal

While attempting asbestos removal Australia, the last thing you will require to do after you complete all the processes is calling the government agency in UK which deals with environmental issues to come and find out where you can dispose of the asbestos waste products.

Training and Licensing

Individuals undertaking asbestos removal normally are required to be trained appropriately as well as to hold license. Basically, the work health and safety regulators often administer licenses for asbestos removal in their jurisdiction.

If a person would like applying for asbestos removal license, he or she is supposed to contact his or her work health and safety regulator.

However, you should note that that you should register with the appropriate licensing board in Australia in order to eradicate asbestos in Australia.

Conclusion

Removal Tips and Advice

Last but not the least; since prevention is always better than cure, ensure that you follow the aforementioned tips while dealing with asbestos removal Australia to prevent any unnecessary damages. Thank you.

 

For more reading you can visit the Queensland Governments Asbestos Removal Website : http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/asbestos/manage/removal.htm

Safety For Roofing Contractors in Australia

Safety Tips For Roofing Contractors in Australia

Roofing Contractors Safety Tips

 

The safety practices advised by the Workplace Safety and Health Administration (WHS) for roofers have new regulations because of the increase in recorded deaths of workers falling from rooftops between the years 2003 and 2010. The new instruction will rescind the 1999 Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines – which allows employers for residential construction to use alternative methods in fall protection – and employers must now comply with the new regulations as outlined by the Workplace Safety and Health Administration.

Please note whilst this advice in given for Australian workers, these roofing safety guidelines should be followed in all countries, please contact your local council for regulations relevant to your location.

Residential Construction

The National Regulation states that every employee that would engage on any residential construction activities that are 6 feet or above should be protected by guardrail, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. The employer should have the appropriate fall protection plan for employees for a particular workplace situation. It is also advised to have a first aid officer available on construction sites.

Roofing is a Major Investment

Generally most new roofing or roof replacement work is not cheap. The last thing home owners want is an accident happening on their property. Profession al roofing contractors have an obligation to protect themselves and others on the property. Customers need the peace of mind knowing the company they choose to install a new roof is following all the required safety measures and guidelines as outlined by the Government. Trevor Bransden, a local roofing contractor from Pro Build Roofing Brisbane, commented “We take safety extremely seriously, before any project starts we do an audit on all workers to make sure they have the correct equipment and safety clothing with them at all times, I’ve seen roofing accidents before and it just isn’t worth the risk”. “Roofing can be a dangerous job, even small slips can mean disasters and tragic consequences for both workers and people around the area” he added. For more advice from a roofing contractor you can visit Trevor’s website.

Pro Build Roofing Brisbane

Safety Tips for Roofing Contractors

During installation, the number one priority should be the safety of employees. Accidents will happen when employers skip planning out good safety practices and systems. No one should ever take chances when it regards the lives of people. During a roofing construction job, there are many safety issues to consider and to learn about. It is best to take the most important precautions to avoid serious injury and even death.

Always take into account the following safety tips for roofing contractors:

1. Make sure that the work area is clean and organized. The area should be isolated, children and pets should not be near the work area. Identify all of the areas to avoid, these areas are prone to danger – dangerous power lines, underground power lines and cesspools, and unsafe access to the roof.

2. Minimize the risk for falling off the roof. Other than having enough safety systems, it is also vital to account for other circumstances that may lead to slipping or falling. Keep these in mind:
a. Do not work on a wet or damp roof.
b. Dirt, tools, and debris should not be in the work area.
c. Wear soft-soled boots to provide enough or the best roof traction.
d. Wear protective gear such as helmet and harness.

3. Set up the ladder properly. Do not set up the ladder on a slope, it should be on solid and level footing to avoid serious risks. It is advisable to tie the ladder to the top and secure it with a brace. Safely climb the ladder – climb while facing the ladder and do not overload the ladder with tools. Always be attentive with the ladders and make sure that it is secure before climbing up or down. Also, keep the ladders away from power lines and electrical boxes.

4. Make sure to never touch wires with hands and/or tools. When necessary, only touch wires that are insulated.

5. Always wear eye protection when working with hammers or other power tools. Check the operation of power tools for safety and inspect before every use. Keep all of the tools clean and properly maintained.

6. Handling heavy materials may be difficult when working at rooftops, it is best to keep in mind to lift using the legs and not the back. Carry a single bundle at a time to diminish the risk of fatigues.

7. It is important to use proper tools and safety equipment during a job. Investing on the right tools and safety systems should be a priority. Following the regulations should be the minimum goal.

Roof Safety - Harness, Helmets, Boots and Gloves

Safety equipment that is always necessary, but not limited to includes:

  • Eye protection
  • Safety netting
  • Safety harness
  • Roof anchors
  • Ladder stabilizer
  • Guard rails
  • Roof brackets
  • Rope
  • Working gloves
  • Scaffolding

 

The safety of roofing contractors should never be taken lightly. It is best to invest on the proper safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.

Knowing how to do the job while following safety precautions and techniques ensures a trouble free project. There is no reason for serious injuries or even death.

If accidents do occur when the right safety measures are in place , generally the damage is kept to a minimum.

Further Reading:

The above article is for reference only. To find out more about the safety for roofing professionals in Brisbane please visit the WHS Regulations By The Queensland Government

 

Are Building and Pest Inspections Always Required?

Are Building and Pest Inspections Always Required For A Home Owner?

Building and Pest Inspections

Overview: What are building and pest inspections?

Building and pest inspections are simply inspections which take place before a house or investment property is bought or sold. Building inspections assess many areas of a home/property the most common areas being; roof space, sub-floor, guttering, footing, ceilings, doors, plumbing, framing, wiring and window space. Building inspections also assess dampness and rot. As the name suggests, pest inspections are meant to check for any potential or existing pest damage. Pest inspection is meant to discover if a property has wood destroying insects i.e. termites and/or bores among any other insects that pose health and safety risks. In most cases, building and pest inspection takes place concurrently. At the end of an inspection, a report is issued highlighting the overall condition of a house or property as well as other details. Let’s now shift our focus to the importance of doing a building and pest inspection.

 

Is a building and pest inspection always required?

It’s important to note that building and pest inspections aren’t mandatory is Australia. They are however necessary every time when buying or selling homes/property because of many reasons. Below is a discussion of the main advantages and disadvantages of building and pest inspections to help you understand why you need them.

 

Advantages

1. Helps to avoid costly mistakes

Building Inspections Help Avoid Costly Mistakes

This is one of the main advantages of building and pest inspections from a home buyer’s perspective. Buying a home or any other kind of property is a costly affair. It is therefore important to do everything you can to ensure you make a smart investment decision. One of the best ways of ensuring you are getting value for your money (when buying a home/property) is having a building and pest inspection done. It’s never a good idea to rush while buying a home just because you think you are getting a good deal. Having a building and pest inspection done ensures you buy a home/property that is structurally sound, safe and free of pests. Such inspections are capable of revealing serious structural problems in a home helping you avoid making costly mistakes.

 

2. Identifies dangerous and hidden defects

Real estate agents are known to be dubious. They can’t therefore be trusted to reveal everything (good and bad) about any property or home they are selling. Potential home buyers can therefore buy defective property without knowing. Building and pest inspections reveal dangerous and hidden defects which can easily go unnoticed when potential home buyers inspect homes on their own without professional help. In a nutshell, the inspections reveal dangerous problems about homes/property eliminating serious health and safety risks.

 

3. Increases the value of a home/property

This is another advantage of building and pest inspections. Although home buyers pay more for homes which have undergone inspections, they can also sell them at a higher price. In case you want to sell your home later for whatever reason, you can use the inspection report to get a better price for your home.

 

4. Helps in negotiations

Building and inspection reports also help home buyers negotiate for better deals especially if the home in question is found to have some problems. It’s important to note that there are very few ”perfect” homes. The chances of discovering some defects or problems (however small) are therefore very high when you order a building and pest inspection. The inspection therefore puts you in a better negotiating position.

 

Disadvantages

1. Additional cost

This is one of the main disadvantages of building and pest inspections. Home buyers interested in having independent inspections done must hire professional inspectors. This obviously attracts additional costs not to mention the money you lose in case you decide you won’t buy the property in question.

 

2. Inspections can be misleading

This is another notable disadvantage of building and pest inspections. It is important to note that most building and pest inspection reports are too lengthy, complicated and covered with disclaimers. They can therefore be misleading to potential home buyers.

 

Conclusion

From the above information, it is accurate to conclude that building and pest inspections are absolutely necessary when buying and selling homes/property. Without the inspections, there would be no sure way for home/property buyers to know if they are buying structurally sound and safe homes/property. Although property inspections can be a bit costly and misleading or confusing, they have more pros than cons.

Why Building Safety Is Important On Australian Worksites

The Importance Of Safety Standards On Construction Sites In Australia

Construction & Building Contractors Safety

By mid-June 2014, 78 workers in Australia have been killed from work related causes. Five of those came from the construction industry alone. In 2013 of the 186 people who died from work related causes, 17 of them came from the construction industry. Many more die from using poorly constructed buildings. While there seems to be an improvement in 2014, the year is just halfway gone. The work related accidents and fatalities are significant enough to warrant a look at building safety codes and their importance.

The Effect of Work Related Accidents and Deaths

Work related deaths and accidents in the construction industry affect all the stakeholders within the industry. Deaths and injuries of building residents also affect the victims and their loved ones.

  • Accidents and deaths related to work and residency within the construction industry are costly to the economy. Compensation has to be paid, insurance premiums skyrocket and people lose main income earners for their household.
  • Deaths and accidents are demoralizing. Most injuries tend to be causes by failure of the management to observe building safety. This demoralizes the other workers who feel that the employers do not care.
  • Accidents and deaths within the construction industry affect the quality of work done on buildings by the demoralized workers, which in turn endangers the people who will use them later. The residents of poorly constructed building in turn lose trust in Australian builders and may look elsewhere for the services they provide. Everyone loses when that happens.

 

Prevention Measures for the Construction Industry

Building Safety - Prevention Measures

Both work related deaths and accidents as well as injuries and fatalities arising from residency in poorly constructed buildings can be prevented. That is why it is important for all major stakeholders in the construction industry to observe the latest building codes instituted by the relevant regulatory bodies. Doing so will help save lives and help prevent unnecessary tragedy.

  • The fire code for building must be observed. This will include having the necessary exist points to allow building residents to escape in the event of a fire. It also includes installing fire suppression equipment to deal with fire when it starts to prevent it from spreading. Equipment to detect fires should also be installed, in addition to exist signage.
  • All electrical systems should comply with the electrical codes set by the relevant Australian bodies. This is meant to reduce the chances of overheating and ignition of electrical fires.
  • All buildings should be constructed professionally according to the right blueprint. These buildings should be made with high quality materials to prevent them from falling apart within a very short time.
  • Buildings should comply with the occupancy limits set by the regulatory bodies within their locales. When residents exceed the maximum number set, they are likely to put a strain on all the inbuilt systems like electricity, which may end up causing overheating and hence fires. In addition, too many people within a building may be hard to evacuate in the event that a fire emergency arises.
  • All employers in the construction industry should ensure that their employees are protected from falling from great heights by providing the right equipment. Working hours should be regulated to prevent fatigue, which in turn causes loss of focus, something that may cause injuries and fatalities.

 

A Final Thought

Building safety codes are created for a reason. The Australian construction industry still has room for improvement to safeguard both workers and building residents from injuries and deaths.

Don’t risk your life or the life of others.