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No margin for error

No margin for error

A large proportion of workers and employers may report following safety procedures at work, but it’s the 2 to 20 per cent who don’t that can cause havoc.

A new Safe Work Australia report titled ‘Work Health & Safety Perceptions: Construction Industry’ has drawn on six existing Safe Work Australia data sources and one Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data source to examine work health and safety (WHS) in the construction industry.

“The 2009 MAPS survey measured how consistently specific safety practices were undertaken in the workplace,” the report says.

“Almost 90 per cent of workers in the construction industry reported that particular safety practices were followed in their workplace most of the time or always.

“These included removing hazards as much as possible (93 per cent), making work practices safe (92 per cent), using PPE (90 per cent) and identifying health and safety risks (89 per cent).”

However, the WHS Perceptions survey 2012 report revealed a different outcome. “The results were somewhat different, particularly for the use of PPE (90 per cent in MAPS compared to 79 per cent in WHS Perceptions), removing hazards as much as possible (93 per cent in MAPS compared to 85 per cent in WHS Perceptions) and making work practices safe (92 per cent in MAPS compared to 84 per cent in WHS Perceptions),” the report says.

According to the report, the WHS Perceptions survey showed that construction employers were more likely than workers to report that safe work practices were followed most of the time or always.

“Almost all employers indicated that PPE is used most of the time or always in their workplace, as well as making work practices safe (98 per cent each),” the report says.

“Over 90 per cent of employers indicated that, in their workplace, hazards are removed as much as possible, health and safety risks are identified and health and safety concerns are discussed either most of the time or always.”

But even if 98 per cent of people are following safe practices, it only takes the few who don’t to create a risk for themselves and everyone else.

For more details, visit the report

Published on 26 February 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

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