CPR First Aid

Effective Risk Management for NSW Construction Projects

Safework Australia’s Code of Practice outlines four steps of effective risk management techniques for construction projects. It includes identifying hazards, assessing, and controlling risks. There is also a need to maintain and review the control measures. The knowledge and skills to perform these need appropriate training for health and safety. It is why the government requires anyone who will do construction projects to finish white card training first. Read further to learn how it will help you understand and implement effective risk management measures onsite. 

What is the Code of Practice for Construction Work?

Safework Australia, an Australian Government statutory agency, created the Code of Practice for Construction Work. It’s one of the many national policies and strategies the local territories regulate to ensure the workers’ health and safety. It provides practical guidance on achieving the standards of the WHS Act, such as effective ways of identifying and managing risks.

What are the Processes of Effective Risk Management Techniques?

The code outlines the following steps of the risk management process:

  1. Identification of hazards.
  2. Assessment of risks.
  3. Control of the risks.
  4. Maintaining and reviewing risks from time to time.

It also provides examples of doing the first step.

What are the Possible Hazards of Construction Projects?

The code sets the following hazards you may find on construction sites:

  • Accessibility, condition, location, and layout of a construction workplace.
  • Ladders, equipment, holes, voids, penetrations, shafts, excavations, trenches, and lift wells
  • Unstable structures such as mobile platforms and scaffolding
  • Fragile surfaces such as cement sheet roofs, skylights, fibreglass roofs, and formwork decks
  • Tools, debris, and equipment that may fall
  • Collapse of structures and trenches
  • Hazardous chemicals in transport, handling, and usage
  • Asbestos and asbestos-containing materials
  • Arcs, gasses, and welding fumes
  • Hazardous manual tasks
  • Other trade activities and their interface
  • The physical working environment where it is possible to have electric shock, immersion or engulfment, fire, explosion, slips, trips, falls and getting struck by a moving plant
  • Exposure to noise, heat, cold, vibration, radiation such as solar UV radiation, and static electricity
  • Contaminated atmosphere or a confined space

What are the Possible Hazards of Construction Projects

Once these are identified, the next step is to assess the risks.

How to Assess the Risks of Construction Projects?

The code sets the need to assess the following risks:

  • The chances of someone incurring injury or illness from the risks identified
  • The severity of injury or illness 

The WHS regulations do not require a risk assessment but will help determine the control measures to implement.

What are the Benefits of Risk Assessment?

A risk assessment may help to:

  • Identify which of the construction workers are at risk of exposure.
  • Determine the sources and processes that cause risk.
  • Identify what control measures to implement.
  • Review how effective the current control measures are.

The result of a risk assessment is the control measures to execute.

How to Control Risks on Construction Projects?

The code determines the following hierarchy of control measures:

  1. Eliminating the risks – removing the hazard or hazardous work practice when possible.
  2. Minimising the risks
    a) Using any of the following control measures
    -Substituting materials or methods with a less hazardous alternative.
    -Isolating the risk, so it does not affect the workers onsite.
    -Engineering controls by using physical control measures.
    b) Using administrative controls
    -Using work methods to limit access to risk-prone areas
    c) Using personal protective equipment (PPE)
    -Thorough training and effective supervision for a proper fit and use of the PPE
    d) Combination of any of the control measures above. 
  3. Maintaining and reviewing the implemented control measures – this is done regularly to ensure their effectiveness, purpose, suitability, and usage. The following forms and plans are reviewed accordingly:
    -Safe work method statements
    -Work health and safety management plans

The above risk management techniques help ensure the safety of the construction workers onsite. The code states that protecting them from the risks to their health and safety related to their work is essential. The code states the requirement for accurate information, training, and instruction to anyone who will do construction projects.

What Training Helps Perform the Effective Risk Management Techniques for Construction Projects?

The code states that anyone carrying out a construction project must complete an induction training (white card) before starting to work. As it will provide them with the knowledge on the following:

  • Basic information regarding construction work.
  • What work health and safety laws govern the construction industry.
  • What common hazards they may encounter onsite.
  • How the risks are controlled.

The code states that Registered Training Organisations deliver this requirement. One is Accredited Short Courses (RTO NO 21903) which provides construction induction training at Unit 12, Level 3, 325 Pitt St Sydney, New South Wales.

Conclusion

There are four steps to effective risk management techniques for construction projects. It includes identifying hazards, assessing and controlling risk, implementing control measures, and reviewing them. General construction induction training covers these among the other course contents. The law requires anyone who will carry out construction work to complete it before doing a project. Registered Training Organisations such as the Accredited Short Courses (RTO NO 21903) deliver this in their New South Wales branch.

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