Construction companies around Ireland will stage a nationwide ‘stand-down for safety’ on all sites today to mark the beginning of Construction Safety Week which runs from Monday 22 to 26 October.
Working Safely at Heights
Today’s focus is Working Safely at Heights.
Dermot Carey, Director, Safety and Training, CIF, said: “Accidents involving falls from height remain stubbornly high. This is particularly so on small sites around the country. Ladders feature inordinately in these stats. Today, we focus on falls and more specifically the prevention of falls. In many cases, people put themselves in danger because they are keen to get on with the job and the danger of hurriedly using a ladder ends in tragedy. Today is about re-considering that risk and taking the time to think how best and safely to get the job done at height. Visit our website www.cif.ie/safety-week and view our webinar on working safely at height with Select Access.”
A Major Issue
According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) working at heights continues to be a major issue in the construction sector.
Michael McDonagh, Head of Construction Policy with the HSA said: “Working at heights continues to be a major issue in construction. Between 2011 and 2017 there were 27 fatal accidents in construction which involved a fall from height. It is vital that risk assessments for work at height activities are carried out, and all work is planned, organised and carried out by a competent person.
Over the last 12 months (Oct-Oct) six people lost their lives in construction-related activity. The construction industry is growing once again, and we are seeing many new projects at planning stage. In this context, it is vital that we are proactive in raising awareness of the high levels of risk on construction sites and influencing attitudes and behaviours amongst construction workers.”
Better Safety for Smaller Contractors
Architect and RTE star Dermot Bannon, is lending his support to Construction Safety Week this year to drive home the 2018 theme- ‘Better Safety for Smaller Contractors.’
Dermot Bannon said: “Contractors working on domestic renovations face many difficult safety challenges. In addition to working within a tight site footprint, they have to ensure subcontractors and suppliers, who may only be on site temporarily, adhere to their rules. They also have to ensure that their clients – the homeowners – are safe when on site.
“No matter what rules and processes are in place, construction sites are dangerous. If you are working on one, you are responsible for your personal safety and that of those around you. In turn, you should expect that those working around you are equally aware of your safety. I see how high the standards are in Ireland, particularly when I get to work abroad. Our industry has a lot to be proud of, but as any Health and Safety Officer would advise, one should not get complacent, and that is why Construction Safety Week is so important for the Irish construction industry.”
Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC). This is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland – Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and professional bodies.
Drive Continual Improvement
The collective objective is to continue to highlight the issues of health and safety in the Irish construction industry and to drive continual improvement.
Good Health and Safety
Good health and safety depend on co-operation between all parties on a project – from client to designers and contractors – everyone’s safety depends on their co-workers or the person working beside you or above you.
The mission for this week is to refocus on health and safety, and it’s a call to action for companies of all sizes to run a safety event this week.
Construction Safety Week 2018 is sponsored by the Construction Workers Sick Pay Trust (CWPS), DRS Bond Management, Jacobs Engineering, Walls Construction, Glenveagh Properties, Collen Construction, Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland and ESB Networks.