VIC: WorkSafe Tackles Tool Safety at Coaches’ Breakfast

Construction safety is in the limelight at a coaches’ breakfast on Wednesday.

The Western Bulldog’s coaches’ review breakfast was in line with the launch of WorkSafe’s  new campaign promoting the use of the right tools for the job among tradies.

“The purpose of the coaches’ breakfast is to talk about tactics of the game – we’re using it to discuss tactics for getting construction work done safely,” WorkSafe’s Construction Director Chris Webb said.

“Tools used on construction sites across Victoria every day are involved in a third of all construction worker injuries.

Ladders, scaffolds, nailguns, saws and grinders feature all too often in injury claim reports – and as a result we’re seeing tradies off work, for about a month on average, with nasty yet preventable injuries like serious cuts, broken bones, and sprains and strains.

“Tradies need to think about the tools and equipment they need to do a job safely – and make sure they’ve got them on hand before they start the job.

“WorkSafe wants builders and tradies to stop, step back and think. For example, a carpenter erecting a wall frame at a housing site needs to plan ahead to use a saw bench so they’re not working on the ground cutting all the timbers. Nail and ramset guns need to be in good working order and guards in place on circular saws.”

The safety agency’s campaign is primarily aimed at parties in the residential construction industry such as builders, subcontractors, supervisors and apprentices.

Site inspections will be conducted as part of the campaign to ensure that workers’ tools and equipment are suitable for the work at hand.

“Victoria’s construction industry paid out an estimated $91 million in the year to June for claims following tool and equipment injuries,” Mr Webb said.

“The cost of an injury including time off the tools, replacing the worker, and re-training comes to over $80,000 – without including treatment costs. It makes good business sense to prevent unnecessary injuries by using the most appropriate tools for the job, and using them in the right way,” he said.

WorkSafe is in the fourth phase of its Back to Basics campaign, which targets the most common causes of injuries among domestic construction workers.

The campaign had previously tackled basic site housekeeping, planning for a job, and site supervision.

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