This is the topic that we sometimes feel nobody wants to discuss.
We had to write this article as recently a close family friend and subcontractor of ours was involved in a worksite accident whereby he fell off a ladder.
As a result of this accident, our friend is now unable to move and has been hospitalised. He will now also require surgery shortly to address the bone fractures.
It should come as of no surprise that the project was poorly supervised and no safety precautions were put in place.
In fact, when our friend fell off the ladder, he was lying there immobilised for over an hour until the real estate agent came around during an inspection round and noticed he was lying on the floor in pain. (His mobile phone was left inside the property charging in case you’re wondering.)
Just imagining what would have happened had the real estate agent not showed up scares us… He could have been lying there longer in pain.
As a builder that treat our team of subcontractors as though they are family, this news broke our hearts and made us feel deeply frustrated.
This accident could have been prevented in so many ways.
In fact, any time any type of works is to be completed whereby it is over 4m in height, there should be sufficient safety precautions being implemented.
Did you know that falls from heights are the leading cause of traumatic fatalities in the NSW construction industry?
More than 12,000 workers were injured after falling from a height between 2014 and 2017 in NSW alone. Of those 12,000 workers, 25 died and more than 240 were permanently disabled. (Numbers obtained from SafeWork NSW)
Just in 2020 alone, as of writing this in October, there has been 3 fatal and 25 serious falls which were reported to SafeWork NSW. (Number obtained from MBA NSW)
Keep in mind this is just the number of reported accidents. I have no doubt that the actual numbers are far higher.
Call to Action
To all the architects, developers and contractors reading this, we urge you to speak up when you witness dodgy practices.
Stop rewarding the dodgy builders with construction contracts just because they are cheap on price.
STOP putting a price on people’s lives.
When you are designing a project, please take into consideration as to how it can be constructed safely in real life.
Please speak up when you witness these bad practices and don’t just sweep it under the carpet.
We always say this to people: ‘Safety is no joke. The risks are real when it comes to working on a construction site. The numbers don’t lie and if you underestimate things, you are at risk.’
Safework NSW has a great checklist that we highly urge you to download and begin implementing your projects.