Safety first: more than a catchy cliche
Crawling around under a house is not many people’s idea of a good time (once you’re over the age of 10, that is), but if you’re a builder, it’s just part of the job. It’s generally pretty dirty but otherwise relatively uneventful. Last week, however, on one of the 5to50 job sites, the crew came across a large funnelweb spider. While we do love working with a diverse range of customers, funnelweb spiders are not the top of the list and this unexpected interaction prompted a spider-specific Toolbox Talk. All the 5to50 carpenters carry First Aid kits but it’s also important to know where the nearest local hospital is and how you’re going to get there if required.
So far this year, 14 construction workers have been killed while at work, a statistic that is horrifying and that we work to ensure we don’t add to. Often, JD is asked why scaffolding is necessary when replacing windows or working on a roof. It’s costly and customers often ask why a ladder can’t be used instead. The reason we use scaffolding when necessary is that it’s safer and we have a responsibility to all our employees to ensure they end each day the same way they started it – fit and healthy. Any work that takes place more than 4 metres off the ground is required by law to have scaffolding that’s been erected by a licensed scaffolder.
If you receive a few quotes for work at heights and one of them is significantly lower than the others, check to see whether they have included scaffolding. And if you’re tempted to go with that builder to save money, ask yourself if you’re willing to risk someone’s life to save a few thousand dollars. We know we’re not.
Have you needed scaffolding for work at your house? Do tradesmen deserve to be safe in their workplace? Spiders – yes or no?