You may not have realised it, but Australia actually has very strict laws when it comes to the safety of all commercial building construction that occurs within the country. As a part of the accreditation process, construction companies must prove that they are compliant with Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) standards, which have been put in place to reduce the risk of injury and accident occurring in the building.
Whilst the OH&S standards are actually quite comprehensive, we have compiled an easy-to-read list of the kinds of hazards that you will need to be aware of when undertaking a commercial building construction. These sorts of hazards should be considered during all stages of the project to ensure that there is no chance of them being overlooked.
- No uneven or slippery surfaces. These sorts of hazards can be reduced through the addition of grips to stairs and so on.
- No obstructions that restrict movement inside or outside the building, as you also have a responsibility to protect the general public who may be walking or driving past.
- No objects with rough or sharp surfaces. These sorts of hazards can cause injuries, even though they aren’t that serious.
- No surfaces or materials that are very hot or cold to touch; anything that is overly hot or cold must be covered by another material that isn’t to ensure that protection is key.
- No exposed electrical lines or equipment. This applies to the construction process, as well as when it has been finished.
- No flammable or explosive materials, unless the business is one that deals specifically with these sorts of substances (in this case, only employees of the business should handle them).
- No biological hazards (such as viruses, mold and asbestos), as these are known to cause serious health hazards.
- Safety signs and instructions must be on display, both during construction and after it has been completed. This includes exit signs, fire extinguisher instructions and fire drill procedures.
- All areas of the building need to be well lit, both during construction and when work has finished.
- Care must be taken when working in unusually high places. These spots must be safely accessible to the general public via stairs or lifts to prevent the hazard of falling.
- The occupants of the building must have access to sufficient, clean and functional facilities, such as bathrooms, changing rooms and kitchens.
- All people present on the construction site much wear protective clothing at all times. This includes hard hats, safety goggles or glasses, steel toed boots, high visibility vests and so on.
The next time you are working on a commercial building construction, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure it complies with the OH&S standards that are upheld in Australia. If you cannot show that your company complies with these standards, you will quickly find yourself out of business and will probably have a lot of unhappy customers hounding you. Whilst we have outlined some of the points above there are plenty more to be aware of.
Author Bio: The above explanation over the topic OH&S requirements for commercial building constructions has been described by the Igna Webb who is the owner of the Construction Company Corplex Fitout Solution in Australia, Melbourne.