White Card Update: Most Common Construction Site Accidents
1. White Card Update: Most Common Construction Site
(Photo: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
There are certain hazards that are unique to particular sites and there are some hazards that
occur generally in the construction industry. For this reason construction workers have to
undergo both site specific training and general construction induction safety training to enable
them to work on sites across Oz.
The White Card is a mandatory requirement for work on Australian construction sites and
teaches workers how to handle the most common hazards that they may encounter on
construction sites and how these can be avoided.
Site supervisors should investigate potential hazards of the construction site before proceeding
with work. These include unstable grounds, power lines and hazardous materials. These are
hazards that are unique to the site as well as those that vary from site to site.
Here we discuss some of these hazards that are covered by the white card course in order to
successfully overcome them. These incidents occur often on construction sites and sometimes
result in fatalities however they are not given much attention.
1. Vehicles or their loads hitting into pedestrians, especially when reversing present a risk
to workers in the vicinity. This can be overcome by separating vehicle and pedestrian
walk zones. Providing signage to warn pedestrians of the hazards of moving vehicles.
Ensure that workers as well as visitors to the site are aware of the site procedures and
the correct zones for them to remain in. Ensure that all vehicles are well maintained and
serviced with reversing lights and beepers working on vehicles. Make sure drivers are
2. trained and know that they should check behind the vehicle for pedestrians before
reversing. Another helpful procedure may be to design a one way system for traffic on
site to eliminate the need for vehicles to reverse.
2. Falling is the most common cause of injury on construction sites because working from
heights is such a common hazard in the industry. Usually falls on construction sites
result from using unsafe or incomplete scaffolds, inappropriate ladders/ladder use,
falling from or through roofs, falls from trucks, falls into holes, pits or shafts, accessing
shelving, accessing mezzanine areas. Falls from heights are an all too common threat to
construction workers and so needs to be managed. Even falls from low heights have the
ability to cause very serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord injury, concussions
and brain damage. Management of the risks can significantly reduce the number of
deaths and injuries caused by falling.
3. Another hazard is presented by the risk of being hit by a falling object. Falling objects
such as debris, building materials, equipment and tools all have the potential to fall and
hit workers below causing injury. One of the precautions workers can use to protect
themselves from falling objects is utilising the appropriate PPE, especially hard hats.
Workers and contractors could also consider installing safety nets where necessary to
catch falling objects or debris. Also all tools should be kept in the appropriate toolbox
and not let lying around where they may fall or cause a tripping hazard. Ensure
materials are properly secured before moving or lifting.
By following the rules of the site as set out in the safe work statement and safety training
worker’s can avoid many of the costly and sometimes fatal consequences that can result from
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