Safety on Site 2 LR

The evolution of safety

Safety innovations have made a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of construction workers, but there’s no substitute for a culture of care, where looking out for each other is key.

Safety innovations, including software and equipment, are making their mark on the construction industry, helping to create better and safer workplaces in the process.

One in six workplace fatalities in Australia each year are construction-related, but initiatives, such as the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012 to 2022 are taking steps in the right direction by promoting a vision of healthy, safe and productive working lives.  This holistic approach seeks to examine construction from every angle, by addressing both the physical risks and the impact on workers’ mental health to bring new opportunities to improve work health and safety.

Smart Software

Andrew Smith, FDC’s National HSEQ Systems Manager has worked in the industry for over 30 years and has seen first-hand how technology has helped safety in the construction industry evolve. Safety equipment has been given a serious upgrade. Workers can now perform site inspections that stream live footage back to offsite managers for analysis, and hard hats can detect unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

Mobile plant, including cranes, excavators, scissor lifts and concrete pumps, are improving their capability to feed the operator vital information when environments become unsafe. Inbuilt anti-tipping and anti-collision mechanisms are examples of technological improvements that assist workers perform high-risk activities, avert danger and save lives.

One key innovation that Andrew credits with making a positive impact on the safety at FDC is software that complements FDC’s management systems. “Put simply, the software solutions being used by FDC are making it easier for our people to do their job. We have a very succinct management system that guides people to do what they need to do. While we’re in the early stages of transitioning to software solutions, early feedback is that site teams are spending more time planning and supervising on site. Time well spent in reducing error and reducing incidents on site,” he says. “It’s about better decision making, increasing efficiency, and more accurate recording and reporting mechanisms. So, if we’re working on a remote job in Grafton, for example, senior management can see the key performance indicators in real-time from their phones or other device, whether they’re in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.”



Reducing injury

“At FDC, our policy of providing safe and healthy work conditions enables our projects to be delivered without incident or injury. It’s a family business and our culture is about helping each other deliver successful projects in a safe manner.

Last year, FDC delivered an award-winning premium seniors’ living village, Greenaway Views, in Canberra’s Tuggeranong. The transformation of the former social services building into a vibrant oasis for over-55s is one project that stands out in Andrew’s mind. Not simply for the sheer scale and nature of the project, but because it was delivered without a lost-time injury.

We’ve delivered many projects in complex environments where we’ve been especially vigilant to ensure live sites, including Blacktown and Westmead Hospitals remain operational. Teams would be building, working with our clients, consultants and subcontractors, while enabling the hospital to continue to operate effectively and provide the level of care their patients deserve,” he says.

“We have real relationships with our clients and the communities we work in and have a genuine care about project outcomes.  That culture of care starts at the top. For over 30 years, FDC has maintained a creditable safety record and our focus is to keep improving, innovating and finding the right safety solutions to keep people safe. Safety solutions that clients demand, safety solutions that FDC are proud of. Our culture of always looking out for one another plays a big part in that too. When you work for a company that inspires its employees to care about themselves and each other, you expect to see safe outcomes.”