With the new health and safety law in place this month, it’s a timely reminder to think about the way we operate in the construction industry, perhaps one of the more risky areas of business.

A quick Google search reveals many sad stories of fatalities, injuries and near misses in accidents related to earthmoving machines and construction sites over time. And most of these came back to poor safety practices, whether on the part of those operating machines, and/or unwise decisions by those on the ground. There are stories of buckets falling on construction workers, machine rollovers, fingers and limbs being caught in moving machinery parts, fires caused by electrical wires, tunnels caving in when machine heights have been underestimated … the list is only limited by your imagination.

Working with heavy machinery can be very dangerous. As well as complying with the OHS (Health and Safety at Work Act 2015), there are also standard practices that need to be followed, and these can change with every machine and operation. Simple things like hi-vis protective clothing, having experienced machine operators, planning and project coordination can make all the difference. Between a near miss and a tragedy.

Numerous safety guides and articles can be found on the New Zealand worksafe websites as follows;

Accidents do happen. Lets work together to reduce the number of work-related injuries in New Zealand.