Australia has a reputation for some of the world’s safest worksites – but that doesn’t mean we can’t do better. New research suggests we should turn to data and digital technology for help.
Fifty-seven per cent of Australian construction companies think technology can improve safety.
Despite this, one third are still using paper-based records to manage safety and just 34 per cent use specialist safety software.
These are the headline findings from Procore Technologies’ new report, Safety InSite – Examining Health and Safety in Australian Construction.
“Australia has a reputation for maintaining high safety standards on construction sites. With this in mind, we conducted research to identify where changes can be made to hone best practices and ensure we improve our good record,” says Procore Technologies’ vice president Tom Karemacher.
Independent research company ACA Research surveyed 287 construction companies of various sizes and types across Australia to unpack their attitudes, behaviours, practices and use of technology within the sector – and the health and safety outcomes that result.
The report found 76 per cent of businesses make accident-free workplaces their top priority and 82 per cent have a formal workplace health and safety policy in place.
While 83 per cent of businesses believe safety is an integral part of everyone's job, more than half (56 per cent) of companies shift the responsibility of identifying hazardous activities onto subcontractors.
And 78 per cent of companies, regardless of their level commitment to safety, will attribute the cause of incidents to lack of care by workers on site.
Just 44 per cent of companies surveyed use regular analysis of safety reporting data to inform decision-making and policies, while 37 per cent also use data for predictive analysis.
“There is a clear opportunity to make significant work health and safety improvements by utilising specialist software, capturing valuable data, and extracting the right insights to help prevent onsite incidents and deliver better worker outcomes,” Karemacher adds.
“The Safety InSite report confirms Australia’s high work health and safety standards but reveal there is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to embracing new technologies and digitisation.”
Stand Down for Safety
On 13 November, Sekisui House held its annual Stand Down for Safety event to demonstrate its commitment to safety and to promote a safety culture. Held across all sites in New South Wales and Queensland, Stand Down for Safety is mandatory at all Sekisui House offices, factories and on home building sites.
“We're building homes people want to live in − and for that, we need to provide workplaces that people want to work in, where they feel safe and confident that their colleagues share their desire to return home safely at the end of each day,” says Sekisui House Australia's workplace health and safety manager Darren Butt.