test

Making sure your scaffolding is safe and ready for action is key. Here are the times you’ve got to give it a good once over: 

All scaffolds must be checked by a competent person before handover and scaffolds taller than 5m must be erected and inspected by someone who holds the appropriate Certificate of Competence (COC). Handover checks involve tagging the scaffolding. No matter the height, all scaffolding must have a tag clearly displaying important safety information at access points. The tag should include the following:

 If there’s no tag, do not use it! Get in touch with your scaffold installer to sort it out and get it tagged.

Before starting each day, a pre-start check should be done. This can be done by a competent scaffold user using the HazardCo scaffolding pre-start checklist available from the Hazardco HUB.

Every week a certified scaffolder (if over 5m) or competent person (under 5m) should be checking the scaffolding to make sure it is safe. If the inspector has found any damages or non-compliant areas of the scaffold, then the access ladders need to be removed and the tag updated stating the scaffold is not compliant and should not be used.

 A thorough inspection of your scaffolding should also be conducted after any tweaks, fixes, or wild weather. And don’t forget to keep records of all these inspections.

 

If you have any questions get in touch with the team at HazardCo or have a look at our other working at heights blog here

What are Musculoskeletal Disorders?

A musculoskeletal disorder is any pain felt in the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels or nerves. You can feel this pain in just one area of the body, or throughout your whole body. The pain can range from mild to severe enough to interfere with your day-to-day life. 

The Data

Trades workers have had the highest number of claims by occupation. According to ACC data Ligament, tendon and muscle injuries (also known as Musculoskeletal Disorders or MSDs) made up 65% of all claims. It is the most common type of injury where someone requires more than a week off work, a whopping 1,590 injured construction worker incidents were logged with WorkSafe between Jun22 and May23.

Strains and Sprains in the Construction Industry

The residential construction industry is currently booming and subsequently the ACC claim numbers and payout costs for strains and sprains are also increasing. There are numerous factors which increase the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, these include time pressure, ageing workforces and unsafe lifting techniques. 

We need to change the mindsets of workers thinking that “pain and injury is unavoidable” and make our younger workforce understand the combined impacts of repeated injuries – something that more experienced builders know very well.

 It is well known that there are a range of factors that contribute to MSDs. It’s not just about a single factor such as the lifting technique (although for industries such as scaffolding and roofing, lifting and handling techniques are an important factor).

The research firmly points to five groups of factors we need to tackle when addressing MSDs in construction as shown in the diagram below these are work organisation, environmental, individual, psychological, biomechanical and physical factors:

infographic on causes of discomfort pain & injury

It may not surprise you that physical factors often take most of the blame as their connection is easy to understand, measure and observe. There are also proven strategies to overcome physical factors such as machinery, equipment and task modifications. 

Understanding how these factors can combine and influence each other to cause problems will be crucial. Working together and combining solutions to them in your approach is where the construction industry will get the most benefit. 

 The most common solutions for some of the above risk factors are:

 

We dive deeper into what treatment might look like, prevention tips, and the unseen costs associated with MSD in the blogs below: 

Musculoskeletal what treatments might look like and prevention tips

5 things you can do to tackle musculoskeletal problems MSDs in your business

Musculoskeletal the hidden costs to workers lives and businesses

 

If you need anymore information get in touch with the HazardCo team.

Proper management of hazardous substances on-site is important to keep everyone and our environment safe. 

Legally speaking, hazardous substances refer to substances which have any of the following properties:

If you are using any hazardous substance in the workplace you need to make sure they are stored, used, transported and disposed of correctly, which will help to reduce the risk to anyone who uses or comes into contact with them.

To capture what hazardous substances you are using you must by law have a hazardous substance register along with the relevant safety data sheet (SDS).

What is a Hazardous substance register?

This is a list of all your hazardous substances (including hazardous waste) that is used, handled, or stored at any of your sites. Having a register will ensure you know the substances you have on-site, the safety measures you need to follow, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Keeping a Hazardous substance register

Keeping your register in a central location on your site means that in case of an emergency, it can be accessed quickly by anyone who needs it. 

Here are some key bits of information that need to be included on your register: 

Not only do you need the information above, but you must also make sure that the register is up to date and available on-site. 

As the register represents the maximum amount of the substance held, it means it’s not going to be a daily task to keep it up-to-date. But if the maximum quantity changes, the register needs to reflect this. We recommend that you review your register each time you make a change to ensure it’s up to date and accurate.

How do I create a hazardous substance register?

Creating your hazardous substance register is made much simpler with our Hazardous Substances Register, HazardCo members can access this via the HazardCo Hub in the templates section. 

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

The purpose of a safety data sheet (SDS) is to provide key information about hazardous substances to the people who handle, use or store them or who could be exposed to them. 

An SDS tells you 

Remember it is the business owner’s responsibility to have an up to date SDS for each hazardous substance and make sure that their workers have access to it. The SDS must be less than 5 years old. 

If you need a hand getting started with your hazardous substances register or would like more information, get in touch with the friendly HazardCo team today – we’re always happy to help.

When it comes to construction sites, ensuring the health & safety and wellbeing of everyone on-site is the top priority. It’s more than just wearing hard hats and high-vis vests. It involves careful planning and preparation of the specific needs, hazards and risks of each project. That’s where Site-Specific Safety Plans (SSSPs) come into play.

A SSSP is a detailed roadmap designed to ensure everyone stays safe from start to finish. It identifies the hazards, how you will minimise the risks, sets clear guidelines, and helps to create a culture of safety on-site.

Setting up health and safety with HazardCo Projects is quick and simple. All you need to do is log in to the HazardCo Hub and “create a Project”. You receive the completed SSSP straight away while the physical scan-in board will be sent out for you to display on-site.

Not only does HazardCo’s Project save you time at the start of your project, it saves time for everyone on the site. Once the project starts, everyone entering the site inducts themselves on-site using the QR code on the site scan-in board, and the QR scanner in the free HazardCo App. That’s right, everyone inducts themselves using their smartphone, no lengthy induction meetings or paperwork required, and you get a record of every completed induction too.

It’s important to get everyone on board including your subbies!

Make sure you request a Task Analysis from each of your contractors so you can include their Hazards and controls in your SSSP. This will help ensure you and others on site are well informed of all the hazards from start to end of the project.

Share the SSSP with the team. Anyone scanning into the site using your QR code and the HazardCo App will have immediate access. Every worker who sets foot on-site needs to know and understand the SSSP. This can be done during the site induction, where the workers learn about the project, potential hazards, and safety protocols, which they can do using the App. If you need more information on working with contractors you can check out this blog

Why Go Digital?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a SSSP, using digital tools like HazardCo can offer great time saving and streamlining benefits. Among many other benefits of using HazardCo, using it for SSSP means that you have:

Going digital with the HazardCo App means information flows more efficiently and this allows your teams to better collaborate with one another.

So, whether you’re building a multi residential, a new build or doing a big reno, remember: safety first, always. And with a solid SSSP in place, you’re one step closer to a successful and safe construction project.

For health and safety sorted in a flash, right from the very start of your new build, look no further than HazardCo Projects. It’s the smart way to maintain a safe site and have more time to focus on the job at hand. 

If you would like to discuss your upcoming project please give our team a call on 0800 555 339.

When it comes to working safely at heights, make sure you’re eating a pie every Sunday. Wait…what?

Yep, you heard that right. 

Remember the phrase: Every Sunday I Eat A Pie. It’s a handy way to remember the steps for staying safe: Eliminate, Substitute, Isolate, Engineer, Administrative, and PPE. These steps help you figure out what safety measures to use when you’re working at heights

Aangoram of Every Sunday I Eat  A Pie

No matter the height you are working at, you have to make sure that you are controlling the risks, it doesn’t matter if that work is 40mm from the next surface or 40m.

Just like people argue about the best flavour of pie, there are different ways to working safely at heights, choosing the best methods such as the following examples of controls will be based on your specific situation, and the work being carried out. .

Eliminate: Not everything that needs doing has to be done “up there”. What tasks can be done on the ground before you have to do it at height?  Every step achieved where you don’t have a risk of dropping objects is a reduction of other things to concentrate on when at height.

Substitute: What other methods can be used to get to the workspace? Instead of a ladder could you use a scaffold? MEWPs (like scissor lifts & boom lifts) can be really handy here, not only with safe access but also with making it easier on your body to get there and work all day.

Isolate: This means to physically prevent the contact between you and the risk (falling or even dropped objects etc) this can come in the form of guardrails, scaffolding, or nets to prevent things or people from falling to lower levels.

Engineer: This is a more permanent solution, think of your handrails on staircases or cleverly built seats with high backs around the edges of a raised deck. It’s built for purpose and will continue to deliver that outcome without you having to interact with it (passive protection) this is often referred to as safety in design.

Administrative: This is simply making people aware. Think about hazard boards, signs, warnings, toolbox talks or paperwork to communicate what you will be doing, how, and who is doing it when.

PPE: This is the likes of harnesses to prevent you getting to a place you can even fall if possible, and if you do fall then to lessen the severity of the injuries you would receive from a fall if set up correctly, a hard hat to protect your head from small items falling like screws and small items etc.

Remember consistency is key

It’s important you and your team are actively involved in ensuring any work carried out at heights, is done in the safest way possible. Empower your team to speak up, highlight unsafe working situations or practices, and swiftly act to handle them. 

We recommend doing a Task Analysis to put a plan in place to manage the risks involved with working at height. This will help you decide whether it’s possible to eliminate the risk of falling from height or what the most effective control/s are to minimise the risk. 

So from the above, what’s your favourite flavour combinations? Which ones will satisfy your cravings to keep the team safe today?

If you’ve got a question about working at height or any other health and safety matter, the HazardCo Advisory Team is here to help. Give them a call on 0800 555 339

 

Over the last 18 months, consents for multi-unit dwellings have grown to the point where there are more multi-unit consents each month than for standalone houses. Coupled with the current economic climate and the security that comes from Council, Kainga Ora or Government work means we are seeing more and more of our residential builders starting to work beyond the more traditional single dwelling build.

How do you define Multi-Dwelling Housing?

There are three different types of residential housing – low density, medium density, and high density.

 

With increasing pressure on New Zealand’s building stock, medium density housing is considered an attractive option to meet the changing housing needs. Demand for more compact homes is increasing, particularly in areas with rapid population growth (BRANZ, 2023). Multi- dwelling consents made up 48% of all consents in 2021 and were forecasted to continue to increase (Stats NZ, 2021).

What’s the difference?

The key difference between low and multi dwelling housing is the level of complexity required to manage the build and the likelihood of additional layers of responsibility e.g. directors and development owners as PCBU’s above the building contractor.

This complexity of communication around safety means that the builds are often not solely run by a Group Home Builder or single builder and their subbies. Instead, for example, they can be run by project management companies, involving large stages of the build process that is then run and managed by specialists. This adds additional complexities compared to low density housing.  

There are often complex stages of these builds, which are generally run by specialised subbies e.g. planning (engineers, architects, quantity surveyors), and build stages (civil works, construction management, carpentry/joiners, concreting) etc.   

Multi-dwelling Residential Requirements

Because multi-dwelling housing creates more risk on-site due to the increased amount of subbies, machinery, equipment, and high-risk work taking place, It’s important that you have the right H&S tools in place for your contractors and a safe system of work e.g Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP) for all medium density builds.

A SSSP for a multi-dwelling build will outline how all involved parties will manage health and safety on-site. This includes a detailed agreement between parties on how they will manage subbies, their expectations, roles, and responsibilities to ensure that all relevant site safety information is available.

The SSSP is intended to be a detailed agreement and communication tool. Due to the potential complexity of multi-dwelling builds, we always recommend a more detailed and customised SSSP.

The extra complexities that can need extra planning and control include:

This list is not exhaustive but all of these complexities are often above and beyond a low density build and need planning, controlling, and communicating to ensure the health and safety of workers and others are managed well. 

Got a new multi-dwelling build kicking off?

Project Pro and the HazardCo system are suitable and capable of meeting the H&S requirements of multi-dwelling builds, so you can feel confident that HazardCo can support you as your business grows. 

If you are a builder starting to diversify, now’s the right time to review your Health and Safety activity. 

That’s where HazardCo comes in. If you’re building 3 or more dwellings within a fenced-off section, you will need HazardCo’s Project Pro. This is a customised project, specifically for your build that gives you everything you need for your team and all the subcontractors you will have coming onto the site. 

Here are some key components of Project Pro that will help you cover all your bases.

  1. 2 x Hazard Board with QR code
  2. Customised SSSP for the project (reviewed by a H&S Advisor)
  3. Large HazardCo mesh fence banner
  4. Full access to the HazardCo system to guide anyone scanning onto site 
  5. In app guided activity to support learning
  6. Cloud storage of all safety documentation completed on site
  7. Reporting and analytics to identify opportunities and trends on site
  8. Support from our Customer support and Advisory teams

If you have a new multi-dwelling residential project kicking off, give us a call on 0800 555 339  or email info@hazardco.com to discuss your requirements and what you need to be thinking about from a H&S perspective and the added complexities that come with it.

For building companies, scalability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a necessity. Paul Dugdale of ARCA and Dale Spencer of Southern Ocean Building and Consulting, are shedding light on the importance of systems and technology when it comes to running an efficient, successful building company. Let’s dig into some key lessons from these experts. 

Lesson 1: Find the right people 

Getting the right people on board and equipping them with the right tools and systems is the first step in scaling your business. To do this, identify bottlenecks in your existing processes and work out how to relieve these through either automation, delegation, or elimination. Being proactive and identifying what the critical points are in your business and making sure these run smoothly is a great way to make your business more efficient. 

Lesson 2: Get on top of your financial forecasting 

Knowing exactly where you are and if you are on track (or not) with your budgets is key to making sure your business succeeds. Being able to forecast to identify any problems, allows you to make changes to manage these. The best way to do this is to use integrated software that gives you oversight across your business and can also make financial forecasting more efficient which saves you time and frees you up to work on other parts of your business. 

Lesson 3: Systemise your business

At the heart of scalability lies the ability to use software and systems to improve efficiency. The key is to use simple systems that offer both high-level overviews and can also easily drill down into the details, empowering the right people to make informed decisions quickly and easily. 

Lesson 4: Embrace the suffering

Running a business is hard! And even our experts admit that there’s always something that pops up to keep you on your toes. Having the confidence to know that whatever tomorrow brings because you have created strong and resilient systems in your business you will be able to deal with those problems, gain knowledge from them and create a strategy to fix them, will mean that you will continue to build a successful business. 

Remember you can’t do it all so finding the right way to do it is the key to success. 

Watch the full video to discover the systems and integrations that Paul and Dale have used to successfully scale and take their business to the next level.

New digital construction software can give tradies the edge they have been looking for by giving them the opportunity to run their jobs more efficiently. Tradies equipped with good digital tools are able to tackle any job or challenge more efficiently, saving both time and money. If you find yourself buried in paperwork and manual tasks like it’s the year 2000, check out this guide and upgrade your digital toolbox to make your life easier! 

Here are some of the most popular digital solutions that will help you shift into the next gear:

Cartrack NZ
Fleet management solutions

Cartrack NZ is a leader in delivering comprehensive fleet management solutions, with a strong emphasis on enhancing health and safety across New Zealand’s business sectors. It distinguishes itself with a flexible approach, offering its vehicle tracking and fleet management services without any fixed contracts,  gaining customers’ loyalty through exceptional service rather than binding agreements. Dedicated account managers provide tailored support, focusing on leveraging Cartrack’s robust GPS tracking technology. 

This system is crucial for ensuring real-time monitoring of vehicle locations, which is essential for improving safety and operational efficiency. Furthermore, Cartrack’s  Auto-RUC solutions simplify compliance with regulations, aiming to reduce administrative burdens and streamlined fleet management. Additionally, Cartrack’s advanced fuel management features offer critical insights, aiding in the detection and prevention of fuel fraud, further enhancing operational integrity and cost-efficiency. By prioritising health and safety in its suite of services, Cartrack NZ empowers businesses with the tools needed for safer fleet management and compliance, reinforcing its commitment to safeguarding employees and assets.

Dext prepare
Pre-account software
Dext Prepare is a game-changer for the construction industry, streamlining your financial paperwork management. The app automatically extracts, categorises and stores all the information you need from your financial paperwork so you can easily submit to accounting software – anywhere and anytime.

Dext Prepare’s leading-edge accuracy and rapid processing remove the need for time-consuming manual data entry. This helps you save valuable hours each week and lowers the risk of errors in your books. This is critical in the construction industry, where financial clarity can impact project timelines and budget management.

Seamlessly integrating with all main accounting platforms – including Xero and QuickBooks Online, Dext Prepare ensures your financial records are always accurate. Your data is stored securely for ten years, providing a reliable archive for easy reference whenever necessary.

With Dext Prepare handling your expenses data, you can focus more on the operational aspects of your construction business, secure in the knowledge that your financial records are in order.

Fergus
Construction Management  

Fergus stands out as the ideal construction management app for builders by offering a comprehensive suite of tools designed to streamline the entire job management process, ensuring projects are delivered on time and within budget. The platform simplifies job tracking and management from start to finish, allowing builders to set jobs up for success by reducing double handling and automating administrative tasks. This ensures all job-related information is centralised, enhancing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of errors.

Dan Pollard, Founder of Fergus, says, “Fergus is the operational backbone of trades businesses, taking care of the day-to-day and providing complete clarity and control. We’re giving business owners and managers the time and insight they need for the business to grow and succeed.”

Fergus enhances construction management by offering real-time updates on job records and team locations, ensuring seamless communication and project tracking. This visibility allows for effective resource optimization and planning, keeping projects on schedule. Its financial management tools enable builders to monitor profit and loss, forecast accurately, and prepare for seasonal changes, ensuring financial stability. By facilitating informed decision-making and improving project efficiency, Fergus proves to be an essential tool for builders aiming to grow their business and sustain profitability.

FieldPulse
Construction Management 

FieldPulse is the all-in-one FSM solution designed for trade businesses looking to scale. The platform is built to help you streamline operations, grow revenue, find business insights with ease and ultimately impress your customers.

Features such as easy scheduling and dispatching can save businesses an average of 5-10 hours per week. FieldPulse also helps you keep track of full customer history, manage inventory, customer communications and more. With a full suite of features and customizable workflows, FieldPulse customers boast an average of 57% YoY growth in their first year using the platform.

With a best-in-class customer success team that will set you up for success from day 1, business owners can be confident that FieldPulse will be their partner every step of the way.

HazardCo
A simple health and safety system

HazardCo is a health and safety system that makes health & safety simple. Giving you the confidence you’ve got your health and safety covered while cutting the time you spend on paperwork. 

With the HazardCo app in your back pocket you’ve got access to guided templates and reports, along with policies and procedure documents and 24/7 full incident support by our qualified advisors if and when you need it. It’s a comprehensive but simple way to make sure you have everything sorted! 

Paul Shelton from HazardCo says, “You can’t completely avoid the admin that comes with running safe sites but we can make it a heap easier by removing all the time-consuming parts. Lots of tradies will choose to digitise their H&S system before anything else, as it’s an easy win that’s quick to implement and has instant results. If you haven’t seen a demo of HazardCo recently it would be worth looking at it again as lots of new tools were added to the system last year.”


Find out more about HazardCo.

Running a safe site isn’t just about wearing hard hats and harnesses; it’s about effective communication and staying aware of what’s going on on-site. One of the most powerful tools is the humble toolbox meeting. These gatherings are the backbone of ensuring everyone on site is up to speed with hazards and safe working practices.

Download the Simple Guide to toolbox meetings to get tonnes of ideas for toolbox meeting topics.

Why toolbox meetings matter

Toolbox meetings are a forum to highlight safety expectations and encourage participation from everyone on site. They don’t need to be lengthy; a quick stand-up meeting will do – maybe even with a side of chocky biscuits to sweeten the deal! We recommend holding these meetings weekly, or at least twice a month, to keep safety at the front of everyone’s minds.

Some building companies take it a step further by incorporating toolbox meetings into their daily routine. Starting each day with a brief safety discussion helps to make safety a daily habit, rather than an afterthought.

Running an effective toolbox meeting

The success of a toolbox meeting hinges on a few key factors:

Topics to discuss

Here are some prompts to kickstart discussions in your toolbox meetings:

Toolbox meetings help with communication, collaboration, and continual improvement. Remember, safety is a team effort, and toolbox meetings are where that effort begins.

The HazardCo App includes all the on-site safety reports you need, such as a handy tool to record toolbox meetings.

Get a 7 day free trial.

Task Analysis (TA) is an important tool in your health & safety toolbox. It helps you to break down complex tasks into smaller, manageable steps while ensuring safety and efficiency. In this guide, we’ll explore what TA is, when and why it’s used, how to complete one effectively, and the benefits of using digital platforms for streamlined TA management.

What is a TA? 

A Task Analysis (TA), also known as a JSA or SWMS, breaks complex tasks into a sequence of smaller steps and actions. They are used as a planning tool to make sure all risks and controls are identified and appropriately managed for your job. A Task Analysis should describe how you plan to complete the job safely and proves that you are managing the risks effectively.

When should I use a TA?

A Task Analysis should be used to identify and assess the hazards before each high-risk job to reduce the risk as much as possible. For repetitive tasks, you don’t need to create a new Task Analysis each time, as long as the prepared Task Analysis is relevant to the work being completed and understood by all persons involved.

Why should I use a TA?

Completing a Task Analysis helps to make sure  all risks and controls are identified in each work step to improve safety and performance. It also ensures that the correct tools, people, and processes are identified before you start the job which minimises the risk of injury, provides a clear understanding to workers, and increases productivity.

How to complete a TA?

To complete a Task Analysis, carry out the following steps:

Remember the Control hierarchy is: 

flow of the hierarchy of control from Elimination to PPE

What’s the benefit of having your Task Analysis available in the HazardCo App?

It’s a simple and easy to repeat approach, where you can:

Manage subbies? If you are on our Premium, Complete or Project plus tiers you can even digitally collect TA’s from subcontractors without the fuss!

Task Analysis in the app is faster, simpler, and repeatable. 

The TA template on the App guides you through a step-by-step creation process. It gives you the confidence that the potential hazards have been thought through, and that the appropriate controls have been put in place to eliminate risk where possible or minimised.

You can create a Task Analysis template in preparation for your upcoming works. This template can be updated with the job specific details. Creating a Task Analysis before arriving at the site and customising it for each job will set you up to quickly communicate with the team, manage the risks and get on the tools. When making your templates avoid ticking controls you won’t implement. The suggested controls list is not exhaustive, so make sure to include any additional controls you plan to use. 

Once you have selected your hazards, the controls you will implement, and noted the steps you will follow to complete the task, hit SAVE. A HazardCo Task Analysis is then created, emailed to you, and saved securely in your App and Hub so you can easily share it with the main contractor and anyone else you may need to coordinate with.

If you need a hand getting started or would like more information on the HazardCo app read this blog or get in touch with the friendly HazardCo team today on 0800 555 339.

scaffolding tag to show the scaffolding is safe
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