The construction industry is known for its potential hazards and risks, and unfortunately, incidents sometimes occur. Having an incident on-site can be alarming, but your response is crucial in reducing its impact and making sure the team is safer in the future.
Remember, if you’re a HazardCo member we will support you throughout this process, just give us a call.
Incidents can range from very minor, to serious incidents. The steps below can be scaled up or down depending on the seriousness of the incident. If you have a near miss on-site, this is also considered an incident. Learn more about reporting near misses.
Prioritise Health and Safety
The health and safety of the people involved in the incident should be the main concern. Immediately assess the situation to identify any ongoing dangers and take appropriate action to eliminate or minimise risks. Evacuate affected areas if necessary and provide medical assistance to injured personnel. Remember, health and safety should always come before anything else.
Secure the Scene
Once the immediate safety concerns are addressed, you may need to secure the scene to prevent further incidents or unauthorised access. Erect physical barriers, post warning signs and restrict entry if needed.
Maintaining clear and effective communication during and after an incident is really important.
Notify all the relevant people about the incident as soon as possible. This includes workers, supervisors, managers and contractors.
Report the incident in the HazardCo App
Using the Report Incident feature on your HazardCo App, fill out the fields to capture what happened. Your reported incident will be added to your incident register in the Hub, and HazardCo retains this for as long as you’re a member.
It’s important to note that some incidents are required to be notified to WorkSafe. These are referred to as notifiable incidents. A notifiable incident is:
In the event of a notifiable incident, you need to preserve the incident site until a WorkSafe inspector arrives or WorkSafe directs you otherwise. This doesn’t prevent you from helping an injured person or making the site safe.
For more information on what to do when it comes to notifiable incidents, head over to the WorkSafe website.
Find out what happened and why, then complete an investigation report
Investigating the incident will help to find out exactly what happened and why. We recommend talking to the people involved as well as any witnesses. For a serious incident, it’s best to speak to everyone individually.
Document all your findings in a report, including photos and relevant data. In the report, you should look at immediate causes as well as bigger issues and potential improvements to prevent future incidents. HazardCo members can use the guided Investigation Report in the Hub to identify any shortcomings or gaps that may have contributed to the incident and implement corrective actions. This may involve improving training programs, modifying procedures, upgrading equipment, or implementing new safety technologies.
Communicate some more!
Pass on what you have learnt to everyone involved. This is your opportunity to emphasise a culture of continuous improvement and learning to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Encourage open communication and create a supportive environment that encourages workers to report near misses and potential hazards without fear of repercussions.
When an incident occurs on a construction site, a swift and effective response is crucial to reduce risks and ensure the health and safety of your crew. Prioritising safety, establishing clear communication channels, securing the scene, communicating and investigating the incident can continuously improve the health and safety of everyone on-site. At the end of the day, these measures protect lives, as well as contribute to the long-term success of the project and your business.