Since 2005, Construction Innovation has led safety-based research projects in an effort to address the alarming safety statistics generated by the construction industry.
Following the launch of the Construction Safety Competency Framework back in 2007, our reputation in the field of applied safety research has continued to grow as has our commitment to disseminate our findings and supply skill development to the industry. The competency framework presents a clear way forward for the construction industry by promoting a consistent national standard to improve OH&S competency for key safety positions. It directly addresses the industry’s safety culture and provides a process for significant cultural change and reduction of injury and incident rates.
To make the principles more accessible to small to medium businesses, the CRC developed a supporting industry kit called A Practical Guide to Safety Leadership. It builds upon the framework and provides a tool to help industry apply the principles of safety culture within their organisations. This peer-reviewed, cost-effective and ‘tried and tested’ approach is packaged in a way that makes it ready to implement.
Bill Wild, as Chair of the Engineers Australia Taskforce for Construction Safety, was a pivotal influence on the development of Construction Innovation ‘s Guide to Best Practice for Safety Construction. This guide covers all stages of a project: planning, design, construction and post-construction, and is designed to integrate OHS into strategic and operational decision making. The kit and accompanying workshops received strong industry support. In recognition of Bill’s career and role as a leader in the building and construction field, he was recently awarded a Distinguished Constructor Award by the Queensland University of Technology which acknowledges among his many high-profile achievements, his work with the CRC on the best-practice project.
Our safety publications were featured in the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) 2007–08 Progress Report which focuses specifically on building and construction’s industry’s occupational health and safety performance. The report highlights Tom Fisher’s support of the CRC as then Federal Safety Commissioner through his launch of and involvement with the kit A Practical Guide to Safety Leadership as well as through the sponsorship of our 2008 international conference where Tom spoke.
In mid 2009 the latest outcome, the Safety Effectiveness Indicators kit will be available. This research for this project builds on the findings published in Construction Industry Safety Competency Framework and through consultation and case studies will identify and measure the safety indicators available to industry for determining the effectiveness of critical safety activities outlined in the competency framework.
As a further and essential investment in construction safety, Construction Innovation has developed a program of industry workshops to complement the release of the various kits. These workshops develop skills for the practical application and roll out of the change processes outlined in the kits. They have been well attended and received by the industry — a clear indicator that safety is high on the agenda for construction companies.