MANY ROLES – ONE VISION – WORKING SAFELY TOGETHER
The management and awareness of safety and health issues has progressed enormously in the construction sector in the past 18 years. Employers and workers have invested time and money to drive improvements, endeavoring to ensure all workers can work safely on construction projects in Ireland.
As an example of this commitment, up to 107,481 workers completed the SOLAS Safe Pass Programme in 2018 alone – no other industry sector in Ireland can compare with this level of focus.
10,600 extra workers joined the construction workforce in 2018, up 8% year on year and bringing the total workforce to 145,500. This was on the basis of €26 billion investment in building and construction in Ireland during 2018, up 20% year on year. With investment in the industry expected to reach €41 billion in 2023, we will see more workers enter the construction industry, some of which will be inexperienced in construction.
This will bring about challenges in terms of skills and competence (i.e. knowledge, experience and training) and in terms of supervision. Experienced construction workers have a responsibility to mentor new entrants or those returning to the sector, particularly in terms of ensuring their safety and well-being.
Construction Safety Week is an opportunity to reflect on aspects of safety, health and overall well being and to promote its importance throughout the workforce. It is recommended to review past activities and to learn from successes, failures and near misses. By sharing experiences, we may eliminate avoidable accidents, enhance worker morale and increase productivity.