The next generation of construction safety is about to arrive, with a new report predicting the next wave of high-profile safety problems will be coming in 2019.
In the next five years, a slew of safety challenges are expected to arise, including the emergence of ‘super bugs’, in which people can get infected by a variety of bacteria and viruses that cause serious illness.
The report by the Australian Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (AIOSH) suggests many of the issues that have been seen over the past few years, including mould, water contamination and fire, will be more prevalent.
“We know that the growth of infectious diseases in the workplace is going to accelerate,” Dr David Gellis, AIOSH’s chief executive, said.
“So we’ve seen some of these problems come on quite quickly.”
Read moreThe research says high-level health and safety managers are “highly likely” to become the new bosses in the industry, and a raft of safety issues could arise, ranging from air pollution, food safety, and even the use of new technologies, such as autonomous cars, in the future.
It is a change from the current system, where a high-ranking executive has a responsibility to oversee the safe operation of an organisation, and that responsibility is usually carried out by a senior leader, according to Dr Gellas.
The new report warns that the most dangerous risks to workers are the “most overlooked” and the “new normal”.
The authors argue that the new ‘super bug’ and other new technologies will be key to reducing these risks, with the ability to ‘automate’ processes and increase efficiency.
This is the first time a new risk assessment has been published by the AIOSA, and it is expected to be the final piece of the puzzle in the next generation.
Dr Gell, who has worked with AIOS, said the new report showed there were significant risks in the current building safety system.
“There are a lot of issues that are going to be occurring in the building industry in 2019,” he said.
“We are looking at many different areas of risk.”
The most important issue is we don’t know when the next round of safety risks will be, but the challenge is there’s going to need to be a very high level of expertise, because the future is looking very different.
“There are several areas where the new system has been successful, Dr Gelis said.
He said a large proportion of building safety work was now done by automated processes.”
Automation is now a real part of our construction safety system,” he told ABC Radio.”
It’s not something that was new, but it is a major part of how we do our work.
“The report, entitled Building Safety in 2020: The New Paradigm, also includes recommendations for the next government, including increasing the funding of safety research and creating an independent board of review of building standards.
The recommendations also call for the establishment of a “build-to-work” service in Australia, and the construction industry is considering using the technology.
Topics:safety,workers,safety-education,safety,industry,industries,health,community-and-society,jobs,coronavirus-and/or-diseases-other,work,corona-2480,vic,australiaContact Tim CopleyMore stories from Victoria