This August marks National Tradie Health Month, an initiative that aims to shine a light on the importance of Tradie health and safety. Its value is further emphasised by recent statistics, which show that 3 out of 5 workplace injuries involve a Tradie despite making up only 35% of the workforce.
At Programmed, personal safety leadership is one our core values. We believe all injuries are preventable, and encourage all employees to be mindful of their actions and surroundings.
One perfect example of our workforce displaying personal safety leadership involves our Tomago, NSW team who were given a high-risk project in June. They were tasked with replacing a tower cone at a customer’s fume treatment centre, including fabricating and installing the new cone, while also removing the old one.
Despite how simple this initially sounded, carrying out this project came with many inherent safety risks, including:
- Working at heights.
- Working around cranes and suspended / transferred loads.
- Working around pitch fumes, which meant that full breathing apparatuses were required.
- Using a thermal lance. This heavy-duty tool generates very high temperatures (reaching over 3,000°C) to cut through almost any material, meaning proper PPE is essential.
- Using Huck Bolt Guns.
Brendan McKew, the Day Shift Supervisor of the project, said that “Our team viewed every problem as an opportunity to succeed. A collaboration of ideas and solutions is what made this job successful and safe.”
To ensure safety remained a priority, our team enforced several measures. For example, making sure everyone used proper PPE and had access to Gotcha Kits (which are used to rescue people working at heights, if ever needed). They also made sure that everyone actively participated in daily Toolbox Talks, where topics such as site safety and fatigue management were discussed.
Once the project was completed, the team received excellent feedback from the customer. They were commended for delivering such a high-risk project both on time and safely.
Brendan McKew was nominated for a health and safety award by the customer’s HSE Manager after a safety audit was carried out. Matthew Hutchinson, the Night Shift Supervisor, also received special mention for his professional manner and safe approach which contributed to the overall fantastic outcome.
When asked about the project’s key success factor, Brendan McKew highlighted the strong teamwork everyone displayed.
“The guys worked really well together, which made handover between the day crew and night crew seamless. Their investment in the job was obvious”, said Brendan. “It was like mates looking after mates.”
Well done to the Tomago team for their great work!
National Tradie Health Month is a fantastic reminder of the importance of Tradie health and safety – whether mental or physical. To read more about this fantastic initiative, click here.