National Safe Work Month – construction site safety management

October is National Safe Work Month, a Safe Work Australia initiative that aims to promote a positive safety culture and to emphasise the importance of preventing accidents and incidents from happening – creating safer, more productive working environments for everyone.

Just like in our hospitals, safety on a construction site is a key priority, and maintaining a safe workplace is vital to protecting workers, protecting the public, and keeping the project running to schedule. We had a chance to learn more about the life of a construction safety manager through our quick chat with John Holland Group’s Elysia Rangi, who is responsible for maintaining safety on the SCH1/MCCCC site.

What is your role on site?
As a safety manager in construction, my role entails ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees, contractors and visitors on our site. My role is to also influence positive behaviours on site. It’s important to create an environment where safety is seen as everyone’s responsibility and is integrated into daily work practices.

What does a day in the life of a safety manager look like?
Any given day can vary, depending on the specific tasks and stage of the project.
Some of my main responsibilities include:

  • Developing and implementing safety policies, procedures, and initiatives
  • Planning and prioritising relevant to the stage of the project
  • Site inspection
  • Training and education
  • Documentation and record-keeping
  • Meetings and collaboration
  • Incident investigation
  • Compliance and regulation
  • Communications and reporting
  • Professional development
I’m currently assisting with the Culture in Construction Taskforce pilot program on the project. The Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT) was established to help secure the long-term sustainability of the sector, through the development of a Culture Standard, to be incorporated in procurement processes, that will lead to positive culture change throughout the construction supply chain.

The new Culture Standard will lift the productivity and performance of construction and address the major issues holding back our industry – excessive work hours and fatigue, poor mental health, and failure to attract a diverse workforce.

What excites you most about the SCH1/MCCCC project?
Being able to work with a diverse team of professionals (internally and externally) to collaborate and work together towards a common goal can be exciting.
But the main factor for me is building this hospital will make a significant impact on the community by providing essential healthcare services. There really are no words to describe how rewarding it is to know that this project will have such a lasting impact on the community.