Workplace Health and Safety Strategy
Mainzeal Property and Construction Ltd, Christchurch
Construction sites can be varied and present very unique sets of hazards. One example of this is the Benmore Dam in Canterbury where Mainzeal is working on the Inter Island high-voltage direct current upgrade project.
Martin Clements, Technical Services Manager, explains “the sheer isolation, the severe weather conditions and the ‘live’ nature of the site prompted the Mainzeal team to approach the project a little differently, with very specific health and safety facilities and processes.”
“Switch-yard inductions for new workers on site are vitally important, along with NZQA-rated courses in height and harness, and elevated working platforms,” Mr Clements says.
“Installed at the site is a fully equipped first aid room which includes a defibrillator and a height rescue kit with an expertly trained team in place if needed.”
The site next to Lake Benmore is typically cold in winter with very little sunlight, but extremely hot and arid in the summer.
“Workers exposed to the elements are monitored by a dedicated staff member. If a person is exhibiting signs of heat stress, their core temperature is taken and recorded. They will only return to site once deemed fit”.
Operations during temperatures above 32ºC see workers placed on a roster to allow 15 minute ‘cool off intervals’ and they are monitored during this time. Air conditioned areas, showers, water, sunscreen and electrolytes are constantly available to workers to help alleviate any effects of heat stress.
“The team has found it rains more than expected, so fire-proof wet weather gear is made available. And during winter months, workers are provided with natural fibre garments suitable for the extreme cold,” Mr Clements says.
“We have three environmental and safety stations we affectionately call dog boxes which offer assistance with the extreme temperatures, first aid and information.
“Material safety data sheets are inside each station to record hazardous materials and there is also a local hazard and environmental board which is updated daily.
“Yellow cards on site offer workers a system to easily report hazards and near misses. They are read out in regular pre-start meetings and actively resolved”.