Steps Towards Better Building Practices

30th January 2022

Millions of dollars are spent on rectifying building defects in completed structures. Although the government is pushing for reform and steps towards ensuring more safety and quality in builds, there is always room for improvement. From improving building contracts to crane hire in Brisbane, learn how the Australian construction industry is enforcing the highest standards and improving quality across the board.

Building Quality Standards

Where building defects do arise, they are usually to do with watertightness and fire protection. More major building defects include cracking in the main building structure or even in the foundations. The Australian construction industry is taking steps to reduce the incidence of defects in building quality, in two key areas: Building materials and bonds on contracts.

Building Materials

Low-quality inputs can produce nothing more than low-quality outputs. Steps to improve the quality of building materials include only sourcing from factories or countries with adequate manufacturing standards. This means paying more up-front for high-quality materials, to avoid factories that cut too many corners.

Bonds on Contracts

Security bonds on construction contracts are held to guarantee the quality of the construction, and are released after a designed period of time has passed. The longer the security bonds are held for, the more impetus this drives for the builder to deliver high building quality in the first place. While warranties, insurance and legislation exist separately to protect the construction, security bonds should also be used as a tool to ensure building quality.

Workplace Safety Standards

Australian construction companies are always actively working to develop their safety culture. Developing a culture for robust workplace safety is a long process. It must be implemented from the top-down as well as supported at every level of the company, and any sign of being lip service can cut down years of work.

Make Safety a Priority

“Safety first” is more than just a truism; workplace safety should be prioritised above project budgets and deadlines. Beyond the human element of why safety should be put first, a bottom-line argument is that accidents themselves wreak havoc for project schedules and cost estimates. It’s best for your workers and bottom line to prioritise safety. Make sure that every member of the crew is involved in creating the safety culture, and that it is not solely the responsibility of designated safety professionals or project managers.

Have Ongoing Trainings

Put your money where your mouth is, and make sure that your employees undergo rigorous trainings in workplace safety. After all, there is no workplace safety other than what your workers know and implement. Trainings shouldn’t be an easily forgettable one-off training, but need to be a programme of ongoing training.

Have Ongoing Audits

Similarly, safety audits need to be undertaken on an ongoing basis. Your construction company should have dedicated safety professionals, or a team of workers who have workplace safety as part of their jobs. The safety audits need to review the safety protocols for each project and adapt to the unique challenges of each construction project.

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