Around three in four construction firms throughout Australia are struggling to manage their compliance burden in respect of new safety regulations, the latest data shows.

Releasing the results of their latest survey of 167 small, medium and large construction contractors conducted during September and October by ACA Research, construction project management software provider Procore said that keeping up to date was the most important part of managing quality and safety compliance.

All up, 74 percent of those surveyed cited this as barrier to managing their work, health and safety obligations.

This was followed by capturing the necessary data consistently (73%); reporting (71%); designing ISO-compliant processes (71%); and building a compliant folder structure (71%) as the most complex aspects of complying with ISO Standards.

Not surprisingly, the survey found that 64 percent of respondents are not yet accredited to the globally accepted quality management standard ISO9001:2015 when it comes to safety practices.

Moreover, only 31 percent of those surveyed are accredited to the OFSC COVID-19 accreditation for Commonwealth Government funded construction projects.

This is despite this area not surprisingly becoming a significant focus in 2020.

Moreover, the survey pointed to the importance of data management in creating safer jobsite.

Across all survey respondents:

  • 3 in 5 businesses (60 percent) agree that effective use of data is critical in creating safer jobsites.
  • 3 in 5 businesses (60 percent) believe there is little value in collecting safety data unless it can be brought together on one platform and effectively used to create safer environments.
  • 7 in 10 medium businesses (10-99 employees) say they would change software providers if they could more effectively integrate their data across different systems.
  • 58 percent of large businesses (100+ employees) have improved data capture processes during the past six months.

The latest results come as Procore Safety Essentials, a new  content-as-a-service offering designed to help ANZ construction companies streamline safety procedures and to help them to in align with the ISO9001/ISO45001/ISO14001 standards, as well as guidelines from the Australian Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) pertaining to COVID-19.

The data also comes as safety outcomes throughout the construction sector in Australia and across Australian worksites in general appear to have declined after several years of improvement.

The latest data by Safe Work Australia indicates that the number of both injuries and fatalities increased both in construction specifically and across Australian work sites generally in 2019.

The importance of safety has been further reinforced by the tragic death of 23-year-old apprentices Jonnie Hartshorn at a Curtain University site last week after a roof on which he was working collapsed.

Tom Karemacher, Vice President APAC at Procore Technologies, says the importance of technology and data in effective safety management should not be underestimated.=

“2020 has underscored the importance of ensuring the health of construction workers and having the necessary digital tools to manage changing onsite quality and safety regulations.

“Our customers consistently tell us that data management and compliance are the two most imperative and complex aspects of managing and driving better quality and safety outcomes across their projects.”


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