Putting Safety First: Why Your Company Should Prioritise Safety When Hiring Labour

Whether you're outsourcing labour for rigging, supervising or any other position around the yard, it can be complicated to ensure you're getting the best possible workers.  Just like in any other industry, experienced and focused operators are worth several entry-level ones.  But when your hires are temporary, especially if you're going through a third party to source your workers, how is it possible to screen for this and get the best for your money?  After all, chances are that you have limited time on your hands; it's not feasible to rigorously interview every single potential employee yourself.  Well, one way is to prioritise safety.


If you need to be quick, there are only two things you absolutely need to know to establish a high-quality worker.  First, how long have they been working in the industry?  Second, what is their safety record like in the context of that length of time?  If the candidate has a completely clear safety record after 20 years of employment with heavy machinery, then you'll know you're onto a winner.  Besides, this doesn't just imply efficiency — it also means that you're unlikely to have difficulty with downtime and insurance issues where this employee is concerned.

How Do I Check?

If you ask your candidates directly, they'll probably all tell you that they prioritise safety in the workplace.  As such, if your company is interviewing individual candidates, make sure every one of them is asked about safety in an indirect way.  Ask them to describe the process of rigging up a crane in detail, and see if they mention safety procedures.  If they don't, you'll know that it isn't one of their priorities — no matter what they might tell you.  If you're hiring through a third party, you should complete this check before you select a company to hire for you.  Ask them for their safety figures.  If they can't tell you how long it's been since they had a major incident, or how many they've had over a period of time, then walk away and find another labour provider.

Working with a company that offers rigger hire, for example, that has been in business longer will also likely help you find more experienced workers.

What Next?

If you've emphasised safety during the hiring process, you should make sure this extends out to the rest of your company culture too.  Taking care to hire safety-first employees won't help you in the long run if you don't support that hiring process with regular toolbox talks, safety-focused visuals around the site, and reminders from supervisors and management.

If you ensure you're hiring safe workers, then you'll know you're hiring good workers.  Of course, you can always educate other hires about safety — but it's much better to start off with an employee who already values safety procedures and understands why they're important.  Prioritising this at the interview stage will help you ascertain that.

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Demolishing the dunny

We've had an outdoor dunny building at the corner of our block, which was there from before the time that this area was even connected to the sewer. We've been battling the council to get it knocked down for years, and they've finally agreed it can go. It's actually a much bigger job than I realised, as we have to get in some heavy construction equipment to excavate the old septic tank. I thought keeping a track of what was involved in the project and what equipment you need might be useful for other home owners looking to knock down their old dunnies.