Safety shouldn’t be Complicated

Safety (noun); the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.

Safety really should not be complicated. Sometimes taking all the safety precautions can end with injury and in some extreme cases, even death.

Some examples spring to mind…
20 years or so ago, my school friend was travelling from Durban to Pietermaritzburg with her father, and they had an accident. Emergency personnel could not free her from her safety belt, and she ended up being burnt to death.

In some other cases, some people might still be alive if they had their safety belts on, which would have stopped them getting ejected through the windscreen. Buckle up and maybe carry a knife on you just in case you need to free yourself.

Then there are a couple of cases where timber workers, felling trees, end up with the tree falling in the wrong direction, or maybe they were just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and got hit by it; instant death. Protective clothing and helmets did not help in these cases, but maybe if they had a better knowledge or were more aware of their position, they might still be alive.

Whilst you may have heard of these safety rules before, some do need repeating:

  • Stay alert and stay alive. The more awake you are, the less likely you will get hurt. I don’t know how many times I have driven on the N3 and seen trucks overturned. Rest when you feel tired. Rather get there alive, than in pieces.
  • Wear the correct clothing. Protective clothing should fit properly. Wear your protective helmet. You never know when an accident may occur. Be prepared.
  • Use the right tools. If you need a spanner, use it. Using incorrect equipment is just asking for trouble.
  • Don’t play pranks. Practical jokes can be dangerous, especially around heavy machinery.
  • Be tidy. This will reduce hazards. Always put your tools away when you are not using them and keep your floors clean and clutter-free. A slip or fall may just end up being a hospital call.
  • Do not take chances or shortcuts. Do it right, and do it safely. Short cuts are probably the biggest killer of all. To save a minute or two, you may lose a life.

If you follow all the safety precautions and still end up getting hurt, get first aid immediately. Neglect of an injury could lead to infection, loss of work time and in some cases, permanent injury.

Remember, your safety is your responsibility. If you are in doubt, contact your supervisor or manager for instruction, guidance, or training.

Safety is not complicated, but it is a choice. Choose wisely.

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About Melanie Miles

One girl who would rather wear boots than high heels...

How to Secure your Server like a Pro

posted in: General, Safety 0


In today’s fast-paced connected environment having a secure server is vital for your business’s needs, without addressing the security needs of your infrastructure you could run into devastating consequences down the line.

In this blog, I will list 5 security practices that can help your server stay secure.

1. Password Security: Use passwords with at least 8 characters, they should be complex including numbers, symbols and punctuation. You should use a variety of passwords for different accounts or roles.

2. Public Key Infrastructure and SSL/TLS Encryption: This refers to a system that is designed to create, manage and validate certificates for identifying individuals and encrypting communication. This can prevent man in the middle attacks where an attacker imitates a server in your infrastructure to intercept traffic.

3. Update your system frequently: Keeping your software up to date is the single biggest security precaution you can take for any operating system. Software updates range from critical vulnerability patches to minor bug fixes, and many software vulnerabilities are actually patched by the time they become public.

4. Configure a Firewall: Using a firewall to block unwanted traffic to your server provides a highly effective security layer. Be very specific about the type of traffic you allow in, only allow the traffic you need and deny everything else.

5. Web Application Security: You should scan your web applications regularly and have any custom code reviewed for security issues. Make sure to use coding frameworks with a good security history and secure web application admin areas with IP based restrictions. Specify permissions when creating files and limit file upload creation activities to specific directories.

Following these 5 tips will help you secure your server like a pro.

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About Barry West

I am a software developer.

Best Security Systems for an Office Building

posted in: Safety 0

Best Security Systems for an Office Building

When choosing the right type of security system for your business you need to, make an informed decision and, know as much as possible about the various security systems available. Here is a list of the most important types of commercial security systems in the market:


Fire alarms won’t detect intruders but they do prevent you from losing assets that could be costly to replace if a fire were to occur. You would also be protecting the lives of your employees if a fire were to break out during business hours. SANS 10400: Part T – Fire Protection states that in the event of a fire:

The occupants or people using the building will be protected – including persons with disabilities;
The spread and intensity of any fire within buildings, and the spread of fire to any other buildings will be minimized;
The generation and spread of smoke will be minimized or controlled to the greatest extent reasonably practicable; and
Adequate means of access, and equipment for detecting, fighting, controlling and extinguishing such fire, is provided.


Controlling who has access to specific areas of the building is a way you can keep track of any indiscretions. Access control systems have the ability to collect data that states the time a person has accessed the building. Also, anyone who isn’t granted access will not have a way of entering the premises. This may be achieved by using a biometric access control unit where validation based on biometric qualities like iris and facial recognition, and fingerprint scans.


The advantage of a wireless alarm system is that it can go undetected as there are no visible wires. Intruders won’t be able to cut wires to disable the alarm system, and they will never know that they are being watched. Wireless systems are more likely to include solar and battery to stay on without the need for electricity in case of a power failure. Wireless sensors are easy to install, move and expand.


Video surveillance systems protect the inside and outside of your business. This can be very helpful because you can capture video of the intruder before they step foot into your business. If the intruder manages to come in and take something, presenting this type of video footage will be very helpful to the police when creating a report. Your video surveillance system should offer:

Easy access from anywhere
Safe storage – cloud storage/offsite
Flexibility to grow as your company expands


We’re living in the digital age, so everything, including your security alarm system, can be accessible to you through your cell phone. 24/7 monitoring stations call the phone number you provide to the alarm company when the alarm goes off and you’ll get an alert through the app too. A panic button will send an instant signal to the monitoring station whereby emergency help will be dispatched. Worth noting is that most insurance companies offer substantial savings to clients who have monitored systems, which may negate the cost of annual monitoring. Your security company should offer the following:

Technical Assistance
Premises Monitoring
Armed Response and Escorting
Guarding and Security Consulting


Internet protocol cameras, or IP cameras, enable you to send and receive video footage through the internet and computer network. Improved ability for remote viewing and control, anyone on the network can potentially see video from any camera connected to the network. It is recommended that you use a camera with night vision capabilities. These cameras use an infrared spectrum of light at night and can view and record objects in the dark. Other advantages of this type of surveillance system are:

They record at a higher resolution. This means zooming in won’t create a blurry image.
They include motion detection and record any tampering with the camera.
You can use Power over Ethernet (PoE) to provide power to the cameras.
IP cameras are able to cover a better field of view.

All business sectors are affected in a range of ways by different types of crime. While it’s near impossible to eradicate theft entirely a comprehensive security solution is an effective way to minimise the impact.

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About Mark Meyer

I joined Leads 2 Business in February 2009 and serve as IT Director.

Demolition Techniques

Demolition Techniques
You may assume demolition is simply blowing things up. Some involve explosions but it is however way more technical than that. There are various demolition techniques that are considered as ‘demolition’.


It must be noted that before any demolition takes place the following practices need to be completed according to The Constructor

1. Surveying
2. Removal of hazardous materials
3. Preparation of plan
4. Safety measures


Taking the above into account the following (according to Civil Engineering News) are selected.

1. Non Engineering Demolition also known as Manual.

a) Refering to tools such as Sledge Hammers, Jack Hammers and Drillers which are used by workers.

Jackhammer - Demolition Techniques.jpg
Jackhammer Technique















2. Engineering Demolition which is split into 3 categories.

a) Mechanical Method:

Wrecking Ball (think Miley Cyrus but without the theatrics)

Pusher Arm technique (a specialised hydraulic arm used for smaller buildings)

Thermic Lance Technique (using flaming temperatures of 2500 0C to melt reinforcement)

Non-Explosive (drilling and filling with expanding slurry)

Concrete Sawing

Deliberate Collapse (significant structural items are removed)

Pressure Jetting (thanks to H20)


b) Implosion: Inward disintegration using explosives

c) Deconstruction: Non-structural and structural

Wrecking Ball - Demolition Techniques.jpg
Wrecking Ball Technique















Demolition encompasses many techniques and is often used in conjunction with new construction or renovation.

In conclusion, I’ll take inspiration from Rumi, ‘In this life many demolitions are actually renovations.’


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward

L2B Blog: History of Hard Hats

.History of Hard Hats

History of Hard Hats

Hard Hats; a common symbol of the Construction Industry, but have you ever stopped to wonder about the History behind this safety accessory?


According to Prescot Valley Tribune, “The Hard Hat originated with Edward Bullard, a WWI veteran. He brought a steel helmet home after the war. This metal headgear was the inspiration to revolutionize industrial safety. Bullard’s father worked in the industrial safety business for 20 years and sold protective hats, but they were made of leather.

Construction of the Hoover Dam, which began in 1931 was the first project in which construction workers were required to wear Hard Hats. Later, in 1933, the construction site of the Golden Gate Bridge became America’s first “Hard Hat Area”.”

The first Hard Hats were made from:

  • Leather
  • Canvas
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Fibreglass
  • Plastic
  • and finally today’s High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE).

The function of the Hard Hat is pretty obvious. If worn and fitted correctly it provides limited safety from shock, perforation, fire, water and heat.

Hard Hats also provide a form of identification.

A wearer can use colour coded Hard Hats to differentiate between job titles/responsibilities:

  • White – Managers, Engineers, Supervisors/Foremen
  • Blue – Electricians, Carpenters and other technical operators (besides civil workers)
  • Green – Safety Officers
  • Red – Fire Fighters
  • Yellow – Labourers
  • Brown – Welders and workers with high heat application
  • Grey – Site Visitors

These colour codes are general and could change according to the Project.

Over time Hard Hats, like most things also need replacing. As a wearer, you should inspect your Hard Hats before each use.  Your support strap should also be replaced annually and the entire hat every five years. Hard Hats may also allow for the attachment of safety accessories; most noteworthy are face shields, respirators, hearing protection and work lamps.


Today’s Hard Hat hasn’t changed much since the 1960’s and has become a staple of safety, but they may be getting an upgrade in the future.

According to Sourceable, “In Australia, RMIT has developed a system whereby sensors can be embedded onto safety glasses, helmets or boots and can monitor and inform workers of impending danger…”
Sounds really interesting, after all, technology is a part of our every day lives and why not safety too.
Industry leaders can achieve much by ‘upgrading’ the Hard Hat. For example, by monitoring and assessing stats you can take precautions; not only in the present but also in the future through behavior analysis. But this may also present issues; like how much monitoring is too much when it comes to privacy and tracking? What are your thoughts?

In conclusion, the future sure looks safe when it comes to Hard Hats. The History of Hard Hats was certainly an interesting topic to research and blog.


Do you have any Hard Hat stories or facts you’d like to share? Or do you frequently use one?



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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward

Potholes and Pitfalls in civil engineering contracts

Potholes and Pitfalls in civil engineering contracts

Potholes… an infrastructure issue that deserves a whole blog to itself! How often during your travels (be it your annual drive down to your favourite holiday spot, or your daily route to work) do you face the inconvenience of roadworks? I think all of us experience this from time to time. It goes on for months, sometimes even years. Finally, the works are completed and we breathe a sigh of relief. No more queues of traffic or uneven road surfaces, no more narrowing down to one lane. Phew! At last. A few weeks down the line…. a POTHOLE!!?? The blame gets shifted around quite a bit between all the parties involved in the contract, but where does the problem really lie?


I must admit. This blog title planted a new “anxiety seed” in my brain, and I found myself trying to put on a civil engineer’s shoes (figuratively, not literally).
I follow the progress of numerous infrastructure projects (but not pothole repairs!) in the department that I work in – the Projects Department. Or more affectionately known as the PP office. A few months (usually about 3 months) after a Tender is advertised for a civil engineering contract, we follow up with the relevant contacts in order to obtain the awarded civil engineering company’s details. We then contact the civil engineer and follow the design process, then the tender and construction progress, until the Project is complete. We do not delve too deep into the issues that may be presented during or after the life-cycle of the project, however, we do try to ascertain if or how those problems will affect the time frame of the development.


During my research for this topic, and on more than one occasion, education and training seemed to be a major area of concern when looking at civil engineers in the public sector. South Africa’s public sector appears to have very few professionally registered civil engineers and some of the engineers are placed in positions without possessing the required skills and experience. This could lead to errors in proposals when tendering for contracts and can have serious consequences.


Numerous failed infrastructure projects throughout South African history must surely be making things a bit more difficult for companies to win civil contracts. I would imagine that quality standards have been raised in order to improve public health and safety. These standards would hopefully be imposed on both engineering and construction firms, as both (among other professionals) are just as important in the quality of the completed project.


One example of a failed project is the collapse of the P166 bridge over the N4 in Mpumalanga in 2009. The beams collapsed and blame was shifted between a speeding truck which caused vibrations while travelling under the bridge, to vibrations caused by jackhammers and manufacturing errors. Another concern was the amount paid for the beams – it was substantially lower in comparison to what other engineers said the beams would usually cost. Sub-standard materials constitute a huge issue and can end in disaster.


The Foreshore Freeway Bridge in Cape Town is a well-known incomplete road structure. The bridge was designed in the 60s, and in the early 70s construction commenced. Construction was halted in 1977, apparently due to a lack of funding. However, rumour has it that there was an error in calculations during the design phase and that the two ends of the bridge would fail to meet!

By Flickr user Paul Mannix –, CC by 2.0,


Perhaps one of the most spectacular bridge collapses in the world was that of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (also nicknamed Galloping Gertie) in the USA, over 76 years ago due to strong winds. The design of the suspension bridge did not allow wind to pass through the sides, causing the bridge to sway and eventually collapse. It only stood for about 4 months after completion before disaster struck. Lessons have been learned and the way in which future suspension bridges are designed, have changed. The parts of the bridge that plunged into Puget Sound have formed a man-made reef, which is protected by the National Register of Historic Places. Click here to see the video, and to see where the bridge got its nickname.

By Barney Elliott; The Camera Shop – Screenshot taken from 16MM Kodachrome motion picture film by Barney Elliott, Fair use,


Project failures, such as the ones I have mentioned above, can cast a dark shadow over the industry – an industry which is partly responsible for ensuring that our country’s infrastructure withstands time, utilising taxpayer’s money in a responsible manner. It is critical that we recognise the importance of skilled civil engineers and that employees of the profession look to improve their skills if given the opportunity.


Don’t get me wrong, we have some excellent civil engineering structures on our continent. The Maputo / Catembe Bridge, a 680m suspension bridge standing 60m over the water between Maputo and Catembe, is just one example to prove that:



About Bianca Warwick

I had the privilege of joining the Leads 2 Business content team in January 2012. I work in the exciting Projects department, following the progress of construction developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State.

Safety in the office

posted in: Safety 0


Leads 2 Business : office safety


‘It’s all fun and games, until someone looses an eye”


A hackneyed expression to be sure, but true. Nobody likes to think how something can go wrong; how people can be hurt in a situation; never mind plan against it. Where’s the fun in that? But even fewer people like dealing with these types of situations when they do occur. They are stressful at least and scary at worst. People’s health and safety is paramount when it comes down to it.


Extreme working environments tend to get the most buzz, when it comes to health and safety. Work environments where large machinery is used or people are working at heights or great depths or working with chemicals and extreme temperatures. Work environments that hiss and clang and are impressive to all of the senses. The average general office doesn’t usually spring to mind. However, the office cannot be left out. They say that the most accidents happen in the home or the most car accidents happen very close to home. Why? I think it’s because people let their guard down. They relax. Accidents happen, when we aren’t paying attention. Now I’m not an advocate for going around constantly wearing a hard hat doing risk assessment on the go. Come on. That isn’t realistic. But treating life like it isn’t going to happen to you; is a recipe for disaster.


Health and Safety in South Africa is legislated under the Health and Safety Act and basically tasks employers with ensuring the safety of their employees; and employees with the active prevention and reporting of potential dangerous situations. Offices must have sufficient fire exits in case of emergency evacuations. There must be a designated meeting area outside, to do a head count and ensure that everyone got out of the building. The office has fire extinguishers, that are regularly checked and maintained. The staff should know how to use them. Something about “pulling a tab, spraying and holding on”. There are staff that have basic first aid training, and a first aid box to deal with minor accidents. There’s security services; alarm systems, panic buttons and physical security guards. Employees have the responsibility to not only look out for themselves but also their colleagues and their employer as a whole. An employee will notice a problem (for example a shorting wall plug) before the employer and they must report it. Reporting faulty equipment as well as wiring and plumbing is essential in ensuring a safe working environment. The prompt and correct fixing of said problems is even more important. Employees must be vigilant with their own safety, as this ensures the safety of others. External doors must be closed at all times, preventing unknown persons from entering the premises. Those that smoke must make sure that their cigarette butts are completely extinguished to prevent any unnecessary and dangerous fires. Spills of any sort have to be mopped up to prevent slips and falls. If any glass gets broken, this must be swept up immediately. The correct and responsible use of equipment is paramount at all times, especially kitchen equipment. Anything that produces boiling water or scalding steam must be shown the due respect. No one wants to have to deal with blistered hands or worse. The new coffee machine sounds like ye ol’ steam locomotive when it gets going. The amount of pressurised steam in that thing, is quite unnerving. (They’ve been known to explode, you know that right?) There’s a level of common sense required when dealing with people’s safety. Common sense sometimes goes walkabout, and one silly decision can have far reaching consequences. I tend to refer to it as “The Stupid”. It’s a moment in time where a choice is made. “The Stupid” chooses short quick fixes over the time consuming, safer and ultimately smarter choice. “The Stupid” won’t have to worry about where the first aid kit is or how the fire extinguisher works, because it will inevitability be someone else who will have that responsibility, as “The Stupid” will be unconscious or on fire at that point.


People can be hurt or dead in a blink of an eye. The weird and varied ways people can be hurt or killed, is staggering and frankly, terrifying. No one can live their lives wrapped in bubble wrap, but showing a complete disregard for the safety of themselves and others is the ultimate in disrespect. You can’t go back. None of us can. We can control only so much, and that little we can control can go a long way in ensuring a safe and supportive work environment.

About Claire Donaldson

I started working at Leads 2 Business in February 2005, and have served as Head of Department of Daily Tenders from 2007 until the present. I oversee both the Daily Tenders South Africa and Africa Departments.

General Safety in South Africa

Leads 2 Business : Safety

Crime in South Africa, like many other places in today’s world, can be a problem. Despite some negative perceptions about crime in South Africa, it’s generally safe & friendly, all you need to do is take sensible precautions & follow some general rules in order to stay safe.


Personal Safety Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid unfamiliar areas & walking alone
  • Avoid wearing/displaying valuables & large amounts of money
  • Take ATM Safety precautions
  • If you travel inform someone of your destination
  • Ensure that you know relevant emergency numbers
  • In a robbery situation, remain calm & do not resist
  • Take a self defense course
  • Don’t leave animals in the car
  • Trust your instincts at all times


Home Safety

  • Fencing & Gates
  • Alarm, CCTV & Intercom Systems
  • Dogs
  • Security Lighting
  • Ensure gates are locked at all times & keys/access devices are in a designated area


Vehicle Safety

  • Keep doors locked & windows closed
  • Do not leave valuables locked in the car
  • Park in well-lit places
  • If something seems suspicious, rather drive away
  • Vary the routes that you take & do not give strangers a lift
  • Ensure you have sufficient petrol
  • If you are in a road accident, drive to the nearest police station
  • Have your keys ready before approaching your vehicle
  • If you feel you are being followed, rather drive to the nearest police station


Safety Tips Unique to SA:

  • Look out for potholes
  • Beware of animals on the road & other native creepies and crawlies
  • Swimming in rivers can be dangerous due to hippos, crocodiles & bull sharks
  • Take Malaria precautions (repellents, nets)
  • Take Tick precautions (to prevent tick-bite fever)
  • Avoid drinking water from Rivers (Bilharzia & Cholera)
  • Sun protection (even on a cloudy day)
  • Beware of Remote Jamming
  • Beware of Taxi’s while driving/ walking
  • Keep updated on Load-shedding Schedules & take pro-active measures


Although it seems like you’ve just been handed a mountain of Safety Tips they are not there to prevent you from enjoying life. Keep them in mind & make them part of your daily routine & they will become effective habits before you know it.

Think of it like Dr George Cui, “Safety First, Then Healthy, then Happy, then Wealthy.”


P.S. Please add your Safety Tips in the comments section below.


Further Reading:





About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life. Remember: If You Fail - Fail Forward

Intellectual Health

Leads 2 Business : Intellectual health




Intellect…. now this is something I thought evaded me my whole school going life, or did I just do a really good job avoiding it?…..Hmmmm, I was more of a social butterfly you see, but lucky for me not all is lost because it turns out you can be both!

It’s a good thing because planning my social life from Monday to Friday and recovering from it from Sunday to Tuesday may have made me a fun friend to be around at school, but it sure wouldn’t pay the bills now that I work!

I would like to think I now have a fine but workable balance between the two 🙂


I’ve come to realise I was never “stupid” I was just never pushed or motivated.

This didn’t hamper me though thankfully, yes it may have taken me longer than some, but I got there!

I developed the need to be & do better and that turned into the need to be the best (Status of Mission: currently still striving for!), now sure, this unfortunately only occurred to me once I was firmly out of school and coincidently working for the company I’m currently working for….

Is that really coincidental? I think not!


Answer yourself this question, have you ever enjoyed learning anything whereby the person teaching you was someone you really didn’t like??? The answer is NEVER!!!


So would I be wrong in saying that in order to improve your intellectual health you need to find yourself in an environment whereby you are motivated, encouraged and ultimately rewarded?

So whether it be at school, college, your work place or even in your day to day life, FIND THIS!!!

Take my word for this, It will make a world of difference in your life :).


The wonderful thing about humans, is that we never stop learning or teaching, I mean, just last week I was at work, in our canteen and was disturbed by the smell of burning toast, turns out it wasn’t the toast burning but rather the crumbs within the toaster, so, I simply pulled out the bottom tray of the toaster and emptied out all the crumbs… needless to say this left some of my colleagues speechless!!

Seriously! Are there people out there that didn’t know about this tray????


Well, before I get carried away, I had my own little “learning” experience around the same time….

First let me ask, there has to, has to be other people out there that didn’t know this? Please!

I have to believe I’m not the only one!

So…. I have NEVER used the word “utmost” in my life, I always thought the phrase was “up most” (which I secretly still think makes more sense), but anyhoo, who am I to judge the Oxford Dictionary!


Now I suppose you are waiting for me to bestow upon you some practical ways in which you can improve your intellectual health, so here it goes!


  • First and for most, place yourself in a place that inspires you to learn.


  • Physical Exercise – Get the blood pumping, this is not only for your muscles but for your brain.
  • Minimizing Stress – take “you time”, put your phones, tablets, friends and family on silent for a bit, breath, relax and when you do sleep make sure it is uninterrupted.
  • Healthy Eating – Include in your diet Essential fatty acids, these build the insulation of the neurons in the brain – FACT!
  • Cut out foods with a high glycaemic index like sweets, most breads and a whole list of other stuff.
  • Mental Exercise: The brain is a muscle so exercise it, do a puzzle, download one of many brain games available for computers and for smart devices, do a crossword, Sudoku, discuss topics of real substance – not the latest celebrity pregnancy.

I also thought before I go, I would like to touch on another health issue that I think is equally as important and that’s emotional health, because lets face it, if your head is not in a good place, nothing else matters, your ability to see past your emotional problems mess with your ability to learn and ultimately puts a hold on your personal growth.

I recently found myself having to reassess what is important to hold on to and what I need to let go of, and which of these cloud judgement and stunt “awesomeness”!
My findings – well lets just say that anger, resentment, judgement, grudges and gossip have to go!

Its a process, but some people find it easier than others not to hold on to these things, and I’m fortunate to be one of these people. 🙂

So, go do some unpacking and reshuffling of the soul and see how revitalised you feel, this will unclutter your brain and you will think clearer, then once that has happened, CHALLENGE your brain, and CHALLENGE it some more!!


Albert Einstein wrote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
So find your place and find your purpose;)

About Sherina Shawe

"You have to do everything you can, you have to work your hardest, and if you do, if you stay positive, you have a shot at a silver lining." from: Silver Linings Playbook.

Leads 2 Business : Construction Safety

Safety in Construction

posted in: Safety 0



Construction is a dangerous, high hazard industry that includes a wide range of activities involving construction, alterations, repairs, additions, building and renovations. These also include residential construction, bridges, roadway paving, excavations and demolitions. Yep, and blasting with explosives, working with huge machinery and dangerous electrical equipment.

Construction safety is very important to prevent fatal and non-fatal injuries as well as many other different illnesses. Workers in the construction sector have greater exposure to biological, chemical and ergonomic risk factors as well as noise and extreme temperatures. It is also one of the most physically demanding sectors.

Serious potential hazards are:

– Falling from heights / rooftops
– Unguarded machinery
– Being struck by heavy construction equipment
– Scaffold collapse
– Electric shock
– Trench collapse
– Failure to use proper protection
– Repetitive motion injuries
– Silica dust and asbestos

Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across South Africa on any given day.

Things to look out for regarding your personal safety:

* aerial lifts (take the stairs, although those are hazardous for me as I keep tripping down them!)
* arc welding
* electrical and fire hazards
* bio-hazard safety (I am always spilling stuff!)
* boom collapsing (one has collapsed on my head in a parking area!)
* carbon monoxide poisoning
* carpal tunnel syndrome
* electric cord safety (don’t ever want to be shocked in that way!)
* falling objects (wear your helmet)
* eye protection (not just a fashion statement!)
* ladders (not just for the superstitious, these can really be dangerous!)
* protective clothing such as helmets, gloves, shoes, etc
* nail guns (ouch….hurts just to say it).
* power lines (not something you want to drill into, could be a shocking experience)
* power saws (turning an ordinary day into something from a scary movie)
* roof collapse
* trench safety (you don’t want to dig your own grave)

Safety Tips:

1. Use the proper tool for the designated task.
2. Frequent use of inadequate or poorly designed equipment will eventually lead to health hazards, for example tendinitis, trigger finger, white finger, carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Protect your ears and eyes from intense noises and vibrations; opt for power tools with lower vibrations, muffled noises, and longer trigger tools.
4. Maintain good posture and balance the tools in correct alignment to your body at all times.
5. Always be aware of your surroundings. Look out for overhead lines, obstructions, low clearances, underground utilities, and other such obstacles that could prove to be a nuisance or a lethal hazard.
6. Know, understand, and follow your work space’s comprehensive safety program issued for that specific workspace, job position, and / or task at hand.
7. Don’t use damaged tools – examine each one before its use to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Maintain tools in good, clean working order
8. Never use a damaged or in any way weakened scaffold and don’t use in bad weather especially if covered with snow or ice
9. Don’t leave materials or debris abandoned or blocking exits
10. Keep tools in your belt to keep your hands free while climbing and descending.
11. Never touch a chemical spill
12. Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes respective to your job.
13. Fire extinguishers and First Aid kits must be available and readily attainable.
14. Never remove or tamper with safety devices.
15. A hard hat will protect you if there’s a risk of falling objects, as well steel-toed boots.
16. Wear gloves if you’re handling sharp objects or toxic substances.
17. Wear goggles if your work poses a hazard to your eyes.
18. Wear safety harnesses if you’re working from an elevated location and there’s the risk of falling. (If you are anything like me, you can trip and fall over literally anything. So having a guardrail or something to grab onto is really a life saver).
19. Wear a breathing mask at all times, especially if you deal with dangerous or toxic chemicals or fumes or there is poor ventilation or your workspace has debris, dust, and other flying particles.

20. Equipment onsite should have lights and reflectors. Especially when working at night, this is to see and to be seen.


All employees should be trained to understand the proper way of identifying possible hazards and understanding on how to avoid dangerous situations. They also need to be made aware of the correct procedures to follow should something happen.
The contractor is responsible for providing a safe work environment for employees and pedestrians.

Although the construction industry is dangerous, construction conditions have improved over the years. As technology increases, so do the safety and working conditions.

Knowledge is power and in this case, without knowledge that power could kill you 😉 Rather be safe than sorry and watch where you are walking 🙂\

About Michelle Crosby

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects Department in 2014 and was recently promoted to Projects HOD this year.