Big cash boost to prevent injuries in the construction industry
Following the launch of the icare Foundation’s Injury Prevention in Construction (IPIC) fund, a $3 million funding pool is available to individuals, organisations and consortia with ideas to prevent injuries in the construction industry.
“Injury prevention is fundamental to icare’s DNA. The more claims we can prevent, the better,” says icare Foundation general manager Barney Smith.
“Construction sites are innately high-risk work environments. From the nature of the work, such as operating machinery, contact with electricity and working at heights, to the complexity of having multiple contractors on site at once – these are complex, industry-specific challenges that we need to address.”
The IPIC fund aims to address these challenges at three levels: individual risk taking and other behaviours, supervision and site safety culture, and industry-wide approaches that permeate through organisations down to the individual worker.
“The social impact of a workplace accident has a ripple effect beyond the injured worker, to her or his family, workmates and the business itself. We are hoping this fund can contribute towards reducing the human toll and social cost of serious injuries,” says Barney.
According to icare 2017-18 claims data, 45 per cent of injury claims in the construction industry came from young workers, aged 19 to 32.
“Significant injuries early in a person’s career can not only lead to loss of current earnings, but also a reduction in future earning potential and their productive capacity. We’re really trying to address the root causes of unsafe behaviours and accidents, so we can reduce the number of injuries we’re seeing among our young workers,” says Barney.
“We aim to foster changes across the industry through innovative, scalable ideas.”
“We’re looking outside the square – beyond the construction industry – calling on innovators, behavioural specialists, tech developers, research institutes, peak bodies and industry leaders to partner one another, and bring their diversity of knowledge and ideas together to address injury prevention,” says Barney.
Expressions of interest are open until 23 August 2019. Interested parties should explain their idea and how it will address the problem in 250 words or less and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.icare.nsw.gov.au/ipicfund/.