Klas Älverbrandt, Site Manager at Fristad Bygg, has worked within the construction industry for many years. Nowadays workplace safety is a big part of his responsibilities. He believes that many work-related accidents at building- and construction sites in Sweden could easily have been avoided with the right knowledge.
The construction company Fristad Bygg, with its main office in the small town of Fristad outside Borås, has many successful construction projects in their portfolio. They work with both constructions and renovations within residential housing, commercial real estate, schools, health care and cultural buildings. Klas Älverbrandt is site manager at the company and works daily with workplace safety.
– As a site manager, I have the ultimate responsibility for the safety at the site, and at Fristad Bygg safety always has the highest priority. Many unnecessary accidents happen at building- and construction sites in Sweden that easily could have been avoided with education and the right knowledge, says Klas Älverbrandt.
When it comes to safety, Fristad Bygg work with the fundamental requirements like helmet with hearing protection and safety shoes. This is complemented with eye protection, clothing and gloves for work requiring additional personal safety equipment. For work high above ground (2 meters and higher) fall protection equipment is a priority, like securing individual tools from falling and collective protection such as railings.
– Tool fall protection is something we see as very important and we are in the process of implementing it further to make it a natural and obvious part of all work that is done high above ground. The consequences of dropping a hammer can be devastating. Someone below can get seriously hurt. This is a common risk since we often work in buildings that has several floors. An even more common risk is that a dropped tool can damage material and already finished constructions below.
At Fristad Bygg they have both a Senior Safety Representative as well as Local Safety Representative on the different building- and construction sites. They make regular inspections of the sites and the employees to make sure all regulations are being followed.
– Safety Representative are entitled to shut down the workplace should we not live up to the rules and regulations. For me, it is important that safety equipment is easily accessible. Equally important is to ensure the right level of competence among our employees and that we regularly practice how to use and work with the safety equipment, says Klas Älverbrandt.
For work on scaffolding and other risky jobs it is a requirement for our employees to take a safety course. To raise the safety level further Fristad Bygg are continuously working on establishing and maintaining a strong safety culture in the workplace.
– It can be simple things like reminding each other to bring their safety equipment. We also plan our work in a way that safety is prioritized. This must be an natural part of the everyday work within the construction industry, says Klas Älverbrandt.
Fristad Bygg often work in multi-storey buildings. Therefore, it is important for the workers to be aware of the risks. However, there have been situations when the safety protocol has not been followed properly.
– I remember when I once dropped a tool that damaged a tile floor. It was both expensive and took us several hours to fix. It’s not one of my proudest moments as a Site Manager and it could easily have been avoided had I only secured the tool, says Klas Älverbrandt.
Klas Älverbrandt, Fristad Bygg