Facts : Back injuries while working in the construction industry

The construction industry compromises of work involved with the construction, alteration or demolition of buildings and other structures. The number of workers in the industry have grown by 33% over the last 11 years. There have been significant reductions in the numbers and rates of injuries and fatalities in this industry over the last ten years or more. Nevertheless, the construction industry remains a high risk industry.

In 2012–13 the construction industry accounted for 9% of the Australian workforce but 10% of workers’ compensation claims for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work. In 2013–14 the construction industry again accounted for 9% of the workforce but accounted for 12% of work related fatalities.

20% of insurance claims in the construction industry were preventable lifting/back injuries.( Source: SafeWorkAustralia). On average they cost construction firms and rental firms like yours $10,000 annually in lost productivity.

During these times of pandemic, more and more construction companies are staggering shifts in order to comply with the social distancing guidelines. This means lesser workers on site and more workload on the reduced workforce.

Check out the Powered Hand Truck (PHT-140). The Makinex Powered Hand Truck (PHT-140) lets a single person to lift heavy and oddly shaped objects, up to 140 kg, and load them onto a truck or trailer without the risk of back injuries. Improved safety and productivity gains make the PHT a no-brainer for the loading bay.

That’s why firms like Kennards Hire are putting a PHT-140 in every branch:

“We use the Makinex Powered Hand Truck to lift & load equipment.  It is a fantastic product we use it all day, every day.  This piece of equipment is saving us costs & preventing injuries.” 

-Darren Curmi, Branch Manager, Kennard’s Hire.

Power Hand Truck & Covid-19

Our PHTs meet social distancing compliance as it reduces the need for 2 people lifting in close proximity to each other .

Welcome to our new partner!

PowerVac becomes a Makinex partner

Makinex would like to welcome PowerVac as our newest cleaning industry partner based in WA.

PowerVac is WA’s leading supplier and service agent for quality cleaning equipment and supplies.

They will be ranging the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer 4000 and 2500 and we look forward to supplying PowerVac so they can help their customers clean large surface areas efficiently and safely!

How is the Construction Industry really performing?

Trends within the Construction Industry

What are the current trends within the Construction Industry telling us?

We can report that March reported a slightly lower downturn in the Construction Industry for the first time in 6 months?

Could this trend be a sign that performance within the Construction Industry is on the rise?

This boost has been helped along with an increase in funding of public sector projects which has boosted Civil Construction.

A key driver of this boost in public sector funding can be attributed to population growth of over 400,000 in 2018 (source: ABS)

The report also touched on how tight profit margins are within Construction due to the intense level of competition and high cost of materials. This is placing alot of pressure on the industry and is a cause of major concern.

To learn more, download the full report compiled and produced by Australian Industry Group HERE.

Diesel Dirt and Turf – its a wrap for 2019!

Makinex had the pleasure of chatting to thousands of people who attended Diesel Dirt and Turf at Penrith Panthers.

We were able to spruik the time saving virtues of our Cormidi mini dumpers. These mini dumpers are great  when needing to shift bulk materials such as soil, bricks and rocks.

Click on the image below to watch how a Cormidi mini dumper can save you time when shifting bulk materials in and out of tight access sites!

Earthmoving Magazine Interview

Makinex at Bauma

At the beginning of April Makinex was at Bauma – the largest show on earth.

Wow… it.. is.. BIG! Stats this year:

  • 620,000 visitors from 200 countries
  • 3,700 exhibitors from 63 countries
  • 614,000 square meters
  • Big focus/trend this year on digitalisation and hybrid or fully electric machines

Our Australian R&D Manager Matthew Cape and Peter Maginnis from our USA office attended.

There was a clear trend at the show on automation, digital and electric hybrid, and as innovators this was extremely interesting for our team.

Looking at other leaders in the construction industry such as Hilti ( Makinex had a great meeting with the Hilti R&D centre) Spending 5 hours touring the various departments and meeting the respective heads. A very impressive tour.

Makinex was showing Dual Pressure Washer, Powered Hand Truck, Jackhammer Trolley, Hose 2 Go, and our new quiet Generator range.


Makinex Powered Hand Truck is nominated for Innovation Award!

The Makinex Powered Hand Truck has been nominated for Product Innovation of the Year within the Australian Construction Awards.

They describe the products and services nominated within this award category as;

“There are a huge number of products and materials available to anyone working in the Australian Construction Industry, so standing out can be a challenge. This award recognises those who have risen to that challenge, through innovation in their product line to create something that cannot be ignored”

The Australian Construction Awards is a part of the Sydney Build Expo which covers all sectors of the construction industry from residential to commercial to infrastructure. The two-day event showcases all the latest projects and opportunities in Sydney & NSW and connects all the key players in the construction industry.

We can’t wait for Thursday 14th March when winners will be announced so… stay tuned!

Improve Operational Efficiencies!

In this months edition of Flooring Magazine, Makinex shared an article on how to improve operational efficiencies!

It’s all about efficiency!

Makinex are passionate about inventing and manufacturing products that increase productivity and provide faster, easier and safer ways to get difficult jobs done.

One such product is the Dual Pressure Washer, a hard surface pressure cleaner that combines a rotary and wand in the one machine.

To learn more, read the full article here.

Inside the construction industries substance abuse problem

Foundation House is helping tradies come to terms with mental health and addiction.

Last week VICE media published this interesting article about Foundation House Rehab centre in Sydney.

Tommy sits in a room full of tradies and tells them all about how he used to drink methylated spirits with Coke. The mixer was to stop him throwing up blood; he’d keep a schooner of the concoction next to his bed at his parents’ house, where he lived at the time. Tommy was almost 40 then, and had been in and out of the construction industry for half his life.

“I worked in construction, and I was a functioning addict from when I started when I was 18,” he explains. “At the start it was always pot. Ecstasy pills. Campbelltown coke. And then after that drinking came into it because it’s just part of the culture.

“It’s construction: if you can’t drink you can’t be trusted and be part of it.”

Tommy is a resident at the Foundation House rehabilitation centre, located in Sydney’s inner west. The 28-day residential program has been working with people like him for the past 18 years. A not-for-profit charity, Foundation House doesn’t get any government funding, but is instead supported by the construction industry itself. The centre receives a number of its referrals directly from the worksite via the Building Trade Group (BTG), through which they get most of their clientele.

Sitting here on a Wednesday night, it’s hard not to think there’s something wrong with Australia’s construction industry culture. There are close to 80 men in this room: some of them alcoholics, some of them drug addicts, some of them suicide survivors—but nearly all of them tradesmen.

“It’s the pressures that people are put under,” says Daniel, a therapist at Foundation House, when I ask him why this might be the case. “We’re talking 10 to 12 hour days six days a week, and no downtime.”

Such unforgiving hours are nothing new, and in recent years there’s been some significant headway towards raising awareness around issues of mental health on the worksite. Foundation House is an important next step. They don’t just want to shine a light on the underbelly of the construction industry: they want to offer the workers a way out of the dark.

“Foundation House was born because for all the education, for all the need for something to change there needed to be a place for some one to change,” the centre’s CEO, David Atkin, told me. “Our objective is on the wall: ‘To introduce a person to themselves in the hope that one day they become friends’.”

The 28 day residency is small when compared to the several-month stints of other rehab clinics—but that’s part of what makes it effective. David explains that people can take a few weeks off the job, come into rehab, and then get back to work.

“The workplace intervention doesn’t really work if it’s three months, six months, or 12 months because you’re not going to get the support of the employers,” he says. “But for four weeks, it works.”

Those four weeks are described by the staff at Foundation House as “intense”. After undergoing a detox and an assessment, the clients are stripped of their phones and admitted into a program that sees them meeting one-on-one with a councillor twice a week, and taking part in a rotating series of education groups, communication groups, and relationship-building groups.

Two weeks in, the residents get an opportunity to tell their story: to talk about their life, about what addiction was like for them, and become vulnerable around the other people in their group. It’s this part—this sense of connection and community—that so many of them point to as the thing they valued the most.

“The most important thing for me was coming in here and then meeting other people that have been through a similar thing,” says Alex—another, much younger, graduate of the program.

Alex started as an apprentice plasterer at the age of 18. By 19—and following constant recreational use of cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, and cocaine—he was admitted to a psychiatric ward.

“Once I went there it was like Fuck, maybe I’m crazy. And I didn’t know how to talk about that to people at work,” he tells me. “I just wanted to fit in. Then I started to hear my story in other people at meetings, how this has helped their lives, and thought I’d give it a go. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

A third ex-resident, Jim, agrees the construction culture has historically been one that encourages substance abuse while shunning open, serious conversations around issues of mental health.

“Every workplace I’ve ever worked in has started with the culture of bullying the apprentice and going to the pub,” he says. “Some of us would drink at work. Most of us, if not all of us, would drink after work. And definitely all of us would get drunk at night at home, and show up either still drunk or with a massive hangover. It was a competitive culture: who drank more.”

Jim and Daniel both have theories as to why there is such a substance abuse problem within the industry. Jim suggests that the high wages have something to do with it—the fact that “You get a 25-year-old kid earning $400 a day.” Daniel points to the intense working conditions—the 70 hour weeks—and suggests that substances are used as a way to cope with the demands of the job.

“It’s probably moved from alcohol to methamphetamine, too,” he says. “Because they’re working long hours they’re using cocaine and things that are going to be stimulating rather than depressants.”

This “work hard, play harder” culture has a lot to answer for when it comes to the industry’s mental health problem. Many people within construction describe it as a toxic environment that’s too lucrative too leave. The money’s good, and the demand for work is so high that anyone not willing to toe the line is cast aside and replaced within a day. Everyone is expendable, pressures are high, and using drugs and alcohol to blow off steam just is, and always has been, the done thing.

So how do you solve a problem like that?

Forcing people to open up and come to terms with their emotions is one part of it. But when I ask Daniel what it is specifically about Foundation House that these men and women find so effective, based on their feedback, he points to Wednesday nights.

The weekly relapse prevention meet-ups are an extension of the residential program, providing a forum where former and current residents can come together and speak openly with one another. Some are here for the very first time, while others have been coming back, week after week, for years.

“They’re beautiful, Wednesday nights,” Tommy tells me. “Everyone’s here helping each other.”

That’s certainly the energy in the room. One by one, the current and former residents of Foundation House—“Foundo”, as they call it—take turns yelling out their names, to rapturous applause, and talking through their feelings. Others nod, speaking words of encouragement and affirmation. Some of them cry, or laugh, or joke about how they’re only here for the free dinner. Mostly, though, they speak openly and honestly. And Daniel, the therapist, hardly says a thing.

“This place looks after itself sometimes,” he tells me. “We provide support and love, but at the end of the day it’s their community: it’s the ex-residents and the current residents coming together and saying: ‘These are the results’.

“Just having something that’s theirs. This is all they’ve got really.”

If you’d like to find out more about Foundation Hose head to their website



Makinex welcomes Michael Hilti

Everyone was thrilled to welcome Michael Hilti to Makinex Sydney Headquarters on Friday 19th Oct.

Michael Hilti and Rory Kennard spent time discussing new products and innovation within the construction industry.

Makinex have worked with Hilti for the last 7 years with the Jackhammer Trolley Hilti version and Hilti selling the Makinex Tile Smasher Heads.

Makinex and Hilti have a longstanding appreciation and passion for finding innovative ways to make the construction industry more efficient.

Hilti was established in 1941, and Makinex aspire to follow in their extremely successful footsteps, they have a business culture most companies admire being in the Top 25 places to work in the world, among many other awards and accolades.

Hilti also won Financial Review Top 100 Graduate employer award – which is an excellent opportunity for graduates wanting to enter the construction and design industry.

Makinex and Hilti align in many ways especially in the importance design plays in their products, with Hilti winning Red Dot Awards and both Makinex and Hilti winning Good Design Awards over the years.

Rory Kennards says “Design is imperative when producing high quality products and tools that will make a difference to the construction industry. Makinex believes there’s always a better way to do things, and is constantly striving to be the best it can be, working with companies such as Hilti drives us to design and produce excellent product that changes the way they work”

Having aligned qualities with other players in the construction industry is inspiring and shows that working together in order to build outstanding products and businesses to support to industry is possible.

Makinex hopes to continue its relationship with Hilti and learn from this powerhouse business, by continuing to offer outstanding quality and designed products for the construction industry.

Operator fatigue reduces safety and efficiency in hard surface cleaning!

Hard surface cleaning is a physically demanding job and can lead to several health-related issues.

Operator fatigue is a major challenge because of the pushing, pulling and lifting of heavy and awkward mechanical equipment. Shift work is commonly associated with cleaning and can exacerbate the feelings of fatigue.

What is the impact of operator fatigue?

Feeling tired can result in reducing your reaction time and a decrease in productivity.

You want to achieve a great result for your client yet you’re feeling tired due to back to back shifts. As a result, your ability to produce a great job maybe limited and so too is the potential positive word of mouth.

To ensure you stay at the top of your game, there are a few strategies which can help mitigate the impact of operator fatigue including;

  • Take a break – You may save time and money in the short term by not taking a break but using machinery that is tough on your body without regular breaks can lead to substantial problems in the long run
  • Protect yourself – Head, hearing, eyes and face, hand and foot protection are essential protection items
  • Thorough training – train employees to make them aware of the potential dangers of pressure cleaning and how to navigate them safely. Don’t rush this process as you run the risk of missing out key pieces of information can lead to mistakes
  • Machine maintenance and inspections – without a pressure cleaning machine, you can’t do your job so make sure you look after them. In doing so you limit the risk to the operator and those around him. Make sure you schedule in regular service and maintenance checks.

Makinex Construction products are proud of the innovative range of products they’ve have created which assist in managing some key areas of safety and efficiency within the construction industry.

What products help minimise operator fatigue?

One such product is the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer (DPW) which is a hard surfaces pressure cleaner that combines a rotary and wand in the one machine and enables the user to swap between them at the turn of a handle.

The dual functions of the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer enable users to clean a variety of hard surfaces in a safe and efficient manner. The push behind functionality and rubber mounts reduce vibration providing the user with a comfortable and stress-free operating experience.

This is what Scott from Kangaroo Courts Australia had to say about the Makinex DPW;

“The way a court falls means you’re constantly having to swap between the rotary and pressure wand to clear away the dirty water. The fact the Makinex DPW has both functions on the one machine, has enabled to complete the jobs I do 30% faster!”

To learn more about the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer visit: https://www.makinex.com.au/products/dual-pressure-washer-4000psi.

If you follow the tips and advice from the professionals to rest, protect, train and maintain then you will limit your exposure to the potential pitfalls of operator to fatigue and can rest assured you’re doing everything you can to maintain the safety of yourself and those around you.

For more insights on how to work safely and efficiently, download our ebook here

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