WorkSafe Inspections To Focus on Falling Objects

WorkSafe inspectors continue their focus on falling objects at building sites across Victoria.

WorkSafe has warned that falling objects are the leading cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry and not only do they possess a risk to workers but also to people on the street or nearby work sites.

Over the past 5 years there have been 5 fatalities and 721 injuries caused by falling objects on construction sites.

One incident that took place in January involved a piece of timber falling 22 floors at a Southbank site.

Another incident happened when a piece of MDF sheeting fell through an open window and 63 floors to the ground on Little Latrobe Street.

In another incident a tower crane dropped a 11.5 ton concrete slab at a Clayton construction site.

While these incidents were not fatal and fortunately nobody was injured, they could easily have been, like an incident in September last year when a 48 year old man died when a kibble full of concrete fell from a crane. Another man was seriously injured at the Box Hill construction site.

WorkSafe warned that some of the common causes for falling objects on construction sites include gaps in safety screens, holes in safety netting, kick and toe boards missing in scaffolding, debris and material coming loose while being lifted. The work safety authority also warned that unsecured items stored near edges or exposed to high winds can cause objects to fall.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen reminded us that even small objects can cause serious injury when falling from a high height.

“Every year WorkSafe is notified of hundreds of incidents involving falling objects, which are not only dangerous for workers, but also for members of the public passing by construction sites,” she said.

“Loads being lifted through the air must also be properly secured, and as we saw last year, the consequences can be tragic when a crane drops its load and there are workers below.”

“Risk control measures for falling objects are well known so there is no excuse for employers failing to implement them.”

Source: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news/2019-02/worksafe-target-falling-object-dangers

Work Safe went on to describe the steps employers and site duty holders can take to address the risk of falling objects on construction sites,

  • Eliminating the risk through off-site assembly of equipment that would otherwise be performed at an elevated edge.

  • Using containment systems or securing objects through substitution, isolation or engineering controls.

  • Using guardrail systems that incorporate mesh infill panels and kickboards.

  • Isolating the risk with barricades or fencing to create exclusion zones at ground level.

  • Implementing engineering controls such as perimeter safety screens, overhead protection gantries, enclosed perimeter scaffolding, and restraining loose material.

  • Administrative controls such as lines markings and signage to advise lanyard systems are to be used on tools, or to monitor the possibility of windy weather.

Source: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news/2019-02/worksafe-target-falling-object-dangers

Building Site Truck and Crane Rollover

WorkSafe ACT has announced a workplace accident involving a construction truck and crane.

The incident happened at a building site in Denman Prospect when a construction truck and crane rolled.

There were no injuries but WorkSafe has launched an investigation into what is considered a dangerous incident.

The truck, carrying a crane on the back, tipped over onto it’s side, possibly because the load was too heavy for the vehicle.

Elevator Crash on Construction Site Claims 11 Lives

Source: Pixabay.com

A construction accident in northern China has killed 11 people and injured 2 others.

A lift fell on a construction site in the Hebei province recently, at a residential property development.

Two of the injured were taken to a local hospital in a stable condition while the other 11 died at the scene.

Police and health and safety officials are said to be investigating the accident which witnesses say happened in seconds.

The company had early said the project was making good progress due to ” reasonable construction with maximum efficiency”.  Read more at: https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/world/11-killed-two-seriously-hurt-in-lift-crash-at-north-china-building-site/ar-BBWhjlz?li=AAaGkVj

Man Injured in Truck Rollover on Sydney Construction Site

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A man’s been rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital after sustaining injuries in a truck rollover at a construction site on the Pacific Highway.
It is believed the man was trapped under a rolled truck at the construction site on Sydney’s North Shore.
Emergency services were called to the accident site in an excavated site, 30 metres below street level.
The injured man was being treated for leg injuries.

Plumber Stable After Construction Fall

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The 26 year old plumber who fell into a trench at a Pinjarra construction site is now in a stable condition in hospital.

The man was working in the Pinjarra Industrial Estate when he fell off a ladder and into a 6 metre hole.

He suffered suspected spinal injuries and had to be airlifted to Royal Perth Hospital.

The incident is being investigated by WorkSafe.

Source: https://www.coastlive.com.au/news/local-news/plumber-in-stable-condition-after-pinjarra-construction-site-fall/

Sydney Electric Shock Fatality

Working with or near powerlines is a high risk activity and the proper precautions need to be followed in order to avoid incidents like the one that happened in Sydney’s Lower North Shore.

A man died in hospital after being electrocuted while working on powerlines.

The 39 year old man was electrocuted while working on a cherry picker. He was treated at the scene and then transported to Royal North Shore Hospital in a critical condition.

WorkSafe will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the incident.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/worker-dies-suffering-electric-shock-sydney/#.XMbCsaQlE1k

Worker Injured while using an Electric Grinder in NSW

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A man in northern NSW has been rushed to hospital for treatment of a serious wrist injury after an incident with an electric grinder.

Paramedics were called to the scene of the accident where they discovered a man in his forties who was injured while operating an electric grinder.

Paramedics treated the man and transported him to Lismore Base Hospital.

SafeWork SA warned that power tools are extremely hazardous when not properly used and must be fitted with guards and safety switches.

SafeWork also warned that hand-held power tools must have,

  • constant pressure switch which shuts off power upon release (e.g. circular saw, chainsaw, grinder, hand-held power drill), or

  • on-off switch (e.g. routers, planers, laminate trimmers, shears, jig saws, nibblers, scroll saws).

Find out more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/man-injured-grinder-incident-2/#.W-l7c-IlE1k

Company Fined $300,000 for Apprentice Electrocution Incident

A Melbourne electrical firm was recently convicted and fined $300,000 over an incident involving an apprentice in 2016.

The third year apprentice died from electrocution while laying cables at a property in Camberwell.

The company pleaded guilty to 2 charges for failing to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the workplace was safe and without risk to health and for failing to supervise the worker.

The company was ordered to pay $6067 in costs.

The court heard that the 26 year old apprentice was sent to the property alone to install cables. He was working on the roof when his hand made contact with an exposed live wire and he was electrocuted.

An important lesson for employers here is that apprentice workers should be properly supervised at all times and particularly when engaging in high risk work such as work from heights.

In the construction industry it’s also crucial that workers are in possession of a White Card to prove they have completed general construction induction  training and have an idea of how to work safely on a construction site.

See more at: http://www.worksafenews.com.au/news/item/704-company-fined-$300,000-after-apprentice-electrocuted.html

Queensland’s Five Year Plan to Improve Health and Safety in the Workplace

Queensland has a 5 year plan which will make the state safer, its Work Health and Safety Board says. The peak advisory board, made up of representatives from employer associations, trade unions and academia came up with the plan in response to the recommendations of the Best Practice Review into Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

According to Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace, the plan is a reflection of new and contemporary thinking, having taken current and emerging global trends into consideration as well as how they impact work health and safety across industry workplaces, community and the government.

Over the next 5 years, the board has identified 4 main areas that it will focus on, including

  1. Embracing innovation and technology
  2. Designing health and safe work
  3. Fostering a culture of health and safety.
  4. Effective regulation

See more at https://safetowork.com.au/qld-aims-to-improve-safety-in-the-workplace/

Tunneling Under Sydney Harbour to Build Sydney Metro Rail

Most people aren’t aware of the massive undertaking going on in Sydney, but the construction of the Sydney Metro Rail is fascinating to those working in construction. For those people this video is a real treat and even those who aren’t interested in construction can appreciate how much work and effort is going in to the project.

The fascinating video below shows how workers embarked on tunneling under Sydney Harbour for the massive project.