Worker Impaled on Steel Reinforcing Bar on Construction Site

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A horrific construction accident has taken place at a Gosford construction site, highlighting the risks of slips, trips and falls on construction sites.

A man was impaled by a steel reinforcing bar after falling from one floor to another at a construction site.

The man, in his thirties, was working on the 8th floor when he tripped and fell to the floor below, landing on a steel bar, being impaled.

Paramedics arrived on the scene and freed the man before airlifting him to Gosford Hospital where he arrived in a serious but stable condition.

The incident is under investigation by Safe Work.

For more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/worker-impaled-falling-gosford-construction-site/#.XGqp7LglE1l

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

Coroner Hands Down Findings on Ben Catanzariti Workplace Death

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The coroner has handed down his findings on the workplace death of Ben Catanzariti in 2012.

The accident took place 6 years ago on an ACT construction site.

Recently findings in the long awaited inquest were handed down in the ACT Coroner’s Court.

The coroner said based on the evidence that it was not possible to say what caused the bolts to fail that led to the young worker’s death.

The findings are similar to those reached by prosecutors years ago who dropped a criminal prosecution of the company involved following multiple reports suggesting various reasons of why the boom failed, hitting 3 workers, one of whom was Ben Catanzariti.

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.

21 Year Old Worker Dies After Falling from Ladder

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It’s tragic that ladder falls are still such a common occurrence and so commonly end in death, despite falls being preventable.

One tragic incident happened late last year when a 21 year old labourer died after falling from a ladder at a residential property.

The man was on a ladder at the time which had been placed against the outside of a single storey property in Bendigo.

The man fell from the ladder and died in hospital the same day.

The incident is being investigating by Work Safe.

See more http://www.worksafenews.com.au/news/item/716-labourer-dies-after-falling-from-ladder.html

Hungover Worker Rescued After Becoming Trapped on a Construction Site

A night of excess has landed one construction worker in a very tight spot. The man fell into a crevasse between 2 buildings on a construction site in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

The 41 year old intoxicated man was discovered by construction workers when they arrived on the site. They found the man fast asleep.

Emergency services rigged a pulley system so that a firefighter and a paramedic could help the man, who was brought up in a harness. He had no major injuries.

Due to the intoxication he had no memory of falling between the gap.

Find out more at https://www.9news.com.au/2019/02/28/15/31/fortitude-valley-drunk-man-fall-construction-site-asleep-brisbane

Tradie Death Sparks Fears of Silicosis Epidemic

A Queensland stonecutter has died from silicosis, sparking concerns of an epidemic of deaths in the industry.

More cases have began to emerge of silicosis diagnosis in Queensland and around Australia, with Gold Coast stonecutter Anthony White being the latest victim.He had become the face of the vicious disease after being diagnosed due to inhalation of crystalline silica dust.

It is believed he was the first tradesman to die of the disease in Australia.

Mr White’s brother who worked alongside him, was also diagnosed with silicosis, just days before his brother died of the disease.

Safe Work Australia is focusing on addressing the risks posed by dust exposure in the workplace, including in the engineered stone industry.

Read more at: https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/silicosis-could-become-an-epidemic-ng-s-1931188

The Benefits of Micro-breaks to Ease The Body and Reboot The Brain

Taking breaks on the job is not just good for your body and mind but can also make you more productive.

A recent study has proven that micro-breaks are a huge benefit to the body and also reboot the brain.

According to researchers at The University of Illinois, micro-breaks can have a ‘disproportionately powerful impact’ on workers, improving their ability to concentrate and even helping avoid injuries because workers are more alert.

Researchers say there is no consensus as to the length of the micro-break but workers should experiment with what works best for them.

Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student from the University of Illinois said the only 2 rules are that micro-breaks should be short and voluntary.

See more at http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190312-the-tiny-breaks-that-ease-your-body-and-reboot-your-brain

Government to provide Mental Health Skills Training for Workers in Regional NSW

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The NSW Government is providing mental health skills training for workers in regional NSW.

The state government in partnership with the Black Dog Institute are providing the training to regionally based workers.

According to Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean, training to employees and owner-operators from small to medium-sized businesses will help develop plans and facilitate the management of workers’ mental health.

He went on to explain that the aim of the program is to raise awareness in the community of the prevalence of mental illness and how it can manifest in the work environment.

See more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/mental-health-boost-nsw-workers/#.XH0LhbglE1k