Company Fined for Death of Irish Construction Workers

A trucking company was issued a $160,000 fine over the 2 fatalities that occurred on an East Perth construction site in November 2015.

The incident resulted in the deaths of 2 Irish workers, 27 year old Gerry Bradley and 24 year old Joe McDermott. The 2 were working on an apartment development and were on a smoking break when concrete tilt panels weighing more than 3 tonnes each slipped and crushed the workers.

The concrete panels were being unloaded from a trailer when one slipped and crashed onto the area where 4 men were sitting, 2 were uninjured but the 2 Irish construction workers were killed.

It was heard that the deaths were preventable because there were “simple and practical steps” that the company could have taken to ensure the panels were secure. The magistrate said the panels had been secured individually with straps and chains and were unloaded from one side of the truck which caused the vehicle to be unstable and the panels to fall on the workers.

The company was remorseful over the deaths however the other 2 parties charged had pleaded not guilty.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-17/company-sentenced-over-deaths-of-two-construction-workers-crush/9772342

WorkSafe ACTs Focus on Work from Height Safety

WorkSafe ACT is narrowing in on employers who compromise workers’ safety when it comes to working from height and can now issue an on-the-spot fine of up to 3,600 to offenders.

In the 2017-18 period, there were 72 workers compensation claims in the state for falls from heights as well as many near-misses reported where the appropriate safety protections were not in place.

Given the significant risks of any fall from height, even falls from relatively low height, the consequences for the workers can be catastrophic. Falls can leave workers with debilitating injuries and in some cases prove fatal.

The state government decided to allocate WorkSafe ACT with greater powers to prevent these types of injuries and enforce safety requirements.

Stronger regulatory action including prosecution will be used by WorkSafe where appropriate.

A spokesperson from WorkSafe said this should send a message to the industry that safety must remain the main priority on worksites.

Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/worksafe-act-now-issues-spot-fines-target-falls-heights/#.Wxzw-CAlHQV

Research Reveals Signs on Suicide

Research from BeyondBlue has found that not many people express their suicidal thoughts to others directly however they do often show signs through behavioural changes.

It’s important we know how to recognise and respond to the warning signs from family members, workmates and friends.

BeyondBlue suggested simple and safe steps that we can take to identify and support at risk people including, asking them how they are feeling, listening without judgement, giving them advice, asking direct questions, showing support and suggesting they seek professional help.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/03/new-beyondblue-research-tackles-signs-suicide/#.Wr9CcJclE1k

Construction Workers Force Their Way Onto WorkSite to Reclaim Their Tools

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Construction workers forced their way onto a construction site to reclaim their tools after a decision by a construction firm to lock the gates of all its projects.

The company decided to shut down its sites on Sunday night. The decision left hundreds of subcontractors in limbo and wondering whether  they would be paid for work done.

The company asked the workers to email a list of their tools and they would make arrangements for them to go and collect however workers became frustrated when they didn’t hear back from the company. They then decided to storm the site, pushing down fences and past security guards who tried to stop them from taking their tools. Read more at https://www.perthnow.com.au/business/construction/cooper-and-oxley-tradies-storm-perth-construction-site-to-reclaim-tools-ng-b88736130z

These Are The Most Dangerous Industries in Australia

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It was recently revealed by Finder.com.au that the construction industry is among the top 3 most dangerous in Australia.

Agriculture, fishing and forestry has been named the most high risk industry in Australia, averaging 14 fatalities for every 100 000 workers in 2016. In the same period the construction industry had a rate of 3.3 fatalities per 100 000 workers.

The construction industry also has a serious injury rate of 16 per 1000 employees.In 2016 there were 35 deaths in this industry, exceeded only by the transport, postal and warehousing industry with 47 fatalities and the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.

Read more at https://www.finder.com.au/most-dangerous-jobs-australia

 

Construction Workers Walk off Site due to Smell

The smell from a sewer pump station near a Breakwater site compelled construction workers off site for fear of possible illness.

Media reports compared the smell to that of rotten eggs with some reports citing complaints of illness.

The water services company managing the construction site said the smell associated with sewerage infrastructure was common there.

A spokesperson for the company said they had been managing the odour for a while from the pump station which mostly handles domestic sewerage.  Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/sewage-smell-caused-workers-off-job-breakwater/#.Wokxn-clE1k

Colombian Construction Collapse

A bridge under construction in Colombia has collapsed, claiming the lives of 10 construction workers.

The partially constructed structure formed part of a highway connecting 2 cities.

It gave way unexpectedly, causing the construction workers to fall some 280 metres to their deaths.

The bridge was scheduled to open to the public in March and would have been 446 metres long when complete.

In addition to the 10 workers who lost their lives, 3 were injured in the collapse.

Read more https://www.9news.com.au/world/2018/01/17/09/19/construction-workers-killed-in-colombia-bridge-collapse

The Suicide Crisis Facing Australia’s Construction Workers

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A recent article on News.com.au discussed the suicide crisis facing Australia’s construction workers.

Despite the macho appearance of most construction workers, these hardworking, often jovial men have the highest suicide risks in the nation.

Alarmingly construction workers are 70 per cent more likely to take their own lives than males in other industries.

The combination of personal stresses and work related pressure can become unbearable for many of us and sadly in this male dominated industry, speaking out about one’s feelings is not exactly celebrated. This could be why many construction workers try to deal privately with their issues, many of whom cannot and see suicide as the only escape.

 

Read more at http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/suicide-disaster-for-australias-most-loveable-tough-guys/news-story/e76bb1112d16409e95ae24b7cc72eddf

Ensuring Your Workplace is Mentally Healthy

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The NSW Goverment held a Mentally Healthy Workplaces Summit recently where it encouraged all workplaces to improve mental health among employees.

The summit was held following state government commissioned research which showed that less than 25 per cent of NSW businesses have measures in place to specifically address mental health.

Although one in six working age people suffer from a mental illness in Australia, many employers aren’t doing enough to address the issue in the workplace.

Read more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/summit-promotes-mentally-healthy-workplaces/#.WhnRpje1vIV