Man Narrowly Escapes Death on Roy Hill site

mine
Source: www.abc.net.au

Last Saturday was not a good day for one worker who suffered minor injuries after falling at a Roy Hill worksite.

The worker was working on the top level of a secondary sizer scalping platform when he stepped backwards, resulting in a small section of a gridmesh from the walkway dislodging. The man then fell through the hole.

The site had to be shut down for an audit on Monday. The contractor was lucky that his injuries weren’t more severe.

 

 

The injured contractor has since returned to work.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/09/contractor-injured-lucky-survive-fall-roy-hill-site/#.Vgah9_mqqkp

Company Pleads Guilty over Wayne Vickery Death

wayne vickery
Caption: Wayne Vickery killed on a worksite in 2011.
Source: CanberraTimes.com.au

The Canberra construction company that employed Wayne Vickery, a construction worker killed in a 2011 grader accident, has now pleaded guilty  to safety failings which resulted in the fatal incident.

The 45 year old worker was killed on a Macgregor site belonging to Canberra Contractors Pty Ltd.

Mr Vickery was described as a construction veteran who had been crouching down to check ground levels while building roads in a new residential housing estate when a grader reversed into him.

The company initially planned to fight the charges but changed their plea to guilty earlier this month.

Read more here.

Report to be Prepared for Coroner Following Worker Death at Catherine Field

catherine field
Source: 9News.com.au

Following the death of a 57 year old worker at a construction site in Catherine Field, NSW police have announced that a report will be prepared for the coroner.

According to initial reports the man was operating heavy machinery at the time of the accident. Emergency crews were called in when the man become trapped between pieces of earth moving equipment.

Source: NSW Police

White Card News: Worker Fall from Scaffolding results in Fatality

We’ve had a tragic start to the New Year after a worker on a construction site in Sydney died after falling from a scaffold on a building site.

The tragic incident took place at a site in Bangaroo, central Sydney where emergency crews were called to the scene around 8:30am in the morning.

Emergency personnel were told that the worker had been engaging in work on a scaffold when he fell approximately 30 metres.

While waiting for emergency crews to arrive the man’s co-workers performed CPR in efforts to revive the fallen worker but unfortunately he was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived.

Work on the site grinded to a halt following the disturbing incident and police as well as WorkCover NSW investigations are ongoing.

Reports claimed the worker was a general labourer who had been engaged in general construction work at the time of the fall.

The CFMEU was quick to criticise the company responsible for the site, Lend Lease saying that they did not provide the 30year old worker with sufficient supervision.

There are very little details on the incident at the moment but the company says that all control measures were in place for working from heights and that emergency response procedures were also in place.

The incident is a harsh reminder of the need for not only the appropriate supervision of workers but adequate training as well.

In my opinion, safety training in an industry as high-risk as construction is the most important training that a worker can undergo. Employers must ensure that workers undergo safety training and are appropriately trained for the work they will undertake, in this case work from a scaffold.

Obviously the first type of training that workers in the construction industry must undergo is White Card training. This training is general construction industry induction training and teaches all workers, regardless of their trade or experience, how to safely work on a construction site.

The second type of training that all construction workers must undergo is Site Specific training to familiarise them with the hazards associated with work on their specific site and the control measures and procedures implemented by site controllers to deal with them.

Additionally, employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers have the knowledge and sufficient experience to undergo the specific tasks they are appointed. For example workers who will be engaging in general construction work from a scaffold must be trained on work from heights and how to work safely from a scaffold, in addition to receiving White Card and Site Specific training. While White Card training does cover the topic of Work from Heights, it is a broad subject and needs to be addressed more thoroughly by employers.

 

Workplace Accident results in Fatality on Tasmanian Site

A worker has died on a copper mine on Tasmania’s west coast, the same mine where 2 men were killed last month.

The man was a 53 year old loader operator who was contracted to work on the site. The man died from injuries sustained during a mud rush at the Mount Lyell mine in Queenstown last week.

The mine’s rescue team found the operator after he was not responding to calls. According to reports the man had died from the mud rush in the mine’s lower levels. A mud rush is a when mud a sudden inflow of mud occurs from underground openings. As the name suggests they happen fast and unexpectedly, making them the cause of numerous other mining deaths in Australia.

What makes this incident even more concerning is that it is the 3rd fatality at the mine in the last 6 weeks. Just last month 2 other workers died after falling 35 metres from a platform in the main shaft while conducting maintenance work.

All 3 deaths are under investigation by workplace safety officers. Work on the site was suspended after the 2 deaths last month and was restarted. Now with the latest death, work has been suspended again.

It seems not a month goes by when we don’t hear about an accident on a mining site and very often these accidents are fatal. Because of the extremely high risk nature of mining construction, complacency can kill. That is why it is important that everyone employed has first completed general construction industry induction training (also known as White Card training).

Although the mining industry has grown substantially over the last few years, the number of accidents has also increased. It is vitally important that everyone who is considering a career in the mining industry first completes general construction safety training to ensure that they are aware of the risks associated with construction work.

If you want to be part of this fast pace industry, then your first step is completing the online White Card course. It takes just a few hours to complete and can be done from the convenience of your home or office.

The White Card allows you to work in the mining industry and the knowledge learnt is particularly useful on rural sites which are also often shifting. More good news is that white card allows you to work anywhere in Oz, in any state or territory so you do not need to repeat the training if you chose to move to another area.

For more information on the White Card course, visit our homepage today!

 

Vic Workplace fatalities this year reach 11

So far this year fatalities on Victorian worksites have reached 11, this following the death of a 20 year old worker when part of the building he was working on collapsed onto him.

Co-workers and passers-by tried frantically to lift the rubble and remove the young man and co-worker who was also trapped by the debris during the collapse. The other worker was saved however the 20 year old man did not survive.

This post from WorkSafeNews.com.au has more:

WorkSafe is on site of an incident in Caulfield South, where it appears that part of a building has collapsed.

A 20-year-old man has died at the scene and a second man has been taken to hospital with leg injuries.

WorkSafe investigators are on site and a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is now underway.

This takes the number of workplace fatalities in Victoria this year to 11.

See more at: http://www.worksafenews.com.au/component/k2/item/337-man-dies-at-caulfield-south-construction-site.html#sthash.ypJRe8nD.dpuf

Emergency crews and WorkCover investigators spent the day at the scene but will not speculate on the cause of the collapse until investigations are complete.

With workplace fatalities in Vic reaching 11 and the high serious injury rate and fatality in other states, particularly in the construction sector now more than ever employers, site controllers, supervisors, management, principal contractors, construction workers and construction firms need to focus on construction site safety.

There has been an abnormally high number of collapses recently and construction workers aren’t the only ones at risk. Earlier this year a teenage brother and sister were killed when a wall collapsed in Melbourne, they were just passing by when the bricks and debris collapsed onto them, killing them instantly.

Construction workers are faced with these types of risks every day, in addition to numerous others. It is for this reason that we need to focus more on construction safety rather than solely concentrating on productivity and the bottom line. Construction safety is afterall in the best interest of everyone involved, the construction firm, workers and the client. If workers are safe, they are healthier and happier resulting in less time off work which means a higher level of productivity and that benefits the employer and the customer.

So how do construction firms ensure that safety is being prioritised? Firstly by ensuring that each and every worker on site, whether permanently employed or temporary workers, experienced or simply a trainee have completed the general construction safety training, The White Card. Each worker must be in possession of their White Card and proof of their completion of the course should be kept on site in case inspectors visit and ask to see it. Without it not only is the worker’s safety being jeopardised but other workers on site are also being placed at risk. It is important that we remember that construction tasks are interrelated and the actions of one can have severe even deadly consequences for others on site.

 

Fatality during Crane Operation Accident

3

Image source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/LifeFlight-called-to-Sandy-construction-site-222743541.html?tab=gallery&c=y&img=1

A crane accident has taken place which claimed the life of a worker and caused 3 others to be injured. The incident took place in Sandy, Oregon in the United States but has a lesson that workers on this side of the world can also learn from.

The incident occurred during crane operations when the crane was lifting trusses for roof construction when one of the trusses tipped, the others followed and fell into the building. The trusses fell onto one worker and injured another 3.

This excerpt from a post on www.Katu.com briefly details what happened:

The incident happened just before 3 p.m. in the 45000 block of Southeast Jadrny Road, the site of a residential construction project.

Officials at the scene say a crane was lifting trusses for roof construction when one of 13 trusses started to tip and the rest cascaded along with it and fell inside the building.

The falling trusses killed one worker and badly injured another worker, who had to be flown by LifeFlight to a hospital. Two others with minor injuries were transported by ambulance.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is heading up an investigation into what happened. The workers are with Stalcup Roofing & Construction.

Source: http://www.katu.com/news/local/LifeFlight-called-to-Sandy-construction-site-222743541.html

Although cranes play an important role in the way we move and transport materials and equipment and without them certain construction projects would be virtually impossible, they can also be a serious hazard, as this incident clearly demonstrates.

Firstly before work even begins, only trained, certified and competent employees should be allowed to use this equipment. We need to understand the complexity involved in crane operation and the lifting of loads on construction sites.

One of the most important elements in ensuring safe crane operation is paying attention to slings. The slings that cranes use to hold suspended loads are a key element in material handling involving cranes. Slings are made of a variety of materials. We determine what type of sling to use by the size and type of load and the environmental conditions in the work area, this should be decided with careful planning and consideration of the task.

Before work begins cranes and slings should be thoroughly inspected and well maintained because they need to be in perfect order to perform correctly and safely.

The 2 greatest concerns when lifting heavy loads using cranes is dropping the load and someone being hit by the falling load, which is what happened in the case above.

In order to absolutely prevent accidents with cranes and slings, a combination of thorough inspection, trained and skilled operators and safety-conscious workers on site is required– a rare but necessary combination.

Also remember that cranes and slings have restrictions and limitations to what they can handle. These restrictions need to be checked carefully before the equipment to be used is chosen.

Cranes and slings are designed and built to help protect both operators and those in the area from hazards but employers, operators and other workers also have an important role to play in ensuring safety. For example workers should avoid at all costs working underneath a load being lifted t avoid incidents like the one above from occurring.

 

Managing Risks associated with Falling Hazards

Workers on construction sites are placed at risk of sustaining a various number of injuries but the most common cause for concern is falls from heights. That is why this hazard is so commonly discussed when covering the topic of workplace health and safety however despite the risks, there are companies that are still failing to control hazards associated with working from heights, resulting in injuries and deaths which could otherwise have been avoided.

Falls aren’t common in the construction industry only, there are a number of various industries where fall risks are common, as an incident in West Melbourne recently proves. The accident happened on a dock while a transport company was lifting materials.

The transport company involved was convicted and fined $330,000 after one of its workers died after being hit by a falling beam. Other persons undertaking a business should attempt to learn from the mistakes made by the company, L. Arthur Pty Ltd, who failed to protect their employees by providing a safe system of work and work environment.

A post on WorkSAfeNews.com.au describes how the company was contracted to move unusual and heavy cargo on and off ships at Appleton Dock. Four workers using a gantry crane attempted to unload a 27 tonne steel drum from a truck at the dock. The crane was made up of 2 separate lifting rams which were used to lift a central 3 tonne beam.

The article on WorkSafeNews.com.au goes on to explain how the accident occurred:

For safety reasons, the lifting rams had to be raised or lowered in unison to ensure the beam stayed level at all times. The lifting rams were powered by diesel pump units connected by pressure hoses. The lifting rams would not extend or retract without the pressure hoses being connected.

To allow the truck to position the steel drum underneath the crane, the pressure hoses from the rams on one unit were disconnected to avoid being damaged by the reversing truck. Disconnecting the hoses was a normal part of the system of work.

But the hoses were not reconnected before the crane was positioned above the drum. As there was no hydraulic power to one of the lifting rams, it did not lower when the crane began operating. But the other lifting ram did.

As a result, the three-tonne steel beam slipped and fell on POAGS employee Steven Piper, killing him. The other three workers narrowly avoided being struck.

– See more at: http://www.worksafenews.com.au/news/item/333-docks-death-costs-company-$330,000.html#sthash.tAh44mqm.dpuf

The accident highlights the importance of safety when lifting loads using cranes. These types of high risk activities need to be more carefully controlled and managed. It should also be supervised to ensure that dangerous practices are not being undertaken, such as lifting loads above people’s heads.

Those undertaking the business should adopt administrative controls to prevent falling objects injuring people on the site. Controls such as installation of boards on the sides of elevated work areas or scaffolds, help to prevent objects falling over the edge and injuring a worker below.

Other safety plans relating to these hazards can be developed after looking at the sites unique hazards and consulting with workers to determine the control measures best for the situation.

 

Gold Coast Construction Company fined after Worker Fatalities

A Gold Coast construction company has been fined $600,000 after 2 workers fell 26 storeys to their death while engaging in work on a high rise construction site.

It is disappointing that despite the fact that falls from heights are the leading cause of construction deaths, these types of accidents are still occurring. This accident claimed the lives of 36 year old Chris Gear and 52 year old Steve Sayer who were both experienced in the construction sector.

Rea what this post from www.goldcoast.com.auhad to say about the incident:

A GOLD Coast construction company has been fined $600,000 over the deaths of two tradesmen who fell 26 storeys from a Broadbeach high rise swing stage.

The tragic 2008 deaths of Chris Gear, 36, and Steve Sayer, 52, sent shockwaves through the Queensland construction industry and left behind two grieving families.

Today their widows wept in the Southport Industrial Magistrates Court as the first of three construction companies was convicted for failing to protect the men under Workplace Health and Safety Act.

Pryme Constructions, Karimbla Construction Services and Allscaff Systems have all been accused of breaching the Act in 2008 at the Meriton’s Pegasus construction site in Broadbeach.

Pryme, the primary employer of the two men, has since gone into liquidation and is the first to be successfully prosecuted.

Magistrate Brian Kilmartin said Pryme’s failure to properly induct and supervise it’s workers had had fatal consequences.

Read more: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/07/19/454940_gold-coast-news.html

The accident could have been avoided if the employer implemented the appropriate fall control measures such as adequate supervision of workers as well as OH&S training on work from heights.

Karimbla and Alscaff and their directors are still facing prosecution and the worker’s widows Myriam Gear and Brigitte Maiale also have a pending $5.6 million damages claim against the companies in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.

Something this tragedy highlights for other building firms is the importance of ensuring that workers, especially those engaged in high risk work are provided with the appropriate supervision. Supervision of workers undertaking very dangerous tasks is a good idea and experienced supervisors will ensure that staff are performing activities in the safest and most productive manner.

A mistake in the construction industry could cost a life, so supervision is necessary to ensure more than just productivity, it is needed to ensure that workers are engaging in safe work practices and adhering to their safety training and the sites safety procedures.

Another important part of OH&S is training. Ensuring that all workers are properly trained on safe workfrom heights, this is one of the reasons why white card training is such a vital requirement for all construction workers. This safety training is important in ensuring safety is enhanced and the high rate of fatalities due to falls from heights in the industry is combatted.