Determining the Root Cause of the Accidents

nail gun

If you don’t understand the root cause of an accident or incident, how are you going to resolve the issue and ensure it doesnt happen again? The next time the consequences could be worse – cause a severe injury or fatality/fatalities!

That is why in a post on the writer highlights the importance of looking into the underlying cause of the near miss or accident.

A commonly overlooked issue is near misses. The writer emphasizes the importance of investigating near misses which she says should serve as a “wake-up call” about the need to address certain issues.

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Construction Worker Rescued after Fall down Elevator Shaft

construction worker

A construction worker had to be rescued after falling down an elevator shaft. The man apparently lost his footing and fell 2 storeys down an elevator shaft from the fifth floor to the 3rd floor.

The worker sustained neck injuries and rib fractures but is lucky to be alive. He is recovering in hospital in a critical but stable condition. This incident is another reminder of how high risk work on a construction site can be, especially when there is the risk of falling.

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Worker Injured by Nail Gun on Brisbane Site

nail gun

A man on a construction site in St Lucia was rushed to hospital after an accident with a nail gun. The nail penetrated the worker’s heart and he had to undergo emergency surgery and was placed in an induced coma.

The 45-year-old was rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in a critical condition after he was shot with the nail gun just before midday on Thursday at Ironside Street,  St Lucia.

This is another reminder of the risks involved in nail gun use on construction sites and why safety training is so crucial.

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Heavy Rains Delay Construction Work on Dam


Builders will understand the predicament that Suma Park contractor Geotech Pty Ltd. is in. The contractor is under pressure to complete work on the dam but one heavy rainfall could put a spoke in the works.

The NSW dam has risen from 55 per cent in June to 59 per cent by July 20, with water reaching 5.5 metres below the spillway, which is good news for water security but not such good news for builders. Low water levels were needed to raise and strengthen the dam walls.

Read more about it here.

Construction Worker Killed by Swarm of Bees


A  construction worker was recently killed while evaluating a site in Southern California.

The man was attacked by a swarm of bees, whose underground hive he accidentally disturbed.

This incident proves the importance of evaluating sites safely before beginning work, especially rural sites or those which may be inhabited by dangerous animals, reptiles and/or insects.

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Fatal Collapse of Temporary Structure, an Eye-opening Reminder


An incident that took place on a construction site in the UK is a harsh reminder of the importance of stability relating to temporary structures.

All too often, not much attention is given to temporary structures because they are temporary, but construction worker Ionel Soci paid the ultimate price because of this attitude.

The tragic incident is under investigation by UK Health and Safety inspectors.

Read more here.

Construction Safety News: Biggest Threat to Construction Workers

Ask any worker within the construction industry what is the greatest risk they face and you will hear a variety of answers from falls from heights to electrocution hazards, to being struck by vehicles, but in fact the greatest risk that construction workers face is actually ignorance.

Ignorance of safety issues is the greatest threat to the safety of workers on construction sites. The truth is employers can have the best safety systems in place but if workers aren’t trained on them they are ignorant of safety issues and virtually useless in terms of site safety.

It is vital that before allowing a worker onto a site, employers ensure that that worker is equipped with the necessary safety knowledge to operate on the site without presenting a risk to health and safety on site. This entails confirming that each worker has completed the White Card Course and is possession of a White Card. If workers have not completed this training, it does not matter how experienced or skilled they may be, they cannot set foot onto a construction site for work. If workers have not completed the course, employers need to ensure that they do so before allowing them to begin working on site.

While it is true that electrical hazards, slips, trips and falls are the most commonly occurring hazard on a construction site, if workers are trained on general construction safety they are more likely to be able to overcome these hazards without becoming a risk to themselves or others on site.



Gas Cylinder Installation causes Havoc on Construction Site

A frightening incident which occurred on a construction site is an example of how dangerous gas cylinder installation can be if it is not managed correctly. The accident in question occurred on a site in Berkshire, England in 2008 but the horrific memory of that day has been regurgitated by a court case relating to the prosecution of the company involved.

Whenever gas cylinders are being installed, extreme caution should be exercised and no shortcuts should be taken. The incident resulted in the death of a plumber as well as the serious injury of 6 other workers.

The incident happened when one of the cylinders being installed fell over, hitting into other cylinders and causing a chain reaction to be set off. The cylinders apparently rocketed around the site at speeds of up to 170mph, hitting one worker in the head, causing a fatal injury. The heavy argonite gas cylinder struck the 38 year old workman, Adam Johnston causing him to die before he could be rushed to hospital.

The sad incident resulted in massive fines for the company involved because of its inability to protect workers by providing a safe system of work and safe work environment.

Upon further investigation it was revealed that the cylinders were not properly secured and even had missing safety caps. It was also revealed that the cylinders were left unsecured without being safely secured in their racks resulting in the cylinders falling over and erupting, releasing gas under high pressure, causing the cylinder to move and collide with other cylinders, setting off a chain reaction, affecting 66 of the 80 cylinders.

This excerpt from a post on explained what happened as workers frantically tried to make it to safety,

A chain reaction developed rapidly and for several minutes shocked and terrified workers desperately sought shelter as they “endured a barrage of heavy cylinders” rocketing around them. This continued until 66 of the 80 cylinders had been discharged.

Some of the cylinders travelled at estimated speeds of up to 170mph and developed sufficient energy to penetrate walls and ceiling voids, travelling into more remote parts of the building.

The court was told that the three companies involved failed to recognise the significant risks involved in the project or to carry out an adequate risk assessment.

The principal contractor and the main contractors failed to co-ordinate the scheduled work activities or to co-operate meaningfully in light of the risks. There had also been insufficient training and supervision.

Little evidence those involved were competent



The image of the construction sites shows the damage done by the accident


This incident highlights the importance of managing hazards such as that presented by gas cylinders. It is also important that employers provide a safe system of work for their employees and train workers on these safe work procedures to avoid a situation such as this one.