Safety Blitz to Focus on Demolition

WorkSafe inspectors will be visiting over 800 demolition and construction sites over the course of the month in Victoria, focusing on dangerous and sub-standard demolition work.

WorkSafe, through its Construction Program Manager, Dermot Moody, said any companies that weren’t following the appropriate safety procedures were putting workers lives at risk, during this high risk undertaking.

He explained that those in charge should meet their health and safety responsibilities or face the consequences.

If procedures aren’t up to standards, work on the site will be immediately halted. Some of the areas that inspectors will be paying particular attention to includes, site security, traffic management, working at height, isolation services, asbestos identification and removal, public protection, safe removal of hazardous substances, structural stability at each stage of demolition.

Go to, for more.


Crane Driver Gets Hefty Fine in WA


WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch says the recent fining of a crane driver for neglect of safety should be a reminder for everyone to always think of safety in the workplace.

The man received a fine of $2500 and was ordered to pay costs of $594 after he made contact with over head power lines at a construction site in Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park in 2014.

Mr McCulloch said it is crucially important for crane drivers to be aware of the location of power lines and to observe the relevant exclusion.


Risk Reduction and Building Resilience in the Face of a Changing Climate

skynews_960140An interesting article on raised the question, how do we ensure risk reduction and building resilience as we are faced with the growing concern of climate change.

According to the article research in this topic has highlighted 3 main climatic impacts which require attention – flooding, wind and overheating. Research projects specific to these three climatic concerns are

  • Flood resilient homes – repair standards
  • Wind loading on buildings
  • Tackling overheating in urban dwellings

Read more here.

Safety Awareness during High-risk Construction Work

Quite often workers involved in high risk construction aren’t aware of the severity of the risks associated with the work they are undertaking and this can fuel an attitude of complacency, which in turn can lead to accidents on the construction site, accidents which can cost workers their lives or in the least cause them painful and inconvenient injuries.

High risk construction work is labelled “high risk” for a reason and it is important that workers are properly trained and certified to carry out certain high risk tasks.

Firstly workers need to understand what constitutes “high risk” construction work and what is required of them in these circumstances.

According to WorkCover NSW, high risk construction work is any hazardous construction work that has the potential to harm the health and safety of people or to damage plant and equipment.

WorkCoverNSW describes high risk on their website as construction work which:

  • involving asbestos, explosives or diving work

  • carried out in an area in which there are artificial extremes of temperature

  • involving a risk of falling more than two metres or is carried out on a telecommunication tower.

  • including building or demolition work involving:

  • tilt-up or precast concrete

  • structural alterations or repairs to a structure that requires temporary support to prevent collapse

  • the demolition of a load bearing part of a structure

  • the demolition of any part of a structure that is likely to affect its physical integrity.


Some construction work is classified as high risk simply because of where it is carried out. For example work in or near a confined space, shaft or trench with a depth of more than 1.5 metres or a tunnel is high risk.  WorkCover NSW also provides a list of other environments that can be classified as a high risk environment:

  • pressurised gas distribution mains or piping

  • chemical, fuel or refrigerant lines

  • energised electrical installations or services

  • area where there are artificial extremes of temperature

  • area that may have a contaminated or flammable atmosphere

  • road, railway, shipping lane or other traffic corridor that is in use by traffic other than pedestrians

  • area at a workplace in which there is any movement of powered mobile plant

  • water or other liquid that involves a risk of drowning.

It is important that those in control of the site are aware of what activities are high risk because a safe work method statement (SWMS) must be prepared for all high risk construction work. If a SWMS is not developed, accidents can occur and the company is likely to be fined and/or prosecuted by authorities.

A common cause of accidents on construction sites is falls from heights. It is compulsory that any work from a height above 2 metres has a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) is prepared because it too is classified as “high risk”.

It is also important that all workers on site have completed construction safety induction training, because this training covers general construction safety and touches on a number high risk construction tasks which workers need to be familiar with.