Melbourne Companies fined for Unsafe Scaffolding

Two Melbourne companies have been fined $62,000 in total for unsafe scaffolding at a work site at Bentleigh East, after an investigation revealed scaffolding at the site leaning towards overhead power-lines during wind gusts in October 2016.

The company was found guilty of 3 charges, 2 of failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and 1 of failing to ensure people other than employees were not exposed to risks posed by scaffolding at the site.

The company was fined $45,000 and ordered to pay $4699 and a separate construction company was fined $17,000 and ordered to pay costs of $4089.

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Skylight Falls Prompt Safety Alert

A safety alert has been issued by SafeWork NSW following a workplace incident last month that resulted in the death of one worker.

The worker was killed and two other suffered serious injuries after falling through a skylight recently prompting the safety alert from SafeWork.

The regulator said these incidents are proof that it’s not  just exposed edges that create the risk of a fall when working on roofs.  SafeWork reminded all workers that not every area of a roof is safe to walk on or step or fall onto.

Sometimes plastic sheeting can become brittle and is reliant on correct installation for its effectiveness.



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Beware when Lifting or Opening Packed Glass Sheets

 Safe Work NSW has released a safety alert reminding workers of the risks of handling packs of glass sheets. Workers are reminded not to rely on the packaging to the support the contents when lifting or opening the package.
The safety alert comes after a glazier was fatally injured while moving a package of glass sheets with an overhead crane in December 2016. Investigations found that failure of the packaging was a contributing factor in the fatal incident.
SafeWork NSW said anyone handling these packs of glass sheets should first consult their supplier about the design and construction of the packaging and get information about whether the packaging is designed to support the contents. They should also seek advice on how the packs should be lifted and opened.


Safety Alert Issued – Trench Support Systems

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland released a safety alert highlighting the risk of trench collapse when a shoring box or trench support system doesn’t extend the full depth of the trench.
The warning comes after an incident last month involving a worker who was seriously injured when the ground collapsed in a trench, the worker was crushed.
Another incident occurred on the Gold Coast in 2016, when a shoring box did not extend for the entire depth of the trench, injuring the worker.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said the collapse of any un-shored section of trench can occur because of a number of reasons including the type of ground, ground water, rain and loading applied to the ground. Wherever a trench is excavated below a shoring box, the weight of the shoring box can increase the likelihood of ground collapse because the trench wall has a load applied within its zone of influence. Read more about the safety alert at

Safety Alert Issued Regarding Movement of Vehicles

A safety alert has been issued by SafeWork NSW reminding people that work with vehicles of the risks associated with the uncontrolled movement on vehicles.

In most cases where people are injured or killed by the uncontrolled movement of vehicles, the driver or operator is not in the driver’s seat at the time. This includes accidents involving cars, buses, trucks, vans, forklifts, tractors, mobile cranes and any other vehicles.

SafeWork said the uncontrolled movement of vehicles can occur because of a single reason or a combination of the following,

  • operator not engaging the brake at all or engaging it insufficiently.
  • operator exiting the vehicle while it’s still in gear
  • parking the vehicle on an incline
  • failure to inspect and/or maintain the braking system.


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Shoring Boxes and Trench Support Systems Alert Issued


Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has released a safety alert to highlight the risk of trench collapse when trench support systems such as shoring boxes don’t extend for the full length of the trench.

The alert comes after a November incident involving ground collapse at a trench on a Brisbane construction site. A worker was seriously injured during the accident.

A similar incident occurred in 2016 at a Gold Coast construction site.

In both incidents the shoring boxes did not extend for the full depth of the trench in both incidents.

The alert highlighted that a variety of factors can contribute to such a collapse including the type of ground, ground water, rain and loading applied to the ground.

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Beware of Flood Damage

flood damage 2

After a flood its always important to be cautious around electrical appliances and accessories but Work Safe NT is reminding all owners and operators of commercial premises of this.

People in the Alice Springs area were recently reminded of the risk of electrical failure and fires following the submemrsion of electrical appliances and accessories during the recent hailstorm and flooding.

Around 63mm of rain covered the town around the 17th of last month and many businesses and commercial properties were affected.

Read more about the steps to take if your business was affected at

WorkSafe NSW issues Mobile Plant Safety Alert

WorkCover NSW has released a new safety alert which construction employers and workers need to pay attention to.

The WorkCover NSW authority released a new safety alert on working with or around mobile plant in order to make workers aware of the risks associated with this hazard.

Mobile plant includes forklifts, elevating work platforms, delivery vehicles, order pickers, earth moving equipment, prime movers, cranes etc. which all have the ability to cause serious, even fatal injuries to workers working around them or those operating them. Unfortunately these are also commonly used on construction sites and are irreplaceable in many instances.

The alert was prompted by the fact that in the last 5 years in NSW10 workers have been killed and over 2000 injured in accidents involving mobile plant and machinery on construction sites.

In just the last six months, four workers were killed when they were struck by moving plant, while one plant operator was killed when they collided with other mobile plant. Another worker lost his life when the mobile plant he was operating collided with a fixed object

WorkCover NSW advises the following action be employed by employers:

Work health and safety legislation requires PCBUs to ensure that risks to the health and safety of workers and others due to mobile plant (including vehicles) are eliminated or, if this is not possible, minimised so far as is reasonably practicable. PCBUs must consult with workers when they identify hazards and make decisions about ways to eliminate or minimise risks.

PCBUs must also provide workers and others with adequate information, training, instruction or supervision to protect persons from plant-related risks. They must ensure that workers understand site specific safety policies and procedures for their workplace, including any traffic management policies or procedures. This includes workers of other PCBUs who share or utilise the workplace (eg other trades, delivery drivers), and may also apply to visitors to the workplace.


The alert also advises that employers ensure effective traffic management procedures be developed to suit the unique requirements of each workplace. The nature of the workplace can determine not only the type and effectiveness of control measures that can be implemented, but also how often these control measures should be reviewed to ensure that they remain effective. Workers should be consulted on this because they can provide insight into the effectiveness of control measures which they are working with each day.

Employers and principal contractors are required under work health and safety legislations to ensure that health and safety risks for workers and the public are reduced or eliminated so far as is reasonable practicable however this is not always possible and so minimising the risk is required to ensure that workers are not placed in dangerous situations.

It is also important for employers to provide workers with adequate information, training and instruction as well as supervise them to protect them from the risks related to mobile plant. Some of the most important considerations include traffic management and separating workers from the hazard if they are not involved in the operation. For more information visit


Scaffolding Safety in Construction – WorkCover NSW issues Safety Alert

A safety alert has been issued to remind construction businesses about the need to inspect and maintain scaffolding and its components which include stair flights.  The fall of a worker from scaffolding raised the alarm about scaffolding safety which is sometimes not up to standard because of the many components it entails. The worker suffered serious back injuries and the incident resulted in WorkCover NSW to issue the alert. The worker injured his back from a fall when a scaffold stair flight dislodged from its supporting transoms as he stepped on the stair flight.Investigations into the incident found that the stair flight’s lower horizontal section had deteriorated over time. This was not noticed during the inspection of the scaffolding.

WorkCover NSW in their alert stress that the responsibility for scaffolding safety does not rest with one entity alone, the suppliers, scaffolders and scaffolding installers as well as contractors all carry responsibility in scaffolding safety and inspection of scaffolding structures and its components. Contractors who manage and use scaffolding systems must not work on an incomplete or damaged scaffolding system and that includes incomplete or damaged stair flights.

The safety website, details the alert in an article, read an excerpt from the article below:

WorkCover-logo-250x313-2-150x150Scaffolding suppliers must inspect all stair flights for damage before they leave their premises and also upon their return. They also must undertake testing and inspections as per manufacturer’s instructions, taking into account their design life.

Scaffolders and scaffolding installers who hold a current high risk work licence to undertake scaffolding work must inspect all stair flights for damage and/or deterioration before installing, and provide written confirmation that the scaffolding is complete (including the stair flights) to the person  with management and control of the workplace after their installation. Inspection should also occur after stair flights are dismantled, and where damage and/or deterioration are identified, it should be reported to the company that owns the scaffolding.

Contractors who manage and use scaffolding systems must not work on an incomplete or damaged scaffolding system (including the stair flights). Prior to receiving written confirmation that the scaffold is complete or working on the scaffolding system, contractors must check that the system is complete. In particular, check for any visible signs of cracks, rust and/or damage.

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According to WorkCover NSW, once the scaffolding system is complete and a written confirmation is accepted, the work health and safety obligations fall on the contractors managing and using scaffolding systems, which is what most contractors are unaware of.  For constructed scaffolding, written confirmation that the scaffold is complete is required prior to using the scaffold and at least every 30 days thereafter, after any alterations or additions to the scaffolding structure are made or following an incident involving the scaffolding.  Where an inspection indicates that the scaffold system creates a risk to the health and safety of workers then necessary repairs should be carried out before work resumes.