In a Single Day, Two Workers Were Killed on The Job

Victoria experienced 2 worker fatalities in a single day in 2 separate incidents.

A delivery truck driver died on Thursday after he was run over by his own truck at a storage depot in Tullamarine.

On the same day a farmer was killed when he was run over by his tractor while doing maintenance work. He died in hospital due to head injuries sustained.

Both incidents are under investigation however both men were working alone at the time, reminding us of the importance of safety procedures when engaging in solitary work.  See more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/03/two-work-related-fatalities-one-day/#.WO0b36KxUl1

Worker Killed by Buffalo in South Australia

dairy buffaloA recent tragedy involving a dairy buffalo in South Australa resulted in one fatality after a man was gored to death by the animal at a property south of Adelaide.

The man, in his seventies, was a stock delivery handler who was unloading the dairy buffalo from his truck when the fatal incident occured.

Paramedics were called to the scene around 60km south east of Adelaide where they treated the man on site before he was airlifted by medical chopper to the Flinder Medical Centre. He died a short time thereafter due to his injuries.

Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/buffalo-fatally-injures-worker-south-australia/#.V0Mh-vl97IV

Fall Incident serves as warning to Construction Industry

How safe are the young workers on your site? That is a question that all principal contractors and employers should be asking themselves following an incident in Sydney’s north where a teenager narrowly escaped with his life after falling 10 meters down a lift shaft.

The 17 year old teenager fell a whopping four storeys and could easily have lost his life, thankfully he was not killed but suffered skull and spinal injuries.

Read what happened from this post on Abc.net.au:

A teenager has survived a 10-metre fall down a lift shaft on a building site in Sydney’s north.

The 17-year-old fell four storeys and landed on concrete in Lane Cove at about 9:00am (AEDT).

The Construction Forestry Electrical Mining Union says he has been taken to hospital with a suspected fractured skull and as well as spinal injuries.

The Union’s Mark Sutcliffe says the boy tried to get up after the fall.

“He’s lucid, he’s in the hospital answering questions,” he said.

“They believe he may have a cracked skull and he’s going to be very sore and sorry for himself.

“At this stage though they’re quite happy that he can talk.

“He did try and get up and obviously his workmates kept him down until such time as the ambulance arrived.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-07/teen-survives-four-storey-lift-shaft-fall/4414906

Details have not yet emerged about whether the company had implemented the correct safety procedures regarding guarding rails and fall hazards but falls have been identified as the biggest cause of construction industry deaths.

Some employers are of the false impression that work from a low height will not result in injury and so does not require fall protection but this is wrong. Even falls from relatively low heights can be deadly or debilitating and so this risk needs to be managed.

Falls can occur in all industriesbut they are most common in the construction industry and so need to be managed.  Control measures must be in place before a worker starts work at a height, such as ensuring working platforms are in place before formwork is erected.

Some cases warrant more than one control measure at a time to be implemented in conjunction with one another. Physical barriers are the preferred method of preventing a person from falling from height, examples include edge protection systems and fall protection covers.

An edge protection system can be made of guard railing to be used on the edge of working platforms, walkways, stairways, ramps, lift shafts and landings and should run parallel to the working surface.

Holes or openings are often covered with wire mesh. These should not be used as a working platform. All covers should be securely fixed around the hole. Signs should also be attached to the cover to warn people that there is a hole underneath. This is a particularly dangerous hazard as many lives have been lost when workers fell through these mesh covers.

According to the law employers have a responsibility to ensure their workplace is safe. They must also provide workers with a safe working environment. This means controlling the risk of falls from any height before work can begin. A hazard identification should be conducted and the risk assessed so that a safe system of work can be developed and implemented so that accidents such as this one are a thing of the past.

 

The Danger of Crushing Hazards in Construction

(Photo: njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Crushing is probably one of the most common formsof injury sustained by pedestrians on a construction site.  However a crush injury can occur whenever the workers body is caught between 2 heavy objects. Some of the most brutal crushing injuries occur when a worker is hit by a falling object, such as a cranes load. These loads are usually heavy materials such as steel, cement blocks etc. which are too heavy to manually transport. This is a common form of injury which needs to be addressed. With a little attention, employers can get together with workers to weigh the risk involved with the hazard and determine ways to eliminate or manage the hazard.

There is also machinery on site that can cause a crushing hazard. This is especially true when appropriate guarding is not in place. Sometimes workers may flout the rules and take shortcuts, leading to them being crushed by parts of a machine or a machine may become jammed and workers will remove the guard in an attempt to fix the machinery, resulting in the crushing of some part of their body.

Another concern associated with machinery is when machine guarding is not in place or damaged, leading to the worker being exposed to the dangerous parts of the machine. Also if workers do not obey the safety rules as specified it is easy for them to get pulled into the machines movable parts resulting in crushing. Part of workers training should entail the appropriate PPE to wear and teach workers to avoid loose, flowing clothing which could get caught in the machine’s parts and cause an injury.

Construction site vehicles, including forklifts, graders, bulldozers, payloaders, steamrollers and earth movers, can also cause crush injuries. Workers can get run over or pinned by heavy equipment on the site. Forklift accidents are another source of crush injuries. A load from a forklift can crush someone working near it. Forklift operators have become renowned for crushing injuries caused by tip overs. Trenches and excavations pose a threat of crush injuries as well. A cave-in or trench collapse can bury workers alive. The weight of the soil, rocks and other material can cause crush injuries.

Workers can also be crushed by heavy equipment and vehicles on a site because it is such a busy and noisy environment that workers may not hear the approaching vehicle. Pedestrian walkways must be clearly marked. Installing physical barriers ensures workstations are separated from vehicle travel areas. There have been many incidents when workers were crushed between a vehicle and another object and sustained crushing injuries in the process.

Just having the proper safety procedures in place is not enough, they need to be adhered to and enforced by employers and workers in order to avoid tragic circumstances such as these.

Crushing injuries, like all other construction injuries can be avoided if the proper procedures are followed and workers remain vigilant on site. Avoiding long shifts, taking regular breaks and resting in between strenuous tasks can help workers remain alert and avoid many of the dangers brought about by worker negligence, such as crushing.