Sunshine Coast Employers Urged to Prioritise Safety


Employers on the Sunshine Coast are being urged by WorkCover Queensland to do more to protect employees against injuries.

In July, a compliance audit found that 22% of 188 employers visited had been operating without the necessary workers’ compensation insurance.

Employers who don’t insure workers, according to WorkCover, are putting the health and safety of workers at risk and exposing their business to potentially significant financial penalties.

WorkCover said that while most employers were doing what’s right, there were many who still ignored their obligations.


Work From Heights Safety Blitz Commences

Photo source: Pixabay

The work from heights safety blitz currently underway in NSW will target employers, particularly construction employers who put workers at risk.

Employers must ensure they take the necessary precautions to protect workers from fall risks as inspectors will be visiting sites around the state over the next year.

The blitz comes after 8 people were killed on work sites this year due to falls and dozens more were seriously injured. The rate of fall injuries has increased alarmingly over the past few years.

In a press release recently Safe Work said inspectors would be taking advantage of the state’s tough new laws that came into effect in November. The new laws permit inspectors to issue spot fines of up to $3600 to offenders.

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WorkCover Queensland Urges Workers to Put Safety First in Last Quarter of the Year

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WorkCover Queensland recently issued a reminder to all employers to pay particular attention to safety during the lead-up to Christmas. This time of year is usually marked by an increased number of workplace injury claims, WorkCover Queensland Executive – Priority Industries, Barbara Martin notes.

According to her, people exhausted from a busy year as well as those rushing to get projects completed before the end of the year, tend to lose concentration and make mistakes which can lead to serious consequences.

She also noted a rise in preventable accidents like slips, trips and falls.

Another area of concern around this time of year is temporary workers who will be hired for limited periods of time to fill in for permanent employees that go on annual leave. These temporary workers must be adequately trained and receive the necessary safety induction, including white card training for those working in the construction fields.

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Safety Blitz Targets Mobile Plant on Building Sites

WorkSafe is targeting poor safety around mobile plant following a decade of incidents, injuries and fatalities involving machinery such as cranes, elevated work platforms, front end loaders, forklifts, skid steer loaders, concrete trucks and other powered mobile plant.
In the last decade, 16 people have been killed due to these types of machines which is why WorkSafe has launched a new campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries on construction sites.
Over the course of the month, inspectors will be checking to ensure employers and contractors have identified the hazards associated with mobile plant and control the risks to workers and the public in general.

According to WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams, the construction sector continued to have a high number of workplace injuries and fatalities annually.

“Last year seven construction workers lost their lives, and a number of these tragic incidents involved vehicles or powered mobile plant being operated on site,” she explained.


She also explained that because heavy and mobile machinery are common to the construction industry, often used only for short periods of time, hazards need to be assessed and re-assessed constantly, keeping in mind that construction sites are dynamic and changing all the time. As construction progresses and the site change, so will the hazards and risks presented.

“As construction sites change and develop, so do the risks to people on the site,” she said.

“Part of the obvious risks with mobile machinery is that they move from place to place at different times, which means managing the risks to employees and site visitors must be an ongoing process.

“That’s why it is critical that employers outline to workers the work that needs to be done, the potential risks involved, and identify how the risks must be controlled. Appropriate training and clear exclusion zones are essential, because pedestrians and powered mobile machinery simply do not mix.” she said.


There were some safety measures that Ms Williams said should be considered:

  • All operators of heavy plant and machinery should be appropriately trained and competent.
  • Machinery must be regularly inspected and maintained.
  • Where a traffic management plan is necessary, it must be reviewed and updated regularly


Weekend Workplace Incidents

Two men were killed in workplace incidents over one weekend and another suffered critical head injuries.

Three separate incidents on one weekend highlighted the need to pay more attention to safety.

One man died on Saturday when a quad bike he was riding overturned on a property in East Gippsland.

In another incident, a man in his fifties died after a load of steel fell on him from a forklift and crushed him in South Gippsland.

The third incident happened in Mornington Peninsula when a man in his sixties suffered head injuries after falling 4 metres at a construction site at Merricks North. The man was painting at the time.

Sadly these incidents prove that safety isn’t always the main priority, especially when we consider that all these risks were well known, yet nothing was done to negate them.

Marnie Williams, WorkSafe’s Executive Director of Health and Safety said these incidents prove that appropriate systems that should be place to ensure risks are reduced or eliminated are being neglected.

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WorkSafe NZ- Make Safety a Priority

 WorkSafe New Zealand is urging all workers and businesses to begin the year with safety as a priority.
If you find workers have returned after the holidays with a relaxed attitude towards safety, perhaps a refresher in health and safety habits would do them good.
WorkSafe New Zealand suggests spending time before work speaking about safety systems and procedures.
In Australia, it’s also important to ensure everyone including apprentices and new workers have a White Card.
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Man Hospitalised After Welding Accident


Another workplace has taken place, this time sending one man to hospital after he sustained burned due to a welding incident.

The incident took place last Thursday in southwestern Victoria at a property on the Warrnambool-Penshurst Road.

Paramedics were called to the scene to treat the man for burns, he was then taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition for further treatment.

As we approach the end of the year, accidents on worksites do become more common. Let’s pay particular attention to safety and end the year on a good note.


Workers Crushed by Concrete Slab

Source: Yahoo News
Source: Yahoo News

There have been 119 fatalities from workplace incidents this year, and one of the worst resulted in the death of 2 workers at a racecourse worksite at Eagle Farm.

Two men were fatally wounded when a concrete slab collapsed on them.

The large slab was being moved by a crane when it fell, crushing the workers who were trapped down in a hole at the time.

Colleagues and emergency personnel intervened, trying to save the men but it was too late, they had already passed away.

The incident is still under investigation by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.


Addressing The Most Common Workplace Accidents

house start

The construction industry in The United States holds alot of similarities to work here in Australia, which is why I found it interesting that their 10 most common construction hazards are so alike ours but also different in many ways.

According to the post the most common workplace accidents are linked to

  1. Altercations at work
  2. Colliding with objects
  3. Slips, trips and falls
  4. Muscle strains
  5. Exposure to loud noise
  6. Being hit by falling objects
  7. Crashes and collisions
  8. Repetitive strain injury
  9. Cuts and lacerations
  10. Inhaling toxic fumes.

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Victoria’s First High Rise School Construction

vic highrise school

The Victorian State Government announced the first high rise school to be built in South Melbourne, to accommodate 525 students.

The five storey high school will be designed by architecture practice Hayball to form part of the Montague precinct in the Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area.

Last year in November, the state government announced that it had purchased land adjacent to the school for $19 million in order to create a park.

The park would be grassed in time for the opening of the school in 2018.


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