NSW Government Take Aim at Dodgy Building Certifiers

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The NSW Government announced a crackdown on dodgy building certifiers, saying any corrupt certifiers would be barred from the industry.

The recent debacle involving Sydney’s Opal Tower, when a crack was discovered in a precast concrete panel inside the building, a full investigation was launched by government. Fears that the building was unstable prompted evacuation, at a time when the government is under pressure to ensure safety of buildings in Sydney.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean warned dodgy certifiers that they will be found and have the book thrown at them.

Under a new disciplinary policy, corrupt certifiers will be immediately kicked out of the industry, Kean warned. Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/crackdown-dodgy-building-certifiers-way/#.XFgfQ80lHQV

Ladder Fall Incident Sends Man to Hospital

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Falls from height remain the biggest problem on construction sites and on work sites in general, yet still not enough is being done by employers and workers to combat the risks involved with work from heights.

The latest incident involved a man who fell from a ladder in northern New South Wales, suffering head and shoulder injuries as a result.

The man had to be airlifted to hospital following the incident at the Barraba property.

The man was stabilised on site before being transported by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Tamworth hospital.

According to figures from Safe Work Australia, 46 fatalities occurred as a result of falls from height between 2013 and 2017.

Read more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/man-hospitalised-ladder-fall-2/#.XFgeIM0lHQV

Keep Workers Safe in the Heat – WorkSafe Urges

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WorkSafe Victoria has urged employers in the north to ensure the protection of workers in the extreme heat.

With temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees, employers were reminded to ensure work is managed safely and that workers are well hydrated.

Working in such extreme heat can cause dehydration and heat stress which can be fatal in the worst cases. Brain injury and organ failure are also a risk,WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said.

She warned that it is important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload, rescheduling or modifying the work load to reduce heat exposure.

Read  more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/worksafe-urges-employers-protect-workers-heat-related-illnesses/#.XFgdMc0lHQV

Civil Construction Firm Charged over Worker Trench Deaths

While charges, fines and prosecutions aren’t the most serious consequences of workplace incidents such as trench collapses, (the human cost is much higher) they hopefully do serve as a deterrent for others to avoid similar mistakes that can have such as tragically high cost of human life.

One such incident involved the deaths of 2 workers who died in Ballarat last year when a trench collapsed. The civil construction company involved has since been charged with breaches of section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The company is accused of failing to maintain the battering or benching of the excavation and failure to use trench shields and manhole cages to avoid the risk of engulfment. It also failed to provide workers with supervision.

The incident took place in March 2018 when the 2 workers were laying pipe in the trench at a housing development site. One worker, a 34 year old died on the scene while the other worker, a 21 year old man died in the hospital shortly afterwards.

The court case is ongoing.

See more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/civil-construction-company-charged-two-workers-death/#.XFggqs0lHQV

Keeping Workers Safe when Working in Confined Spaces

SafeWork NSW highlighted on its website the risks of working in confined spaces and for employers, the aspects to consider in keeping workers safe.

Examples of confined spaces are pipes, chimneys, sewers, shafts, wells, pressure vessels, trenches, tunnels, pits, tanks and vats.

These confined spaces aren’t designed for people to work in them and as such they usually have poor ventilation, allowing hazardous atmospheres to develop quickly and even more so in small spaces.

Work in a confined space is risky and can be fatal if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Some of the hazards include lack of oxygen, risk of explosions and airborne contaminants, incidents when people are swallowed up in flood waters, sewerage, smoke or dirt.

SafeWork goes on to highlight the laws surrounding confined space work and provide some practical tips.

Read more at https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/hazards-a-z/confined-spaces

These Careers Must Undergo CPR Training

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A recent post highlighted the value of CPR training and that it can boost your ’employable skills’.

CPR training can make a person more attractive to employers, which is valuable in are world where qualified candidates for every job abound.

In fact there are some jobs and careers where CPR training (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation training) also known as first aid training is required including,

  • Construction workers
  • Electricians

Construction workers are exposed to a high risk environment and one mistake can lead to serious injury, illness or death which is why first aid training for construction workers is important – it can save lives. Workers on site may need prompt first aid treatment to save a life.

Similarly, electricians are exposed to a high risk environment where risks include electric shock, fire, explosions, falls etc. In order to assist a co-worker in an emergency, first aid training is invaluable.

Read more https://bestinau.com.au/careers-that-require-cpr-or-first-aid-training/

Blitz Focusing on Work From Heights Successful- SafeWork NSW

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SafeWork NSW says a 12 month construction blitz focusing on reducing falls from heights has been successful and has improved work from height safety and compliance.

During the course of the year inspectors visited 1000 sites around the state, following a high rate of fatalities in 2017 and a spike in falls.

Inspectors embarked on a concentrated education campaign and provided rebates for small businesses.

More than $86,000 in rebates has been given out to 186 small businesses.

Inspectors also issued on-the-spot fines for non-compliance.

A focus on work from height safety will continue this year.

Read more at: https://www.miragenews.com/safework-blitz-results-in-improved-construction-safety/

How Toxic Work Stress Can Affect Your Health

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Everyone experiences some form of stress at some time in their lives but toxic stress left unchecked can have devastating effects on our mental and physical health.

Experts have warned about the danger of toxic stress. Safe Work Australia said that 92 per cent of serious work related mental disorder claims can be attributed to mental stress.

In a 2015 study, Stanford University organisational behaviour professor Jeffrey Pfeffer found that poor management in the USA was responsible for almost 8 per cent of annual health costs and 120,000 deaths annually.

He argued that mental health and stress in the workplace is not being addressed, but rather only the physical health and safety of workers was being focused on.

Signs of Toxic Stress:

According to US Clinical psychologist Monique Reynolds from the Centre for Anxiety and Behavioural Change, the first sign of a destructive job is loss of sleep. These people will likely wake up in the middle of the night thinking about their to-do list.

If you have a pattern of insomnia, it could be a sign of unhealthy job stress.

Another sign is chronic tension in the neck and shoulders which also causes migraines and tension headaches. Dr Reynolds said that because our nervous systems are constantly on edge in these toxic jobs, we are constantly waiting to react to that unpleasant boss or co-worker.

If you have had previous bouts of mental illness, this can cause you to “cross the clinical threshold”, experts warn.

Research also shows that chronic stress can affect your immune system and make you sick more often.

Read more at: https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/stress-from-toxic-working-conditions-can-cause-serious-health-risks-and-lower-sex-drive/news-story/a364f34172e34cd6ddb0b2a11d75daec

Man Dies After being Electrocuted by Overhead Powerlines while Trimming Trees

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A case being investigated by WorkSafe reminds us to beware of overhead power-lines, especially when working from elevated work platforms.

A man was killed recently after being electrocuted by power-lines while trimming trees in Melbourne’s south east.

The incident involved a 26 year old worker who died when the cherry picker platform that he was on came into contact with live power-lines in Hughesdale.

Emergency services were called to the scene but the man was pronounced deceased at the scene.

See more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/tree-trimmer-electrocuted-hughesdale/#.XHa3aLglE1m