Worker Recovering After Workplace Accident

Source: Pixabay.com

A man was injured recently while working in the Western Downs Region. The man, believed to be in his thirties, is recovering in hospital after being struck by metal.

The incident occurred around 9:30am north-west of Toowoomba.

The man was treated by ambulance paramedics on the scene and was then flown to Toowoomba Hospital by the RACQ LifeFlight helicopter.

The incident is a reminder of the risks of falling objects on work sites, particularly in the construction industry.

Source:  http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/07/man-hospital-workplace-incident/#.W1XO1bglE1k

WorkSafe ACTs Focus on Work from Height Safety

WorkSafe ACT is narrowing in on employers who compromise workers’ safety when it comes to working from height and can now issue an on-the-spot fine of up to 3,600 to offenders.

In the 2017-18 period, there were 72 workers compensation claims in the state for falls from heights as well as many near-misses reported where the appropriate safety protections were not in place.

Given the significant risks of any fall from height, even falls from relatively low height, the consequences for the workers can be catastrophic. Falls can leave workers with debilitating injuries and in some cases prove fatal.

The state government decided to allocate WorkSafe ACT with greater powers to prevent these types of injuries and enforce safety requirements.

Stronger regulatory action including prosecution will be used by WorkSafe where appropriate.

A spokesperson from WorkSafe said this should send a message to the industry that safety must remain the main priority on worksites.

Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/worksafe-act-now-issues-spot-fines-target-falls-heights/#.Wxzw-CAlHQV

Worker Paralysed, Company Director Fined

A director has learned  the hard way about the importance of employee safety, after being fined $12,500 in addition to the company’s $37,500 fine for an incident that left a worker a tetraplegic.

The company and its director failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of its employee while at work. The man was struck on the back by a part of a harvester while he was unloading it from a truck, at a remote location in March 2016.

The incident left the man a tetraplegic, in need of 24 hour care.

Despite the harvester being in use since 1996, the company and director did not follow basic health and safety management practices, WorkSafe said. Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/company-director-fined-incident-left-employee-paralysed/#.WUkbD8YlEl1

Worker’s Thumb Replaced by Toe after Workplace Accident

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Photo source: SkyNews.com.au

One man has been given new hope after a workplace accident after undergoing life-changing surgery to replace a lost thumb with his big toe.

The workplace incident happened when he was working as a trainee line operator at a manufacturing company. Both his hands were crushed by a machine.

The accident happened in a split second and the worker says he felt every bone get crushed in his hands.

After undergoing a number of surgeries to restore function in his hands, the man had his thumb, replaced with his big toe so that his hand functions would increase.

He said it felt strange at first, having a toe as a thumb but he has gotten use to it.

The incident that crushed the worker’s hands is under investigation.

Read more at http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/qld/2016/09/30/toe-replaces-thumb-after-workplace-incident.html

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.

Find out more at http://www.blog4safety.com/2015/12/10-of-the-most-common-workplace-accidents-and-injuries/

 

Worker Crushed by Concrete Slab on Road Construction Site

concrete slab

A worker was hospitalised on Wednesday after being crushed by a concrete slab on a road construction site in NSW.

The man, in his 30s sustained serious injuries after he became trapped under a heavy slab before being freed by emergency services. He was treated for injuries to the lower part of his body.

The incident is under investigation by WorkCover.

Find out more here.

 

 

Report to be Prepared for Coroner Following Worker Death at Catherine Field

catherine field
Source: 9News.com.au

Following the death of a 57 year old worker at a construction site in Catherine Field, NSW police have announced that a report will be prepared for the coroner.

According to initial reports the man was operating heavy machinery at the time of the accident. Emergency crews were called in when the man become trapped between pieces of earth moving equipment.

Source: NSW Police

Workplace Accident results in Fatality on Tasmanian Site

A worker has died on a copper mine on Tasmania’s west coast, the same mine where 2 men were killed last month.

The man was a 53 year old loader operator who was contracted to work on the site. The man died from injuries sustained during a mud rush at the Mount Lyell mine in Queenstown last week.

The mine’s rescue team found the operator after he was not responding to calls. According to reports the man had died from the mud rush in the mine’s lower levels. A mud rush is a when mud a sudden inflow of mud occurs from underground openings. As the name suggests they happen fast and unexpectedly, making them the cause of numerous other mining deaths in Australia.

What makes this incident even more concerning is that it is the 3rd fatality at the mine in the last 6 weeks. Just last month 2 other workers died after falling 35 metres from a platform in the main shaft while conducting maintenance work.

All 3 deaths are under investigation by workplace safety officers. Work on the site was suspended after the 2 deaths last month and was restarted. Now with the latest death, work has been suspended again.

It seems not a month goes by when we don’t hear about an accident on a mining site and very often these accidents are fatal. Because of the extremely high risk nature of mining construction, complacency can kill. That is why it is important that everyone employed has first completed general construction industry induction training (also known as White Card training).

Although the mining industry has grown substantially over the last few years, the number of accidents has also increased. It is vitally important that everyone who is considering a career in the mining industry first completes general construction safety training to ensure that they are aware of the risks associated with construction work.

If you want to be part of this fast pace industry, then your first step is completing the online White Card course. It takes just a few hours to complete and can be done from the convenience of your home or office.

The White Card allows you to work in the mining industry and the knowledge learnt is particularly useful on rural sites which are also often shifting. More good news is that white card allows you to work anywhere in Oz, in any state or territory so you do not need to repeat the training if you chose to move to another area.

For more information on the White Card course, visit our homepage today!

 

Construction Safety: Beware of Falling Hazards

A construction accident which took place recently on a rural property west of Ipswich is an example of the risks associated with merely setting foot onto a construction site and why each worker should be trained on general safety in the form of The White Card course.

The accident in question occurred when an excavator operator’s leg was crushed by a tree as he worked on a dam wall at a property in the rural west of Ipswich.

The worker’s leg was broken when a huge tree fell onto the cab of the heavy machinery he was operating and crashed into it, breaking his leg. Although co-workers tried to help the worker get free, the fallen tree pinned him to the cabin.

Emergency services were called in and managed to free the man. The impact of the fall almost knocked the man out of the cabin and emergency services personnel had to use harnesses to support his body weight as they worked to free him.

They said he was lucky to be alive and had the tree hit the man in the torso, he would not have been so lucky. Queensland Ambulance Service had to administer pain relief to the injured man during the operation.

The cause of the incident has not yet been identified but it is an example of how freak accidents on construction sites cause serious injuries and possibly even fatalities when workers least expect it.

The following excerpt from an article onwww.qt.com.au explains what happened,

9-2007711-ips030913exca03a_t460Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Ripley station Officer Ian Bland said if the tree, which had a 30cm diameter, hit the man’s torso he might not have survived.

“When you have a tree of that size come crashing through, he was lucky that it caught him and he was unlucky that it zcaught him. If it came through high it could have hit his chest or abdomen,” he said.

“The group around him did quite well in stabilising him when it first happened.”

It is believed the man was reconfiguring the dam wall on the property off Grandchester-Mt Mort Rd.

The tree came through the cabin as he removed vegetation from the dam wall at 11.40am.

The Laidley QFRS crew arrived and with the help of co-workers stabilised the man.

The crew cut off one of the tree’s branches and used the Jaws of Life to cut into the excavator’s hydraulic controls to free his fractured leg. It took the QFRS nearly 90 minutes to free him from the cabin.

Source: http://www.qt.com.au/news/tree-crushes-workers-leg/2008550/

Employers should ensure that they take certain measures to reduce risks involved with falling objects to avoid incidents such as this one from occurring again.

It is important that employers identify and manage all the risks associated with falling objects. This is similar to the process that should be undertaken when managing other risks on construction sites – identifying the hazard, assessing the risk associated with it, eliminating it or substituting with something less hazardous and as a final resolve minimising the risk of the incident occurring by implementing the appropriate controls.

It is also important that once these control measures are designed and implemented, employers provide the adequate training to their employees and familiarise them with the safety plan.

 

Worker Predicted Accident which Changed his Life

Link: http://media.canberratimes.com.au/news/national-news/workplace-accident-victim-jeff-olsen-4513203.html

The Canberra Times website recently carried an enlightening story on the consequences of workplace hazards when the proper controls are not put in place and workers are not engaged in to the safety process.

The article was based on a young man, Jeff Olsson who at the age of 21 had a life changing experience while working at a concrete pipe manufacturer in Fyshwick.

The incident which resulted in the largest legal fine against a company over an industrial accident also almost cost Mr Olsson his arm. The most chilling part about the story is that the victim predicted such an occurrence only a few months earlier, yet nothing was done to mend the holes in the company’s safety controls. Olsson was just 21 at the time.

The accident happened when the worker was pouring concrete moulds and a tip of his glove became caught on a conveyor belt, causing his entire arm to become stuck between 2 huge rollers of the machine. The safety stop button was on the left side of the machine and the worker’s left arm was trapped in the machine, so he was not able to push the button in time.

Even his screams went undetected for a while because workers were wearing ear protection against the sound of the operations. It took a minute or 2 before anyone heard his cries and switched the machine off. However it was too late. It took a further 15 minutes before the rollers were removed and the man’s arm freed.

The article on CanberraTimes.com.au goes on to explain,

JD-art-worksafety-20130623201807802359-300x0Miraculously, his skin did not break and there was not a drop of blood. But the limb that was finally freed had been pulverised and broken into a Z-shape. He suffered extensive internal bleeding from the crushed arteries.

He was rushed to hospital – unconscious. There, Mr Olsson’s family were told he would undergo surgery to amputate the limb.

But thanks to the tenacity and skill of orthopaedic surgeon Katherine Gordiev – who painstakingly pieced together what was left of his shattered arm and retracted the severed arteries from up in his armpit to restore the blood flow – he was spared the horror of losing it altogether. ”I owe Dr Gordiev a huge amount. Honestly, I can’t even put it into words,” Mr Olsson said.

Today, he has a constant reminder of the day, with burn scars on the top of his arm from the roller and

surgical scars from five separate operations on the underside. He spent a year in a sling recovering and several years in physiotherapy.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/arm-crushed-in-accident-he-predicted-20130623-2or1f.html#ixzz2Z73DK3cd

Ironically Olsson was an OH&S rep at the company and had conducted risk assessments several months earlier when he determined that there was such a risk, only to become its victim shortly after. He says there were inadequate guards on the belt which he told his employer was “an accident waiting to happen”. Sadly these warnings went unnoticed and it cost the company the biggest fine.

Other employers can learn a very valuable lesson from this, to not ignore the warnings of employees. Workers are the ones coming into contact with hazards each day, listen to them, heed their warnings and suggestions especially when it comes to safety.