Sixteen Year Old Inducted as Carpenter before Seven Metre Fall


The sixteen year old boy who fell seven metres down a staircase void and suffered serious injuries in October, was inducted as a carpenter the day before the terrible accident occurred.

There have since been questions raised about the supervision of youth on the site and other sites.

The young man was working on the site as part of a program by Master Builders, helping students at risk of dropping out by putting them into trade apprenticeships.

The teen apparently fell from a stepladder down a staircase void which resulted in serious injuries including a crushed shoulder and damaged vertebrae, requiring a metal rod to be put into his back.

The program is currently on hold as WorkSafe investigate the incident.

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Earth Moving Company Receives $110,000 Fine for Safety Breaches


An earthmoving company has been fined $111,000 plus court fees for failing to comply with workplace health and safety laws, exposing a worker to risk of death or injury/illness.

The incident happened in October 2013 when a male worker’s right arm was caught in an unguarded tail drum of the soil screening plant he was operating. The worker apparently tripped and fell onto the machine.

The man’s arm had to be amputated after he was placed into an induced coma.

The magistrate described the company’s actions as extremely serious breaches of basic workplace safety laws, which were foreseeable and avoidable.


Maintain a Safe Worksite Through Summer

man in the sun

Summer is here and the temperatures are soaring so maintaining safety throughout summer will involve some added safety measures.

Take into consideration the controls needed to keep workers safe in the heat, beginning with rescheduling strenuous, outdoor work for the coolest time of the day and rotating shifts so one worker isn’t exposed more than others.

Other aspects to consider include UV protection, keeping hydrated, being aware of insects and creatures that come out during summer, storing lunches safely to prevent food poisoning, fire safety as much of Australia goes through bushfire season and the appropriate lockdown practices during the weekends and public holidays.

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Industry Leaders Concerned about the Risk of Imported Construction Materials


Construction industry leaders have warned that sub-standard, imported building materials plaguing the Australian construction landscape are putting lives at risk.

The concern over non-compliant building materials has reached its pinnacle with industry leaders expressing their concern.

Experts have also called for signing off on new buildings to be “better regulated”.

Reduce OHS Incidents on any Worksite

Occupational health and safety incidents are costly, inconvenient and counter-productive on any work site but particularly so for construction sites because they usually have to abide by very strict deadlines. Companies that neglect OH&S are also liable for huge fines, which can sometimes be bankrupting to a business.

The best construction site OHS risk management plans identify existing known hazards, measure and rank themand outline simple and practical control measures.

These are the most important aspects of developing and implementing a safety plan on a building site:

Communication: Communication between workers and employers needs to be two-way. Employers need to effectively communicate to workers regarding hazards, risks associated with the hazards and the control measures in place to overcome hazards. Written and verbal communication to employees should be comprehensive and in a language they understand, especially if they are migrant workers whose first language isn’t necessarily English.

Because workers are on ground level, and are continuously coming into contact with various hazards they can provide valuable information and guidance to employers with regards to safety measures. Also because they are the ones encountering safety precautions, they are the best to use to evaluate safety systems set in place. Employers need to listen to workers and consult with them on safety issues. Information should be provided to workers regarding new safety issues that may arise.

Reporting Incidents and Near Misses: The importance of near miss reporting, as well as the important role supervisors play in encouraging workers to report near misses, is something that most companies understand, but most struggle with implementing this in practice. Reporting near misses engages the workforce in safety problem solving. Because workers are the ones on the ground, daily dealing with workplace issues it is best to consult them about safety issues.

This will also reinforce a worker’s self-esteem and confidence in their employer, resulting in job satisfaction.  Communication on a site is one of the best ways to educate and inform workers about safety and relay worker concerns to management so that they can be addressed. Reporting near misses enables companies to actively address any hazards before a tragic or even more costly incident occurs. By so doing companies can address safety issues that are particularly problematic.

Ensure all Employees are Trained:  The White Card is the general construction safety certificate which is mandatory for work in the construction sector and is an important part combatting high injury and fatality rates. This training is aimed at teaching workers the hazards and control measures common in the construction sector.

Because this White Card Training is a basic safety training course, covering the most common hazards on the construction site, employees will have to also undergo site specific training, designed and provided by the employer. Site specific training will incorporate all the hazards unique to the site as well as the specific control measures designed to handle these handles. This training also includes important information such as emergency escape routes and emergency procedures.