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Date PostedSeptember 14, 2013

Bechtel Suspect Equipment Tampering on Curtis Island Site

How often do you conduct inspections on your equipment before utilising it or starting your work? While safety training dictates that workers should conduct routine inspections before using equipment, many workers fail to do this, although it isespecially important for equipment used for lifting and carrying operations.

Although the incident did not occur on a building site it could have just as easily have, because building sites are where operations like crane lifting and carrying etc. are commonly undertaken.

This post from MiningAustralia.com.au explains what happened

Curtis-Island_2_300Investigations are underway on Curtis Island after Bechtel discovered equipment that had been tampered with on the QCLNG site.

Gladstone Police were called to the site on Monday when Bechtel workers found a number of chain block lifting devices that appeared to be missing nuts.

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg said further inspections found the equipment had been ‘intentionally damaged’.

“A full inspection of the equipment across the site found further suspected tampering had occurred on the same equipment,” Berg said.

Workplace Health and Safety and police inspected the site. 

“Workplace Health and Safety are now conducting an investigation, and I’ll wait till I see the findings of that before I decide whether it’s a police matter,” Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said.

Berg said it was ‘extremely distressing’ that someone may have intentionally put workers at risk.

Source: http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/bechtel-suspect-sabotage-on-curtis-island

One thing this incident makes perfectly clear is the importance of pre-work inspections whenerve heavy machinery and equipment is being used.

Before beginning work with any machinery or equipment on a construction site be prepared and read the manufacturer’s recommendations to know what to look out for. Most manufacturers of building machinery and equipment will stress the importance of the pre-work inspection. Ensure that co-workers are also aware of the need to conduct this inspection because their actions affect you and everyone on site as well.

Inspect the machinery and equipment carefully before work. It is important to inspect the entire piece of equipment carefully with safety in mind. Work in conjunction with your co-workers to inspect machinery and its parts. Write down and document all safety and maintenance concerns.

Conduct follow-up checks. Double-check equipment and pre-shift reports to ensure complete inspection of the equipment and its parts. Report your findings to your supervisor both written and verbally.

When changing machines, especially in the middle of your shift it is easy to forget to conduct an inspection. Ensure you make a visual walk around inspection and discuss with the operator you are changing with about your observations and machine performance.

If you notice anything awry don’t keep silent about it but report anything suspicious to your supervisor immediately. If you are unsure about whether something is wrong get a second opinion from a more experienced co-worker or a supervisor. Never begin work using equipment and machinery without first conducting the basic safety checks and following a checklist while doing so. Also keep a record of these checks and anything unusual you detect.


Steven Asnicar is regarded as a leader across many fields of industry. In particular, his specialisation across the health, infrastructure, construction, resource and utility sectors has seen him successfully change the dynamics of these industries through the introduction of new strategic, marketing, training and technical frameworks. Steven works closely with industry peak bodies such as Safework Australia, Australian Logistics Council, National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) and the Council of Australian Governments in the development of new delivery standards and industry specific programs.

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