Last week was a bad one for construction safety with a number of workers suffering serious injuries due to workplace accidents. One of these accidents happened on a construction site at Mount Isa when a half tonne of wood fell on top of him, crushing the worker’s chest.
The incident occurred when the wooden formwork fell on top of the worker, crushing him between the wood and a mound of dirt.
The young worker involved was 22 years old and had to be transported to Mount Isa with critical injuries to the chest. Work Health and Safety are currently looking into the incident however whatever the cause, the incident highlights the risks that falling objects present to workers on construction sites. The following excerpt was taken from a post on Couriermail.com.au
A CONSTRUCTION site worker was seriously injured when half a tonne of wood crushed him against a dirt embankment in Mount Isa this morning.
The man, believed to be aged 22, was working on the site about 8am when the 500kg of wooden form work fell and crushed him.
He was rushed to Mount Isa with critical internal chest injuries.
When his condition stabilised about 2pm he was flown to Townsville Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
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.
Some of the control measures that can be implemented include using fences and barricades to separate the hazard from other workers and people to prevent fatal accidents such as this one. Employers can also consider using appropriate signage to warn of the danger of falling objects.
Employers should also install safety nets wherever necessary to catch falling objects, such as debris, building materials and even tree branches.
In this case the accident occurred as a result of falling wooden form work weighing around 500kg.
Employers need to manage the hazards associated with wooden form on site to avoid injuries.
Photo Source: en.wikipedia.org
Management of hazards associated with wooden formwork should include:
- Identification of hazards
- Assessment of the risks that arise as a result of the hazards identified
- Deciding on control measures to eliminate, substitute or minimise the level of risk
- Implementation of control measures
- Regular review and monitoring of these control measures effectiveness
It is should be remembered whenever wooden formwork is being erected, dismantled or used on construction sites that all materials used should be fit and appropriate for the intended purpose and meet design specifications – the formwork should be designed to Australian Standards.
Evidence verifying that formplysheets and timber bearers conformto Australian Standards must be kept on-site to produce when inspectors request it.
Also a physical barrier must separate theformwork work zone fromother workers.This barrier must be rigid and able to maintain its integrity in an upright position. The barrier may also be needed to support signage and needs to be able to withstand this.