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27 Mar 2014

Faulty lift poses fall risk

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OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd has been fined for operating a risky heavy goods lift.

SafeWork SA prosecuted the steelmaker in the Industrial Relations Court of South Australia following an investigation at the company’s Whyalla plant in July 2011.

“The charges stated that the lift was not in a safe condition due to missing door guides, a worn door lock, broken emergency access devices and a pool of water in the bottom of the lift pit,” SafeWork SA said.

“Some of these defects had been noted in inspection reports from the manufacturer.”

The company was fined $56,250. This included a 25 per cent reduction for the company’s early guilty plea.

For more details, visit SafeWork SA

Published on 27 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

WorkCover NSW inspectors are two weeks into a six-week blitz targeting commercial construction sites across Sydney and parts of regional NSW.

Under scrutiny are a number of high-risk activities, such as multi-level scaffolding, emergency evacuation, cranes, hoardings, working at heights, and excavation.

The blitz comes after the recent Barangaroo fire, other construction incidents and calls from Unions NSW (on 13 March) for the state government to audit all major building sites in light of these incidents.

On 14 March WorkCover NSW launched the blitz. “In the past 18 months there have been three high profile incidents in the commercial construction sector involving scaffolding and tower cranes, however, it is important to note there has been no common link between the causes of these incidents,” WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division General Manager John Watson said.

“This blitz will target … specifically those sites involved in the construction of multi-level buildings.”

WorkCover NSW is also meeting with “all major contractors to inform them of the detail of this High Risk Commercial Construction strategy and to make clear to the industry our expectations in relation to the action they need to be taking”, Watson added.

For more details, visit WorkCover NSW

Published on 27 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

27 Mar 2014

Blaze under investigation

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An investigation is underway at Sydney’s Barangaroo construction site following a fire there earlier this month.

The blaze required the site and nearby buildings to be evacuated and a major road, the Western Distributor, to be closed temporarily. The crane at the site was also put at risk.

WorkCover NSW served the construction site’s principal contractor with a prohibition order to ensure the site was not disturbed following the fire, and the authority is now investigating the incident.

WorkCover says the investigation is covering a number issues. Some of these include: What work activities, if any, may have led to the ignition of the fire; why the controls to ensure safe work activities may have failed on this occasion; if the evacuation of the site occurred as required; and what procedures are being used to make the site safe.

For more details, visit WorkCover NSW.

Published on 27 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Vehicle crashes were the most common notifiable work-related fatalities in 2013, says the latest Safe Work Australia figures.

Vehicle crashes on public roads accounted for 69 fatalities.

In addition, vehicle incidents off public roads accounted for 24 fatalities, pedestrians hit on public roads accounted for 9 fatalities, pedestrians hit off public roads accounted for 5 fatalities, being hit by a moving unattended vehicle off a public road accounted for 4 fatalities and being hit by a moving unattended vehicle on a public road accounted for 1 fatality.

Meanwhile, the number of all monthly notifiable work-related fatalities fluctuated markedly across 2013, jumping to 26 deaths in March 2013, then dropping to 11 deaths in August, and then climbing to 24 deaths in December.

Safe Work Australia says all these figures are preliminary.

For more details, visit the number of fatalities.

Published on 27 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Changes to Comcare’s workers compensation and self-insurance eligibility laws are before the federal parliament.

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 was introduced into parliament last week.

Under the Bill, Comcare will no longer pay workers compensation for injuries that occur during recess breaks away from an employer’s premises.

Nor will it pay compensation for death or serious and permanent impairment if the person killed or injured engaged in serious and wilful misconduct.

The Bill also removes the need for the Minister of Employment to declare a corporation’s eligibility to be granted a self-insurance licence. Corporations can go straight to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) to apply for the licence. Nevertheless, the Minister can still direct the SRCC.

Corporations operating in two or more jurisdictions and that meet the workers compensation obligations in these jurisdictions can apply to join the Comcare scheme. Also group licences can be granted to related corporations.

Corporations granted a self-insurance licence will also be covered under the Commonwealth Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

For more details, visit the Bill.

Published on 27 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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