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27 Mar 2014

‘Threats’ spark U-turn

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Cootes Transport has responded to a ‘show cause’ notice and submitted a plan to the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services to fix safety and compliance faults in its dangerous goods fleet.

As reported in an earlier e-bulletin, Cootes had been given 14 days to rectify the faults or have its licence to travel on NSW roads cancelled or suspended.

Last week, the NSW Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay said Cootes had submitted the plan, which includes decommissioning 50 older trucks and removing them from its Transport of Dangerous Goods licence; purchasing or bringing in new prime movers and tankers for its NSW Fleet; and implementing improved maintenance, with and increased focus on brake, steering and suspension.

A number of other changes are also included in the plan.

As a result, Cootes is allowed to continue operating on NSW roads for the time being, Gay says.

“I am particularly encouraged by the Board’s commitment to ensuring the company carries out the agreed program of corrective works,” he says.

“But it is not a time to be complacent…the company is aware that should compliance issues continue to be detected, action will be reinstated to ensure the safety of all road users.”

For more details, visit the minister

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

A worker has been ordered not to make comments about another worker’s clothes or appearance in the first stop bullying order from the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The FWC’s Senior Deputy President Drake made the order following a conference between the parties on 4 March.

Senior Deputy President Drake has also ordered the worker who was the subject of the application not to have contact with the applicant alone, not to send any emails or texts to the applicant except in emergencies, not to raise any work issues without notifying the chief operating officer (of the worker who was the subject of the application) or his subordinate, beforehand, and to exercise at the employer’s premises before 8.00 am.

The worker who lodged the application has been ordered not to arrive at work before 8.15 am.

“Parties have leave to approach to have the matter relisted for further conference should there be any difficulty with the implementation of the Orders,” Senior Deputy President Drake said.

For more details, visit the bullying orders.

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

A UK company has been fined £130,000 and gone into liquidation after one of its workers was run over by a van.

The worker was hit and killed as the van was reversing outside a cinema in Ashton-on-Ribble in July 2010, says the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

He had been working on a fit out of a new coffee shop inside the cinema for EMC Contracts on the day of the incident. An EMC employee was driving the van when it hit the worker.

A HSE investigation found the company had no system in place to separate construction traffic and pedestrians.

“The company had written a method statement for the work, which identified the risk of pedestrians being injured by vehicles as a main hazard. However, they failed to state what measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk,” the HSE said.

Last week EMC Contracts Ltd, of Faraday Court in Fulwood, was prosecuted and found guilty of breaching UK health and safety laws.

It was fined £130,000 and ordered to pay £52,790 in costs.

The company has gone into voluntary liquidation.

For more details visit the HSE.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Three John Holland entities face action in the Federal Court of Australia following a fatal workplace incident in Perth.

According to Comcare John Holland Pty Ltd, John Holland Group Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd are alleged to have breached Commonwealth work health and safety laws when an employee of John Holland Group Pty Ltd was hit and killed by an out of control hi-rail vehicle in December 2011.

The incident happened at a John Holland Pty Ltd workplace and the hi-rail vehicle had been manufactured by John Holland Rail Pty Ltd.

“We have a collective need to address the protections afforded to workers to prevent such terrible loss in the future,” Comcare Regulatory Operations General Manager, Neil Quarmby said.

John Holland Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd have been penalised for work health and safety breaches in the past, Comcare says.

For these latest allegations, each entity faces a maximum penalty of $242 000.

For more details, visit Comcare.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A West Australian scrap metal business has been prosecuted after a Chinese national who spoke little English was crushed to death by an 800kg metal slab.

The incident happened in November 2011 when the worker was directed to remove a large bucket from an excavator using an oxy-cutter. WorkSafe said he was given no instructions for carrying out this task, or supervision, and was working alone.

“At some time between 8am and 9am, the worker was crushed when an 800kg piece of the upper part of the bucket he was cutting broke away from the main structure and fell on him,” WorkSafe said.

Before the incident, the worker had been with the company for nine months. He initially received general induction training, then a few hours of formal training followed by “three months working under the supervision of another relatively inexperienced Chinese oxy-cutter with very limited English”, according to WorkSafe.

“During this time, he was shown how to assess the risk of falling pieces of metal, safe cutting, leaving ‘tags’ and where to position himself when cutting overhead.”

Nevertheless, the worker had no formal training or experience in oxy-cutting or metalwork generally before starting this job, WorkSafe added.

Since the worker’s death changes have been made at the workplace. “Subsequent to the death of this worker, the employer has reassessed the risks at the yard, and individual risk assessments, methodology, JSAs and detailed cut plans must now be undertaken for any cutting job where there is a risk of pieces falling,” WorkSafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch said.

“An additional supervisor has been employed to carry out risk assessments, compile JSAs and instruct workers in safe cutting procedures. These are generally documented in both English and Chinese.”

The business, J & P Group Pty Ltd trading as J & P Metals, was prosecuted in the Bunbury Magistrates Court. It pleaded guilty and was fined $80,000 and ordered to pay $3000 in costs.

For more details, visit WorkSafe.

Published on 13 March 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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