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2015
Archive for: September

Workplace inspectors from New South Wales and Victoria are visiting construction sites in Murray River border towns this week.

Construction sites from Cobram and Barooga to Corowa are in the inspectors’ sights, said the safety regulators WorkSafe Victoria and WorkCover NSW in a joint media release.

Inspectors are checking to ensure builders and subcontractors are managing high-risk construction work, complying with safe work method statements (SWMSs) and preventing falls down stair voids.

“Inspectors will also want to see builders effectively managing site safety, including having public protection in place and ensuring housekeeping practices are adequate,” said both regulators.

Laurence Richey, WorkCover NSW Assistant Director, Regional and Response Operations, said in the media release that proper planning and risk assessments can help to avoid most health and safety issues on construction sites. Worker consultation on safety is also critical, he added.

“Taking short cuts with safety on construction sites is not an option,” WorkSafe Regional Operations Manager Brooke Grey said in the media release.

“All too often after a serious injury, inspectors hear ‘but it was only a five-minute job’. Short cuts can end in tragedy with a cost far more valuable than time or money.”

For more details, visit WorkSafe and WorkCover NSW

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

Kenoss Contractors has been fined $1.1 million following the death of a truck driver.

The sentence was handed down in the ACT Magistrates Court last week, according to The Canberra Times and ABC media reports.

The truck driver was electrocuted on a Kenoss Contractors worksite in Canberra in 2012.

The company was found guilty of breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (ACT) in the ACT Magistrates Court in June. During the same hearing, the charge against Kenoss project manager Munir al-Hasani (ie, that he was an officer of the corporation and failed to exercise due diligence to prevent the failings of the corporate defendant) was dismissed.

Despite the large fine imposed on the company, it won’t be paid because the company went into liquidation before the case was heard.

“On [the] one hand, this is disappointing [because] there’s a dead worker at the end of this tale, but on the other hand, this is a very strong warning to company leaders right around the country,” ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe was quoted in The Canberra Times.

The sentence is yet to be published online.

For more details on the June verdict, visit the ACT Magistrates Court

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been fined $220,000 following the shooting of two soldiers.

The fine was handed down in the Federal Court of Australia in Canberra last week.

During a night training exercise at the Cultana Training Area near Whyalla, South Australia, in October 2009, a Special Forces soldier was fatally shot in the head and another soldier was wounded by a gunshot to his left arm.

Among the findings, the Court heard that the ADF training manual failed to require that a risk management plan or risk assessment be prepared for each separate training exercise. This led to the implementation of inadequate risk management and assessment, particularly when live ammunition was used and fired.

Also, a number of the individuals failed to meet their employment standards. “Those failures mainly concerned the miscommunications caused by the last-minute briefings and the failure to ensure that appropriately qualified persons were appointed to the relevant tasks involved in the exercises and had been fully and adequately briefed by other appropriately qualified persons,” said Justice Lindsay Foster in his judgment.

The case reinforced the need for employers to take every practicable step to ensure the safety of their workforce, Comcare CEO Jennifer Taylor said in a media statement.

“This is particularly important for work that is inherently dangerous, as is the case with many tasks performed by Defence personnel,” she added.

For more details, visit the case

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

Around 34 construction workers are seriously injured each day, according to the latest injury and fatality figures from Safe Work Australia.

Some 12,300 employees made a workers compensation claim requiring one or more weeks off work in 2012–13, according to ‘Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities in Construction, Australia, 2003 to 2013’.

These preliminary workers compensation figures equate to 34 workers seriously injured per day.

The median cost of these preliminary claims and time spent off work are not available as “some claims remain open and the time lost and associated payments can increase”, the report says.

Nevertheless, in the previous year, 12,600 employees made a workers compensation claim requiring one or more weeks off work, according to the report.

During this time, a seriously injured construction worker typically had 6.4 working weeks off work and received a median compensation payment of $11,000, the report adds.

For more details, visit the figures

Published on 27 August 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email.  Subscribe online today.

In partnership with NSCA Foundation, Ansell invite safety professionals to take part in a first-time survey to better understand and benchmark hand safety performance and improvement trends in Australia.

The survey will be conducted by independent market research company, Australian Marketing Research (AMR) during September 2015. AMR will conduct the survey via personal telephone interview, taking approximately 15 minutes, and scheduled at a time convenient to you. Should you be selected AMR will be in contact to discuss your availability to participate.

Start the survey now

AMR will only use the information you provide for the research purposes of this survey. Any feedback you provide will not be identified as coming from you unless you authorise it. All responses will be aggregated and summarised to protect confidentiality while ensuring valuable and instructive information is provided. For more information on how AMR collect, use, hold and disclose personal information, please see AMR’s privacy policy.

We hope that you agree to take part in this study and thank you for taking the time to consider our request.

Jamie Burrage | General Manager, NSCA Foundation
Dean Clark | Marketing Manager, Industrial & single Use ANZ, Ansell Healthcare

Start the survey now

 

 


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