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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.

06 Feb 2014

What happens when one worker sneezes

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Influenza is highly contagious and much more debilitating than the common cold.  This poses a difficult problem for persons conducting businesses or undertakings (PCBUs) who, while needing workers to perform their duties, must also strive to protect the health of their other staff as well as that of their customers and visitors.

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Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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06 Feb 2014

Taking Stock

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(Re)building resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Natural disasters cost Australia more than $5 billion per year.  Climate experts say extreme weather events will become more the rule than the exception.  It’s also becoming increasingly clear to Australian businesses that simply having disaster recovery plans in place is no longer good enough.

This article is only available to NSCA Members. Login to continue reading.
Not a member? Find out how to access these and many more resources.

Published in National Safety magazine, April 2013.

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