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A large proportion of workers and employers may report following safety procedures at work, but it’s the 2 to 20 per cent who don’t that can cause havoc.

A new Safe Work Australia report titled ‘Work Health & Safety Perceptions: Construction Industry’ has drawn on six existing Safe Work Australia data sources and one Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data source to examine work health and safety (WHS) in the construction industry.

“The 2009 MAPS survey measured how consistently specific safety practices were undertaken in the workplace,” the report says.

“Almost 90 per cent of workers in the construction industry reported that particular safety practices were followed in their workplace most of the time or always.

“These included removing hazards as much as possible (93 per cent), making work practices safe (92 per cent), using PPE (90 per cent) and identifying health and safety risks (89 per cent).”

However, the WHS Perceptions survey 2012 report revealed a different outcome. “The results were somewhat different, particularly for the use of PPE (90 per cent in MAPS compared to 79 per cent in WHS Perceptions), removing hazards as much as possible (93 per cent in MAPS compared to 85 per cent in WHS Perceptions) and making work practices safe (92 per cent in MAPS compared to 84 per cent in WHS Perceptions),” the report says.

According to the report, the WHS Perceptions survey showed that construction employers were more likely than workers to report that safe work practices were followed most of the time or always.

“Almost all employers indicated that PPE is used most of the time or always in their workplace, as well as making work practices safe (98 per cent each),” the report says.

“Over 90 per cent of employers indicated that, in their workplace, hazards are removed as much as possible, health and safety risks are identified and health and safety concerns are discussed either most of the time or always.”

But even if 98 per cent of people are following safe practices, it only takes the few who don’t to create a risk for themselves and everyone else.

For more details, visit the report

Published on 26 February 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

Unsafe design accounts for 36 per cent of work-related fatalities, says a new study.

The Safe Work Australia study found that 188 of 523 fatal incidents that occurred between 2006 and 2011 involved design problems with machinery, plant and powered tools.

Inadequate guarding was one of the most common problems, accounting for 21 per cent of fatalities. Lack of rollover protection accounted for 15 per cent of fatalities, lack of residual current devices accounted for 12 per cent, lack of interlocks accounted for 8 per cent, and driver-obstructed vision accounted for 8 per cent.

“A number of the incidents highlighted in this report involved old machinery and plant, some of which may remain in use for many years,” the study says.

“This is a recognised issue and has been the subject of an intervention campaign carried out among selected manufacturing groups by Australian WHS jurisdictions under the administration of the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities.”

For more details, visit the study

Published on 20 November 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Another 28 people have died in work-related incidents this year, says the latest notifiable fatalities report from Safe Work Australia.

The deaths occurred in August and included 20 workers and eight bystanders.

Vehicle incidents continued to figure prominently in work-related fatalities, with 13 people dying in vehicle crashes on public roads.

In the other incidents, four people were hit by a falling object, three were hit by a moving object other than a vehicle, two were trapped in machinery, and the remaining six fatalities were due to different types of incidents, including an air crash.

Some industry sectors continue to figure more prominently in workplace deaths than others. Transport, postal and warehousing recorded seven fatalities, followed by construction (six fatalities); electricity, gas, water and waste services (five); agriculture, forestry and fishing (three); manufacturing (two); arts and recreation services (two); administrative and support services (two); and public administration and safety services (one).

For more details, visit the report

Published on 20 November 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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