Occupational Health and Safety: Worker Killed By Scissor Lift at BGC Plant

Occupational Health and SafetyAn employee of the BGC cement plant in Naval Base was killed recently after he was crushed by a scissor lift. The middle-aged man was doing work at the company’s cement site on Beard and Morley Streets. Police were informed of the incident shortly after noon, but Emergency services and WorkSafe inspectors are always on site.

WorkSafe had to visit the plant a year ago when another employee was killed, after being buried alive under a sand pile that collapsed on him in a silo.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said that any work-related death was a tragedy, and extended his sincerest condolences to the family.

According to a WorkSafe spokeswoman the man, in his 20s, was working under a pile of fine sand when it collapsed on him and killed him.

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Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/man-dies-at-naval-base-building-site/story-fnhocxo3-1226717087866

Two Separate Workplace Accidents Result In Injury and Death

Occupational health and safetyA middle-aged man has died following a workplace incident in which a two-tonne concrete block slipped off a moving forklift, crushing him.Emergency services rushed to the scene where they after 20 minutes, they were able to free the man. The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died shortly after.

A similar incident occurred recently when a concrete slab fell 12 metres on to an Ultimo man, after its chains became loose.The man was guiding crane operators when he was struck by dislodged concrete . Fortunately he survived, but suffered back and hip injuries.

Police detectives and WorkCover representatives are looking into possible causes of the accidents.

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Source:http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/a-worker-has-been-injured-after-a-slab-of-material-fell-from-a-crane-onto-him-as-he-stood-on-truck/story-fni0cx12-1226691644275

Occupational Health and Safety: Workplace Injuries and Aggriculture

occupational health and safety Occupational Health and Safety related injuries and illnesses can often cost the Australian economy in excess of $60 billion dollars annually. Alertforce.com.au luckily offers several training opportunities for those looking to help minimize OHS hazards in the agriculture industry.

In 2010-2011, of the 175,050 employees in Australia’s agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, over 3600 filed serious workplace injury claims

Alertforce founder Brendan Torazzi stated ” Most serious injuries in Australian workplaces can be attributed to a lack of quality OHS training. Our courses cover a span of work-related injury preventative training, that can help reduce hazards”.

Source: http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/general/news/reducing-ag-hazards/2666184.aspx

OHS:Maritime Safety A Hot Topic Following Ship Fatality

Occupational health and safetyThe Maritime Union described their findings from an investigation into the death of a man as “horrific”.

The 56-year-old worker was crushed and died while working on a cargo ship in September of last year. His death was result of a 20-tonne pallet of aluminium ingots fell upon him.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s recently released report from their 8-month investigation, revealed that unsafe work practices and stevedore fatigue could be to blame.

Union rep Warren Smith called for changes in the industry to improve safety.

“The findings are quite horrific really and it clearly demonstrates a complete lack of safety culture and massive gaps in the safe working systems within Newcastle Stevedores that absolutely need to be rectified,” he said.

“It’s quite abhorrent really that in the 21st century basic flaws in safety systems exist like that.”

The union are expected to meet with Newcastle Stevedores to discuss the findings of the ATSB report.

Smith says improvements to the system are especially needed.

“We have met them [Newcastle Stevedores] over a period of time prior to the release of the report and all our concerns have been articulated to the company very clearly.

“There will be ongoing meetings and we’ll do everything we can with the company to ensure the systems of work are eliminated, the gaps in their system of work are eliminated once and for all.”

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-05/maritime-safety-talks-to-continue-after-ship-fatality/4733616

 

OHS:Worker’s Arm Caught in Olive Crushing Machine

WorkSafe ACT is reviewing safety conditions at a Narrabundah business where a worker’s arm was became wedged into an olive-crushing machine.

Crews were required to use hydraulic tools in order to release the machine’s hold on the man’s hand and he was then transported to Canberra Hospital by ACT Ambulance service.

The man suffered injuries to the lower part of his arm.  A spokesperson for the hospital was reportedly unable to comment on the man’s condition beyond the fact that he had been receiving continued treatment.

ACT WorkSafe Commissioner Mark McCabe said the authority had handed out a prohibition notice on the equipment in addition to an official do not disturb notice throughout the area. A full  investigation is being considered.

McCabe stated that investigators would deliberate on whether the  business owner’s are required to comply with regulations established by the Work Health and Safety Act.

”WorkSafe has some serious concerns about the processes in place,” Mr McCabe said. ”Our serious investigations unit are looking at the issues involved and once we clarify the situation we will investigate how this incident came to take place.”
Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/mans-arm-caught-in-olive-crusher-20130530-2nd7j.html#ixzz2VE70ihgG

OHS: Crushing Conveyor Belt Incident To Be Investigated

A 27-year old worker was rushed to the hospital following a serious incident that resulted in his leg becoming lodged in a conveyor belt.

According to a spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria revealed that the paramedics were called to Thorton Engineering early in the morning.

Upon arrival they discovered the man had serious crush injuries to his leg. He was rushed to Geelong Hospital and was said to be in stable albeit, serious condition.

WorkSafe Spokseperson Rosanna Bonacurrso stated that the watchdog organisation was notified of the incident at the Corior workplace. Bonacurso stated

“It’s believed a 27-year-old worker suffered injuries to his right leg after it was caught between a roller and steel product.

“A WorkSafe inspector visited the workplace this morning and is making inquiries.”

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Source: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2013/03/08/360778_news.html

OHS:Unions Left Out of WorkCover Pamphlets

The state’s peak union body has accused WorkCover NSW of sidelining the unions in newly released leaflets.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon raised concerns that a new fact sheet advising sick and injured workers on how to make compo claims and disputes, failed to make mention of any trade unions.

Lennon stated that documents of similar nature had always mentioned them in the past.

“People should always be made aware of their rights to seek information from various sources, including from their union,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

Mr Lennon lamented that sick or injured workers were vulnerable and sometimes needed help with their cases.

The new fact sheet comes a year after the state passed far-reaching WorkCover reforms to help lower the $4 Billion deficit.

Benefits and medical expenses were capped and journey claims axed for many workers.

“I think this makes the situation even more difficult,” Mr Lennon said.

WorkCover could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.

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Source:http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/we-were-sidelined-in-compo-leaflet-unions/story-e6frf7kf-1226587207557#sthash.gNvvp86C.dpuf

Fatal Fall Prompts WorkSafe Investigation

WorkSafe is currently investigating the state’s first workplace fatality of the year which occurred at a Somerton crane company. 

A middle-aged man was found unconscious at the Hume Highway business by his workmates.

The man was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital but eventually died.

Recently another Somerton business was found guilty and ordered to pay $275,000 following a workplace death in December 2011.

A workplace spokesperson stressed that despite the deaths, Hume workplaces are no more dangerous than other areas

“As many businesses get back into full swing after the holidays, the best thing for all businesses to do, regardless of the area or industry, is to make safety their priority,” she said.

“Regardless of whether the job’s been done a thousand times before, we urge businesses to step back and assess what could go wrong, identify solutions and put them in place.”

Preliminary investigations into the recent fatality hinted that the man may have died as a result of falling from a prime-mover cabin. He suffered a serious injury to the back of his.

WorkSafe general manager for health and safety operations Lisa Sturzenegger said, “The fact that this happened on the Australia Day public holiday is a tragedy for the family, friends and colleagues and a timely reminder for all Victorians to continue to exercise vigilance.”

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Source: http://www.humeweekly.com.au/story/1273441/fatal-fall-at-somerton-sparks-plea-for-work-safety/?cs=12

Perth Company Fined 10k for OHS injury

Perth-An engineering company was ordered to pay a $10,000 following a dangerous work incident that left an unlicensed 16-year-old apprentice without two fingers.

The Fremantle Magistrate’s Court accepted KEP Management Services Pty Ltd (trading as Phillips Engineering) guilty plea for two charges of allowing unlicensed work.

The apprentice was being taught by a crane operator how to sling and direct loads when he got his hand caught between steel beams. His right index and middle finger were amputated  at the middle knuckles.

Upon investigation, WorkSafe discovered that no one in the workplace had gained the proper licence for the work.

His right index and middle fingers were amputated to the middle knuckles.

The apprentice, 16, could not be granted the required license because it is not issued to individuals under 18.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said,“A 16-year-old apprentice is not likely to be in a position to refuse to do work he is not licensed to do, which makes the situation that existed at this workplace even more worrying,” Mr McCulloch said.

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/16097117/fine-after-apprentice-loses-fingers/

 

OHS: WorkSafe Hopes For Safer November and December

WorkSafe Victoria is hopeful that the end of 2012 will be safer as compared to the “catastrophic” level of incidents last Christmas.

Leading up to last Christmas, seven people died in less than two weeks, fortunately this year’s results have been better.

This year approximately 14 people have died in the workplace, two less fatal incidents than the same time last year.

In the lead up to Christmas last year seven people died at work in less than a fortnight, but so far 2012 results have been better.

So far this year 14 people have died at work, two less than the same time last year, according to Fairfax Media

November and December are notorious for their typically higher level of workplace fatalities with over 26 deaths in the last 5 years within these two months.

SafeWork executive director health and safety Ian Foryth attributes the deadly two months to a number of factors.

“Organisations rushing to finish jobs before their summer break and peak periods for the farming sector can mean that corners are cut and safety becomes less of a priority,” he said.

“It can be a lethal combination and it only takes a moment’s inattention for tragedy to strike … Everyone should return home safe at the end of the day and when this doesn’t happen, it’s a tragedy for all involved.”

Forsyth indicated that most of the workplace deaths in 2012 involved people carrying out regular duties, and it wasn’t just workers with dangerous jobs that risked injury or death.

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WorkSafe Zeros in Injury Hotspot

 

WorkSafe Victoria will launch an advertising campaign in the Greater Dandenong area following reports that the manufacturing region was one of ten hotspots in the state.

Greater Dandenong has a record high injury rate in Victoria, and a large billboard has already been put up on a local road to inform the public.

The area is home to approximately 40 per-cent of Victoria’s Manufacturing industry.  The industry has a total of 780 workplace injury claims from July 2007 to June 2012.

The Manufacturing industry was home to over half of the incidents to happened in the manufacturing industry.

The most occurring injury was Misculoskeletal at 232, with ‘open would’ injuries in second place with 185.

In addition there were 45 amputations.

WorkSafe health and safety operations general manager Lisa Sturzenegger called for a more hands-on approach from workers and employers alike.

“Employers must get on the front foot by taking a preventative approach to identifying and controlling the risk of dangerous machines at their workplace,” she said.

“Workers need to ask questions and not take anything for granted.”

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Source: http://www.manmonthly.com.au/news/worksafe-targets-manufacturing-injury-hotspot

OHS: A Significant Decline in Work Safety

ohs training Approximately  33% of ACT workplaces that had  a safety inspection last financial year  passed – a  significant decrease on previous years’ outcomes.The dismal results have showcased  a policy difference between the government and its new cabinet partner, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, who wants the building industry put more money into training workers.

A third of inspected businesses complied with health and safety laws in 2011-12, compared with just under 55% per cent in 2009-10. The government’s objective was reportedly 80 per cent.ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said the trend was likely to reflect his inspectors’ focus on the construction industry, which has been tainted this year by a record high rate of   safety incidents and deaths.

Mr McCabe and former public service commissioner Lynelle Briggs will presumably report the findings of their inquiries into industry practicess within a week.WorkSafe ACT and its preceding agencies reportedly lost half of their inspectors over the past seven years, at a time Canberra was undergoing a construction boom.

A disappointing 34 qualified inspectors now supervising construction sites, reduced  from 68 in 2004-05.Labor frontbencher Simon Corbell, who became the ACT’s first Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Minister last week, said yesterday the result showed why the government had created the new portfolio.

”Poor compliance across industry is a deep concern for the government. My first priority will be to respond to the findings that Mark McCabe and Lynelle Briggs present in the coming weeks.”

Mr Corbell said the government hired five extra inspectors when it merged WorkCover with WorkSafe in 2010.”But I don’t think inspecting capacity on its own will solve this problem. We need to improve the culture of occupational health and safety in all workplaces,” he said.”We need to be sure that businesses don’t just see it as red tape, and instead treat their safety of their workers as a matter of real importance.”

The Greens attempted unsuccessfully to campaign for workplace safety funding during the last Assembly.The minor party went to last month’s ACT election pledging to increase a building industry levy from 0.2 per cent of the value of construction projects to 0.3 per cent, to raise more money to train apprentices.

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Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dramatic-decline-in-worksite-safety-20121111-296sm.html 

OHS: WorkSafe Pressured To Rush Inquiry

OHS TrainingWorksafe is refusing to prematurely release the details pertaining to a pearl diver death investigation.

Jarrod Hampton of Melbourne, died in April while he was diving off the coast of Broome for Paspaley Pearls. WorkSafe took statements from witnesses and has been looking into the safety record of the company.

Commissioner Lex McCulloch stated that the pressure has been put on in order to rush the outcome. He is however, confident that the result will remain thorough and accurate.

Commissioner Lex McCulloch says he has experienced enormous pressure to rush the outcome but maintains it will be thorough and accurate.

Since the investigation started, countless emails and printed letters have made their way through the ministry and some have even reached the premier’s office.

The letters are reportedly requests for updates on the current situation regarding the death. McCulloch said the process may take longer but the process will be thorough.

“If there’s been errors made or gaps in what we need to do, then the industry will assess those and try to meet them,” said Pearl Producers Association chief executive officer Brett McCallum

A Coroner’s report is being anticipated.

Despite the police report on  Hampton’s death already finalised, the Coroner is still awaiting the WorkSafe report to be complete, before it investigates.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-25/worksafe-pressured-to-rush-dive-death-investigation/4333874?section=wa

Victorian OHS Lawbreakers Still Own Millions

An inquiry conducted by the Herald Sun has revealed that 45 firms and 13 individuals are avoiding fines they were charged with since 2007 over workplace deaths.

Since 2002 there has been approximately 269 workers killed.

The average lost life fines are typically around $170,000 and the median is $95,000. Interestingly, WorkSafe’s prosecution database revealed that some cases involving lost fingers have had higher fines imposed than those involving the death of a worker.

One such company was fined $145,000 when a worker lost a thumb.Another company was fined $25,000 when a worker had to have three fingers amputated.

Other results of the investigation concluded :

  • Some companies have been found to go into liquidation to avoid paying fines and then reopening shortly after.
  • Approximately every 17 days a worker is killed in the workplace in Victoria.
  • Since 2009-2010 the number of WorkSafe visits have dropped drastically.
  • Some families have had to wait up to seven years to see the company responsible for the death of a loved one, to be fined.
  • Individuals or companies charged can operate their businesses for years before charges are laid. Only approximately 40 per cent of
  • lawbreakers are charged within the first 12 months. The most courts can
  • Individuals charged can be jailed for up to five years, however no one has yet been imprisoned for any related charges.
  • The highest fine imposed for the death of a worker was $1.4 million. However the company, AAA Auscarts Imports Pty Ltd went into liquidation and the fine was never paid.
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Source:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/families-demand-action-on-workplace-charges/story-e6frf7kx-1226463481904

WorkSafe Lose Cyclone Appeal Case

ohs trainingWorkSafe lost an appeal in WA Supreme Court over charges against Fortescue Metals Group that resulted in the injury of workers during a 2007 cyclone.  FMG and its subsidiary company, Pilbara Infrastructure, had 17 charges against them for failing to maintain a safe work environment during Cyclone George. However, all charges were dismissed by the Magstrate’s Court in 2011.

Since then, WorkSafe attempted to appeal the decision but the Supreme Court again dismissed the claim.  Despite the deaths of Debra till and Craig Raabe and the injuries, both courts reviewed the evidence and dismissed the charges.  FMG is allegedly pleased with the decision from the courts.  Four other companies connected with the rail camp with WorkSafe charges against them have had them dismissed or have had successful appeals.

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Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-23/worksafe-loses-fmg-appeal/3908856?section=wa

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