Working At Heights: Maintenance Worker Falls 2.5 m

A Worksafe investigation is being conducted at a Hazelwood Power Station following an incident involving the injury of a worker. The maintenance worker suffered significant head injuries following his 2.5 metre fall. Emergency Services stablised the man prior to airlifting him to Alfred Hospital where he remains in stable condition.

The worker is employed by Hazelwood’s major maintenance contractor Fluor. He is believed to have been spotting a maintenance taks on a station boiler when he fell.

Mantenance unions and Incolink counsellors have visited the site where they are assessing the situation and assisting the injured worker’s colleagues wherever needed.

A spokesperson for GDF SUEZ Australian Energy, the owner operator of Hazelwood Power Station, said the worker was in the vicinity of a bunker when the incident occurred.

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Source: http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/1521752/hazelwood-worker-stable-after-fall/?cs=1462

Working At Heights: Workers on Shaky Ground

Recently two workers risked falling while working at heights  and were caught on camera by a passerby.

The pair were seen using a ladder, awkwardly supported on two table tops  on a sidewalk, to hang a sign outside of a O’Connell St establishment.

SafeWork SA’s guidelines for safe ladder use call for ensuring the ladder is placed on a firm footing and that a barricade or warning signs are displayed for other people within close proximity of the work area.

“Ladders are generally considered high-risk plant and should only be used if there is no other reasonably practicable alternative, such as scaffolding or an elevating work platform,” the guidelines recommend.

The business could not be contacted for comment.

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Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/worker-in-north-adelaide-snapped-in-dangerous-balancing-act/story-e6frea83-1226614281682

Hospital Reports High Number of Working at Heights Incidents

Working at Heights safetyAccording to Royal Hobart Hospital staff, serious injuries resulting from falls seem to have risen by 20 per cent this year.

Neurosurgeon and member of the Royal Hobart Hospital trauma committee Pauline Waites, and Professor Richard Turner of the University of Tasmania School of medicine, stated that a growing number of serious or fatal injuries have been seen at the hospital recently.

Some injuries reported are a fatal brain haemorrhage,a spinal fracture, multiple spinal fractures and a depressed skull fracture.The hospital’s trauma meeting has revealed that they have dealt with a large number of accidents from people falling off roofs.

Though Tasmania does not keep a registry of trauma from falls, figures released by Ambulance Tasmania indicate that the number could be in excess of 5000.Workplace Standards general manager Roy Ormerod stated that the safety overseer has investigated over 200 falls in the workplace annually. Ormerod said that the definition of a fall was broad as it includes anything from a fall from a roof to a fall from the cab of a truck or even falling down one stair.

The watchdog’s priority is reportedly specific to falls from ladders, unstable scaffolding, and other high-risk work practices.

Ormerod said new tentative health and safety regulations will place greater responsibilities on employees to ensure that all risks attached to Working At Heights were minimised.

Source: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/08/13/352801_tasmania-news.html

Working At Heights: WorkSafe Launches Fall Prevention Campaign

WorkSafe has been vigorously promoting their working at heights safety campaign since 2011, and now reports have indicated that following a death of a labourer, they plan to further expand on their efforts to promote safety. The worker fell from a rooftop of an Oakleigh South factory and was found later by workmates. WorkSafe’s General Manager of Operations Lisa Sturszenegger has continuously promoted safety precautions for those who work at heights.

Preliminary enquiry showed that the man is believed to have fallen from up to five metres when he was replacing the factory’s roof. Sturzenegger is reportedly hopeful that this tragedy will send a message to the industry that quality safety standards must be implemented at all times.

Sturzenegger stated that proper equipment, training, supervision, risk assessment, and frequent maintenance is fundamental to maintaining safety in the workplace. This is the most recent death in a series of construction deaths this year. WorkSafe has launched a campaign this week to promote the continual need for safety requirements to be consistently met. Sturzenegger called for a continuous effort to maintain safety standards in order to limit the costs to the community for areas such as compensation, treatment and rehabilitation.

The investigation into the incident continues, and further information is expected as the inquiry develops.

Source: http://designbuildsource.com.au/worksafe-falls-warning-strengthen-workplace-death 

Working At Heights: Company fined for 2.7 metre Fall

Working At Heights safetyA company  was fined for an incident which resulted in a worker sustaining skull and spinal fractures when he fell almost 3 metres onto a concrete slab.

Access Matrix Scaffolding was fined  $22,000 in the Perth Magistrates Court for failing to provide a safe work environment  which resulted in an injured worker.

The company supplies and  builds scaffolding, and the incident in question occurred when a void in a floor was left unfinished and covered with particleboard.

A worker stepped onto the void with the assumption that it was supported by scaffolding and the void collapsed under his weight. He fell 2.7 metres onto the concrete slab, where he sustained the skull and spinal fractures, as well as injuries to his ribs and shoulder.

Despite the particleboard being in place as flooring, the board was spanning a greater length than th manufacturer recommended.

WorkSafe WA commissioner Lex McCulloch said that the case should act as a reminder to the importance of having preventive measures to avoid falls.

According to McCulloch, falls are one of the most frequent causes of workplace death in the construction sector. In the last four years, 16 workers have died as a result of falling.

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Source:: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/27-metre-fall-costs-company-22000-20120508-1yaio.html#ixzz1uKlz5QA3

Unions Want Tougher Consequences for Company Safety Oversights

working at heights safetyUnions have requested tougher consequences after a company was fined slightly more than a mine worker’s annual salary for an occupational health and safety accident that resulted in the death of a man.

John Holland received a fine of $242,000 by the Federal Court earlier this month for their breach of workplace safety laws by failing to protect staff from injury or death at a Pilbara mine.

The company’s oversight caused a death at BHP Billiton’s Mt.Whaleback site.

Wayne Moore died in early 2009 when he plummeted 12m from an unsafely secured sheet of grid mesh on a machine. It is undisclosed how much Moore earned, but the typical tradesmen in his sector often earned over $150,000 annually and senior workers often received over $250,000.

The court imposed the highest penalty under the old OHS safety regime when safety watchdog Comcare pursued a successful prosecution.  Later, the maximum penalty under the national system rose to $1.5 million for the same type of offense and $3m for more significant breaches. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union commented that the case displayed the inadequacies of penalties in the region.

State Secretary Mick Buchan stated that nominal fines sent a problematic message to employees since many in the sector earned the same around the same amount as the fine.

 

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Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/13531660/tougher-penalties-bid-for-fatal-safety-breach/                                                  

Working At Heights:Death of Worker Investigated By WorkCover

Working at Heights SafetyA middle-aged construction worker has died after falling approximately three metres from scaffolding. According to the Police, the Green Valley worker fell at the Sydney building site on the corner of Pitt Street and Campbell street. He died upon the arrival of emergency services.

Workcover and CFMEU State Secretary, Brian Parker said that an investigation has already commenced.

Brian Parker said the accident affected him on a personal level because he knew the worker who died in the accident.  Parker has extended his condolences to the family. Work on the site has been halted  until a full investigation into the accident has been completed. The ambulance workers were not able to say whether the worker had a heart attack prior to the Working at Heights accident.

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/construction-worker-dies-in-fall-from-cbd-scaffolding-20120327-1vvgx.html 

Working at Heights: WorkSafe inspectors Close Fire Tower

Working At Heights SafetyWORKSAFE shut down Mount Stanley fire tower following an inspection that revealed safety issues with an access ladder. The Department of Sustainability and Environment appealed the decision, citing that there wasn’t an immediate risk.

WorkSafe Spokesman Michael Birt said spotters were at risk of potentially falling from a high section of the ladder connected to the cabin which was located 15 metres off the ground.

The Australian Worker’ Union heeded fire spotters’ safety concerns about the ladder , radiation from TV and radio transmitters nearby and asbestos found in the cabin floor workplace watchdog earlier this month.

WorkSafe issued a prohibition notice on the upper section of the ladder in January,following an inspection. The Department of Sustainability appealed the notice citing that reasons for prohibition did not provide adequate jusitification.

Birt said that the inspector felt that there was an immediate risk to the health and safety of employees.WorkSafe stated that the problems exist in the last section of a steel ladder with a cage at an angle of about 75 to 80 degrees.

Birt said that the handrails were unusable because of the steepness which obligated the person to hold onto the steps in order to climb up. A request has been made to install additional guarding.

Source: http://www.bordermail.com.au/news/local/news/general/worksafe-inspection-shuts-fire-tower/2441092.aspx

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Working At Heights: Man falls from lift,dies

working at heights trainingA man from Lara, Victoria, died when he fell almost 15 metres from an aerial lift.

The man fell at the residence that he was  pruning trees at. The man fell from the platform and plunged to the ground. Attempts were made to save his life through the use of CPR, first by civilians on the scene, and then by paramedics. However, they were unable to save him and he was declared dead on the scene.

The man was allegedly not using a harness or lanyard when he fell to his death. WorkSafe is currently working alongside the police in order to understand the circumstances behind this  working from heightst incident.

Surce: http://www.vertikal.net/en/news/story/13651/

Plankers Risk Potential Working at Heights Death

Working at Heights safety trainingWorkSafe is currently prosecuting a pair of workers after pictures of the workers “planking” at a worksite were found on social networking site, Facebook.

The two workers are being prosecuted for failing to take reasonable caution for their  health and safety while working at heights. One worker was found to be planking on top of a platform four metres off the ground while the other worker was planking on the tines of a forklift that was was situated approximately two metres from the ground.

Planking is the viral phenomenon that involves people lying down fully stretched horizontally, in dangerous and unusual places.Between 2006 and 2011, WorkSafe insurance payments have been given out to 7018 workers who ‘fell from heights”.Costs and treatments for these accidents exceed over $200 million.The reprimand for this recent incident will be decided in court this week.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/workplace-plankers-to-face-court-20110908-1jyem.html

Plant fined for ignoring WorkSafe’s notice of ‘ working at heights’ risk

Hitachi Plant Technologies, a scaffolding company , has been ordered to pay a fine of $2000 for not abiding by a WorkSafe improvement notice regarding a working at heights risk. The company had previously signed a compliance slip, which they did not honour.

The company has pleaded not guilty to the charges and was subsequently fined.

In March, WorkSafe inspectors noticed that there was solid guard rails at the ladders which created the risk of workers having to climb over the rails to access the scaffold. Thus the rails created enhanced the potential risks of falling from heights. WorkSafe subsequently gave them an improvement notice and two weeks later, the company signed a compliance agreement indicating that changes had been made.

In the week following, inspectors once again arrived at the site to see solid guard rails at the ladders.

The event indicated that the company continued to disregard WorkSafe’s recommendations and duties to ensure the safety of workers. The WorkSafe WA Commissioner said that the events that took place are a reminder that notices must be ignored and action will be taken when they are .

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