17 Jul 2018
Safety Incident Alert: 18 July 2018
- Excavator rollover: Recently information emerged about workers being lucky to escape injury as a 15-tonne excavator rolled over on Civic construction site. A massive 15-tonne excavator rolled over on a residential apartment construction site in Civic yesterday with only a seatbelt stopping its operator from receiving serious injuries. WorkSafe ACT issued a Prohibition and two Improvement Notices to the excavator’s owner and the principal contractor of the site – stopping the excavator from being used again until safety requirements are met. Click here for further details.
- Working at heights: The risks of working at heights are often misunderstood by many people, from employers to employees, contractors, subcontractors, sole traders and even the general public. One misconception is regarding the definition of working at heights. Most people think of someone working on a skyscraper, or a very tall tower. The reality is that the majority of injuries occur at less than three metres above the ground. Height risks also exist below the ground, not just above it. People can fall into a hole, trench or water with an additional risk of asphyxiation . According to Safe Work Australia:
- Every year in Australia, an average of 29 people die from work-related falls.
- Falling from a height was the cause of 11% of all work-related deaths in Australia.
- Half of the fatal falls involved distances of three metres or less (31% from a height of two metres or less, and a further 19% involved falls from between two and three metres).
- 21 employees every day lodge claims for a falls-related injury that required one or more weeks off work in Australia.
- A typical claim due to a fall from height involved 6 weeks off work and compensation paid average over $14,000 per claim.
- The industries with the highest numbers of serious falls-related claims are Construction (20%), Manufacturing (12%) and Transport & Storage (11%).
- Falls from ladders were the primary cause of work-related fatalities from heights (16%).
- Falls from trucks, semitrailers and lorries were the second highest cause of deaths, accounting for 11% of fall-related fatalities.
- Falls-related fatality rates increased with age, with workers aged 45 years and over making up 65% of those who died following a fall from height.
- There has been no improvement in the number of fatalities or the fatality rate in the past eight years. Click here for more details on working at heights.
- Crush injury resulting in laceration: The IP climbed into the cab of the site Hitachi LX80 front end loader and tried to close the door of the cab. The door was in its secured open hold position which is achieved by a catch mounted latch on the left side of the cab, this latch is operated via a lever fitted to the inside of the cab beside the entrance door. The IP has pressed down on the lever with his right hand and pulled the door to close it. The door failed to release from its locked position. He has then placed his left hand on the door lever and pushed it firmly down to the release position and held it in this position, then with his right hand pulled hard on the door attempting to close it. The door released and swung closed with force, before the IP could remove his left hand it has become caught between the lever and the fixed metal door handle. The force of the impact split the IP’s left palm open below his fingers resulting in a laceration/tear that required 6 external and 1 internal stitches. For further information, see the Hand Crush Incident Alert.
- In May 2018, a piece of 16 millimetre steel re-enforcement bar fell from a personnel and material hoist car on a construction site at the Gold Coast. Polycarbonate panelling, originally attached to the car, had been removed to allow for air flow through the car. After removing the panelling, the doors were no longer balanced and difficult for the hoist operator to close. To balance the doors, a steel weight was zip tied to the outside of one of the doors. It appears that the zip ties failed, allowing the bar to fall to the ground. View the Falling Objects Alert for more information.