Serious Workplace Injuries Incident Alerts

WORKPLACE INJURIES / INCIDENT ALERTS FOR NOVEMBER

The below Serious Workplace Injuries / Incident Alerts for November (Embedded Content Extracts) were taken from WorkSafe QLD at https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au

NQ company fined $150,000 after worker crushed to death

At a recent hearing in the Cairns Magistrates Court, a North Queensland diesel mechanical repair and sugar cane harvesting business was fined $150,000 following an incident in 2017 when a worker was crushed to death trying to fix a cane haul-out vehicle.

Worker injured after angle grinder 'kick back'

In August 2020, a worker suffered a chest laceration when the angle grinder he was using 'kicked back'. At the time, he was apparently cutting timber and fibre glass with a 125mm angle grinder fitted with a multi-cutter blade.

Poor supervision of new worker costs business $40,000

At a recent hearing in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court, a company was fined $40,000 for failing to ensure the health and safety of its workers, resulting in exposure to risk of death or serious injury. In particular, the defendant failed to adequately supervise an employee.

Horse training fatality

In October 2020, a self-employed horse trainer died whilst handling a horse at his rural property. It appears the man was using a trotting buggy when something may have 'spooked' the horse. As a result, the veteran trainer was catapulted from the sulky hitting a termite mound suffering fatal injuries.

Mobile concrete placing boom stability

Issued: 17/11/2020 Last Updated: 17/11/2020 The purpose of this safety alert is to: highlight the need to follow the manufacturer's operating instructions provide safety guidance for workers, owners and employers. Manufacturers and suppliers must ensure that mobile concrete placing booms are designed to be stable when used in accordance with their operating instructions.

Dead trees and working solo remotely are a dangerous mix

In August 2020, a property owner sustained fatal injuries from a falling tree branch. Initial investigations indicate he was burning off on a remote part of the property alone. It appears he parked his quad bike under a dead tree when a branch broke and struck him across the legs.

Fatality at Townsville concrete plant results in $300,000 fine

On 11 September 2020, the defendant, a large concrete company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for breaching s 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the 'Act'). The company failed to comply with its work health and safety duty under s 19(1) of the Act.

Scaffolding on medium-rise construction sites

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is currently auditing medium-rise construction work sites - buildings between three to ten storeys high. This is a comprehensive site inspection that includes reviewing all paperwork, such as the safety management plan and hazardous chemicals register, and a physical inspection of the work environment and onsite activities.

Safe set up of mobile concrete placing booms

A hefty fine recently imposed on a subcontractor working on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing has highlighted safety issues with concrete placing boom operation. Concrete placing booms can fall because the ground is too soft, inadequate timber is under the feet, short-legging, and operating in zones that the manufacturer doesn't allow.

Non-compliances on residential construction sites

Since late 2019, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors have been auditing residential construction sites - houses one to two storeys high - and they have been finding a few common issues. The main three areas of concern, which make up over 50 per cent of non-compliances on residential construction sites, are: uncontrolled risks of falls from height (22%) electrical safety (20%) site security (11%).

Guide for COVID-19 cleaning for construction and other workplaces

Safe Work Australia has published a guide on routine cleaning, as well as cleaning and disinfection if a case or suspected case of COVID-19 occurs in a non-healthcare workplace. The guide has recommendations for cleaning construction industry workplace items. Bollards, hoses and scaffolding/formwork should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily if frequently touched and cleaned weekly with detergent if infrequently touched.

Traffic controllers need protection during Christmas rush

As holiday makers prepare to hit the road during the Christmas and New Year break, construction workplaces must ensure they have plans in place to protect traffic control workers from fatigued drivers and heavy holiday traffic. Impatient drivers, fatigue and rushing sees about 100 traffic controllers each year receive a work-related injury requiring medical treatment or time off work.

Maintaining your concrete pump plant

The updated Concrete pumping code of practice 2019 (PDF, 1.97 MB) made significant changes to the previous version and its publication was followed by a compliance audit campaign focusing solely on concrete pumping.

Training and communication help WHS match growth

A Gold Coast joinery business is finding some of its key work safety indicators are improving after introducing simple changes to make sure its safety systems kept up with growth. Australian Joinery Products has found its KPIs, hazard reporting and minor first aid non-conformance have improved since staff were provided training programs and they got more involved in safety decision making.