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Construction News Blog - Page 1

Workplace Stress The Biggest Contributor to Absenteeism

If absenteeism among you’re employees is getting out of hand, you may want to consider that the root cause may be unmanageable workplace stress.

According to a report by Beyondblue, as many as one in five Australians have taken time off work in the past 12 months because of stress, depression or because they felt mentally unhealthy.

The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia found a major disconnect between management and the workforce on how mental health was being promoted in workplaces.

The survey included 1000 participants across Australia which revealed that 71 per cent of leaders believed they were committed to promoting the mental health of staff while only 37 per cent of staff agreed with this.

The main cause of stress for workers is long working hours and a lack of adequate work/life balance.

Read more at https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/05/work-stress-leading-cause-absenteeism-workcover-claims/

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Man Suffers Injury After Falling from Roof

Work from heights, even perceived “low” heights should by approached with caution, taking all risks into account. Even if you work from heights every day, don’t allow complacency to set in and became relaxed in your approach to safety, no matter how tempting it is to do.

Every day accidents are occurring where people are suffering injuries due to falls from heights.

In one incident recently a tradesman was injured when he fell from a roof in Western Australia.

The man, believed to be in his twenties slipped and fell while working at a house south of Perth.

The man suffered suspected spinal injuries after he landed on his back on a first floor balcony.

Emergency personnel were called to the scene, where they attended to the man before transporting him to Royal Perth Hospital for specialist treatment.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/tradesman-injured-falling-roof/#.WRmwJ8axUl0

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Crushing Incident Results in Calls for Safety

A 43 year old worker lost his life at a Pilbara apartment complex site a few years ago, being crushed by an 800kg concrete soakwell lid . Now a WA coroner says an urgent amendment needs to be made to occupational health and safety regulations  to prevent further tragedies of this nature.

The fly-in fly-out worker was working at the Pelago West Development in Karratha in July 2011 when an 800kg concrete soakwell lid fell on him, killing him instantly.

Reports say the lid was being lifted by a crane onto a flatbed truck when the connection on a cable snapped. The lid then flipped and fell on the rigger, who was approximately 5 meters away holding a tagline to stop the lid swinging into other objects.

The experienced rigger was instantly killed.

Investigations revealed that the clutches and anchor pins were mismatched as they were designed to bear differently weighted loads.

It was also revealed that that the load was inherently unstable because there were only two lifting points, allowing the anchor head to slip through the slot in the clutch when the soakwell lid tipped.

Coroner Barry King said in his report released on Monday that changes need to be immediately implemented to make Australian Standard apply to civil works.

Source: https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/call-for-safety-change-after-800kg-soakwell-lid-crushes-worker-ng-b88462336z

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SAS Barracks Construction Saga – Man Rescued

 A man was recently trapped in a construction accident at the Special Air Service regiment headquarters at Swanbourne.

The man was trapped at the bottom of a big pipe in a construction area inside Campbell Barracks and had to be rescued by specialist firefighters and ambulance officers.

The man, a construction worker in his mid-twenties was trapped and suffered injuries to his leg and pelvic area.

At the time he was working in a plumbing pit when a big concrete pipe fell on him at the bottom of the 4 metre deep pit.

A crane was used to lift the man out of the hole on a stretcher. The man was rushed to the Royal Perth Hospital following a 90 minute operation to free him. His condition was described as serious but not life-threatening.

Find out more https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/man-trapped-in-sas-barracks-construction-site-accident-ng-b88461826z

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Inspectors Target Mobile Plant on Construction Sites

Over the past decade, there have been thousands of people injured while working with or around mobile plant and 16 people lost their lives.

Now WorkSafe is tackling the issue with a campaign to reduce fatalities and injuries on construction sites.

Over the course of the month, inspectors will be visiting construction sites around Victoria to ensure that employers and contractors have identified the hazards linked to mobile plant and machinery and are controlling risks to workers and the public.

According to WorkSafe, 7 workers lost their lives last year and a number of these tragic incidents involved mobile plant being operated on site.

Some of the safety measures that employers and contractors need to adhere to include:

  • Ensuring operators are properly trained and competent.
  • Machinery is inspected and maintained regularly.
  • Any traffic management plans should be reviewed and updated often.

Source: http://www.worksafenews.com.au/news/item/559-safety-blitz-targets-mobile-plant-on-building-sites.html

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26,000 Workplace Injuries in 2016

Around 26,000 workers in Victoria have been seriously injured on the job and 26 lost their lives at work in 2016.

According to WorkSafe’s latest figures, 25,861 people were seriously injured enough to make a claim against their workplace in 2016 and the construction industry was amongst the worst.

From the construction industry 3284 people were injured seriously at work in the state, the third highest number, exceeded only by the manufacturing and the health care industries.

Figures also reveal that more than 8000 of these claims related to musculoskeletal injuries. The second highest number of injuries were muscle or tendon injuries responsible for 4881 claims and lacerations or amputations causing 3367 claims.

The main causes of injuries include:

  • poor manual handling (9670 claims),
  • slips, trips or falls (5697)and
  • being hit by a moving object (3932).

Read more at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/news/worksafe-victoria-figures-show-almost-26000-people-injured-in-workplace-accidents-in-2106/news-story/fff6c48016b08f4e724f22873ba851f8

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Digital Mental Fitness Program for Construction Professionals

A recent article on Sourceable.net reminded us of the importance of efficiency in the construction industry in delivering much needed infrastructure, which is central to the nation’s future economic prosperity.

A company has released a new well being program called digital mental fitness to decrease stress induced absences by 62 per cent and increase work efficiency by 40 per cent.

The article highlights that annually around $11 billion is lost due to poor mental health among employees with around $146 million a year being paid in workers’ compensation claims for poor mental health.

Suicide and suicidal behaviour is estimated to cost $1.75 billion annually and is an issue that needs to be addressed in the construction industry nation-wide.

A digital mental fitness program can prove effective in providing help before its too late. The program is based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).

CBT has proven effective in improving mental health and well-being by managing negative thoughts so they don’t become negative feeling which start by negatively affecting our relationships and efficiency. This can lead to mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.

While CBT usually involves a face-to-face appointment, the digital mental fitness program based on CBT is delivered online which makes it easily accessible for all workers. Find out more at: https://sourceable.net/digital-mental-fitness-program-for-construction-professionals/

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Will Australia’s Next Construction Boom be Home Renovation?


The Housing Industry Association (HIA) latest roundup was recently released and according to predictions, the next construction boom will involve home renovations.

It is interesting to learn that the performance of the home renovations market doesn’t always line up with that of new home building activity and over the past decade this stark divergence has been particularly evident.

The residential construction sector experienced a large and long upturn between 2012 and 2016 but during the 2011-2013 period home renovations endured a sharp contraction.

Thankfully at the end of 2016 renovations activity had risen by 8.5 per cent.  Read more at https://sourceable.net/home-renovations-australias-next-construction-boom/

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Coronial Inquest into Workers Death Announced

The coronial inquest into the death of a construction worker on a Canberra site five years ago began this week.
According to reports following the accident that claimed the life of Ben Catanzariti, workers at the Kingston foreshore site heard a loud crack before a concrete pouring boom fell and crushed Mr Catanzariti.
Two other workers were also injured in the incident but sustained only minor injuries.
Workers were apparently preparing to pour concrete for a column on the ground floor when they heard the cracking sound and the boom fell.

Mr Catanzariti had only been working at the site for 4 weeks.

A case against a maintenance company and one of its engineer was started by the ACT’s Director of Public Prosecutions but failed after expert reports contradicted over the reason for the bolts giving way.

The hearing is expected to resume in September.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/coronial-inquest-canberra-construction-workers-death-2012/#.WQdAF8axUl0

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Call for A Crackdown on International Asbestos Trade

The International Trade Union Confederation has called for global action to stop the trade of chrysotile asbestos, which is still being exported internationally, particularly in developing countries.

In a statement the ITUC said the first step should be adding chrysotile to the list of substances under the Rotterdam convention on trade in hazardous substances.

The next Rotterdam Convention conference in Geneva starts on 24 April and many governments  and trade unions will be using the opportunity to push for the listing.

Currently a small group of countries including Russia which is an exporter of chrysotile, have been blocking its inclusion on the list.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/call-international-asbestos-trade-crackdown/#.WRBUQsaxUl1

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