Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) is investigating an incident which led to the death of 2 workers inside a tank on a trailer recently.
The 2 workers were cleaning residue inside the tank after unloading it earlier in the day. The tank had apparently been transporting SuplaFlo which is a by-product of sugar cane with 4% urea mix.
As a result of the incident, WHSQ is reminding all workplaces about their obligations under Queensland laws regarding work in confined spaces.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said work in confined space increases the risk of injury from noise, fumes, gases or oxygen depletion, manual handling, slips, trips and falls as well as high or low temperatures.
WorkSafe ACT has issued an improvement notice on the light rail project after a dangerous excavation was discovered by the CFMEU who collected safety documents regarding the incident.
The safety breach comes just 3 months after another unsupported shallow trench collapsed onto a worker’s legs in May, following heavy rains. In that incident the work safety watchdog took no action as Canberra Metro installed shoring to prevent further collapse.
There are a number of risks construction workers may be exposed to, as a recent incident involving the stench from a sewer pump has proven.
Construction workers were recently forced off the work site due to fear of possible illness from the stench emitted by a sewer pump station.The stench was likened to that of rotten eggs by workers with a complaint of illness also being reported.
With Summer in full swing it’s important that we remember to be sun safe, not only when enjoying recreational time in the sun but when working outdoors, as construction workers do.
The announcement that almost $900,000 in Healthway grants for sun safety education has been granted is welcomed, particularly given that 2 out of 3 Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70, and annually an average of 2,300 people die from the disease.
The health minister Roger Cook recently announced that the grants would be used for education and promotion of sun safety to stop the many incidents of skin cancer we see every year.
This year hasn’t been a good one so far when it comes to workplace health and safety in Australia. Safe Work Australia released figures which shows that 10 people have been killed on the job in 2018, as at 25 January 2018.
Safe Work Australia said 7 workers were killed in the transport, postal and warehousing industry, while the agriculture, forestry & fishing, Information media & telecommunications and Wholesale trade workplaces each accounted for one fatality.
Although these figures are based on initial media reports, Safe Work Australia said more accurate information would be released after the appropriate authority had investigated.
At the time, there hadn’t been any fatalities from the construction industry.
Victorian trades workers, particular those involved in construction, demolition, renovation and maintenance work on older buildings are the target of an asbestos awareness campaign by WorkSafe Victoria.
The campaign which includes advertisements on radio, trade publications and online aims to raise awareness about asbestos diseases and ensure tradespeople can confidently identify asbestos.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis, all of which are incurable.
According to statistics, most cases of mesothelioma are as a result of asbestos exposure in the workplace – 60 per cent.
In 2016 there were 95 mesothelioma deaths in the state and 145 new cases of the disease.
WorkSafe Victoria is urging employers and employees to work together to improve safety following the revelation that 27 people were killed on worksites in the state in 2017. This was the highest number of workplace fatalities since 2009.
WorkSafe’s Head of Operations and Emergency Management, Adam Watson said these are more than statistics, these are people, loved ones whose workplaces, communities and families would be left devastated by their deaths.
He said employers and workers should focus on working together to make the workplace safer and reduce this horrendous death toll.
Businesses in the ACT have been reminded by Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones to make safety the top priority this year.
He added that there can be pressure to get jobs done that weren’t completed at the end of last year or to make up for the time lost over the holidays or for workers to take on different roles and responsibilities which could all impact safety.
Workers in hot environments or outdoors such as construction workers need to be particularly cautious as temperatures remain high.
He urged construction employers to ensure workers are properly trained and supervised, especially young workers, apprentices and new workers.