A $405,000 fine has been issued to a Bankstown building contractor by a Sydney District Court after it was revealed that the contractor failed to protect the health and safety of a worker who fell and lost his life.
The 19 year old worker was building a walkway platform unsupervised when he fell onto the concrete floor below where he was later discovered with serious head injuries.
The teenage apprentice was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery. He was placed on a life-support machine which was later turned off, less than a week later.
Most construction workers are spending the majority of their time outdoors which is why sun protection is such a crucial issue to our industry.
In light of the amount of time we spend outdoors, the recent revelation that most Australians are confused about which weather factors cause heartburn is concerning.
The data released by Cancer Council shows that 40 per cent of Australians don’t understand that sun protection is needed when UV levels are 3 or above. Most people look at the temperature, humidity and clouds and determine whether they need to apply sunblock, wear sun protective clothing and seek shade instead of considering the UV levels.
In Autumn it’s important to understand that while temperatures may drop, UV levels are still high enough to cause serious sunburn and skin damage, which can increase your chances of skin cancer.
Following an ordeal more than 2 hours a long, a worker on a Ballarat construction site was eventually freed using an excavator, after he was buried by dirt in a trench collapse.
The young man, 20 years of age, was working alongside a colleague who died on the scene of the collapse.
The 2 men were discovered by co-workers after the more than six metre long trench collapsed at the Melbourne site, burying both workers about waist-deep.
The 20 year old worker was flown to Royal Melbourne Hospital with serious injuries where he was placed in an induced coma. He underwent 4 emergency surgeries but unfortunately did not survive, he died a few days later.
WorkSafe Victoria has issued a reminder to everyone operating heavy vehicles and machinery to check for power lines, following a number of serious incidents that occurred over the past few months.
Last month there were 2 incidents that occurred, one involving a tip truck that came into contact with overhead power lines at a farm, damaging the truck and a second incident resulted in a truck driver being electrocuted.
In the construction industry, there were 7 serious incidents involving overhead power lines in the state since mid-November.
WorkSafe Health and Safety reminded businesses to ensure their workers aren’t put at risk from power lines when carrying out tasks.
As Beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman points out, you don’t need to be an expert to identify suicide risks and help someone. Harman says there are simple things we can all do and say to reduce suicide in our community,
“It’s natural for family, friends, and workmates to worry about saying or doing the right thing if someone is feeling suicidal.
“But people who have thought about suicide told us through the research that having someone listen to them and show care and support was the most important thing to them – and you don’t need to be a health professional to do that.
“And you can’t put the idea of suicide in somebody’s mind – the research supports that.
“Asking how someone is feeling and asking directly about suicide could be the first step to help someone reconnect with living, and get them the support they need.”
Ms Harman goes on to explain that people considering suicide will usually behave differently, although they will seldom discuss their suicidal thoughts openly. She said they will act and talk about life in a way that raises alarm bells, reflecting that they have no hope for life. She highlighted the importance of taking these suicide indicators seriously.
“It’s important that we and our sector colleagues use this research and continue to work with the community to ensure people have access to information, training, and support so they can act with confidence,” she said.
As we’ve already learned, stressful work conditions are a major risk factor for mental health problems and suicide which explains why concern is high for construction workers. Statistics have proven that construction workers are more likely to die from suicide than people from other industries, probably given the high risk nature of the work, deadline pressures, coupled with other personal issues such as alcoholism, relationship issues and so play a role in people falling into depression.
A bridge being constructed in Florida, using a technique called Accelerated Bridge Construction has collapsed, killing at least 6 people and injuring at least 9.
The construction technique was developed after experts realised America’s bridges were disintegrating and more bridges needed to be constructed, quick.
The method of Accelerated Bridge Construction involves building the bridge off-site and then transporting it to the site where it is put into place. This method ultimately results in less disruption but there are now fears that it may have had something to do with the Florida collapse. A probe into the collapse will reveal more.
The inquest into the 2014 death of construction worker Jorge Castillo-Riffo has begun and so far it appears corners may have been cut and safety compromised on the site of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Mr Castillo-Riffo died in November 2014 due to an incident while on a scissor lift at the CBD Site.
During the inquest it was revealed that pressure to have construction completed on time may have contributed to the incident when Mr Castillo-Riffo was crushed.