Remember the fatal incident in November 2011 when a traffic controller was killed after being run over by a road sweeper, the Victorian road authority and a construction company have been fined $1.5million over the incident.
The Victorian road authority pleaded guilty to breaching the 2004 Occupational Health and Safety Act after failing to maintain a safe system of work. It was issued a $250,000 fine.
The construction company who pleaded not guilty, was found guilty of failing to provide a safe system of work, failing to provide employees with training to perform their jobs safely and failing to ensure people other than employees weren’t exposed to health and safety dangers. The company received a $1.3 million fine.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams highlighted the risks involved with this type of work and the importance of safety,
“Any work that involves the need for pedestrian employees to be around traffic is high risk, and safety needs to be considered above everything at all times,”
WorkSafe Victoria advised that the following should be followed to reduce the risk of injury or death to road users such as pedestrian employees:
Worksites are well-lit, and that adequate signage and barriers exist to warn and direct away from employees.
Adequate space is provided for plant set up and vehicle operation
A documented traffic management plan is in place, adhered to and regularly reviewed, and that all workers on site are aware of it
The risks associated with installing, operating and removing traffic control devices are addressed
Safe Work Method Statements outlining how hazardous tasks should be completed are developed, adhered to and regularly reviewed
Incidents like this one are yet another reminder of the importance of safety training, particularly in the construction industry which is consistently ranked in the top 4 high risk industries in Australia.
Workers involved in any type of construction including road construction need to be possession of a White Card, proving that they have undergone the necessary mandatory general construction safety training to work safely on a construction site.
The course can be completed quickly and easily online but it is the first step in ensuring you understand the risks involved in construction work and how to overcome them. It is also crucial that workers receive additional task and site specific training, as well as instruction regularly.
Get to know more about general construction safety training here.
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