Safe Work Australia recently updated2 publications on workplace bullying, to help address the problem of bullying which is rife in the workplace.
The revised guide aims to provide greater guidance for managers and advice for workers pertaining to bullying.
The guide includes information for employers and managers on preventing workplace bullying and responding to it in the workplace.
It also includes a worker’s guide providing them advice if they are being bullied, have witnessed bullying or have been the bully themselves.
Industry insiders are concered that government is so hellbent on recycling construction waste that they are failing recognise the risk they are putting people at by exposing them to asbestos in recycled waste.
Perth contractors have collected huge piles of recycled construction waste which they cannot get rid of because there is no market for it.
They are caught between a rock and a hardplace because the government has increased fees for landfills 500 per cent in 2 years, making it impossible for contractors to dump the waste.
A man has appeared in Southport Magistrates Court after allegedly threatening a security guard on a construction site with a gun.
The Gold Coast plasterer threatened the guard with a gun to gain access to a construction site.
The man was attempting to enter a Mudgeeraba worksite on Sunday, where he apparently worked, he had left a tool there and he needed it for work.
The man claimed the gun was a replica which he wanted to sell to the security guard. The man was remanded in custody and the matter adjourned until Thursday.
The Adelaide construction site where a 17 year old worker was killed when a timber frame fell onto him has been described as having an “appalling lack of basic safety”.
Workers on the site were apparently working without even hard hats. There was no site manager, no first aid facilities, no amenities and no safety officer.
The young worker died after a wall collapsed and a timber frame fell onto him. He was rushed to hospital with critical head injuries but died shortly afterwards.
It’s important that those in control of the site are meeting their safety obligations and providing workers with the necessary safe system of work and work environment as is required by work health and safety regulation.
All workers should be properly trained in safety,beginning with mandatory white card training.
Falls from heights are the most common cause of injury on work sites and are a particular concern for the construction industry.
Now there is a new way to tackle this hazard, virtual models such as the Cyber-Physical System.
The Cyber-Physical System has been described as a system consisting of a seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components, already being used in the manufacturing, transportation and healthcare sectors. There are safety benefits for the construction sector as well.
For more about this intriguing development, visit :https://sourceable.net/virtual-models-can-prevent-fall-related-injuries-work-sites/
The Cross Border Construction program run by WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW has been extended following a successful 3 years, benefiting workers on both sides of the border.
The program started in June 2013 resulted in 419 construction sites being visited by inspectors from NSW and Victoria.
Inspectors enlightened workers and employers about their obligations and revealed to them the similarities between work in the 2 states.
The outcome of the program was that it improved safety and will now focus on young workers.
The program’s next phase will begin on Monday, 29 August, in the Mulwala/Yarrawong, Cobram/Barooga regions.
Hearing awareness especially on the construction site is an important issue that needs to be monitored because our hearing is fragile.
Last month between 21-27 August was Hearing Awareness Week and the aim of the week was to raise awareness of how valuable our hearing is and what needs to be done to protect ourselves and others from noise injuries.
One in six Australians suffers from hearing loss.
Here are some of the ways we can control the risks of noise exposure,
It’s important to follow the hierarchy of control to manage noise, especially on rowdy construction sites.
The farewell for the Sydney construction worker killed in a tragic crane accident at the University of Canberra’s public hospital work site was held recently.
The ceremony was attended by about 100 people who gathered at the ste to bid farewell to the worker whose funeral was held in Sydney.
The ceremony included a traditional Ngunnawal smoking ceremony to cleanse the construction site.
It is believed the man died after a small crane on the site toppled, causing the boom to strike the man. The incident occurred early in August.
Another workplace accident has taken place, this time at a work site in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.
A man in his twenties was seriously injured on Wednesday morning after sustaining a fall from the roof of a 2 storey building.
The young worker was on the roof at the time of the incident.
Emergency services personnel arrived at the scene at 11:00am and the man was stabilised at the scene before being rushed to hospital in Kogarah in a critical condition. He had sustained serious injuries to his head and chest.
Tasmania is the first state to pass a new Building Bill that removes the need for permits on many basic building projects.
Under the new risk based Bill passed through Parliament last week, many basic building projects will not need permits including decks, carports and even 2 storey houses.
Master Builders Tasmania and other industry bodies including builders and clients have welcomed the reforms which would boost the industry which employs almost 20,000 people in the state. For more go to: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/construction-industry-gives-reform-thumbs-up-to-make-make-gaining-building-approvals-fairer-faster-simpler-and-cheaper/news-story/39e3ffd08ca2875faf9894a4a383f1de
The construction sector has recorded it’s highest level of activity in 10 months, according to figures from June 2016.
The construction sector rose sharply from contraction in May to its highest level of growth in 10 months.
The Australian Industry Group’s Performance of Construction Index (PCI) jumped 6.5 points to 53.2 in June.
Any result above 50 points indicates that construction activity is expanding. Find out more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-07/construction-sector-growth-hits-10-month-high/7575980
A push to recycle construction waste has created an asbestos hazard which has industry insiders concerned about the safety of workers on government projects.
The state government recently offered a $10million incentive for local governments to use recycled construction and demolition materials in civil projects such as roads, car parks and drains.
State government promoted the practice which it said was preferable to having the waste buried in landfills however industry insiders say given that asbestos was so popular in older buildings, there is no guarantee that there is no asbestos in the recycled products.
To find out more, go to: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/asbestos-scandal-wa-government-scheme-to-recycle-construction-waste-raised-as-asbestos-risk/news-story/fa32aee0a17e405af892c7227d188aa0
The state of Queensland is calling on the Commonwealth and stakeholders to implement sticter controls over the importation of asbestos-containing buildings materials into Australia.
The CFMEU recently detected deadly asbestos fibres on one of the biggest construction sites in Brisbane, prompting the Industrial Relations Minister to raise concerns.
Asbestos has been banned for import since 2003, yet building materials containing asbestos are still making their way onto Australian construction sites, putting workers and the Australian public at risk.
Before beginning work with any tool or equipment on a construction site, it’s important to ensure you’ve received the necessary safety training.
Even when working with seemingly easy to use tools, it’s important that workers are properly trained and supervised if necessary.
A recent incident is proof of what can happen when working with tools and equipment in construction. A man in his sixties, presumably experienced with saw use, severely injured his hand while working with a drop saw.
The incident happened about 127km North West of Dalby in Queensland and the man had to be rushed to hospital for treatment.
A new plan proposing office buildings in Sydney be built higher than the 309 metre high Sydney Tower may result in the biggest revamp of the skyline in decades.
The arched skyline for which Sydney is well known may soon be a thing of the past if the proposal is successful, aiming to boost employment and the city’s economy.
The City of Sydney’s 20 year development plan for Central Sydney would allow commercial buildings to be built higher than 300 metres, an increase of 24 stories compared to the current tallest commercial building at the moment, Chifley Tower.
According to Lord Mayor Clover More, the proposal is a result of 3 years of intensive research.
Climate change and the rising global temperatures associated with it are expected to cost trillions over the coming years.
According to UN research, $A2.63 trillion will be lost due to the decline in productivity caused by rising temperatures. In some parts of the globe it will become unbearable to work in the heat.
Many Asian countries will be affected and will experience a decline in their GDP including China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
The number of natural disasters we see taking place around the world is also expected to continue rising, affecting productivity and costing trillions.
Find out more at https://sourceable.net/rising-temperatures-to-cost-billions-by-2030/
A record high demand for construction staff is pushing up salaries in the industry and forcing employers to do more to attract quality workers.
As the apartment building boom rolls on, the demand for professional construction staff and construction tradespeople are at a record high.
The revelation came as Hays released its July-September quarterly report, which showed that there are high levels of demand for construction staff across a number of markets in NSW, WA, SA, Brisbane and The ACT.
Hays said carpenters remain the most sought after but experienced formwork carpenters on high rise developments, commercial concreters, steel fixers and plumbers, electricians and painters/decorators are also needed as well as labourers with experience are also needed.
How not to approach site safety has been demonstrated by one NSW company who was issued a massive fine recently following the death of one of its workers.
The man was killed when he fell through an unguarded penetration while undertaking bricklaying work.
The company and its director failed to accept responsibility for the incident and were issued with fines of $425,000 and $85,000 respectively. The company subsequently went out of business.
Following the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project, this time-lapse video was released which crammed all 5 years of construction into just over 2 minutes.
In this interesting video you can see the canal being expanded, with an extra lane added for larger ships and the capacity of the canal being doubled.
The construction industry has been urged to be more sensitive of street art, particularly in the nation’s street art capital Melbourne.
The call comes as priceless street artefacts were destroyed, presumably during the construction of a doorway in Melbourne’s AC/DC Lane.
The grouping of stencils by renowned British street artist Banksy has been damaged during construction work. The groupings are believed to be the biggest single grouping of works in the city centre by the anonymous British artist. Read more at http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/banksy-stencils-destroyed-in-acdc-lane-construction-works-20160710-gq2f07.html
Following the official investigation into the Lacrosse Apartment fire in Melbourne, a further 2 building practitioners have been recommended for disciplinary action.
The incident which took place 2 years ago in Melbourne’s Docklands district, resulted in a fire which spread from the sixth floor of the building to the 21st floor.
The rate at which the fire spread was blamed on non-compliant, flammable aluminium cladding which had been used on the exterior of the building.
Construction sites are often busy workplaces, with multiple tradies converging on a confined space at any given time. This work creates risks and some common problems often arise. Having the right tools for the job is crucial to maintaining a safe site and keeping productivity up.
As a post on Ferret.com.au recently pointed out, having the right tools and supplies for the job are important, as is ensuring all workers have received the necessary safety training, starting with white card training.
A Geelong builder has been fined $12.500 for repeatedly bullying an apprentice at his company.
WorkSafe Victoria said the man bullied his teenage apprentice verbally, physically and psychologically over a 2 year period until the young man left in April 2015.
The young man was repeatedly harassed and bullied by the carpenter and other employees, who he encouraged to bully the apprentice as well.
Some extreme and disgusting incidents of bullying were mentioned in the court, but the apprentice said the worst was the psychological abuse which still worries today.
Essential Energy recently reminded tradespeople, scaffolders and others in the construction industry to be aware of the potential electrical hazards on the work site.
Be safe around electricity, thats the message to tradies and others on the construction site especially where plant equipment and temporary structures are concerned.
Tradies are reminded that powerlines can be situated underground and overhead and workers should be aware of their location before beginning work with machinery or excavation of an area. Read more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/06/aware-electricity-worksite/#.V4EZp_l97IV
If you’re into the amazing heavy equipment that helps us do what we do, then you’ll love this video of the latest heavy equipment in action.
Lismore is one of the cities poised for a construction boom with developers kicking off a number of projects.
One of the major projects kicking off is the Lismore Base Hospital.
These projects will generate thousands of construction jobs over the coming years.
The public sector investment into Lismore will be spent as follows:
Remember the fatal Melbourne wall collapse in 2014 which claimed the life of a carpenter on a Brighton East site, well the company overseeing the site have been fined $300,000.
The Melbourne building firm should have been able to foresee that the wall may collapse. The structure had not been properly braced and could not withstand the strong winds that day. The wall was standing for only 10 days before the fatal accident occured.
Michael Klanja, a carpenter and father of 2 died as a result of the wall collapse.
This is an interesting video of the University of Newcastle going up. The video shows a year of construction on the project expected to be complete by next year.
Did you work on the project? Then you’ll love seeing the progress, maybe you’ll even spot your work.
The Safe Work Australia, ‘Australian Work Exposure Study (AWES) has recently been released – the report looks into the carcinogen exposure of workers.
The study evaluates workers’ likelihood of potential exposure to 38 known or suspected carcinogens, commonly used in the Australian workplace.
Carcinogens are cancer causing substances such as diesel engine exhaust and silica dust but the more common one to construction workers is asbestos.
The announcement that the government would pour money into the Lismore Base Hospital has preceded and made way for a construction boom in the area.
A number of projects are expected to kick off soon with the Lismore City Council manager for economic development, Mark Batten explaining that the council had been welcoming of investors and tried to minimise red tape.
While much of NSW is experiencing a booming construction industry, other parts of the commonwealth have seen construction growth remain stagnant.
The good news is that a nationally recognised White Card allows workers to travel anywhere in Australia and work on any construction site because the acceditation is recognised nationally.
While the construction industry is normally being warned about the importance of addressing mental health in the workplace, one article on Forbes.com commended the construction sector for their efforts to combat the problem.
The American construction sector, having identified the risk factors that make construction workers so susceptible to mental health problems and suicide, have developed a tool called the Construction Industry Blueprint to help employers in the sector deal with mental health in the workplace.
As an organisation, there are certain steps that can be taken to address mental health issues among employees.
The first is being outspoken about mental health. Some of the topics that should be discussed include stress management and healthy living.
Employees should also be enccouraged to detect mental health problems early on and should be supported to get help. Read more at http://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2016/05/21/what-construction-workers-could-teach-other-industries-about-mental-health-awareness/#7d60fef89a23
Following the construction accident during which a worker’s head was crushed, almost costing him his life a labour hire company has been issued a $150,000 fine.
The man was working on the South Road Superway project in Adelaide when the near-death incident took lace.
The Industrial Court convicted and fined the company involved for failing to maintain a safe workplace.
What’s eye-opening about this case for companies is that it sends a message that risk identification cannot be left to other parties.
A worker had both his legs amputated following an incident in July 2011 involving an train unloader.
An infrastructure company in Pilbara has been fined $50,000 in the Perth’s magistrate court in relation to the incident.
The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and was fined in the Perth Magistrate’s Court. The company received the $50,000 after it was found that they failed to identify hazards and address them.
If you’re in the construction industry in NSW or plan on getting involved, you’ll be pleased to note that high levels of activity are expected to continue over the coming years.
Continued high levels of construction activity in New South Wales have been predicted by the latest Australian Construction Industry Forum forecasts.
The forecast indicates that housing construction will continue to lead the way over the next 2 years with infrastructure construction activity also strong in the longer term.
Already elevated levels of activity are expected to soar even higher in the 2017/2018 period.
An article on SafetyCulture.com.au recently reminded us of the importance of risk control when it comes to fire and explosion on construction sites.
Besides the serious injury and possible fatalities fires and explosions can cause, they can also cause significant damage to property and cripple a project.
As the article detailed, the law dictates that any person conducting a business or undertaking must prevent the possibility of fire or explosion from an ignition of flammable substances associated with a hazardous area or a hazardous atmosphere.
There are a number of measures suggested for controlling risks of fire and explosion. Read more about them at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/controlling-fire-explosion-risks-workplace/#.V2AmTbt97IV
A man had to be rushed via CareFlight to hospital after he was impaled by a metal rod on a construction site.
The man fell 4 metres before the steel rod went straight through hit thigh.
The 26 year old man was conscious throughoout the etire ordeal.
This incident reminds us about the risks associated with construction.
In Australia, all workers in the construction must first unergo workplace safety and education training, the white card.
Is construction technology something that interests you? Do you keep abreast with the latest developments in construction technology? Then you’ll be interested to hear that the first Construction Technology Summit will be taking place this week in Melbourne.
The event is held by Aconex Limited, the cloud and mobile collaboration platform for the global construction industry.
Construction leaders and technology innovators will converge on Melbourne for the 2 day event taking place on 16 and 17 June, hosted by Aconex and the state government of Victoria.
Attendees will be exploring how emerging digital technologies can benefit the industry.
The rate of deaths and injuries in New South Wales workplaces has declined, according to the latest data from the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA).
Workplace injuries decreased by 8 per cent in 2013/2014 and fatalities dropped to their lowest levels since 1987/88.
The data is evidence of the NSW Government commitment to bringing down injury rates and improving workplace safety and productivity, Deputy Secretary Better Regulation, Department of Finance, Services and Innovation and Chief Executive of SIRA, Anthony Lean explained.
Drones have already begun to be used in the construction industry to boost productivity.
Leading players in the heavy machinery sector, Caterpillar are betting that drones will be a firm part of the construction industry in the future as more and more sites are utilising them to increase productivity and efficiency.
The heavy machinery giant recently entered into a partnership with drone analytics company Redbird to investigate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for collection of visual data in relation to site operations.
The construction industry has long been a male dominated industry which has contributed to the”macho” culture.
The industry is overrepresented with alpha males and this can give rise to blunt, assertive talk and in extreme cases bullying.
The culture of bullying is not something that should be allowed in the workplace, and employers need to recognised the consequences for ignoring bullying on site.
In an article on Sourceable.net the importance of addressing bullying was highlighted especially in small businesses.
Increasingly, awards for damages are being handed down by the courts for bullying claims so if companies want toavoid these potentially bankrupting fines, they need to take claims of bullying seriously.
Economists announced that March’s residential construction figures were higher than expected.
In fact building approval figures rose by 3.7 per cent in March, beating market expectations of a 2.0 per cent fall.
But before we celebrate, economists announced the unexpected jump was more likely a pause in the housing slowdown rather than a boom.
According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics approvals for private sector houses rose by 2.6 per cent.
There has been harsh criticism of the slashing of a number of trades training teachers by TAFE NSW.
These teachers deliver skills that are in high demand and the mini construction boom means more skilled tradies are also in high demand and short supply.
FairFax Media recently revealed that they had copies of internal documents outlining plans to halve the number of glass and glazing teachers in the building and construction faculty of TAFE in South Western Sydney.
The campus is the only one providing the glazing course, one of the trades that is facing a major future shortage.
The consequences of not complying with Australian standards have been highlighted by the delay of the opening of the Perth Children’s Hospital.
The hospital was initially scheduled to open late last year but due to a number of issues including the installation of non-compliant door frames and faulty water pipes by a Chinese owner company, the hospital’s opening had to be pushed until late this year.
The builder in charge of the construction John Holland, has been blamed for the setbacks.
The cost of replacing the 935 door frames that did not comply with Australian fire standards, will have to be carried by the builder.
Read more at:
Many of us are familiar with musculoskeletal injuries and in fact it is one of the most common across all inustries. In the state of Queensland alone, there were more than 40,000 musculoskeletal injury claims costing on average $7,059 per claim.
This video highlights one company that is working to ensure health and safety takes priority in their workplace. The video was released by WorkCover and discusses the efforts of a trade services organisation, CV Services Group.
Less than 24 hours after a site was deemed unsafe for demolition, a wall at the property collapsed, narrowly missing a passer-by and her baby in a pram.
The incident happened at the Melbourne site of the former Royal Park Hotel, on the corner of Queensberry Street and Howard Street in North Melbourne.
Police said nobody was injured in the incident and WorkSafe is investigating.
A number of people including the CFMEU and a City of Melbourne building surveyor expressed reservations about the wall before it collapsed.
Following the Senate’s rejection of the bill to restore the building industry watchdog,Australians could be going to the polls.
As early as July 2nd, we may have to vote after the federal government was handed the trigger for a double-dissolution election on Monday night after the legislation to reinstore the Australian Building Construction Commission was rejected by the Senate again.
The bills were defeated 36-34.
The prime minister has promised to use the second rejection of the bill to push for a July 2nd election. He says the reinstatement of the watchdog is crucial to stamp out misconduct after the royal commission report into union corruption last year.
Stress at work is causing health problems among workers, especially stress that goes on continuously and without being addressed.
It’s up to employers and workers to manage stress but you’ll first need to identify the signs of a stressful work life.
The high risk nature of construction work can also add stress to workers. These are some of the common stressors among workers,
Studies show that properly designed wellness programs can deliver significant benefits with average rate of return of between 2:1 and 5:1 for every dollar spent, so why are so many of these programs not delivering significant results?
While companies have good intentions when introducing these wellness programs, they fail to ensure the programs are designed with the entire work process and environment taken into consideration, therefore the wellness programs outcomes can be negated by other factors in the workplace.
A good example is a workplace wellness program that helps workers stop smoking but doesn’t take into consideration toxic fumes and chemicals that workers are exposed to each day.
Be particularly cautious when working from heights as this is a major cause of injury and death among construction workers in Australia.
The latest incident took place at a home on the NSW Mid North Coast involving a man in his forties.
The man fell from a ladder and became impaled by a star picket.
He was treated on the scene before being taken to a local hospital. The man was then rushed to Gold Coast Hospital for further treatment. He remains in a stable condition in hospital, but he is one of the lucky ones- the Sunday afternoon incident could have been fatal.
The latest trend in construction methods that’s gaining steadily in popularity across Australia is modular construction.
This type of construction is quicker and more cost effective because the components of the building are made in a factory, off-site somewhere and transported to the site to be assembled.
One example of modular construction in action is the Adelaide United training facility at Ridley Reserve by Ausco Modular.
The project was completed in just 3 months, and at a cost of just $700,000. Read more at http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/suppliers/ausco-modular/modular-construction-methods-slash-timeframes-to-l