+John Holland Facing Charges over 2013 Construction Accident

comcare

Source: Comcare.gov.au

John Holland is hot water. The construction firm is facing charges from Comcare following an accident in 2013. It is alleged that the company failed to provide workers with a safe work environment and system of work, as legislation dictates they should.

A worker was injured when a crane hit into a work platform. The case will soon appear by the Adelaide Magistrates Court. Read more here. 

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Importance of Protecting Workers Hearing in Construction

hearing sign

Source: www.safety-signs.org

The Department of Health, together with Deafness Forum of Australia will be raising awareness for protection of worker hearing with Hearing Awareness Week 2015.

Hearing Awareness Week is taking place between 23-29 August and aims to highlight the important of managing noise levels on work sites.

To get more information visit www.hearingawarenessweek.org.au 

 

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School Built from 5000 Plastic Cola Bottles

bottle-school3

Source: RPMOnline.com.au

Look closely at the walls of the classroom above. Can you spot what makes them unique? Instead of the traditional bricks, these walls are composed of used plastic cola bottles filled with concrete, soil and water.

bottle-school4

Source: RPMOnline.com.au

The new construction material is not only cheap and readily available, but it is also apparently durable – being able to withstand earthquakes and heavy storms.

Read more about it here.

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Interesting Safety Induction video

Learning the fundamentals of construction safety is crucial, which is why The White Card training is so important. If you haven’t completed the white card course yet, you should do it asap and if you have, here is a video highlighting some common construction safety issues to refresh your memory.

 

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Construction Hazards a risk to more than just Workers

Safety when it comes to construction is an important issue not only because it has serious consequences for the success of the project and the safety of the workers on site but also because activities on site may have repercussions which affect the general public as well.

An incident which happened on a busy British city street recently highlighted how dangerous construction work can be for pedestrians and drivers in the vicinity of the construction site. Pedestrians and drivers were lucky to have escaped the incident which resulted from the collapse of scaffolding onto a busy West London street.

As the scaffolding collapsed onto the busy street below, it narrowly missed a number of pedestrians walking by and a number of cars driving past.

According to an article on PPConstructionSafety.com the company involved were prosecuted after the scaffolding collapsed onto the street in 2011, narrowly missing pedestrians and traffic. The case was held recently and the article on PPConstructionSafety.com reported about the incident:

scaffoldcollapse15Westminster Magistrates heard (10 July) the firm (now in liquidation) was principal contractor for the demolition and build project in Fulham. The 16m long scaffold collapsed at lunchtime on a normally busy thoroughfare a short distance from a nursery and local schools.

HSE told the Court that the firm failed to properly manage the demolition phase of the work. The scaffold had been on site for 12 month and left free-standing long after demolition had finished.

The site had been left unattended for long periods and regular inspections of the scaffold for safety had not taken place.

Regular inspections of scaffolding are essential

Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd, of Monument Hill, Weybridge, was found guilty in their absence of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Magistrates imposed a fine of £10,000 with costs of £7,190.

Source: http://www.ppconstructionsafety.com/newsdesk/2013/07/11/contractor-failed-to-manage-scaffold-risk/

The construction company involved is lucky the consequences were not more serious. As an employer or employee on a construction site you have a responsibility to ensure that the strictest controls are adhered to, from erection to dismantling.

If proper safety is not being followed, employees should report the matter immediately as it poses a risk to all workers on site as well as to the public.

Make sure a competent formwork designer/manufacturer/supplier designed the formwork system. The contractor should have erection design drawings and specifications for the formwork system to be constructed. A copy of the design drawings and loading calculations should be available on site. The building’s design engineer must specify when the formwork can be dismantled.

Also consider whether the formwork deck has been safely laid. The method used to lay and secure the form ply must protect the workers from falling.  When required to work from the formwork, it should have a full deck of scaffold planks and safe access.

In addition ensure that an experienced structural engineer should inspect the formwork system before concrete is poured. An inspection certificate should be supplied by the engineer to verify the structural integrity of the structure and formwork system.

Remember:  Construction site safety starts with getting a White Card – you can get yours from www.whitecardonline.com.au

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