The risk associated with wooden formwork has been highlighted by an accident which took place on a construction site in Mount Isa. The incident also highlighted the risk construction workers are presented with by falling objects.
The worker involved suffered serious chest injuries when the wood weighing almost half a tonne fell on top of him, crushing him between the wood and a soil embankment.
This is surprisingly the third incident of this nature that occurred within the week. Another worker was injured when a concrete slab fell onto a worker, causing him to be trapped in the cab of a truck for almost an hour and sustained serious back and hip injuries.
A third incident occurred when a man in his fifties was hit by a falling 2 tonne concrete block on a site in Port Kembla. This worker however was not lucky enough to survive – he died shortly after being crushed by the falling concrete. He was trapped for nearly 20 minutes until police and ambulance officers freed him, sadly he didn’t make it.
The latest incident involving falling material on a construction site happened when wooden formwork weighing almost 500kg fell on top of a worker on a site in Mount Isa.
The 22 year old worker was transported to Mount Isa with critical internal chest injuries. When he was stable at around 2pm the Royal Flying Doctor Service flew him to Townsville Hospital.
The following excerpt from a post on Couriermail.com.au details the incident:
A CONSTRUCTION site worker was seriously injured when half a tonne of wood crushed him against a dirt embankment in Mount Isa this morning.
The man, believed to be aged 22, was working on the site about 8am when the 500kg of wooden form work fell and crushed him.
He was rushed to Mount Isa with critical internal chest injuries.
When his condition stabilised about 2pm he was flown to Townsville Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Possible falling hazards are objects such as tools and materials, debris, formwork and any other material or equipment that has the potential to fall from a workstation or platform and injure a worker or passer-by. So the possibility of objects falling is really great and needs to be managed accordingly to avoid incidents such as the ones mentioned above.
Employers and employees have a responsibility to assess the risk of objects falling and injuring workers. Controls must be used to reduce these risks. Safety controls need to be in accordance with Australian standards.
One of the responsibilities held by construction employers and contractors is to provide a safe system of work and work environment for their staff, part of which entails ensuring that workers do not sustain injuries from being hit by falling objects on site. Employers should ensure that they take certain measures to reduce risks involved with falling objects to avoid incidents such as this one from occurring again.