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Date PostedApril 5, 2012


Are you a plant or machine operator or excavator operator?  Well you’ll be interested to note that WorkCover NSW , the construction industry watchdog, has issued a warning regarding the safe use of excavators.

According to SafetyCulture.com.au :

The warning follows a third serious incident involving an excavator in less than two months.

WorkCover General Manager of Workplace Health and Safety Division John Watson said the latest incident was reported to WorkCover last week.

“Preliminary investigations have found that a 20-year-old man was hit by an excavator bucket in Dapto, causing suspected serious and permanent injury,” Mr Watson said.

Mr Watson said the incident follows two recent fatalities that also involved excavator buckets.

“In the past two months two workers have suffered fatal injuries on demolition sites after buckets fell off excavator booms,” Mr Watson said.

These incidents reinforce the need for  formal training regarding safety measures on construction sites, particularly when operating plant and machinery.

Clearly safety training is needed to reduce plant and excavator related injuries. The online  white card   Australia process can assist in empowering employees with the safety education needed to operate safely on site.

The article goes on to state :

“Incidents such as these are avoidable. Workers must pay constant attention when working with and around excavators.

Mr Watson said there were a number of actions businesses and workers could take to improve safety when working on and around excavators:

Source : http://www.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/nsw-watchdog-issues-excavator-safety-warning/

You may already work in the construction industry, or you may be interested in starting your career in construction, either way the online white card course helps you get your mandatory construction induction card and equip you with the safety knowledge needed on site.

The white card course instructs workers and machine operators on safety measures and procedures to minimize the risk of injuries , as these are avoidable.  Workers have a responsibility to themselves and their co-workers to work in a manner that does not endanger anyone’s  safety.

Beside the consequences for workers, companies are also risk if workers are not properly trained on safety procedures.  In an incident reported on SafetyCulture.com.au :

An earthmoving company was fined $105,000 after a worker lost his arm when he got caught up in a rock-crushing machine.

The victim was with the company for only three months when his hand was torn off in a workplace accident in August 2009.

Ninemsn reports that the victim was working alone at the Jaegers Pit mine in South Australia’s southeast at the time of the accident and was forced to walk 500 metres to ask help from a passing motorist.

Magistrate Michael Ardie of the South Australian Industrial Court on Monday said that the company pleaded guilty to violating workplace safety laws. He also said that the worker’s hand was pulled in further when it got caught up in the machine.

“He was aware that his head was getting closer and he could feel his arm being crushed,” said Magistrate Ardie.

“He pulled back and his shirt was ripped off his body and he could see his arm flapping and bone and gristle near his shoulder.

“Once free of the belt and roller he used his mobile phone to ring 000.

“Whilst he was on the phone he was staggering towards the gate which led to the site.”

The company has taken full responsibility of the incident and entered a guilty plea. They also took steps to ensure that the same incident won’t happen again, but the magistrate said that the company’s failure to ensure workplace safety posed serious risks including injury and death.

“The employee avoided death with the amputation of his arm which freed him from entrapment.

“He would most likely have been crushed to such an extent that death would have followed.”

Source:   http://www.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/earthmoving-company-fined-after-worker-had-his-arm-ripped/

Clearly accidents on site have consequences for workers as well as businesses. Besides a loss of revenue and stop in work flow, companies can be sued and fined in cases like these.  Companies that ensure their workers are white card trained will reduce incidents and protect themselves from the fallout of accidents on site.

The gruesome and serious nature of the incident above makes clear the need for workers to be trained on safety procedures on site.  The white card  provides instruction on how to avoid such incidents as well as the procedures to follow in the event of such an accident.  For construction workers and machine operators white card training could mean the difference between life and death.

Posted by Peter Cutforth

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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