Man’s hands severed

Posted on 18/06/2019, 12:15 AM by Gary Willcox
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 Emergency services have told of the “very important” role colleagues played in helping a man who has lost both arms in a horrific workplace accident after they became trapped in machinery at a southeast Queensland business.

 
A man whose arms were severed in a workplace accident on the Granite Belt is undergoing surgery in Brisbane.
 
The man, 40, suffered critical injuries at the Watters Rd business at Ballandean shortly before 8am.
 
His arms were severed below his elbows in the horrific incident.
 
It is believed the man got his hand caught in a processing machine at the mushroom farm and, on trying to free himself, got his second hand trapped inside.
 
His co-workers rushed to give him first aid and managed to free him, applying tourniquets to stem the severe bleeding as a result of the accident.
 
Darling Downs Local Ambulance Network executive manager operations Glen Maule described their actions as “very important” and helped paramedics who arrived on scene within 20 minutes.
 
“They did apply tourniquets to the injured arms of the gentleman which helped… control some of the severe hemorrhaging that was happening,” Mr Maule said.
 
“The injuries have been very serious and the gentleman has sustained a substantial amount of blood loss because of these injuries.”
 
An anesthetist from Stanthorpe Hospital and a nurse were called in to work alongside paramedics at the property, setting up intravenous lines to stabilise the man for transport to hospital.
 
“The initial crew that did arrive on scene were faced with these horrific injuries and were able to stabilise the gentleman,” Mr Maule said.
 
“(Paramedics) set up some IV lines before the medical team arrived on scene.
 
“They did as much as they possibly could with the skills and the equipment and the drug therapies they had.”
 
Mr Maule said the man also suffered burns from the machine in the incident.
 
Another man at the workplace was treated for shock but did not require transport to hospital.
 
The owner of the business has described the moment the horrific incident was discovered.
 
Neil Newman, the owner of the Ballandean mushroom and spawn suppliers, said his thoughts were with the man involved.
 
“Until we get an investigation under way to piece together what’s happened there isn’t much we can say,” Mr Newman said.
 
“Needless to say, it was an accident that shouldn’t have happened.
 
“We wish him a speedy recovery.”
 
Mr Newman said the worker was stabilised on site before being taken by LifeFlight to Brisbane.
 
“Nobody actually saw the incident,” he said.
 
“We had a guy here delivering straw who heard him yelling out and he went to help out.
 
“With our first aid officers, we administered aid until ambulances arrived.”
 
A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland spokeswoman confirmed the incident was under investigation.
 
Source: Courier Mail

Poultry producer fined $90,000

Posted on 08/06/2019, 12:52 AM by Gary Willcox
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 A southeast Queensland poultry producer has been fined $90,000 after a worker was run over by a reversing forklift she didn’t see coming. 

 
The reason the company gave for the incident was its neighbours complained of the reverse warning beepers so they had them switched off.
 
Gemfire Pty Ltd, trading as Nerang Park Poultry, has operated a poultry abattoir and sold poultry products for more than 25 years.
 
The company recently pleaded guilty to breaching work health and safety laws, which left a worker with serious injuries.
 
The Southport Magistrates Court heard that in November 2016, a 61-year-old worker employed as a processing labourer had been reassigned to a role overseeing the production of cardboard boxes, which stored the processed poultry.
 
At about 5am, the worker was returning to her work area when a forklift, operated by another worker, struck her and the right rear forklift wheel ran over her leg.
 
The collision ripped off a large portion of skin on her right leg, from the upper thigh down to her ankle. She also sustained some fractures to her leg, requiring surgery.
 
A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation identified that the company had directed its forklift drivers to turn off the reversing beepers between 7pm and 7am after neighbours complained about the noise.
 
The investigation also found Gemfire had an inadequate traffic management plan regarding powered mobile plant and pedestrians. It had some pedestrian walkway markings, but not in the immediate vicinity and those that existed were degraded and barely visible.
 
In sentencing, the magistrate considered that the defendant had no previous convictions, had entered an early guilty plea, and had some policies, procedures and training in place, although these were inadequate.
 
The magistrate noted the serious impact of the incident on the injured worker, who has not returned to work. It was also noted that the company had implemented significant changes to its health and safety .
The magistrate accepted that the company was remorseful for the incident but said WHS duty holders had obligations that they must take seriously.
 
The court imposed a $90,000 fine, with professional costs of $1500 and court costs of $96.15. No conviction was recorded.
 
Source: Courier Mail

Quarry manager jailed over safety breaches

Posted on 05/06/2019, 3:54 AM by Gary Willcox
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 Sean Scovell, 21, was killed after he became entangled in a running conveyor belt at the South Moranbah Quarry, north-west of Rockhampton in central Queensland, in June 2012.

 
MCG Quarries was charged with three counts of breaching health and safety obligations, while its managing director William McDonald and senior executive Tony Addinsall were also charged with multiple safety breaches.
 
The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard the conveyor belt had not had guard panels for protection and management should have known about the issue.
 
McDonald was ordered to serve six months of his sentence behind bars before being eligible for parole in November 2019.
 
The company, which is now insolvent, was fined $400,000 for breaching health and safety obligations.
 
Mr Addinsall was fined $35,000, but no conviction was recorded.
 
Prosecutor Glen Rice had told the court the plant was in production without proper assembly or regular equipment inspections.
 
"We say it's a clear case of prioritising commercial interests over safety interests," Mr Rice said.
 
The prosecution had told the court although McDonald and Mr Addinsall were sorry that Mr Scovell died, they had not thought they held responsibility.
 
"They've always maintained it was nothing to do with them," Mr Rice said.
 
Defence counsel told the court his clients had not known there was anything wrong with the conveyor belt's design and were not aware that there needed to be a guarding audit.
 
The defence submitted it had been a lack of diligence, not recklessness.
 
The company that made the conveyor belt, Global Crushers and Spares, was convicted in 2017 of failing to discharge their health and safety obligations for not installing guard panels.
 
Magistrate Penelope Hay told the court Mr Scovell's actions before his death "remain unknown" but said he might have reached into the moving conveyor belt to remove mud.
 
But she said if there had been a guard panel installed, it was "very likely" it would not have resulted in his traumatic death.
 
McDonald was granted bail at the end of the sentencing hearing, pending an appeal of the case.
 
"It is a life sentence of misery and constant torment … there is no escape from grief," he said.
 
"Now the court case is finalised, they say it will give us closure.
 
"What it does to me is further remove Sean from society — instead of Sean being a person in the minds of the public, bringing awareness to health and safety issues."
 
Mr Scovell said his son was one of 168 workers at mines and quarries in a serious accident or high-risk situation in June 2012, the month Sean died.
 
"Sean was a true Australian larrikin … loved life, family and friends [and was] taken before his time — he is truly missed," he said.
 
Source: ABC News

Employee that slanders boss gets compo

Posted on 04/06/2019, 10:14 PM by Gary Willcox
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 A Queensland-based business owner who fired an injured employee for slagging him off eight months earlier has been ordered to pay $4,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

 
Small-business employer Tag Turfing warned one of its workers in February 2018 for allegedly “talking negatively and slandering” his boss in a conversation with a customer.
 
The worker, who sustained a knee injury requiring an operation shortly after, was placed on a three-month probation, but was forced to take time off work for recovery, updating his employer monthly with his medical advice.
 
By October 2018, more than eight months later, the worker had recovered and enquired with his employer about returning to work, but was told via text message he was being dismissed for his earlier transgression.
 
“I was in contact with fair work and got advice your actions warranted an instant dismissal but as u [sic] were on leave for rehab didnt [sic] follow thru [sic] at the time,” the employer told the worker.
 
“Your lack of responsibility to Tag during rehab also demonstrated it is best you not continue employment with Tag.”
 
The employee filed for unfair dismissal, claiming he had been terminated based on a matter which had already been dealt with months prior, and submitting the business was continually changing the reason for his dismissal.
 
The business owner argued he wasn’t aware the worker’s behaviour was grounds for summary dismissal for serious misconduct when it occurred, and so opted for a warning instead.
 
But while accepting the worker did engage in the alleged conduct, Fair Work Commissioner Chris Simpson ruled the reason for dismissal was nevertheless invalid.
 
“The misconduct had already been dealt with in the form of a warning, and … no further misconduct occurred,” Simpson said.
 
Simpson also found the worker did keep his employer in the loop regarding his recovery, denying this was a valid reason for dismissal.
 
Tag Turfing will have to pay $4,000 compensation within 21 days, but  Fay Calderone, a partner at Hall and Wilcox, says things “could have been a lot worse”.
 
“They’ve gone down the unfair dismissal path, but they could have arguably said it was adverse action because the guy had gone off sick,” Calderone tells SmartCompany.
 
Calderone says employers need to “use it or lose it” when presented with conduct they believe is grounds for summary dismissal.
 
“You can’t sit on it, and you can’t say you didn’t realise at the time it was misconduct,” she says.
 
“You can’t just go back eight months later, particularly after someone has been injured.”
 
Source:Smartcompany

Worker killed at landfill

Posted on 27/05/2019, 10:22 PM by Gary Willcox
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 A man is dead and another is seriously injured after the pair became trapped beneath landfill in a freak worksite accident in western Sydney.

 
A man is dead and another is seriously injured after the pair became trapped beneath landfill in a freak worksite accident in western Sydney.
 
Emergency crews rushed to the Dial a Dump tip on Kangaroo Avenue at Eastern Creek after the incident occurred at about 12.45pm.
 
The men’s co-workers frantically dug through tonnes of debris with their bare hands in a bid to free them.
 
Rescuers reached one man, aged in his 30s, after about 10 minutes and he was rushed to Westmead Hospital via helicopter with shoulder and abdominal injuries, where he remains in a stable condition.
 
The second man was trapped about two metres deeper and it took another 15 minutes for crews to reach him, but he was dead.
 
It’s understood the men were hit by a heavy vehicle, believed to be a tipper, and covered in mounds of waste, which included furniture and white goods.
 
A Fire and Rescue New South Wales spokesman told the Blacktown Advocate newspaper that the men were crushed by “multiple tonnes of rubbish”.
 
Police have now established a crime scene.
 
Several paramedic crews, including an air unit, were involved in the response, along with numerous firefighters and police.
 
SafeWork NSW is investigating the incident.
 
It's the latest in a string of worksite fatalities in Sydney in recent months.
 
Christopher Cassaniti, 18, died when a massive pile of scaffolding and building materials fell on him and another worker, 39, at a construction site at Macquarie Park on April 1.
 
Two days later, Robert Nicholls, 39, was killed while replacing a power pole on the north shore.
 
And last week, a 25-year-old man was hit by a large truck and killed at a workplace accident in Strathfield.
 
Source: News.com.au

Company fined $300K after worker falls

Posted on 22/05/2019, 11:42 PM by Gary Willcox
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A shopfitting company and its director have both been fined — with a conviction for the company — after a two-metre fall killed one of its employees.
 
The man fell more than two metres from an unguarded mezzanine floor at a worksite at Maidstone, in Melbourne’s west.
 
Entire Shopfitting Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court on Wednesday, 8 May to failing to provide or maintain systems of work that were safe and failing to prepare a Safe Work Method Statement before starting high-risk construction work.
 
The company was fined $300,000. Company director John Paul Kenneally also pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to take reasonable care. He was fined $30,000 without conviction.
 
The court heard that on 19 May 2017, two Entire Shopfitting employees were directed to the mezzanine level of the worksite to start framing works on an extension for a new indoor children’s play centre.
 
One of the employees placed a stepladder near the edge of the mezzanine where no guarding had been put in place after the balustrade was removed.
 
When the 55-year-old climbed the ladder, one leg of the ladder went through a cut-out in the floor, tipping the employee over the edge of the mezzanine and onto the ground below.
 
He suffered serious injuries in the fall and was transported to hospital, where he later died.
 
The court heard that Entire Shopfitting failed to implement fall protection measures and failed to implement an exclusion zone around the edge of the unguarded mezzanine to protect workers from fall risks.
 
WorkSafe Victoria Health and Safety Executive Director Julie Nielsen said the incident was a tragic reminder that working from height can have catastrophic consequences.
 
“The combination of a ladder and an unguarded void is a deadly one,” she said.
 
“There is no excuse for failing to protect workers from falls from height. The risks are well known and WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute employers who do not control them.”
 
 
Source:NSCA Foundation

Man trapped under truck at work site

Posted on 20/05/2019, 10:37 PM by Gary Willcox
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 A man has been injured after a truck rolled on top of him at a Sydney construction site this morning.

 
The accident happened in an excavated work site about 8.30am according to emergency services. The truck rolled in a dug out area 30 metres below street level.
 
Paramedics rushed to the site, on the Pacific Highway at Christie St, St Leonards, on Sydney’s lower north shore.
 
The man, 32, had to be stabilised by emergency crews before they began the process of freeing him. They then had to secure the unstable vehicle before they could pull the man out.
 
“Crews stabilised the machine using an excavator, airbags and blocks before digging under to release the man,” Fire and Rescue NSW said in a statement. The man was trapped under the machine for about half an hour.
 
He was transported to hospital, suffering upper and lower limb injuries and a suspected broken leg. The 32-year old was in a stable condition.
 
Source: News.com.au

A summary of WHS activities in 2016–17:

Posted on 08/05/2019, 11:41 PM by Gary Willcox
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85,550 proactive workplace visits around Australia
68,312 reactive workplace visits around Australia
1,107 field active inspectors employed around Australia
43,940 notices issued by Australian jurisdictions
33 enforceable undertakings accepted by Australian jurisdictions
256 legal proceedings against duty holders finalised
221 legal proceedings resulting in a conviction, order or agreement, and
$13.0 million in fines issued by Australian courts.
 
Source: SafeWork Australia

Man crushed by industrial radiator

Posted on 08/05/2019, 1:23 AM by Gary Willcox
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 A man has died in a workplace tragedy after an industrial radiator fell and crushed him in Welshpool.

 
The 58-year-old man suffered multiple trauma injuries after a large radiator struck him today about 8am.
 
The worker was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital but could not be saved.
 
WorkSafe officers responded to the tragedy and remained at L & M Radiator for most of the day on Monday.
 
They were seen taking photos of a large yellow radiator on the ground of the workshop, investigating the circumstances around the fatal incident.
 
L & M Radiator is a Welshpool company that manufactures and distributes industrial radiators worldwide.
 
Source: Perth Now

Katherine man killed in Darwin workplace incident

Posted on 01/05/2019, 5:46 AM by Gary Willcox
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 Katherine man Dwayne Beaumont is being remembered as someone with so much "more life to give" in the wake of his death in a Darwin workplace incident.

 
In a statement this afternoon, NT WorkSafe said Mr Beaumont had been helping load a hired excavator — fitted with a large bucket containing two smaller buckets and a ripper — onto a flatbed trailer.
 
He was standing on the trailer in front of the excavator when one of the smaller buckets dislodged and fatally struck him.
 
NT WorkSafe urged others to ensure excavator attachments were secured when they were being transported in large buckets, to prevent similar tragedies occurring.
 
Mr Beaumont worked for Batchelor-based aerial application services company Aerotech.
 
Family and friends have begun posting their tributes to the much-loved member of the Top End community onto social media.
 
"My heart aches for this young man, so much more life to live … Sending all my love back home," posted one family member.
 
Others commented that the incident was "so sad" and "such a tragic day".
 
An employee from Aerotech on Monday confirmed the death but would not comment.
 
On Aerotech's website, a profile of Mr Beaumont said: "Dwayne manages the ground operations for Aerotech NT and is a Katherine local."
 
"He has worked for Aerotech NT since 2009 after mustering cattle at Mountain Valley Station north-east of Katherine near Daly Waters and Maryfield Station south of Katherine," the website read.
 
"Dwayne has in-depth local knowledge, good agricultural skills and knows the local area well."
 
The exact circumstances surrounding Mr Beaumont's death remain under investigation by NT WorkSafe and NT Police.
 
NT Government to introduce new industrial laws
In the wake of Mr Beaumont's death, the NT Government has announced it would push to introduce new industrial manslaughter laws into Parliament, with the hope of passing them before the end of 2019.
 
Source: ABC News