Regulator News

WorkSafe Victoria news
August: Mobile crane safety blitz
WorkSafe Victoria has been undertaking a targeted blitz on hydraulic mobile cranes operating on construction sites following three serious incidents where heavy machinery at construction sites had overturned, landing on occupied residential houses. The regulator says that with the increased use of heavy plant in the housing construction sub-sector, incidents often occur when builders and contractors using this plant are unfamiliar with identifying hazards and implementing suitable risk control measures. WorkSafe urges companies to check and follow the advice in their Safety Alert: Heavy construction plant on housing sites 

During the inspections on hydraulic mobile cranes operating on construction sites WorkSafe inspectors have been checking:

  • Licences to perform high risk work
  • Logbooks
  • Service records
  • Crane set up - fully extended and pinned outriggers, bog mats or timbers in place, geo tech report / engineers sign off (if required)
  • Exclusion zones (around the crane and under the load path to destination)
  • If the crane is operating near overhead / underground assets; has it been controlled?
  • For any obvious defects
  • Operational warning devices
  • Where the crane is set up adjacent to a road / rail; is traffic management in place
  • Load charts and manual
  • Appropriate lifting gear being used and within load capacity
  • Lifting gear inspections
  • SWMS

Safety Alert: Falling trees
WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a Safety Alert after a farm worker was killed by a falling tree, but in different circumstances to those in Monday’s incident in which a pedestrian was killed.  The worker was struck and while he was helping a farmer cut down trees and create a burn pile. The farmer had not seen the incident and discovered the deceased within the work zone. Download the Alert here 

Queensland Safety Alerts
Queensland’s regulator has issued three Safety Alerts:

  1. Fatal forklift incidents – following two separate fatalities in May and July this year involving forklifts. Access here:
  2. Farmer fatally injured by falling hale bay - following the death of a farm worker in July after bale of hay weighing approximately 720kg fell onto him
  3. Worker seriously burned in vehicle gas tank fire – in April a worker was seriously burned while attempting to decommission a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank from a motor vehicle at a workplace.

Safe Work Australia news
New Fact Sheet
Safe Work Australia has produced a new fact sheet, Supporting workers with endometriosis in the workplace as part of the 2018 National Action Plan for Endometriosis. It is aimed primarily at employers to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact this chronic disease has on workers and its potential impact on workplace safety.

New guide on Labour hire duties
Safe Work Australia has issued a new guide on the WHS duties of host and labour-hire PCBUs. The guide confirms that labour-hire PCBUs and the PCBUs that host their workers all have a primary duty of care to those workers and must keep up to speed with changing circumstances, like changes to work processes or environments and new techniques for eliminating risks. The advice is useful for employers and labour hire employers in Victoria also.  The guide, Labour hire: duties of persons conducting a business or undertaking, can be downloaded here.

Fatality statistics
There has not been an update to the notified fatalities on the Safe Work Australia site since the last edition of SafetyNet. As of August 1, there had been 83 fatalities notified to the national body. Coincidentally, this is the same number as at the same time last year. The workers killed came from the following industries:

  • 28 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 19 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 12 in Construction
  • 6 in Public Administration & safety
  • 5 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 5 in Mining
  • 2 Professional, scientific & technical services
  • 2 in Wholesale trade
  • 3 in Manufacturing
  • 1 in 'Other services'

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage and in particular, here.

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