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Management Plans Imperative for Risky Work like Falls

Jun 3rd 2021

Management Plans Imperative for Risky Work like Falls

Painter convicted for subcontractors fall through skylight. 

A painter pleaded guilty to two charges in the Cobram Magistrates Court last Wednesday after the sub-contractor he engaged in painting two houses and two sheds fell through a polycarbonate skylight, landing on a metal cattle fence 5.5 metres below.

The incident that occurred at Ulupna Island Station in September 2018 happened when the sub-contractor who was preparing paint on the roof of one of the sheds stepped backwards and fell. His injuries included a lacerated spleen, two broken ribs, a punctured lung, several fractured vertebrae and a compressed spinal cord.

Investigations by WorkSafe Victoria found that a harness wasn't used, and there wasn't any guarding on the edge of the shed's roof or mesh underneath the skylights to prevent a fall from height.

The Safe Work Method Statement, which the painter provided, addressed control measures for working at height; however, it was not site-specific and failed to identify the fragile skylights as a potential risk.

The painter has been fined costs of $3,574. 

Read the original article on the WorkSafe Victoria website.

Current risk management plans imperative for risky work. 

Relying on worker competency in risky work environments is no substitute for effective and current risk management plans. That is the message to businesses from WorkSafe New Zealand.

The warning comes after a Hawkes Bay steel plate cutting company was fined for an incident in November 2017, where a worker who was moving a steel package by a gantry crane had to have his leg amputated below the knee after it was crushed.

WorkSafe NZ investigations into the accident found the health and safety documentation that the company was using concerning moving packages using the gantry crane were outdated, in some cases back to 2003.

The victim moved a 2289 kg package of steel and used his body weight to counterbalance the load. As the victim lowered the heavy end of the package to the ground, it tilted to an almost vertical position and slipped out of the strop holding it and fell, trapping his right ankle and foot.

A fine of $275,000 was imposed.

Read the original article on the WorkSafe New Zealand website.

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