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Occupational lung disease target of new Safe Work Campaign

Jul 9th 2021

Occupational lung disease target of new Safe Work Campaign

Competent workers and direct supervision are a must when operating cranes. 

WorkSafe New Zealand has warned businesses that allowing staff without the appropriate training or supervision to operate cranes and other machinery is unacceptable.

The warning follows a tragic accident in 2019 where an employee who was training to use an overhead gantry crane was fatally crushed by a pack lifter crane implement, which was attached to a 2.5-tonne pack of glass.

Investigations by WorkSafe found that the employee had climbed up the pack lifter to hook the crane hook onto it and was completely unsupervised at the time of the incident. It also found that crane implements should not be left attached to a load, and the businesses health and safety system and its risk register were inadequate.

The situation could have been entirely avoided if the employee had been properly supervised while he was being trained and if the pack lifter was stored without a load attached, said WorkSafe Area Investigation Manager Steve Kelly.

'This is a situation that reinforces the need for proper health and safety systems to be in place. Employees that are not competent in operating machinery must be effectively supervised.'

The company was sentenced on Thursday, 1 July at the Christchurch District Court. A fine of $270,000 was imposed and reparation of $110,000 was ordered to be paid to the victim's family.

Read the full article on the WorkSafe New Zealand website.

Occupational lung disease target of new Safe Work Campaign. 

A new campaign to raise awareness of occupational lung disease has been launched by Safe Work Australia. The campaign called Clean Air Clear Lungs will run nationally until December this year.

'Occupational lung disease continues to be a major work health and safety concern in Australia,' said Safe Work Australia chief executive officer Michelle Baxter.

'The Occupational lung diseases in Australia 2006-2019 report highlighted a substantial increase in coal workers' pneumoconiosis, as well as silicosis from working with engineered stone.'

The campaign will focus on the four industries at most risk, manufacturing, agriculture, engineering stone workers, and construction. Workers at high risk of occupational lung disease have had long-term exposure to hazardous dust in the workplace which include miners, construction workers, farmers, and engineers.

The campaign includes a kit on the Safe Work website, informing people on the hazards of dirty air and what to do if you think you may be at risk.

For more information visit

The full article can be viewed on The Trinitas Group website.

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