Demolition businesses warned after third serious accident

Date: Apr 03, 2012

Excavation and demolition companies in NSW have been issued with an urgent warning from the state's employee health and safety watchdog after a third accident involving heavy machinery in two months.

WorkCover has released communications on the importance of safety procedures after an accident involving an excavator was reported to the organisation on March 3.

General manager of the Workplace Health and Safety Division at the Authority, John Watson, explained that this was not an isolated incident.

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

"In the past two months two workers have suffered fatal injuries on demolition sites in Sydney after buckets fell off excavator booms."

The director went on to say that the accidents were very much avoidable and that it was important for workers to pay "constant attention" when their duties required them to interact with heavy machinery.

Simple measures such as enforcing an exclusion zone around an excavator when it was in use could go a long way to avoiding these kinds of accidents.

In addition, workers who use this kind of earthmoving equipment should undergo a safety orientation that focuses on the 'quick hitch' mechanism that secures the excavator bucket to the boom arm – as there are different types of attachments.

Undertaking these suggestions could help to reduce the chance of an accident that results in head injuries or crushing damage.

These kinds of outcomes are common around building equipment, which according to Mr Watson have a high propensity to cause harm.

The general manager explained: "These tragic incidents demonstrate why the demolition and construction sectors are a major focus of WorkCover’s 10/5/5 Program, which targets the top ten highest risk industries, and the top five injuries and illnesses in those industries.

"We want all workers to return home safely to their families at the end of every working day."

It remains to be seen if the accident related to WorkCover will be taken before the industrial court, or if any actions will be taken against the parties responsible.

Injured parties may be able to place a workplace injury compensation claim with the assistance of a no win no fee law firm, giving them access to the legal resources they need to maximise their payout.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.