Tower cranes the focus of recent WorkCover discussions

Date: Dec 07, 2012

Work involving tower cranes has been the focus of recent WorkCover NSW discussions, with the organisation looking at ways to minimise the risk of accidents involving this equipment.

On December 4 the WorkCover NSW Crane Safety Roundtable met to talk about tower crane safety and also how emergency evacuation exits could be improved.

Last week there was a crane fire and collapse in Sydney’s CBD, an incident which prompted the roundtable to meet.

The fire occurred on November 27 at the University of Technology campus. Fortunately no one was harmed, although it did cause a lot of chaos and traffic troubles on the day.

Hundreds of construction workers were also evacuated and the fire brigade had their hands full putting out what could have been a large scale fire.

General manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division John Watson said that the incident “could have been catastrophic”.

The roundtable hoped to come up with some solutions that prevent situations like this from arising again in the future.

The meeting was a joint initiative organised by the NSW branches of WorkCover, the Masters Builders Association and the CFMEU.

“The purpose of today’s roundtable was to bring together industry players to discuss how we can ensure the safety of workers and the public, and prevent incidents like last week’s happening again,” Mr Watson said in a statement.

“There are a number of outcomes from today’s meeting that Roundtable attendees have committed to and it’s reassuring that we can all agree on the same objective – ensuring all workers go home safely at the end of the working day.”

WorkCover NSW is also investigating last week’s incident to try and figure out how it started in the first place.

“WorkCover is carrying out a thorough investigation into the incident which includes the causes, systems of work, maintenance of equipment and adequacy of control measures,” Mr Watson said.

“WorkCover has taken possession of a number of relevant components and transported them to its Londonderry facility for testing and analysis in an attempt to identify the cause of the fire. Any action taken by WorkCover will be dependent on the findings of the investigation.”

Although no one was seriously harmed this incident does serve as a reminder to all employers – construction workers in particular – to be vigilant about workplace health and safety protocols.

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