When it comes to workplace safety concerns during the summer, much of the emphasis is focused towards the blazing sunshine.
However, as we know, summer in Australia is more than just sun – it also comes with a constant dose of wet and windy weather either from the hot interior or the sub-tropics. These conditions can make it very dangerous for many outdoor workers, particularly those in the construction and building industries.
Dangerous summer weather conditions
The summer of 2015-16 has been no different, with a number of storms rocking NSW over recent weeks. In fact, earlier in January, SafeWork NSW reported several incidents where the wind and rain created hazardous conditions for workers. In one example, scaffolding from a demolition site blew onto the Pacific Highway – endangering the general public as well.
Of course, employers have an important role to play here. By maintaining a safe environment for both their teams and the general public, the risk of public liability and total permanent disabilities claims fall.
SafeWork NSW Executive Director Peter Dunphy explained how this could be achieved.
“Site controllers should talk with their workers and conduct a site-specific risk assessment and ensure adequate planning and preparation is in place so that all hazards are managed,” he said.
“High gusts of winds are unpredictable, and cause a range of serious workplace hazards associated with flying objects, working at heights and an increased risk of collapsed structures. Wind speeds are often stronger and faster at heights, so operating cranes or using powered access platforms require additional caution to prevent incidents occurring.”
If the conditions are too dangerous to be working, it is in the best interest of the team to postpone tasks until the weather is cleared and the environment is safe. Mr Dunphy noted that safety should be a paramount concern, and any employers not following best practice can expect strong consequences.
According to Safe Work Australia, there were more than 7,000 claims for serious injuries after a working from height accident. With many of these incidents avoidable, business leaders and workers need to collaborate better to create safe practices.
Workplace injury compensation
Employees injured at work are entitled to compensation. It is recommended that you contact a compensation lawyer who can advise you on how to make your claim and assist you through the entire process.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis, so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it’s completely up to you whether you engage their services.