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DECEMBER 2018

PROMOTING SAFETY IN THE CRANE INDUSTRY Overhead power lines and recurring fatal accidents Exploring our failure to learn


Thanks to this edition’s contributors

CALL FOR CONTENT

Are you an aspiring author? Are you passionate about the safety of your workmates? Do you have an idea for improving safety or efficiency in your workplace? We want to hear from you. Contribute to Lifting Matters’ vision of a safer industry by submitting your ideas and articles to liftingmatters@writestrategy.com.au We are seeking stories about recurring incidents, significant incidents, ideas about safer and more efficient ways of working, any prevalent issues, good reminders, anything of a safety related nature. You can submit a full article, anywhere from 200 to 1000 words, or you can send us ideas about what you would like to hear us discuss in future issues of Lifting Matters. If you’re from a business, we will mention you as a supporter and publish your logo at no cost to you. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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MISSED AN ISSUE? Current and previous issues are all available for download on our website. Visit the archives at; liftingmatters.com.au


From the Editor December 2018 Welcome to the December edition of Lifting Matters. Did you know electrocution is the leading cause of cranerelated deaths throughout the world? Sadly, instead of a downward trend in fatalities from electrocution in the crane industry, we are seeing an upward trend. How can this be? Why are we failing as an industry to address the biggest risk faced by our people? We attempt to unpack these questions in this issue, highlighting the dangers, risks and guidelines of working with this potentially fatal hazard. We will also uncover incidents where workers have made contact with live lines, and hear from industry experts in this field. In this issue, we are thrilled to welcome a number of valuable contributors including TRT, Auckland Waikato Cranes, CICA, MATES in Construction and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. This edition we have a new feature section called People Profile. At the end of the day, our industry is really about people. Safety leaders play a key role in keeping our people safe – establishing a positive safety culture, setting standards and engaging with and owning safety responsibilities and accountabilities. Each quarter, we are going to hear about the personal views and experiences of safety leaders in the crane industry. Please get in touch with us! You can visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or drop 4

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us an email at any time. If you have an incident report, ideas about safer and more efficient ways of working, widespread issues, valuable reminders or anything else safety related, we want to hear from you. We look forward to working together to protect our people and save lives in the crane industry. Any contributions for our next edition are due by 15 February 2019. If you prefer printed glossy copies for your crane cabs, cribs, mess hall or reception, please send your postal address and the number of copies you require to liftingmatters@writestrategy.com.au. Lifting Matters is available to view at www.liftingmatters.com.au, or you can subscribe to receive an email copy each quarter. As we rapidly approach the end of the year, we remind all our readers to stay focused and safety aware. You and your team may be winding down for the year, but we need everyone to remain vigilant to help prevent senseless mistakes. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We look forward to joining you for a safe 2019.

Thank you DASHELLE BAILEY, EDITOR liftingmatters@writestrategy.com.au


Contents

EDITORIAL

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FEATURE ARTICLE Overhead power lines: Eliminating recurring fatal accidents

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SPOTLIGHT ON OVERHEAD POWER LINE INCIDENTS Tauranga, New Zealand Seattle, Washington, USA Earlwood, Australia Guam, Micronesian Islands Auckland, New Zealand

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ELECTRICAL SAFETY The basics of electricity

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INCIDENT REPORT Gold Coast, Australia

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WORKING SAFELY Look Up and Live Crane Trailers: Improving Safety and Job Efficiency

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INJURY MANAGEMENT Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program

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PEOPLE PROFILE Phil Dayman

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INDUSTRY AWARDS Strong safety culture leads to safety award recognition

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HEALTH & WELLBEING MATES in Construction – supporting the construction industry

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Feature Article

Overhead power lines: eliminating recurring fatal accidents By ALBERT SMITH, Lifting Matters Chief Sponsor Electrocution remains the leading cause of crane-related deaths throughout the world, representing approximately 25% of all crane accidents. More than half of all electrocutions are associated with the crane boom, cable or load/load line contacting an overhead power line. The remainder involve contact between power lines and other unspecified parts of the crane. Data from the National Coroners’ Information System from 2000 to 2008 revealed 22% of fatal accidents involving cranes were due to electrocution. These statistics are staggering – as an industry, we have failed to improve safety outcomes when it 6

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comes to overhead power lines. In fact, the data suggests that accidents of this nature are occurring more often. In this issue of Lifting Matters, you will read about several electrocution incidents involving cranes coming in contact with power lines which have occurred over a 25-year period. Together with the data, they sadly show a trend in the wrong direction when it comes to working with cranes around overhead power lines. So, why exactly are we failing to reduce these kinds of incidents, let alone eliminate them? I believe we need to ask ourselves three key questions:


Feature Article

1. 2. 3.

Are we providing sufficient education to our people, so they truly understand the risk posed by overhead power lines, including the potential ramifications of both contact, and closeness, and what to do when this does occur? Are we using all available resources to mitigate the risk posed by overhead power lines, and if not, what else should we explore?

Education and training I have been stunned to hear some of the misconceptions and the lack of understanding around how power conducts, the attributes of overhead power lines, and what to do when you come into contact with live power lines. We take it for granted that junior members of the industry understand the basic principles of electricity and how they affect us in the crane industry. I won’t go into detail here about this as another author has provided a great ‘basics of electricity’ in this issue, but I will touch on some common myths I have heard.

Where are we falling short in the process of implementing lessons learned from past incidents?

The electrical current moves in a ripple effect outward from the energised machine. It is not just the crane operator or those directly under the lines who are at risk.

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Feature Article

MYTH #1 “Overhead power lines don’t carry enough power to really hurt me.” FALSE. Overhead power lines carry a variety of voltages from around 120 volts to upwards of 700,000 volts. Even the lowest level of voltage is fatal. The severity of the shock will depend on the voltage, but almost always that voltage is enough to seriously injure a human being if not result in death.

MYTH #2 “I can only be electrocuted if I am the person directly in contact with the power line.” FALSE. If you are involved in an incident where a crane boom strikes an overhead power line, there are several ways you can be injured, including as the rigger/dogman, the operator, a bystander or a Good Samaritan. Rigger/Dogmen - In 90% of overhead power line incidents, it is the rigger/dogman who is most severely injured or killed. This is because the rigger acts as a conductor of the electricity to the ground through their contact with the load, taglines or ropes resulting in electrocution. Operator - The operator of the crane is usually separated from the ground by the crane itself, but there have been instances

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where the operator has attempted to leave the cabin and made contact with the ground and the crane simultaneously resulting in electrocution. If possible, remain in the crane until you have received clear confirmation that the power has been switched off. If you do need to evacuate the crane, you must jump completely clear of the crane and be sure not to make contact with any part of the crane and the ground at the same time. Then you must shuffle in very small steps away from the energised equipment. Bystander – For the same reason an operator must shuffle away from the energised equipment, bystanders are also at risk because the electrical current moves in a ripple effect outward from the energised machine. Picture a pond after you’ve thrown a stone into the middle of it. This is how the electricity moves through the ground, with areas of high and low potential. If you touch an area of high and low potential at the same time the current can flow through your body resulting in electrocution. A Good Samaritan – Devastatingly, there have been accidents where a shaken and concerned worker has rushed to the aid of a colleague who has been electrocuted and suffered significant injuries or fatality in doing so. You cannot go near your injured colleague because the electricity flowing through them can also injure or kill you. The victim cannot be approached until confirmation has been received that the vicinity has been de-energised.


Feature Article

Marking exclusion zones at ground level with cones, barriers and tape or flags is the most basic precaution

MYTH #3 “Overhead power lines are insulated and therefore do not present a risk of electrocution.” FALSE. Overhead power lines are not insulated. Sometimes they have the appearance of being insulated, but this is just weatherproofing. Whether the line is weatherproofed or not, if you touch it you will be electrocuted. Better mitigating risks I think we can do more to mitigate the risks associated with overhead power lines, especially with many of the new technologies available to us. The most basic precaution we can take around power lines is to properly mark exclusion zones at ground level with cones, barriers and tape or flags. When first familiarising yourself with a work site and before moving the focus to the tasks at hand, mark out the exclusion zones. There are many power related incidents where

the team were well aware of the presence of electrical hazards as they were identified at the start of the job, and then they were forgotten in the critical mid-phase of the task when all thought is on the work at hand. The ground level reminders and barriers are a simple, practical, low tech measure that can be implemented at every work site with electrical hazards by the field crew as part of the JSA job start process. Barriers at electrical sites should be a standard safety precaution exactly like PPE, and we should never start crane work near power lines unless they are in place. Then, the mindset needs to be to never cross a barrier without stopping and thinking “why is this barrier here?” As well as the basics such as de-energising power lines, establishing exclusion zones, working to nominated clearance distances, installing warning tags/markers and signage and undertaking comprehensive lift planning and risk assessments, some other ideas include:

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Feature Article

Proximity warning devices: there are devices available that emit an alarm when a crane boom becomes too close to a power line. Even with the use of such devices, an exclusion zone and clearance distances must be maintained, but should the operator have a lapse of concentration these devices provide a backup warning

1.

2.

3.

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Electronic boom height restrictions: like the E-Fence Technology being used by CAT which we discussed in the September 2018 issue, the crane industry can use this technology to enable the crane boom to freeze automatically before striking an overhead power line. By programming height restrictions into the machine based on the site conditions, in the event of an operator’s lapse of concentration the crane would stop operating completely outside of the defined boundaries. Boom cage guard: a boom cage guard protects the boom, preventing it from becoming energised in the event of striking overhead lines.

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4.

5.

Insulated links: insulated links between the hook and the load provide an extra layer of protection for the rigger/dogmen. They do not prevent the rest of the crane from becoming energised, but they do stop the current from flowing through to the load thus injuring the rigger/dogman. Augmented reality warnings: this technology is still in its early phases of development, but wearables such as interactive safety glasses can also assist both operators and riggers with obvious visual warnings about the presence of the overhead power lines. With site information loaded into the application, such as the geolocation and height of any power lines in the vicinity of a work site, smart glasses can illuminate this hazard to all workers thus preventing a lapse of concentration or unawareness of the presence of overhead lines.


Feature Article Implementing lessons learned We can talk about the practicalities of overhead power line incidents, but the reality is there is a wealth of information out there about these incidents, the hazards of overhead power lines and countless ‘look up and live’ style campaigns. Instead, we need to step back and critically evaluate our failure to learn in this area.

It takes a mature organisation with a mature safety culture to focus on identifying and implementing learnings from an incident and work on improving prevention. Sadly in our industry, many of us still default to becoming highly defensive when an incident occurs, instead focusing on attributing blame. Yes, we all have safety responsibilities we need to be held accountable for, but we must also learn to be open to constructively investigating incidents.

‘Failure to Learn’, provides a harrowing insight into the causes of a major explosion at the Texas City Oil Refinery in 2005 which killed 15 workers and left 170 others seriously injured. As indicated in the title, there were sadly many previous incidents from which the parties involved in this tragic accident could have learned, adapted and improved prevention. However, their safety culture meant they failed to do so, subsequently resulting in the needless death of 15 people. Let’s not make the same mistake. I urge you to actively investigate overhead power lines and how we can prevent incidents related to them. Educate your people and each other with vigour on this vital topic, which presents the greatest risk to our industry. Together we can learn how to reduce and eventually eliminate electrocution related injuries and fatalities in the crane industry. 

It’s far too easy to blame an operator for failing to look up, a lapse in concentration, or for a supervisor’s failure to ensure power lines were de-energised, but these conclusions result in quick fixes. This approach does not factor in the root cause – where did the safety management system fail? What other controls could we have had in place to prevent this accident? Dr Andrew Hopkins is the author of an award-winning thesis on the BP Texas City Refinery Disaster. His thesis, entitled

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Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

1994

Tauranga, New Zealand A 16-year-old work experience student was fatally electrocuted in Tauranga, New Zealand in 1994 while dogging at his employer’s depot. A Franna crane was being used to pick and carry materials around the yard for a new building construction. There were no overhead wires within the site, but the front boundary of the yard property had a curve, and the street side wires were straight and cut across this curve. The young dogman was walking the load to place it on the ground near the front roadside boundary while another junior crane driver colleague operated the crane. Both were concentrating on the load and the ground. While they were aware of the risks and the need to maintain clearance from the power wires, they misjudged the location of the overhead lines and the fact that the straight power wire line crossed into the front of the property where the road curved. The hoist line hit the wires, and the dogman was instantly fatally electrocuted. The crane was electrically charged on the rubber tyres, but the driver was able to leap clear to avoid electric shock and a possible second fatality. This terrible incident highlighted several learnings in 1994:

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The exact location details of where electrical hazards are is critical.

Two inexperienced team members should not be paired up in a team. Junior workers should be paired with more experienced senior colleagues.

Exclusion zones should be set out and clearly marked on the ground prior to any activity with a crane boom in the area around live power lines. 


Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

2016

Seattle, Washington, USA Two workers were severely burned at a construction site in West Seattle in 2016. A mobile crane and a forklift with a craneboom attachment were operating under a live high-voltage power line when the crane boom struck the lines. Approximately 14 kilovolts travelled down the crane’s cable. Two men were dogging and in contact with the hoist line at the time, resulting in them being electrocuted and severely burned. Part of the project included moving the power lines underground, which was scheduled to take place soon after the incident occurred. Rather than waiting for this to be completed, the contractors chose to continue work underneath the live lines. An incident investigation identified several contributing factors:

Protective measures were not put in place

Failure to prohibit work underneath the live overhead lines

A suitably qualified lift supervisor/ coordinator was not nominated; the contractor’s lift director was found to be unaware of the voltages of the power line, the subsequent mandated exclusion zones and the other safety requirements working around them

There was overall inadequate supervision of the lift

The contractor did not provide adequate training and education on the hazards and safe work practices around live power lines to their personnel

A satisfactory accident prevention plan was not in place

One of the contractors involved in the incident failed to hold or document safety inspections either before work commenced or on a regular basis.

Two contractors were involved in the incident, a construction company and a concrete contractor. Under Washington state law, both contractors were cited for several safety violations, including several wilful volitions and faced significant fines. Under Washington state law, a ‘wilful violation’ is where there is evidence of indifference or intentional disregard for a hazard and rule. 

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Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

April 2018

Earlwood, Australia An incident in southwest Sydney in April 2018 provides a sober reminder that electrical hazards can affect not just site workers but also the public in the site vicinity. A crane operator was unloading a truck on an Earlwood worksite earlier this year when the boom of the crane struck a high voltage power line. The impact caused the high voltage line to fall over, and the live lines fell onto a ute which was occupied by a man unrelated to the worksite. The crane operator was left in a critical condition as the electrocution was so severe he experienced cardiac arrest, and his heart had to be restarted by paramedics. The paramedic

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arrived just six minutes after the emergency call was made, saving the operator’s life. The second man was trapped in his ute for several hours waiting for the lines to be de-energised. He was found to be uninjured when assessed by paramedics. Lifting Matters was unable to uncover further detail on the incident, including information on the findings of the incident investigation. Photos of the site indicate a failure to establish an exclusion zone around the power lines may have been a contributing factor. 


Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

1998

Guam, Micronesian Islands In 1998, a subtenant of Smithbridge Guam’s Barragada yard unknowingly backed a container on a truck into a low power line. This electrified the truck, but the driver was completely unaware he had touched the power line. As he stepped out of the cabin of the electrified truck, he made contact with the ground while still holding the truck climb rail. This caused the power to surge to the ground via his body and fatally electrocuted him. The truck driver was working alone at the time, and the incident was only identified by others when the loaded container was observed to be blazing on fire from a distance.

This incident highlights the risks around energised metal vehicles and machines on rubber tyres where body contact from the energised object and the ground can cause a fatal grounding via the human body. This incident also highlighted the importance of dealing with sagging or otherwise unsafe electrical infrastructure to minimise the risk of contact. 

Touched ground on exit of vehicle

Reversed

Powerlines

If you exit a machine that has been electrified due to contact with an overhead power line, you will be electrocuted if you are touching the machine and the ground at the same time. This is because the electricity travels through the body to the ground, resulting in electrocution. Stay in the vehicle until you have received confirmation that the vicinity is de-energised. If you must exit the vehicle for other safety reasons, do not make contact with the electrified vehicle and the ground at the same time.

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Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

December 2017

Auckland, New Zealand

Tyres, electronics and lights were blown out on the crane and delivery truck

In December 2017, an Auckland Cranes Kato SR250 Rough Terrain Crane was involved in an incident where a winch rope made contact with high voltage power lines. The crane operator slewed the crane through an exclusion zone causing the rope to come into contact with 110kV power lines. The connection caused the electricity to earth in two ways:

The crane operator and truck driver (both in cabs) were unharmed, but the dogman handling the load received a severe electric shock and sustained burns to his lower legs. Emergency protocols were followed, and first aid was administered on site while an ambulance was called so that the injured worker could be taken to hospital for further treatment.

1. Via the rope and load to ground. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but a worker (dogman handling load) received a severe electric shock and was hospitalised with burns. 2. Via the rope and crane which then jumped across to the nearby truck and then to the ground. Significant damage was sustained by the equipment.

In this particular incident, all other workers escaped injury. The equipment and vehicles on site, however, sustained significant damage. The earthed electricity caused damage to Transpower’s assets, the crane and the panel transportation truck and trailer; the tyres, electronics and lights were blown out on both vehicles. Repair costs were significant.

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Spotlight on Overhead Power Line Incidents

Investigations began immediately after the incident occurred. Auckland Cranes performed a thorough internal investigation alongside external investigations from Transpower, WorkSafe NZ, and others. After an extensive investigation, WorkSafe announced they would not take any further action at that time. Auckland Cranes’ internal investigation has led to several lessons learned within the organisation. The potential consequences of these events can be frightening. But, the good news, there are organisations out there to provide advice and ample information on addressing electrical hazards. The formal advice from Transpower in New Zealand is to keep at least 4 metres between your equipment, boom, load and power lines at all times. Any mobile equipment operating near power lines is

required to carry a warning notice in a location visible to the operator. If you are in New Zealand and in any doubt, contact Transpower Landowner Liaisons for your area (Google Transpower Landowner Liaison contacts). Transpower is working with local councils to minimise further builds under overhead power line corridors, to eliminate the need for contractors to work under or near overhead power lines. Note, the safe working distance from power lines varies from state to state and between countries. Therefore, it is recommended you contact your local electricity provider for advice on your specific site circumstances. 

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Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety – the basics of electricity By ALBERT SMITH, Lifting Matters Chief Sponsor Electricity is such a central part of everyday life that we forget how dangerous it can be. We interact with electricity from the moment we turn our alarm off in the morning until we switch off the lights at night. The ever-present role of electricity in our lives can make us complacent when it comes to the risk it poses. The risk of injury and death by electrocution is present with voltages as low as 230 volts, so it is important to always be aware of electrical hazards, especially in high-risk environments like construction sites. Electrical injuries are caused by the flow of electricity through the body and the heat this generates. Electric shocks occur when the current is given an opportunity to ground itself. If a person touches a power source, the electricity will try to travel through their body to the ground. The path the current takes through the body heats up and burns the body from the inside. In this issue of Lifting Matters we are looking specifically at overhead power lines, but it’s important to remember contact with electricity is 18

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a significant risk in the construction industry even outside overhead lines. Sites are full of machinery and tools that can cause electrical shocks. To mitigate risks, it is vital to make sure all equipment is well maintained. When it comes to overhead power lines, all lines should be treated as active. Above all else, the most important thing to do when controlling potential electrical hazards is contact the electrical entity for your site. The electrical entity in charge of the area you are working in can provide all of the necessary information about risks, voltages, underground utilities, exclusion zones and any other potential hazards.

Work Zones in the vicinity of overhead electric line poles (Image provided by Safe Work Australia)

DECEMBER 2018


Electrical Safety They can apply visual reminders of line locations, such as Tiger tails or power line markers, and can insulate power lines on request. If necessary, they can also isolate lines from the grid during construction so that they no longer pose a risk.

To mitigate the risks of working around power lines, exclusion zones have been established to set up safe working distances for vehicle and machinery that are active around power lines. Exclusion zones mark the distance that machinery, tools and workers should maintain at all times from live wires. The absolute ‘no-go zone’ in Australia is 3 metres/10 feet from the overhead wires on a pole (low voltage less than 133 KV) or 8 metres/26 feet from the overhead wires on a transmission tower (high voltage or greater than 133KV). When establishing your exclusion zones, you should factor in the movement of the wires and all possible movements of the equipment and its load. Direct contact with power lines is the greatest risk while working within exclusion zones. However, it is also possible for electricity to arc from power lines to nearby objects — the possibility of electricity arcing from power lines increases as the voltage they are carrying increases. Overhead power lines statistically pose the greatest risk of electrical injury and death on worksites. Most contacts with overhead power lines are caused by heavy machinery, although items carried by workers also pose a significant risk. Of heavy equipment, the

majority of contacts are made by cranes. If a crane makes contact with a power line, immediately contact the electricity entity for your location. If it is safe to do so, move the crane or mobile plant so that it is no longer in contact with the power line. If it is safe for the operator to stay inside the cabin of the crane they should do so until the power lines are isolated and they are given the all clear. If not, they should jump clear being careful not to touch the equipment and the ground at the same time and avoiding contact with conductive surfaces. Once on the ground, the operator should hop or shuffle away from the equipment with both feet together until at least 10 metres away from the nearest point. Do not run or walk as contact with multiple points on the ground carrying different voltage may cause an electrical current to pass through the body and cause an electric shock. Other workers within 10 metres of the equipment should follow the same protocol when moving to a safer location. Do not touch anyone who is receiving an electric shock. Secondary electric shock is a real danger, and you should not attempt to rescue anyone receiving an electric shock or administer first aid until they have been removed from the flow of electricity. Some protective technologies can be used with cranes to decrease the risk of electrical shock. Available technologies include proximity devices, boom cage guards which shield the boom from making contact with power lines and insulated links between the crane hook and the load which prevents electricity from travelling to the load. LIFTING MATTERS

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Electrical Safety

Checklist & Facts Safe work habits ✓✓ Be aware of Electrical Safety Legislation relating to working around electricity and ensure all workers are familiar with the relevant sections. ✓✓ The use of a trained spotter helps minimise the risks within the vicinity of power lines. ✓✓ Ensure all new members of the workgroup, as well as any visitors to the site, are inducted to the Risk Assessment for any potential electrical hazards. ✓✓ Know the location of overhead power lines and underground cables. ✓✓ Ensure safe distances are maintained from all power lines. ✓✓ Ensure operators of machinery or delivery vehicles are aware of the height of their vehicle or load and they have been advised of power line locations.

The height and voltage of overhead electric lines (and the horizontal safety clearance if applicable) must be assessed at the site Image provided by Safe Work Australia

✓✓ Provide ground barriers to warn workers of the presence of overhead power lines and underground cables. ✓✓ Be aware that under no circumstances must anything be attached to or built around power lines, poles, pillar boxes or other Electrical Entity equipment.

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Electrical Safety

Checklist & Facts Safe work habits ✓✓ Be aware of changing site conditions (e.g. prevailing or unexpected winds and their strength and direction; the terrain and possibility of unexpected ground surface movement under plant; and vehicular traffic, pedestrians or livestock that could interfere with the work, damage as a result of storm activity). ✓✓ Fully assess the nature, size and shape of loads (e.g. load stability, dimensions and surface area facing the wind; whether loads are conductive—all materials should be treated as conductive unless confirmed otherwise—or could become conductive when in contact with high voltage material; and whether loads being carried above electric lines may accidentally fall onto them). Wind can make the electric lines swing from side to side. Approach distances for vehicles should be increased by the amount of conductor sag and swing. Image provided by Safe Work Australia

THE SAD FACTS • When a contact happens with a boom-truck, the operator is usually the one who is electrocuted. • When a contact happens with a mobile crane, the rigger or ground worker is most often electrocuted. • Generally, the contacts happened during movement of the machinery and not during setup or take-down procedures. • As well as direct injury from electrical currents there is a risk of tyres exploding or catching fire for up to 24 hours after an electrical incident. Pyrolysis causes a build-up of flammable gases and pressure within the tyre and may rupture or explode. 

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Incident Report

May 2017

Gold Coast, Australia Universal Cranes was contracted to provide crane hire and personnel for the removal of beam sections on a demolition project. While lifting one of the beam sections, a Near Miss occurred when the crane was overloaded and subsequently lunged forward. A lift study was completed prior to the job commencing, but last-minute changes in the demolition methodology made the beams significantly heavier than planned. Fortunately, there were no injuries or damage incurred in the incident; however, as a serious Near Miss, there was potential for catastrophe and important lessons to be learned from the incident.

Incident Snapshot • Near miss when crane lunged forward due to overloading • No injuries or damage but high potential • Breakdown in communication, time pressures and repetition of lift were contributing factors • Crane not sufficiently derated for engineered demolition

The lift Universal Cranes mobilised two 130T Grove GMK5130 cranes for the engineered deconstruction of the beams. Lift studies and other relevant documentation were prepared based on the methodology and load weights provided. However, during the deconstruction, a decision was made to cut the beams closer to the headstock to eliminate sparks and slag that were falling into the corridor below. The engineer confirmed the change in the

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Incident Report

A lift study was completed prior to the job commencing, but last-minute changes in the demolition methodology made the beams significantly heavier than planned.

cutting point would not affect the structural integrity of the headstocks. However, the resulting change to the beam weight and dimensions was not considered.

The estimated beam weight was 410kg/m. However, the actual beam weight was 482kg/m. The length increased from 29m to approximately 35m resulting in the total weight

increasing from 11.9t to 16.9t. This information was not clearly communicated to all parties meaning a new lift plan was not prepared based on the new beam weight. When the beam was cut free, the crane was outside its safe working limit and consequently lunged forward. Fortunately, this incident was a Near Miss, but there was a high possibility of the beam or the crane falling and impacting people, structures or other vehicles. This could have caused significant injuries to workers and damage to the surrounding area.

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Incident Report

Contributing factors and lessons learned There were multiple factors that led to this incident and important lessons learned:

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Contributing factor

Lesson learned

Breakdown in communication between stakeholders, resulting in failure to convey changes and their impact on the lift plan before the lift commenced

Ensure any changes in the load, site, environment or methodology are clearly communicated and the Lift Plan updated accordingly before the lift commences. The Lift Plan must be reviewed and signed off prior to the lift commencing.

Time pressure to execute the lift within the highway closure times

Accidents happen when teams skip essential steps to complete a job ahead of schedule. A strong safety culture that supports safety as a non-negotiable priority empowers teams to always put safety ahead of schedule pressures.

Complacency because almost identical lifts had been performed by the team in the past with no issues. (These were based on the load weights prior to the changes in cutting points.)

Familiarity with a lift type does not mean that shortcuts can be taken in the required process. A normal operating mindset of ‘no two lifts are ever the same’ should be in place.

Insufficient derating of the crane suitable for demolition/ engineered deconstruction lifts.

The suggested derating for demolition is 50% or 33% as per CICA’s Position Paper recommendations for engineered lifts, and these guidelines should always be followed. Had the crane been correctly derated for demolition, this would have further mitigated any issues caused by the inaccurate data provided.

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Incident Report

While lifting one of the beam sections, a Near Miss occurred when the crane was overloaded and subsequently lunged forward.

To prevent an incident of this nature reoccurring, Universal Cranes educated staff on the importance of derating cranes for demolition jobs and reinforced the importance of conforming to industry standards in respect to demolition to account

for any miscalculation or unanticipated load weights in engineering deconstruction scenarios. Any changes to the job, lift plans or studies must now be reviewed and signed off and clearly communicated to everyone on site.  LIFTING MATTERS

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Working Safely

Look Up and Live By JOHN HUMPHRIES, CICA Safety Liaison Officer – VIC/TAS Cranes and live power lines Cranes and live power lines are a dangerous mix, and disturbingly, a large proportion of crane-related electrical incidents involve pick and carry cranes. These cranes, by virtue of their design and use, add an extra element of danger. Raising and extending the boom is only part of the risk; they can also come in to contact with electrical hazards by travelling with the load (especially backwards), and when the ground is uneven the risks are even higher. The ‘No Go’ Zone rules define minimum safety requirements that stipulate the minimum distance required between overhead power lines and the work being performed. Each state in Australia has its own safety regulations and requirements that all personnel need to be aware of when carrying out a proper pre-work safety assessment. Prior to commencing The most desirable plan is to avoid work near electrical assets if possible and to arrange to have the power cut, if feasible. If work must be carried out near power lines, obtain permission from the electricity distributor in the state where the work is being carried out. Notify the electricity distributor when planning work and before commencing work. A thorough site inspection, risk assessment and lift plan are also crucial to miti26

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gating potential risks and hazards. When a Safe Work Method System (SWMS) is completed, risks from electrical hazards will highlight the need for a spotter. Need for a ‘Spotter’ Dogman and riggers on the ground near the load are most at risk from power line contact as the electricity passes from the electrical asset, through the boom, rope and load. Whether it’s high voltage or not, the consequences of contact are extremely high, especially for the dogman as he is usually holding the load or a tagline which creates a path for the electricity to reach the ground.

The dogman is not a spotter - his job is to watch the load. The data from serious incidents of this nature involving pick and carry cranes to date, has often indicated the lack of presence of a dedicated spotter. The spotter must remain at the task for the entire time the crane is operating in accordance with the SWMS. The spotter may only observe one crane or piece of operating equipment at any time, so their attention is always focused. They must provide an early and effective warning to the crane operator of any potential encroachment on the ‘No-Go’ Zones.


Working Safely Spotters for overhead electrical lines must have completed an endorsed spotter training course by a registered training provider and be competent in the design

envelopes for the equipment/plant being used. Their familiarity with the actual lift plan for operation including any travelling or crawling with the load is crucial.

IF DISASTER STRIKES If contact with a power line or live electrical asset is made, the following steps outline what a crane operator should do:

1.

If safe to do so, remove the contact to the electrical source (i.e. boom down /reverse direction) if the controls are still active.

2.

Stay in the cabin (unless the crane is on fire). The electricity will pass around the driver into the ground. Call the relevant emergency number and follow instructions.

3.

If you are in imminent danger and do need to exit the crane cabin, jump well clear of the cabin and land feet together.

4.

Either shuffle without separating your feet or jump (feet together) clear until you are 10 metres away from the crane as the ground can be charged within a 10-metre radius of the crane.

5. 6.

Do not assist anyone injured near the load or power lines as they may still be in contact with high voltage and because electricity jumps from object to object, you don’t have to touch someone or something ‘live’ to get electrocuted. Call the emergency number if you have not done so already.

Construction is a high-risk activity and lives are at risk, so safety ‘best practice’ is imperative. If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) at www.cica.com.au. LIFTING MATTERS

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Working Safely

GMK6400 Crane loading its own auxiliary hoist onto a B-Double trailer set up, showing handrails to transport GMK6400 equipment.

Crane Trailers: Improving Safety and Job Efficiency When purchasing a new crane, operators are faced with a familiar problem: how to transport crane ancillary equipment to site easily and cost-effectively, while optimising operator safety. Generally, when a crane arrives on site, it has to be set up in a specific sequence, i.e. outrigger pads, base plate, hook, followed by the required counterweights. For larger cranes, this could mean 5-10 loads with a 28

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standard float – traditionally a very time consuming and costly activity. TRT has designed specific trailers to meet any crane set up procedures, safety requirements and operator requirements. Trailer types including semi-trailers, skeletal and decked in designs are manufactured by TRT and designed to be safe, operator friendly and transport maximum loads.


Working Safely

Safety has played a large part in the TRT crane trailer designs. It is important that the equipment is able to be loaded or unloaded easily and safely. Specifically designed mounting modules help load the weights, pads and hooks in place so that they are then easily secured for transport. Covered-in decking and/or platforms are provided where operators are required to access the trailer for tying down or hooking up. Handrails are provided to all these decked areas to improve overall safety when moving around the trailers, helping to prevent slips and falls. Operators not only have to get their equipment for the crane arriving at the site in the order of set up, but the loads need to be safe and legal. Specifically designed mounting modules are provided to suit the equipment being loaded, whether it is counterweights, pads, or the jib. It also means the loading and unloading is completed quickly and easily. Where the mounts are positioned is critical to the weight distribution and the crane trailer’s ability to legally, and safely transport the ancillary equipment. With a specialist trailer, an operator can load up without any concerns of being overweight or over dimension. The trailers are made with high tensile steel, keeping the tare weight low with-

out compromising overall strength. Tare weight is critical in meeting the requirements to carry a 30t crane payload. This is achieved by managing the load under the mass management rule, allowing for a greater payload to be carried. A number of operators throughout Australia have made the change to specialist trailers and are reaping the benefits with reduced setup and breakdown time, as well as improved process; all efficiencies that will mitigate safety risks and are showing a real return on investment. TRT is able to provide a trailer solution for any brand or size of crane. 

If you are interested in finding out more about TRT’s specialist crane trailers, visit our website www.trtaustralia. com.au or give Philip White a call on 0488 581 372.

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Injury Management

Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program

Does your workplace need help to lift its safety and injury management performance? The Injury Prevention and Management (IPaM) program can help. Introduced in 2011, IPaM is an Australian first and has supported over 1000 Queensland businesses to prevent and manage the outcomes of injuries, leading to safer, more productive workplaces. There is no charge to participate in the program, and it is available to any Queensland employer regardless of size or business maturity. A dedicated Advisor will take the time to understand the individual needs of each workplace and provide tailored advice and

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support to make improvements. Support includes:

prioritise site-specific safety and return to work issues

review safety processes and procedures to suit business needs

get workers involved in safety and identifying solutions

respond early following an injury to ensure workers are supported for an early return to work

understand the responsibilities of workers and employers.


Injury Management

‘Employees are no longer apprehensive about disclosing injuries and are still able to be productive in our business.’

Workplaces which have participated have achieved significant benefits with greater worker participation, improved productivity, fewer injuries and bringing injured workers back to work safer and earlier. Here’s what a few employers have said: ‘Employees are no longer apprehensive about disclosing injuries and are still able to be productive in our business.’ – childcare services, Moreton Bay.

‘To engage workers, we needed to increase the level of consultation and input from the teams, which in turn built a strong sense of ownership and accountability for safety. Although IPaM was only implemented in our signage solutions business, the learnings from the program have impacted all our businesses within the group.’ – manufacturing and printing business, Brisbane.

‘Spend whatever time you need to ensure your processes are best practice, focus on continuous improvement, and use Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s resources to assist you. Involve staff with improvements to the business to ensure everyone goes home the way they came to work.’ – fruit grower, Sunshine Coast. ‘I feel very positive about the process and the improvements across the board we have achieved. The biggest learning was that I was the problem and when I changed, the business did also.’ – agricultural machinery manufacturer, Brisbane.

There are a variety of tailored services available to meet the needs of the business. Services range from one or two visits or up to two years of workplace support. 

To find out more about the program, visit worksafe.qld.gov.au/injury-prevention-safety/ injury-prevention-and-management or email workplaceassistance@oir.qld.gov.au. The IPaM program is a joint initiative between Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and WorkCover Queensland.

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People Profile

Phil Dayman “I believe good safety culture and practice is something passed down by mentors, from the older tradies to the younger generation including apprentices and trainees.”

l - Universa Phil Dayman

Cranes

Phil Dayman has been part of the Universal Cranes team since 2005. Joining the organisation as a heavy-duty fitter in Brisbane, Phil worked as Heavy Lift Manager on some of Universal Cranes’ most notable projects including the HRSG Installation in Georgetown Tasmania, the Bowen Overpass in Brisbane and the Shellharbour Rail Bridge. Phil then moved to Project Manager of the Universal Cranes wind business, overseeing the installation and erection of wind towers and turbines at Capital, Hallett, Snowtown, North Brown and Cullerin Wind Farms. After a few years back in Brisbane in safety and operational roles, Phil made the move to Roma to lead Universal Cranes’ expansion in the Surat Basin. He has recently returned to Brisbane as the Operations Manager, leading Universal Cranes’ team of almost 100 local crane operators, riggers, dogmen, and mechanics.

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We touched base with Phil to hear about the important lessons he’s learned on his safety journey after 30 years in the industry. What area of crane safety are you most passionate about? For me, it’s two parts – people and equipment. First, ensuring our people are competent and trained and that their skills are regularly tested. Secondly, ensuring our equipment is regularly maintained and inspected to a high mechanical standard with defects reported and repaired before those defects create an incident or accident.


People Profile What do you think is the most challenging aspect of safety management? How people perceive safety. Safety is not just a Safe Work Method Statement, a procedure or a Job Safety Analysis. Safety is cultural – it’s awareness, competency, and a true understanding of what you are looking at when at the work front. I believe good safety culture and practice is something passed down by mentors, from the older tradies to the younger generation including apprentices and trainees. The value of having someone with a lifetime of knowledge and experience passing on their information is a valuable part of every business. Much of safety is learnt on the job in real life situations. What do you think is the most important issue in crane safety today? Having the right mitigation strategies in place to manage the human factor in the work we do. Whether that be lack of training, tiredness or fatigue, use of drugs, competency or general attitude to safety – at the end of the day, this is a business built on people. Our people are our most important tools!

operator was run over by a jinker trailer whilst on the job. As a part of the investigation I had to look at human movement and behaviour, procedures and training, site safety implementation, chain of safety responsibility, and how our human decisions affect our everyday safety, whether they be good or bad. The findings of this investigation determined that this death was tragically entirely preventable. The outcome resulted in a major overhaul of safety procedures and protocols and how we approach safety with regard to human involvement and human error. This incident deeply and personally affected me. Consequently, I am now highly motivated to drive continuous safety improvement, examining our procedures regularly and ensuring they remain relevant and followed. I never want to have to investigate an incident like that again. What’s the best advice you have for other safety professionals in the industry, or for people looking to become a safety professional? Thoroughly understand your subject matter. Always ask questions and understand how the people you are responsible for think. Always act fairly. 

Tell us about the most important lesson learned you have come across in your crane safety experience. How have you implemented these learnings since this experience? In 2009 there was a terrible workplace fatality in which I was heavily involved in the subsequent safety investigation. An

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Industry Awards

Strong safety culture leads to safety award recognition

Mechanical Construction Manager Simon Ridley (right) accepts the safety award from Guam Contractor’s Association President James Martinez (left)

It has become a commonly held belief that safety culture underpins safety performance. Companies who have a strong and positive safety culture are likely to also have excellent safety results. Implementation of safety procedures provides a structure and control system for safety behaviours, but what really drives a true commitment to the right behavioural norms is the right organisational attitudes. In fact, research by the Western Sydney University in 2013 concluded that investing in more protection and engineering a safer work environment does not always

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produce better safety performance without the improvement of safety culture.

“What really drives a true commitment to the right safety behavioural norms is the right safety attitudes” Smithbridge Guam is an excellent example of an organisation whose safety culture has driven a remarkable safety performance. Smithbridge Guam has achieved over 4 million-man hours LTI free – that means


Industry Awards they haven’t had an LTI since August 2000. Their safety performance was further recognised at the 2018 Guam Contractors Association Excellence in Construction Awards, where they were named the Category Winner for Excellence in Project Safety, Speciality Contracting Under $10 Million for the Anderson Airforce Base Tank 3-1 Refurbishment. The team was also the recipient of this award in 2016 for the Cetti Bay Reforestation. Guam Contractors Association Excellence in Construction Awards celebrates and rewards quality craftsmanship in the Guam construction industry and has a dedicated award for excellence in safety.

Simon Ridley, Mechanical Construction Manager at Smithbridge Guam, believes the team’s safety culture was key to their excellent safety performance on the Tank 3-1 Refurbishment Project and throughout the rest of the business. The awarded project scope included fabrication and installation of a new set of aluminium stairs and handrail for a jet fuel tank on the Andersen Air Force Base. “We promote an environment where open and honest dialogue between co-workers is encouraged,” Simon said. “When planning the daily activities, particularly for the high-risk demolition phase where the

Smithbridge Guam team, from left to right: Graeme Ridley, Simon Ridley, Bruna Ridley, Albert Smith, Shayne Smith, Nixon Mercado, David McCallum, Scott Reed, Ben Bailey, Dashelle Bailey

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Industry Awards corroded stairs and handrails were unstable and unknown, we held at minimum daily planning sessions with the team, ensuring they all understood the steps required to safely dismantle and remove the structure.” Despite working to an aggressive schedule, an unrelenting focus on safety over schedule enabled the team to complete the project on time with zero incidents. The team introduced a modularised system of demolition designed to remove large sections safely and productively, addressing key project risks of working at heights, confined space, and complex crane lifts. Smithbridge Guam adopted the DuPont Safety Training Observation Program (STOP) in 2003. When an individual sees another undertaking a task in an unsafe manner, the STOP card allows a positive discussion to take place without concern about disciplinary action. Every employee receives training to become skilled in recognising and eliminating unsafe acts and conditions which are the major cause of most injuries.

Smithbridge Guam Vice President Steve Radonich has been part of the implementation of the STOP program since Day 1.

The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept. “We are really proud of how far our safety culture has come in the last 10 years,” Steve said. “I am a big believer in the saying ‘The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept’ and that’s the mantra we live by every day. The team knows if I walk past a trip hazard or see an unsafe technique, I’m going to say something! And that kind of thing from all the team leaders is really what drives our safety performance. 

This is strongly supported by the Smithbridge Guam leadership team who invest time in the field interacting with the work crews through safety observations using the STOP cards.

Has your team been recognised for excellence in safety? We’d love to hear from you! Share your story with us at liftingmatters@writestrategy.com.au.

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Health & Wellbeing

MATES in Construction – supporting the construction industry Article contributed by MATES in Construction

Each year over 2,500 Australian’s die by suicide, more than twice the number of deaths from traffic accidents. Three out of four suicides are by men, making suicide the leading cause of death amongst men between 15 and 44 years of age. The World Health Organisation estimates that for every person who dies by suicide at least 15 will attempt suicide and three attempts will result in permanent incapacity. On average 191 construction workers have died by suicide each year over the past 10 years. The construction industry has been found to have significantly elevated suicide rates while there is evidence of higher than aver-

age mental stress within the coal mining industry. Simplistic assumptions blaming work factors such as FIFO/DIDO or personal issues miss the point as reality is far more complex. Poor mental health and suicidal behaviours are caused by a combination of the individual personal, social and environmental factors. In 2008, the MATES in Construction program was established in response to a report by the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention commissioned by industry which found the male suicide rate in the Queensland construction industry was 1.75 times greater than LIFTING MATTERS

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Health & Wellbeing the general Australian male suicide rate. In addition, the report identified young workers to be 2.39 times more likely to die by suicide than their non-construction cohort.

MATES in Construction was established as an independent incorporated charitable organisation dedicated to the implementation of the MATES in Construction Suicide Prevention Program. It operates solely for the benefit of the workers in the construction industry. Whilst MATES in Construction receives funding from industry funds, unions and employer associations it works independently and respectfully with the industry. MATES in Construction is a collective industry solution to an industry problem. The aim of MATES in Construction is community development through building long-term resilience and cultural change in the industry using best practice models. Best practice in delivery means using existing industry structures to engage with workers in their workplace community. The success of the program has resulted in expansion to Western Australia, New South Wales and South Australia from 2011 through to 2012. In 2015, the mining industry commenced a trial of MATES in Mining seeking to introduce a similar program within their industry. In 2017, the energy industry introduced the MATES program.

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The program consists of three elements. General Awareness Training (GAT) is a one-hour on-site awareness session that leads the workforce through a discussion about suicide and mental health in our industry. The target of this conversation is not men who are experiencing poor mental health, but those who work around them. We found that men are much better at offering help than seeking help. Everybody from management to apprentices participates in these sessions. At the end of the session, workers are offered the opportunity to seek help with issues now and/ or to become a volunteer with MATES in Construction. On average three to five per cent seek help for various issues following training and 20 to 30 per cent offer to become volunteers. Subject to agreement with their employer, volunteers are offered additional training as Connectors. A Connector is a mate who can keep you safe while connecting you to help. The four-hour session is conducted onsite and provides workers with the confidence to support co-workers in asking about mental health and in connecting individuals to help. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day intensive, practice-based course to help recognise persons who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide and empower intervention to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. The objectives of ASIST are to discuss suicide with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide in an open, direct and honest manner; empower the caregiver with skills to intervene with a person experiencing thoughts of suicide, and assist a


Health & Wellbeing

person experiencing thoughts of suicide to develop a plan to remain safe in the interim. MATES in Construction employ Field Officers who provide support for volunteers onsite through training and site visits. Field Officers may organise counselling and debriefings on sites following critical incidences or suicide in collaboration with Standby (a dedicated Postvention service). Volunteers and workers in the industry are also supported by a 24/7 helpline. MATES in Construction supports the industry through case management services. Case Managers advocate for the client in their clinical journey and may be a valuable link between services, the client’s personal support structure and, where appropriate, their workplace – all crucial in effective recovery.

Health, safety and environment includes the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Employers who deal with workplace mental health issues in the same considered and systematic way as physical safety issues will have positive flow-on effects with respect to productivity, safety and overall performance. Industry-based programs such as MATES in Construction have the benefit of minimising privacy concerns, whilst empowering the workforce to tackle important issues, such as mental health.  For more information on MATES or to get involved in the program, visit their website: www.matesinconstruction.org.au

If you or someone you know is struggling, call MATES in Construction 24/7 on 1300 642 111 or Lifeline 13 11 14.

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Any questions? Want to support? Contact us! liftingmatters@writestrategy.com.au www.liftingmatters.com.au

Content deadline for next issue: 15 February 2019 Next issue available: 18 March 2019

Disclaimer – This newsletter is not an exhaustive list of all safety matters that need to be considered. Whilst care is taken in the preparation of this material, Lifting Matters does not guarantee the accuracy and completeness of this information and how it applies to your situation. Lifting Matters will not be responsible for any loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of errors or omissions in relation to the material in our publication or for any possible actions ensuing from information contained in our publication. Any views or opinions represented in this publication are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations that the publisher may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated.

Lifting Matters December 2018 Issue  
Lifting Matters December 2018 Issue  
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