Fine For Employee Deaths Amounts To Slap On The Wrist

 

As the Alberta (Canada) Federation of Labor (AFL) sees it, the recent fine given to oil company Sinopec amounts to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
 
According to the AFL, the $1.5 million fine will have little or no impact on halting the company from continuing to have in place reported practices that endanger their employees.
 
During a recent court hearing, the Canadian subsidiary of Chinese oil corporation Sinopec was fined $1.5 million for an incident that led to the deaths of a pair of their employees their lives.
 
As AFL President Gil McGowan put it, “One and a half million dollars doesn’t even amount to a rounding error in the annual budget of a monstrous global corporation like Sinopec. This fine does nothing to dissuade them from playing fast and loose with the safety of their workforce.”
 
 
Imported Third World Health and Safety Standards
 
The story unfolded when Sinopec and a pair of other companies were charged after a 2007 container collapse resulted in the deaths of two temporary foreign workers at an oil sands project near Fort McKay, Alberta. In all, 53 charges were handed down against the companies, of which Sinopec pled guilty to three charges of failing to oversee the health and safety of its employees.
 
McGowan noted that “Sinopec didn’t just import workers from the third world, they also imported third-world health and safety standards. Alberta missed its chance to send a message that Chinese companies working in the oil sands need to play by Canadian rules.”
 
While McGowan added that it might be the largest safety fine in Alberta history, it further demonstrates that Alberta has a long history in failing to aggressively enforce its own workplace safety rules.
 
The two victims, Ge Genbao, 28, and Lui Hongliang, 33, were just two of the more than 130 Cantonese-speaking workers who were transported from China for the Sinopec oil sands project.
 
 
Complete Abdication of Safety Responsibility
 
“We shouldn’t forget the circumstances that led to the deaths of Genbao and Hongliang,” McGowan went on to say. “The company did not get the construction plans certified by an engineer. The wires weren’t strong enough to hold up against the wind. It was a complete abdication of responsibility on the part of the employer.”
 
China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group established in July 1998 on the basis of the former China Petrochemical Corp.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Death of Washington Scuba Diver Leads to Safety Citations

 

The death of diver in Washington State last summer while on the job has led to repercussions for one department.
 
State officials with The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recently cited the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for 15 worker-safety violations as part of their investigation into a drowning fatality involving a DNR diver last summer. The citation represents a potential penalty of $172,900.
 
 
Deceased Diver Part of 4 Person Dive Team
 
The deceased diver, David Scheinost, 24, was part of a four-person dive team from the DNR Aquatic Resources Division that was collecting geoduck samples to test for paralytic shellfish poisoning from the Manzanita and Restoration Point geoduck harvest tracts off Bainbridge Island on July 24.
 
As the day unfolded, a pair of SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus) divers had deployed on their third dive of the day when Scheinost came to the surface in distress, calling out that he couldn’t breathe. The others were unable to reach him before he went beneath the surface and was gone. His body was found three days later.
 
 
L&I Investigation Points Out Problems
 
The L&I investigation involving the dive-safety policies and practices at DNR discovered:
 
             370 occurrences over a six-month period in which divers were deployed without carrying a reserve breathing-gas supply.
             DNR did not ensure a designated person was in charge at the dive location to supervise all aspects of the diving operation affecting the health and safety of the divers.
 
L&I Says ‘Willful’ Violations Took Place
 
As L&I concluded, these were “willful” violations, which means they were committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference to worker safety and health regulations.
 
“Commercial diving involves risks that unfortunately lead too often to tragedies like this incident,” stated Anne Soiza, assistant director of L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health. “These significant risk factors require advance planning, properly maintained equipment and strict adherence to procedures to ensure the protection of workers’ lives on each and every dive.”
 
Along with the pair of willful violations, L&I cited DNR for eight “serious” and five “general” violations for not complying with standard safe-diving practices and procedures, including failure to:
 
             Have effective accident prevention and training programs.
             Ensure that divers maintained continual visual contact with each other.
             Inspect and maintain equipment.
             Have a stand-by diver available while divers are in the water.
 
L&I is responsible for workplace safety and health and investigating workplace deaths for all private, state and local government worksites.
 
 
Provided With 15 Working Days to Appeal Citation.
 
As with any citation, penalty money paid is put in the workers compensation supplemental pension fund, assisting workers and loved ones of those who have died while working.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Safety Efforts Pay Off For Record Safest Year in 2012

 

It appears that the efforts to make Victoria (Australia) workplaces safer has paid off.
 
According to information from WorkCover, 2012 witnessed 18 people pass away while on the job in Victorian workplaces, that being seven less than the 25 who were killed in 2011. That figure for 2012 also equals the prior record low of 18 workplace fatalities in 2005.
 
 
7.77 People Injured for Every Million Hours Worked
 
The number of Victorians who were injured at work also dipped to a new low. Last year, 7.77 people were injured for every million hours worked, that in comparison to 7.9 people per million hours worked in 2011.
 
WorkCover Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips remarked that the improvement was a major achievement, maintaining the state’s track record of leading Australia in terms of workplace safety.
 
“In 2012 national data confirmed Victoria’s position as having the safest workplaces of any state or territory in Australia, and that’s a credit to employers, workers and the efforts of the WorkSafe team,” Rich-Phillips remarked. “Many things need to come together to achieve these sorts of outcomes – active engagement and support from employers and workers, practical assistance combined with inspection and enforcement activity by the VWA and a commitment to improved workplace safety.”
 
 
Victorian Workplace Deaths Nearly Halve in Last Decade
 
According to Rich-Phillips, fatalities in Victorian workplaces had almost halved over the past decade.
 
“However, it is clear that more can be done, as many of the fatalities and injuries resulted from known hazards, with known safety solutions,” Rich-Phillips said. “Eighteen families had a sad and distressing 2012 because a family member failed to return home safely. The impact of a workplace death is also enormous on colleagues and employers, which is why we ask everyone returning to work to make safety their number one priority this year.”
 
Of the 18 deaths in 2012, 12 were in Melbourne and six were in regional Victoria. Sixteen of the fatalities were turned out to be males, one was an elderly woman and one was a four-year-old. Half of the deaths involved men aged 50 and over.
 
“Employers can improve safety and reduce injuries by making sure people are trained and supervised, that they have the right equipment to safely carry out a job and that machines are properly guarded,” Rich-Phillips said. “Workers can also improve safety in the workplace by taking responsibility for their actions. A shortcut might seem like a good idea but it’s often a shortcut to a serious injury.”
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

23 Percent of Survey Respondents Always, Often, or Occasionally Bullied At Work

 

Looking for zero tolerance on the job when it comes to bullying, a recent work-stress survey, conducted by UNISON City of Glasgow (Scotland) branch using the HSE Stress Management Standards, discovered some 23 percent of respondents were always, often or on occasion bullied.

 

The survey came to light once concerns were raised by UNISON members regarding the affect spending reductions were having on workloads and workplace stress.

 

Work-Stress Major Concern Requiring Urgent Action

 

According to the branch’s health and safety officer, Scott Donohoe, “We had a 96 percent response rate, which was excellent. Unfortunately, a lot of the members’ responses were in the red, meaning that work-stress was a major concern and that urgent action was required.

 

“After presenting our findings to the employer, we agreed that a couple of focus groups, consisting of employees, members and safety reps, would be setup to discuss the results of the survey and identify stressors.”

 

Donohoe added that “The work-stress campaign has been successful in recruiting new members and activists. Our next step is to review the risk assessment to ensure that the ‘prevent and control’ measures have been implemented and are still relevant, and widen the work-stress campaign to include other employees.”

 

Guide Recommended for All Employers Dealing with Stress

 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guide “Managing the Causes of Work Related Stress: a Step by Step Approach Using the Management Standards” is recommended for use by all employers when looking at how to deal with the problem of stress. The guide places risk assessment at the heart of any plan to lower the risk of work-related stress.

 

However, the HSE makes clear that prior to a risk assessment being undertaken, the employer is best served if they:

 

  • Talk to their staff about work-related stress and explain what they want to identify;
  • Set up a group to help (which includes trade union safety/employee representatives, the unit health and safety officer, one or more supervisors or line managers, an HR representative and, where possible, someone from the occupational health service);
  • Explain that the first step is to undertake a risk assessment;
  • Ask the group to assist in the assessment; and
  • Agree a date when the key findings of the risk assessment will be available.

 

In assessing the risks in your workplace, its is recommended that your employer review the five steps to risk assessment:

 

1     Identify the hazards;

2     Decide who might be harmed and how;

3     Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution;

4     Record your findings and implement them; and

5     Review your assessment and update if necessary.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

6 Workers Comp Mistakes Employers Make

 

Employers, especially small and medium size companies, often are focused on the product or service they provide and inadvertently overlook several areas where they could reduce the cost of workers’ compensation.  The following are six workers comp mistakes which cause employers to end up paying too much for workers compensation insurance.
 
1.  Lack of a Formal Safety Program.  The number one cause of workers’ compensation premium increases is the frequency of workers’ compensation claims. The more injury claims the employer has, the greater the payout by the insurance company which results in a higher insurance premium.  A safety program designed to eliminate the causes of accidents will decrease both the number of injuries and decrease the severity of the injuries that do occur.  By installing and following a formal safety program, an employer will reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims.  The cost of the safety program will be recovered several times over in the lower cost of workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
 
2.  Selecting the Insurance Company Based on Price.  A common mistake of employers is thinking that all insurance companies are the same, and selecting the insurer based on the initial price quote.  The quality of service, both from the underwriting department and from the claim department should be taken into consideration.  If the insurance company does a lousy job handling the workers’ compensation claims, the cost of the claims will rise, and the underwriting department of the insurer will pass that cost on to the employer in the form of higher premiums in the subsequent years.  The employer should investigate the prospective insurer to see what their track record is for handling claims and raising/lowering future premiums.
 
3.  Selecting the Wrong Insurance Broker.  The employer should look for a broker who will work with them in a partnership approach to controlling the cost of workers’ compensation.  If the broker is just a salesperson who will have no further contact with the employer after the policy is placed, the employer loses out on the services a good insurance broker can provide.  A broker should be able to provide resources to the employer including guidance on risk control, safety programs and claims, while acting as a liaison with the insurer when needed.
 
4.  The Attitude that Work Comp is a Cost of Doing Business.  Employers who have the attitude that workers’ compensation is a state mandated cost of doing business end up with significantly higher insurance premiums, then the employers who manage their workers’ compensation.  While work comp insurance is mandatory in every state, there are many cost saving approaches that can be taken in every state to minimize the cost.  The employer who searches for ways to reduce workers’ compensation cost will have lower work comp insurance cost.  [For many recommendations on controlling the cost of workers’ compensation, please visit the various articles on our website].
 
5.  Measuring Work Comp by Premiums Paid.  When employers think the cost of workers’ compensation is the amount of premium they pay to the insurance company, they overlook the indirect cost which can actually exceed the amount paid in work comp insurance premiums.  When an employee is injured there are several areas where indirect cost to the employer begin to increase.  This includes:
 
·         lost production or overtime cost to complete the work the injured employee would have completed,
·         supervisory time dealing with the injury and injured employee,
·         equipment or property damaged by the accident,
·         hiring and training cost to replace the employee if the employee does not return to work,
·         lower morale among the remaining employees as they see the dangers of the workplace,
·         unhappy customers if the injury results in a delay in service or products delivered
 
6.  Forgetting About the Injured Employee.  The employer who treats the injured employee like an employee who has quit the company makes an expensive mistake.  When an employee is injured, the employer should be in contact with the injured employee on a regular basis, expressing the need and desire for the employee to return to work while expressing empathy for the employee’s injury.  The employer should have a light duty job program available for the injured employee until they can return to work full duty.   When the employer does not communicate with the injured employee, the employee will find someone who will listen to their needs and concerns.  This is usually an attorney who will do whatever the attorney can do to increase the size of the workers’ compensation claim.  This is in an effort to increase the amount of money the employee will receive and of course, the amount of money the attorney will receive.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Employer Convicted, Fined $500K after Employee Death

 

A major Australian hirer of industrial equipment, Coates Hire Operations Pty Ltd, has been convicted and fined $500,000 after a worker died when an elevating work platform rolled down the tray of a truck, tipped and crushed him, according to Safety in Australia.

 

 

Fine Increased from Original $250,000

 

Victoria’s Court of Appeal recently imposed the fine which was increased from the $250,000 penalty imposed by the County Court in 2010 and subsequently appealed by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

The prosecution followed the death of a 44-year-old Cranbourne South man who was crushed at a Coates’ Hire business at Dandenong in February 2007.

 

 

Company Had Two Prior Convictions

 

The Court of Appeal said Coates Hire had two relevant prior convictions and should have been doubly vigilant to ensure no further breaches occurred. It also found the company failed to enforce and disseminate its own safety procedures.

 

In its judgment, the court said the breach equated to a very high degree of culpability. The Court of Appeal affirmed the County Court’s finding that Coates had shown a ‘disregard for the safety of its workers’.

 

 

Disastrous Results of Not Applying Safety Procedures

 

WorkSafe’s Executive Director for Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth, said the case illustrated the disastrous results of having safety policies and procedures but not applying them.

 

“The increase in penalty is welcome, but it does not take away from the fact that a preventable death has occurred. All other employers need to act now to review their own situation, whether or not they use external contractors.

 

Redline Towing and Salvage Pty Ltd, which employed the man who died, was sub-contracted by Coates to pick up and deliver plant on behalf of Coates was convicted and fined $130,000 in 2010.

 

Dandenong Heavy Haulage Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $50,000 in 2010 in relation to the incident. Dandenong Heavy Haulage also transports plant on behalf of Coates.

 

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

How To Have A Great Holiday Party At Reduced Risk

 

 
Holiday Parties Can Be Source of Large Liability
 
In this day of litigation any company event can become a source for injury and liability. I will cover how to hold a company party with or without alcohol that will be safe and free of the danger of serious litigation.
 
Of course the route of serving no alcohol is the one with the least risk for litigation, however, with the mood and frivolity of the holidays there is still risk. The company may have near the same liability potential if employees bring their own libations. If they do, the company must control this as if it was served by the company. Too many companies have suffered the tragic loss or injury of an employee after an event. These are even tougher during the joy filled times holidays bring. Tougher yet is when you get that first subpoena and the family of the injured is asking “how did you let him/her drive home from the party if he/she was under the influence?” Many a case law is of record that companies do not fare well under any circumstance, alcohol provided or not. So, what are we to do?
 
 
Rules for Great Time, Reduced Risk
 
Not have a company holiday party? No, quite the contrary, with some proper planning and a little extra expense you can have a great time, serve some drinks, be the boss everyone loves and keep the wolves away.
 
The following rules apply if you are serving or not:
 
1. Collect all car keys at the door, this can be made fun by giving a door prize ticket in exchange for keys. (Make it a nice gift) The person collecting the keys will be able to do a little “inventory” of condition at arrival and exit. If an employee is not capable of driving after the party, they just do not get the keys and alternative means of getting them home safely can be arranged.
 
2. I suggest ahead of time renting a van or town car and driver for the night, or making suitable arrangements with a cab company. This or any plan that has the same effect will allow for a great party, no regrets and of course healthy happy employees.
 
 
Proper Planning Keeps Holidays Merry and Bright
 
I have seen several variations of holding exceptional holiday parties with great success. Smaller companies or those with greater financial resources have held parties at a hotel with rooms for the night for all attending; this can be a great event at the right place. Do though keep a close eye on all and key control is recommended even here.
 
 
 
 
Author Brian Hill is owner of OshaSure in Birmingham Alabama and has over 20 years as a workplace safety and risk consultant. Brian was previously a pilot for a major US airline and member of the company’s interdepartmental safety committee. He found his new career in safety after the closing of the airline in 1991. Brian has found the same passion he had for flying in assisting companies with safety, heath and risk issues.
For more information click on www.oshasure.com
 
 
Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.
 
 
 
 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Clothing Retailer Commits to Groundbreaking Safety Program

Second Retailer Commits to Groundbreaking Safety Program

 
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), IndustriALL Global Union, Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) and Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN), together with Bangladesh trade unions and labor rights groups, have reached an agreement with Tchibo to implement a fire and building safety program in Bangladeshi garment factories.
 
According to IndustriALL Global Union, the German-based company becomes the second retailer to commit to the groundbreaking safety program, which was first agreed with PVH (owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger) in March. Since 2006, more than 600 garment workers died in Bangladesh due to unsafe buildings.
 
 
 
Garment Industry Notorious for Safety Hazards
 
According to Jyrki Raina, general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, “The garment industry is notorious for its safety hazards. The requirements of this program are straightforward, commonsense measures which will have a significant impact on worker safety in many factories in Bangladesh. Tchibo and PVH have taken the lead, now it’s time for other brands to follow.”
 
Tchibo also commented on the new measures being installed, noting “We take fire risks very seriously and see the need to join forces at a multi-stakeholder level in order to achieve a sector-wide change in Bangladesh. We are looking forward to collaborating with unions, labor rights’ groups, other brands, Bangladeshi employers and the government. We believe this program has the potential to make a real difference and to be a benchmark for other Asian sourcing countries.”
 
 
 
Program Has Potential To Save Thousands of Lives
 
Fire incidents cost the lives of thousands of garment workers worldwide, which recently became world leading news with more than 300 workers deaths in two factory fires in Pakistan. CCC has been campaigning on safety issues in Bangladesh since the collapse of the Spectrum factory in 2005, which left 64 people dead and involved high street brand Zara. The program has the potential to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers currently at risk.
 
The program allows for independent building inspections, worker rights training, public disclosure and a long-overdue review of safety standards. It is transparent as well as practical, and unique in being supported by all key labor stakeholders in Bangladesh and internationally.
 
The labor signatories are now calling on all major brands sourcing in the industry to sign on to the initiative in order to ensure its rapid implementation.
 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Cherry Picker Topples Over, Injures Workers and Costs Employer

Workers Injured Cutting Tree Limbs

 
A Myaree, Australia tree lopper has been fined $12,000 (plus almost $1400 in costs) over an incident in which he and an employee were injured when an elevating work platform (EWP) they were using toppled over, according to Western Australia’s Department of Commerce.
 
Gerald Shields recently pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment and was fined in the Rockingham Magistrates Court.
 
In May 2010, Shields was contracted by the Department of Housing and Works to carry out tree cutting services, and was engaged in lopping tree branches in Medina using an EWP (commonly known as a cherry picker).
 
 
Stabilizing Leg of “Cherry Picker” Sunk Into Ground & Toppled Over
 
Shields and an employee elevated the EWP booms to their full length to cut a limb from a tree, and when the lower boom was being lowered, the front passenger side stabilizer leg sunk into an old drain or soak well.
 
The EWP toppled over and the boom struck the ground.  The two men were ejected from the bucket and landed on the roof of a nearby building. Shields suffered only minor scalp injuries, but his employee suffered a crush injury to his right wrist and forearm.
 
 
Spread Plates and Personal Protective Equipment Not Used
 
The court heard that the recommended spread plates were not used on the stabilizer legs on the soft ground, and that the safety interlock switch for the EWP was interfered with, allowing the boom to be elevated without the stabilizers being deployed, contrary to operating instructions.
 
It was also revealed that the men were not wearing safety harnesses or any other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses or hearing protection, and that Shields did not ensure that any of his employees used PPE.
 
Shields had not carried out or ensured that adequate pre-start checks were carried out on the EWP, as evidenced by the facts that the safety interlock switch was taped down and that one of the controls was missing and had been replaced with a hammer.
 
WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch added the case was a good example of an employer who completely disregarded the safety of his employees.
 
 
Falls Significant Cause of Workplace Death
 
“This employer seems to have had absolutely no regard for his own safety or that of his employees,” McCulloch said. “There have been many instances in WA of EWPs tipping over, resulting in serious and critical injuries and deaths. There were no safe systems of work in place for the operation of the EWP or for the protection of the employees.”
 
According to McCulloch, falls are a significant cause of workplace death, and 16 Western Australian workers have died as a result of falls in the last four years.
 
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Tractor Drives Over Workers Leg, Highlights Lack of Safety

 

Driver Severely Injured by Tractor Unit
 
An Aberdeenshire, Great Britain haulage firm has been fined after a driver was severely injured when he was knocked to the ground and run over by a tractor unit of a Heavy Goods Vehicle, according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
 
Ian Mackie, 43, from Turriff, was one of a team of drivers who worked for R & J Milne Limited operating out of its haulage yard in Norwood, Ardmiddle, Turriff.
 
 
Wheels Drove Over Foot & Leg
 
As part of their duties, drivers were regularly required to clean company vehicles in a "wash bay" area.  Mackie was one of five drivers who had cleaned a tractor unit. He was talking to a colleague near the front of the vehicle, when the driver of that tractor unit climbed into his cab, started the vehicle and began to pull out of the wash bay.
 
As the vehicle turned left out of the wash bay, it struck Mackie, who fell into his colleague. Both men were knocked to the ground and one of the front wheels of the tractor unit drove over Mr Mackie's right foot and leg.
 
Another driver raised the alarm and the tractor unit was reversed off Mr Mackie. He suffered severe injuries, including the removal of the soft tissue of his leg, an open wound and broken bones in his foot, a fractured pelvis and cracked ribs.
 
Mackie was in the hospital for 13 weeks and had to have a metal plate inserted into his pelvis and a skin graft on his leg. He returned to work, but has permanent scars along the length of his leg and to his hip and still suffers bad circulation, numbness and pain. The second employee who was knocked over during the incident escaped physical injury.
 
 
No Organized System to Control Vehicle Movements
 
Banff Sheriff Court heard this month that an investigation into the incident by the HSE found that there was no organized system to control vehicle movements within the yard around the wash bay area to segregate pedestrians from moving vehicles.
 
There was a 'Health and Safety Manual', prepared by a company of external consultants, which purported to deal with all health and safety issues and included various entries within the document that purported to be risk assessments dealing with transport issues. These largely took the form of various high-level statements which did not in any way amount to a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks involved in maneuvering vehicles around the site.
 
R & J Milne Ltd., of Carden Place, Aberdeen, was fined $32,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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