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

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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.

 

Australia Seeing Huge Work Comp Improvements With Mentor Program

 

Large & Small Businesses Pair Together to Address Safety
 
Australia’s WorkCover  New South Wales (NSW) is calling for small and large businesses from Sydney and the Illawarra to take part in its 2012/13 Mentor Program.
 
The WorkCover Mentor Program involves large businesses pairing with a small business from the same industry to help them identify new ways to address safety in their workplace.
 
 
Small Businesses Gain Industry Specific Advice From Mentor
 
General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, John Watson, said the Mentor Program enabled small businesses to gain industry-specific advice on how to meet their workplace safety, injury management and workers compensation obligations.
 
“Workplace injury, illness and fatality continue to be a significant cost to industry and the NSW community, and WorkCover understands how challenging it can be for small businesses to dedicate time and resources to work health and safety,” Watson commented.
 
“The WorkCover Mentor Program provides small business with access to expert advice and assistance from a large business within their industry who understands the work health and safety challenges they face and can suggest innovative solutions to everyday problems.
 
 
330 Businesses Participate, 95% Success Rate
 
“More than 330 businesses have taken part in the Program since it commenced with 95 per cent of last year’s mentees implementing work health and safety improvements after participating in the program.
 
“Every worker wants to return home safely at the end of the working day and WorkCover recognizes that the support of business through initiatives like the Mentor Program is essential to improving work health and safety across the State,” Watson added.
 
Melinda Leyshon, managing director of western Sydney licensed mechanics, Production Automotive, added the Mentor Program provided the opportunity for a small business to gain a better understanding of work health and safety and check that they had effective systems in place.
 
 
Keep Employees Safe By Working On Your Business
 
“We are a family business and want everyone to go home from work safe,” Leyshon noted. “The Program gave us a lot of confidence that we were heading in the right direction in relation to safety and also massively increased our knowledge and understanding of work health and safety. Without a doubt I would encourage other small businesses to participate. It’s the best time you will spend working on your business rather than in your business.”
 
Following an official launch on Oct. 9, 2012, the Mentor Program will be rolled-out to other regions of NSW during 2013.
 
Mentees are also eligible to apply for a $500 rebate after making a safety improvement in their workplace (terms and conditions apply). For more information on the WorkCover Mentor Program 2012-13, visit www.workcover.nsw.gov.au.
 
 

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.

Employees May Not Be Faking It as Much As You Think

 

Employers Think Non-Genuine Days Higher Than Reality
 
Taking a fake "sickie" is well-known as a great Australian tradition but research shows the problem in 2012 may be more of an office myth.  A study shows that bosses think non-genuine sick days account for up to 25 percent of absenteeism, when they actually account for less than 15 percent.
 
The research from Direct Health Solutions – an absence management firm – found sick days cost the economy about $28 billion a year and CEO Paul Dundon said bosses found this easy to blame on workers.
 
 “They’re focused too much on the odd case of a ‘sickie’ and not on the genuine factors absence,” Dundon said.  The 2012 Absence Management Survey found that businesses believed the most common reason workers took days off was for unexpected illness.  But the second most common reason cited by business was that employees viewed their paid sick days as an entitlement.
 
 
Workplaces Have Absenteeism Culture
 
DHS said some workplaces have an “absenteeism culture” where a certain level of absence is tolerated – typically the paid entitlement level.  The study also found absenteeism was higher in large organizations with more than 1000 employees.
 
“It becomes more complex to manage the bigger a business becomes, and it’s easier to fly under the radar and when that happens it kind of develops a culture of absenteeism,” Dundon said.
Absence levels were also 21 percent higher in unionized environments, and 20 percent higher in the public sector.
 
 
Proper Systems Not In Place to Manage
 
“[In the public sector] they’ve got more entitlements, and they don’t have proper systems in place to manage it,” Dundon noted. “[Unions] make it more challenging to manage – they see it as a right or entitlement that shouldn’t be managed or addressed. Managers often avoid the issue because it’s too hard or they’re too fearful.”
 
 
Telecommunications Highest, IT Workers Lowest
 
The telecommunications and utilities industry had the highest number of days lost at 13.1, followed by travel, tourism and hospitality at 13 and outsources service providers at 11.1.
 
IT workers had the lowest number of sick days at 4.6, followed by retail workers at 6.5 and manufacturing and production and 6.5.  Dundon added industries that required workers to deal directly with customers had higher numbers of sick days.
 
“There’s a lot to do with workplace flexibility – people in IT can bring their work home,” he said.
According to Dundon, the retail figure was disproportionately low because the industry had a high level of casual labor and did not track sick leave well.  And manufacturing and production had a big drop in absence levels from 2011, down from 8.5 days to 6.5.
 
“There is a lot of risk and insecurity in that industry at the moment,” Dundon said. The study also found that half of employers think it is easy for workers to obtain a medical certificate even when they are not sick.
 
As Dundon noted, there are more effective ways to manage sick days, including conducting return to work interviews after every absence and centralizing a company’s record of days off.
 
 
Number of sick days per year by industry sector:
 
Telecommunications & Utilities – 13.1 days
 
Travel, Tourism, Hospitality – 13.0 days
 
Outsourced Service Provider – 11.1 days
 
Public Services/Government – 10.3 days
 
Banking, Finance & Insurance – 9.1 days
 
Construction – 8.5 days
 
Transport & Logistics – 8.1 days
 
Healthcare – 8.0 days
 
Non Profit – 7.6 days
 
Media – 7.0 days
 
Manufacturing & Production – 6.5 days
 
Retail – 6.5 days
 
Information Technology – 4.6 days
 

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.

The Wheels on the Safety Bus Provide Assistance to Local Businesses

 

Bus to Provide Health & Safety Advice to Local Businesses
 
Australia’s WorkCover Safety Bus recently toured Western Australia to provide work health and safety advice to local workers and businesses, according to a report from the WorkCover Authority of NSW.
 
The Safety Bus visited Forbes, Parkes and Condobolin during the week, providing practical advice on new work health and safety laws, changes to high-risk work licenses and WorkCover’s Small Business Rebate Program.
 
Director of Operations for WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, urged local businesses and workers to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more from WorkCover’s health and safety experts.
 
“There are a number of changes to NSW work health and safety laws and licensing currently underway,” Dunphy said.
 
 
Part of Harmonized National Work Health & Safety Laws
 
“This included the start of harmonized national work health and safety laws on January 1, 2012 and the requirement to review, and if necessary renew all high-risk work licenses by January 1, 2013 as part of a national approach to uniform licensing. The tour is part of WorkCover’s comprehensive efforts to support NSW business and will provide an opportunity for local businesses and workers to ask questions and learn more about the new laws and licensing changes.”
 
According to Dunphy, “The Small Business Rebate Program offers small business owners and sole traders rebates of up to $500 to help purchase and install safety improvements that they otherwise might not be able to afford.”
 
 
Strengthens Commitment of Maximizing Public Safety
 
Parkes Shire Council acting General Manager, Steven Campbell added, "The arrival of the WorkCover Bus strengthens Parkes Shire Council's commitment to its Strategic Objective of maximizing public safety for the community.
 
“This opportunity also encourages the continued development of a strong culture of health and safety compliance and risk awareness within our staff."
 
 

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.

Temporary or Part-Time Workers have 50 Percent Higher Injury Rate than Permanent Workers

 

A recent report from Safe Work Australia found that temporary or part-time workers recorded a work-related injury rate 50 percent higher than permanent workers in 2009-10 with females reporting a significantly higher rate of injuries per hour worked than males.

 

The reportAustralian work-related injury experience by sex and age (2009-2010), examines the work-related injury experience of male and female workers across different age groups. The report also provides data that can assist industry identify demographics where work health and safety can be improved.

 

In 2009-10, close to 640 000 workers reported they had suffered a work-related injury which is close to triple the population of a city the size of Hobart reporting a work-related injury.

 

While males recorded a 19 percent fall in the number of injuries incurred at work since 2005-06 the number for females increased by 11 percent. Although the decrease is reassuring the fact injury rates for females increased indicates that as a nation more effort is needed to improve work health and safety for our workers.

 

Other key findings of the report include:

 

  • Temporary or part-time workers reported 54 injuries per million hours worked compared with a rate of 35 for those with leave entitlements.
  • Working under shift arrangements or as a part-time worker was also associated with higher rates of injury. Half of all female workers worked part-time in 2009-10.
  • For each hour worked females had a 28 percent higher risk of injury compared with male workers.
  • High rates of injury were experienced in the accommodation and food services industry. This industry has high levels of temporary or part-time and part-time work.
  • The most common cause of injury across all age groups was sprain/strain.
  • Workers aged 15-24 recorded rates of injury substantially higher than other age groups.

 

Safe Work Australia provided funding to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to obtain this data. The report is the second using these data.

 

In November, 2011 Safe Work Australia published Work-related Injuries in Australia: Who did and did not receive workers compensation in 2009-10.

 

Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-10 is available at:

www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

 

 

 

<pAuthor 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.

 

Attorney General Finds Workplace Death of 21 Year Old Unacceptable

 

 
Piece of Equipment Collapsed
 
A 21-year-old Australian man died at a worksite at Kingston July 21, when a piece of equipment that is used to pour concrete collapsed, according to Australian officials.
 
The truck involved in the accident was serviced just three weeks ago and engineers will examine the equipment. It is the fourth workplace death in the ACT since last December, and three of those have happened on construction sites.
 
 
Investigations to Take Several Months, Wake Up Call for Industry
 
ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe says investigations into the latest death will take several months.
 
"It is alarming for there to be so many injuries," McCabe said. "It is a real wake-up call for the industry I think, that this is dangerous work that they're doing and safety cannot be compromised. If anything good can come out of tragedy it is that it's bringing the industry together to talk about how this situation can be avoided in the future."
 
The ACT Government is moving to order an investigation into safety and culture on ACT worksites.
 
 
Attorney General Finds Work Place Death Unacceptable
 
Attorney-General Simon Corbell stated any death at work is unacceptable and he requests answers.
 
"We are now giving serious consideration to a broad-ranging investigation to try to understand what are the issues with workplace safety and culture in the civil and construction sector that may be contributing towards the death toll we are now seeing," Corbell commented. 
 
 

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.

Australia in Final Stage of High-Risk License Renewal

Calling Attention to High Risk License Renewal

 
WorkCover NSW (New South Wales, Australia) is reminding workers qualified to operate high risk plant and equipment to review, and if necessary renew, their licenses.
 
High-risk work licenses are needed to operate a range of machinery including forklifts and cranes, and pressure equipment such as boilers and turbines. They are also required in order to carry out scaffolding, rigging and dogging work. [WCx]

WorkCover NSW Work Health and Safety Division General Manager John Watson said the changes were part of a national approach to uniform licensing and mobility across Australia.

 

Final Stage of Transition Which Began in 2006

 
This is the final stage of the NSW transition, which began in 2006,” Watson said. The incoming changes are going be very beneficial to the thousands of people in NSW currently holding a high risk work license.”

According to Watson, there would be two main changes to the current system.

The three different WorkCover high risk work licenses will be combined into one easily recognizable card with a photo, expiry date, and information showing the type of high risk activity the holder is licensed to perform. Secondly, this new card will be recognized across all the states and territories. This is going to be beneficial across many industries where we see people moving interstate for short or long periods of work,” Watson commented.

Watson added that there were three simple ways to tell if your license needs to be replaced.

 

Licenses Received before 1996, or No Expiration or Photo Need Replacement

 
If you received your license before 1996, or if it doesn’t have an expiry date or photo ID, the license will need to be replaced,” Watson said. “Since 2006, WorkCover has been contacting licenses holders via letter and advertising the changes through the media. Anyone unsure if their license needs to be replaced should call WorkCover on 13 10 50, email us at contact@workcover.nsw.gov.au, or visit our Web site www.workcover.nsw.gov.au. WorkCover will send you a renewal pack. You will then need to lodge an application form, a passport sized photo, proof of identity and pay a $60 fee for the new five year photo license.” [WCx]

All affected licenses must be renewed by Dec. 31, 2012.

 
 

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.

Workers Comp Tidbits from Around the Globe

You’re busy, we know. So Roundtable has gathered the best and most compelling stories from the workers compensation world for you. Sit back, relax, and read about just those things that interest you, confident you won’t be missing important developments in compensation.
 
LexisNexis Communities Analyzes Motel Sex Case, Odd-Lot and More
 
The Workers Compensation Law Community Powered by Larsons on LexisNexis compiled a great newsletter evaluating the details of many current  WC cases this week. Sign up for their newsletter here and get all this and more in your inbox.
 
 
Wacky World of Comp Sex Case Examined by Roberts
Cassandra Roberts, Esq., writes in her blog, about the Australian woman who received WC benefits for facial injuries sustained while having sex on a business trip. The Federal Court of Australia found that this injury was no different than any other that may happen on work time. Roberts’ three-part analysis looks at how Delaware might handle the case by examining state precedent in similar business trip injuries.
 
 
Spotlight Shines on Odd-Lot Doctrine, Exclusive Remedy, Retaliatory Discharge, and Disfigurement Award
Larson’s Spotlight takes a look at the odd-lot doctrine, which means total disability may be found in the case of workers who, while not altogether incapacitated for work, are so handicapped that they will not be employed regularly in any well-known branch of the labor market.
 
The spotlight also examines these three cases:
1. From New York: Employer's Corporate Subsidiary Was Shielded by Exclusive Remedy Defense Where Injured Worker Worked Under Supervision of Both the Subsidiary and the Employer
2. In Texas: Evidence That Worker Was Terminated As Part of General Reduction in Work Force Held Sufficient to Defeat Worker's Retaliatory Discharge Action
3. In Delaware: Board's Facial Disfigurement Award Reversed Where Board Did Not Compare Severity of Scar with Other Similar Scars that Board Had Observed In Its Accumulated Experience
 
Juge Looks at Louisiana 2011 In Review
Denis Paul Juge, Esq. notes that while there were no major legislative changes in 2011, significant changes are expected in 2012. He urges those interested in Louisiana WC law monitor the legislative activity at here. Further, the OWC has promulgated the new hearing rules that include limitations on the trial continuance by consent and provides for the stay of a suit if good cause is shown, he says. Read more of his noteworthy case developments here.
 
 
Max Comp Rate Determine By Date of Disability, Not Injury
Monica F. Markovich and Jonathan A. Tweedy discovered in Practical Application of Roberts vs. Sea-Land Services, Inc., that the date in which an injured worker is "newly awarded compensation" and its effect on the maximum compensation rate is defined differently than originally thought.
 
They write, “The following chart explains the practical application of the decision:
  1. Injury causing immediate disability: Maximum compensation rate is based on date of injury.
  2. Injury without immediate disability: Maximum compensation rate is based on first date of disability.
  3. Injury where disability lasts more than 3 but less than 15 days: Maximum compensation rate is based on fourth day of disability, where the disability actually begins under Section 6(a).
  4. Injury where initial disability lasts more than 3 but less than 15 days but a later period of disability occurs: Maximum compensation rate is initially based on fourth day of disability. If there is a later period of disability such that the total disability exceeds 14 days, then the maximum compensation rate would revert back to the first day of disability.”
 
Read more of the analysis here.
 
Community Blogs Shredding up The Net
Take a look at the work of these top WC blogs:
  1. LexisNexis Workers' Comp Fraud Team, here.
  2. Cassandra Roberts.
  3. Paintballing, Wrestling and a Head-Banging Good Time: Another Commentary on Horseplay in Delaware, here.
 

Longshore Seminar Coming up In New Orleans
Robert Wilson recently noted on WorkersCompensation.com there is an upcoming seminar for the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN). It will be June 6 and 7 in New Orleans.
 
Wilson writes that longshore topics and the related Jones act “are not as ‘well traveled’ as others in the conference arena. In fact, I am hard pressed to remember any conference where an emphasis was put on these areas. If these jurisdictions are within your realm of interest, I would suggest you look into attending.”
 
For more information about the seminar, look here.
 
 
Note: If your company has any developments you'd like to share, please send them to us at: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

 

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
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.

Down Under Construction Inspectors Increase Safety Visits

WorkSafe Victoria construction inspectors are staging a blitz of domestic housing sites in Melbourne’s west, according to a WorkSafe report.

 
 
It is the first of a series of statewide campaign visits targeting basic safety issues, the acting Director of WorkSafe’s Construction and Utilities Division, Allan Beacom, said.
 
 
What we find is that employers and tradespeople consistently fail to properly address the basic safety issues like fall protection, electrical safety, housekeeping, site security and supervision,” he said.
 
 
At this time of the year there is an extraordinary amount of work which has to be completed to meet contractual requirements. In such a busy environment the already-existing risks can be magnified. During our visits, inspectors will be issuing safety improvement and prohibition notices and if they’re not dealt with, the risk of prosecution, whether or not someone is hurt, is high.”
 
 
There were 425 claims in the domestic construction sector last financial year with treatment and rehabilitation costs exceeding/ nearly $5.5 million. The absence of fall protection on a domestic housing site is a feature of WorkSafe’s current enforcement campaign showing workers on the roof of a house.
 
 
Safety issues have been raised, but there’s reluctance to deal with them because it’s a ‘two-minute job’. It’s then that the WorkSafe inspector drives up,” Beacom continued. “Apart from the need for rails, a lot of time will be lost and it’s likely he’d find other issues. Doing the job right, the first time, is in your interests.
 
 
The good news is that businesses and individuals can make a difference by taking a few simple measures and although Victoria is Australia’s safest state with a record low number of work-related injuries, a lot more can be done.” (WCxKit)
 
 
Other metropolitan and regional areas will be targeted in coming months.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.


Our WORKERS COMP BOOK:  www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Australian Employers Fined for Tire and Rope Press Injuries to Workers

 

A Welshpool, Australia manufacturing company has been fined $20,000 over an incident in which an employee sustained injuries to his left arm when part of a rope press shattered and struck him.

 

According to the Western Australian Department of Commerce, Jeminex Brands & Operations Pty Ltd (formerly Beaver Brands) pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and was fined in the Perth Magistrates Court recently. (WCxKit)

 

Jeminex Brands is a manufacturer of wire rope slings and chain slings. Using a rope press, wire rope of a required length is fed through an aluminum collar known as a “ferrule” and the ferrule is then compressed between two dies until they touch to hold the rope together.

 

The pressure applied by the dies is able to be varied according to the diameter of the rope, with maximum pressures stipulated in a chart of pressures in megapascals of pressure. The process is known as “swaging”.

 

A Jeminex employee was engaged in swaging rope. He had already completed two ropes by visually determining when the dies touched. When he swaged the third rope, the dies came together and shattered, causing lacerations to his left arm. The amount of pressure on the dies can be pre-set, and once that maximum pressure is reached, the limit switch is activated and no further pressure can be applied. The maximum pressure stipulated for the diameter of rope being used by the employee was five megapascals. The wire rope press was set at a maximum pressure of 34 megapascals.

 

The court heard that the employee was not instructed to check or change the maximum pressure of the wire rope press before he began the task.

 

It was practicable for the employer to have trained its employee to either set the press to the maximum recommended pressure or to set the pressure at a low level and increase it in small increments until the dies touched.

 

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said the case should serve as a reminder of the importance of training and instruction in the workplace.

 

Training of new and young workers is one of WorkSafe’s operational priority areas, and a large amount of time and resources are invested in ensuring that employers provide workers with suitable and adequate induction and training,” McCulloch said.

 

This worker had been with the employer for four months, and this incident made it apparent that he had not been provided with sufficient training and instruction to operate the machinery in a safe manner. (WCxKit)

 

Every employer has the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace; to share information and to provide training and supervision – that is part of the employer’s basic duty of care.

Australian Tire Center, Director Fined After Worker Suffers Injuries 

A Yamba tire center (New South Wales, Australia) and its director have been fined a total of $170,000 and ordered to pay WorkCover’s legal costs after an employee received serious injuries while fitting new tires to an earthmover, according to a report from the WorkCover Authority of NSW.

 
 
The Lower River Tyre Centre Pty Ltd (Lower River) sells tires, wheels and batteries as well as providing tire-fitting services for a range of private, commercial and industrial vehicles. (WCxKit)
 

A 47-year-old Lower River tire fitter was changing six spilt rim grader tires on an earth-moving grader when one of the six tires exploded while it was being inflated.
 

The tires on this large commercial earthmover were around 1.4m in diameter and approximately 40cm thick.
 

The employee sustained serious injuries to his face and upper-body, as well as complications during surgery which required months of rehabilitation.

A WorkCover investigation found that Lower River had no adequate safety protocols in place at the time of the accident.
 

There was no safety cage large enough to protect the worker, nor any devices in place limiting tire pressure on larger commercial tires, which both would have reduced the risk of injuries.

 

The company also did not have documented OHS systems in place; failed to carry out a proper risk assessment; did not conduct formal risk assessments; and did not provide adequate or documented

training.
 

Lower River and its director Anthony Paul Hardacre were charged with breaches of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000. Both pleaded guilty to the charges. (WCxKit)

Lower River was convicted and fined $160,000. Anthony Hardacre was convicted and fined $10,000.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
 
NEW 2012 WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/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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