A construction company has been fined after two workers fell from an excavator bucket back in 2019. Windsor-based business, Apex Building Systems was handed the $180,000 fine after pleading guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act.
Apex Building Systems contracted Greater Civil Pty Ltd to demolish a building on the site of a Western Sydney project in August 2019. During this time, two workers were asked to climb onto an excavator bucket, which was attached upside down to the excavator, in order for it to be used as an elevated work platform. The bucket was lifted around 4 metres above the ground to the roof of the building before it detached from the excavator. The workers fell and landed on the concrete surface below, with one man suffering fractures to his neck and back.
Right machine, right purpose
We’ve spoken about using the right machine for the right purpose many times here at Plant Assessor, and this, sadly, is yet another example of misconduct. If workers are required to be raised or lifted to a work area, it is essential that a fit for purpose work platform is used. This incident, and the workers’ pain and suffering as a result of these injuries, would have been avoided had they been lifted using a suitable work platform and not an upside down excavator bucket.
Worker and operator knowledge is important as well
While it could easily be said that the right choice of machine could have prevented this incident, it also comes down to your workers and operators having a thorough understanding of the safety risks related to each type of machinery. For this reason, it is also important for your personnel to undergo appropriate safety training prior to undertaking high risk tasks. They should also read and understand relevant safety documentation such as the safe operating procedures (SOPs) and safe work methods statements relating to the use of machinery. While having these documents is a legal requirement, ensuring your people view and read them should provide them with a better understanding of the risks associated with each machine and the tasks they undertake with them.
Need safe operating procedures? Just ask Plant Assessor
Plant Assessor has literally thousands of machine-specific SOPs available to download instantly. These documents will educate your workers and operators on operational safety procedures, hazards and forbidden activities, in order to standardise safety practices across your business, and reduce the risk of avoidable machinery incidents. Simply select your machine and click download, and you’ll have easy to follow SOPs in seconds.
If you’d like further information about how Plant Assessor’s SOPs can help you establish business-wide safety practices, call our expert team today on 1300 728 852 or email email@example.com.
Disclaimer: This information is intended to provide general information on the subject matter. This is not intended as legal or expert advice for your specific situation. You should seek professional advice before acting or relying on the content of this information.