Hazard 2020 – One third of incidents placed workers in serious danger

The Federal Safety Commissioner’s year-long Hazard 2020 safety campaign is now three-quarters complete. Trends from previous months remain largely unchanged with improved compliance with most WHS Accreditation Scheme audit criteria for mobile plant, but limited or no improvement in scaffolding related criteria. Safety incidents reported to the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner related to mobile plant and scaffolding are also showing some concerning trends. Of the 111 reported incidents, more than one-third were rated by accredited companies as severe or life-threatening.

“Of these most serious safety incidents, 11 involved a crane, eight involved an object falling from height and six involved a rollover of mobile plant,” said Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney. Together with the data on key areas of non-compliance with Scheme audit criteria, these results suggest accredited companies need to pay stronger attention to safety systems, and their onsite implementation, for mobile cranes, working at heights and the need for mobile plant working arrangements to consider site-specific requirements and the need for ROPS and FOPS.

“Safety systems need to drive safe working practices on site,” said Commissioner Denney. Approximately 70% of the corrective actions issued during the OFSC’s audits relate to insufficient or non-existent procedures for identifying, managing and recording risks. Improving the strength accredited companies safety systems will go a long way to reducing the number and severity of incidents on site.

The OFSC has material available on its website to assist companies in developing and implementing robust safety systems in relation to scaffolding and mobile plant. It recently published the videos from the third Hazard 2020 online webinar on articulated mobile cranes, and a new case study video on Scheme accredited company COLAS’ implementation of innovative safety technology reducing risks for mobile plant.

The Hazard 2020: October 2020 to June 2021 Update is available now on the Useful Documents and Downloads page.