OHS and murder

In 2014, Glen Turner, an environmental officer with the New South Wales government was murdered will inspecting agricultural properties for illegal land clearing.  Turner was shot repeatedly by local farmer Ian Turnbull, and died at the scene in front of his work colleague, Robert Strange.  79-year-old Turnbull was found guilty and jailed but died 12 months into his prison term.  Due to pressure from Turner’s family, the NSW Government has announced a coronial inquest into the death and the circumstances leading up to it.

Several media reports acknowledge that Turner was killed while at work but the occupational health and safety (OHS) context of the shootings and the actions leading up to the incident has not been investigated except where it led to Turnbull’s trial.  Indications are that the coronial inquest will look at this perspective.

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NZ announces inquiry into the safety of farm vehicles

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The New Zealand Department of Labour (DoL) has announced a period of public consultation on its OHS guidance on the safe use of off-road vehicles.  The process will include a review of “Safe Use of ATVs on New Zealand Farms: Agricultural Guideline” publication.

Interestingly the DoL says  it

“is looking to extend this publication to apply to the agricultural, forestry and adventure tourism industries.”

There is a potential for a considerable broadening of OHS issues but this may be hampered by the scheduling of the public consultation.  The DoL public commentary period closes on February 13 2010. Both Australia and New Zealand are in Summer holiday mode and many companies are closed down for several weeks in January or operate on a skeleton staff.  SafetyAtWorkBlog has commented on this trend for short consultative periods over the Christmas break previously. Continue reading “NZ announces inquiry into the safety of farm vehicles”

Grappler death in forestry operations – WorkSafeBC Slide Show

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Below is the latest safety video from WorkSafeBC.  It is included not only as an important indication of a hazard that can be readily controlled or avoided but as a terrific example of how generic safety alerts can be given currency by using the available technology.

It is one thing for text-based safety alerts to be circulated, or for media releases to be broadcast, but this type of safety alert has more influence and provides a clearer understanding of the hazard than text ever could.

Yes, the video is Canadian and may not reflect the work practices in other countries but the hazard is usually the same.  In this case, it was the location of the spotter, the level of communication between the workers and overall a clearly inadequate system of work.

WorkSafeBC should be applauded for its efforts in communicating safety to a broad audience in an effective manner.

Kevin Jones

A spotter working in blind conditions was struck by a grapple. Confirm spotters are in the clear before throwing a grapple.

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