Construction site deaths and union calls for manslaughter charges

Last weekend two Queensland workers fell 26 storeys from swing scaffolding to their deaths.  They were patching concrete on a building from a platform similar to those used by high-rise window cleaners. According to a 24 June 2008 ABC news report: “The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the men were wearing harnesses…

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Safety from an Australian/Asian perspective

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Several years ago, one of the major contributors to my Safety At Work magazine came to stay for a couple of weeks with my family in Melbourne.  Melody Kemp is a passionate safety professional who works mostly in the Asian region.  Melody has a fresh and blunt perspective on safety that keeps westerners and academics from becoming too pompous and isolated.

Melody wrote articles for me on women in the defence force, Indonesian fishing industry hazards and several other fascinating articles.   She has written for Dissent magazine, was the author of Working For Life – an OHS sourcebook for women, which is now a free download, and now has a blog of her own.  I highly recommend you spend some time reading her blog and reflecting on your own approach to OHS.

Sugar vat explosion update

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Further details have begun to emerge from the vat explosion at the Pioneer Sugar Mill at Burdekin in Queensland on 20 June 2008.  According to media reports, the plant, owned by CSR, was one of four sugar mills that suffered equipment failures on almost a daily basis, according to Burdekin Limited district manager Jim Collins.

Three workers were treated for minor injuries and the 80 staff at the mill  at the time were evacuated.

Speeding in roadside worksites

I have a confessions to make.  I stick to the speed limit and in over 25 years of driving cars and riding motorcycles, I have never had a speeding ticket.  That may make me sound like a grumpy old fart but I can’t see how it can be worth putting yourself and others at risk for little return….

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Sugar Vat Explosion

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According to Australian news reports, several explosions have occurred at the Pioneer sugar mill in Queensland.  Two people have been seriously injured and 14 are currently trapped

According to firefighters there was a low pressure explosion in a 1,000 litre sugar vat at 9am on 20 June 2008. 

“After the vat exploded it fell over and pushed over another 1,000 litre sugar vat. The ‘mud’ that spilt from the vats ran into an adjoining lab facility and nine staff members were evacuated.”