вторник, 3 марта 2015 г.

Австралия (охрана труда). Судебная практика: инспектор организации обнаружил неисправность потолочной конструкции, которая могла стать причиной травмирования работников, однако предприятие ничего не сделало для того, чтобы предотвратить либо минимизировать указанный риск, что привело к травме работника. В публикации также приведена система управления рисками в сфере охраны труда.

Health & Safety Bulletin
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Case Study: Employer convicted for failing to 

control identified hazards

Thursday, 26th February, 2015, by Alanna Furlan
In today's Health & Safety Bulletin:
  • Case Study: Employer convicted for failing to control identified hazards
  • How to use the hierarchy of control
Dear Reader,
A recent case has highlighted the need to not only carry out risk assessments to identify workplace hazards, but to follow these up by informing workers of risks and implementing controls to eliminate or reduce risks as much as possible.

The case
Inspector Nash v Bulga Underground Operations Pty Ltd (2015)
A NSW mining company, Bulga Underground Operations Pty Ltd, has been convicted of health and safety breaches after one of its supervisors identified a hazard, but failed to tell anyone or implement control measures for it. A worker was subsequently seriously injured when he was struck by a falling slab of coal.

At the time of the incident, the exposed roof spanned 1.5 metres, creating a high risk of falling coal. The Court heard that it was necessary for miners to have some or all of their bodies under the exposed roof when changing picks.

The NSW District Court rejected the mining company's claim that it was "not reasonably practicable" to comply with the provision to maintain a safe workplace or control the injured worker's decision to place himself under an unsupported roof.

A Bulga supervisor had inspected the worksite before the task was undertaken and identified the risk of the roof failing, but failed to inform anyone of the risk or to implement controls.

The verdict
The judge noted that the supervisor's risk assessment of the task was fundamentally flawed because he "did not convey the revealed risk to those who were going to do the task", and failed to implement appropriate control measures.

The judge noted, "Had a proper risk assessment been carried out, I infer that its recommended control measures would have been implemented…The risk would have been minimised even if not necessarily eliminated.”
He ruled that, "The failure to inspect properly was a major and significant contributing factor to the hazard and the incident."
Bulga was charged with failing to:
  • conduct an adequate inspection of the face and roof strata;
  • conduct a risk assessment of the task;
  • ensure the task was conducted under a supported roof;
  • follow safe work procedures; and
  • provide the injured worker with adequate instruction, information and training.
In November last year, the same employer was convicted over an incident in which a worker was crushed between an advancing roof support and a conveyor.

Bulga will be sentenced for the current and November convictions at a later date.
Continued below...
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What you can learn from this

This case shows that it’s not enough to simply identify hazards in the workplace. Once hazards and risks have been identified, you need to ensure that all relevant workers are informed and that appropriate steps are taken to eliminate or reduce risks as much as possible.

When implementing risk controls, determine the highest risks first and use the hierarchy of control to ensure the control measures are effective.

How to use the hierarchy of control

The hierarchy of control outlines six key stages to help you manage risks. If possible, use the first stage or continue working your way down the list, using a combination of methods, until the hazard is adequately controlled.
1.Elimination: Remove the hazard or risk of exposure to the hazard completely.
2.Substitution: Control the hazard by substituting it with a less hazardous or non-hazardous alternative.
3.Isolation: Reduce the risk by enclosing or isolating the hazard.
4.Engineering: Put engineering controls in place to eliminate or reduce any remaining aspects of the hazard.
5.Administration: Implement administrative controls, such as safety signs, to minimise the risk to health and safety.
6.Personal protective equipment (PPE): Require your workers to wear PPE, e.g. safety goggles, gloves and steel-capped safety boots.

Do not rely on administrative controls or PPE alone to control the hazard. These should only be used as a last resort.
For more information about implementing risk controls, refer to H6 Hierarchy of Control in your Health & Safety Handbook, or click here to find out more about becoming a subscriber.

Take care,

Alanna Furlan
Health & Safety Bulletin

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