A turnout of 62 people from numerous stakeholder groups attended CTC’s recent Safety Series Seminar on Wednesday, 26th August 2015.
This free seminar, as with previous seminars in the series, focused on a high risk activity, discussing the topic of scaffolding.
Two industry experts, Stuart Davis and Warren Reddicliffe gave their insight into scaffolding at the event.
The first presenter was Stuart Davis from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, who discussed the importance of safety when working with scaffolding, and how to maintain safety when on the job.
He talked about how scaffolding is a temporary structure and needed to be treated as such when working.
He mentioned that single elements are the biggest cause of fatalities in scaffolding, including:
Hop up brackets
Insert type anchor ties
Stuart also talked about the use of harnesses in scaffolding. He emphasized that harnesses are not required if scaffolding is done progressively, but are required on hung scaffolding. He also said that although the law states harnesses are not required, if a company policy indicates harness use, there is no issue.
Stuart made special mention of how anchor insert ties are being used too early in green concrete, resulting in poor retention of the anchor.
Stuart’s last topic was about why stair modules drop out. He stated there are a few reasons such as weld failure, stair modules not being square to the transom and fatigue to the steel. He announced that Workplace Health & Safety Queensland will issue an alert on the matter soon.
Stuart’s segment was followed by a talk from Warren Reddicliffe, who oversees all of the QuickAlly business and engineering. He is a leader in the industry for both product knowledge and industry regulation.
He revealed that there have been many improvements in scaffolding, including the use of robotic welding.
Warren discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using aluminium in scaffolding. He said that:
In 2014 30% of all scaffolding sold in Australia was aluminium
Aluminium is one-third weaker than steel
Aluminium is more efficient than steel
Aluminium is more beneficial to worker’s health and safety
A 3 metre standard in aluminium is 7 kg while steel is 16.5 kg, making aluminum much easier to work with
Aluminium is not recommended for demolition work
Mixing and matching of couplers is not recommended as steel is usually 48mm and aluminium is 50mm which could lead to crushing the tube
Aluminium does have some steel components, such as the end fittings, which can rust
Always check for wear
Check loadings for different size transoms and ledgers
Polypropylene platforms are a new addition and have a lifespan of about 10 years
Ignorance is no excuse in law should an investigation come about after an incident
“Our Safety Series Seminars this year have been a great success”, commented CTC Training Enterprise Manager Peter Walker.
“The scaffolding seminar is no exception and we look forward to offering more seminars in the series in the months ahead”, he added.
“We surveyed participants to gauge their preference for future topics, and we will take this on board to deliver seminars that are relevant and beneficial to industry”.
Visit Hot Leasing to learn about CTC’s state of the art high risk work licence and safety training facilities.
Nearly 100 people from various stakeholder groups attended CTC’s Safety Series Seminar on Wednesday, 27th May 2015. The third in a series of safety seminars focusing on high risk activities, the topic this time was working at heights and rope access.
Falling from heights is the leading cause of death in the construction industry. It’s three times more common in construction than in any other industry, with 1.03 deaths per 100,000 workers. In addition to the high number of fatalities due to falls, each day, 21 workers lodged a workers’ compensation claim for a falls-related injury and required one or more weeks off work, across all industries Australia-wide, according to Safe Work Australia’s report Work related injuries and fatalities involving a fall from height, October 2013.
The Construction Training Centre CEO Phil Diver said it was for this reason that the Centre chose heights and rope access as the topic for their Safety Series Seminar.
Following no less than 500 logged rope access hours, an operator may apply for a level 2 operator assessment. Operators at the completion of a successful level 2 assessment may supervise workers on a ‘basic’ site and may also work under the supervision of a Level 3 Operator on an ‘Advanced’ site. The level 2 operators skill extends beyond the level one vertical world and into the horizontal dimension. This skill is accompanied by appropriate rescue techniques and administrative controls for this work method.
Level 3: Ability to do complex rescues in confined space, large towers, under structures
Following no less than 500 logged rope access hours as a level 2, an operator may apply for a level 3 assessment. Operatives at the completion of a successful level 3 assessment may run projects including those on sites classified as ‘Advanced.’ This operative is versed in not only technical skills but additionally in administrative type controls and requirements for health and safety. The Level 3 is currently the highest level operator assessed in ARAA and results in opening a worker to higher level skills in the vertical and horizontal planes, rescue and mechanical advantage.
He told the audience that the ability for rope access technicians to come to a worksite with very little gear, enabling them to move around a site more efficiently, has been an important development in the construction industry.
Chris said more work needs to be done with building design to accommodate anchorage systems.
The final speaker was Tom Martin who is Regional Manager with Capital Safety a major supplier of fall protection equipment in Australia. Tom spoke about recent innovations in fall protection and rescue equipment that help keep workers safe at heights in various environments.
Some points to take away from the seminar …
It’s a sector of the industry where a little knowledge can be very dangerous.
Operators should undertake continuous and regular training including refresher training.
Workers must have access to quality training by a reputable provider (RTO).
Operators must have access to the right equipment for the job.
Safety is the key
Persons in charge of a business or undertaking (PCBU) have the right to check the quality of equipment and the skills of rope access technicians. Some things to check include:
The physical condition of the equipment used by a rope access technician.
The equipment is tagged and within test date.
Appropriate preparation is completed including equipment checks and there is a pre-rigged rescue kit available.
A PCBU has the right to ask for the technician to review their rescue and retrieval process.
It is key to ensure the technician can demonstrate skills and abilities – not only on paper.
Resource documents will be available from the ARAA shortly.
Falling from heights is the leading cause of death in the construction industry. It’s three times more common in construction than in any other industry, with 1.03 deaths per 100,000 workers. In addition to the high number of fatalities due to falls, each day, 21 workers lodged a workers’ compensation claim for a falls-related injury and required one or more weeks off work, across all industries Australia-wide, according to Safe Work Australia’s report Work related injuries and fatalities involving a fall from height.
The Construction Training Centre CEO Phil Diver said it was for this reason that the Centre chose heights and rope access as the topic for their next Safety Series Seminar.
“We’ve hosted two seminars already which focused on the important issues of Swing Stage Safety and Elevated Work Platform Safety”, Phil said.
“Falling from heights is a huge risk with potentially devastating consequences, so it’s important that anyone involved in any working at height activity understands the dangers”.
“Seminar attendees will hear industry experts explain the dangers associated with rope access and heights work, hear about the latest advancements in height safety equipment and learn the critical steps an operator must take to reduce the likelihood of potentially deadly falls or equipment failure,” he added.
This event has been endorsed by the Working at Height Association, the peak industry body representing the interests of all those involved in providing products, services or advice relating to safe working at height.
Industry experts from the Working at Height Association (WAHA), the Australian Rope Access Association (ARAA) and RTO’s delivering training in heights and rope access will share their knowledge and lead a panel discussion at this free event.
Representatives from small and large construction companies, unions, government, industry organisations, equipment suppliers, entertainment venues and registered training organisations are expected to attend.
“The event is vital for business owners and contractors to understand their workplace health and safety obligations and to learn what to look out for when they engage heights and rope access technicians”.
“These seminars are free. It’s how we give back to industry and attendees can see first-hand what CTC’s cutting edge Hot Leasing facilities have to offer in working at heights and other safety training”, Phil added.
The CTC Safety Series Seminar, which includes a light breakfast, will be held on Wednesday 27th May from 7:00am to 8:30am.
The Construction Training Centre (CTC) will host a Swing Stage specific heights rescue course on Tuesday, 21st April in it’s Hot Leasing facility. A first for Brisbane, it will be conducted by partnering RTO Capital Safety. The course will run over one full day and cover topics such as setting up a releasable anchorage; lowering an injured casualty; safe use of type 1 devices and rigging of vertical lifelines.
Peter Walker, Training Enterprise Manager at CTC said the course was being provided to Hot Leasing clients free of charge as a service to the industry.
“With the introduction of the new Swing Stage user and installer courses in January 2015, there was a subtle change to the trainer/assessor requirements which now make it mandatory for trainers and assessors of these two courses (10358NAT and 10359NAT) to have recent relevant experience and knowledge in height rescue techniques”, Mr Walker said.
“With some Working at Heights courses not including any heights rescue content, there is a sizable gap in the training regime for some Swing Stage trainers and assessors. This course will address that issue to a large extent”, he added.
CTC is no stranger to helping the construction industry develop cutting edge training solutions. It introduced the first fully compliant, 24 hour access Swing Stage training facility in Queensland when it launched Hot Leasing in April 2014. This was in response to the tragic loss of two lives on the Gold Coast in 2008 and subsequent recommendation for better training in Swing Stage use and installation. This course is a natural extension of that service provision by CTC.
To find out more about CTC’s Swing Stage training facility or other specialist equipment and facilities available for High Risk work Licensing and safety training, visit the Hot Leasing website.
Fatalities caused by crush injuries and falls from elevation while operating an elevated work platform continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers. For this reason, EWP Safety was the topic chosen for the second CTC Safety Series Seminar held in the Hot Leasing facility on Wednesday, 25th February 2015.
The Seminar was endorsed by the Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia Inc., the peak body responsible for ensuring high standards of equipment, safety and reliability around elevated work platform operations. We thank them for their support.
Workplace Health & Safety Queensland and the Griffith University Institute for Educational Research also contributed to the discussion. Industry experts who presented were –
Brad Geinitz, Principal Advisor (Construction), Queensland Construction Strategy Unit, Workplace Health & Safety Queensland;
Phil Middleton, Training Director, Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia Inc.
Dr Tim Mavin, Associate Professor, Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Following are the notes from Mr Middleton’s and Dr Mavin’s presentations.
To cover all aspects, Mr Middleton contacted a specialist law firm to check if were there any points of law that places a responsibility upon a company to use a VoC assessment program?
The answer from a legal perspective was that a company as the person conducting a business or undertaking has a primary duty under the Act to ensure so as far as reasonably practicable, that workers and other persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or undertaking.
Whilst the Act does not specifically talk about assessing an operator’s competence, in a lawyer’s eyes the words ‘so far as reasonably practicable’, ring loud in their ears. By using a VoC assessment process, they can provide evidence of reasonably practicable and this returns the responsibility back on the operator.
It was also made clear that if a company did not use a VoC process, it would not mean an automatic loss in court. A VoC was a tool to strengthen a defence.
To conclude, there is no legislative requirement to support the VoC process. It appears to be industry driven and has the support of the regulators. From a legal perspective, it is a tool used to strengthen a defence by turning the responsibility back on the operator.
Fatalities caused by crush injuries and falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction workers.
Many operators are unaware of the potential to be catapulted from an elevated working platform (EWP) or of electrocution when inadvertently coming too close to power lines. Crushing injuries have occurred, including a fatality, when operators are pinned between the machine and another obstacle or fixture.
An industry breakfast at The Construction Training Centre will provide a forum to discuss dangers associated with the operation of an elevated work platform and reinforce the critical steps an operator must take to reduce the likelihood of potentially deadly falls, crushing injuries or electrocutions.
The event has been endorsed by the Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia Inc., the peak body responsible for ensuring high standards of equipment, safety and reliability around elevated work platform operations.
Industry experts from Workplace Health & Safety Queensland, the Elevated Work Platform Association of Australia and the Griffith University Institute of Educational Research will share their knowledge and lead a panel discussion.
Representatives from small and large construction companies, hire companies, unions, government, equipment suppliers and registered training organisations are expected to attend.
The Construction Training Centre CEO Phil Diver said the event is vital for business owners and contractors to understand their workplace health and safety obligations.
“If you have sites that use elevated work platforms or you are involved in their supply, you need to be able to spot a problem and carry out the proper risk assessment, so this breakfast is a must,” Mr Diver said.
“You will learn the critical steps an EWP operator must take to reduce the likelihood of potentially deadly falls, electrocutions or crush injuries”.
“And attendees can see first-hand what CTC’s cutting edge Hot Leasing facilities have to offer in elevated work platform and other safety training.”
This CTC Safety Series Industry breakfast will be held on Wednesday 25 February from 7:00am to 8:30am.
Forklift drivers from across Australia were put to the test at the 2014 Forklift Championship held at The Construction Training Centre on November 28.
The government’s push to class forklift operation as High Risk Work has resulted in compliance checks by inspectors and increased assessment tools to obtain a forklift license. The Australian Warehousing Association (AusWA) recognised this push and created the Forklift Championship with the focus on safety and hand-eye coordination and included a novelty event to keep everyone entertained.
CTC’s Hot Leasing facilities are a High Risk Work Licence and Safety training initiative which made it the perfect backdrop for this unique and exciting event. The Forklift Championship is a good fit for what we are trying to achieve at the centre and showcases the ongoing synergies with organisations involved in the High Risk Work licence industry.
The event attracted 17 competitors, both male and female, who were assessed against national standards for forklift operation.
The winners received a trophy and prize money and each finalist received a medallion.
If you want to test your forklift operational skills or put your workers to test next year, contact AusWA on email@example.com .
Our CEO, Phil Diver, is a keen blogger and tweeter. In his most recent blog “We apologise for this momentary disruption” he talks about his loathing of the management term “disruptor” used when an organisation realigns its organisational goals and implements something radically different to get ahead of its opposition. But now he realises he’s got on the bandwagon himself when CTC did something radically different that has changed/shifted the paradigm perhaps forever in the commercial leasing space. Of course he’s referring to Hot Leasing. Here’s an extract from his blog:
“We’ve created an area where, instead of taking out commercial leasing space to conduct your training (in high risk work licensing competencies such as heights, confined space, scaffolding etc.), you just pay as you use. Companies are not burdened with the cost of leases or the plant (capital cost) which would lie idle when not being used. Instead they pass the idling risk onto us and we manage that for them. We cherish their brand along the way to ensure that their customers associate their brand with each individual company delivering on each specific day.
As far as the customer is concerned that forklift or that elevated work platform belongs to ABC Training Ltd despite the fact that the following day most likely XYZ Ltd is using it. What do ABC care about that? We have created brand recognition for the duration it is needed and that is when the client/customer is interfacing with them. We call it our Big Brand Theory. The area we call Hot Leasing. It’s the commercial leasing equivalent of hot desking. Not very novel you may conjecture…well funnily enough we are the first to do it. We are therefore taking first to market advantage.”
These Terms & Conditions apply to the “Name your Price” special offer
The “Name Your Price” promotion for Hot Leasing means a Hot Leasing client may decide what price they will pay for a day hire of their nominated Hot Leasing area
“Name Your Price” is only available for Hot Leasing training delivered during the month of January 2015
“Name Your Price” bookings must be confirmed, paid and taken up in January 2015
This is a limited time offer available for Hot Leasing use only in the month of January 2015
Not available with any other offer.
No further discounts apply.
Must be a registered Hot Leasing customer – i.e. must have signed a Hot Leasing Agreement
If you are not already a Hot Leasing customer, you will be required to sign a Hot Leasing Agreement before access will be allowed to the facility.
On signing a Hot Leasing Agreement and prior to using the Hot Leasing area, the RTO and/or training and assessment staff will be required to undertake a site induction which takes about 45 minutes. RTOs will then be responsible for providing the site induction to their staff and students.
For each and every booking, a Booking Request is required from the RTO to establish a booking in the Hot Leasing area. The Booking Request will include the RTO’s business details and contacts as well as such information as ABN; National RTO registration number; and licenses held by staff and/or contractors relevant to the training being undertaken. If the Request is accepted, a booking confirmation will be sent to the RTO. CTC, at its sole discretion, will determine whether an RTO can operate from the Hot Leasing facility. The RTO is not permitted to transfer or assign their booking to another RTO, person or entity.
The inaugural CTC Safety Series Industry breakfast kicked off yesterday with the focus on Swing Stage Safety. The event, endorsed by the Queensland Major Contractors Association had guest speakers Rob Thiess (Managing Director of Construc Pty Ltd and The President of the Scaffolding Association) as well as David Elder (from Elders Scaffolding and the Vice President of the Scaffolding Association).
The focus on Swing Stage Safety came after the deaths of two swing stage workers on the Gold Coast in 2008 that placed new obligations on principal contractors, building owners and managers to ensure the safe use of swing-stage scaffold.
Rob Thiess said the amendments to the Scaffolding Code of Practice 2009 introduced a lot more checks and balances and more engineering involvement. As a result, industry is slowly getting documentation in place to reduce the risk of swing stage incidents. Rob and Dave spoke about these changes and gave some valuable advice for principal contractors, building owners and managers to ensure the safe use of swing stage scaffold.
Below are 10 questions a PCBU should ask at the time of initial installation of the swing stage and also during the on-going operation of the equipment.
1. Is the stage suitable for work being done?
The correct equipment needs to be selected, sometimes abseilers or mast climbers are being used instead of swing stages, however these are not practical for all jobs.
2.Has supporting structure been approved for installation of stage?
Check that the structure on which the stage is sitting is capable of holding the stages. Whether it be a roof, or balcony etc. the Project Engineer must sign off.
3. Has stage and rostrum equipment got the relevant documentation? Drawings, maintenance records etc.
Scaffolders must have all the documentation available. There are more components for the PCBU around the documents that you must be able to obtain from suppliers. Engineering drawings for the swing stage suspension may be generic or specific. In terms of the design certification of swing stage, they are not necessarily the same documents as mentioned above, they often are built in Europe but still must be registered in Australia. An important component is the verification that it has been installed on site. You must check that the installation has been signed off by an engineer.
4. Do erectors have the required training and tickets?
A specific course on erecting swing stages was introduced in 2009. There must be evidence that the personal who erected the swing stage is an advanced scaffolder or an advanced rigger.
5.Have the operators been through required induction and training?
Operators also need to have completed a 2 day course. They will have to complete a specific site induction as well.
6.Has stage been signed off and handed over with relevant paperwork completed?
Documentation must be made available at all times on site. All the documentation that is required is contained at the rear of the Scaffolding Code of Practice. Documentation must be completed not only at the initial installation of the stage but also when changes are made. Everything must be tagged and up to date especially electrical equipment. All equipment must be made identifiable and you must check for defects. The equipment is also subject to fatigue which may cause cracking. However, don’t be put off by old equipment, as long it has been checked thoroughly. The equipment specifications should be kept with the equipment on site.
7.What about for training organisations delivering Swing Stage training?
When referring to Hot Leasing, all stages from design, installation and services have documentation in place; just like a construction site. When an RTO is conducting an installer’s course on the Hot Leasing swing stage a competent person with an advanced scaffolding licence must sing off to verify that it has been put back correctly. All this documentation is contained in a plastic pouch that stays on the back of the swing stage.
8. Has access to the stage, power and rooftop support been restricted to approved personnel only?’
Workplace Health and Safety require a procedure that once the swing stage is in place the stage cannot be tampered with. There must be an exclusion zone, if the exclusion zone is a temporary fence, it must be lockable. If the swing stage is on an existing structure such as a roof, make sure that there is a system in place that no one else can access this area. In the past rostrums have been tampered with and contractors have moved the swing stage without authority and nobody knows. The updated process with the new code of practice is much safer.
In terms of workers getting safely in and out of the swing stage, it is not possible to install gates as it would impact on the structural integrity. WH&S only require a procedure detailing how to safely access and exit the swing stage. Climbing the guard rail to get into the stage has been accepted industry practise for many years and there have been no incidents of workers getting injured getting in and out of the stage.
9. Has rescue/retrieval procedure been documented and put in place?’
There is a requirement to have a procedure for rescue and retrieval so that if anyone is stuck on a stage because of injury or equipment failure, they must be able to get the let the stage down. For example in a power outage the equipment can be lowered without power. The stage is designed to be operated by two workers. This way, if one of them is injured, the other can get the stage down. If necessary, a crane can be utilised however this is not common in most cases as it normally is possible for the stage to be lowered. Another option is installing secondary lines or ‘gotya kits’ which can get someone up to assist if the workers in the swing stage cannot get themselves down.
10.Who is responsible for organising training for operators?
Painters in particular have done a lot of training on swing stage operation, but it is up to the principal contractor and not the scaffolder to organise this training.