WorkSafe is warning employers about the dangers of working in the wet as the state weathers another downpour.
Construction sites are of particular risk at this time of year, with mud and water logged soil increasing the risk of slips, trips, falls and excavation or trench collapses.
Builders and contractors are being urged to regularly assess their sites after any rainfall as dry ground can quickly become soft, muddy and slippery.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said builders and contractors should regularly assess their sites after any rainfall as dry ground could quickly become soft, muddy and slippery.
“There were almost 4000 injury claims in the construction industry last year and wet weather can only exacerbate the dangers on-site,” Ms. Nielsen said.
“Soft ground should be marked with flags, bollards or treated with crushed rock until it dries out.”
“Care should also be taken with mobile powered machinery such as cranes and elevated work platforms.”
“Traffic should be stopped from entering sites until the ground is deemed safe.”
“Inclement weather does not necessarily make work places unsafe as long as control measures are put in place to reduce any risks,” Ms Nielsen said.
“Planning ahead and regularly checking on the changing conditions at all work sites helps to ensure all workers go home to their families at the end of the day.”
Employers can help manage wet weather hazards by:
- Inspecting the work site to ensure ground stability has not been compromised and foundations are secure.
- Spreading crushed rock on walkways, over mud and placing boot scrapers at access points.
- Ensuring plant operators are aware of the risk posed by waterlogged ground before they begin work.
- Ensuring electrical equipment that has potentially been affected by water is taken out of service until inspected, tested and made safe.
- Identifying soft ground and marking it with flags, bollards or other indicators as a warning to workers.
- Seeking assistance when recovering bogged equipment.
- Avoiding employees working alone and ensuring they have access to a means of communication, either a phone or radio.
WorkSafe Victoria is a global leader in OHS and workers’ compensation.
WorkSafe Victoria plays a critical role in the lives of Victorian employers and workers – as the state’s health and safety regulator and as the manager of Victoria’s workers compensation scheme. In both capacities, employers and workers are at the heart of our service.
Our aim is to keep all workplaces healthy and safe, and to deliver high quality care and treatment when workers are injured.
WorkSafe has a proud history. Over more than 30 years, we have worked hard with employers and workers to create safer workplaces.
In that time, Victoria’s workers’ compensation scheme has helped more than one million injured workers receive compensation, rehabilitation and medical services, while maintaining one of the lowest premium rates in Australia.
However, our workplaces and industries are changing rapidly. New risks and hazards are emerging and community expectations are shifting.
To meet the challenge, WorkSafe has begun modernising its services. We’re aiming to provide an inclusive, empathetic and tailored service for every Victorian who comes into contact with WorkSafe, and embed a proactive, prevention-led approach to health and safety in every workplace across Victoria by 2030.
Like wearing a seatbelt or putting on sunscreen, “prevention-led” thinking will become automatic every time Victorians step into the workplace.
In stronger partnership with the community, we will help educate Victorians in tackling rising workplace issues such as mental injury, bullying, occupational violence and post-traumatic stress disorder.
These crucial changes will ensure that, over the next decade and beyond, WorkSafe continues to lead the way in creating healthier and safer workplaces for all Victorians.
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