Australian Senate provides update on aluminium composite cladding use

Following concerns with the use of aluminium composite cladding in Australia, on 5 September the Senate Economics References Committee released its interim report on aluminium composite cladding as part of the broader non-conforming building product inquiry. The report is substantive (100 pages) and the recommendations made are summarized as follows: The Commonwealth Government urgently implement a…

Company fined over failure to manage asbestos

The sentencing of an Upper Hutt-based company on health and safety charges is a reminder for construction companies to be fully aware of the regulations and obligations for working with asbestos containing materials. Hutt Construction 2013 Limited was fined $26,812.50 and ordered to pay $7,500 in reparations for its failure to identify and manage asbestos…

The Cost of Failure in Health and Safety

Photo credit: http://www.cover4directors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ConstructionHS5.jpg In the past week two construction workers have been tragically killed in a work site incident in Perth. This may serve as an important reminder to all involved in the industry that construction sites are an inherently dangerous workplace and that a lax attitude to health and safety can have catastrophic consequences for…

Onerous Health and Safety fines about to increase

A company fined $116,000 over a workplace death is likely to be taking a second look at its in-house maintenance procedures. Roy Chan was tragically killed at the end of 2013 when he was crushed by the crane he was carrying out maintenance on. Mr Chan was greasing the crane when he inadvertently activated a…

Cranes topple onto row of buildings

Astounding footage has hit the internet today showing two cranes toppling onto a row of buildings in the Dutch city of Alphen ann den Rijn. The cranes were stationed on a pontoon and were undertaking the restoration of a bridge at the time. Click here for the video. It is understood that up to 20…

Health and Safety reform

The proposed Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW Act) is likely to be passed in the second half of 2015. Recently, the MBIE released consultation drafts of the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2015 and the Health and Safety at Work (Major Hazard Facilities) Regulations 2015. (Click here…

Improving conditions for migrant construction workers in Qatar

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has told Qatar’s emir that the 2022 World Cup host nation must do more to improve working conditions for migrant construction workers (read the Herald article here). There are currently anywhere between 700,000 and one million migrant workers building Qatar’s World Cup stadiums (and other mega projects), out of a total…

Scaffolding shortage threatening rebuild?

Industry body Scaffolding, Access and Rigging New Zealand (SARNZ) says a shortage in suitably skilled scaffolders risks slowing the country’s busy construction sector (read more here). Currently NZ has approximately 1300 scaffolders with the authority to build scaffolds above 5 metres in height. SARNZ predicts that twice this number will be required to successfully meet…

Improvement in New Zealand’s health & safety statistics

A research project undertaken by University of Canterbury Engineering honours students has found an improvement in New Zealand’s construction industry health and safety statistics. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of construction industry-related health and safety incidents in the OECD, however over the past decade this rate has dropped 20 percent in terms…