Elevating work platforms have been linked to hundreds of workplace injuries and a string of fatalities, with incidents resulting from structural failures, collisions and poor ventilation, Safe Work Australia has warned in releasing new guidance on the hazardous equipment.
An employer has agreed to implement a new permit system and other enforceable undertakings after a safety inspector witnessed its excavator enter the "no go zone" of powerlines. Meanwhile, a drug trafficker has been denied a labour-hire licence in one of a recent spate of refusals.
An entry permit holder's compliance with a site's directions and requests serves its own critical safety function, the Federal Court has stressed in imposing record entry fines on a union and six officials.
Many workers who perform ground support tasks for mobile elevating work platforms have not been trained in emergency descent procedures, a WHS regulator has found in a campaign triggered by a fatality inquest. The regulator has also revealed its expectations around ladder use.
An employer has been fined $450,000, over an injury-causing fall, in one of the first cases finalised under Western Australia's toughened penalty regime, while a business with a poor communication system has been fined heavily over a fatal forklift incident.