The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Risk Assessment - What are Triggers?

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Today I'm presenting a tool box talk on triggers.

It's free to use and you'll find it by clicking here.

If it's useful, please leave a comment.

Best regards.

Gangway safety

Graham Marshall - Sunday, April 24, 2011
Last week I blogged about the relative danger of 'walking' as an activity occuring in homes and workplaces.  You may recall that I mentioned that nearly 4,000 United States citizens die each year as a result of falls on steps and stairs.

Well, today I'm posting an incident investigation which shows a recent example of the potential for harm when the risk associated with steps and stairs are not managed appropriately.

This 'fall from height' incident occured when a ship worker attempted to jump one-metre to the ground from an ill-placed ships gangway. 

See the three pictures and review the incident investigation checklist below.

This picture shows the general position of the gangway.

Here you can see that the gangway ends about 1 metre short of the wharf.

In attempting to jump from the gangway, the injured person's foot became entangled in lines and netting causing him to fall face forward onto the wharf below.

To review the completed incident investigation checklist, simply click here.

To view the Australian Code of Practice on falls, click here.

Free Toolbox Talk - Working At Height

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Just a quick blog today.

Here is a link to a free toolbox talk resource for use by people who may be working at height.

To access the resource, simply click here.

If you use the resource in a toolbox session, please leave a comment.

For access to the Australian Code of Practice on Fall Prevention, simply click here.

Hope these resources are useful to you.  Best regards.

Can you spot the hazards for work at height?

Graham Marshall - Thursday, March 31, 2011
Today I've put together a little test of your hazard spotting ability. 

Below is a single picture showing a work-party doing a simple job at height. 

The image used here is ©Safetyphoto.

All you have to do is identify the hazards you see.

My guess is that you will fail to correctly identify any of the hazards that are present in the job being done.

Furthermore, I've included an answer sheet that I'll use to predict the things that you will incorrectly identify as hazards.

To open the answer sheet, simply click here.


Working at Height JSA

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Working at heights gives rise to a substantial number of serious and sometimes fatal accidents. 

There is no “safe height” and anyone working off the ground is at risk of falling or dropping objects onto other people. 

Potential problems can exist on suspended access platforms, scaffolds, ladders, roofs, open steelwork, excavations and any situation where work is being done in close proximity to edges, holes or fragile flooring materials. 

In our shop you'll find a Job Safety Analysis that is designed to get workers thinking about the hazards they face and how they can control the risk.  

Click here to go straight to the JSA

Hazards on Big Construction Projects

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 31, 2011
The construction project for the LNG Plant at Prigorodnoye on Sakhalin Island in Russia was the biggest project of its type that I have worked on.

The project scale and the significance and size of the hazards associated with that project was simply amazing. 

Following on from last weeks blog and running over a few posts, I'll upload a few photographs that highlight the scale of work faced on the Russian Project.  It was a simply amazing experience and a great honour to work on the project.

Key hazards included:
  • Natural hazards (particularly low ambient temperature in winter and high temperature in summer);
  • Huge sources of kinetic energy including much movement potential in big equipment, pressurizefd equipment, road transportation, etc;
  • Biological hazards (particularly mozzies but also bears, HIV and Hep C virus, etc);
  • Psycho-social hazard associated with work crew being away from home for long periods;
  • Hazardous substances (many types); and
  • Electricity.

SEIC LNG Plant - A Very Big Construction Project

Natural hazard - very cold conditions

Kinetic Hazards - height potential and movement of equipment

Be Safe When Using Ladders

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 16, 2011

Working at height from ladders, stepladders or mobile trestles is a particularly high-risk  activity if the hazards associated with heights are not appropriately controlled. 

Today's post illustrates the harm that can occur when people fall and it also demonstrates the legal implications of a failure to fulfill duty of care for work at height.


Primejade Holdings Pty Ltd ("Primejade") is a commercial property owner that owns and manages Meadow Springs Boulevard Shopping Centre in Mandurah, Western Australia.  

In managing the center, Primejade employed a contractor to provide maintenance and gardening services.

The Incident

On the day of the accident, the contractor was requested to place unused Christmas decorations on the top of a false ceiling, approximately 4 meters above the floor. 

This involved placing a ladder against a wall, and carrying the bags of decorations up the ladder. 

The decorations were then placed on top of the store's false ceiling and the contractor would climb back down the ladder.

At the time of the incident, the contractor had picked up two bags and was climbing the ladder towards the false ceiling. 

The contractor was about 3-4 rungs from the top of the ladder when the base suddenly gave way.

The ladder and the contractor fell to the ground. 

The contractor sustained serious fractures and torn tendons as a result of the fall.

The Prosecution

Primejade was prosecuted and the business was found guilty of "being a principal who in the course of trade or business engaged a contractor to carry out work for it, failed to provide and maintain, so far as practicable, a working environment in which the contractor was not exposed to hazards, being matters over which the principal had the capacity to exercise control, and by that failure caused serious harm to the contractor".

Primjade was fined $25,000 and ordered to pay court costs amounting to $1,421.

Inspecting ladder safety

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Today's simple safety "one per-center" action is to inspect and verify the fitness of ladders being used in your workplace.

Enclosed here is a short video to help get you thinking about what to look for with ladders or to use in a tool-box talk.

Safe flooring for high platforms

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When properly erected scaffolds are first installed (to an acceptable standard and "scaff-tagged"), they are usually strong and solid and provide the maximum amount of protection against falls.

As time goes by, however, scaffolds are often weakened.

In some cases, flooring gets broken, or flooring boards are removed and not replaced.  In other cases, flooring  that is replaced is sometimes put back in haste.

So today's simple safety "one per-center" is to inspect and verify the fitness of flooring materials installed on high platforms in your workplace.

Remember, "one per-center's" take so little effort that there is no excuse to get them wrong!

Guardrails on high platforms

Graham Marshall - Monday, January 10, 2011

When temporary guardrails are first installed on temporary high platforms, they are usually strong and solid and provide the maximum amount of protection against falls.

As time goes by, however, guardrails are often weakened as they get broken, or they're removed and not replaced.

Guardrails that are replaced are sometimes put back in haste.

Weakened guardrails are sometimes more dangerous than no guardrails at all, because they give a false sense of security to workers at height.

So today's simple safety "one per-center" is to inspect and verify the fitness of any guardrails installed on high platforms in your workplace.

Remember, "one per-center's" take so little effort that there is no excuse to get them wrong!

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