National News

While this is a Victorian article it is relevant nationally

WorkSafe Victoria recently issued a safety warning over continued wet weather and said that construction sites and farms are of particular risk at this time of year with mud and waterlogged 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.

Builders and contractors should regularly assess their sites after any rainfall as dry ground could quickly become soft, muddy and slippery, said WorkSafe Victoria executive director of health and safety Julie Nielsen.

“There were almost 4000 injury claims in the construction industry last year and wet weather can only exacerbate the dangers on-site,” 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.”

Farmers are also urged to consider the risks associated with the wet weather and inspect the environment before commencing any work.

The regulator advised farmers to seek assistance when recovering bogged equipment or animals and make sure they always have access to a mobile phone or radio.

“Inclement weather does not necessarily make workplaces unsafe as long as control measures are put in place to reduce any risks,” 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.”

WorkSafe Victoria said 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 or animals.
  • Avoiding employees working alone and ensuring they have access to a means of communication, either a phone or radio.