Quarry Oversight (OHS) Project

By on February 7, 2015

CHRIS WALSHOTS, Acting Group Leader in the VWA’s Earth Resources team explains the upcoming limited Quarry Oversight (OHS) project.

“As discussed at the October 2014 Earth Resources Tripartite Safety Forum, inspectors from the VWA’s Earth Resources team will be undertaking a limited number of quarry visits across Victoria,
with a focus on manual handling, dangerous machines (guarding) and slips, trips & falls. This project will initially involve 25 visits to sites across the state and is planned to commence in January
2015,” said Mr Walschots.

Key areas of the inspections will include:

  • Reviewing the sites risk controls adopted to reduce the number of musculoskeletal injuries within the Victorian quarrying sector;
  • Reviewing work areas for slips, trips & falls hazards within the quarry pit, stockpiles, buildings and accessible areas of fixed and mobile plant,
  • Where needed, increase knowledge of Hazard Identification processes and risk controls associated with hazardous manual handling, slips trips & falls and fixed/mobile plant danger points;
  • Increasing the level of compliance in relation to the safe access and manual handling of plant components and materials during equipment shutdown/maintenance and repair activities.
  • Increase the level of compliance in the areas of access to plant, equipment, buildings/structures, walkways and footpaths.

Sites will be selected on a risk basis and as part of this project, Earth Resources Inspectors will, where necessary, utilise the expertise of VWA’s ergonomists.

Most of these workplace safety issues are drawn on the previous observations raised by Inspectors since 2013 and the number of incidents and standardised claims since 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 as shown in Table 1 and table 2 below.

Table 1- Number of claims by Hazard Type
Hazard type                            Standardised
Falls, Trips and Slips               10
Hitting Objects                          2
Being Hit by Moving Object      7
Sound and Pressure                8
Manual handling                      32
Other Mechanism                    5
All                                            64

Table 2- Number of claims by injury Type
Nature of injury                    Standardised
Fractures                               8
Musculoskeletal Disorders     34
Open Wound                         3
Contusion/Crushing               0
Deafness                               7
Other injuries/diseases         12
All                                          64

“Task observations and reviewing of elements of the employer’s OHS systems will also be part of the inspector’s visits. The project outcomes will be reassessed in the next financial year with the
aim to direct resources to the areas which will have the greatest safety improvement outcomes,” said Chris.

As part of the focus the VWA’s Comprehensive Quarry Checklist will be utilised by Inspectors.

To find out more about some of these topics visit:
www.vwa.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-andsafety-topics/manual-handling
www.vwa.vic.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-andsafety-topics/slips-trips-and-falls

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