OSH alert - Carnarvon working at height breach, no FIPS (February 2017)

Key learnings from a High Potential Incident

Fall from heights iconHPI OSH Alert #493

Date of incident: 21 February 2017

Safety Flash issued: 22 February 2017 

No fall prevention equipment in placeWhat happened?

Two sub-contractors were observed working at height approximately 3 metres off the ground without appropriate controls in place.

There was no barricading/fall protection equipment in use and the ladder used to access the platform was not secured.

The sub-contractors were filling formwork with rammed earth that was being shovelled from a bobcat bucket.

The task was not suitably supervised at the time and had the potential for workers to fall onto the concrete base and steel reinforcement below.

Mobile plant left unattended

Why did this happen?

  • The contractor’s Site Manager did not check the JSEA or Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS).
  • The JSEA and SWMS were not amended, when the working procedure changed.
  • The contractor’s Site Manager did not use the permit to work.
  • The working platform was not checked for compliance.
  • The contractor’s High Risk Work Assessment was not completed.

What will the business area involved in the incident do to stop this from happening again?

  • Relaunch the method for compliant scaffold/work platforms and work processes.
  • Ensure all contractors site managers are re-supplied with the Contractor’s Clearance to Work process and Water Corporation’s site access requirements.
  • Review our contractor’s HSE risk checklist to include ‘alert flags’ to ensure that high risk subcontractors are easily identified and corrective action is taken for them to meet the contractor’s standards and legislative requirements.

What will our organisation do to stop this from happening again?

  • Ensure the contractor complies with its corrective actions over the remainder of the contractual term.
  • Ensure that contractors reinforce the correct Access to Site Procedure to all their sub-contractors working on Water Corporation properties..


What key learnings can you discuss with your team to stop this from happening again?

  • How do we ensure that contractors reinforce the Access to Site Procedure to all sub-contractors working on Corporation properties?
  • How can we plan our work to ensure that High risk work is supervised wherever possible?
  • The Corporation must not assume contractor competency and performance in managing their sub-contractors based on a lack of lag data. Instead processes must exist to ensure oversight and tracking of Contractor performance. What processes can we put in place to improve this?

Further information

If you would like further information about anything included in this HPI OSH Alert, please contact Charis Neumann, Snr OSH Analyst Incidents on (08) 6330 6629.