Work & Play; It's Risky Business
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Scooped by Kacie Tulliani!

Meet my Partners Work Crew.....

Meet my Partners Work Crew..... | Work & Play; It's Risky Business |
Kacie Tulliani's insight:

My other half (Baz) is not fantastic at following instructions (well at least those given by me)......when I said take a photo of you at work he took that as take a photo of what he does at work.....Baz is a Plumber and a foreman on some occasions (depending on the worksite) the photo he has taken is of pipe fitout to be installed at the worksite he is currently on.


The crew members in this photo are exposed to risked associated with cranes and suspended loads. As you can also see this is taking place on a public road (which had traffic restrictions in place) but it is a very busy tourist location in Sydney with many tourists/members of the public stopping to watch.


When most people think of plumbers they think about the dirty work - cleaning blocked drains or toliets, when Baz and I started going out (a number of years ago now) he introduced me to a whole new side of the plumbing industry the "clean plumbing" or "construction plumbing".


Plumbers in the construction industry are exposed to multiple risks (and plumbing in general is a lot riskier than I imagined) which include:


- working near/with excavation sites which have a risk of side wall collapse of collapsing nearby structures.


- Manul handling associated injuries


- Contact with underground services (electricity/gas) which could result in electricution


- Waterbourne pathogens exposing plumbers to infectious dieseases such as hepatitis, cholera and dysentery.


- Severe cuts, abrasions or electric shock from power tools, saws, cutters and tin snips


- Exposure to hazardous substances like PVC, glues, chlorine and priming fluids.


- insect, spider and even snake bites.


- Exposure to gas or ignition of gas resulting in explosions or asphyxiastion.


- Working at heights


- Working in confined spaces (the pipe photograhed above is to be installed just above the sea wall to take water from the ocean into the building to be used for cooling purposes - this is a confined space).


- Public access to construction sites and protecting members of the public as well as employees.



The plumbing industry within construction is just a small piece of the pie when it comes to is no wonder why there is such a great focus on the construction industry when so many OHS issues may emerge when not managed correctly.

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Guy & Shaun....Horticulturalist

Guy & Shaun....Horticulturalist | Work & Play; It's Risky Business |
Kacie Tulliani's insight:

Ignoring the fact that the work day is over, Shaun (right) had a quick lesson from Guy - his supervisor on the signs of deteriorating plants due do insect infestation........a great opportunity for me to grab the two of them and discuss OHS issues in the workplace.


So what are the OHS issues for horticulturalists?


Shaun & Guy are both primarily outdoor workers so are exposed to the elements, in summer they deal with extreme heat and high UV exposure and in winter they deal with the cooler temperatures. At the moment Sydney is experiencing a lot of rain which also impacts on their work "If we were to stop work for every weather condition we would never get the job done, we really need to be prepared for all conditions" said Shaun.


Slips, trips and falls is also very common, with working in parks, nature strips and gardens the ground surface is not always solid and compact often creating a very hazardous environment. Quality footwear (with ankle support) and trying to clear the pathway before entering an overgrown garden assists with preventing this risk.


Manual handling when preparing hedges or garden beds, there can be a lot of lifting, moving and occasionally overhead work, training in correct lifting techniques as well as manual handling guidelines is essential before starting out.


Chemical exposure, although to mix and apply pesticides/herbicides chemical training is required as well as permits to be issued for select spray period horticulturalists are often in contact with chemicals on a regular basis and due to the training requirements and risks associated with this task, it is not often rotated between employees.


Other risks associated with outdoor work for horticulturalists (which may be overlooked by many other outdoor workers) include: 


- Swooping birds during nesting season (remeber these guys are maintaining garden beds which is often a great environment for bird nests)

- Insect/spider bites and the occasional snake (not what people expect in the heart of Sydney)


- Allergies due to plants is also something many people experience when starting in the field especially when they are unsure of the plant species or introduced to a new species.

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Meet Coral an Admisitration Assistant

Meet Coral an Admisitration Assistant | Work & Play; It's Risky Business |
Kacie Tulliani's insight:

Coral is one of our administration assistants, assisting the Northern Region management team.


As Coral's title suggests her primary duty is administration, individual tasks include collating our reports, raising purchase order, general reception, accounts payable/receivable, payroll entry just to name a few.


Coral is exposed to all the usual culprits when it comes to risks in the office, repetative strain injury (RSI),poor posture, incorrect work-station setup, verbal abuse from client/suppliers, manual handling (from carrying mail, paper reams, etc), slips/trips & falls.


Unlike many administrators who also conduct reception duties, Coral's workstation is located in a busy operations department and she feels a lot safer in this environment than previous workplaces when she was often working alone at the front of the premises or downstairs from the main business. Her concerns when working alone in these offices was the lack of security and often dealing with angry and aggressive clients, reception area need to be open for people to access the site but this can reduce the security.

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Meet awesome team mate & umpire

Meet awesome team mate & umpire | Work & Play; It's Risky Business |
Kacie Tulliani's insight:

Kellie and I play netball together on a couple of teams (yep a little addicted to playing), but as Kel just can't get enough netball often before or after she plays she will umpire a game or two.


At first when I asked Kellie what were the OHS issues surrounding being an umpire she had a laugh and gave me that look "seriously it's umpiring" - but when she actually thought about it umpires are at risk of the same potential injuries as the players.


Everyone who plays netball (especially as you get older) realises for a non-contact game there is always a lot of contact and their is a lot on impact taken on your knees and ankles....this is no different for umpires (good umpires that do their job and run the court) who are also running the length of the court and stop/starting suddenly with the change of ball direction.


The risk of injury is one that all of Kellie's team mates remind her of especially when she starts to umpir multiple games heading into the final series.......if she is injured while umpiring it will also restrict her playing for the team, a risk that often she (or many other umpires that play) is not willing to make during the final series.


Kellie is also faced with player aggression, especially when it gets towards the end of the season when a win, lose or even goal count can change the final series. Kellie has never had anyone threaten her and has a really strong personality so when players give her grief she gives it back and uses her position to give players a warning or send them off ourt when required.


We have both seen what can happen to a new or inexperienced umpire when the calls aren't upto scratch or when one team takes the game a little more seriusly than another or when the people on the sideline all become experts so another risk for umpires is physcholigical stress. If the umpire doesn't have the ability to zone out and hold firm they can be destroyed by the players and supporters in an hour........kellie has had to speak with teams at quarter.half time on some occassions she likes to remind them "you aren't playing for sheep stations ladies and the world isn't going to end".


There have being many instances (outside of netball/across many codes of sport) where umpires/referees are assaulted verbally or physically due to the results of the game. Many of these are at a local club level and the umpires/referees are volunteers. Greater care should be taken to provide adequate training and assessment (including a personality assessment) before appointing volunteers to these roles to ensure their safety in what is a workplace although often overlooked and considered a sporting activity.


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Meet Dave an Electrician

Meet Dave an Electrician | Work & Play; It's Risky Business |
Kacie Tulliani's insight:

Dave is an electrician working for a NSW power company, today (or rather the day the photo was taken) he was conducting street light repairs.


When you think about electrician or electrical work the greatest risk is electricity and the risk of electrocution, however in this situation there are also a number of other risks associated with the task.


Dave is utilising an EWP to gain access to the light, effectively he is now exposed to the risks of "working at heights", although many people assume that he is safe whilst he is in the "bucket" there is still a risk of falling (for example if a third party vehicle collides with his stationary EWP), so it is a safety requirement for Dave to wear a harness even though he remains in the bucket at all times.


The light Dave is working on is located on the bend of a busy street located between a shopping centre and rail station, although this is a local road there is a constant flow of traffic with commuters using the nearby "Kiss & Ride" drop off/pick up point. Dave needs to be conscience of this traffic and a traffic management plan must be implemented prior to the commencement of work to minimise the risk of a vehicle travelling around the bend colliding with his stationary EWP.


Dave also has a duty of care for the members of the public accessing the area below and has to take great care that objects are not dropped from the EWP whilst he is working.


Equipment failure is a risk when working with any plant/equipment. When working with EWP's if this item fails when in operation the worker (in this situation) Dave could be exposed to potentially fatal risks. Dave always conducts a pre-start check of his equipment and tests the operation of the EWP before travelling to site to minimise the risk of this occurence. In addition his employer also ensures regular maintenance of the EWP including electrical safety testing.


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