Spotlight on safe loads and working near water

Smithbridge was contracted to move three large fuel tanks each weighing 420 tonnes from the decommissioned Hydro Tasmania Bell Bay Power Station to Mayfield Terminal in Newcastle. The project provides a practical example of good practice when transporting complex loads, as well as planning and executing crane lifts nearby to water.

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Sally Austin
People Profile - Mellanie Pascual

Mellanie is the OHS Administrator at Smithbridge Guam since 2016. We recently spent some time with Mellanie to learn more about her unexpected path into safety and how she is working to embed safety systems at Smithbridge Guam.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Manchester, United Kingdom

This tragic incident highlights the sometimes fatal consequences of not utilising a safety pin to secure an outrigger for transit.

We discuss the obvious learnings from any incident of this nature for all owners and operators of vehicles with outrigger and stabilising arms to employ.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Noumea, New Caledonia

In November 2014, a truck trailer was loaded with the counterweights and hook blocks for a 270km journey. When the driver approached a set of traffic lights, the braking caused the counterweights and hook blocks to separate from its restraints and slide forward hitting the rear of the cab. While only minor injuries were sustained by the driver, this incident highlights the potentially fatal consequences of not adequately securing a load before a journey.

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Sally Austin
Eliminating hazards related to brakes and brake failure

In the event there is a failure to engage brakes or, if for some reason a vehicle’s brakes do fail, the consequences can be fatal. We investigated some control methods and found the standards and requirements around brakes, brake failure, and rolling vehicles varies significantly between different countries, states and companies.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Cairns to Brisbane, Australia

Following the successful demolition of a jetty head and construction of a new wharf at a shipyard in Cairns, the piling leader fell from the barge and lost in the ocean during its return voyage to Brisbane. Although no injuries were sustained, the loss of the piling leader is a costly reminder of the need for comprehensive loading and unloading plans.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Milford Sound, New Zealand

In August 2012, a 55t crawler crane tipped over the side of a pontoon eventually being caught on an existing pile, avoiding sinkage of the machinery. The crane was being operated from a flexi-float modular barge when the incident occurred, resulting in significant property damage.

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Sally Austin
Electrical Safety – the basics of electricity

Electricity is such a central part of everyday life that we forget how dangerous it can be. The risk of injury and death by electrocution is present with voltages as low as 230 volts, so it is important to always be aware of electrical hazards, especially in high-risk environments like construction sites.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Gold Coast, Australia

In May 2017, a near miss occurred when a 130T Grove GMK5130 crane lunged forward due to overloading. No injuries or damage were sustained but there was high potential for serious consequences. A breakdown in communication, time pressures and repetition of lift were contributing factors and the crane was not sufficiently derated for engineered demolition.

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Sally Austin
MATES in Construction – supporting the construction industry

Each year over 2,500 Australian’s die by suicide, more than twice the number of deaths from traffic accidents. In 2008, the MATES in Construction program was established in response to a report by the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention commissioned by industry which found the male suicide rate in the Queensland construction industry was 1.75 times greater than the general Australian male suicide rate.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Auckland, New Zealand

An Auckland Cranes Kato SR250 Rough Terrain Crane was involved in an incident where a winch rope made contact with high voltage power lines. Fortunately workers escaped fatal injuries but damage to equipment and vehicles was significant.

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Sally Austin
Look Up and Live

Cranes and live power lines are a dangerous mix. We hear from The Crane Industry Council of Australia about the vital steps that must be taken before commencing any work where power lines are present.

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Sally Austin
Incident Report - Army Bay, New Zealand

In May 2018, a crew from Smith Cranes’ Auckland branch were undertaking a job at the Army Bay sewer outfall project. The key findings of the incident revealed a major contributing factor being the failure to carry out comprehensive lift planning prior to commencing the job, including assessment of the shaft depth and the crane’s reach.

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Sally Austin