When 10-metre-high scaffolding toppled over on a busy street in Gosford on NSW’s Central Coast on 19 August 2020, it’s remarkable only one person was injured. Occurring late afternoon at peak school time, the only other damage was a row of crushed cars.
SafeWork NSW had issued an alert the previous day in response to the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast of strong and gusty winds up to 50km/h expected. The alert reminded managers, supervisors and workers of their responsibility in such conditions: “you must proactively manage the risks caused by high winds on construction sites, as they can cause death and destruction”.
Crushed cars and damaged buildings are an unfortunate outcome, but the deadly consequences of scaffolding collapses are a reminder of the importance of following best practice in line with government legislation.
Safety in scaffolding has been a focus for SafeWork NSW throughout 2020. On-the-spot fines of $720 for individuals and $3,600 for employers can be issued to those who place workers lives at risk from falls from heights, or for undertaking scaffolding work without a high-risk work licence.
Following the death of 18-year-old Christopher Cassaniti in a scaffolding collapse in April 2019 in Sydney, there has been a spotlight on workplace safety. His mother, Patrizia Cassaniti, has been championing ‘Christopher’s Law’ which is calling for workplace safety laws, including independent safety officers on job sites and strict tests to get the white card.
6 Ways Pegasus Can Help with Scaffolding Safety
At Pegasus, safety is our priority. Maintaining workforce safety is about more than ticking off a checklist—it’s ensuring serious injury and death can be avoided. As an organisation, you need to know your people are operating competently and safely at all times.
With our complete Workforce Management Solution, here’s how Pegasus can help ensure scaffolding safety on your job sites.
1. Ensure Company and Worker Compliance
There are three key things construction clients come to Pegasus for, according to Client Account Manager Ilche Vojdanoski: worker compliance, control of who can access the site, and emergency evacuation measures.
“One of the key things our construction clients want us to look after is the compliance of their subcontractors and the workers. This can include things like collecting licences and insurances for the company,” said Ilche. “It might be collecting tickets and completing inductions for their workforce to make sure they’re actually qualified to work on the project.”
The Pegasus platform collects and verifies licences, insurances and competencies which can be reported on immediately in the event of an accident. Any companies and workers who are shown to not be compliant, or have expired competencies, can be denied access to your site. Through Pegasus Company Pre-Qualification and Worker Competency Management, you can ensure those working for you have the correct qualifications and skills.
2. Manage Worker Inductions
Ensuring each one of your workers undergoes mandatory site induction and training specific to scaffolding safety culminates in only skilled and compliant workers being granted access to your job sites.
Pegasus Induction and Learning Management delivers training online or at site. Paired with assessments to test worker comprehension, their competency is connected to your roles, sites and projects.
Another way to ensure your workers are adhering to Work Health and Safety standards is by having key people complete the Site Safety Supervisor Course, which gives participants a Statement of Attainment in:
- RIIRIS301E Apply Risk Management Processes (G1)
- RIIWHS301E Conduct Safety & Health Investigations (G8)
- RIICOM301E Communicate Information (G9)
- RIIRIS402E Carry Out Risk Management Processes (G2)
3. Utilise Broadcasting for Clear Communication
Broadcasting is a feature of the Pegasus Client Portal where users can send SMS and/or email to select recipients, direct from the system, at any time.
The contact details of all contracting companies and their workers are in your system, empowering you to keep them informed as quickly and as often as you need.
When severe weather warnings come in through the Bureau of Meteorology, you can use Broadcast to alert workers from impacted job sites, reminding them of their safety obligations.
4. Alerts at Pegasus Logpoints
Every worker who attends your job sites is required to login through a Pegasus site access point (e.g. kiosk, logpoint) before being granted access. Alongside confirming workers are fit for work, you can put a message at these points to alert workers to weather conditions which may impact on their work. It’s a good reminder in the event of extreme weather conditions to ensure scaffolding best practices are being followed.
5. Toolbox Talks Logged in Mobile App
During your daily toolbox talk (or pre-start meeting), you can discuss implications in relation to weather alerts with your workers to encourage them to adhere to proper safety standards. You can keep a record of the workers who were present on the Pegasus Mobile App so you can effectively manage your risk and provide accurate reporting in the event of an accident or collapse.
6. Leverage Asset Management
In late 2019, a report on more than 700 building sites by SafeWork NSW uncovered that about 44 per cent of the scaffolding on them had parts missing, while unlicensed workers had altered or removed scaffolding components on 36 per cent of sites.
The Pegasus Asset Management platform ensures all plant and assets are fit for use and compliant to Work Health and Safety regulations. Plant includes items as diverse as lifts, cranes, computers, machinery, conveyors, forklifts, vehicles, power tools and amusement devices, including scaffolding.
Are you looking for a software solution that will help manage risk in relation to scaffolding collapse? Pegasus is the workforce management platform with custom solutions ranging from pre-qualification and competency management systems, through to learning management and site access technology.