White Card Update: 1 Worker Killed and 3 Injured In Construction Accident

An accident which took place on a residential construction site has claimed the life of one worker and injured another 3.

The workers were injured on a building site in Oregon in The United States but the lesson is one that building industry members anywhere can learn from about the importance of safety and particularly the role of good housekeeping in ensuring safety.

The accident took place when workers were attempting to install a wooden truss when it tipped over and caused a dozen other wooden trusses to be knocked over and onto the workers.

This excerpt from an article on OregonLive.com explains:

13365551-mmmainOne worker was killed and three others were injured Friday at a residential construction site near Sandy.


Authorities were called about 2:40 p.m. to the 45400 block of Southeast Jadrny Road after a wooden truss tipped over during installation and knocked a dozen others onto the men, said Deputy Chief Phil Schneider of the Sandy Fire District.


The workers were from Stalcup Roofing and Construction, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.


One man died at the scene. Another was flown to OHSU Hospital in Portland with apparently serious injuries, said Deputy Marcus Mendoza, a sheriff’s spokesman.


A third man was taken to Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center and a fourth to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Schneider said. Both had apparently minor injuries.


The workers’ identities were not released.


The incident is under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division.


Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2013/09/2_workers_reportedly_injured_1.html

This incident got me thinking about the need for good housekeeping on building sites because had the dozen or so wooden trusses not been left unattended and unsafely stacked this incident could have been avoided.

There should be a safe system for collecting, storing and disposing of excess and/or waste materials as well as adequate space for storing of materials and plant.

It is the responsibility of the principal contractor (or relevant person) to implement and maintain the safe housekeeping practices for workers that apply to their work as well as manage risks from protruding objects such as exposed nails or vertical reinforcing steel. Principal contractors should also ensure that all workers are trained on these safe housekeeping procedures before they begin on the site.

This is also why general construction safety training is such an important issue. Workers would not know good safety practices such as the need for good housekeeping if they have not undergone the appropriate safety training. This safety training should take the form of The White Card course which is the national qualification for construction workers entering the building industry in Oz, whether they work on residential or commercial sites, permanently, temporarily or part time.

The information gained through the White Card Course will help you avoid both the legal ramifications of working without a White Card and help workers avoid physical harm such as sickness and injuries sustained due to construction accidents.