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WHS in WA: Awareness Training

The core of an effective health and safety culture in a workplace is the implementation of health and safety training and communication with all personal involved in the business.

Awareness Training can come in many forms including but not limited to:

  • General Health & Safety Awareness
  • Hazard and Risk Management Training
  • Task Specific Training – Manual Handling, Ergonomics, Emergency Training, etc
  • Inductions – Company and Job Specific
  • Incident Reporting and Investigation Training

GWM Consultants can conduct any of the above awareness training or develop customised awareness training to your business’ specific needs.


When a lack of project planning and training leads to a fatality

A landscaping business was contracted by a local council to undertake landscaping works outside a community centre. The works included the use of a bobcat to level the grounds. During the project a member of the community was hit by the reversing bobcat resulting in a fatality.

A lack of Safety Awareness

Lack of project management from the council, the contractor and the operator all contributed to this member of the public being killed. Simple steps that should have been followed weren’t and this resulted in a fatality that should never have occurred.

Worksafe and the Perth Magistrates Court findings.

The bobcat operator was fined $20,000 for failing to be aware of his surroundings and causing an incident that resulted in a death.

The business was fined $75,000 for failing to implement systems to ensure the safety of the site and public.

The council was fined $20,000 plus more than $2,600 in costs for failing to ensure its contractors provided and maintained a safe work environment.

Health and Safety Lessons

The Council’s lack of Contractor Management is one of the contributing factors that caused this incident to occur. The council failed to ensure that the contractor completed a job safety assessment (JSA) or similar risk assessment process and implemented the controls. By overseeing the JSA/Risk assessment process this would have ensured that the Contractor had all the relevant health and safety systems in place.

If the council had assessed the landscaping contractor’s safety processes it would have found that they lacked proper traffic management and project management planning and this could have then been addressed and rectified prior to the commencement of the project.

The Contractor failed in its duty of care by not having the appropriate safety systems in place. There should have been a fully implement project plan in place to identify all risks and controls required to operate the project safely. 

When operating any form of machinery companies are required to have a traffic management plan in place to protect both the operators as well as pedestrians (both workers and general public). This company failed to implement a full traffic management plan which therefore allowed the pedestrian to enter the “work site” and come into the path of the bobcat.

The driver was operating the bobcat in a manner that was not safe as there was a known, significant blind spot to the rear of the bobcat. He was also operating the bobcat whilst the other members of the team were at lunch. This resulted in the driver being unaware of his surroundings which included the location of the member of public who was fatally injured.

Poor planning resulted in a fatality.

By following simple steps at the start of a project this fatality could have been avoided.