Category eight – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety
David Packwood, an electrical crew member at RoadTek, developed the electrical cable pulley system after he identified a safety issue when replacing traffic signal cabling. The system involves a light weight cable pulley mechanism that is attached to the traffic signal pole and used to haul cable through the mast arm.
Before the pulley system, workers would access the cable at an entry point at the junction box, usually three metres above the ground. Standing on a platform ladder or elevated work platform, workers would manually haul the cable up the mast from this position, with only a worker on at the base of the mast to offer any assistance.
The electrical cable pulley system reduces the risk of a manual handling injury and physical exertion, as well as the need to work at height for extended periods of time.
RoadTek, before and after using the Portable Cable Pulley
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Film – RoadTek
On Screen Text
David Packwood, RoadTek Electrical Crew Member:
My names David Packwood, I work for civil construction at RoadTek.
One of our main jobs is specifically pulling up traffic cables up the traffic poles, and it's pretty intense work.
One night shift, we have a massive job to do of re-cabling. And what was happening was they were getting on ladders, and it's looking dangerous already, just getting up on ladders, and they were trying to pull heavy traffic cable up while balancing on a ladder. And I thought 'this is a very dangerous situation for the people working there'.
So I went home, and I actually built the cable pulley system to go on top of the post. So therefore the blokes actually pull up the cables, once they've mounted the little invention, from the ground, so they don't have to worry about hurting their backs or anything like that.
Bill Lansbury, General Manager, RoadTek:
Individuals know the things that are dangerous in their daily activities. So the highlight for me was that it was identified as a hazard, the guys have actually gone away, thought about a better way to do it, and come up with a very simple idea. And that just makes it so much better because they own it, they use it and they'll do it.
Senior management across our organisation, RoadTek, within Transport and Main Roads, is always keen to ensure that any of these sorts of ideas, particularly that the field workers come up with, are shared across the wider organisation. We have about 1200 guys involved in doing daily operational activities, so this was a typical sort of homemade idea that's now evolved into something that's going to be useful for well over 100-odd employees.
If we had a look over our last five years of ladder related or manual handling related injuries while doing this type of work, we're certainly up in the twenties or thirties sort of number of incidents of significance. Since this device has been implemented at the site on the Gold Coast, those injuries and incidents have basically reduced to zero in this particular case. So, I think if we extrapolate that across the state, I think there is a great opportunity for a more safe workplace. It's as simple as that.
The jobs get done a lot safer and quicker, and everybody's happy.
On Screen Text
RUN TIME: 2 min 39 sec