Category one – Best solution to an identified work health and safety issue
The maintenance of 1706 marine piles across John Holland's Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal Marine Project posed a number of serious risks. The piles are hard to access and meant building complex scaffolds at height, with personnel working in harnesses over water, in tidal zones, with materials being manually handled in both downwards and upwards directions. This presented risks including falls from height, falling/dropped objects, manual handling/musculoskeletal injuries, entanglement in operating conveyors, wave/tidal action, drowning, congestion and being struck by moving vehicles on the jetty.
John Holland's solution to the accessibility of the piles was the conceptualisation and development of a mobile swing-stage gantry, which eliminated the high risk to personnel involved with drop/suspended scaffolds and reduced the significant loss of time associated with building scaffolds and working around tides.
The second hazard was the protective coatings on the piles. These were mostly tar epoxy coatings. Blasting and painting of these coatings is hazardous, posing both immediate and long-term risks for workers and those around them.
John Holland's solution to this was to stop using the coating. Instead, the piles were wrapped with a protective tape wrap system. This eliminated the risk to people associated with abrasive blasting and re-painting.