ABC WHS emails + attachments

TO: Steve Murray, National Manager Studios & Locations

Dear Steve,

As elected Health and Safety Representative from workgroups in Ripponlea,VIC,  I am writing to you in your capacity as the relevant duty holder under Section 20 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (“ the WHS Act’). I would like to log issues about health and safety concerns workers have raised with me in relation to scaffolding work practices at ABC OB’s at VFL matches on Saturdays.  

ABC OB crew members have reported potentially hazardous situations in dissembling elevated camera scaffolds on VFL OB’s.

In particular the concerns are:

  1. Crew are being required to dissemble scaffolds in the dark and at height after the OB during the packup period.
  2. Crew are being required to dissemble scaffolds in heavy dew, rain and slippery conditions during the packup period.

Additionally, the safety concerns vary from venue to venue and time of day. Some venues have adequate floodlighting in the vicinity of the scaffolding while others are in darkness. Scaffold height and complexity also varies according to the venue.

I would like to better understand the risk management process undertaken, and how it was consistent with the Safe Work Australia code of practice “How to manage work health and safety risks”   Could you please provide relevant information and records relating to the Work Health and Safety risk assessment process, including any identified hazards and control measures, related to erection and disassembly of ABC camera scaffolding.

After crew raised concerns, the relevant Technical Producer, Richard Griffiths has changed workplace control measures to reduce the risk of scaffolding incidents.

  1. These changes have included:
  2. Bringing forward the scaffold disassembly time to make use of twilight.
  3. Using no-bolt scaffold with some extra tube and fitting bracing to reduce disassembly time.
  4. Prioritising scaffold disassembly.
  5. Providing crew with headlamp torches. The torches throw insufficient illumination for night work
  6. Assuring that a licensed scaffolder is always listed on the crew.
  7. Allowing riggers full access to derig without inexperienced camera ops etc.
  8. Complete cable and other ground based equipment in the dark.

However, not all these control measures cannot be implemented at all VFL venues and location and complexity of scaffolds vary greatly.

I require the ABC provide me with the following information in relation to this:

  1. Operational procedures for working on scaffolds at night and at height
  2. Operational procedures for working in darkness
  3. Risk assessment with management guidelines. Are these required at each VFL site?
  4. Are specific SOP’s available for this part of OB work?
  5. Nominating the responsible person (ie TP or Prod Manager etc) for making assessments on scaffolding safety on the day.

As an elected HSR I will write to workers in the respective work groups advising that I  have raised these concerns in writing.  I require your answer no later 12pm on Tuesday the 25th of July 2017.

Regards

David Vinycomb

HSR 

David Vinycomb Senior Technical Producer, VIC News &  Production Resources


From: Julianne Goss

Sent: Tuesday, 25 July 2017 4:55 PM

To: David Vinycomb 

Cc: Richard Griffiths; Stephen Murray; Frank Chiodi; Francesca Belli 

Subject: RE: OH& S issues VFL scaffolding.

Hi David,

Thanks for your email raising concerns about the scaffolding work practices on VFL.

Richard Griffiths brought these issues to light with me in a meeting I had with him on Tuesday 11th July. Richard was very proactive in suggesting possible solutions and I approved the purchase of helmet torches at Richard’s request. I’m glad to see you have included these in your email to acknowledge we are working together to minimise the risks associated with derigging the scaffold in the dark.

Richard and I will have a phone hook-up tomorrow to review how those measures are working so far. As Richard has mentioned to me, we can’t really use the controlled environment of the beautifully lit Simonds Stadium as a test, the real test to implement these new measures, will be Williamstown this Saturday. He plans to report back after that as to whether the 7 safety changes referred to below will ensure a safer environment for our crew.

I have included the answers to your questions 1-4 from the VFL Production Manager - Francesca Belli below and attached the risk assessment from Jam TV and Francesca for this week’s venue.

Regarding your question 5. As you know Dave, WHS is everyone’s responsibility and we are open to any suggestions that you or anyone on the crew may have to minimise potential harm.

On broadcast day - The responsible person making the decision on scaffolding is the Technical Producer, as the PM is not on location. We are hopeful the strategies put in place thus far, will allow a safer environment for the derigging crew. We will continue reviewing this ongoing for each venue throughout the VFL season.

Dave, I can ensure you, if Richard decided it was too dark to derig the scaffolding and that it would put the crew at an unacceptable risk on the day, we would support him in walking away and collecting it on the Monday.

Thanks

Julianne

I request the ABC provide me with the following information in relation to this. Namely:

  1. Operational procedures for working on scaffolds at night and at height - Whilst I have found SOPS etc for Working on Scaffolds (ABC Guidance Material attached), I have not found any documents (inside & outside the ABC) which are specific to working on scaffolds at night.  However, the bits and pieces that I have found essentially highlight provision of lighting and the usual trips, slips and falls risk avoidance.
  2. Operational procedures for working in darkness The Entertainment Industry WHS Guidelines touch on it: 

Working in the dark increasing the risk of tripping and falling

Keep venue lights on

Provision of temporary lighting

  1. Risk assessment with management guidelines. Are these required at each VFL site?  As discussed, we agree that there should be site specific Risk Assessments/Guidance
  2. Are specific SOP’s available for this part of OB work?  As mentioned, have not found, thus would have to be developed.  However, Richard has already addressed and is acting on better management of this task
  3. Nominating the responsible person (ie TP or Prod Manager etc) for making assessments on scaffolding safety on the day.