The final stage of Australia's biggest ever construction job, the North West Shelf onshore gas processing facility, has won Western Australia's top safety award.
Phase III of the multi-billion dollar Woodside Offshore Petroleum Pty Ltd construction project was today presented the Jobsafe Award by Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson.
The final phase, culminating 11 years of almost continuous construction on the Burrup Peninsula, employed about 50 major contractors and more than 3,000 workers, and cost a billion dollars.
Presenting the award at Karratha, Mrs Henderson said Phase III had set new standards for construction workers' health and safety in Australia.
The award, a gold-framed certificate, was presented to Woodside's managing contractor KJK (Kellogg-JGK-Kaiser) on behalf of management, contractors, workforce and unions, for exemplary health and safety procedures and practices.
The Minister said the dimensions and complexity of Phase III could have made it highly dangerous for workers, but for the high standards of health and safety developed and implemented by KJK and the other parties involved.
“Much of Phase III involved the complex assembling of scaffolding, pipes, vessels and equipment up to 50 metres above the ground,” Mrs Henderson said.
“To eliminate risk of accident, each step of every potentially hazardous work task was pre-planned with a view to making it safe, through consultation and co-operation between management and employees.
“In particular, safety procedures for scaffolding, ladders and cranes were even more meticulous than those set down by either the Department of Occupational Health Safety and Welfare or the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission.
“By going the extra mile in occupational health and safety, Phase III achieved two and a half years without any days lost from injuries, showing that work safety runs parallel with productivity.”
One safety-based innovation was to structure contracts to enable the same scaffolding to be shared between the workers involved in two separate major Phase III jobs - insulation and painting.
This eliminated the potentially hazardous task of dismantling and re-erecting one of the biggest scaffolding structures ever used in WA, about 300 metres long and up to 50 metres high.
Another safety milestone was the prohibition imposed by KJK preventing employees working from ladders, which were allowed only as access ways to reach safe working platforms, except in extreme circumstances.
Mrs Henderson said the award was the eighth given by the Western Australian Government in two years.
Winners were chosen for ‘outstanding achievement within the workplace in designing, developing, introducing or implementing any new or innovative health and safety procedures, work systems, plant, equipment, or environmental changes that have significantly reduced the risks of workplace injury and disease’.