Many construction disasters throughout history could have been avoided. Working with earth moving equipment, heavy machinery or mining equipment presents many dangers to all involved on a daily basis. Current occupational health and safety regulations are in place to prevent accidents occurring, and have proven a valuable tool in ensuring that both employees are safe, and that the project is sturdy and built to last.
Westgate Bridge Disaster
By Thad Roan from Littleton, CO, USA, http://www.Bridgepix.com – West Gate Bridge, Melbourne, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2545016
Many Australian OH&S laws came into effect after the Westgate Bridge disaster in Melbourne on October 15, 1970. The bridge was half built, when a 120m section of the bridge fell 50m into the Yarra River. 35 lives were lost that day, with countless others receiving permanent injury. The collapse of the bridge occurred because of poor design and the contractors ignoring the safety concerns of the labourers, dismissing their fears as mere gossip.
Had a full check of the bridge’s designer been undertaken, it would have found that other projects that had been undertaken from the designer’s plans had collapsed in other parts of the world. If the safety concerns of the employees been taken seriously, the 35 men killed may not have lost their lives.