Hundreds of Workers Have Illegally Obtained Construction Induction Cards

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Police are concerned that hundreds of people could be working illegally on building sites, after it was discovered that a Sydney man was paid to sit for tests for certificates to fraudulently obtain construction induction cards for workers with limited English speaking abilities.

Presumably the workers could not pass the White Card course themselves because of the language barrier, which is why Kelvin Fong did it for them.

Construction induction training also known as white card training is mandatory for all construction workers, throughout Australia.

The 37 year old man was jailed for at least 6 months after he procured as many as 400 construction induction cards for unqualified workers. The magistrate described the offence as “breathtakingly serious” which is understandable given that he was putting not only the workers themselves at risk but every single person on the site with them, as well as the public.

No need to obtain your White Card fraudulently when the course is affordable and simple to pass, given you are proficient in English and can complete a short online and telephone based verbal assessment. As a reputable and industry leading Registered Training Organisation, having issued hundreds of thousands of White Cards, we also have recognition software to avoid incidents of fraud.

Read more at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/dodgy-construction-induction-cards-used-for-hundreds-working-illegally-on-building-sites-police-fear/news-story/de29334b86e6d445009dafa13ad1572f

Sydney Man Charged Over Fraudulent White Cards

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The New South Wales Police and Australian Federal Police through a joint operation have identified and charged a 37 year old Sydney man for fraudulently issuing white cards.

The man was allegedly charging clients $150 to complete the online examinations on their behalf.

A federal mandate requires that construction workers be in possession of a White Card when working on a construction site anywhere in Australia.

Regardless of where the white card is earned, the accreditation is nationally recognised, a fact that criminals have been taking advantage of

According to police the man promoted his business by word of mouth and had managed to sell at least 400 of the fraudulent cards.

This man not only put his clients at risk because they entered a high risk work environment without the necessary safety training but he also put other workers on sites at risk as well as the public.

At www.whitecardonline.com.au we take safety seriously which is why we ensure we take the necessary steps to stop fraud.

Some of the ways we do this is our progressive webcam technology, intensive ID checks, verbal assessments and random assessment questions.

Read more at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-22/white-card-fraud-sydney-man-charged/7867302

Workplace Culture more Important to Employees than Money

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According to a study conducted by career site Glassdoor, workplace culture and values are the most important things in the workplace influencing worker happiness, not money as you would think.

While employers were more satisfied with a higher salary, factors such as career opportunities, senior leadership and work-life balance were more important to them. Compensation and benefits featured 4th on the list of importance.

So getting a higher salary won’t necessarily make you more happy. Visit Business Insider for more.

Employers Urged to Protect Young Workers

WorkSafe Queensland has urged employers to protect young workers who are new to the job. This is a particularly important consideration for employers in high risk industries, of which construction is one.

Young-workers
Source: WorkSafe Queensland

WorkSafe reminds employers to manage risks associated with young workers to prevent injuries. It also highlights that these workers are more vulnerable because of a lack of experience.

Safety training, including White Card training, induction training and supervision are crucial to their safety. Find out more here.

3 Tower Complex for Old ABC Toowong Site

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Caption: Radical design of Toowong 3 towers
Source: BrisbaneTimes.com.au

Three residential buildings in the shape of champagne flutes will radically transform the old ABC Toowong site and Brisbane’s skyline.

Construction on the towers is expected to begin at the end of the year.

The development is expected to cost $430 million and will allow the public access to the former ABC site.

The design of the towers is a first for Brisbane and Australia.

Read more here.

 

 

Which Jobs Make You Drink?

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Source: www.theguardian.com

According to data from the US Government miners and construction workers are more likely than people in other jobs to drink and take drugs.

The survey undertaken recently showed that construction workers in The US showed abnormally high levels of alcohol consumption, regardless of their age or gender.

Here in Australia, the male dominated nature of construction means that workers drink often and a lot. Many employers are implementing alcohol and drug programs.

Read more about the survey here.

 

White Card Update: Easiest Way of Getting your Construction Induction Card for Work Across Borders

Workers and employers in the construction industry in both NSW and Victoria are ecstatic about a new program designed to rid them of any issues with red tape that exists for those that operate across borders and into various states. Now the same construction induction cards are accepted in both states and workers don’t have to worry about re-doing the course if they are forced to transfer to a site in a different state.

This post from SafetyCulture.com.au explains:

WorkCover-logo-250x313-2WorkCover NSW and WorkSafe Victoria are collaborating to rollout the program starting this month.

Inspectors from both organisations will describe the similarities between the NSW and Victorian work health and safety regulations, talk about the perceived barriers to operating across the state borders and make sure that people understand how to be compliant.

One of the most common issues has been that WorkCover NSW did not accept the competency certificate for training that was completed in Victoria howver this has been remedied and the same induction cards are accepted in NSW and Victoria.

John Watson, the NSW WorkCover health and safety division general manager, said that it was common for building companies to work across borders which has led to the confusion regarding the difference in the state laws.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/06/cutting-red-tape-for-builders-who-work-across-borders/

Do you live in Victoria and wish to obtain your Construction Induction “Red Card”? Well the good news is that the “White Card” has replaced the “Red Card” as the mandatory induction card for work on a construction site, so workers in the construction industry can obtain a national white card rather than having to complete a separate induction course for each state – you can work in any state as long as you have the White Card.

Further good news comes from the fact that the White Card online is so simple and convenient to obtain, no wasting time and money in boring classrooms – the online white card course allows you to complete it at a time and place comfortable for you, at a fraction of the cost of traditional face-to-face training.

Any person who enters a construction site must have adequate training to prove that he is able to identify and avoid hazards that could cause death or injury due to the dangers that a building site poses. That is why every worker must be in possession of the White Card, to confirm that they are qualified to work on a site.

The national White Card replaces the Red Card in Victoria and now workers can complete the white card course online whenever it suits them, allowing them access onto a construction site anywhere in Australia, not just in Victoria.

By unifying the process of construction safety training the government has streamlined safety in Oz, making it more convenient for workers to obtain work anywhere in the country. If you wish to register or gain more information visit our homepage today!

 

Be Prepared for Environmental Hazards

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An example of mould on a wall

Source: http://www.pressdispensary.co.uk/releases/c992542/Toxic-Mould-and-Construction-Defects-Harming-Public-Health.html

When working on a building site, especially a renovation site the chance of being affected by environmental hazards is great. The most commonly occurring environmental hazards are mould, asbestos and lead.

While a lot of attention is given to asbestos and occasionally lead, mould is something that is often ignored by construction workers which can be damaging to their health.

The height of asbestos use was between 1930 and 1950, when it was commonly used in the production of insulation for mechanical and plumbing system components such as pipes, duct, boilers, and tanks. It was also used as an ingredient in insulation and for decorative purposes on ceilings and walls. As a fire-retardant insulation, it was used on structural beams and firewalls, and in fire doors.  Long term asbestos exposure can lead to incurable diseases such as Mesothelioma, Pleural disease and Asbestosis.

Lead is a naturally occurring highly toxic metal found throughout the environment and created by human activities such as burning fossil fuel, mining, and manufacturing. It has many different uses, including use in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products like solder and pipe, and devices to shield X-rays. Because of health concerns, lead from paints and ceramic products and pipe solder has been substantially cut. The primary sources of lead exposure to humans in the daily environment are deteriorating lead-based paint and lead-contaminated dust.  But do not panic, lead paint in good condition is not a cause for concern unless it’s loose, flaking, or forming dust.

Moulds and mildew are microscopic fungi that grow on surfaces where there is an organic food source. Many of the construction materials used, such as wood, carpet, glue, and cellulose-based objects like ceiling panels and drywall, are hosts for indoor mould growth. Thousands of species of mould exists and when inhaled or ingested by humans it can be dangerous. Understanding the impact of moisture and mould on building materials and the construction process is integral to developing good design and construction practices.

Most types of mould are not hazardous to healthy individuals. However, excessive exposure to mould may cause or worsen conditions such as asthma, hay fever or other allergies. The most common symptoms of overexposure are cough, congestion, runny nose, eye irritation and aggravation of asthma. Depending on the amount of exposure and an individual’s vulnerability, more serious health effects such as fever and breathing problems can occur.

All moulds need water to grow. Mould can grow almost anywhere there is water damage, high humidity or dampness. Most often moulds are confined to areas near the source of water. Removing the source of moisture is vital to preventing mould growth.