Workplace Health and Safety In The Forefront after Box Hill Accident

Workplace health and safety has come to the forefront following an incident in Box Hill, in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

A worker in his 40s died and another was seriously injured after a container of concrete fell from the crane recently.

The 2 men were submerged and trapped in the wet concrete after the tub of concrete fell on top of them.

A third worker was also injured and all 3 men had to be rescued by a team of 40 firefighters.

The CFMEU expressed their outrage shortly after the incident, saying 7 Victorians were killed on the job in the construction industry in 2018. The union said the Box Hill incident should serve as a wake-up call.

The union also highlighted how traumatizing such an incident is for those who witness it.

The incident is a harrowing reminder of the importance of daily checks and maintenance of cranes.

Read the full story at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-07/crane-accident-box-hill-safety-concerns-after-site-fatality/10210292

NZ Health and Safety Complacency Rising

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Health and safety compliance is on the decline in New Zealand, according to the regulator in charge of workplace safety.

While the country has made strides in reducing the number of workplace deaths and injuries, there are fears that complacency may be creeping in.

WorkSafe NZ chief executive Nicole Rosie said the real challenge is enduring change which involves a change in culture.

Since WorkSafe was established in New Zealand in 2013 after the Pike River disaster, the number of workplace deaths have been declining but improvement seems to have slowed.

Read why New Zealanders may be becoming complacent about workplace safety at https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/106355421/complacency-rises-in-workplace-health-and-safety-and-were-all-to-blame

How to Make the Workplace Safe for Employees

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If you’re responsible for a business, you will need to create a safe working environment and maintain it. This is a crucial part of management because protecting the health and welfare of workers by providing a safe working environment and system of work is part of workplace health and safety requirements. It will also ensure the business runs smoothly and efficiently.

Employers also need to ensure that workers are aware of the health and safety procedures in place. Employees have a responsibility to abide by the rules and safety measures set out and work in a way that does not put themselves or others at risk.

So what should Management do?

A recent post on BusinessComputingWorld.co.uk offered a few tips. While Australian health and safety regulations may differ from the UK’s, we can also put these into practice,

1.Develop a safety plan established upon health and safety regulations. 

A manager needs to know the risks present in the workplace in order to minimise their harm or eliminate them.Once the hazards are known, a plan can be developed to make the workplace safer.

Once the safety plan has been drawn up, it needs to be shared with employees. They also need to have the tools in place to execute this plan, including having first aid kits on hand in case something goes wrong.

2. Examine the Workplace

Have a team in place to look at the workplace and identify hazards and risks. They also need to review these measures regularly,

You do not have to inspect the work site by yourself, you should have a team of specialists who know what the equipment and tools state should be. It is important to have regular checks, because even an out of date computer can lead to an accident, and can hurt the person who is using it. Or it can cause a fire, and in this case multiple persons could be hurt. Regular inspections will show if there are any risks posed by the equipment you and your employees use. Safety specialists can also examine the areas where people have access in case your clients come on site and they can inspect the work procedures.

Source: http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/guidelines-for-organising-a-safe-working-environment/

3. Focus on Investigating Health Accidents Related to Work

The writer suggests investigating past accidents, incidents and health issues experienced by the people in the workplace. Determine whether health issues are related to the workplace and investigate near misses, to determine if there are any areas that need to be addressed.

4. Ensure Employees Are Properly Trained

Ensure employees have been properly trained. In the construction industry this includes general construction induction training, site specific training and any high risk training that may be needed.

General construction induction training is mandatory in Australia, to teach workers how to work safely in the construction industry. This training can be completed quickly and conveniently online from wherever you are. Once complete, the White Card accreditation gained is nationally recognised, so you can work anywhere in Australia without having to repeat the training.

5. Help Employees Manage Their Rehabilitation

No matter how committed to safety you are, sometimes an accident can still happen. In this case its crucial that you help employees manage their rehabilitation.

This step should be part of any safety plan, because it shows your employees that you support them in case they suffer an injury or accident when working. You will have to work with the employee who faces health issues happened at their workplace, because it is in your interest they to come back at work. Even if the employees experience a health issue because of an outside the work factor, you should still support them, because it will help them recover faster. When an employee experiences work related health issues you should have a plan on how their duties will be relocated.

Read more http://www.businesscomputingworld.co.uk/guidelines-for-organising-a-safe-working-environment/

Melbourne Replaces Sydney as Centre of Housing Construction Boom

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The housing construction industry in Melbourne is now the epicentre of the nation’s residential building boom replacing Sydney with 12 of the top 20 housing construction “hotspots” located in Melbourne.

According to research by the Housing Industry Association, over the last financial year Melbourne had the majority of  “hotspots” in the top 20 “hotspots” with the remaining 8 being located in Sydney and Southeast Queensland.

A “hotspot” is a region where at least $150 million worth of residential construction work was approved over a 12 month period and the rate of population growth is faster than the national average (1.6%).

The HIA said solid employment and population growth in Victoria will result in it continuing to dominate the “hotspots” list for the current financial year and even longer.

In the 12 months to June 2017, Melbourne’s population grew by 125,400.

As the demand for housing continues, the housing construction sector in the state will continue to flourish and tradies will benefit. If you’re interested in capitalising on the Victorian construction boom and getting involved in this industry for the first time, or if you plan on returning to it,  you need to complete the White Card course (Work Safely in the Construction Industry). You can complete the Victorian White Card course online and get your nationally recognised accreditation to start earning in the construction sector anywhere in Australia today.

Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-housing-construction-hotspots-population-growth-sydney-melbourne-queensland-2018-6

Construction Industry is Busier than Ever in 2018

The construction industry has been busier than ever in 2018 with house building having grown at its fastest pace in 3 months in May. This created more work for tradespeople and their utes servicing the detached home sector.

For the 16th straight month, the construction industry has been growing and the Performance of Construction Index proves this, standing at 54 points last month. Although it was 1.4 points down from April, anything over 50 points is good news because it indicates expansion in the industry.

Housing construction has taken the lead over apartment construction while engineering construction also continued to expand.

House building expanded last month to 58.6 points, which was its highest level in 3 months.

Infrastructure projects being funded by government are also keeping tradespeople busy, according to statistics.

Find out more at https://www.afr.com/real-estate/plenty-of-work-for-tradies-and-their-utes-construction-grows-faster-in-may-20180606-h112l0

The Number of Australians Killed at Work Rises

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The number of Australians killed on the job in 2017 has reached 151 across all industries.

According to Safe Work Australia’s latest figures, the workplace death toll has risen to 151, with the 3 industries responsible for the most fatalities being,

1. Transport postal and warehousing with 57 workplace deaths

2. The Agriculture, forestry & fishing industry recording 41 fatalities

3. The Construction industry comes third, recording 28 fatalities.

The construction industry, as well as the other 2 industries in the top 3, consistently appear in the top 4 most high risk industries in Australia.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/worker-death-toll-mounts/#.Whw9sze1vIU

Subcontractor Bullying Tackled in SA Government Move

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Source: BrisbaneTimes.com.au

Proposed changes to the law would prohibit principal or head contractors in South Australia from attempting to threaten or intimidate subcontractors who are seeking payment for their work.

The changes proposed by the state government would allow for head contractors or principal contractors to be fined or jailed if found guilty.

Penalties include fines of up to $50,000 for individuals or $250,000 for companies and a prison sentence of up to 2 years. Read more https://sourceable.net/sa-government-moves-stop-subcontractor-bullying/

Building Approvals Faster and Easier with Reforms

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There’s good news for the construction industry in Tasmania, the new Building Bill which passed through Parliament last week will make it quicker and easier for permits to be approved on basic building projects in the state.

The industry has welcomed the new bill, saying it would make things alot easier and was long overdue. The bill will also make building approvals quicker, easier and fairer.

The new bill is risk-based and will mean that basic projects such as decks, carpports and even 2 storey houses will not need building permits.

The new building  minister, Guy Barnett said the bill was crucial in removing the unnecessary regulation in the industry.

Find out more at: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/construction-industry-gives-reform-thumbs-up-to-make-make-gaining-building-approvals-fairer-faster-simpler-and-cheaper/news-story/39e3ffd08ca2875faf9894a4a383f1de

Government Push for Construction Watchdog Continues

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Source: www.amarolawfirm.com

The state government has vowed to continue its fight for the return of the Australian Building and Construction Commission after a failed Senate vote recently.

The Opposition, Greens and some crossbenchers voted against bringing back the construction watchdog which was done away with 3 years ago by the Labor government.

The state government says the watchdog is needed to tackle the lawless nature of the construction industry.

Find out more at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/government-vows-to-continue-fight-for-return-of-abcc/6703566