WorkSafe Victoria is reminding all workers and employers, across all industries to put safety first as 2018 comes to a close.
The safety watchdog said this time of year is usually marked by a spike in workplace injuries and fatalities. Typically the 2 month period between November and December account for 22.3 per cent of all workplace fatalities.
Between 2008 and 2017, there were 53 workplace fatalities.
Workers and employers were reminded not to let busy work schedules and tight deadlines cause them to compromise on safety. Also don’t allow the festive feeling to allow you to relax when it comes to safety.
The NSW Government is providing mental health skills training for workers in regional NSW.
The state government in partnership with the Black Dog Institute are providing the training to regionally based workers.
According to Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean, training to employees and owner-operators from small to medium-sized businesses will help develop plans and facilitate the management of workers’ mental health.
He went on to explain that the aim of the program is to raise awareness in the community of the prevalence of mental illness and how it can manifest in the work environment.
The prevention of falls on construction sites was the recent focus of a joint program by SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria in Mildura in June.
The Cross Border Construction Program involved inspectors jointly visiting local building sites on both sides of the border to minimise the risk of workers being injured due to falls.
Inspectors were identifying safety risks and breaches and highlighting the similarities and differences between regulations in the 2 states.
Falls are a serious issue for the construction sector. Over the past decade 17 construction workers died due to a fall in Victoria.
In NSW, falls are responsible for the most number of deaths on construction sites. In 2017 the NSW government introduced new laws giving SafeWork NSW inspectors power to issue penalty notices of $3600 to companies and $720 to individuals for fall from height related breaches.
Falls are just one of the health and safety issues that construction workers are faced with. In this high risk industry, it’s important that health and safety are the main priority.
One of the ways to ensure safety on construction sites is through worker training. Every worker must be adequately trained for the specific construction site and tasks they undertake but they must also be in possession of a White Card to prove they have completed general construction safety training as mandated by the federal government. Complete the White Card course online today and you are eligible to work on any construction site in Australia and across borders because the accreditation is nationally recognised.
The ACT government is reminding everyone that there is no deadline or target more important than getting workers home safely at the end of each day- a message that the construction industry in particular should take to heart.
Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Rachel Stephen-Smith said in a message on International Workers Memorial Day and World Day for Safety and Health that taking action to prevent future work related injuries and fatalities is the focus. It is also a day for remembering people lost to work related injuries and illnesses.
The theme of this year’s event was Generation Safe and Health, highlighting the importance of focusing on young workers who are at an increased risk of injury and harassment in the workplace.
The minister also stressed the importance of collaboration between regulators, workers, employers and all stakeholders to ensure a safer workplace culture.
The safety of workers is of paramount importance which is one reason why the federal government mandated general construction induction training for all workers in the construction sector. No matter the work you undertake in construction or what type of construction you’re involved in, the White Card is a requirement for everyone working on site.
With the 2018 work year in full swing, ACT businesses are being reminded to make safety their top priority.
Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones says there are often factors in a new year that can increase risks on work sites, particularly on construction sites and wherever workers are exposed to hot environments or outdoor work.
Some of the things that can increase the risks in a new year include,
pressure to get work done that was not completed in 2017,
The work from heights safety blitz currently underway in NSW will target employers, particularly construction employers who put workers at risk.
Employers must ensure they take the necessary precautions to protect workers from fall risks as inspectors will be visiting sites around the state over the next year.
The blitz comes after 8 people were killed on work sites this year due to falls and dozens more were seriously injured. The rate of fall injuries has increased alarmingly over the past few years.
In a press release recently Safe Work said inspectors would be taking advantage of the state’s tough new laws that came into effect in November. The new laws permit inspectors to issue spot fines of up to $3600 to offenders.