Festive Season Workplace Safety Warning Issued by WorkSafe Victoria

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.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/victorian-workplaces-reminded-stay-safe-lead-festive-season/#.W_uY9uIlE1k

Government to provide Mental Health Skills Training for Workers in Regional NSW

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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.

See more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/mental-health-boost-nsw-workers/#.XH0LhbglE1k

Workers Leg Crushed by Saw Blade in Workplace Accident

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Freak accidents are common occurrences on construction sites as a twenty-six year worker in New South Wales recently discovered.

The man sustained serious crush injuries after a saw blade fell onto his leg at a Sydney worksite recently.

It is believed the man was working at a West Pennant Hills site when the saw blade, estimated to weight one-tonne, fell and crushed his leg.

The man was treated by paramedics at the scene and rushed to Royal North Shore Hospital for further treatment.

The incident is under investigation by SafeWork NSW.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/10/workers-leg-crushed-saw-blade-sydney-worksite/#.W-l-cOIlE1k

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

Falls the Focus of Cross Border Construction Program in Mildura

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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.

Read more at http://www.worksafenews.com.au/news/item/665-falls-the-focus-of-cross-border-safety-program.html

Worker Health and Safety a Priority, ACT Government Says

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.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/act-government-expresses-commitment-support-workplace-safety/#.WudBsZclE1k

Safety Should be The Main Priority in 2018

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,
  • desire to make up for down time,
  • workers taking on new roles or responsibilities &
  • new workers entering the worksite.

My Jones emphasised the importance of a strong safety focus in 2018, this includes ensuring workers have received the necessary safety training, including mandatory white card training as well as site specific and task specific training. He also reminded employers to ensure adequate supervision of new, young and apprentice workers. Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/act-businesses-urged-make-worker-safety-top-priority-2018/#.WmY1IzclE1k

Safety Alert Issued – Trench Support Systems

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland released a safety alert highlighting the risk of trench collapse when a shoring box or trench support system doesn’t extend the full depth of the trench.
The warning comes after an incident last month involving a worker who was seriously injured when the ground collapsed in a trench, the worker was crushed.
Another incident occurred on the Gold Coast in 2016, when a shoring box did not extend for the entire depth of the trench, injuring the worker.
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said the collapse of any un-shored section of trench can occur because of a number of reasons including the type of ground, ground water, rain and loading applied to the ground. Wherever a trench is excavated below a shoring box, the weight of the shoring box can increase the likelihood of ground collapse because the trench wall has a load applied within its zone of influence. Read more about the safety alert at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/12/safety-alert-installation-shoring-boxes-trench-support-systems-released/#.WkXD4ze1s1l

Wheelchair Bound Teenager Run Over by Construction Truck

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A teenager in a wheelchair has died after being run over by a construction truck on Sydney’s north shore.

Community members are demanding reassurance of their safety on the roads following the death of a wheelchair bound teen in Hornsby.

The 16 year old high school student was a member of the Pennant Hills High School’s learning support program.

The truck involved was transporting spoil for the NorthConnex road construction project to Hornsby Quarry.

Read more at http://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/news/wheelchairbound-teen-killed-by-construction-truck-in-sydneys-north-shore/news-story/c65c48a652fb4e45b1dc3c559cda6691


Work From Heights Safety Blitz Commences

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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.

Find out more https://prwire.com.au/pr/74501/nsw-safety-blitz-to-target-falls-from-heights