When The Weather Requires You to Down Tools

Source: Pixabay.com

An interesting post on Abc.net.au highlights the dilemma facing all  tradies working on construction sites outdoors, when are the weather conditions enough to down tools?

As tradepeople interviewed point out, deciding when to stop work due to the weather can be tricky given that you also still need to get paid.

Each state has its own workplace health and safety regulations, but often it is up to the person to decide whether it is safe to work in weather conditions. While there are a number of factors to consider such as time frame, type of work etc, ultimately it comes down to safety. If it’s not safe, it’s not worth continuing.

Read the article at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-16/how-to-mange-weather-in-construction-jobs/10083870

Queensland WHS Authority Targets Vehicle Loading Cranes

A safety blitz that will last 2 years has begun in Queensland following a number of incidents involving vehicle loading cranes.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recently announced the blitz which would address the high number of incidents that occurred between 2012 and 2018 – 18 are known of.

The safety regulator said in the past decade, 3 people were killed in the state and numerous more were injured as well as property damaged after a VLC stabiliser or outrigger arm extended during travel and struck other vehicles or pedestrians.

The campaign comes after an agreement between the coroner and the safety watchdog that there was a need to educate operators and enforce safe use and operation of VLC stabilisers and outriggers.

Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/08/blitz-targets-queensland-vehicle-loading-cranes/#.W51bzPYlHQV

Stonemasons Suffering Because of lack of WHS Adherence

Stonemasons are suffering from silicosis and associated diseases because of a lack of adherence to workplace health and safety laws.

Tradie Cameron Harper is one of those suffering from silicosis because he didn’t realise how serious the risks were of not wearing the appropriate protection. The 27 year old former stonemason has now been diagnosed with silicosis.

Silicosis is a serious and possibly life-threatening disease which is caused by exposure to silica or quartz dust.It involves the scarring of lungs which eventually causes respiratory impairment and in some people requires a lung transplant and may be fatal.

The scary part about silicosis in Australia is that it is on the rise, despite it declining globally. This spike in occupational exposure is believed to be due to the risk in engineered or artificial stone products, commonly used for kitchen benchtops.

As a tradie, what you suspect to be a persistent chest infection could actually be more serious.

Find out more at: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/the-kitchen-trend-killing-our-tradies/news-story/91af922c5ee0f6d9d4de502f5ed49073

The ACT Government introduces New Work Health and Safety Legislation

Source: Pixabay.com

New work health and safety legislation introduced in the Legislative Assembly which will be debated over the coming months, will require more worker training and consultation on construction sites over $5million in the ACT.

The Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2018 which is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2019 will require employers to establish work groups in consultation with eligible unions and organise the election of Health and Safety Representatives, establish a Health and Safety Committee and ensure Health and Safety Committee members have received the necessary training.

The new legislation exceeds what is provided for in the national harmonised Workplace Health and Safety laws, raising the standard of communication and consultation on health and safety in the construction industry.

Find out  more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/06/new-work-health-safety-legislation-introduced-act/#.WzCtWiAlE1l

Construction Industry Get Ready for Year Long Safety Blitz

A year long safety blitz for the construction industry in NSW has begun and construction businesses who put their workers at risk are the target.

According to SafeWork NSW, the number of falls from heights over the past five years has increased drastically and most are occurring on construction sites.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said falls are “the number one killer on NSW construction sites.

Already this year 8 people were killed in workplace falls and a lot more were severely injured.

He alerted employers that cutting corners and putting workers at risk would not be tolerated. In fact he warned employers in the state to prioritise the proper safety measures .

He also reminded them that fall incidents tend to increase toward the end of the year as workers rush to get work done on time.

He also highlighted that SafeWork inspectors would be taking advantage of the tough new laws that came into effect last month.

Read more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/safety-blitz-reduce-construction-deaths-launched/#.Wi6OgDe1vIU

CFMEU Wants Independent Work Safety Commission

Construction union boss, Dean Hall has called on the ACT to instate an independent work safety commissioner, joining with dozens of trades workers and union officials to march of the ACT Legislative Assembly, calling for action in workplace safety laws and protesting the re-establishment of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

The march in the ACT was one of several organised around Australia, with 20,000 workers marching in Melbourne, causing work to come to a standstill on 100 sites in Melbourne.

The union fears the new building code would negatively impact workers’ wages and safety.

Read more http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/construction-union-calls-for-independent-work-safety-commissioner-20170620-gwup7c.html

New Law to Prevent Construction Deaths

New laws have been proposed to parliament by the Palaszcuzuk Government  that will increase powers of the state’s regulator to take action if there is a threat to the safety of workers on construction sites.

The laws come as a reaction to the fatalities in the construction industry which have increased over the last few years.

The recommendations of the Coroner in an Inquest highlighted the need for the building regulator, in this case the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) to be notified where serious injury or death had occurred at a construction site.

Under the new law, QBCC licensees will have an obligation to notify the QBCC about any activity that may be a health and safety concern.

The QBCC will be given powers to suspend or cancel a QBCC licence if the licensee has caused death or grievious bodily harm to a person on a building site or caused a risk to the health and safety of a person.

The laws also allow a licence to be cancelled or suspended if the licensee has been convicted of an offence against plumbing, work health and safety laws or other relevant laws.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/new-law-aims-prevent-construction-deaths/#.WSvv4sYlEl0

WorkSafe WA Inspection Focuses on Construction Safety

melb metro
Source: www.abc.net.au

WorkSafe WA is conducting an inspection program over the course of the week focussing on construction sites in Perth’s CBD.

WorkSafe warned that it will be checking safety standards at construction sites in the area and the surrounding suburbs.

While the aim of the program is to assist employers in meeting their workplace safety laws, if breaches are discovered, inspectors will take the necessary enforcement action.

Inspectors will be focussing on electrical safety and work from height safety.

 

For more information call WorkSafe on 1300 307877.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/inspection-program-focus-construction-safety/#.VwL23vl97IV

Mesothelioma Deaths Increasing but Number of New Cases being Diagnosed Decreases

asbestos
Source: www.safety-signs.org

The number of people dying from asbestos related Mesothelioma has increased, according to statistics from Safe Work Australia.

Sadly many people were exposed in the past due to the widespread use of asbestos in housing materials.

The good news is that as a country we seem to be making progress in terms of getting asbestos under control – statistics show that the number of new diagnosed cases has decreased.

Read more here.

WorkCover NSW Embarks on Cross Border Inspection Campaign

workcover nsw
Source: www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

Safety inspectors are going to be visiting construction sites on both sides of the border to ensure that workers are operating in a safe environment.

There has been a spate of workers compensation claims for the Wondonga region which has prompted authorities to embark on the campaign. Young workers have been identified as particularly at risk.

Read more here.