When The Weather Requires You to Down Tools

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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

Help Available for NSW First Time Workers

As many young people enter the workforce in 2019, it’s important that they have access to help and advice to face the challenges of life on the job site, particularly for those entering trade fields.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean recently announced the SafeWork Young Workers eToolkit which he said is a resource to help more than 500 000 young workers across the state of NSW.

As Mr Kean highlighted, it can be daunting starting work for the first time especially for young people who are inexperienced and eager to please. Young people often don’t know their rights when it comes to workplace health and safety issues like harassment or bullying, that is why the toolkit can prove so helpful.

The toolkit is a free-to-access tool which also has real life stories and advice for young workers.

Mr Kean explained,

“It’s often hard enough for older workers to have confidence when dealing with workplace health and safety issues, let alone young people entering the workplace for the first time.

Source: https://www.miragenews.com/help-and-advice-for-first-time-young-workers/

Some of the issues that the toolkit covers includes bullying, abuse by customers, injuries at work and mental health issues.

The toolkit is important because this group of workers has been identified as ‘at risk’. In 2017 there were six fatalities involving people under the age of 25 in NSW.

In the 2015-2016 more than 13,000 temporary disability and 3 permanent disability claims were made by young workers.

“These statistics are devastating. We want to make sure young workers, their supervisors and employers have the best information possible to avoid tragedies in the workplace,” Mr Kean said.

“The last thing we want to see is new workers being put in dangerous situations, especially if it’s the first job they’ve ever had.

“It’s essential that businesses provide refresher training and adequate supervision all year round. This should include things like induction programs and safety training, so young workers understand safety policies and procedures.

Source: https://www.miragenews.com/help-and-advice-for-first-time-young-workers/

For those entering the construction industry for the first time, whether young or old, it’s important not only that they are supervised until they are more at ease and comfortable with the work involved, but that they are adequately trained. Training for the construction industry is not just task specific or site specific, while these are important – general construction induction training is mandatory for all workers.

General construction induction training or how to work safely in the construction industry training is a basic requirement mandated by the federal government in 2012 when workplace health and safety laws were unified. It’s important that employers ensure all workers, are in possession of a white card, the proof that they have completed this induction safety training. For more visit www.whitecardonline.com.au

Man Crushed on Darwin Worksite

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A man has died in a workplace accident in the Northern Territory.

The 30 year old man was crushed to death by machinery at a site in Darwin.

Northern Territory Police said the incident appeared to be a tragic accident but together with NT WorkSafe, they would be investigating.

The 30 year old victim hails from Katherine.

Investigators assessed an excavator loaded into the back of a truck with crime scene tape still around the area.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-29/man-28-dies-killed-dead-worksite-machinery-crushed-darwin/11056408

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

Thousands Of Construction Workers Required for $3.6b Project

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A $3.6 billion project planned nearby The Sunshine Coast has promised to create more than 2000 jobs.

The search for the 2000 workers has begun at the same time as the first day of construction on the Queen’s Wharf development in Brisbane.

The project will involve work on the diaphragm wall, a concrete wall 172 metres in length which will provide a watertight underground barrier between the planned wharf and the Brisbane River.

Over the next 15 months workers are expected to excavate more than 450,000 cubic metres of material for the 5 level basement to accommodate thousands of parked cars.

Recruitment has started and hundreds more construction workers are needed to complete the project.

Tradespeople, suppliers, sub-contractors and interested parties can register their interest on www.queenswharfbrisbane.com.au

Read more at https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/2000-construction-workers-wanted-40-minutes-from-c/3441728/

Is Construction’s Culture Repelling Women

In a recent report it was revealed that the construction industry’s masculine culture and underlying sexual harassment is forcing women out of the industry, even if they love their work.

The report found that the completion rate for females in apprenticeships has dropped, comparatively 15 per cent lower than men over the past 5 years, despite more women taking up apprenticeships in carpentry and electrical.

The masculine culture of the industry has been identified as the greatest  obstacle to women in the industry. Women want to do the work but the culture is forcing them to leave.

The report also revealed that female participation in the industry was higher in 1987 that it has been in most year since.

Women in the industry commonly felt uncomfortable and disrespected by the masculine language and view of them on the worksite.

The study’s sponsors said we shouldn’t tolerate this on worksites and called on construction sites, every community, leaders and managers to stand up and call out unacceptable behaviour on sites.

Read more at http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/constructions-culture-pushes-females-out/news-story/d2ae7c77e2a7249d0b7676682202ba7f

The Health Benefits of Good Work Highlighted by Position Paper

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A position paper  by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians released recently highlighted the benefits of good work on the health and wellbeing of people.

Long term absence from work, work disability and unemployment can have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of people whereas good work can be beneficial, the research shows.

According to the research, workers who returned to work quickly have a quicker recovery than those who waited until they were fully recovered.

Read more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/position-statement-health-benefits-good-work-released/#.WorJLuclE1k

Construction Jobs Boost

The construction industry is on a hiring spree due to the increased activity in the sector.

The Australian Industry Group’s (Ai Group) Performance of Construction Index (PCI) rose 1.5 points to 54.3 in January, indicating that the industry is expanding and at a rapid rate.

Due to high levels of activity across all construction sectors, including apartment construction, employment in the sector is also at an all time high.

Hiring in the sector has increased every month over the past 9 months and as construction continues to grow, hiring in the sector shows no signs of slowing.
If you want to take advantage of the many opportunities available in the construction sector, you will first need to be in possession of a White Card. Learn more about general construction induction training here.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/australia-construction-jobs-hiring-spree-2018-2

Beware of Asbestos, Tradies Warned

Tradespeople in Victoria are being urged to educate themselves about asbestos, particularly how to identify it so as not to expose themselves and others to the deadly substance when engaging in renovation, demolition and maintenance work.

The asbestos awareness campaign was launched by WorkSafe recently and includes radio, online and trade publication advertisements aimed at raising awareness about diseases linked to asbestos including Mesolthelioma, Asbestosis and lung cancer.

According to the Australian Mesothelioma Register, around 60 per cent of mesothelioma cases are as a result of asbestos exposure in the workplace.

In 2016 there were at least 95 mesothelioma deaths in Victoria and 145 new cases.  See more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/02/campaign-warns-tradies-dangers-asbestos/#.Woh3veclE1l

Female Body Found on Gold Coast Construction Site

The body of a woman has been discovered at a construction site on the Gold Coast.

The finding was made by construction workers when they arrived to start work around 7:30am at a worksite at a Gold Coast surfers hostel.

Police set up a crime scene and are investigating the cause of the death of the 32 year old woman.

Detectives were on site and anyone with information has been urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

Read more at http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/body-found-at-gold-coast-construction-site/news-story/4363e502fe5be90aa7dfc077e26a590e