National Asbestos Awareness Week Observed

During Asbestos Awareness Week, 19-25 November the dangers related to asbestos were highlighted, particularly to young tradespeople and apprentices who may not be familiar with the risks or what to do if they suspect exposure.

Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace visited year 10 students at Kelvin Grove State College’s Trade Training Centre highlighting the importance of asbestos safety.

She reminded them that there is no cure for mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis and there are other horrible conditions that can be contracted from exposure to asbestos.

It’s crucial that everyone is aware of the risks from students to apprentices to experienced tradespeople and foremen. It’s also important for people to know what to do if they suspect asbestos may be present.

Find out more at: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/11/national-asbestos-awareness-week-provides-focus-dangers-related-asbestos/#.XBKwaeIlE1l

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

The Workers Risking their Lives to Build India’s Homes

The risks being taken by workers in India to build the country’s homes, infrastructure and commercial buildings recently came under the spotlight in an article on BBC.com.

The post mentioned a number of workers including Mr Hasan, a construction worker who fell to his death at a site near Delhi. He should have been wearing a harness, a protective helmet, boots with a firm grip and should have an insurance policy against accidents.

Despite it being legally required for construction firms to provide these things to workers, most construction companies simply don’t.

In India many firms don’t follow the rules in order to save money and instead risk lives.

The post mentions 5 other workers who died in a similar manner to Mr Hasan and dozens more were seriously injured.

Unfortunately workers have no choice but to work under these conditions despite their fears because they need the work.

Read the full article at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46698626

Construction Site Manager Cleared of Blame over Irish Workers Deaths

The former construction site manager of the Perth site where 2 Irish tradies were tragically crushed by a massive concrete panel in N0vember 2015, has been cleared of charges by a magistrate.

The site manager had been in charge of the site where the 2 workers were employed, together with dozens of other workers.

The man appeared in Perth Magistrates Court, after WorkSafe alleged he had neglected his duty by failing to ensure an exclusion zone was set up in the area where the 2 men were smoking when the concrete panel fell on them.

The magistrate said prosecutors had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and acquitted the site manager.

Source: https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/court-justice/jaxon-construction-site-manager-not-to-blame-for-irish-workersdeaths-ng-b881051162z

Canberra Light Rail Workers Forced to Labour in Extreme Heat

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Construction workers on Canberra’s light rail network recently had to work in near 40 degree heat, despite the construction union pushing for a deal for workers to stop working when temperatures reach 37 degrees.

Workers had to endure 39 degrees recently while working on the government funded light rail project, in attempts to stop delays to completion of the first stage of the project from Gungahlin to the city.

This comes just days after WorkSafe ACT Commissioner Greg Jones went on the radio and urged businesses and employees to take of each other and themselves as temperatures soared. He highlighted the construction industry in particular as well as other exposed sectors.  See more https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/canberra-light-rail-workers-on-shift-in-near-40-degree-heat-20190116-p50rqj.html

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

Australia’s Highest Paying Careers That Don’t Require a Degree

If a degree isn’t in the cards for you, that doesn’t mean you cant make a good living. In fact a number of career paths are available to people who prefer not to study at university particularly in the trade fields.

More and more industries are focusing on experience rather than education and a recent post by global jobs site Indeed highlighted the highest paying jobs in Australia that don’t require a degree.

Interestingly construction managers are at the very top of the list, earning on average $155,463 – a staggering 90% higher than the national average.

Other high paying non-degree jobs include fitness manager, sales manager, environmental health and safety officer, maintenance manager, HR managers, software engineers, real estate agents, pilots, an ethical hacker and construction manager.

Construction managers plan and direct building projects, managing staff and specialised contractors. This career can be reached with experience and a completed Certificate and Diploma in Building and Construction.

Source: https://www.marieclaire.com.au/highest-paying-jobs-without-degree

Keep Workers Safe in the Heat – WorkSafe Urges

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WorkSafe Victoria has urged employers in the north to ensure the protection of workers in the extreme heat.

With temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees, employers were reminded to ensure work is managed safely and that workers are well hydrated.

Working in such extreme heat can cause dehydration and heat stress which can be fatal in the worst cases. Brain injury and organ failure are also a risk,WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said.

She warned that it is important to plan out the day and prioritise the workload, rescheduling or modifying the work load to reduce heat exposure.

Read  more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/01/worksafe-urges-employers-protect-workers-heat-related-illnesses/#.XFgdMc0lHQV

Tradie Death Sparks Fears of Silicosis Epidemic

A Queensland stonecutter has died from silicosis, sparking concerns of an epidemic of deaths in the industry.

More cases have began to emerge of silicosis diagnosis in Queensland and around Australia, with Gold Coast stonecutter Anthony White being the latest victim.He had become the face of the vicious disease after being diagnosed due to inhalation of crystalline silica dust.

It is believed he was the first tradesman to die of the disease in Australia.

Mr White’s brother who worked alongside him, was also diagnosed with silicosis, just days before his brother died of the disease.

Safe Work Australia is focusing on addressing the risks posed by dust exposure in the workplace, including in the engineered stone industry.

Read more at: https://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/silicosis-could-become-an-epidemic-ng-s-1931188

Silicosis Claims Young Workers Life

A Gold Coast tradesman who was diagnosed with silicosis, the deadly lung disease has died.

Anthony White, the 36 year old tradie was diagnosed in November 2017 and since then has highlighted the consequences of prolonged exposure and lack of protection against exposure to silica dust.

Silicosis is the scarring of the lung tissue caused by silica dust inhalation.

Mr White was the first Queensland worker from the engineered stone industry with the illness to have passed away.

WorkSafe highlighted the importance of preventing further tragedies of this nature by ensuring employers meet their obligations to provide safer workplaces.

See more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/03/silicosis-claims-life-young-gold-coast-tradie/#.XLN4tKQlE1l