October, 2015

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Latest News

Hazelwood coal mine operator facing workplace safety charges for 2014 fire

Victoria’s workplace safety watchdog has laid charges against the Hazelwood Power Corporation for the 2014 brown coal mine fire which shrouded the town of Morwell in ash and smoke and sparked a massive firefighting effort.
Following a comprehensive investigation, WorkSafe has charged the Hazelwood Power Corporation Pty Ltd with 10 breaches of the OHS Act 2004 in relation to preparedness for the fire which took hold in the Hazelwood open cut coal mine on 9 February 2014. The charges are: Five breaches of section 21(1) and (2) (c) – failing to maintain a workplace under its management and control that was safe and without risks to health. Five breaches of section 23 – failing to ensure that people other than its employees were not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the conduct of its operations.

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Man injured after power tool explodes

February 5 2016

A man has died after an angle grinder hit him in the chest in a freak workplace accident at a southeast Queensland dairy. The 59-year-old was was working at Maleny, inland from the Sunshine Coast, on Thursday when it is believed the blade of angle grinder cut him in chest. He was rushed to Nambour Hospital but died later that afternoon.

Queensland Workplace Health and Safety are investigating

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Dingley company has appeal over $375,000 fine dismissed.

Worksafe News 14 September

A Dingley engineering company which had been fined a total of $375,000 after three employees were injured in separate incidents had its appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeal last week.

Dotmar EPP Pty Ltd had pleaded guilty in the County Court in August to two charges of failing to provide or maintain plant and systems of work that were, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

The first charge related to a period from 12 October 2009 to 19 August 2010, in which two employees suffered hand injuries in separate incidents while operating a lathe.

The second charge related to a single incident on 18 March 2010, in which an employee suffered lacerations to his leg when it became trapped between the rotating table and frame of a router.

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New Reseller Appointed

 

 

Abilex Pty Ltd has recently been appointed a reseller for the Worksafe Management Systems’ range of OHS software products. Oliver Hind, the Managing Director, has extensive experience in marketing and customer support across a number of different software products. Based in Northern NSW, Oliver will be a valuable addition to the existing team servicing Australia & New Zealand with our leading edge Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) product suite.

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Workplace probe after Qld plumber dies

News.com.au September 17

WORKPLACE safety authorities are investigating the death of a plumber who fell through the roof of a Brisbane home.

THE tradesman was hospitalised with head injuries after he fell through the fibreglass roof of a Sunnybank property on Tuesday.

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Worker killed after arm trapped in machine at Welshpool factory in Perth.

ABC News

A man has died in a workplace accident after allegedly being caught in a large industrial mixer in the Perth suburb of Welshpool.

Worksafe said the process worker, 58, was stuck at the Klinger Australia manufacturing factory on McDowell Street just before 10:00am on Tuesday.

It is understood the Department of Fire and Emergency Services was told the man’s arm had become trapped.

Emergency crews were called to the factory, but the man died at the scene.

Police said a report would be prepared for the state coroner.

Worksafe, WA’s industrial safety watchdog, said an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death was underway.

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Dingley company has appeal over $375,000 fine dismissed.

Worksafe News 14 September

A Dingley engineering company which had been fined a total of $375,000 after three employees were injured in separate incidents had its appeal dismissed by the Court of Appeal last week.

Dotmar EPP Pty Ltd had pleaded guilty in the County Court in August to two charges of failing to provide or maintain plant and systems of work that were, so far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

The first charge related to a period from 12 October 2009 to 19 August 2010, in which two employees suffered hand injuries in separate incidents while operating a lathe.

The second charge related to a single incident on 18 March 2010, in which an employee suffered lacerations to his leg when it became trapped between the rotating table and frame of a router.

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Farming action plan improving safety for future generations

WorkCover NSW is about to launch the third phase of a strategic industry action plan aimed at improving health and safety in the state’s highest risk agricultural sector.

Inspectors are contacting sheep and beef cattle farmers across regional NSW to arrange visits between now and the end of August to help farmers assess and improve safe work systems.

While some farmers will be first-time clients, others have already received a special rebate of up to $2,000 for purchasing or supplementing the cost of health and safety solutions.

Executive Director of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy said about 9,500 famers– more than a third of the target industry – had received assistance under the project’s now discontinued rebate scheme.

“That is an extraordinary and unprecedented take-up rate, representing around $18 million in rebates, with more than $30 million invested in actual safety improvements that have helped to improve the industry’s health and safety performance,” Mr Dunphy said.

The plan addresses five main areas of concern – working with livestock, quad bikes, tractors and related implements, occupational disease and ‘recover at work’.

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Man dies in workplace incident at transport business in Newcastle

July 4, 2015

A man has been killed while working at a transport business just north of Newcastle.

The 47-year-old man was at the business on Old Maitland Road in Sandgate when he was injured about 9.30am on Saturday.

Paramedics tried to save the man but his injuries were too extensive and he died at the scene

Officers from Newcastle City Local Area Command established a crime scene and are investigating.A police spokesman said how the man suffered the injuries was still unclear and police were working with WorkCover NSW to determined what happened.A report will be prepared for the coroner
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Queensland tractor injuries rising with ageing and untrained workforce

Legal Injury Helpline

Tractor-related injuries on Queensland farms are on the rise due to an influx of inexperienced recruits and an ageing workforce, according to Farmsafe Queensland’s executive director, James Cupples.

“Tractors are still our number-one cause of injuries across all [agricultural] sectors,” Cupples told OHS Alert.

While the farm industry has seen a sharp drop in tractor fatalities since the introduction of legislation (such as s255 of the State health and safety Regulation) requiring tractors to be fitted with roll-over protective structures, there has been an increase in the number of run-over incidents, he says.

Such incidents are more common among older farmers, Cupples says, who are increasingly forced to operate properties short-staffed as younger workers seek more lucrative jobs in the mining sector and other industries.

At Gayndah, north of Brisbane, a citrus fruit producer was fined more than $32,000 after a worker was caught and run over by the rear wheel of a tractor after he started it from the ground with a screwdriver.

The Shepherd Citrus Pty Ltd employee sustained a fractured pelvis which required the insertion of screws.

A subsequent investigation found that it was common practice to start the tractor in such a way; that the start button and starter motor were known to be faulty; and that there was no system for reporting defective machinery.

The employer was charged and pleaded guilty to breaching s24 of the State Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995, for failing to ensure workplace safety.

And at Innisfail, in the State’s north, banana plantation employer Denis James Murphy was fined $6,500, plus more than $3,300 in costs, after a worker fractured a thigh and collar bone leaping from an out-of-control four-wheel-drive tractor.

The worker encountered difficulties while towing a trailer down a slope, and jumped from the tractor before it came to rest in adjacent crops.

An investigation found that the employer had no system to adequately assess the competency of drivers, and had “made assumptions” about the worker’s skill based on his experience with similar equipment.

The employer pleaded guilty to breaching s24 of the Act. This is why it is best to get legal advice from a professional

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Company fined over fatal crash

The West Australian

Waste management company Transpacific Industries has been fined $363,000 for breaching federal work health and safety laws over an accident in the Swan Valley that left a 71 year-old dead.

The woman died after a rubbish truck ploughed into a jiffy van at a set of traffic lights in West Swan Road in Caversham, which then crashed into her car in February 2011.

It was later found the truck driver had tried to stop, but the vehicle’s front brakes failed to operate properly, resulting in the collision.

Federal work health and safety regulator Comcare brought a Federal court action against Transpacific, alleging that on four occasions they failed to carry out adequate brake maintenance on the garbage truck which collided with the car.

Today, Justice Michael Barker handed down the massive financial penalty – which is believed to be the first time multiple breaches of Commonwealth work health and safety laws have been found against an employer in regard to an ongoing risk to health and safety.

Justice Barker found that Transpacific breached the federal Occupational Health and Safety Act, by failing to control the risks to protect the health and safety of Transpacific’s employees and other road users.

Investigations identified systematic failures in Transpacific’s vehicle maintenance practices in relation to the truck, with Comcare taking enforcement action to rectify the situation.

“This case showed ongoing, systematic failures in safety practices,” Comcare’s Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Taylor said.

“It’s also a reminder that in such cases, Comcare will not just consider the final result. We will examine every opportunity a company has had to fix these issues, and we will take appropriate enforcement action.”

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Quad bike inquest to examine deaths of eight people, consider law changes

ABC Tipped quad bike

An inquest into eight fatal quad bike accidents in New South Wales is being held to examine whether major regulatory changes need to be made to help prevent further deaths.

The coroner will investigate the circumstances surrounding the eight deaths, which occurred on farms or in rural areas between 2009 and 2014.

The start of the inquest coincided with another accident involving a quad bike in the Northern Tablelands region in which a 48-year-old man was injured.

In all of the cases being examined by the coroner, the victims were thrown or fell, and several were pinned under the vehicles.

Two of the victims were children under the age of 13, while the six others were adults.

A recent inquest in Queensland recommended that children under the age of 16 be banned from riding the vehicles.

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Shed manufacturer fined for serious workplace fall

SafeWork SA – 9 April 2015

IKC Sheds Pty Ltd has received a conviction and been fined $10,000 plus court costs in the Industrial Court after a worker sustained injuries to his back when he fell through a roof. The magistrate ruled that IKC Sheds Pty Ltd failed to provide a safe system of work, failed to ensure adequate training of the employee for working at height and failed to ensure the employee understood the safety measures required of him.

The worker fell around six metres through a polycarbonate roof sheet being installed on a shed at Clare in August 2012 sustaining various injuries including fractures to his vertebrae and sternum. As a result he was hospitalised for ten days. The magistrate indicated he would have imposed a $145,000 fine for IKC Sheets Pty Ltd breaches, however applied a 40 per cent reduction for a guilty plea and a further reduction due to the defendant’s plea of financial hardship.

SafeWork SA Acting Executive Director Marie Boland today reminded all businesses that prevention is better than prosecution. “The maximum fine for breaches of this kind is $300,000 –this case is a reminder to others of the potential risk to lives of unsafe work practices, and the potential high fines if adequate safety is not in place,” Ms Boland said. “Most injuries can be prevented by simple measures including safe work procedures, training and reviewing safe systems of work on a regular basis – invest the time to keep your workplace injury-free,” she said. South Australian workplace injuries resulting from falls from buildings and other structures has almost doubled in recent years, with six recorded in 2013 and 11 in 2014. IKC Sheds Pty Ltd was prosecuted under the repealed Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986.

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Statement: Workplace fatality, Spencer Gulf

WorkSafe SA – 27 March 2015

SafeWork SA regrets to advise that a man has died after falling from a prawn trawler into Spencer Gulf off the South Australian coast near Corny Point. SafeWork SA Acting Executive Director Marie Boland confirms the state’s work health and safety regulator has begun an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident and offered her condolences to the man’s family, friends and co-workers on behalf of the agency. The man’s death brings this year’s work-related death toll to three. There were 13 fatalities recorded in 2014.

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Man lost lower half of left leg in tragic tree mulcher accident

NT News 26 March

A man lost the lower half of his left leg in a tragic tree mulcher accident while preparing for Cyclone Nathan.

The cyclone was on the point of being downgraded when CareFlight received a call that a man at a resort in Jabiru had become tangled in a rope and dragged into a mulcher machine.

The man’s colleagues retrieved his leg from the machine, but the injury was so severe hospital staff were unable to reattach it.

CareFlight director Ian Badham said when the team arrived at the site, the man’s workmates and resort staff had already applied a tourniquet to his leg.

“The tourniquet saved his life otherwise he would have bled to death,” Mr Badham said.

“The effort of his workmates and resort staff quickly applying the tourniquet, looking after him and calling for help made all the difference.”

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Warning on falsified High Risk Work Licences

W.A. Government Deaprtment of Commerce Media Release 27 March

WorkSafe has issued a warning to check High Risk Work Licences after being alerted to altered and created copies of the documents.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said today WorkSafe had recently been alerted that the licences were being altered to include additional classes of high risk work for which the owner had not been trained.

“We’ve recently been made aware that some High Risk Work Licences are being electronically scanned and altered to include additional classes of high risk work, and the altered copies then sent as email attachments to prospective employers,” Mr McCulloch said.

“High Risk Work Licences are only issued to workers who have been appropriately trained and have the skills to perform high risk work safely and competently.

“These licences apply to anyone engaged in work considered to be “high risk”, including scaffolding, dogging and rigging work and the operation of cranes, hoists, pressure equipment and forklifts.

“Our advice to employers or anyone in control of a workplace is to satisfy yourself that anyone you are thinking of employing for high risk work has the experience they claim to have.

“Always sight the original High Risk Work Licence card – don’t be satisfied with an emailed or texted scan or photo of the licence.

“Anyone who has concerns about a High Risk Work Licence can verify the details using the WorkSafe licence and registration search located on the Department of Commerce website.

“Finally, it’s important to note that the cases of fraud in relation to High Risk Work Licences we have discovered have been referred to WA Police.”

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4 Top Safety Ideas When Working at Heights

Dangers of working at heights

Working at Heights

Grant King – IndustrySearch  25 March 2015

As a rule, heights and humans don’t mix, largely due to a rather inconvenient phenomenon called gravity. When your workers are required to confront gravity with above ground work, it’s your job to ensure they are still above ground at the end of each shift and return home safely to their families.

Even a fall from a few metres can cause serious injury so don’t take gravity for granted. Here are some tips for safely working at height and, just as importantly, managing others to do the same.

Ask yourself a lot of questions

Analyse the task from all angles. How much of the work can actually be done from the ground? How much has to be done from ladders or scaffolding? How high do you actually need to go? Do you have the right equipment? Would scissor lifts be a safer option than ladders?

Do you need safety harnesses, guard rails or tower scaffolding? Who will be doing the work? Do they have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job not only properly, but safely? Will the job be adequately supervised? How long will the job take?

All these questions need to be answered to assess the risk. Do as much of the work as possible from the ground. For the rest, put personal safety ahead of profits.

Don’t rely on falls prevention by accident

Yes, anyone can get lucky cutting corners, but where heights are involved, a well designed workplace is the only way to go. Safety equipment is a bit like travel insurance – you never get sick when you’ve got it.

So use handrails and harnesses on all elevated work platforms and scaffolding even if your workers don’t seem overly enthusiastic. And don’t stop there. Even the best prepared equipment malfunctions, so have some fall arrest backup in place such as safety nets or catch platforms. If you have mezzanine floors or above ground storage areas, make sure they have sturdy handrails and stairs with toe boards.

Don’t get lax with ladders

Ladders account for a disproportionately high number of workplace accidents. Why? Because they are the go-to equipment for a disproportionate number of jobs due to being cheap and portable. They are, however, an accident waiting to happen. Extendable ladders buckle or break because they haven’t been secured properly. Ladders that are too short cause workers to stretch from an unstable position. Ladders are rested against weak surfaces with unsurprising results. Or the rungs of a ladder break while heavy equipment is being carried up simply because no one thought to read the ladder’s specifications. Yes, ladders have specifications.

Ladder lessons

The bottom line – only use ladders for light, short work at low levels and on firm, non-slip surfaces. If there are any doubts about stability, secure your ladder by tying it to a support and always have both feet and at least one hand firmly on the ladder at all times. In other words, if you need two hands to operate equipment, don’t use a ladder, use a scissor lift. To avoid overbalancing or overreaching, never stand higher than the second top rung. And if you can, only use step platform ladders. They’re simply more stable.

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Care service fined following teenager’s death

NCSA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin 12 March

A residential care service in New Zealand has been prosecuted and fined after a 15-year-old teenager with multiple disabilities drowned in a bath.

Nathan Booker had profound intellectual and physical disabilities. In January last year, while he was in respite care at an Idea Services facility, he drowned after being left unattended in the bath, according to WorkSafe New Zealand in a media statement.

Following the incident, Idea Services was prosecuted in the Palmerston North District Court under the New Zealand Health and Safety in Employment Act for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure no action or inaction of an employee harmed another person.

The company pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay reparation of $90,000 and fined $63,500.

“Nathan was a young man with complex needs. He was not capable of bathing himself. His care documents stated that he required ‘full support’ and his care plan said that he must be ‘supervised at all times’. He simply should not have been left alone in the bath,” said WorkSafe New Zealand’s chief inspector, Keith Stewart, in a media statement.

“If Nathan had been fully supervised and not left alone during his bath this tragedy is unlikely to have occurred. This case should serve as a wake-up call to the residential care sector to ensure that they fully assess and manage the risks of services such as bathing people with complex needs.”

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ACT Ambulance Service to respond to bullying claims in new report

ABC News 18 March

A leaked report has detailed cultural issues in the ACT Ambulance Service including bullying, distrust and poor management.

The Ambulance Service said it would act on the recommendations from the internal report which listed a range of internal cultural problems.

Fairfax newspapers have reported the consultants involved, O2C Solutions, have recommended a major internal overhaul after a lengthy review.

ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) chief Dominic Lane said he accepted the need for change but insisted the service was performing well against national benchmarks.

“Our response times are among the best in the nation,” he said.

“We have a 98 per cent patient satisfaction record, we answer our triple-0 calls in record time, all of our technical ability is very good.

“What this part of the review was about [was] looking at our cultural attributes, so we’ve taken on board the independent review’s finding.”

Klaus Pinkas from the Transport Workers Union said exponential growth had caused problems.

“That’s led to problems within how the old management has adapted with the new size and new professionalism,” he said.

The ACT Government is expected to issue a blueprint for change later today.

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Hospital admissions from hot oil burns sustained by workers in commercial kitchens on the rise

The World Today 17 March
Flipping burgers may be a straightforward task, but it is also a dangerous one with new evidence pointing to a sharp increase in hot oil burns in commercial kitchens around Australia.

New data from one of Sydney’s biggest hospitals showed hospital admissions for burn injuries up by nearly 50 per cent.

“We are seeing quite a few cases of hot oil burns and we believe that we need to make sure that everyone out there has the appropriate information on both prevention and first aid,” said Siobhan Connolly, a burns injury prevention officer at Royal North Shore Hospital.

She said the majority of cases involved burns to the hand, with men making up two-thirds of all reported cases.
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Transpacific fined $110k after employee exposed to chemicals

ABC Adelaide

Transpacific Industries has been fined $110,000 after one of its Adelaide employees was exposed to hazardous chemicals in 2011 at a recycling plant in Wingfield.

While the man was pouring 25-kilogram bags of sodium sulphide into a tank, he was overcome with inhaling fumes and suffered severe dizziness and breathing difficulties before collapsing.

The Federal Court today found the work being undertaken by the employee was unsafe because there were inappropriate work systems and inadequate information or training available to enable the employee to safely perform his work.

The court found that while safety equipment was available at the workplace, employees were not required to use it.

In his judgment John Mansfield said “it was inappropriate to leave decisions about personal protective equipment to employees doing the work, without adequate training on the substance they were working with or the risk of harm that arose from that substance”.

Comcare’s Regulatory Operations Group acting general manager Paul Orwin said this case highlighted the importance for companies with high-risk operations to ensure there were appropriate health and safety systems in place.

“There is a serious risk of injury or death when dealing with chemicals of this nature,” Mr Orwin said.

“Employers need to undertake the appropriate risk assessments to ensure employees carrying out these duties understand the requirements and are safe.”

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Hairdresser injured in hair straightener explosion at Helensvale shopping centre

The Courier Mail March 14

FIREMEN and paramedics have rushed to a Gold Coast shopping centre where a hairdresser has been injured by an exploding hair straightener.

The 21-year-old man was working at a salon at Westfield Helensvale when the hair straightener reportedly ‘blew up in his hands’ about 12.30pm today, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.

Fire crews initially dispatched to the scene said the man had suffered a ‘significant’ electric shock and called the QAS.

Paramedics were still on the scene.

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Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)

 

Creating a safe work environment is critical to the success of your business, and is one of the best ways to retain staff and maximise productivity. Though it may cost to implement safe practices and install safety equipment, the effect of not taking action can be severe.

As a business owner you have responsibilities regarding health and safety in your workplace. You need to ensure that your business doesn’t create health and safety problems for your employees, customers or the public.

Knowing and understanding the WHS laws, previously known as Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damage to your business caused by workplace injury and illness. It will also provide your business with a strong foundation to achieve long-term success.

If you want to reduce health and safety hazards in your workplace but don’t know where to begin, there are simple steps that will allow you to concentrate your efforts as well as help your business to be prepared in all situations.

Having the right attitude towards the safety of your workers, contractors, customers and the public is an important first step. WHS shouldn’t be seen as an additional cost – it’s better to deal with health and safety issues before they escalate.

If you’re looking for assistance with WHS/OH&S requirements specific to your industry, you can utilise State or Territory WHS agencies for advice and kits on how to incorporate safety management into your business operations.

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Mushroom farm blast ends in $50,000 fine

The owner of a mushroom growing operation was fined $50,000 in Bendigo Magistrates court last month over a gas explosion that left a worker with serious burns.

Lance Darren Robertson, 54, was found guilty of failing to provide and maintain a safe working environment at Streamside Mushrooms, a business he operated at Lockwood South, near Bendigo.

He was convicted and fined $50,000, and ordered to pay costs of $15,106.

The court was told that on 26 March, 2013, an employee began sterilizing a growing room by heating it with an LP gas powered “Wildcat” direct-fired air heater.

He left the room, but when he returned a short time later he noticed that the gas connection to the heater had come loose and the flame was out.

He turned off the gas at the cylinder and switched off the heater. He then re-attached the gas hose and connected the heater air supply duct to the air-conditioning unit to allow fresh air to be drawn into the room from outside the building. He also opened the main door to help dissipate the gas.

After a short period of time, the employee re-entered the room and, not being able to smell gas, reconnected the fresh air duct, rechecked the gas hose fitting, turned the gas on at the cylinder and switched on the burner switch on the heater.

There was an explosion, and the employee suffered various degree burns to his face, arms, torso and one leg.

An investigation later found that the heater had been modified so that critical functions that shut down the gas intake valves if the flame went out had been bypassed.

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Work Health and Safety Perceptions Manufacturing Industry

Safe Work Australia Feb 2015

Main Findings

The most common self-reported exposures in the industry were exposure to airborne hazards, noise and vibration.

According to both employers and workers, most manufacturing workplaces frequently undertake a wide range of work health and safety activities (Figure 1). These activities are undertaken at a higher rate in manufacturing workplaces than workplaces in other priority industries.

It appears that small manufacturing businesses are as likely as large businesses to undertake some health and safety activities like providing personal protective equipment (PPE). But they also appear less likely to put in place safety measures, provide training or talk about WHS matters with workers, including contractors.

About 87 per cent of manufacturing employers provided some health and safety training to their workers over a 12 month period (vs. 71 per cent in other priority industries). A similar proportion provided induction training to new workers.

One in five manufacturing employers may accept risk taking if the schedule is tight. One in five employers believes that the time it takes before safety improvements are implemented is too long.

Safe Work Australia Complete Publication

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Young worker dies in trench collapse

Worksafe News Thursday March 5

A young worker died yesterday afternoon after a trench collapsed at a construction site in Cranbourne East.

The tragedy happened just after 2pm on land being prepared for a new housing estate.

The man, 19, was in a trench about 4m deep being prepared for sewer pipes when the incident took place. He died at the scene.

WorkSafe is investigating.

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Fiskville CFA fire-training facility closed indefinitely after chemical residue found in water

ABC News March 3, 2015CFA firefighters train at the Fiskville training centre

The Victorian Country Fire Authority’s (CFA) training facility at Fiskville, north-west of Melbourne, has been closed indefinitely after chemical residue was found in the water supply.

The chairman and chief executive of WorkSafe Victoria have also resigned after concerns about the agency’s handling of complaints made about the site.

The facility, located near the town of Ballan, was already the subject of a state parliamentary inquiry into concerns firefighters were exposed to toxic chemicals dating back to the 1970s.

Now, a chemical residue, known as PFOS, from a banned firefighting foam has been found in mains water stored in two large tanks on the site.

The CFA’s chief executive, Michael Wooten, said “low levels” of contamination were discovered in tanks fed by mains water and the closure was precautionary.

“Drinking water is treated by other organisations to make sure it’s safe for drinking so we didn’t believe the mains water was going to represent a risk to the site, and that’s why we hadn’t tested it before,” he said.

People have stood up and said ‘this is safe’, and the place is not safe.

Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier

However Peter Marshall, from the United Firefighters Union, said the substance was “extremely toxic and dangerous”.

“It is known to cause cancer and is actually banned in most countries,” he said.

WorkSafe Victoria chairman chief David Krasnostein and chief executive Denise Cosgrove have quit at the request of the State Government.

The safety watchdog had previously declared the site to be safe, despite the ongoing concerns raised by firefighters and staff.

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Worker injured at New Gisborne factory

Worksafe News 12 February 2015

WorkSafe Victoria is aware of an incident at a factory in New Gisborne which has left a male worker with a facial injury.

WorkSafe understands the injured man, in his 30s, was operating a crane around 2pm today when the crane’s chain became snagged, causing an object to strike the man’s face.  The man was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment.  WorkSafe is making inquiries.

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Man in serious condition following Bobcat accident in Prahran

The Age   March 4, 2015 – 3:04PM

A construction worker is in a serious condition after his leg got trapped in a Bobcat in a workplace accident in Melbourne’s inner south-east on Wednesday morning.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade rescued the man, aged in his 30s, after his leg was pinned between the bucket and the body of the Bobcat he was operating at a Prahran construction site.

Ambulance Victoria was called to the scene at midday and were able to stabilise the man before releasing his trapped leg.

The rescue operation took about 20 minutes.

Ambulance Victoria spokesperson Shaun McComish said the man was taken to The Alfred hospital with serious upper leg injuries and remains in a serious condition.

Workcover and Victoria Police also attended the accident.

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Mansfield manufacturer fined over drum explosion

Worksafe News 27 February 2015

A Mansfield manufacturer was convicted and fined $35,000 in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this week over an incident in which a welder was seriously injured when a 44-gallon drum exploded.

Crawford Containers pleaded guilty to one charge under section 21 of the OHS Act for failing to provide a safe system of work. It was also ordered to pay $3577 in costs.

The court was told the company, which operates a factory converting shipping containers into mobile kitchens for commercial use, engaged a number of subcontractors at its Mansfield site.

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Builder dies at Fitzroy North construction site

Worksafe News 20 February 2015

WorkSafe Victoria is investigating the death of a builder on a Fitzroy North building site this morning. WorkSafe understands the man, in his 40s, was working alone on a renovation project at a home in Holden Street.

It is believed the man fell from part of the construction. The man was found just after 11am. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

WorkSafe is investigating.

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Worker injured at New Gisborne factory

Worksafe News 12 February 2015

WorkSafe Victoria is aware of an incident at a factory in New Gisborne which has left a male worker with a facial injury.

WorkSafe understands the injured man, in his 30s, was operating a crane around 2pm today when the crane’s chain became snagged, causing an object to strike the man’s face.  The man was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for treatment.  WorkSafe is making inquiries.

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Canberra project manager blames victim for workplace death during road resurfacing project

A Canberra project manager charged with safety breaches over the death of a truck driver has blamed the victim for the accident during a hearing in the ACT Industrial Court.

Michael Booth, 48, was electrocuted in March 2012 when he unloaded gravel from his tip truck in a compound under low-hanging power lines.

The incident happened at an area in Turner just off Barry Drive during a $4.5 million road resurfacing project.

In the first case of its type under new national safe work laws, project manager Munir Al Hasani and Kenoss Contractors have been charged with failing to maintain a safe work place and exposing a worker to serious risk of injury or death.

Funding announced for a farm safety officer in Tasmania

Tas Country Hour 27 Feb 2015

The Tasmanian Government will spend more than $400, 000 over the next three years improving workplace health and safety on Tasmanian farms.

Primary Industries Minister Jeremy Rockliff outlined details of the FarmSafe Tasmania Program today and says a dedicated full time advisor will be employed under the plan.

“The advisor will partner with farming organisations like the TFGA and PASS to deliver the program, and will visit farms across the state.”

Gladstone Regional Council installs new Kiosks for logging safety incidents.

Posted 23 February 2015 by Bob Johnson

Gladstone Regional Council (GRC) is now using kiosks with their LOGOSS IMS Safety Management System to encourage logging of all incidents, hazards and near misses.

The kiosks represent another step to ‘change behaviours and process to manage risk, incidents, return to work and safety management’ as part of their very successful strategy in reducing costs.

GRC had previously published a Case Study outlining the significant savings achieved over the previous eighteen months since the implementation of the software.

 

New Worksafe plan for WA agriculture to reduce farm fatalities and injuries

Western Australia’s safe work watchdog has released a new action plan designed to reduce the number of farm fatalities and injuries.

Worksafe developed the new plan with nine organisations, including farm lobby groups and other government departments.

It was released without much fanfare but Worksafe’s director of policy and education Ian Munns said its aims were important.

“About three per cent of workers in Australia are employed in the agriculture sector but on average 17 per cent of (workplace) fatalities are coming from that sector,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a disproportionate representation.”

 

Virgin Australia to pay $625k to improve safety at Canberra Part of the Virgin Australia Group promises to spend $625,000 to improve safety at Canberra Airport, after a worker was hit on the back of the head by a roller door.Airport after worker hit on head by roller door

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Virgin Australia has promised to spend $625,000 to improve safety at Canberra Airport after a worker was hit on the back of the head by a roller door.

The accident happened in May last year as the employee of Virgin Tech, a part of the Virgin Australia Group, was collecting recycling from the new airport terminal and walked under the fast-moving door.

The man received treatment for his injuries and returned to work, but Worksafe ACT identified a lack of warning devices and safety training on-site.

It has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Virgin Tech to upgrade safety strategies.

 

Mining companies accused of failing to protect workers from exposure to harmful body vibrations

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 Mining companies are being accused of not doing enough to protect workers from the risk of developing serious spine and reproductive disorders through working with heavy machinery.

The hazard from prolonged periods of time workers spend in a vibrating machine is known as whole body vibration.

Occupational health therapist Barbara McPhee has researched the hazard and said it can be caused by a variety of machinery.

 

Rescue chopper takes out WorkCover safety award

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The Hunter's rescue helicopter won the WorkCover 'Safety Leadership Award'.The Hunter’s rescue helicopter has taken out an award for leadership in workplace safety.

Now in their eleventh year, the WorkCover New South Wales awards recognise businesses and individuals making positive changes to work health and safety.

The rescue chopper won the ‘Safety Leadership Award’.

The service is responsible for 170 paramedics, doctors, nurses and pilots.

General manager Richard Jones says he’s incredibly proud of his team.

“Everyone wants a safe workplace, everyone wants to go home at the end of the day,” he said.