Asbestos is a serious and ongoing concern in Australia

Asbestos is a serious concern in Australia, affecting the lives of many and creating havoc in the building and construction industry.

Staying on top of developments regarding this dangerous material is just one way to minimise your risk of exposure. An in-depth and evolving knowledge of asbestos is crucial to mitigate the hazards that may be lurking in your workplace.

Another consideration would be to undertake asbestos awareness training, to ensure you can identify and address any potential asbestos that may be present.

To ensure you are in the best possible position to protect the health and the safety of your colleagues and staff, here are just a few of the latest asbestos-related headlines from around Australia.

Australian hospitals tested for asbestos

A hospital is the place you go when recovering from an illness or injury. The last thing you would expect would be for the very building itself to pose a danger to your health and safety.

Unfortunately, recent testing has revealed many hospitals in Australia may contain asbestos products. Sydney’s Westmead hospital closed its service tunnels earlier this year after an untrained apprentice disturbed asbestos in the walls.

Now, only trained and supervised personnel are allowed entry into the tunnels, and only while wearing protective clothing and suitable asbestos-grade breathing masks.

Speaking to ABC News, Annabel Crouch, a former speech therapist at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, explained that she had recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma – a disease directly related to asbestos exposure.

It is believed Ms Crouch contracted the cancer while working at the hospital, due to service tunnels being lined with asbestos materials.

“We went up and down the tunnel 10 times a day,” Ms Crouch explained. “And there would always be people working on it, the pipes, there’d be plumbers doing things {…} No-one thought there would be asbestos or any danger.”

This revelation is a serious concern for anyone who has worked in or on a hospital in Australia, particularly those built prior to the total asbestos ban in 2003. It is therefore important for individuals in all industries to stay aware and understand their risks. One way to do this is to complete asbestos training to help identify and monitor the hazards.

Home renovators the new wave of asbestos victims

As the health risks of asbestos was discovered, the victims contracting related diseases have come in waves. Starting with those working in asbestos mining and factories, the ill effects soon moved into the construction and manufacturing sectors.

The third wave appeared much later, when families and spouses of first and second wave workers also began being diagnosed with mesothelioma and other conditions. This was due to a lack of safety precautions meaning workers often carried dangerous asbestos fibres home on their clothing – where it was then inhaled by family members.

The latest wave of victims to come forward is also related to domestic exposure, but is not limited to the years before the total asbestos ban was put in place. Now, home renovators who are unaware of their property’s history are putting their own and their family’s lives at risk by undertaking DIY renovations and disturbing asbestos materials.

This is according to Asbestos Diseases Research Institute professor Nico van Zandwijk, who told the Daily Telegraph last month that “statistics are suggesting that an increasing number of mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos fibres in non-occupational settings such as home renovation and maintenance including women and children.”

Approximately one-third of Australian homes contain asbestos products, so it is important for homeowners to get their property assessed before starting any developments. While buildings constructed after 1990 are likely free of asbestos products, any home built before this time need to be checked.

Homeowners, renovators, tradies and contractors are all at risk when working on older buildings. This is why awareness and training is crucial. Any person considering DIY renovations should talk to a qualified professional before cutting, stripping or disturbing materials in the home.

“Factory of death” responsible for neighbours’ health concerns

The importance of correct asbestos containment and removal has been highlighted as the death toll in Melbourne’s Sunshine North continues to climb.

Reports from the Sunday Herald Sun suggest that more than 30 people have died and 15 fallen ill simply due to living near the Wunderlich factory, which created asbestos products prior to the nationwide ban.

The Health Department last month conducted a range of air quality tests around the area and found no evidence of asbestos fibres. However, the toll of past manufacturing work is hard to ignore.

Because of this, the Sunday Herald Sun commissioned asbestos experts to test the roof spaces of a number of houses near the factory and found a significant number contained invisible asbestos dust.

Peter Thomson, a resident whose home tested positive, was upset over the lack of information. Prior to these recent tests, homeowners were unaware of the danger lurking in their roof spaces.

“If it wasn’t for the Sunday Herald Sun this still would not have come out,” he said on October 18.

“There could be 2,000 or 3,000 homes sitting on a time bomb. It leaves a dirty taste in your mouth and makes you feel sick.”

While it may be too late to prevent the asbestos spreading from the abandoned factories, it is not too late to minimise exposure in your workplace. Correct asbestos removal techniques are crucial for protecting the health and safety of yourself, your colleagues and any neighbouring residents.

As the presence of asbestos in these homes demonstrates, precautions need to be taken even when properties are not directly exposed to asbestos products. If the wind were to blow in the wrong direction on the wrong day, any loose asbestos fibres can easily travel over long distances and contaminate many homes.

Any person who may be required to undertake asbestos removal needs to complete the relevant training. While official qualifications are not required for small amounts of non-friable materials, the training will ensure all proper precautions are in place no matter what.

For more information on safe asbestos removal or to get started with asbestos awareness training, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Australian Hospitals and the Asbestos Crisis

Millions of people walk in and out of hospitals around the world every day. Some are doctors, nurses and staff members getting paid to clock in and help the sick and injured. Others are patients and their loved ones seeking relief from pain and treatment for illnesses and injuries. Some are already fighting serious medical conditions like cancer. Others are conducting research on subjects suffering from those diseases.

What none of these people expect to encounter is a deadly dose of asbestos fibres floating around in the air. They breathe the air freely, perhaps assuming that the hospital is one of the cleanest and healthiest places in the world.

Unfortunately for many Australians, those hospitals may be the least safe of all places in the country. Employees working in some hospitals for many years are now coming down with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres in the air. The problem is being traced to the presence of asbestos materials in the tunnels running underneath many hospitals.

According to many hospital workers, tunnels have served as passageways for staff members for many years. One mesothelioma victim and long-term hospital employee noted that she used the tunnel under Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney as many as 10 times a day, and she worked at the hospital for 30 years. She has now been diagnosed with mesothelioma and is campaigning against the hospital to ensure that the danger of asbestos is contained and eliminated.

There are many other employees at hospitals throughout Australia who were likely exposed to asbestos in the air inside those tunnels. There is also concern that the presence of asbestos is not limited to the tunnels.

Tanya Segelov actively represents victims suffering from diseases caused by asbestos and other dangerous dusts. She alleges that asbestos is hidden within many Australian hospitals, and it isn’t just in the tunnels. She believes that the ceilings, steam pipes, fire doors, broiler houses and laundry facilities of many hospitals are contaminated with asbestos.

 

The Hospital Perspective

danger of asbestos in hospitalsIf you are questioning why so many hospitals and other businesses can contain asbestos and still remain open to employees and the public, it is a matter of justifiable risk. Hospitals allege that their buildings have been tested for asbestos fibres in the air, and no detectable asbestos fibres are present. The argument is that the asbestos materials present in hospitable buildings are not friable and therefore don’t present an immediate threat to people breathing the air inside the buildings.

Friable materials are those that can easily crumble, sending dust fibres into the air. Those airborne dust particles are what collect in the lungs of humans, causing mesothelioma and other diseases. These fibres are not easily eliminated from the body, so they collect over time. In many cases, symptoms of disease don’t set in until years after the exposure.

Hospital representatives have stated that they believe the asbestos contained within their buildings is contained and is not friable. This would mean that they are of no danger to humans unless disturbed.

The Unions Protest

Many hospital workers and patients are starting to worry about their safety when they enter hospitals, largely due to the case of one known hospital worker diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure over three decades of service in a hospital. Employees of some hospitals are also starting to talk openly about time spent in the tunnels beneath hospitals, including some stories that relate to Halloween festivities that may have introduced children and other non-staff members into those asbestos-contaminated tunnels.

Union representatives throughout Australia are now fighting for hospitals to take the risk of asbestos contamination more seriously. Representatives including Tanya Segelov claim that the risk is not limited to those tunnels, and the threat of life-threatening disease is still valid for many Australian hospital workers.

Concern for Workers and Citizens

This concern over asbestos in hospitals comes during a time of heightened alert in Australia. Many residents are now well aware that millions of structures throughout the country were built with asbestos-containing materials, and there are routine news stories regarding citizens concerned with potential exposure in their local communities.

As buildings are demolished and renovated, there is an ongoing concern that asbestos fibres will release into the air, causing disease that will sabotage lives in years to come. This is a nationwide health concern that has been around for generations, and the lingering presence of asbestos materials in older buildings means that it will remain an issue for generations to come.

It is important to stress that this is not an issue related only to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. The discovery of asbestos has shut many businesses down in recent years, and that includes small businesses as well as large corporations operating in various areas of Australia. The country used more asbestos materials than most others prior to 1980, so it is going to take a long time to completely eliminate all structures throughout the country of those materials.

What Happens Next?

As unions continue to place pressure on hospitals to take asbestos concerns seriously, testing will continue to determine the true risk to lives of people moving in and out of Australian hospitals each day. As risks are detected, sections of hospitals may be closed to the public while the asbestos threat is eliminated.

In the meantime, Australians should remain on the lookout for potential asbestos dangers. Maintenance workers and other employees in charge of construction, renovation and maintenance of facilities should receive professional training on the detection and treatment of asbestos materials. This training is essential because employees may unknowingly disturb materials containing asbestos, presenting a health risk to their own bodies and many others around them. Education is the best weapon Australia has against the lingering threat of mesothelioma and other diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

Want to know more?

Asbestos is a serious issue in Australia. If you would like to know more about this deadly material, check out the other stories on our news feed.

To access asbestos awareness and removal training, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Resources:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/hospital-tunnels-riddled-with-asbestos/5863568
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s4120674.htm

Top 10 Deadliest Jobs in Australia

So many things can go wrong on the job. You may strain muscles and tear ligaments in any line of work that requires movement, but some industries present much bigger dangers. If your job requires travel or your job site is on the highway, you are risk of being run over. You can fall from great heights, get trampled by animals or light up in a chemical explosion.

A recent study completed by finder.com.au surveyed all of the injuries and deaths suffered in 2012 to determine a list of the 10 deadliest jobs in Australia. If you or someone you love works in any of the following fields, make sure you pay close attention to safety standards for your own protection and that of your colleagues.

 

#1: Transportation Workers

This includes truck drivers, postal workers making deliveries and all workers employed in storage and warehousing within the transport industry. This industry reported the highest number of deaths out of all industries in Australia in 2012. This is likely due to the fact that there are so many things that can go wrong when you are out on the open road. While you can control your own behaviours to ensure safety, you are always at the mercy of other drivers.

#2: Agricultural Workers

This includes anyone working in theagriculture, fishing and forestry fields. There are so many perks to working out in the wild with Mother Nature, but that also exposes you to wild animals, elements of the weather and other dangers. With more than 50 work-related deaths reported in 2012, this industry was a close second for the deadliest industry in Australia.

#3: Construction Workers

It isn’t surprising to see construction in the top five deadliest jobs of Australia. In fact, many people would list it as number one if it weren’t for the statistical backing of this research. The construction industry can expose you to a variety of dangers from hazardous chemicals, extreme heat and cold or great heights. You may even encounter live electrical wires and hidden ground wires, depending on your job site and duties. This is why safety is so critical for every worker on a construction site.

#4:  Manufacturing Workers

There were far more injuries reported in the manufacturing field than the transportation and agricultural fields combined, but the death rates are higher in those other fields. This makes manufacturing less deadly, but it is still quite dangerous. You are at heightened risk for injury when working in this field due to picking up heavy loads, operating heavy machinery, working near hazardous waste or chemicals and trusting colleagues to follow safety protocol.

#5: Public/Government Administration Workers

This category includes workers employed in safety and defence for the government or public works companies as well as police officers working the streets. While there were only 13 deaths reported in 2012, that is enough to squeeze this industry into the top five deadliest Australian workforces. There are known risks to working in law enforcement, but other workers within this field may find themselves at risk for auto accidents and other dangers as well.

#6: Mining Workers

According to Safe Work Australia, 21 of the 36 deaths reported in the mining industry between 2007 and 2012 involved vehicle accidents. Other fatalities included falls from great heights and strikes by falling objects. From falling down a mine shaft to ducking as heavy debris rains down unexpectedly, there is a lot to watch out for in this industry.

#7: Retail Workers

How can working retail put your life in danger? There were six deaths reported in this industry in 2012, which is more than you may expect but not quite high enough to make the evening news. While you may not deal with toxic waste or climb to great heights in this industry, you do deal with the public daily. Your job may also require you to lift and manoeuvre heavy boxes or drive in heavy traffic or in warehouse environments.

#8: Skilled Trade Workers

You could put this industry at number seven on the list with retail workers, since both industries reported six deaths in 2012. This category includes scientists, engineers, lawyers, accountants and other white-collar employees. Some jobs have a higher risk for injury and death than others. For instance, a scientist working in a lab with chemicals is much more likely to experience a potentially-deadly incident than a lawyer sitting behind a desk completing paperwork.

#9: Wholesale Trade Workers

This industry places many workers in large warehouses and manufacturing facilities, so there are flying objects to watch out for and great heights to climb. In some settings, you may also work alongside dangerous chemicals that can cause injury or death in the case of a leak or explosion. There were five deaths in this industry in 2012, and many of those involved driving accidents and falling objects.

#10: Electrical, Gas, Water and Waste Services Workers

Many of the deaths reported in 2012 for this industry involved traffic accidents. This reflects the amount of time that many technicians spend out in the field, providing service customers, maintaining equipment and restoring service after natural disasters. There were 530 injuries reported for the industry in 2012, and that is lower than what you may expect for an industry that places so many workers in high-activity roles. If this is your industry, you may be safer out there than you expected, especially when compared with some of the stats from other industries placed higher up on this list.

Now that you are aware of the deadliest career fields in Australia, don’t rush to pack up your tool belt and find a new direction for your life. These death rates are far lower than they were in previous years for many industries. This is a reflection of the progress taken by implementing and enforcing stricter safety protocols for companies and employees. Brush up on your safety knowledge and make sure you follow protocol so that you are as safe as possible even if your industry does fall on this list.

Sources: http://www.smh.com.au/national/10-deadliest-jobs-i​n-australia-20141019-118cnj.html
http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/

Paralympians inspire safety at work [VIDEO]

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Working at heights training and other OHS programs are vital for reducing the risk of injuries in Australian workplaces. A fall from height can often result in serious injuries, such as paralysis.

Because of the high rates of accidents in local businesses, some of Australia’s most inspiring athletes have signed an alliance to help increase safety awareness.
The Australian Paralympic Committee has partnered with the Safety Institute of Australia in order to deliver targeted messages directly to workers. Paralympians will be travelling the country, sharing their real-life injury experiences with workers.

It is hoped the stories these athletes can share regarding their own struggles and rehabilitation will create a more tangible impact on OHS strategies than traditional training.

Allowing those who have sustained workplace injuries to share their experiences is just one way employers can boost OHS standards. Another is working at heights training from AlertForce.

Where can asbestos be found in the home?

Asbestos was a common building material in Australia prior to the 1990s. Beneficial for fire, sound and water proofing, this material was used extensively when building and renovating homes and commercial properties across the country.

This means that many houses built before 1990 therefore contain asbestos materials – posing a risk for any homeowner or professional undertaking renovations or demolition.

Understanding the risk of asbestos in the home is vital for ensuring families and workers are not accidentally exposed to this deadly material. A key consideration is engaging the services of a qualified professional – who has successfully completed asbestos assessment training – to conduct testing and appraisals before any work is undertaken on older homes.

For small jobs, however, it may not be reasonable to invite a professional in your home. In these situations, it is important that you are aware of the potential risks.

If your home or a property you are renovating was built prior to 1990, here are the six key areas where asbestos materials may be present:

  • The bathroom

As asbestos was often used as waterproofing and insulation, it is unsurprising that your bathroom is one of the most significant locations likely to contain this material.

The most common areas for asbestos to be present include the walls, ceilings and floors – particularly if cement sheeting was used during construction.

Another space to be aware of is the insulation around pipes and hot water heaters. In its friable form, asbestos was often sprayed onto pipes to protect against heat loss – making this a key concern for renovators and plumbers.

  • Living areas

If the property contains a fireplace, this is one location that is likely to contain asbestos. The product was proven to slow the effects of flames, making it an ideal fireproofing material. However, if the product was to burn, the resulting ash and dust would be a serious risk to health and safety if inhaled.

It is also recommended to be mindful of the total fire and smoke system, including the flue pipes.

Another location to consider is underneath the floors and within the roof space, as asbestos could have been used to insulate in these areas.

  • Kitchen

As a heat and waterproofing material, asbestos was often used in the kitchen splashbacks – that is, the panels around kitchen sinks and draining boards.

Additionally, asbestos will likely be present in the roof, walls and under the flooring. If your kitchen contains vinyl flooring, the material was often used as backing – so keep this in mind if you are ripping up old tiles or vinyl.

  • Outdoors

Due to the insulating and waterproofing materials of asbestos, this product was commonly used in exterior cladding. Be mindful of walls and roofs made from imitation brick cladding, concrete and even flat, patterned and corrugated sheeting.

Fibro homes are the most at risk of asbestos exposure, as this form of building material tended to always contain asbestos in Australia. Another area to consider is the guttering around your home, as asbestos fibres can collect here following storms.

In the backyard, any fencing and sheds built from similar exterior materials are also likely to contain asbestos products. Fences were built using asbestos up until the 1990s, with many constructed using “Super Six” fencing, according to the Queensland Asbestos Management Services.

  • Vehicles

Your home is not the only area where asbestos may have been used in the past. Mechanics and vehicle owners also need to be aware of the risks in their automobile.

Asbestos was used extensively in the automotive industry, with a ban on the products not introduced until December 2003. This means that if your car was manufactured prior to 2004, you could be at risk.

You need to take care when carrying out maintenance on the brakes, clutches or gaskets in particular. Any items installed or purchased before 2004 could contain asbestos fibres, creating a significant risk to your health and wellbeing.

If these parts become damaged in any way, you should take the vehicle to a trained and qualified professional as soon as possible and inform them of the asbestos risk.

  • Electric meter board

Not only could asbestos protect against water, heat and fire, it was also often used as an electrical insulation. Asbestos was added to other materials in the manufacture of electrical backing in a similar way to the creation of asbestos cement sheeting.

According to Ausgrid, electrical meter boards installed before 1988 may contain asbestos materials. Another important clue is the colour of your board, as relevant electrical boards were typically black.

The meter boards may also be stamped with one of several product names – Lebah, Ausbestos, Miscolite and Zelemite. Otherwise, it could have a caution sticker placed on or inside the box.

When employing an electrician to work on your board, it is important that you make them aware of the potential asbestos risk.  You should also discuss the work that is required and how they will manage the potential risk of exposure for themselves, you and your family.

Additionally, if working as an electrician in Australia, it is important to undertake asbestos awareness training to ensure you can identify and respond to deadly materials. This online course will give skills and knowledge to understand your risks and control the hazards related to your work.

Asbestos awareness training

With asbestos such a significant threat in Australia, it is important that you are able to identify the material in all locations within the home.

For those working in any trades related to plumbing, construction and electrical work, asbestos can be a very real hazard present each time you pick up your tools. For this reason, it is vital that you and your employees complete the necessary asbestos awareness training.

This course is offered online by AlertForce and works as an introduction to this crucial section of work health and safety (WHS) standards. To obtain a basic knowledge of asbestos in Australia and confidently put measures in place to reduce your risks, you should talk to the AlertForce team today.

Are you ready for Safe Work Australia Month? [VIDEO]

Transcript

We all know how important occupational health and safety strategies are in Australian workplaces. In an effort to boost awareness and encourage more businesses to adopt these life-saving practices, Safe Work Australia has launched its preparations for this year's safety month.

Safe Work Australia Month will be held in October this year. The theme for 2014 is Work Safe, Home Safe, which reminds us that our families are the most important reason for OHS standards.

If you want to get involved in safety month this year, you can consider taking part in one of our OHS training programs or signing up to become a safety ambassador in your community.

For more information on the workshops and events scheduled next month, visit SafeWorkAustralia.gov.au.

 

Third annual Mesothelioma Registry released [VIDEO]

Transcript

Asbestos exposure is a very serious problem in Australia, with people in a range of occupations facing potential contact with this deadly material during the course of their employment.

For employers, asbestos awareness and removal training is one of the best methods of mitigating the risk of exposure in the workplace.

To help workers understand the risks, Safe Work Australia – together with Comcare – have released the third annual Australian Mesothelioma Registry report.
According to the report, 575 people were newly diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2013. More than two-fifth of these patients are male, with 80 per cent being over 60 years of age.

Asbestos exposure continues to be a problem in Australia, with 60.9 per cent of workers surveyed by Safe Work Australia having experience possible or probable exposure in 2013.

For more information on asbestos awareness training, talk to AlertForce today.

WHS News Recap – WHS obligations [VIDEO]

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When dealing with work health and safety in the workplace, it is vital that you understand your obligations as a manager, director or officer.

The recent changes to the Work Health and Safety Act have meant that the company is no longer held primarily responsible for accidents, injuries and fatalities. This responsibility has also been extended to cover business officers and senior managers.

The ACT became the first Australian state to prosecute an individual under these new regulations. In a case involving the electrocution of a dump truck driver in 2012, the ACT Work Safety Commissioner identified a number of failings regarding the company director's responsibilities.

When the proceedings continue in December this year, the company officer is facing a potential $300,000 penalty. This shows just how important it is for directors and managers to understand their obligations, including the provision of relevant OHS training and personal protective equipment.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

WHS News Recap – Working at Heights [VIDEO]

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August is National Tradies’ Health Month, which means now is the best time to consider the Work Health and Safety risks that face tradespeople in Australia every day.

Working at heights is a common OHS hazard among tradespeople, with many individuals required to climb ladders and enter roof spaces to complete their work in the trades. With around 10 per cent of all work-related injuries caused by a fall from height, it is easy to see how working at heights training can benefit our nation’s tradies.

And this consideration is becoming more important, as the number of tower blocks and apartment buildings being raised across Australia continues to climb. Population growth is driving demand for more space-efficient housing solutions, which is in turn influencing a need for trained construction workers.

When individuals are working above ground on any project, having the right protection in place is key. Without training and fall-arrest systems, employers risk substantial fines or even injuries and fatalities on site.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

Asbestos Monthly News Round Up: August 2014

Asbestos awareness and removal is a vital consideration in Australia, as products containing the deadly fibres are discovered each day.

The country’s extensive history with asbestos has made this material a serious threat to homeowners and employees in many industries. It is important, therefore, that Australians know what trends and discoveries are affecting buildings and work across the country.

Here are just five recent headlines that shed some light on how asbestos continues to impact on local and international operations.

NSW joins asbestos campaign

As the campaign to remove loose-fill asbestos from home in the ACT continues, the NSW government has come on board, offering free inspections to any home built before 1980 in high-risk areas.

Thus far, NSW has lagged behind the ACT in terms of addressing the “Mr Fluffy” crisis, claiming that the asbestos was safe as long as fibres were undisturbed.

However, as the campaign to demolish affected ACT homes moves forward, NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet announced the state would conduct health assessments in affected homes to make a better informed decision.

“The NSW government is absolutely committed to ensuring the health and safety of all citizens in this state,” Mr Perrottet said in an August 15 statement.

“This commitment stands when it comes to the issue of asbestos.”

Fronting the campaign is the NSW Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA). This organisation is chaired by WorkCover’s Acting General Manager Work Health and Safety Division Peter Dunphy.

“While the investigation will help determine the extent of properties that may be impacted it is important to remember that the risk of exposure to asbestos in buildings containing loose-fill asbestos is likely to be very low if the asbestos is undisturbed and sealed off,” Mr Dunphy explained.

He added that sprayed asbestos insulation is a “highly hazardous” product, and should not be disturbed by homeowners or workers who have not undertaken asbestos removal training.

“Only qualified tradespeople with training in suitable asbestos control measures can work in any areas identified as containing asbestos.”

Garden mulch asbestos contamination discovered

mulchA recent asbestos scare has seen a number of Bundaberg residents unintentionally putting their homes and gardens at risk.

Many locals purchased garden mulch from the Bundaberg Regional Council rubbish tip. Unfortunately, a resident last month discovered small pieces of asbestos present in the product.

After sending the product away for testing, the tip continued to sell the mulch until the results were returned. This meant that dozens of residents had time to purchase and use the contaminated product.

A spokesperson from the council explained to NewsMail that residents who had bought the mulch were being contacted and offered assistance. The council planned to send a qualified professional to each home to test gardens and undertake any necessary decontamination.

Since the incident, measures have now been put in place to obtain contact details for those purchasing the council’s mulch, as well as improving monitoring of what is being dumped. Asbestos products are not normally allowed in the affected tip site, which means that material has likely been incorrectly disposed of.

Anyone concerned about their garden should contact the Bundaberg Regional Council on 1300 883 699.

Drive for education in Wollongong

The Wollongong City Council has pushed for increased asbestos education for residents. In addition to publishing a list of approved and licenced removalists, the council will also release an asbestos education program.

Developed by the Asbestos Education Committee, these measures will ensure that local residents are aware of their responsibilities regarding asbestos assessment and removal.

“All of the councillors were unanimous in expressing their concerns about the effects of asbestos on people’s health and believed council should and could do more to protect the health of Wollongong residents,” Councillor Jill Merrin told the Illawarra Mercury on August 10.

Unlicensed asbestos removal results in fines around the world

A number of recent court cases have seen unlicensed removalists be landed with heavy fines. While these trials were located overseas, they each demonstrate the serious nature of unauthorised asbestos handling.

In particular, an American man from Woodbridge, New Jersey has been given five years in prison for undertaking unlicensed asbestos removal in schools, homes, churches and pre-school centres.

The man came under investigation after authorities discovered asbestos dust and material had been left in a day care facility he had been charged to clear.

“[He] exhibited tremendous greed and callousness with his unlicensed and unsafe asbestos removal, putting the health of young children at risk so that he could turn a profit,” acting state Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement.

Another case in the United States has seen a man from Lebanon, Oregon fined more than US$13,000 for allowing an unlicensed individual to undertake an asbestos project on his home.

Issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, fines regarding unauthorised asbestos work are handed out regularly to property owners and businesses. This particular fine was followed by a $8,800 penalty issued to a cafe in the same area that engaged the services of an unlicensed contractor.

This shows that it is important not just for removalists to access the appropriate licences, for also for homeowners to ensure they hire the right people to undertake asbestos-related work.

Unlawful demolitions a problem in Rockdale

The unauthorised demolition of a home in Bardwell Park, NSW is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to unlicenced renovations, according to the Rockdale Council.

While the owners of this particular property were given a stop-work order and a clean-up notice, a spokesperson from the council claims there are “dozens and dozens” of homeowners who are working on their homes without approval.

These individuals are not only putting themselves at risk, but also creating hazards for the health of neighbours and workers by potential asbestos contamination.

The home in this particular instance was over 70 years old, which means it is very likely it contained asbestos products, as reported by The Leader on August 15.

A suggestion raised by locals is for approved and assessed demolitions to be given official notices to be displayed prominently on the site. This will help the community identify illegal works, and should boost the number of unauthorised projects the council is informed of and able to stop.

The Rockdale Council has reissued warnings regarding older homes, particularly those that may contain asbestos materials. Residents who are planning renovations or demolition should engage a suitably licenced individual to assess the asbestos risk and, if required, carry out the removal.

Non-compliance with the clean-up notice could result in a fine up to $1 million for a business and $250,000 for an individual.

Want to know more?

Asbestos is a serious issue in Australia. If you would like to know more about this deadly material, check out the other stories on our news feed.

To access asbestos awareness and removal training, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

WHS News Recap – Traffic Management [VIDEO]

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Traffic management training is a serious work health and safety consideration for businesses across almost every industry. However, some sectors are more at risk than others, according to recent headlines from around Australia.

In particular, audits of mining companies in Tasmania in recent months have revealed troubling gaps in OHS standards. With safety inspectors overworked and underpaid, concerns have been raised regarding the efficiency of monitoring and controlling hazards.

Mining vehicles often reach immense size and weight, so preventing collisions is vital to reducing the number of fatalities in the industry. Fortunately, this is where comprehensive traffic management training can help.

Another area of significant concern is forklift safety in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. A Perth company was recently fined $30,000 when two untrained employees were injured after a forklift toppled over.

Operating a forklift is a high-risk occupation, so it is important that workers access all the necessary permits and training before jumping behind the wheel.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

WHS News Recap – Confined Spaces [VIDEO]

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Confined spaces can pose many work health and safety risks, due to dangerous atmospheres and limited entry and exit points.

This is why it is important for employers to understand the hazards their workforce could be facing, particularly in relation to accidents, injuries and fatalities in confined spaces.

Unfortunately, a recent case in Victoria has seen an employer fined for a second time regarding a fatal confined spaces incident in 2010.

Originally, the company was fined $80,000 for work health and safety breaches when a worker was overcome by carbon dioxide while moving stock in a confined space. With the right level of confined spaces training, the individual may have been able to identify the hazard and vacate the area before inhaling a fatal dose.

This year, the same company now may have to pay damages to another employee, who suffered anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing the accident.

This incident demonstrates how vital it is to provide employees with a safe working environment in which to complete their duties.

For more information on this or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

Road surfacing safety a primary concern

Those undertaking a traffic management and control training program may be taking the first step towards a career in road construction and surfacing. Creating quality road infrastructure is a massive local industry, worth over $280 billion, according to Roads Australia.

With more than 817,000 kilometres of road network already laid across the country, maintaining the existing roads and building new network connections takes a lot of work. This is why civil contracting roles are always in demand, with more than 70,000 individuals employed in this sector in 2012, the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed.

Unfortunately, this essential industry can pose many risks to employees’ health and safety. When working on or near public roads, there are always traffic hazards present. Vehicles are one of the leading causes of work-related injuries and fatalities, according to Safe Work Australia.

Because of this, working near traffic has been defined as a high-risk activity, under the current Work Health and Safety Act.

As with any high-risk industry, understanding and controlling the hazards is a crucial consideration. Fortunately, with the right level of training and education, workers can easily minimise WHS risks. This is particularly important for traffic controllers – who are required to work directly with both civil and public vehicles.

Understanding the risks

In regards to addressing the risks traffic controllers face, industry authority, the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) has published an article in the most recent Asphalt Review dispatch.

The publication highlighted the importance of workshops and training for traffic controllers, citing a number of issues that may be influencing high injury and accident rates.

There have been a number of incidents that demonstrate the high-risk nature of surfacing work, particularly in regards to traffic managers. AAPA spokesperson Robert Busuttil pointed to one tragic day in November 2010, when two controllers were killed in separate events only hours apart.

On this day, a 45-year-old worker and a 23-year-old man within his first week on the job were both struck and killed by reversing trucks. Both men were employed as traffic controllers at the time of their death.

Following these accidents, the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) released a report looking into the WHS failings present in the road surfacing sector.

The key concerns identified in the 2012 dispatch included:

  • A lack of hazard awareness and induction training to both controllers and the persons responsible for creating Traffic Control Plans (TCPs)
  • Failing to update TCPs to specific jobs and locations
  • TCPs not inclusive of indirect hazards and how roadwork activities can affect a site

These dangerous issues are causing major hazards, as traffic controllers continue to work with limited knowledge of the risks they face each day. Additionally, managing the public and internal traffic can be difficult when not given an adequate or up-to-date control plan.

Addressing these concerns is a crucial consideration for any person working in or planning to enter the road surfacing industry.

Education is the key

Traffic controllers are a vital part of any civil construction project, with their work protecting the lives of their colleagues and the public. However, it is important that individuals employed in this role do not forget their own safety.

Fortunately, increasing the awareness and understanding of personal and site-wide hazards is simple when the right training and education is in place.

In this regard, the AAPA has developed a new workshop to improve WHS outcomes on civil construction sites. The Road Surfacing Awareness for Traffic Controllers course is aimed at improving the recognition of the hazards associated with related projects.

This important training program will include competencies relevant to:

  • Unique risks traffic controllers could experience – such as proximity to hot materials and working on public roads
  • Factors that can affect traffic control measures – including the introduction of work-related vehicles
  • Identifying issues which may compromise work quality and lead to extended project time and increased exposure to risks

Launched this month, the safety and awareness program is designed to help any worker who may be required to manage a traffic control plan. Additionally, supervisors and those responsible for approving or auditing these schemes can also benefit from the training.

Quality education from the beginning

Prior to undertaking employment in the construction, road surfacing or similar industry, individuals are encouraged to seek all necessary training. Rather than waiting until accidents and near-misses occur, undertaking a traffic control program as a preemptive measure can help mitigate potential risks.

In particular, any person who may be required to work as a traffic controller must access the mandatory traffic and pedestrian management and control training. Under state and federal legislation, all employers have a legal obligation to ensure only competent and adequately trained personnel are appointed as traffic controllers.

However, each state and territory is subject to different regulatory requirements. Understanding the specific courses and training needs in your area can be difficult. This is why it is recommended that you contact a registered training provider who can direct you to the most appropriate course for your needs.

This includes knowing when refresher training is required and which programs are needed prior to any work being undertaken. If you need any more information on traffic management and control programs, or want to access WHS training relevant to your industry, talk to the AlertForce team today.

AlertForce can help you meet your legislative requirements, as well as creating a training program that suits your role and WHS needs.

Asbestos dumping prompts call for education

A recent spate of illegal asbestos dumpings has highlighted the need for more awareness and control over this dangerous material.

On August 12, a large amount of asbestos was discovered strewn along the side of a busy road in North Rocks, NSW. This incident required hours of dedicated work safely contain and remove the material.

Several roads were closed as the clean-up was undertaken, and Council General Manger Dave Walker explained that it was difficult to tell just how much asbestos had been dumped. It appeared likely that the material has been deliberately thrown from the back of a truck, as it was spread across a 300m distance along three separate roads.

The council were taking this incident very seriously, and a full and thorough investigation is now underway. If caught, the individual responsible could face a fine up to $1 million and seven years in prison. Alternatively, if a business is found to be the source of this material, penalties would climb to $5 million.

"Asbestos dumpers are the most inconsiderate and reckless of all illegal rubbish dumpers – they put the long-term health of innocent people at risk," Mr Walker said.

Educating individuals and businesses on safe asbestos removal

While most people should now be aware of the dangers of asbestos material, it seems that many individuals are still practising unsafe dumping and removal. Unfortunately, this is not only putting themselves at risk, but also their families, friends and members of the public.

When an untrained person attempts to remove asbestos from their home or business, it is possible that the deadly fibres could become attached to their clothing, skin or hair. If the individual then heads home without changing their outfit, they are unintentionally exposing everyone they come into contact with to the material.

This means that your family and friends could be inhaling asbestos fibres all because you failed to undertake safe removal procedures. This is just one reason why it is vital that any person who may be required to work with or near asbestos is provided with the necessary asbestos awareness training.

As we head into spring, it is likely that the warmer weather could encourage more homeowners to start DIY projects. Home renovations and amateur construction projects are a hot bed for asbestos exposure, with untrained members of the public unaware of the potential danger.

This is why a number of licensed asbestos removal contractors and disposal facilities across Australia have launched a campaign to spread awareness.

"Exposure to asbestos is very dangerous there are many risks involved in the removal but if people are given the correct procedure to follow and the right equipment to wear there will not be any problem," explained Justin Castelluzzo, part-owner of Adelaide-based waste management company, Metro Waste.

"We tell every person that comes to the yard what's involved in correct asbestos removal and disposal and we still get a number of enquiries each day regarding the process."

While educating the public regarding the danger of asbestos works to a point, it is also vital businesses dedicated to the removal of the deadly material access all the necessary licences and training.

Often, companies and individuals rely on official removalists to undertake the process of containing and disposing of asbestos in the home or worksite. If these organisations are staffed by workers who have not obtained adequate education, permits or licences then significant hazards are likely.

How to become a qualified asbestos removalist

If you are interested in working as a qualified asbestos removalist, or have launched a business with this intention, it is vital that you understand how to access the necessary qualifications and licences.

Under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations, there are two key licences required by those removing asbestos products. Essentially, the Class A licence allows individuals to work with all kinds of asbestos, while the Class B is limited to non-friable material only.

These levels can be obtained by accessing the relevant asbestos removal training through a registered training provider, such as AlertForce.

Other crucial considerations are the asbestos supervisory licence and the assessors qualification. In some cases, asbestos removal projects will require a supervisor to be present at all times, while others may only need a qualified person on standby.

Conducting asbestos assessments with the intention of removal requires a person to hold specialist skills related to identification of hazards and control of air monitoring. Without the relevant Level 5 qualification, individuals should not be employed in this role.

More information on these particular obligations can be found at Safe Work Australia, or through your state's affiliate authority.

To access the necessary asbestos removal training to get yourself started in this career, talk to the AlertForce team today.

Government body fined after workplace death

Traffic management training is an important consideration not just for employees, but also any members of the public. Vehicles of any size or shape can pose serious risks to people's health and safety, and it is the employer's responsibility to ensure these hazards are mitigated.

When contractors are engaged to carry out high risk tasks, this issue becomes even more vital. A person conducting a business or undertaking cannot safely assume that a contractor will perform the necessary hazard checks. It is therefore up to the employer to ensure the individual has received the necessary training and understands the correct risk management processes.

This was demonstrated recently when a local government council was fined after a bystander was struck and killed by earth-moving equipment on a landscaping site in Stirling, Western Australia.

Failure to keep the public safe

The accident, which occurred in November 2011, involved a contractor who has been hired by the council to undertake landscaping works outside a community centre.

In the same area, a group of individuals were clearing a shed. The contractor had repeatedly told these people to stay clear of the vicinity. Unfortunately, when the landscaping machinery was being reversed up an incline, it struck and killed a man from that group.

The Perth Magistrates Court found that the employer, the City of Stirling, had failed to ensure the contractor had completed risk assessments in the area before performing the work. Additionally, the obligation for an employer to satisfy itself that the contractor was adequately reducing risks was also not met.

Because of this, the Court fined the City of Stirling more than $20,000 in compensation and costs. This decision was reached after much deliberation, with the final order being laid on August 6.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch explained that the tragic death of the bystander should serve as a reminder to employers to ensure that safety measures are always in place.

"This is especially important when mobile plant such as bobcats are in use in and around public areas," he said in an August 6 statement.

"The case also provides a reminder that workplace safety is the responsibility of not only the contractor performing the work, but also the organisation that engages the contractor."

As the City of Stirling employed the contractor to carry out the landscaping work, it was then the obligation of the government officer overseeing the project to ensure a job safety assessment (JSA) had been carried out.

"It was not alleged that the City of Stirling's failure to require a JSA caused the man's death, but had the City taken these measures, the risk of harm would have been reduced or eliminated," Mr McCulloch said.

Traffic management in public areas

Traffic management and control is not only to ensure those operating vehicles and mobile machinery follow the rules onsite. This training is also vital for protecting pedestrians and avoiding preventable accidents involving members of the public.

In particular, pedestrian management is a vital component of any traffic control training course. While this is most important for projects undertaken in public areas, it can also be beneficial for on-site work to ensure visitors and bystanders are protected.

When construction, maintenance, landscaping or any other work is being carried out close to where you can reasonable expect members of the public to occupy, it is vital that pedestrian controls are in place.

In the case above, the contractor had allegedly told the bystander to stay clear of the worksite. However, if physical boundaries had been in place, for example, the accident may not have occurred.

The very best solution for preventing traffic-related injuries and fatalities is to keep pedestrians and vehicles physically separated. This can be done by simply installing temporary barriers around workspaces. In the Western Australian case, mobile fencing could have been utilised to clearly mark where the worksite began.

However, in some circumstances this is not always possible. For instance, if the landscaping work required the contractor to move across the entire community centre grounds, it would not be reasonable for the complete area to be fenced-off.

Protecting the public with traffic management training

When physical barriers are not a reasonable solution, there are fortunately other options that can be put in place. In particular, any person operating a work-related vehicle near the public should be provided with traffic management training to ensure they understand the risks to themselves and others.

Another consideration could be to have a stand-by employee checking the area is clear before machinery is moved. In the case outlined above, the accident occurred when the equipment was reversing up an incline. It is possible that the bystander did not see or hear the machinery coming towards him, and was not visible to the operator.

In this case, simply having a spotter standing nearby could have ensured that both the member of the public and the driver were aware of each other.

Alternatively, the driver – knowing that people were nearby – could possibly have chosen to turn the machinery around. By reversing, the contractor potentially cut down his own field of vision and impacted on his ability to identify the risks and stop before the accident occurred.

There are many potential factors that could have resulted in a different outcome. Understanding how these influencers relate to your own undertaking is a crucial consideration. Fortunately, you can find out more information through comprehensive traffic management training.

To improve the safety at your site, get in touch with the AlertForce team to access training for you or your staff today.

WHS complaints rise in Queensland

New figures from the Queensland Work Health and Safety (WHS) authority show that the number of construction-related complaints has climbed significant over the past year.

This is according to an August 3 article published in The Sunday Mail, which revealed reports concerning safety breaches on local sites climbed to 2,765 for the 2013-14 financial year. In comparison, complaints reached just 2,092 in 2012-13 and 1,764 in 2011-12.

One of the key influencers driving the increased complaints is the growing public awareness of WHS standards. While in the past, the majority of complaints were issued from internal sources, recent years have seen nearby residents and passersby become more widely represented in the figures. According to The Sunday Mail, this could be because the popularity of shows such as The Block and House Rules, which commonly feature segments outlining safety procedures and awareness.

In addition to the rise in complaints issued, a WHS Queensland (WHSQ) representative has reveals that there were 10 workplace fatalities throughout the entire 2013-14 financial year. However, the current statistics show two people have died in work related incidents within a week.

One of the individuals was killed when the trench they were working in collapsed and engulfed them, while the second died after falling six metres on a construction site.

These incidents, and the WHS breaches that result in complaints, are demonstrations of the importance of correct safety procedures in workplaces. When policies are not present or not followed correctly, businesses can be hit with substantial fines or even experience serious accidents.

Making a WHS complaint in Queensland

For any individual who discovers a serious WHS breach, informing the proper authorities is vital for protecting the health and safety of employees and the public.

WHSQ supports this important process by offering an online complaint form as well as a direct phone line for those wishing to make a report. If an individual does not wish to reveal their identity, complaints can be made anonymously. This is important for any contractor or employee who may not feel comfortable reporting on their boss or colleagues.

Once a complaint has been received, WHSQ will review the details and take action depending on the nature of the breach. In many cases, this involves sending a Department of Justice representative to the site in question and ensuring those working in the area are aware of their obligations and best practice policies.

The Department of Justice inspectors issued more than 1,300 improvement notices in Queensland in the 2013-14 financial year. Around 750 projects were forced to halt their work due to non-compliant and high-risk activity.

Although the number of fines was down on previous years, 32 employers still received penalties of between $200 and $3,600 last year. The drop in overall fines issued is largely attributed to the change in philosophy by the Department of Justice. Now, the focus has been placed on working with builders and contractors to boost compliance prior to incidents being reported – rather than responding to accidents.

Addressing the rising complaints

With the number of complaints continuing to climb across Queensland's construction sites, the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland has revealed plans for a 2014-17 action plan.

This initiative will target "critical risks/issues related to fatalities" within the construction industry, with a focus on traffic management, falls prevention, site supervising and mentoring of young workers.

Another important factor for employers and workers to consider is asbestos exposure, with issues related to the dangerous fibres making up more than a quarter (28 per cent) of total complaints.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to address these concerns in workplaces and construction sites across Australia. In fact, there are a few simple measures that can be put in place to mitigate the risk of serious WHS breaches and non-compliance.

What can employers do?

When responding to the high number of workplace complaints, employers working in high-risk industries – such as construction – probably already have policies in place to boost safety.

However, in some cases, a basic knowledge of the WHS standards may not be enough to avoid accidents and injuries. In particular, when employees are not continually supervised and reviewed, they could make changes to their work behaviours which fail to meet safety requirements.

This is why it is vital that employers regularly check up on their workers and keep them informed and aware of their changing WHS needs. Additionally, employers, supervisors and site managers should undertake the following standards to ensure that best practices are being followed at all times.

– Know the regulations and requirements

When you want your workers to follow correct WHS policies, it helps to hold a thorough understanding of these practices yourself.

It is therefore important that all leaders and stakeholders access the relevant education that can help boost WHS compliance. This could include contacting your local Work Safe Authority, or undertaking comprehensive WHS training.

– Educate your workers

As well as increasing your own understanding and knowledge, it is vital that you provide all relevant workers with the necessary training to protect themselves and others. By giving employees access to these qualifications, they are more likely to work within industry standards.

While some competencies may be more relevant than others, the construction industry is an area that requires a large number of skills to operate safely. For instance, most workers within the building sector will need some level of working at heights training throughout their career.

This is reflected in the high number of workplace fatalities that are related to falls and working at heights. Once an individual is working two metres off the ground, their risk of serious injury or death increases dramatically. With much in construction work involving roofs and tall structures, this is an important consideration for all industry employers.

– Have all necessary equipment available

In addition to accessing the necessary training and education for you and your workers, it is crucial that the worksite offers all necessary safety equipment and set-ups.

Many WHS complaints involve environmental and situational issues, such as ladders being set on uneven ground or scaffolding placed under live power lines. Additionally, a lack of personal protective equipment is also a common reason for complaint.

For instance, a worker climbing over a roof without a fall-arrest system in place may be grounds for an official WHS complaint. Alternatively, unstable or unsecured scaffolding may also be cause for alarm. 

Addressing these issues is easy, when employers invest in the right equipment and environmental reviews. However, knowing which systems would be most beneficial and being able to identify and address potential risks is vital.

With WHS training and reviews, employers can ensure that they and their workers understand these factors – significantly reducing their risk of accidents and injuries.

If you need more information on your WHS training requirements, or how to improve safety on your construction site, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Monthly News Roundup: July 2014

Another month has passed with serious asbestos revelations making headlines around the world. Staying up-to-date with asbestos-related news is an important consideration for any employer, as it helps increase awareness of the potential risks you and your employees could be facing.

With this in mind, here are four of the top asbestos-related revelations that dominated the news channels around the world in July.

Telstra terminates NBN asbestos subcontractors

Health and safety has become one of the defining features in the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN). With various risks and hazards present across the process, companies working on this vital project are encouraged to boost safety wherever possible.

This focus has led to a number of important policies, such as the introduction of mandatory NBN safety and awareness training for individuals working in particular roles.

Recently, major NBN employer Telstra has revoked accreditation of a number of subcontractors and individual workers, according to a July 28 article from The Australian.

"This decision was made after audits showed they were not meeting safety standards we ­expect for this type of work. These accreditation breaches were not limited to asbestos work, but included other issues such as traffic and pedestrian management," Telstra spokesperson Nicole McKechnie explained.

Last year, the rollout was delayed due to a series of asbestos scares, demonstrating the need for NBN individuals to undertake comprehensive asbestos awareness training.

More schools closed due to asbestos scares

Asbestos exposure is a serious hazard for many workers in Australia. Unfortunately, this risk can also affect people unrelated to their occupation – such as homeowners performing renovations.

Another major asbestos hazard is the historical use of the material in schools built across the country. This means that a significant number of children could be exposed at any time.

It seems that not a month can pass without another school being closed due to asbestos discoveries – and July was no different. In particular, Willetton Senior High School in Western Australia was closed down on July 22 in response to suspected asbestos.

"We've known Willetton is an old school and has been scheduled for major work as part of the rebuilding program," David Axworthy, a spokesperson from the Education Department told ABC Australia.

"The buildings that are to be demolished later in the year are routinely monitored and checked so during that routine inspection they found some broken ceiling tiles and other residue … that contained asbestos."

There are many schools facing potential asbestos risks, according to a 2013 government report, with several institutions in WA listed as needing immediate attention.

New threat in Gaza war

Residents in Gaza are not only facing the persistent threat of mortar shells and rockets. The war-ravaged southern communities are now being exposed to a secondary danger – asbestos.

A recent media report has picked up on the increased risk of asbestos inhalation, due to structures and buildings being destroyed in the fight.

Fortunately, the local councils are working hard to replace any asbestos roofs that may be in the line of fire. However, as shells continue to drop across the communities, the threat is becoming increasingly urgent.

"The problem is mainly with front-line communities, which are most vulnerable to rocket and mortar fire," Council Head Haim Yalin said, according to Middle Eastern news publication Haartz.

"Warehouses and other buildings also have asbestos roofs, but our first priority is to replace the roofs of residential structures."

Mr Yalin revealed that there are around 700 residences with asbestos roofs located along the Gazan perimeter. This means that any initiative to replace the dangerous materials will be a lengthy and consuming endeavour.

Former BHP worker wins asbestos damages case

A landmark case concluded in New South Wales last month, with a former BHP worker awarded more than $2 million in damages.

The ex-employee claimed that he was exposed to asbestos in the early 1980s due to negligence from his employer. The plaintiff is now suffering from terminal mesothelioma as a consequence of inhaling the fibres.

On July 31, the Dust and Diseases Tribunal found BHP guilty of negligence related to work health and safety standards. The Court then decided BHP would have to pay the worker $2.2 million in compensation.

"While today's verdict is a significant victory for Mr Dunning and his family, it does not take away from the fact that he is dealing with an incurable, terminal disease as a result of BHP's negligence," Joanne Wade, asbestos lawyer with Slater & Gordon expressed.

"We are extremely pleased that Mr Dunning can now move on and concentrate on spending his remaining time with his loved ones."

For more information on asbestos in Australia, check out our news feed. Get in touch with the AlertForce team to access a range of vital asbestos training programs.

OHS News Recap – NBN Safety and Awareness [VIDEO]

Transcript:

The National Broadband Network is being steadily rolled out across the country, with more Australian homes connected to the service every week.

As the project continues its campaign, regional workers may soon see job opportunities to land in their area. Overall, construction of the network is expected to employ 18,000 individuals, according to Deloitte.

The project to connect every Australian to fast broadband has started to infiltrate regional towns, with this activity expected to pick up this year. Over the past 12 months, 20,000 premises in remote and regional areas have been connected to the network. But there is still a lot of work to do.

Fortunately, those interested in taking part in the rollout, and working on sites in regional communities, can access the mandatory NBN safety and awareness training online through AlertForce.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.

August is National Tradies’ Health Month

The health, safety and wellbeing of tradespeople in Australia is under the spotlight this month, as industry bodies launch the National Tradies' Health Month.

Throughout August, the Australian Physiotherapy Association – together with work boot manufacturer and supplier Steel Blue – will be supporting initiatives which raise awareness of the hazards in many trade industries. Of particular importance are musculoskeletal health issues, caused by lifting, slips, trips and falls.

"Too many tradies are injured on site every day, 80 per cent of injured workers in Australia are tradies and labourers," Steel Blue General Manager Ross Fitzgerald explained.

"We have been working closely with the Australian Physiotherapy Association to encourage a behaviour change amongst tradies, to make them more aware about the importance of health and safety, at work and home."

Trades can be the most dangerous occupations in Australia, with a vast and complex range of hazards present each time an individual commences work. Because of this, around 10 Victorian tradespeople are badly injured at work each day, according to WorkSafe Victoria. This means that 3,560 tradies sustain an injury that requires workers' compensation each year.

"The number of deaths, injuries and safety breaches prove that everyone – builders, contractors and workers – must do more to make sure workers get home to their families safely every night," WorkSafe Chief Executive Denise Cosgrove said.

According to Safe Work Australia, around 10 in every 100,000 workers claim compensation related to musculoskeletal disorders. Nearly a quarter of all roofers, labourers and plumbers experience back pain, muscle stress and strain from lifting equipment or slips, trips, and falls when handling materials.

"The injuries caused on sites are not always life threatening, but are often painful, costly and result in long periods off work," said Ms Cosgrove.

Unfortunately, when workers require time away from employment, mental health becomes another major issue among tradespeople. Statistics released on the official Tradies' Health website reveal that 18 per cent of injured workers sought mental health services after six months off work. After a year off, that number increased to 30 per cent.

What are the risks to tradies' health?

There are many potential risks to the health and safety of tradespeople in Australia. With these roles often playing a crucial factor in a number of industries, addressing every hazard can be challenging.

To help tradies and employers understand the risks facing tradespeople, here are five of the most common hazards.

  • Working at heights

Falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and other heights account for around 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities, according to WorkSafe Victoria.

Many trades-related occupations can require an individual to work above the ground. Every time a tradesperson climbs a ladder, they are putting themselves in danger of a serious injury or even death.

Fortunately, simply strategies can be put in place to avoid these accidents. In particular, employers should provide all at-risk individuals with necessary fall-arrest systems and working at heights training.

  • Asbestos exposure

When a tradesperson works on a building or structure that was built before 1990, there is a significant risk of being exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.

Each time a worker cuts into a wall, for example, the resulting dust could contain asbestos. If the individual was to then inhale the dust, they would forever be at risk of developing an asbestos-related lung condition.

It is important for all workers who may be working in environments that contain asbestos to access the necessary information and guidance. For instance, older buildings should have a register that indicates the presence of asbestos so workers can avoid dangerous areas.

Additionally, undertaking asbestos awareness training will ensure workers are able to monitor and identify asbestos fibres in any workplace – which is ideal for tradespeople who often move from site to site.

  • Electricity

Electricity is a major concern for some tradespeople, as their occupation may involve working directly with wires and other electrical equipment. For others, it is less of a persistent threat but can still pose a risk when working in certain locations.

Any tradesperson who may come into contact with electricity during the undertaking of their duties can follow a few simple practices to ensure their own safety. These include personally checking wires and equipment are not live before handling them and wearing the necessary protective equipment – such as thick gloves and rubber-soled boots. 

  • Heavy lifting

Musculoskeletal disease is one of the most common injuries reported among tradespeople, with the culprit usually being unsafe lifting procedures.

Back pain and muscle sprains are typical results of incorrect lifting, and these injuries can seriously affect a person's ability to continue physical work. If a tradie was to permanently injure their back, they could lose their entire income due to not being able to complete the tasks they are trained for.

It is therefore crucial that practices are put in place to promote safe lifting techniques, such as warming up and stretching before undertaking any strenuous labour. Whenever possible, physical lifting tasks should be avoided – employees need to understand when a crane, forklift or wheelbarrow is suitable.

Additionally, tradies need to be encouraged to ask for help. Some individuals may believe that asking for help would make them seem weak and unable to perform their job – however, seeking assistance is recommended and demonstrates an admirable knowledge of one's own limits.

  • Excessive noise

Tradespeople are often required to use loud equipment and machinery during the undertaking of their duties. For instance, an electrician may need to operate drilling equipment to access the wires in a structure.

Excess noise can also be a risk when operating a heavy vehicle or working close to other construction work. Unfortunately, once you feel pain the damage is already done, so it is important to put preventative measures in place.

Examples of this could be wearing earmuffs or plugs whenever you are using a hand drill or other loud piece of equipment. Noise-related hearing damage is permanent, so don't just put up with excessive sounds – talk to your employer or human resources department about the protection and policies you need. 

How can you get involved with National Tradies' Health Month?

There are a number of ways individuals and corporations can take part in National Tradies' Health Month. A variety of events are being held across Australia, raising awareness of the hazards tradespeople face and methods to control these risks. A list of the events can be found on Tradieshealth.com.au.

Alternatively, employers and tradespeople can register to host their own event – as well as access a range of WHS resources to share with staff. 

For a more unique and interactive approach to boosting hazard awareness, individuals can play the online game. The Australian Physiotherapy Association and Steel Blue have released this fun and informative game to encourage increased participation in WHS initiatives.

Need more information?

If you need more information regarding occupational health and safety in the trades, or would like to access a relevant training program, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

Seven step action plan for small business safety

If you own and operate a small business in Australia, then it is your responsibility to ensure your employees are provided with a safe working environment.

Work-related injuries and accidents are a serious issue across many industries, with a significant number of fatalities and workers' compensation claims being lodged each week.

According to Safe Work Australia, almost 100 people had died in work-related incidents in 2014 by the end of July. This amounts to nearly one fatality every second day. Reducing this number is an important work health and safety (WHS) consideration for any Australian business owner, as even one preventable death is too many.

Fortunately, SafeWork SA has released a seven step safety guide and checklist for small businesses. By following this plan, employers and owners will more effectively understand and meet their obligations regarding Australian WHS standards.

This action plan includes practical advice on how to improve safety in the workplace, with general information that can apply to a vast range of industries and occupations.

Seven steps to safety

There are many ways an employer can meet their obligations as a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU). Safe Work Australia explains that, as far as is reasonable practical, the primary duty of a PCBU is to ensure the health and safety of workers (and visitors to the workplace) is not put at risk.

In particular, it is vital that business operations and conduct does not create unnecessary hazards. This is why the seven step process is crucial for any persons launching a startup enterprise or running an existing small business.

The guide, released on July 30, encourages employers to work with their workers when addressing potential risks in the workplace. Safety improvements can be implemented more efficiently and effectively if all employees are aware of their responsibilities and requirements.

Prior to commencing the seven step process, PCBUs should compare their current operations with the WHS snapshot. This document helps employers identify where there is room for improvement and which areas should be priorities.

Once this has been completed, the seven step action plan should be put in place.

1. Set up a safe workplace

The very first action you need to take as a small business owner is to ensure the working environment is supportive of WHS standards. This includes investing in quality machinery, mitigating trip hazards and supplying any necessary personal protective equipment.

This step can generally be achieved by engaging a Safe Work representative to review your site. Once the potential hazards have been identified, policies and protection can be enacted to prevent accidents.

Other PCBU responsibilities include installing WHS information sheets and reporting procedures, to ensure workers and visitors are aware of crucial risks and practices. A common example of this is to have evacuation procedures prominently displayed in the workplace, where both employees and the public can find it.

2. Consult

As well as engaging the services of an official representative, employers should involve their workers in the WHS process. In South Australia, this is a legal requirement under the WHS Act (2012).

Your employees often have first-hand knowledge of the potential hazards they face during business conduct, so they can provide valuable insight into your WHS policies.

Consulting with your workers is not only beneficial for you, but will ensure that every worker is aware of the risks in the workplace. This review and discussion should take place whenever business processes and practices change, as any minor adjustments can affect potential WHS hazards – putting uninformed workers at risk.

3. Manage hazards

Once you have identified and addressed the numerous hazards in the workplace, ongoing management policies need to be put in place.

Having procedures in place will ensure that workers continue to follow WHS standards, particularly as regular reviews are made.

4. Train and supervise

Training is one of the most vital factors in improve WHS outcomes, as misinformed and untrained employees can struggle to understand and adequately address their risks.

Your WHS training requirements will vary depending on the industry in which your business operates. However, it is the duty of the employer to know and access the correct courses and programs for their staff.

For instance, any business that involves handling or working near materials that may contain asbestos could benefit from asbestos awareness training.

As well as investing in the required education, employers need to ensure that adequate supervision is provided to monitor new workers and those undertaking unfamiliar tasks. A competent supervisor will ensure that safety policies are being followed and correct procedures are in place. 

5. Maintain safety

Once the required training and policies have been integrated into the business, employers need to regularly check that these processes are still being utilised and have remained relevant and effective.

Hazards and operations can evolve throughout the life of a business, which means that original WHS standards may not suffice for future risks. By carrying out regular reviews and maintenance, PCBUs can ensure best practice policies are in action at all times.

6. Keep records

Documenting injuries, incidents and near misses is an important legal requirement for any business. This includes recording any maintenance, inspections and tests you perform.

By keeping this information on file, you can respond when your Safe Work authority requests the reports – which may occur in the event of an accident. This will also make it easier for you to monitor health and safety in the workplace, so you can quickly and efficiently act when potential issues are identified.

7. Monitor and review

As your business grows and evolves, so too could the hazards. It is therefore vital that you regularly review and improve your WHS standards and policies to suit your changing business.

If you need any more information on monitoring WHS in your business, or would like to access the training your staff require, get in touch with the AlertForce team today.

OHS News Recap – Working at Heights [VIDEO]

Transcript:

Working at heights training is an important consideration in many industries across Australia, but some sectors are more dangerous than others.

In particular, the high risk forestry industry recently announced plans to continue a partnership designed to improve worker safety and awareness. The New South Wales WorkCover authority has signed an ongoing agreement with the Forestry Corporation to provide training in areas such as working at heights, traffic management and driver safety.

Within the construction sector, high winds kept workers on their toes in Victoria and New South Wales earlier this month. As bad weather swept across the country, various WorkCover bodies issued warnings regarding working at heights and the dangers of structure collapse.

As winter continues to create havoc across Australia, and spring approaches, workers in the southern states in particular need to prepare for ongoing strong winds.

For more information on these or other OHS stories, check out the articles on our news feed.
 

Safety audit reveals gaps in Tasmanian mines

Mining is one of the most dangerous industries in Australia, with employees at every level facing a range of potential work health and safety (WHS) hazards.

In fact, approximately 3 fatalities occurred per 100,000 workers in 2013. Although this was a great result for the industry, which has seen historical fatality rates reach up to 12.35 deaths per 100,000 employees, it still highlights the dangers present in this sector.

Sustaining WHS standards is therefore a serious consideration for any employer in the resources sector. Unfortunately, mining business owners in Tasmania have their work cut out for them, according to a recent audit conducted by the University of New South Wales' School of Management.

The independent report, commissioned last year and published this month, found that serious deficiencies have led to various safety incidents over recent months. Lead study author, Professor Michael Quilan explained that Tasmania's regulatory framework is "deficient in a number of regards".

"It's imperative critical gaps in existing rules be addressed because most, if not all, are pivotal to preventing fatal accidents," he explained in the audit.

In particular, Professor Quilan investigated the training, presence and pay of safety inspectors across the industry. His findings revealed serious shortfalls in the number of mining-qualified competent persons available on a full-time basis.

The industry stakeholders surveyed by Professor Quilan commonly identified training as an area where improvements are needed. For instance, several interviewees claimed that no inspectors were available who held specific training and knowledge for the unique hazards associated with coal mining.

A lack of succession planning could be the leading cause of this issue, with no adequate training or induction processes in place when staff turnover occurs. Because of this, Professor Quilan urged Tasmanian mining employers to adopt mandatory training requirements, such as the policies currently in place in Queensland and other resource-reliant states.

The benefits of training in the mining industry

There are many reasons why training is a crucial consideration for mining employers, including the vast range of potential hazards each employee faces on every shift.

For instance, due to the complex nature of many mining occupations, a worker could be subject to risks related to confined space, traffic control and machinery entrapment all at one time.

Training individuals to recognise and address these hazards should not only help improve WHS standards, but can also lead to more efficient operations and increased profitability. This is because a decline in safety incidents will reduce the amount of time needed for injury recovery and accident investigations. In turn, this should lead to more time focused on daily operations and business-as-usual endeavours.

Because of the complexities of mining work, knowing what WHS training to access can be a challenge. To help you reach positive safety outcomes in your business, here are just four areas where training and qualifications can be beneficial to miners.

– Traffic management

Whether the mining operations are above or under the ground, traffic management training should be a vital consideration for any employer. This is because the resources industry often relies on large and heavy mobile equipment to move product across sites and through freight channels.

A particular hazard of underground mining is when these vehicles are required to enter the same shafts and confined spaces as pedestrian workers. Operating vehicles in shared tunnels can lead to collisions and crushing if adequate WHS policies are not in place.

Fortunately, traffic management training can help any employee understand the risks and avoid potential accidents. In particular, the use of vehicles in shared spaces – above or below ground – can be controlled to strict safety standards if each individual holds the necessary qualifications.

– Confined spaces

Underground mines can be dangerous environments to work in, due to the risk of poor atmospheric conditions, cave-ins and disorientation. Employers can protect their employees against these risks in a number of ways. 

Workers should be provided with comprehensive confined spaces training before entering any area with limited entry points. This competency will ensure that individuals are able to monitor their environment and utilise any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) if a hazard is present.

For instance, atmospheric testing can help employees identify whether oxygen levels are fluctuating – due to poor ventilation or an unexpected release of gas. If unsafe environmental conditions are detected, workers must be able to safely find, don and operate breathing apparatus and any other relevant PPE.

– Hazardous materials

Some mining situations can require individuals to handle or work alongside hazardous materials. In particular, explosive substances are commonly used in these situations.

Training is an important requirement which must be accessed before workers are given permission to handle such material. Unsafe or misinformed use of these items could lead to serious accidents, such as preventable fires and explosions.

Additionally, radioactive materials are sometimes present in mines – potentially creating significant health risks. Using the right PPE and protective clothing is crucial to avoid necessary exposure to unsafe materials.

– Emergency response

No matter how safe your workers are, accidents can happen. This is why it is vitally important that certain employees are trained and aware of their duties in an emergency. 

If an incident was to occur on your site, having qualified workers on staff will ensure that would-be rescuers do not put themselves in danger. This is of particular importance when dealing with confined spaces, where a significant number of fatalities are related to emergency response, rather than business-as-usual operations.

If you would like more information about WHS risks in the mining industry, or want to access the relevant training, contact the AlertForce team today.

PPE:Are You Protected In Your Workplace?

One of the key responsibilities of an employer is to ensure that employees are wearing their required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  It is well known that PPE is one of the most important preventive measures, but special attention needs to taken to ensure that employees wear it whenever necessary and do not get complacent.

Recently a man was ordered to pay out nearly $350,000 after an employee was injured while using sharp knives without any protective gloves.  The court found Kemp Meats Pty Ltd  in breach of its duty of care to the injured butcher.

In 2010 the worker was removing the stomach of a pig when the knife struck bone, causing it to shift and cut his left thumb and severing his extensor tendon.  The worker was not wearing protective gloves when the injury occurred.  The butcher filed a claim and it was revealed that gloves were not mandatory until after the injury occurred.

It was reported in court that some employees are resistant to using them as they reportedly interfered with efficiency and created greater difficulties when trying to grip slippery meat.

The court found that it was the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are provided with cut-resistant gloves and wear them at all required times. 

The following PPE guidlines should be considered.

PPE is only a temporary protector against workplace hazards. All use of PPE is depended on the work environment/conditions/ and tasks required.

Every type of PPE has its own specific use and was designed for industry specific hazards.  Thus, PPE used in one industry would not an be adequate safety measure for another industry  despite their similarity.

For example some protective gloves used in one industry,might otherwise be experience wear and tear and become less effective in another industry depending on the type of chemicals being used.

It is important to recognize that PPE does eliminate workplace hazards– the hazards still exist and proper safety measures must still be adhered to.

  • PPE  should be used according to the hazard it was designed for
  • PPE should allow  for the presence of other workplace dangers.
  • Employees should be properly trained in the proper use, wear and maintenance of PPE
  • On that note, PPE should be safely stored and continuously kept in quality shape through frequent maintenance and checks.
  • One PPE is found to be damaged or defected, it should immediately be disposed of and replaced.

 

Article partially sourced from Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

Occupational Health and Safety: Long Working Hours And Workplace Violence

Working Long Hours Has A Detrimental Affect On Workers in A Variety of Industries!

A UK food production centre was charged last week after a workplace amputation went beyond Working Time Regulations hundreds of times throughout a few months.

The discovery was made after the food giant Bakkavor’s prosecution for safety breaches that resulted in a worker losing the tip of his finger from an unguarded machine at their pizza factory.

Between July and September 2013, workers were denied the legally required 11 hour rest break between shifts– a shocking 647 times.  The Pizza factory in question, Harrow, employs upwards of 800 people and is one of the UK’s largest pizza manufacturing sites.

The reason we highlight this company’s prosecution today, is that a company this size has the resources required to ensure that their workers’ occupational health and safety standards are upheld. A result of the prosecution, the bullion dollar company has been called to release a full disclosure of all records pertaining to work hours. Past attempts by the union to compel the company to disclose their hours has resulted in Bakkavor simply assuring them that the issues were being tackled. However, the union has responded to their assurances stating, these “processes are simply not working and somebody must be held accountable.” It certainly would make consumers think about whether you really want to eat pizzas produced by this company.

Long Hours and Workplace Violence a Topic of Concern for 2014.

About a quarter of workers will suffer violence in AUS workplaces throughout their career, costing millions of dollars per year.

Recently released findings revealed over 2,000 serious injury claims were filed as a result of workplace assaults at work in 2010 to 20111. This cost an average of A$6,400 each, with three weeks off of work.

In excess of 4,5000 claims attributed to mental stress as a result of exposure to occupational violence were successful in the three year period between 2008-11. Nearly 60 per cent of the claimants were female and the majority of the groups most vulnerable were those working alone at night handling cash such as retail workers, emergency workers, healthcare workers, teachers and prison officers.

Employers need to take heed and uphold their responsibility in ensuring staff are safe, while constantly reflecting on workplace risk factors. Assessment must be done, considering all the possible risks, solutions, and measures that need to be taken to ensure safety. Therefore, quality safety training must be provided to all employees working in a risky environment.

Source: Julie Amour

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Know about your contractors’ qualifications & competencies? What about the company doctor?

This case may prompt you to rethink what you do! The NSW Court of Appeal has found that a NSW worker whose permanent injuries arose from taking medication that was prescribed by an employer-appointed doctor is entitled to workers’ compensation. The Justices heard the Chep Australia Pty Ltd machine operator began experiencing elbow, shoulder & wrist pain in 2008, after repetitively lifting crates onto a conveyor line.

In August 2010, Chep’s “company doctor” prescribed Mobic, an anti-inflammatory drug known to elevate blood pressure, for the worker’s wrist condition. In October 2010, another doctor at the same practice advised the worker to stop taking Mobic after she complained of experiencing headaches & symptoms of hypertension, but resumed prescribing the drug several weeks later after her blood pressure “normalised”. The following month, the worker was taken to hospital with extreme pain in her head & eyes, and diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm, which caused permanent neurological damage. She made a claim for weekly workers’ comp benefits & medical expenses.

The employer denied liability, but an arbitrator and then WCC President Judge Keating found the rupture was work-related because it resulted from the consumption of Mobic, which was prescribed to treat a work injury. The employer appealed, & told Justices Basten, Macfarlan & Barrett that President Keating had erred in declining to admit as evidence the reports & clinical notes of 3 medical experts (including the worker’s GP) which hadn’t been tendered before the arbitrator. The GP’s notes, for example, showed the worker had a history of high blood pressure unrelated to Mobic, it argued.

The employer also contended that President Keating was wrong to rely on the evidence of the worker’s neurosurgeon, who said that as raised blood pressure was a known side-effect of Mobic, the drug could have caused the aneurysm to rupture. The neurosurgeon’s opinion was the only expert evidence before the WCC that supported a causal relationship between Mobic & the rupture, and was “devoid of probative value”, it said.

Justice Barrett noted that under the NSW Workplace Injury Management & Workers Compensation Act 1998, the WCC wasn’t bound by the usual rules of evidence (where the factual basis of an opinion needed to be established by other evidence), & must “act according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the case without regard to technicalities or legal forms”. He also noted that the GP’s clinical notes would have strengthened the worker’s case if they had been admitted by President Keating. The notes showed the worker’s blood pressure was “significantly” higher during the periods when she took Mobic, Justice Barrett said. The bench dismissed the employer’s appeal. Could this occur at your workplace- what procedures do you have with your company doctors?

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

Do you expect the doctor who deals with you after a vehicle crash to not be fatigued?

Perhaps you need to think again according to recent UK report on Accident and Emergency (A&E) doctors. According to the “Stretched to the Limit” report, urgent action must be taken to ensure A&E departments (A&ED) remain sustainable & safe, doctors have warned. The call comes after a report found A&E consultants were facing “intolerable pressures” in the workplace. The College of Emergency Medicine said over 94% of medical consultants worked above their contracted hours in A&EDs in order to maintain levels of service, & 62% of doctors reported their job was not sustainable in the long term.

The response rate of the survey was 70% of the current UK Emergency Medicine consultant workforce (1077 respondents). When asked about on-call working frequency, worryingly a sizeable minority of 40.6% of the consultant workforce are undertaking an on-call rota rate of 1 in 6 nights or more frequent. In addition, 13% reported that they were working a full shift rota overnight, whilst 85% indicated that they were working to job plans whereby they worked till at least 22.00 hours. In fact 57% stated that they exceeded their job planned hours by 20% or more. The main reasons given for the lack of sustainability in the long term was the poor job planning & the lack of team/colleague support presumably because they were stretched so thin. The college said this has “potentially serious repercussions” for the safe work carried out by senior medics.

The ‘report suggested that pressures within the workplace could make it difficult to retain doctors, who may start looking at working in hospitals outside of the UK. One of the authors of the report, said prompt action was needed to address challenges as senior medical decision makers in emergency medicine provide one of the most vital strands in maintaining safety for emergency care systems in the UK. A failure to address these issues will compromise this ability and also further worsen the present workforce crisis affecting emergency departments.

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

How well trained are your workers who are required to handle loads?

A recent incident in the UK highlights how easy it is to focus on the activity and not the securing of that load during the activity to be manoeuvred by the crane. A ship repair worker was crushed to death when an anchor weighing almost 3 tonnes toppled onto him in a dry dock. The deceased was one of 3 men working for ship repair & conversion company on a sand dredger in the dry dock when the incident happened in February 2009. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted their employer for serious criminal safety failings.

The court heard how the deceased & his colleagues were laying out or “ranging” anchors on the dredger to ready for inspection. Despite several attempts, they were unable to get the starboard anchor to lie flat on the bottom of the dock, so left it in an upright position for almost 30 mins while they worked on the chains. When the deceased later attempted to pass a chain sling under the anchor in order to manoeuvre it into a flat position, the anchor fell towards the vessel and landed on top of him. He died as a result of multiple crush injuries.

The HSE investigation found that while he was trained to operate a dockside portal crane, he had no formal qualifications in lifting & slinging of loads. It was also unclear how many times he had undertaken the ranging of anchors & chains before the incident. The company did not have an effective management system in place to inform supervisors & others of employees’ competence. In addition, the employer had not carried out or recorded an assessment of the risks associated with & there was no safe system of work in place for this task. The court was told that following the incident an improvement notice was served for the implementation of a safe system of work for the task, as well as a system for assessing the competence of those required to carry out the task. The employer was fined £75,000 (A$ 127 K) and ordered to pay £23,500 (A$40 K) in costs after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to a criminal safety offence. No much of a fine for a life and very foreseeable risks? How many tasks do your personnel perform where there is a high risk of a fatality? Do you manage that risk effectively?

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

How well equipped are your line managers to deal with workplace stress?

Stressed UK workers are apparently suffering in silence and employers aren’t doing enough to tackle work related- stress (WRS), according to new figures from Mind. The mental health charity’s survey of over 2,000 workers found 45% of those polled said that staff are expected to cope without mentioning WRS & almost a third (31%) said that they would not be able to talk openly to their line manager if they felt stressed. Mind also found a huge difference in the perceptions of managers & their staff about how mental health is addressed in the workplace. Only 22% of workers felt that their boss takes active steps to help them manage WRS. Many managers, however, seem to think that they are doing enough to support staff, with over two- thirds (68%) saying that they would find ways of helping staff who were stressed or experiencing a mental health problem.

The chief executive of Mind, suggests that these figures show that WRS remains the “elephant in the room in many workplaces”. There is often a worrying disparity between how managers & other members of staff view their organisation’s approach to mental wellbeing. It is vital that managers are equipped with the tools they need to be able to confidently & effectively support their staff, whether they are experiencing stress or mental health problems as a result of work or other factors. He adds that there is a real danger that companies are neglecting workplace mental health, with huge implications for staff wellbeing; not to mention productivity, motivation and sickness absence. This may because they are not sure what to do. It has certainly been the authors experience in workplaces that most line managers don’t feel well enough equipped to either recognise of deal with WRS issues especially when the worker themselves may not have recognised this but the line manager suspects something is not right.

How well are your line managers equipped to deal with these processes of WRS identification & management in their reports?” What are the sources of WRS? Have you had that conversation with your staff ore reports?

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

Are you waiting for a serious incident?

Are you waiting for a serious incident to tell you you’re just going through the motions with your policies and procedures?

Well this case may remind you of how easy it is to be lulled into a false sense of security. A NSW employer that failed to enforce its “comprehensive & sophisticated” OHS policies, or clearly label a butane pipe, has been fined $110,000, after a contractor suffered arm and head burns.

The Industrial Court heard that in February 2010, the Dolrow Pty Ltd (trading as B&G Concrete Sawing and Drilling-BGCSD) contractor was engaged by P&M Quality Smallgoods Pty Ltd (PMQS) to cut part of the concrete floor of a mezzanine level at its premises. He then proceeded to cut through a concrete nib wall, which he claimed he was instructed to do & required him to alter the guard on his cutting machine, before cutting through a pipe containing butane, causing a fire. To escape the fire, the worker was required to leap from the mezzanine level as the steps had been removed. He suffered burns to his left forearm and the top of his head. PMQS pleaded guilty to OHS breaches.

The Court heard that prior to the incident, PMQS had a “comprehensive & modern system for managing & monitoring OHS”, which included a risk management manual, an OHS management system, an emergency management plan, & a contractor’s guide to site safety. All workers & contractors received annual training in risk and contractor management, and managers received OHS risk management and assessment training. The court found however that PMQS had failed to undertake a risk assessment for the contractor’s task, & failed to tell him about risks he could encounter. It also failed to ensure the butane pipe was clearly labelled, colour-coded & isolated or disconnected before the task, & failed to ensure a temporary stairway was installed in the area. Justice Boland in circumstances where a contractor was cutting
concrete in the near vicinity of an unmarked pipe containing butane gas, the existence he was not informed of, it was reasonably foreseeable he might cut the pipe creating a serious risk to his safety & perhaps the safety of others. He also did suggest that PMQS’s comprehensive & sophisticated OHS policies & procedures were a mitigating factor in determining the fine. Where they fell down however was in the observance & implementation of its policies & procedures, which the Justice had commented was found to be so often the case in these prosecutions.

The worker’s conduct was also a mitigating factor, Justice Boland said. He rejected the worker’s claim that he had been instructed to cut the wall. The Justice suggested that if the worker had been instructed to cut the wall, he should have advised PMQS that he was unable to do so without unlawfully removing or altering the guard on his concrete cutting machine & therefore he should have declined to cut the wall. There was also no evidence that the worker undertook any risk assessment before undertaking the task of concrete cutting which he was clearly obliged to and if he had he may have discovered the existence of the butane pipe. Are you missing out on managing risk in a pile of ineffective paperwork?

Article by: Julie Armour – www.WorkingArmour.com.au

What have you heard about Occupational Noise?

a man on a worksite with ear muffs onMany health and safety professionals are aware of the risk to health and safety that regular workplace hazards such as chemicals and items of plant present. Chemicals and plant are common items on OHS strategic plans and are often top of the list on compliance registers, but where does occupational noise sit?

Occupational noise becomes hazardous and will cause permanent hearing damage when an employee is exposed to sound pressure above 85db over the period of an 8hr day or if an employee is exposed to a peak noise level of 140db. How loud is that exactly? Well traffic, a blender and a washing machine all produce about 85db of noise, hazardous noise is quieter than most people think.

Hazardous noise is an overlooked hazard in many workplaces; it is often brushed to the side and combined with a PPE policy. This can prove to be a significant oversight in risk management as hearing loss accounted for 30% of all workers compensation claims in 2012. As hearing loss is often a permanent disability the liability and financial burden on a business can be severe.

The biggest mistake a business can make in mitigating noise risk is to identify a possible hazardous noise environment and then issue hearing protection to employees rather than take a systematic approach. Without knowing what current noise levels are it is impossible to know if the hearing protection prescribed is correct; it may be under-rated and not block enough noise from the ear or over-rated and unnecessarily reduce employee situational awareness. Furthermore once hearing protection is prescribed the employer then has further obligations under the OHS/WHS Regulations to audio-metrically test their employees upon employment and every two years following at a substantial cost to the business. Hearing protection should be prescribed only as a last resort and hazardous noise risk as other business risk should be systematically approached;

Identify: complete a Noise Risk Assessment; are power tools, air tools, machinery & equipment used in your workplace? Are your employees susceptible to environmental noise? Do they spend long periods in cars? Forklifts? In areas where wind noise is high? Are your employees currently required to wearing hearing protection?

Assess: if you have identified that your workplace may have an occupational noise hazard present have your noise levels measured with a Noise Assessment.

Control: If hazardous noise levels are identified, the hierarchy of control should be followed as would be the case with a plant or chemical hazard. PPE must be considered a last resort.

Review: your controls should be reviewed as necessary. Noise levels should be re-assessed periodically by means of a Noise Assessment to account for machinery and equipment deterioration, modification, and installation.

Some important points to remember regarding hazardous noise;

  • Employees may lodge workers compensation claims for hearing loss long after they have left your workplace.
  • Hearing protection is not the optimal solution; employees may not wear the protection correctly or not at all. It is difficult to enforce. Employees may find ear plugs and ear muffs uncomfortable to wear and the PPE may interfere with their work or other clothing and equipment.

Article by: Adam Federenko – www.NoiseAssessment.net.au

Mining Giant Focuses on the Health in Workplace Health & Safety

a mining truckAre we forgetting about the ‘health’ in work health & safety (WHS) legislation compliance?
Well one company is trying to address this, BHP Billiton (BHPB) claims in its recently released 2013 sustainability report, that it can partly attribute a reduction in workers’ exposure to carcinogens & airborne contaminants to establishing its own occupational exposure limits (OEL) when regulatory limits are inadequate. This could no doubt be the case in many developing countries the big miner operates in but has not always been the case in Australia which will we will discuss later.

The mining giant has nearly 50,000 employees and 80,000 contractors in 26 countries. Their TRIFR fell by 2%, from 4.7/million hours worked in 2011-12 to 4.6 by June this year. Three BHPB workers died on the job in 2012-13, which prompted the suggestion that lowering injury rates alone will not prevent fatalities. This is something well known in incident prevention circles in that in organisations with well developed WHS management systems we are able to sustainably reduce injuries but not fatalities, often traced back to failures in basic risk management of these fatality risks. BHBP suggest they focus on improving their workplaces, using the recognised hierarchy of controls & work practices to minimise the reliance on personal protective equipment (PPE), which they provide to workers as required. A just approach but also one that is required by our WHS legislation in Australia, anyway.

According to the 2013 BHBP report, the life-altering disabilities that can result from chronic exposure to health risks are equally serious as acute type injuries. The health risks faced by BHPB workers include fatigue, & occupational exposure (OE) to noise, silica, manganese, diesel exhaust particulates, fluorides, coal tar pitch, nickel & sulphuric acid mist. In a paper presented at the Queensland Resources Conference in 2006, Jack Farry, the senior Occupational Hygiene & Health adviser at the BHPB Mitsubishi Alliance mine suggested that prior to 2004, BHPB health exposure assessments had been ad hoc & usually driven by legitimate worker complaints about noisy or dusty conditions. This is despite the fact that these types of assessments were required under WHS legislation. During the FY2013, as required by Australian WHS legislation, BHPB will require all operations to maintain an exposure risk profile of agents that are harmful to workers, & identify the need for controls & medical surveillance programs. If a potential exposure to harmful agents exceeds 50% of the OEL, medical surveillance is required to be implemented over & above any laws of the operating country to identify potential illness or health effects at an early stage & to provide feedback as to whether the OE controls in place are functioning as designed. In addition they will;

  • Continually review OELs with reference to scientific literature & independent advice. This would include where OELs for carcinogens are being driven towards achieving ‘no observable adverse effect levels’ rather than an ‘acceptable risk’ approach. The BHPB businesses are applying an ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ approach to further reduce diesel exhaust exposures across their operations”. This again is perhaps a sound approach considering the classification of diesel exhaust as a carcinogen by the IARC; &
  • prioritise the control of OE at their source. In those situations where they can’t control the source, a range of measures are employed, including the provision of PPE. In 2012-13, BHPB cut the number of potential exposures to carcinogens & airborne contaminants by 5.7%. Again this is great to see a reduction but it is actually what the legislation requires. Occupational illness increased slightly from 47.1 cases/10,000 BHPB employees in FY2012, to 47.9 but this was largely driven by the “improved application of the OSHA reporting guidelines”, and a more accurate definition of “a musculoskeletal illness versus an injury”. Wonder how many cases in contract workers?

This is not an exercise in bashing BHPB or any other company but it is about determining the reasons why we don’t comply with legislative requirements until we have a history of actual illnesses (which can take a long time) or effectively manage OE risk when it is not legally required but it makes good business practice to do so?

Article by Julie Armour at WorkingArmour.com.au

WorkSafe VIC Issued $4 Million in Fines This Year

WorkSafe officers reportedly visited over 2,200 transport industry operators throughout this year, and 737 safety notices were issued.

WorkSafe has so far issued $4.1 million in fines throughout all of Victoria, according to an annual Victorian WorkCover Authority report.

With over 21 per cent of workers remaining at home six months following an injury, the report shows that the longer one stays away from work, the less chance they have of returning. These individuals are even more likely to suffer secondary issues like mental health, which is why the report suggests the implementation of a strong support network to help workers return to work.

The weeks before Christmas is still the most dangerous time for workers, with 3 deaths in December of last year.

Twenty fatalities were reported in the last year, and over 28,000 injuries and illness claims were lodged.

The lead-up to Christmas remains the most dangerous period for workers, with three people dying in December last year.

Twenty deaths were recorded in the past year and over 28,000 injury and illness claims were lodged.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.fullyloaded.com.au/industry-news/articleid/85560.aspx

What Can a Diploma in WHS Graduate Do?

a safety officerSafety workers typically earn their Diploma in WHS after they have been working in the health and safety field for a reasonable amount of time. They have already earned their Cert IV in WHS and have gained a reasonable amount of on-the-job training. They are usually working in a managerial capacity or are safety practitioners.

The point in obtaining their diploma is to enhance their knowledge and obtain new skills that will make them more proficient at their current jobs and more qualified for higher level jobs they may apply for in the future. Once the diploma is achieved, they are typically qualified to supervise lower level employees, assess health and safety risks or hazards, write complex reports related to health and safety, and respond to incidents that may be highly dangerous.

The Bigger Picture

One thing that sets a Diploma in WHS graduate apart from a health and safety worker who only holds a Cert IV or someone who has no degree in WHS is the fact that they focus on the bigger picture. Rather than handling the day-to-day activities within a facility, someone with a diploma in work health and safety will typically oversee the larger health and safety system implemented by a company.

This means they have to fully understand every aspect of a work health and safety system in order to develop and maintain a system that keeps everyone safe from all potential dangers on the job. This involves a lot of skill and advanced knowledge that comes from hands-on experience and book knowledge.

This job also requires constant problem solving and the ability to make changes as needed. The overall health and safety system must remain up to government standards while meeting all of the company’s needs. In order to maintain the system, the diploma graduate will use all of the knowledge they gained through the diploma units of competency.

Management Responsibilities

Someone who holds a Diploma in WHS will typically accept far more responsibility on the job than someone with a Cert IV or with no advanced education in WHS. They are trained to manage and guide others who do not have the advanced knowledge that they have obtained. They are also responsible for bigger system duties that someone at a lower level will not fully understand. This makes the diploma graduate a more important, higher paid employee, but it also puts more stress and pressure on their shoulders.

Many diploma graduates work as health and safety practitioners, but there are other managerial roles that may require a diploma for qualification. Most companies will require the diploma when they hire employees responsible for important health and safety systems that must be properly maintained in order to protect employees.

What is Fatigue Management

We cannot live without sleep. The normal person requires 7-8 hours of sleep per day to function normally. For truck drivers, shift workers and company car drivers, not getting enough sleep can lead to attention difficulties, slow reaction times, slow thinking, erratic speed control and sloppy steering.

There are a lot of myths around regarding getting too tired while driving and the facts are that cold air on your face will not keep you awake. Drivers have tried a variety of other myths with no gain, such as listening to the radio, chewing gum, stretching your legs, or just simply willpower. There are drivers that feel they have been this tired before and can cope. The facts are that when you are sleepy, you over estimate how alert you are and your judgment becomes poor.

Just the fact that you are determined, will not stop you from falling asleep at the wheel. Nodding off or microsleeps become uncontrollable and inevitable. Also remember that the older you get the harder it is for your body to cope with shift work. One of the most important things to know when on the road, is when to take a break. If you are fighting to keep your eyes open, it is time to stop. If you find it hard to concentrate, it is time to stop. If you are stretching, yawning, head nodding or adjusting your driving position, it is time to stop.

You are nearing the end of your journey, but you are experiencing signs of fatigue, it is time to stop. Many accidents happen close to your destination. Do not be tempted to push on and attempt to make it those last few miles, stop and take that break.

When you do get home or stop to rest, get the best sleep possible before starting another shift or trip. If you are doing shift work, try to get as much sleep as you would if you did not have to go back to work. Talk with your family in order to make plans to provide adequate sleep. When you go home in the morning, do not try to delay this sleep until later in the day, because too many things can happen to prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Above all, listen to your body. If you feel sleepy and time allows, by all means sleep.

Remember that fatigue has biological causes and that your body clock does not adapt to night work. There is not a single simple answer to fatigue problems, you have to find the one that works for you. Fatigue causes more than 20% of the highway accidents and is the most common cause of accidental death of truck drivers. Shift workers are twice as likely to have an accident at work. Figure out the best system for you in order to get the rest needed and be safe.

What jobs in WHS require the Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety?

The Certificate IV, or Cert IV, in Work Health and Safety (WHS) is designed to solidify skills needed to ensure safe and healthy work environments. There are accredited courses found throughout Australia. Some are conducted online, some are self-guided through downloadable study material, and many are face-to-face courses with live instructors. The goal for all students is to learn the laws related to workplace health and safety in Australia and pick up basic skills required to manage various aspects of health and safety in work environments.

While many people who want to work in some aspect of health and safety will take on this training independently in order to add these skills to their resume, this is not required to get all jobs in the field. There are some entry-level positions that will provide on-the-job training so that employees know what the basic elements of health and safety as it applies to their work environment.

If your goal is to take on more substantial or high level jobs in WHS, then you will need the more extensive training that comes with the Cert IV course in WHS. Even if you are in an industry that is not directly related to work health and safety, you may benefit from adding the skills provided in this course to your resume.

Some jobs in WHS that may require you to obtain this training or which may look upon you favourably if you have this training include:

  • Union representatives or other union positions
  • Safety trainers or assessors
  • Safety officers
  • Safety auditors
  • Supervisor or management positions in certain industries
  • Health and safety consultants

In general, obtaining the Cert IV in WHS will qualify you to take on more leadership opportunities. You will have more knowledge regarding workplace health and safety than many others on the job, and that may entitle you to step into supervisory or management positions faster than other employees. You may also qualify for some positions within certain industries that depend on in-depth knowledge of Australian health and safety law.

If you are interested in furthering your career or want to make a career move into the work health and safety industry, the Cert IV is a solid starting point. It will introduce you to Australian work health and safety law and teach you how to assess and manage safety and health issues within the work environment.

This training could give you an advantage over other job candidates in some industries. Since you will already have more training than many other applicants, companies will see you as a good investment. They won’t have to offer as much on-the-job training, and you will have a better understanding of the safety elements of your job from day one.

If you have already gained some experience through jobs in WHS but your current employer does not offer the training you need to obtain a higher paying job, you may take on the Cert IV training in WHS independently in order to move your career along faster.

Does Your Office Have an Asbestos Register?

An asbestos register is a written record that identifies all asbestos known to exist within a building. This includes asbestos materials that were used to construct the building when it was first created as well as asbestos that may be used within a facility for business purposes. The goal of the register is to clearly identify the presence of asbestos since it is a material that can negatively impact the health of everyone working in the office.

Information to Include

The following information should be included in an asbestos register, but you may also add other information that you find relevant to your particular office:

  • Specific locations for all asbestos materials known to exist in the building
  • Dates on which the asbestos materials were discovered within the building
  • Dates or times at which asbestos may be used within the building
  • Types of asbestos identified within the building
  • Condition of all asbestos materials known to exist within the building
  • Inspection reports verifying that the asbestos material is or is not hazardous to humans
  • Information regarding inaccessible areas of the building that may contain asbestos

Anything to do with asbestos within your building should be detailed in the register. This information is used to properly maintain the building and ensure that all repairs and renovations are carried out in a safe manner. Asbestos fibres are easily released into the air when these materials are disturbed even slightly, so it is important for all maintenance workers to be aware of materials and areas that contain asbestos.

Do You Need an Asbestos Register?

If all of the following criteria apply to your office, then you may not need to keep an asbestos record in your office building:

  • Your building was built after December 31, 2003
  • No asbestos or material containing asbestos has ever been identified in your building
  • No asbestos is known to enter the building at any time now or in the future

All three of these criteria must apply to a building in order to opt out of keeping a register. You do have the option of keeping one on hand just to ensure that your building lives up to Australian asbestos regulation. You can simply state in the register that no asbestos is known to exist within the building. As long as that does not change, you do not have to update the record. You can also use this statement if your building was constructed before December 31, 2003 but you have never identified any asbestos materials within the building.

It is important to keep the asbestos register updated so that future management or maintenance workers can refer to this information. It is important to keep an eye on the areas of the building known to contain asbestos so that any damage to those materials can be handled quickly. The smallest disturbance or breakage could lead to asbestos exposure for everyone in the building. If your office doesn’t have a register, use the above listed criteria to determine if you need one. If you do, take care of that immediately so that you are in compliance with Australian law.

I Have My Cert IV in WHS – How Do I Land the Best Jobs in WHS?

This is a common question for people who have completed the Cert IV in WHS independently. You go through this exhausting training program because you want to land the best jobs in WHS, earn more money and provide for yourself and your loved ones. The bad news is that it may take some time to find the perfect job for you and land a position. The good news is there are many things you can do to start searching for those great jobs immediately.

Talk to Your Employer

Are you already employed by a company that hires competent work health and safety employees? If so, go directly to your boss and let him or her know that you have completed your Cert IV in WHS and are interested in any open positions that will further your career. Show them your certificate so that they know you are motivated and eager to land better jobs.

If you are not currently working in a work health and safety related position, think about how your new skills and knowledge can be put to use to benefit your current employer. In some cases, you may convince someone to carve out a position just for you. This only works if you make a strong case as to why the company needs a work health and safety professional on the team.

Identify Companies within Your Desired Location

Identify all areas where you would like to work and start finding company contacts within that area. You can look at job ads online and in local papers, but don’t limit yourself to jobs that are posted. Those jobs will be highly competitive with a lot of applicants, and the best jobs in WHS aren’t always advertised heavily.

Take it upon yourself to contact companies and ask if they could use someone with you qualifications. Look online to find social networking sites dedicated to professionals and job seekers. Connect with current employees within your chosen field as well as those who are already working for companies you would love to work for in the future. Make connections and let everyone know that you have earned your Cert IV in WHS and are eager to put your credentials to work.

Fully Utilise All Skills Learned

You may have a specific path in mind for your career, but you cannot afford to leave out any skills or bases of knowledge when selling yourself in the job market. Make sure your cover letters, resumes and online networking profiles reflect all of the skills you have gained through the completion of your WHS Cert IV and any other training programs and work experiences you have gained.

Your goal is to get your foot in the door somewhere so that you can start earning money and putting your career on a successful path. You may continue to look for other jobs that better suit your ideal career path, but you don’t want to miss opportunities because you failed to play up all of your skills and knowledge bases.

What Is Your Work Doing about Asbestos?

Businesses in every industry have the duty to protect employees and the surrounding community from dangerous exposure to asbestos. Many buildings in Australia still contain some asbestos, and business owners need to understand the danger of that material. The mere presence of asbestos is not necessarily a danger or health risk, but there is a danger if the material is not well maintained and eventually removed securely.

Every business needs to ensure the following actions are covered at all times for the protection of everyone in the workplace:

  • All asbestos within the workplace is identified and recorded in an asbestos register
  • Maintenance workers are aware of materials or locations that contain asbestos
  • Areas of the building containing inaccessible asbestos are identified and well maintained
  • Immediate action is taken in the event asbestos materials are disturbed in any manner

If you know your office is not doing enough to ensure asbestos fibres are not released into the work environment and inhaled by workers and visitors, the following actions should be taken immediately:

  • Determine the date that the building was constructed
  • Learn the law in regards to maintaining a building with known asbestos content in your region
  • Hire a licenced asbestos removalist or assessor to inspect the building and identify asbestos and asbestos-containing materials
  • Create and maintain an asbestos registry for the office or building
  • Hire an asbestos removalist to remove all asbestos that is in poor condition or may pose a health risk to workers in the future

Note that it is not always necessary to tear out walls, roofing or flooring in order to remove asbestos materials immediately. If the materials are in good condition and are not likely to break, crumble or otherwise destruct in the near future, then they may not need to be removed at this point. However, someone does need to keep a close eye on those areas of the office to ensure the materials remain in good condition and present no risk to workers.

When it is time to renovate or material needs to be disturbed for some reason, a licenced removalist is required. The removalist will safely remove and dispose of the asbestos so that it does not present a danger to anyone in the vicinity of the building. It is unsafe to remove more than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos materials without a licenced professional overseeing the work, and it is illegal to remove any friable asbestos without a licenced professional.

Has your office taken any of these steps to protect employees from asbestos exposure? If not, it is time to take action. The first step is to identify asbestos materials already contained in the building so that those materials can be monitored and properly maintained or removed. The next step is the creation of an asbestos register so that all areas of the building containing asbestos can be closely monitored and handled appropriately when it comes time for renovation or other construction projects within the building.

Cert IV WHS vs. On-the-Job-Training – What Is Your Learning Style?

Once you decide to build a career that involves any aspect of work health and safety, you have to decide how you will gain the experience and learn the skills that are necessary for this line of work. There are many Australian regulations and local laws that you must master in order to understand how businesses comply fully with those expectations. You also have to learn how to manage projects, develop and maintain processes and strategies, conduct research, and deliver presentations. Depending on your exact position and future career ambitions, there may be many other skills that you need to master as well.

You have to main training options:

1. Apply for entry-level positions that offer on-the-job training for new employees. The company will put you through their own training in order to teach you while you start to earn money.

2. Complete an accredited training program for the Cert IV in WHS. This is a training program that teaches you a variety of skills and knowledge bases related to jobs in WHS. You can apply this information and your new skills to your resume in order to qualify for more job opportunities.

Which path to training you select will depend on the following factors:

1. Your learning style. If you learn best through hands-on experience and struggle to learn from a book or by listening to lectures in a classroom, then you may do best with on-the-job training. On the other hand, if you want to thoroughly study the information prior to walking onto a job so that you feel more confident at work, you may want to go with the Cert IV training.

2. Available opportunities. Depending on where you live and where you want to work, you may not find many opportunities for on-the-job training. In some cases, the opportunities that are available are highly competitive and may be difficult to land.

3. Your career ambitions. If you know that you want to work supervising or managing others, then you may go ahead with the Cert IV in WHS to demonstrate your eagerness to get ahead and your advanced knowledge of workplace health and safety issues. The training program will also ensure you have the proper skills to deliver presentations, write reports and analyse the presentations and reports delivered by others. These are skills that are not always covered extensively while on the job, but they are valuable to employers looking for upper management employees.

4. Time availability. If you need to start earning money immediately, then on-the-job training may be your best route. You train while starting to bring in a paycheck, even if the position is not as high as it might be with a Cert IV in WHS listed on your resume. You can always go back to earn your Cert IV later once you have money coming into your household.

The more ambitious your career goals, the more likely you are to complete the Cert IV in WHS training program. It is simply faster to move up in your career when you have this experience and knowledge to your credit.

Thinking About the Cert IV in WHS? 11 Things You Need to Know

If work health and safety is your desired or current career path, you will at some point consider the option to complete the Cert IV training program in WHS. This is a program designed to instil knowledge and skills needed for the implementation, supervision, assessment and maintenance of workplace health and safety standards in Australia. The included units of competency ensure that you have the qualifications needed for higher ranking positions, including those at the supervisory or managerial level.

If you are a bit anxious about starting this program or are not certain it is the right step for your career at this time, the following 11 facts and tips will help you make the best decisions for your career.

1. There are no prerequisites that you must complete before taking the Cert IV in WHS. Yet, it may be easier to understand and master the information presented in some of the units of competency if you first complete a Cert III first. You may not need to do this if you have work experience in WHS that would cover that lower-level material.

2. Not all of the units of competency included in the program are technical in nature. There are also courses in report writing and presentation skills. The better you are with grammar and sentence structure, the easier these elements of the program may be for you.

3. The Cert IV in WHS is designed to train future managers and supervisors. The information presented should include skills that managerial employees complete while lower-level employees complete more of the manual, technical tasks. This is why writing, reading and public speaking are incorporated into the Cert IV program.

4. Many employers now require completion of this training program from an accredited source for all supervisors and managers. Even if you have extensive experience in your field, you may need this training in order to advance your career.

5. While on-the-job training is often offered through entry level positions, you might not learn all of the information presented through the Cert IV program. You will only learn what you need to know to successfully work in one position within the company. You may still need to complete the Cert IV in WHS at some point in your career.

6. If you let your employer know that you are taking on this training course, you may be given access to an on-the-job mentor. Many successful candidates benefit from talking to someone on the job about what they are learning in the courses. If this is not available at your facility, you should still inform your employer of your goal to complete the Cert IV so that they acknowledge your ambitions to succeed.

7. The entire program can seem overwhelming. Focus on one unit of competency at a time rather than thinking about how much time it will take.

8. The fastest route to achieving this certificate is through a standard classroom structure. There are also accelerated programs that will take you through all of the material in a week or less.

9. If you need more time to complete this training, consider an online program or a program that allows you to download the text materials and guide your own studies. You will typically have 12 months to complete the program, and you may not receive all course material at one time.

10. Some employers will offer this training onsite so that multiple employees can benefit from the class at one time. This is far more convenient for many people than seeking out their own programs.

11. Expect to be challenged at times. The coursework is not always easy, but there is a big payoff at the end if you persevere and make it to the end.

These tips for completing your Cert IV in WHS will help you select the right program, study in the most efficient manner and complete the program with the highest degree of success. Commit right now to taking this step forward in your career by informing your current employer about this ambition.

What Happened to 2,000 Tonnes of Asbestos Dust on 9/11?

The terrorist attacks that occurred in New York on September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten by those who lived through the nightmare. They will remember because it was the most horrific day in the lives of most survivors, but also because all of those survivors have been marked with an extremely high risk of developing mesothelioma later in life.

If the goal of the attacks was to hurt Americans in the long term, that was accomplished by releasing approximately 2,000 tonnes of asbestos dust into the air when the planes crashed into the towers. Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used in the construction industry in the 1900s. The material was banned in the late 1900s, but many buildings still standing contain some form of asbestos. Unfortunately, some of those buildings included the towers that came tumbling down on 9/11.

The Asbestos Cloud

The asbestos-containing materials (ACM) within the towers did exactly what all other materials in the towers did on 9/11. They lit on fire, tore apart, crumbled and crashed to the ground. In the process, asbestos fibres were released into the environment where they were inhaled by the people trying to escape the towers, the rescue workers trying to get people out of the towers, and bystanders watching in awe as the buildings came down.

Anyone within the vicinity of those towers on 9/11 is now in danger of developing mesothelioma. This is a form of cancer that is directly associated with exposure to asbestos. While most people suffer from this cancer after inhaling asbestos fibres over a period of months or years in the work environment, anyone who comes in contact with asbestos is in danger.

Due to the large amount of asbestos dust released into the environment on 9/11, it is possible that those in the area of the towers on that fateful day will develop mesothelioma within the next 15-20 years. Short term exposure may not be the most common route to the disease, but short term exposure of this magnitude is likely to have consequences.

Where Did It Go?

The people involved in the 9/11 attacks and those watching from the sidelines likely inhaled a lot of the asbestos fibres that were released into the air that day. It is possible that the rest of the fibres lingered in the New York air and spread to other areas as the dust started to settle. Since asbestos fibres are not seen by the eye, it is impossible to say with certainty where all of that dust went.

Those involved with the cleanup after the event may have something to worry about as well. It is likely that asbestos dust continued to pollute the air as the wreckage was cleaned up since that wreckage included asbestos materials in a crumbled or broken state.

When you consider that thousands of people were exposed to tonnes of asbestos dust on that day, you can look forward to a drastic increase in mesothelioma cases around year 2020. It takes a couple decades for this form of cancer to make itself known, so the survivors and rescue workers will wait uneasily until they know the long-term ramifications of that day.

Asbestos Training: Cottages To Be Removed Following Community Outcry

Crunch  time is finally drawing near for the three derelict asbestos cottages at Huskisson.

After years of campaigning by the community and numerous court cases by council to force the owners to remove the buildings, action is finally being taken.

The property owners, who live abroad, have not complied with Land and Environment Court orders to remove the buildings.

The court orders provided provision for council to move in after a considerable period of time and do the work.

Shoalhaven City Council development building manager Bob Goldspring said that time had come and gone.

“Council would now start obtaining quotes and get a contractor in to demolish the buildings and remove the material,” he said.

Chairman of the Huskisson Woollamia Community Voice Garry Kelson would not be surprised if Shoalhaven ratepayers end up footing the bill to demolish the three asbestos cottages in Huskisson.

However he would rather see the derelict buildings on Murdoch Street removed now and let the courts chase the owners for the money later.

“We have been lobbying to have these buildings removed on the grounds of safety for three years,” he said.

“We are heading into prime holiday time. We also have the Hobie World Championships coming up and these houses are right next to Moona Moona Creek which is a very popular picnic area, particularly with families.

“The buildings have been trashed and with the recent dry and windy weather who knows how much asbestos has been blowing around.”

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/1772944/council-moves-on-huskissons-asbestos-cottages/?cs=203

What Does Asbestos Removal Cost in Australia?

Once you discover asbestos-containing materials in your home or commercial building, you know that calling in a licensed asbestos removal professional is essential. That is when you start worrying. What will asbestos removal cost for your building? Will these costs take your renovation or remodelling project over your intended budget? These are honest concerns, but the need to handle asbestos properly outweighs the option of cutting corners or removing the material yourself.

The cost of asbestos removal in Australia is higher than the cost of standard construction and remodelling, but there are some good reasons for the higher prices:

Those who take on the job of removing asbestos-containing materials put their own health in danger and must take many precautions to ensure their safety while on the job.
Professionals with the training and experience to safely handle asbestos materials must pay to obtain a government licence in order to perform their job. In some areas of Australia, the yearly licence fee can soar over $500, and in other places it is well over $1,000.
Asbestos removal professionals take on the responsibility of cleaning up every job-site to ensure no lingering dust or debris will endanger other people who live and work within the building. This is a tremendous amount of liability that requires strict adherence to safety guidelines.
Businesses accepting work that involves asbestos must pay to properly train and educate every employee who works with these dangerous materials.
It can take a lot more time to properly package and dispose of these materials than it would take to dispose of non-asbestos materials.
Now that you understand why the price tag on asbestos removal is often higher than standard construction rates, how much can you expect asbestos removal to cost? You can go online to receive quotes from a variety of asbestos removal professionals in your area, but the overall asbestos removal cost will come down to a combination of many different factors. You cannot count on receiving a real price until a professional has seen your property firsthand and analysed what needs to be done to solve the problem.

Where Do You Live?

Asbestos removal costs are different depending on where you live in Australia. If there are many companies offering these services, then your job may cost less than it would in an area where only one or two licensed providers are in service. You may pay more if the demand for these services is currently higher than in other areas. It all comes down to the old issue of supply versus demand, so prices in your area may fluctuate over time depending on these factors.

What Is the Extent of Your Problem?

The larger the area of material to be removed and the more difficult it is to get those materials out of the building and to a disposal site, the more you can expect to pay for your project. This is why you should not consider the price you are quoted online as the final price of your project. If the professionals come to the building and realise that they will have to work harder than usual to remove the material or the area is much larger than specified online, you can expect the quoted price to go up. It may also go down if the area is smaller or other factors make your job easier to perform than expected.

You cannot go off of figures other people have paid to have asbestos materials removed from their home. Each job is different, so you need to contact a licensed professional to obtain a quote and determine the final asbestos removal cost for your building.

The Importance of Regulation for Sydney Asbestos Removal

If you were to tear down a shed in your backyard and build something larger with a spacious deck and a swimming pool, you would naturally check with the government for the proper permits and inspections before completing the work. You would hire a professional to ensure the job was completed correctly and all structures on your property were completely safe.

When it comes to Sydney asbestos removal projects, you might not realize there is a need to go through that same process, but it is critical due to the necessity of regulation for all projects that may contain asbestos-containing material. Asbestos is a fibrous material that was used heavily in the Australian construction industry up until the late 1980s. Homes built before this time often contain some of this material, and when it is disturbed in any manner, those dangerous fibres are released into the air.

Once the fibres are released, they are inhaled by those in the surrounding environment. They stick and collect in the lungs and have lead to asbestosis and cancer in thousands of people around the world. You cannot see these fibres, so it is impossible to avoid them once they are released unless you are wearing protective gear while cleaning up the area quickly. This requires skill and professional training, which is why Sydney asbestos removal projects are so closely regulated.

Check for Permits and Inspections

This is the first thing you would do with most major renovations or construction projects on your property, and it is the first thing you should do when you need to perform any type of construction on property that could contain materials that include asbestos fibres. All areas of Australia now have regulation in place to ensure asbestos-containing materials are properly handled, removed and disposed. These regulations may affect your project in the following ways:

You may be able to legally remove up to 10 square metres of material containing asbestos without professional guidance, but anything over that requires a licenced professional.
In many areas of Australia, you cannot dispose of these materials without a licence. Licence holders know which dumping sites allow these materials.

You must properly wrap and label these materials so that professionals at the dumping site are aware of the asbestos content. Not all dumping sites in your area may accept these materials. It is a health hazard to yourself and your community at large to dump illegally.
You could put the lives of your family members and your neighbors at risk if you disturb asbestos materials without proper handling and protective gear.

Asbestos inspections and removal in Sydney does cost more than standard construction or renovation projects. That is due to the increased risk and additional work that is required to properly complete a Sydney asbestos removal project.
If you contact a licenced asbestos removal company in Sydney before beginning work on your property, they will handle the inspection of your property and determine what should be done to handle any material that may include these dangerous fibres.

Leave It to the Professionals

When you allow licenced asbestos professionals to handle these projects, you ensure the fibres that have taken so many lives around the world do not continue to sabotage Australian lives. Licence holders in Australia must go through training related to asbestos and must pay to keep their licence current. They also must designate on-site supervisors with even more training and a higher level of experience handling these materials.

This experience and training ensures the jobsite is always handled in a safe manner and asbestos-containing materials are properly disposed of at all times. This is the best way to fight the deadly release of asbestos fibres into Sydney air.

Bellevue Hill School Closed Once Again For Asbestos Risk

Asbestos concerns have struck Bellevue Hill once again, after a fragment of fibro material was discovered at a local primary school’s children’s playground.

Bellevue Hill Public School issued an email to parents last week, alerting them of the asbestos discovery. This is the second time this year that the playground has been investigated for asbestos contamination. In March, similar small fibro fragments were discovered at the site.

An Education Department spokeswoman said the playground will be closed off to students until further notice.

Anna Starostina’s children frequently use the playground. She said “It came as quite a shock to hear it had happened again because we had been assured by council that the site had been cleared,” she said.

“It hasn’t been that long since it happened the first time- I just hope something hasn’t been overlooked, because this material is just sitting on the surface, right where the kids play.”

Asbestos tests  on the most recent sample were revealed to be positive for asbestos.

A council spokeswoman said that given the isolated fragment had been safely removed and with further investigation of the site under way, there was no need to close the playground at this stage.

“We will take advice from the consultants and if we need to take further action we will,” she said.

“If we are advised of any risk to public safety we will move quickly to close the playground.”

Woollahra Council will conduct weekly inspections of all its park and recreation sites.

More info on Asbestos Training

Source: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/city-east/asbestos-puts-bellevue-hill-playground-out-of-bounds/story-fngr8h22-1226717017968

 

Manual Handling Techniques for Safe Lifting Practices

a man using manual handling techniques to lift a boxAccording to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2012, more than 50 out of every 1,000 workers sustained some type of injury in the workplace, between 2009 and 2010. In 2010-2011 more than eleven thousand people died in workplace injuries. This is nearly 2 deaths for every one hundred thousand workers.

While death and major injuries are taking place on a grand scale, still more common are injuries which take away from the workforce and cause missed days or even weeks of productive labor. In most cases, these injuries were not long lived but about 5% took twelve or more weeks to recuperate.

According to Safe Work Australia, the most common injuries are back injuries. While some back injuries come from falls on level surfaces or falls on a surface below, most are not from this type of injury.

The most common way in which a back injury is caused is from poor manual handling techniques. Overall the number of serious back injuries which came from lifting are simply something that cannot be sustained. One in five serious injuries in the workplace involves a back injury.

Work related injuries in Australia cost more than $60 billion dollars last year. This represents about 5 percent of the Australian gross national product. If most of these injuries are related to back injuries, which in turn are related to poor manual handling techniques, it stands to reason that proper lifting techniques are something in which workers need to know.

Proper lifting means taking the weight of any product that you must lift on the massive leg muscles, using correct technique to bear the weight rather than lifting with the back.

When lifting, along with taking the major portion of the weight on the larger muscles, it is necessary that those who are lifting use a broad base of support. Lifting with legs bent and slightly spread will help to prevent back injuries when lifting. Additionally, having enough help when lifting heavy items is another consideration. Never try to lift something which is obviously too heavy without proper staff support.

To learn more about proper manual handling techniques, best practices for lifting objects safely and the best way to move heavy items or to secure a safety course for your employees on lifting, view our Manual Handling Training.

Bullying and Violence: What are they exactly?

Violence usually involves physical assault or the threat of physical assault. Bullying and violence can both result from conflict and can occur together. However, bullying does not always result in violence. Threats to harm someone, violence and damage to property are criminal matters that should be referred to the police.

Identifying and controlling the risk of Workplace Bullying

Bullying is best dealt with by taking steps to prevent it before it becomes a risk to health and safety. Using a risk management approach will assist in the process. Consultation with workers and their health and safety representatives must occur at each step of the risk management process.

  • Identify bullying risk factors
  • Assess the likelihood of bullying occurring and its impact
  • Control the risks by eliminating them, or if not reasonably practicable, minimising the risk as far as reasonably practicable, and
  • Review the effectiveness of the control measures.

The WHS Act requires that you consult, so far as is reasonably practicable, with workers who carry out work for you who are (or are likely to be) directly affected by a work health and safety matter. Consultation must also be carried out in the development of any policies and procedures related to bullying, including complaints procedures.

PCBU’s should develop a Bullying policy in consultation with workers and their health and safety representatives.  The policy should set out the standards of expected behaviour and make a clear statement that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated

A workplace bullying policy should contain:

  • A statement that the organisation is committed to preventing bullying
  • The standards of appropriate behaviour,
  • A process to encourage reporting, including contact points
  • A definition of bullying with examples of bullying behaviour, and
  • The consequences for not complying with the policy.

An appropriate communication strategy for the policies and procedures relating to bullying and harassment will encourage widespread awareness of the health and safety impacts of workplace bullying and endorse the need to be proactive in preventing workplace bullying.

What is Not Considered to be Workplace Bullying?

Many things that happen at work are generally not considered to be bullying, although some experiences can be uncomfortable for those involved. Differences of opinion, performance management, conflicts and personality clashes can happen in any workplace, but usually they do not result in bullying.

A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not bullying, although it may have the potential to escalate into bullying and therefore should not be ignored.

Reasonable management action, carried out in a fair way, is not bullying. Managers have a right to direct the way work is carried out and to monitor and give feedback on performance, but the way that this is done is a risk factor in determining the likelihood of bullying occurring.

Examples of reasonable management action include:

  • Setting reasonable performance goals, standards and deadlines in consultation with workers and after considering their respective skills and experience
  • Allocating work to a worker in a transparent way
  • Fairly rostering and allocating working hours
  • Transferring a worker for legitimate and explained operational reasons
  • Deciding not to select a worker for promotion, following a fair and documented process
  • Informing a worker about unsatisfactory work performance in a constructive way and in accordance with any workplace policies or agreements
  • Informing a worker about inappropriate behaviour in an objective and confidential way
  • Implementing organisational changes or restructuring, and
  • Performance management processes.

Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment involves intimidating, offending or humiliating behaviour directed toward a person on the basis of a particular personal characteristic such as race, age or gender.

Discrimination involves the unfair treatment of a person based on a personal characteristic, for example not hiring or promoting a woman to a position because she may become pregnant or has children.

Unlike bullying, harassment and discrimination do not have to be repeated and have to be based on some characteristic of the target.

Discrimination and harassment are dealt with separately under anti-discrimination, industrial and human rights laws.  The WHS Act includes specific protections against discriminatory conduct for persons raising health and safety concerns or performing legitimate safety-related functions.

A worker can be bullied, harassed and discriminated against at the same time.

Bullying Can Happen in All Types of Workplaces

Bullying is a hazard as it may affect the emotional, mental and physical health of workers.

The WHS Act defines ‘health’ as both physical and psychological health. Therefore the duties imposed under the WHS Act to ensure health and safety also includes ensuring the emotional and mental health of workers.

In some workplaces, workers may feel that they are the subject of bullying, harassment and discrimination and it may be a misunderstanding of what bullying, harassment and discrimination is that leads to dissatisfaction within the workplace.  To assist in clarifying, we are going to detail the differences. The risk of bullying is minimised in workplaces where everyone treats each other with dignity and respect.

Workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable behaviour directed towards a worker or a group of workers, that creates a risk to health and safety.

‘Repeated behaviour’ refers to the persistent nature of the behaviour and can refer to a range of behaviours over time.

‘Unreasonable behaviour’ means behaviour that a reasonable person, having regard for the circumstances, would see as victimising, humiliating, undermining or threatening.

Impact of workplace bullying

Bullying can be harmful for the workers who experience it and those who witness it. Each individual will react differently to bullying and in response to different situations. Reactions may include any combination of the following:

  • Distress, anxiety, panic attacks or sleep disturbance
  • Physical illness, such as muscular tension, headaches and digestive problems
  • Reduced work performance
  • Loss of self-esteem and feelings of isolation
  • Deteriorating relationships with colleagues, family and friends
  • Depression and risk of suicide.

Those persons who witness bullying may experience guilt and fear because they cannot help or support the affected person in case they too get bullied. Witnesses may feel angry, unhappy or stressed with the workplace and may become unmotivated to work.

Bullying can also damage organisations. It can lead to:

  • High staff turnover and associated recruitment and training costs
  • Low morale and motivation
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Lost productivity
  • Disruption to work when complex complaints are being investigated, and
  • Costly workers’ compensation claims or legal action.

Top 5 Most Common Workplace Accidents

Every business should try to the best of their ability to ensure the safety and security of their employees. It is one of the most important aspects of business to be certain that their workers are healthy and safe.

Getting injured at work happens more often than we would like though. There are some casues of injury that can’t be controlled,  there are some which can be controlled and there are some which can be prevented through training, awareness and education. The most common workplace injuries probably won’t come as a surprise for you, they are sprains, tears and muscle injuries. They were ranking in at 38% of the injuries which are most commonly found in the workplace worldwide.

This was true of nearly every type of workplace. It surprises most people that workplaces may vary but in nearly every workplace in the world the injuries are the same. This includes all types of workplaces from the construction industry to office environments. The main injuries that are found in the office and elsewhere include:

  • Over-exertion in lifting or lowering packages resulting in back injury accounted for more than 20% of all workplace injuries
  • Falls from the same level as you were standing accounted for 12 percent of the workplace injuries
  • Slips and trips without any kind of a fall resulting in sprains such as foot, hands, neck or arm were responsible for about 7 percent of workplace injuries.
  • Workplace violence, fights or other kinds of interaction were about 4 percent of workplace injuries.
  • Falls to a level lower than that on which the worker was standing was responsible for about 3 percent of workplace injuries.

Most of these injuries, may have been preventable with the right kind of training and knowledge about the workplace environment, paying attention to safety signage, wearing more appropriate footwear or clothing but human error will always be present no matter how hard we try to make a perfectly safe work environment.

Dangerous Goods Classes – Identifying and Working With Them

a table of the classes of dangerous goodsWorkplace Health and Safety identifies nine different dangerous goods classes. They also enforce training and skills that are necessary in order to come into contact with those dangerous goods on any level. Even those who will write documentation on the dangerous goods are required to have a given type of training. The nine dangerous goods classes which are identified by Workplace Health and Safety are:

  • Flammable gas: gases which may be ignited in air. They can cause a fire or an explosion. Some examples are natural gas, petroleum gas or hydrogen.
  • Flammable Liquids: liquids that may produce a gas which can be ignited on contact with air. These include unleaded gasoline, kerosene and acetone.
  • Flammable Solids: substances that may be ignited simply by friction or by being touched in some way. They may also ignite from other ignition sources.
  • Substances that in contact with water emit flammable gases
  • Oxidising Agents: substances that can cause serious damage to the body if touched or splashed on the skin.
  • Toxic Gases: gases that can, on inhalation of the gas, result in serious injury or death.
  • Corrosive Substances: items which are capable of causing the degradation and destruction of living tissue, steel and other materials on contact. Some may give off irritating vapours affecting the eyes, airways and skin.
  • Explosives: substances or materials that have the ability to explode as a result of a chemical reaction with other substances or materials it may come in contact with.
  • Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods: items which do not fit into any of the other categories but which may cause damage to humans who come into contact with them.

Each item has given requirements that are necessary in order to work with the dangerous goods or to see them transported. There are also some identified dangerous goods which are classed as too dangerous to transport. These are of course in a class by themselves.

In order to safely work with any dangerous goods, whether you and your employees are actively working with the substance or are simply working with the documentation of the item, you do need to have some level of skill in recognition of the placards and other methods used for transport.

Among those things which are required of you and your employees are the knowledge of the documentation necessary and recognizing which documents and which placards inform you of the nature of the substance. To comply with all of the necessary governmental requirements for safe handling of dangerous goods for both aviation and maritime industries do online dangerous goods training with AlertForce today.

Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2012

In June 2012 the Government introduced changes to the Workers Compensation Scheme in NSW.

The changes deliver significant new benefits for workers and improvements for employers by making benefit calculations fairer for all workers. The reforms are focused on encouraging and assisting early return to work and providing better financial support for seriously injured workers.

The Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 amends the workers Compensation Act 1987 and other Acts with respect to the reform of the NSW Workers Compensation Scheme.

The reforms were passed by Parliament on June 22, 2012 and assented on June 27, 2012 making it law.

Principles behind the reforms include:

  • Enhance NSW workplace safety by preventing and reducing incidents and fatalities
  • Contribute to economic and jobs growth by ensuring that premiums are comparable
  • with other States and there are optimal insurance arrangements
  • Promote recovery and the health benefits of returning to work
  • Guarantee long-term medical and financial support for seriously injured workers
  • Support less seriously injured workers to recover and regain financial independence
  • Reduce the high regulatory burden and make it simple for injured workers, employers
  • and service providers to navigate the system
  • Strongly discourage payments, treatments and services that do not contribute to
  • recovery and return to work

Research has shown that getting injured workers back to work early is an important part of their recovery. Early return to work can reduce the impact on a worker and their family. In most cases, workers do not need to be 100% recovered to return to work. Assisting early, safe and durable return to work is a key intent of the reforms.

The new laws change the way workers compensation benefit claims are assessed and paid and the changes affect all new and existing workers compensation claims.

Amendments which have already commenced include:

  • New threshold for payment of lump sum compensation for physical injuries of greater than 10% whole person impairment.
  • Introduction of S.322A – specifying one assessment only of degree of permanent impairment
  • Compensation for Pain and suffering (section 67) has been abolished
  • Journey claims will only be accepted if a “real and substantial connection between the employment and the accident” is established – i.e. worker is deemed to be “on duty” at time of accident.
  • No compensation for heart attack or stroke injury unless the nature of employment gave rise to a significantly greater risk of the worker suffering the injury than had the worker not been in employment of that nature.
  • The definition of injury relating to ‘Disease’ claims has been revised to “a disease that is contracted by a worker in the course of employment but only if the employment was the main contributing factor”.
  • Psychological injury resulting from ‘Nervous Shock’ claims can now only be made by a worker and eliminates any claims from spouses, children close relatives or witnesses (unless they are an employee) i.e. damages for nervous shock injury to non-workers has been abolished.

Benefits

Benefits for new claims are now based more closely on real earning prior to the injury incorporating overtime and shift allowances in the initial 52 weeks of weekly payments.

  • Benefits cover medical and related expenses for up to 12 months after the injured worker ceases to be entitled to weekly payments (or 12 months after the injured worker made the claim if weekly benefits are not received).
  • For most injured workers, weekly payments are limited to five years from the date of the claim (or when retirement age is reached, if that is sooner – at which stage the injured worker may receive Commonwealth benefits.
  • Injured workers will receive up to 95% of pre-injury earnings for the first 13 weeks of a claim.
  • Benefits in weeks 14 – 130 will be made up of 95% of pre-injury average earning if the injured worker returns to work for at least 15 hours per week, otherwise the injured worker will receive up to 80%.
  • After 130 weeks, if the injured worker has the capacity to work but in not working at least 15 hours a week and earning at least $155 per week, then the benefits will cease. If the injured worker is working at least 15 hours per week and earning at least $155, or has no capacity to work, the benefits will continue.

Seriously Injured Workers

The Act defines a seriously injured worker as having greater than 30% whole person impairment. A seriously injured worker is exempt from the five year limit on weekly payments and from the 12 month limit on medical and related expenses.

Implementation

Changes to weekly benefits payments as prescribed under the Amendment Bill will occur in three stages:

  • New claims lodged from October 1, 2012 will be calculated using the new weekly benefits
  • Existing claims prior to October 1, 2012 will continue to receive the current rates of benefits until they transition to the new rates effective from January 1, 2013.
  • Existing claims which have been assessed as having a 30% Whole Person
  • Impairment, or greater, will be paid at the transitional rate effective September 17, 2012.

If you are making a claim on or after 1 October 2012, new arrangements to Workers Compensation may apply.

Please note: Workers Compensation changes do not apply to all workers – excluded groups are police officers, paramedics, fire-fighters, coal miners and workers who make dust disease claims.

The information contained herein is to give a general overview. Visit the WorkCover NSW website to access Workers Compensation Issues Papers, Parliamentary Inquiry, Final Bills, Fact sheets and brochures.

For more information contact your insurer or call WorkCover NSW on 13 10 50.

OHS Has Changed to WHS – What You Need to Know

whs signOccupational Health and Safety (OHS) is a very broad term and means something different all over the world depending on the business culture of the region. In Australia OHS is going through some major changes, in fact it is no longer even going to be called Occupational Health and Safety; now it’s Work Health and Safety (WHS). This is going to bring about some changes as the new acronym and name is adopted, and you’ll need to know what differences these may bring to your workplace in Australia. The transition can make a huge difference in your workplace safety and the regulations your business must conform to, and if businesses don’t adhere to the new rules that pop up, they can end up being fined up to $3 million dollars.

This change is one of the largest that have ever been put into place when it comes to the rules and regulations of the workplace in Australia. The new Work Health and Safety act will affect you and the way any business is run. Below is a list of the broad changes that must be made with the switch to WHS.

 Completely new set of safety obligations

If you are an officer or manager of a business you’ll have to learn these new rules and practice what is called “due diligence”. This means you’ll have to adhere to these rules at all times and enforce them on the staff directly below you.

 The new rules will apply to more people
WHS is going to place this new legislation onto anyone conducting business within your workplace. This means anyone whether they are part time or full time employees. Now “Worker” is a broader term and it’s going to make Australian businesses responsible for a lot more people.

 Consulting your employees will be complicated
You can’t just give a general idea of the rules to your employees anymore. A slim book of safety regulations may have sufficed in the past but now you’ll have to use very specific wording and make sure your training is up to the standards the WHS holds.

 Discipline will be streamlined as well.
With these new rules you can be prosecuted in criminal court depending on the violation and/or situation at hand under the WHS rules. This will allow employees to press charges and also seek civil conflict resolutions such as compensation for damages.

 Unions will have more power
Unions will be allowed to (and even courage to) investigate incidents, consult employees, advise employees and question any worker about matters that fall under the guidelines of the WHS. They can investigate work area mishaps and basically have more power much more power at any workplace.

•… And many more changes to come
WHS is still a work in progress; it’s regularly being implemented across Australia and more changes are sure to come, many that are already planned but not listed above. It’s important to know which ones will affect you so research them the minute they are made available to you, and know when they are going to go into effect so you can protect yourself for making a violation and protect both the company and the employees as well’ as mentioned above, the fines for violations can be enormous. While OHS used to charge up to $1.5 million dollars in corporate fines as well as $150,000 possible fines for individuals and even jail time. The WHS makes that corporate fine limit $3 million, the individual fine $600,000 with possible jail time of 5 years. That is double for corporate fees and 4 times as much for the individual. You don’t want to have to face those fines so make sure that you are prepared for the WHS act to go into effect in your region.

While there are still updates being made it is important to note that the actual act went into effect at the start of 2012 so this change has been a long time coming. How this act affects you right now depends on your region but knowing the rules and the necessary information in order to avoid these massive penalties is a must. Luckily, there are lots of resources out there to find answers, from online venues to books produced to cover the issue. Below is a list of questions that you’ll want to know the answers for regarding your business; if you don’t know the answers, and then seek out the resources that can clarify them for you.

 When was the last time I conducted a safety audit in my business place?

 How long has it been since I reviewed basic safety policies?

 Is my staff aware of the proper procedures for safety related tasks in my workplace?

 What changes coming with the WHS affect our business?

 What kind of consultation must I receive and am I required to give under the WHS rules?

 Do I have proper due diligence tests implemented? Are they effective enough for the WHS?

If you can answer all of these questions then good for you, you are on the right track to properly adhering all the changes brought with the WHS act. If you can’t then you need to get on the ball before the WHS rules become part of your business and you end up facing critical and expensive problems by not knowing all the acts conditions and terms. Compliance is worth the effort it takes so make sure to keep up with the changes and keep your business in check.

There are a number of online resources dedicated to providing the information you need to know regarding the OHS to WHS changes and you can even find the act itself online, although it is in legalese that can be hard to decipher at times. Find the resource that works for you and start coping with the changes that may have already taken place in your business. Make sure you comply with the necessary changes and avoid getting slammed with any of the catastrophic fines or punishment that businesses are sure to face if they don’t live up to the standards set by the WHS act.

The Importance of Office Ergonomics

an example of good office ergonomicsIt may not seem like a big part of the work environment but how an office is laid out can make all the difference when it comes to efficiency in the work place. If your work environment is not ergonomically set up you can end up actually having some health problems not to mention a dip in attitude. If your office is laid out in a less than efficient way ergonomically speaking then you might experience frequent headaches, eyestrain, neck pain, back pain and even problems with your tendons due to the fact that you are frequently doing the same task over and over again (RSI). These problems might not be fatal but they can have a serious effect on your life by making your work day less productive and far less enjoyable.

In order to conquer health and attitude problems in the office, it’s well worth the costs involved to design work spaces in the office to be ergonomically friendly. There are training programs that teach individuals how to set up work stations in an efficient manner that are also comfortable and that can help prevent physical problems. You’ll feel more as if you are working at a second home instead of coming into that cramped little office where you struggle to grab at the tools you need to do your job, or suffer from headaches because you are staring into the screen too long, or at an unsafe distance.

What is involved in learning about office ergonomics? Due to case studies and design knowledge people have mastered the art of creating the most ergonomic office layouts. This means you’ll learn about adjusting the way your chair is situated, where the monitor is positioned relative to your seating, what kind of keyboard and mouse you have and where these are placed. Additional considerations include things like what kind of phone you have and where it is placed, kinds of computers you have, the height of your desks, and the adjustment of other office tools you would be using on a daily basis. A work station should be created with your posture and movement in mind. It’s much like how directors perform blocking for a movie; you have to carry out blocking for your work place and try to make it as efficient as possible. Do you stretch to grab your phone? Do you sit hunched over with your monitor where it is? Do you have to get up and walk across the room to grab your laptop or is it convenient positioned?

With the help of office ergonomics training, a known specialist, or just some good old fashioned trial and error you can improve your work station and make your day that much easier and enjoyable to get through. It’ll make you more productive and help you do a better job at work since you won’t have to struggle through headaches, sore and tired eyes and bad posture that leads to back and neck pain. If you are having these symptoms at work it’s definitely time for you to reassess your working space. The importance of office ergonomics can’t be stressed enough and improving your situation doesn’t take much effort.

To find out more about our office ergonomics courses click here.

Driver Fatigue Management Training

a fatigued truck driverWhen you work long hours and spend a lot of time on the road you can get quite tired which at some point can become dangerous. You’ll be working odd hours as well and driving a wide range of vehicles. Working in the EMS industry there isn’t a whole lot of conclusive data existing that compares fatigue rates with accidents but it’s definitely an issue. While it can be a difficult factor to measure studies have been carried out on fatigue and how it affects our perception and motor skills and it has been proven to be a real world problem.

Of course with long hours and lots of repetitive driving, and mundane countryside to drive through, fatigue is going to happen but luckily there is training which helps drivers notice the signs of fatigue and deal with them confidently. Whether you own a business or just drive for your employer fatigue management training is a very convenient and affordable to way to learn to fight fatigue with just a little bit of knowledge. Courses can be taken online for both you and/or your employees or in some cases you can find these courses at a local college.

By the time you or your employees are finished with the course you’ll be able to completely control your fatigue using the information and techniques you learned during the course including knowing when to pull over and rest, how to fight off the negative health effects, and understand what makes you more fatigued personally.

The training will eventually teach drivers how to drive up to 14 hours without feeling worn down and exhausted. Drivers will learn how to get the most of their rest which is a huge advantage. Those that get the training online have the advantage of finishing the courses at their convenience and even go over the courses online while on delivery. It’s definitely the most convenient way to complete the training and also one of the most affordable.

The prices of these online courses start at under $200 and can go up to $900 depending on the intensity of the program you are looking for.

If you run a business with drivers in your employment or are a driver yourself, you owe it to yourself to fight off the negative effects of fatigue. Fatigue management training will make your job easier and safer plus the training isn’t very expensive. Sign up for a course online or in whatever form you prefer and be prepared for those long drives and redundant jobs that might wear you down in the EMS industry.

Click here to find out about our fatigue management courses

Careers Available with a Cert IV in OHS

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) is something that every workplace is concerned with. Basically occupational health and safety efforts are always going to be around no matter how many industries rise and fall, so going after a career in the field is definitely a great idea. Getting started with the educational requirements necessary to work in the OHS field is also not very difficult and can be done while working elsewhere. It’s a great way to get a career even later in life when you are feeling unfulfilled at whatever position you currently hold, and there are many career opportunities available in OHS.

A Cert IV in OHS applies to work places everywhere in the world but more recently many jobs in this field have been created in Australia. On January 1st of 2012 the work health and safety act came into play and changed a whole lot of the rules and regulations for businesses across the continent. OHS was extremely relevant all of a sudden and many jobs opened up to those who were educated in the new rules. This is why getting a Cert IV in OHS is such a huge step for your career and can help you secure these freshly created jobs, and start your career in OHS at one of the many businesses across Australia.

With 2013 here these jobs are still needing to be filled and companies all around are hiring individuals with a Cert IV under their belt so there’s no better time to step into this employment opportunity while there’s such a high depend for people with a Cert IV in OHS.

The qualification for a Cert IV in OHS is ordered online and completed at a distance over a 1 year period. You can sign up and pay for the course and get started today; it has never been easier to get an education. If you sign up for the course today you’ll even be able to get an extra course in OHS which is directly related to the OHS industry. Many of the principles and ideas you are taught will carry over and make getting this second course completed easy. This extra course costs nearly $300 so you’ll be saving quite a bit of money as well.

The course is time consuming but you can work at your own pace. If you study hard enough and hit the books, and complete the work load in less than 6 months then you’ll be able to get your Cert IV and get a job sooner rather than later however you’ll have up to a full year to complete it if you want to move at a slower pace. The choice is yours and it’s perfect for those who want to get an education, and start a career but live busy lifestyles and often can’t have a set schedule for their classes. With different units it’s easy to segment off and plan the course according to your schedule as well.

The course itself is $1397 which while it may seem high is still much more affordable than tuition at any school and a worthy investment.

Latest OHS Jobs


Occupational Health and Safety Jobs on OHSCareer
Find Jobs, Events, Education and News for Professionals in Occupational Health and Safety in Australia and New Zealand.
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/all-jobs?show_all=1 Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:00:37 +0000

Regional OHS Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26965 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26965
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Injury Management Advisor – Up to $80k
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2150-alexander-grey/26922 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2150-alexander-grey/26922
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Risk/OHS Consultant
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26893 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26893
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Health and Safety Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5529-murray-goulburn/26892 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5529-murray-goulburn/26892
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Director, Occupational Health and Safety
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2218-robert-walters/26891 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2218-robert-walters/26891
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Health, Safety & Environmental Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5361-strategy-one-human-resources/26890 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5361-strategy-one-human-resources/26890

support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Divisional Risk, Safety & Health Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5128-masters-home-improvement/26889 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5128-masters-home-improvement/26889
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Community Emergency Services Officer
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/519-city-of-busselton/26888 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/519-city-of-busselton/26888

support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Health & Safety Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5403-tabcorp/26843 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5403-tabcorp/26843
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Safety Mentor – FIFO
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2936-technical-resources/26842 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2936-technical-resources/26842
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Executive Assistant – Health, Safety & Wellbeing
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4712-westpac-group/26841 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4712-westpac-group/26841

support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
Jobs – OHSCareer

Workplace Health, Safety & Environment Manager
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5525-brisbane-racing-club-limited/26840 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/5525-brisbane-racing-club-limited/26840
support@careerspot.com.au (OHSCareer)
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Health, Safety, Rehabilitation & Training Coordinator
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/3744-pepsico-australia-and-new-zealand/26838 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/3744-pepsico-australia-and-new-zealand/26838
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Safety Administrator
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4213-linfox-australia/26837 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4213-linfox-australia/26837
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Safety Coorinator
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4213-linfox-australia/26836 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4213-linfox-australia/26836
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HS&E Contractors 2013
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26818 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26818
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EOI – Senior OHS Manager – Construction
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/659-randstad/26809 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/659-randstad/26809
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OHSE Coordinator – Head Contractor
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/659-randstad/26808 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/659-randstad/26808
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TSS Sydney
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26802 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/4056-the-next-step/26802
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Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator
http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2941-michael-page-engineering/26736 http://www.ohscareer.com.au/jobs/2941-michael-page-engineering/26736
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Confined Spaces Training

a man working in a confined spaceWe all know what a confined area is but when it comes to the workplace confined spaces take on a whole new meaning and they require you to be certified in order to operate equipment and fulfill work needs in those areas. A confined area is a space with limited access because the work being done there has the potential to be more dangerous. It can refer to just a cramped area or something more permanent such as a storage tanks. In some cases these areas have risks present that require further preparation in order to meet OSHA standards. Confined spaces must be clearly marked and workers in that area must have proper training in order to function properly, and that is why confined spaces training is a must for many employees in varied industries.

Confined spaces training is there to give people both the skills and knowledge of safety regulations in order to identify which confined spaces are safe to work in, and how to work in those areas as well. You’ll be trained on all sorts of different tasks that might have to be performed in confined areas such as cleaning, inspection, facility installation, maintenance work, additions and more. No matter where you work having these skills can prove to be invaluable.

You’ll learn how to identify confined areas as well. Sometimes this is harder than you might imagine and the area doesn’t even need to be small really, just confined. It also doesn’t have to be enclosed. After the training you’ll know how to spot what is technically a confined area and how to operate in there safely no matter what your task might be. You’ll also be ready to mark confined areas that aren’t yet marked by those around you.

Every year people lose their jobs, risk their lives and often suffer a great deal because they weren’t prepared for the work environment they were placed in. Whether the environment is too high up, too toxic or too confined doesn’t matter; just that you are prepared for the environment you are going to be working in. By taking the confined spaces training you’ll be more confident no matter what the situation is at work and you’ll be more prepared.

Confined spaces’ training is very affordable as well. The course starts at just $60 and while there are more intensive courses that can cost more and range up to around $100 it is much more affordable than most other safety and awareness courses. The general awareness course is where you’ll want to start and then you can move up to other safety courses and be even more prepared for risks faced. After the training you’ll be able to identify what is in any confined areas atmosphere, enter safely and then install utilities, and perform any maintenance duties needed before exiting.

Being safe in the workplace is important and confined spaces can be dangerous so be prepared. Thanks to the confined spaces training course you’ll be able to go into the situation knowing what to do and how to do it.

Find out more about our Confined Spaces Courses here

Take an Owner Builder Course to Build Your Own Projects

an owner builder constructing a houseWhat is an owner builder? That is a term we don’t hear very often but it is one that still manages to have its own course. An owner builder is someone who does all the building work on a property that they own instead of hiring a building company or licensed builder in order to get the job done. Anyone can be an owner builder but of course there are safety regulations and codes a person must be aware of before they undergo building anything, even if it is on their own property. If you want to save yourself the fees of hiring a contractor and having to wait on them to finish your building project you can take matters into your own hands and take the owner builder course.

As mentioned above, anyone can take owner builder training; it does not require any prerequisites and you can even take the course online. Of course the lessons do take effort, have an affinity for construction, and you do have to study hard, learning all the safety regulations and the processes that a licensed builder must go through. There are also some cases where the person might be exempt from taking the online course such as if they worked in the industry or hold a BSA. Those that have worked in the construction industry before should also be aware that there is a cut off period at times. In addition, once you’ve taken the course you will get a certificate as an official owner builder however you’ll need more than a certification to starting building your project; you’ll need to get a permit.

To get your building permit you’ll not only be required to show that you own the land you are building on, but also that you are qualified to build whatever building you’re going to be constructing. You also will have to deal with restrictions placed on the builder permit so that you can retain ownership once your building is erected.

Getting the required permit for the building you are going to construct, the proof of ownership for the land, the certificate upon completing the owner builder course, and all the required materials for the job such as building materials, blue prints, safety equipment and more can be quite difficult. On the other hand it is often more affordable than hiring contractors and it can open up the door to more building opportunities, and even lead to a career. Legislation can make it a hassle but being able to construct your own buildings is not only liberating but also very cost effective.

If you are interested in constructing your own buildings, or perhaps getting started on construction as a business, a great place to begin is with an owner builder course. It can get your foot in the door and on the path to constructing your own buildings efficiently, and making sure they adhere to safety codes and local legislations.

Click here to find out more about our Owner Builder course.

WorkCover Hosts Crane Safety Discussions

WorkCover New South Wales – Australia hosted a tower crane safety roundtable on Tuesday, following the fire and jib collapse last week. It has followed up with a communique covering the meeting which pretty much speaks for itself, so here it is in full:

“The Tower Crane Safety Roundtable was held 4 December 2012. The Roundtable was convened by WorkCover NSW and attended by representatives of the building industry, unions, crane suppliers and the Industry Plant Consultative Committee.

The Roundtable considered a range of tower crane safety issues following the fire that seriously damaged a crane causing significant damage to part of the construction site located at the University of Technology, Sydney Broadway on Tuesday 27 November 2012.

Roundtable representatives were provided with updates by WorkCover officials, industry and unions in relation to tower crane safety initiatives.

These tower crane initiatives included:

  • WorkCover’s Pant Verification Program 2009 -2011.
  • WorkCover’s High Consequence Low Frequency Program 2012.
  • Crane Industry Council of Australia CraneSafe program.
  • The NSW Industry Plant Consultative Committee.

WorkCover officials provided a preliminary briefing in relation to possible root causes and preliminary actions in relation to reviewing and monitoring risk controls. While the actual cause of the incident is not yet known, a number of potential causes have been identified. The Roundtable agreed that all persons in control of tower cranes should address the following key risk controls:

Fire prevention measures

  • Check fuel lines and hydraulic hoses are located away from ignition sources or guarded to prevent leaking fluid from contacting potential ignition sources.
  • Do not store unnecessary quantities of combustibles on the machine deck.
  • Enhance inspection and maintenance programs to prevent or minimise fluid leaks, including preventative maintenance to replace hoses before they fail.
  • When replacing hoses ensure that they meet crane manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Ensure hydraulic systems are operating as designed and any malfunctions, including leaks, are repaired prior to the crane resuming service.

Fire control measures
• Ensure fire extinguishing equipment and fire detection and control systems are correctly maintained and serviced.
• Ensure operators understand the use of fire extinguishing equipment provided.

Evacuation procedures and systems
• Review site evacuation procedures to include consideration of structural collapse including tower cranes.
• Ensure emergency plans and communication systems are adequate and well maintained.

The Roundtable was also reminded of the need to be vigilant about general site safety including falls from heights.

The Roundtable noted that WorkCover is to release a tower crane safety alert to industry which will include the preliminary actions discussed at the Roundtable.

The Roundtable agreed for the Industry Plant Consultative Committee to review existing risk control advice and industry practice, including independent crane pre-erection and pre-use inspection systems, to ensure that they address the risks identified in this most recent incident.

Roundtable attendees were advised that the WorkCover investigation into the fire will take some time to complete, however as further more detailed risk information comes to hand this information will be disseminated to industry in a form which will assist industry in progressing prevention actions.

The chair thanked all attendees for their willingness to work constructively to identify key issues and apply lessons learnt from this unusual but high consequence incident. The outcomes of the Roundtable are designed to secure the safety and security of workers and the public in relation to use of tower cranes at construction sites.”

More info on Cranes,Hoists and Slings

Source: http://www.vertikal.net/en/news/story/16356/

Canaberra And WA Construction Workers Protest Over Unsafe Working Conditions

It appears that despite changes in the law and work training programs, the construction industry in Australia continues to be a dangerous profession, as protesting workers and their family members are stepping up to point out.

In Canberra, 600 construction workers joined a march led by Mrs. Catanzariti, whose 21 year old son Ben was killed on a Canberra work site in July, protesting the unsafe work conditions on Canberra work sites that have resulted in 4 deaths in the last 10 months. Mrs. Catanzariti made clear that the loss of her son has broken her family, and that she is determined to stop other families from having to experience the kind of loss suffered by her family.

CFMEU ACT branch secretary, Dean Hall, called on the ACT government to place greater emphasis on safety rather than awarding contracts to lowest bidder on Civil contracts. Attorney-General Simon Corbell, ACT Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan and Canberra Liberal Vicki Dunne all joined together at the rally to all throw their support behind the inquiry now underway to look into workplace safety in the territory.

On Friday October 21st hundreds of workers in WA stopped work in protest of unsafe working conditions on a Nedlands construction site when a two tonne crane block and 50 meters of rope fell to the ground, narrowly missing several workers who were standing nearby.

According to CFEMU state secretary, Mick Buchan, workers are concerned with a crane at the site that has continually broken down and has had winch issues. Despite knowing of the these issues, the company has failed to conduct any investigation into the crane’s malfunctions. However, in light of this latest issue CFEMU reports the company has agreed to seek a report by an independent engineer into this latest issue as well as some of the past complaints.

These two protests shed light on continuing safety issues in the construction industry and what can occur when companies weigh their need to make a profit against the safety of their workers. However, as long as workers and their families are willing to stand up and stage protests highlighting the areas where dangers exist there is hope that things can change as more and more companies are forced to take a good hard look at the need to ensure safety on these work sites. It also makes clear that more safety checks by the government may need to made to ensure that dangerous situations are resolved before another worker is injured or killed.

Worker Fatigue Puts Victorian Paramedics At Risk

Paramedics at the ambulance Victoria Branch at Sunshine are being put at risk after working fourteen hours shifts and then being required to drive directly home as there are no beds for them to rest on once their shifts are completed before they leave for home.

The premises where the branch is located was issued improvement notices in July by WorkSafe for water damage, lack of carpark security and lack of bedroom facilities. Jedda McGlinchy, the Sunshine branch OHS representative stated that a new facility has been promised since 2000 yet, no new facility has been built and no improvements in the old facility have been undertaken to ensure the safety of Paramedics who work long busy hours with no opportunity to rest.

She also stated that several paramedics forced to drive home immediately after their shift concluded they had no memory of how they got home, and there has been one accident involving a paramedic who attempted to drive home after his shift ended.

The paramedics themselves are aware that they are suffering from worker fatigue and are begging the company to provide adequate bed space so that they can complete their shifts effectively and then get some much needed rest before they get in their own cars and head out into traffic where they pose a risk of harm to themselves and to others. Yet, nothing is being done. Without management’s cooperation in this matter, workers will continue to be in jeopardy.

Fatigue Management Training For Shift Work Offers Employers Stresses The Need For Adequate Places To Rest For Employees

With many businesses scheduling workers to work night shifts that last 12 or 14 hours there is increased risk of worker fatigue resulting in accidents at the workplace or when fatigued workers attempt to drive home without having some adequate rest.

Fatigue management courses for shift work offers employers a clear understanding of what causes worker fatigue, what signs they should look for and what they need to do to help prevent or at least reduce workplace fatigue. Employers who fail to provide a safe working environment by following work safe procedures to help reduce worker fatigue may be penalized for their failure. In addition, if a worker is injured or killed due to worker fatigue that was avoidable the company could face huge penalties imposed by the court.

Making sure that your managers have the proper training in fatigue management and institute safety measures to reduce the risk posed to and by fatigued workers will help you avoid huge fines, and other consequences that could harm your business and it’s reputation. Since it is possible to receive risk management training online, there really is no excuse not to ensure that your managers have the training necessary to make sure that worker fatigue does not pose a problem in your business.

Click here to find out about our fatigue management courses.

11,000 Injuries Caused By Unsafe Machines Causes Work Safe To Call On Employers To Deal With Machine Hazards

pressing a safety button on a machineAccording to statistics collected by WorkSafe over the last 5 years show that there have been over 11,000 injuries to Victoria workers due to unsafe machines. Of these 11,000 injuries 441 have resulted in amputations of body parts, and over 71% of the injuries have occurred in the fields of manufacturing, construction, transportation, warehousing, and storage industries. While WorkSafe is quick to acknowledge that the machinery resulting in these industries are necessary they urge employers to do more to ensure the safety of workers who use these machines.

Some of the suggestions that WorkSafe offers for reducing machinery related accidents include:

  • Not allowing untrained workers to operate machinery
  • Ensuring that all machinery is in good working condition and has all the correct parts.
  • Workers are supplied regularly with information about the hazards associated with each specific piece of machinery and have knowledge on how to operate the machinery safely.
  • Ensure that workers can readily identify when a machine is not safe to be used
  • That all power to machinery is shut off before machinery is cleaned or maintenance attempted and all energy stored in the machine is emptied prior to attempting any maintenance work.

WorkSafe offered other suggestions to employers as well, and urged employers to follow through to help keep Victoria moving forward as a safe place for workers regardless of what industry they work in.

Asbestos: The Stealth Assassin

Initially it was miners and tradesmen who fell victim to asbestos, now reports have indicated that the deadly substance has been attacking people at home.

In the 70’s and 80’s every night a husband and father returned home from work, embracing their children and wives, unknowingly exposing their families to the invisible but very deadly asbestos fibres. Asbestos was used very often because it was cheap,strong, waterproof and fireproof– essentially the perfect material for builders. Asbestos fibres are 50- to-200 times thinner than human hair, and they invade people’s lungs laying dormant for many years before developing into fatal asbestos-caused cancers.

All evidence seems to indicate that Lou Williams, 57, developed mesothelioma from the warm embraces she received from her father, or even simply washing his overalls or vacuuming his car.Norm Williams was a plasterer on stores in shopping centres before being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1985. He succumbed to the disease six months later at the age of  54. His daughter never believed she could have developed the disease either until she received the shocking news in 2003.

Since then, Williams has had to endure an grueling 18 sessions of chemotherapy, and has even said goodbye to her daughters, husband, family and friends.

Since then, Williams has had to endure an grueling 18 sessions of chemotherapy, and has even said goodbye to her daughters, husband, family and friends. Miraculously she is still alive but after attending dozens of mesothelioma related funerals, she’s avoided planning events four-weeks in advance, and has resigned her self to the fact that she may not live to see her next birthday.

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According to the Asbestos Management Review Report released in August, there have been 4700 deaths from mesothelioma in Australia since records began in the early ’80s.  Estimates indicate that an additional 25,000 people will die over the next four decades. According to Asbestoswise over 2500 people are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases in Australia every year.

These include mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis (a condition that restricts breathing by hardening and scarring the lung) and pleural plaques (thickened patches on the chest and lung lining).

Exposure Risks

The mining of asbestos in Australia been prohibited and there has not been any importation of the deadly substance since 2003. “It’s difficult to tell if a material contains asbestos,” says Anna Trzekwas, from Asbestos Removal Melbourne. “If you’re worried, call in a WorkSafe licensed removalist to check it. If necessary, they can safely remove the asbestos, too.”

Homes built after 1988 should be asbestos free. Pre-1984 do hold a risk of containing asbestos ridden material.

Asbestos may be present in hot water pipes, old heaters, stoves and ceiling insulation, as well as brakes, clutches and gaskets on pre-2003 cars.

Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/asbestossilent-killer-in-homes/story-fndo317g-1226509631760 

Blue Collar Workplaces Need To Address Challenges Posed By Poor Worker Health

blue collar worker having a health checkA recent sample test done of 9300 workers in Maribyrnong resulted in showing that the majority of blue collar workers in this area were unhealthy due to high consumption of alcohol, smoking, lack of exercise or not eating healthy. Large percentages of those tested had high blood pressure and were at risk for type II diabetes.

One quarter of those tested had high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol, and one quarter had a high waist circumference. While the workers themselves were advised to cut back on alcohol consumption, start exercising, and eat more fruit and vegetables as well as quit smoking it was also noted that a workforce suffering from health issues and a unhealthy lifestyle could affect the safety and productivity on the work site.

Ms. Anders stated that while the Maribynong workers health levels were on par with overall Victorian results she felt that given these health issues, that blue collar workplaces and employers were going to need to someway address the challenges that are posed by poor worker health. She stated that there was a lot that employers could do to promote healthier behaviors among workers, but gave no suggestion of what steps employers could take.

ACTU Wants Roll Bars Installed On Quad Bikes To Help Reduce Fatalities

a man riding a quad bikeFollowing the death of a 58-year-old man on a Quad bike, the ACTU is calling for roll over protection devices to be made mandatory on all new Quad Bikes that are produced. ACTU assistant secretary, Michael Borowick pointed out that there have been 160 Quad bike deaths since 2001. He also stated that quad bikes are unstable and due to their increasing popularity as farm work vehicles fatalities could increase, resulting in more injuries and death.

Providing roll bars on Quad Bikes makes good sense. Mr. Borowick pointed out how tractor fatalities have decreased by 80% since it became mandatory to have roll over protection on these vehicles in 1992. It is the belief that installing rollover protection for Quad Bikes could result in the same type of statistics thus saving life and serious injury to those who use Quad bikes on farm (and even for leisure).

As most people know Quad bikes also known as four wheelers in other parts of the world offer no protection for those using the vehicle in case of an accident where the Quad rolls over. Providing roll bars or some other type of roll over protection device could prevent riders from being trapped under the vehicle should it roll over, which increases the chances of surviving an accident with this type of vehicle.

Dangerous Goods By Air Training

dangerous goods for aircraftWhile all dangerous goods training is essential and necessary in order to protect your company, your workers who handle those dangerous goods, and the public at large, dangerous goods training by air is even more important. When you consider the risk that dangerous goods pose if handled incorrectly, and the chances of surviving an emergency landing it is easy to understand why being able to recognize dangerous goods, even those not labeled as such is essential to air safety.

In some cases, people unknowingly attempt to bring dangerous goods aboard a plane. In these cases, ordinary citizens simply have no idea that a common item may pose a danger or why. In addition, some unscrupulous companies have tried to shipped dangerous good by air in order to get them to their destination quicker. Being trained to identify such dangerous substances, and knowing what steps to take in order secure these items safely is essential to providing a safe means of travel for both the passengers and crew of an airlines.

How Often Is Dangerous Goods By Air Training Required

After receiving the initial dangerous goods training your certificate is good for two years at which time it must be renewed to remain in compliance with the dangerous goods guidelines. Not only is this renewal vital in reviewing the training you have received in the past to help keep it fresh in your mind, it also is necessary to inform you of new laws, as well as new items that are being considered as dangerous goods.

Who Is Required To Take This Training

Dangerous goods training should be undertaken by anyone who may be connected to the handling or identifying of dangerous goods. This not only includes: those who load goods onto the plane such as baggage handlers, but also those people who check luggage in the terminals as well as flight attendants and even pilots who may be called upon to deal with dangerous goods “in air” emergencies.

Since renewal training must be completed every two years keeping a record of employee training dates is essential to your company remaining in compliance with the laws, which is why many companies prefer group training to individual training as it is much easier to keep track of training dates when most of your employees have the same training date. Since failure to renew dangerous goods by air training can result in fines, and close down of business you want to make sure that training of all your staff is accomplished on time and as simply as possible.

Group training can be conducted by job, by shift, or any way that is convenient and beneficial for your company. Simply, set up a training schedule and ensure that everyone due for scheduled training takes the training either on time or before their current certificate expires. This will save your company a lot of paperwork as well as headaches and make it easier to guarantee that everyone gets the necessary dangerous goods training they need in a timely manner.

Click Here to enrol in our Dangerous Goods courses.

Food Safety Supervisor: It’s Good For Your Health To Be Safe

There is nothing worse than having been slightly liberal with your wallet on a beautiful 5-star restaurant meal (trying to impress the significant other! )… only to wake up in the middle of the night with a burning, unbearable pain in the stomache. That sharp pain  feels like a swift punch in the belly by Mike Tyson…but its not from that. You hurriedly think to your self ” It can’t be the cereal I had this morning! I THINK that sandwhich meat for lunch was fine.. so it could only be— NO! Why?! Why did I have to spend so much money on this meal, and experiment to be “exciting!”…Why?!

But it’s not always your fault, and it’s not always the mysterious, exotic dish’s fault… Sometime’s things go wrong, and someone is to blame.

It is imperative that  food business owners in Victoria  ensure  that their staff  are adequately skilled and knowledgeable enough to  safely handle food in their respective roles. It is therefore important for  food businesses  to elect a food safety supervisor to make sure of this.

What? A Food Safety Supervisor? What’s that?

A FSS  is someone who:

  • Is able to easily recognise, prevent and eliminate food handling hazards at the food business
  •  has earned a Statement of Attainment that declares that they have the required food safety competencies from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO);
  • has the ability and authority to supervise other people handling food at the premises and ensure that food handling is done safely.

What type of  Food Businesses Need FSS?

Only class 1 and class 2 food premises require a  food safety supervisor.

Food poisoning most often occurs upon consumption of  “potentially hazardous food” such as meat, seafood, cooked main meals and sandwiches. In addition, persons with weakened or immature immune systems suffer a greater risk of serious illness or death from food poisoning.

Class 1 and class 2 businesses therefore require a food safety supervisor. However a food safety supervisor is not required for class 1 and class 2 food premises which use a whole-of-business food safety program prepared under a recognised Quality Assurance (QA) system, and that program includes competency-based or accredited staff training. Such a system is an alternative means of educating staff about how to handle food safety.

Class 3 and class 4 food premises do not require a food safety supervisor as the nature of the food handled at those premises is not commonly associated with food poisoning. However, these businesses must still ensure that they maintain safe food handling practices.

All food premises (businesses and community groups) that sell food are legally required to ensure that it is safe for human consumption, regardless of the premises food safety supervisor requirements.

Types of Basic Fatigue Management Training

a lady driving a car with basic fatigue syndromeBasic fatigue management training courses are usually divided into two, one for employees and one for management. These courses are designed to help everyone understand the signs and symptoms of fatigue, the effect that fatigue can have both on performance and safety, and what to do to minimize the risks of fatigue.

Basic fatigue management training originally focused on those in the transportation industry, who were required to drive long distances, long hours, or worked driving night shifts and were likely to have accidents due to extreme fatigue. These training courses were designed to help drivers have better control over their need to get proper rest without jeopardizing their jobs and to help those who scheduled work to better understand the need to schedule work to allow time for breaks and rest for those drivers.

Today with so many people changing jobs, basic fatigue management training often falls upon individual workers. However, you should be aware that once you have completed your training that your individual training ticket goes with you should you change jobs. However, you will want to make sure that the next company you work for has also had proper training and that your new employers hold accredit ion.

Basic fatigue management has also grown to include a number of industries and basic fatigue management training for each industry must be customized to fit each industry’s specific needs. While the signs and risks of fatigue may be pretty much the same across the board, the methods for reducing those risks will be different in manufacturing than it will in mining or even a hospital setting. So the training for identifying those risks and putting procedures in place to manage those risks will be different as well.

When looking for Basic fatigue management training choose an online course that can be taken at your convenience, meets OHS guidelines, and is custom designed for the industry that you are in. This will help to ensure that whether you are an employee or manage employees that you know what your obligations are, and are given the tools you need to meet those obligations. By choosing the right course to meet your individual or company needs you will ensure that the work place is safer for everyone as well as being able to avoid penalties for not meeting your responsibilities.

Click Here to enrol in our Basic Fatigue Management Training

What is Involved in Working At Heights Training?

a man working at a great height on a cable carThere are a variety of jobs that require employees to work from heights, this type of work poses some very unique risks and some significant dangers. Falls from heights still remain one of the main causes of work related injuries, disabilities, and death. Working at height training is aimed at reducing the risks of falls from heights by providing the necessary tools to help employees avoid falls.

Working at Height training courses covers a variety of subjects that are designed to help those taking the courses to understand how such falls occurs, ways of assessing the potential risks and minimizing those risks to help ensure a safer work environment. In addition, working at height training covers working at heights using specific tools such as ladders and scaffolding. The course also covers fall arrest systems and how to use them properly.

In many cases, work related falls from heights happen because someone over extends themselves when reaching for objects, or because they did not take the time to check equipment such as ladders and scaffolding to make sure that it was in good working order before attempting to use the equipment. Learning to check equipment that your safety depends on is the first step in eliminating falls. Worn scaffolding cables or loose ladder rungs pose significant dangers.

Workers themselves need to be trained to work from heights, and need to understand how their own actions can result in falls. Employers need to be aware of the hazards of working from heights and be willing to reduce as many of those risks as possible. Ensuring that all employees who will be working from heights have proper training in identifying and avoiding risks, as well as how to safely use fall arrest systems, is an essential part in reducing the dangers of working from heights.

By having both supervisors and workers take a competency based height training course, your company can rest assured that everyone knows the basics of identifying risks of falls and how to reduce them when working at heights of 2 meters and more. This can result in fewer injuries to workers, and reduce liability to your company should an accident happen. You can reduce liability by:

  • ensuring that all workers and supervisors receive working at height training and obtain a certificate that you keep on file.
  • Keep a record of identified risks and what your company did to reduce them.
  • Make sure that your supervisors make periodic safety checks of equipment and that workers are following height safety guidelines and they keep a record of checks.

By ensuring that your workers and supervisors are trained at working from heights you can reduce the number of fall related accidents, injuries and deaths and provide a safer and more efficient working environment that will benefit everyone in your company.

For more information or to enrol in our Working At Heights training: Click Here

The Benefits Of Online White Card Training

constuction gear around a white cardAnyone wishing to work on a construction site including owner/builders need to obtain a White Card in order to set foot on a construction site. Getting the training necessary isn’t always easy especially if you’re working another job at the same time as seeking that training. Many employers simply are not going to give you time off from work while you do what you need to do to secure employment in another field. Which is just one of the reasons why you may want to seek your white card training online.

Ability To Take The Training On Your Own Time

Getting your online white card training from an accredited program can allow you to get the training you need on your own time. Because online training is offered seven days a week 24 hours a day you can take the training in your spare time thus avoiding missed work and jeopardizing your current job. You can choose to take your training early in the morning, late at night or at any time in between.

With classroom training you have to take the training according to when the training is actually scheduled. While there is nothing wrong with getting your training in a classroom setting, it can be difficult to match your free time to the time the training is offered. By taking advantage of online white card training this is not an issue.

No Travel Expense

Another benefit to getting your white card training online is that you don’t have any travel expense. Offline white card training is offered at specific locations which means that you may have to travel to get the training you need. With online white card training you can take your training from home, which means there is no travel expense added to the cost of the training. Which means that you can save money by taking your white card training online.

What Online White Card Training Entails

Online white card training entails the same training you would receive offline. This includes:

  • How to identify and reduce possible safety hazards on construction sites.
  • Learning how to establish safety procedures and see that they are followed.
  • Knowing the local laws and regulations

At the conclusion of the training you will be asked to demonstrate your competency and understanding of this basic training. You will then receive a temporary white card with which you can seek work on a construction site until your permanent card arrives. Please keep in mind, that any employer can require you to retake this training if he feels there is a need. The entire purpose of this training is to help reduce the number of serious accidents that occur on construction sites and provide a safer working environment for those who work in this field.

If you have held a white card (or green card) in the past, and have not worked in the construction industry for some time, you may want or be required to get white card training again. This is for your benefit as well as for the benefit of others on any work site where you might be employed. Online white card training is thorough and generally reasonably priced as well as convenient.

What is Carbon Management Training?

carbon management training iconThe Clean Energy Future Policy is an effort to bring Australia in line with the efforts of other countries to reduce the amount of carbon emissions across the board and at least slow if not reverse global warming. This is extremely important because the environment and environmental issues affect everyone and businesses can have the biggest negative or positive impact on the health of the environment. The main goal of this policy is to create a low carbon economy, which means that the economy of the country is based on low carbon input and output. This means that it is going to be up to every business and industry to do his or her share. The Policy is a way to encourage or force businesses to lower their carbon footprint with the long term goal of both helping the environment and actually making businesses more profitable.

It won’t be easy; it is going to require real commitment and knowledge. Many companies are going to have to replace carbon intensive equipment and processes with more innovative and efficient machinery and processes. It also means that businesses as a whole are going to have to work together to balance those industries where carbon emissions can’t be eradicated or reduced.

There are several different carbon management training course and these courses will:

  • Help you to understand the effect that carbon emissions have on Australia and the world. It will help you understand what global warming is, and how it effects the lives of everyone on the planet as well as the planet itself.
  • Explain how you can better manage carbon risks in your business.
  • Explain what you need to need to do to actually save money in your business by avoiding heavy penalties, taxes, and fines. You will also learn how using energy more efficiently will save you money on utility bills.
  • Carbon management will also explain how reducing that carbon footprint will actually make more money in the long term both through having more efficient running production, and improving your businesses reputation which will result in more customers.
  • Some carbon management training courses will enable you to identify sources of greenhouse gases and write reports on how those carbon emissions can be reduced as well as the “green” options that may be available.
  • Evaluate carbon emission opportunities and their effectiveness.

You want to make sure that the carbon management training courses you take are nationally recognized and that upon completion you will be able to show your formal learning. Understanding more about how carbon emission affects the environment will help you take the necessary steps toward reducing and in some cases almost entirely eliminating those emissions resulting in a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone.

For information about our Carbon Management Courses Click Here

Ways to Help Manage Fatigue in the Workplace

News stories continue to emerge regarding  fatigue and how it plagues workplaces throughout Australia.It is this important for employers to know how to identify the signs of workplace fatigue.

Defining Workplace Fatigue

Fatigue is a perpetual state of  tiredness that progresses into  mental or physical exhaustion and inhibits workers from effectively functioning  within practical boundaries. Fatigue is far beyond a simple feeling tiredness and drowsiness, it is a physical condition  often occurs when a person meets their physical or mental limits

Fatigue can result from a variety of work or lifestyle related factors or a combination. Some of the work related factors include:

  • insufficient  breaks
  • extensive time of being awake
  • inadequate recovery time between shifts
  • payment incentives that inadvertently encourage working longer shifts
  • environmental conditions (for example, climate, light, noise, workstation design)
  • type of work being undertaken; whether physical or mentally exhausting work.

Lifestyle-factors can include:

  • lack of quality sleep due as a result of sleeping disorders
  • busy social life
  • personal responsibilities
  • additional employment
  • travel (sometimes work time)
  •  nutrition and diet, exercise, pain, illness
 

Safe Work Australia’s signs of  worker fatigue

  1. Headaches and/or dizziness
  2. Wandering thoughts, daydreaming, lack of concentration
  3. Blurred vision or difficulty keeping eyes open
  4. Constant yawning, a drowsy relaxed feeling or falling asleep at work
  5. Moodiness such as irritability
  6. Short term memory problems
  7. Low motivation
  8. Hallucinations
  9. Impaired decision-making and judgment
  10. Slow reflexes and responses
  11. Reduced immune system function
  12. Increased errors
  13. Extended sleep during days off work
  14. Falling asleep for a few seconds without realising
  15. Drifting in and out of traffic lanes

Sleep is the only effective long term strategy to prevent and manage fatigue. While tired muscles can recover with rest, the brain can only recover with sleep. The most beneficial sleep is a good night’s sleep taken in a single continuous period.

One sleepless night can be  be equated to someone who has been drinking alcohol, for example:

  • being awake for 17 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.05
  • being awake for 20 hours is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.1

Shift workers (including night work) and fatigue

The body has a natural rhythm that repeats every 24 hours – known as a  ‘body clock’. Our body clock regulates our sleeping patterns, body temperature, hormone levels and digestion.

When the human body clock is interrupted, our alertness suffers which results in feelings of fatigue. This contributes to the risks of making errors and subsequently resulting in accidents and injuries, either in the workplace or travelling to work.

Shift workers are one of the most affected groups of fatigue. Body clock rhythms  have a difficulty in adjusting to shiftwork. In many workplaces shift work, and particularly night work cannot be avoided which increases the need for proactively managed fatigue.

Source: Safe Work Australia draft code of practice on workplace fatigue

Why You Need Forklift Safety Training

a man giving forklift safety trainingA forklift is a handy piece of equipment that is used in a variety of jobs from manufacturing to construction work. This piece of equipment can make moving loads easier and faster and save stress and strain on workers backs and limbs. However, unless the person operating the fork lift is trained properly to run this machine safely it can be a dangerous tool for both the operator and other workers in the vicinity of this potentially deadly piece of equipment. This makes it vitally important that anyone who operates a forklift completes a forklift-training course.

Forklift safety training courses can be taken online and although these courses are short, normally under ½ hour each they are packed with information that anyone who will be operating a forklift in the course of their work needs to know. By having your operators take one or two of these short courses you can reduce your OHS risk and rest assure that anyone operating a forklift for your business has displayed competency in doing so. These courses cover such things as:

  • Checking the forklift to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Fueling and recharging the forklift safely
  • Knowing the forklift attachments and how to safely and correctly install them.
  • Understanding traveling and traffic controls
  • Knowing how to properly and safely lift and move loads.
  • Knowing how to properly and safely park a forklift.
  • How to safely maneuver around other workers, pedestrians, and items in a warehouse.

Many of the rules and safety procedures in the forklift safety training may seem like common sense, however, due to the large number of work related accidents involving fork lifts and the safe operation of this piece of equipment, training in these common sense rules are necessary in order to protect your employees and your business property.

Emphasis is placed on the fact that forklifts can be a dangerous pieced of equipment and operators need to remain alert when operating one. The number of unbalanced and falling loads, rollovers, and collisions involving forklifts that occur each and every year show the need for such training courses to help prevent serious injury and death on the job. When you stop to think that one of these courses takes less than ½ an hour to complete online it simply makes sense to ensure that your operators are trained and competent in operating a forklift. It seems that 30 minutes is small amount of time to invest in training that could actually save lives.

To find out about AlertForce’s forklift safety training courses: Click Here

 

Construction White Card Training

construction white cardIn order to work on a construction site in Australia you need to take white card training and get a white card. This is general training for those who will be involved in construction work. Construction work includes not just the building of new buildings, but also alterations, conversions, renovations, repair, maintenance, demolition or dismantling of structures.

Who Needs To Take White Card Training?

White card training courses need to be taken by anyone who works or plans to work for a construction company, those who want to become an owner/builder and those who plan on going for blue card training. Once training is completed and you pass the course you will get a temporary white card that you need to carry with you until your permanent white card comes in the mail. Since 2011 your permanent white card needs to carry your picture.

Even if you already have a white card you may be asked to retake white card training if your employer deems it necessary. White card training is sometimes called green card training because the card itself used to be green.

What White Card Training Entails

White card training is really very basic training for those who work or intend to work in the construction business either on a one-time basis or as a career. During this training you will learn:

  • How to identify possible safety hazard on construction sites.
  • How to reduce those safety hazards that have been identified
  • Learn how to establish safety procedures and monitor workers to help ensure those procedures are being followed.
  • Learn the local laws and regulations.

With the number of accidents and their serious consequences that have been occurring of late in the construction industry it is essential that those who work in this industry either as an employee, a manager of a construction crew or the owner of a construction company ensure that everyone is properly trained for the job they do. This training begins with the basic white card training. By ensuring that every member on a construction site has their white card and carries it with them at all times you can help to prevent accidents and reduce the penalties your business may face should an accident occur.

Injured Worker, Tiffany Ward’s Story Is Launched As A Film By Queenland Workplace Health And Safety

tiffany ward with her family“In it for the Long Haul: The Tiffany Ward Story” was launched by the WHSQ and may serve as both a wake up call for workplace safety and an inspiration for those who have already been injured on the job. This is the story of her horrific accident, in which both her arms were caught in a factory auger, leaving Tiffany near death and with serious lifelong injuries. But also tells of her own struggles as well as that of her family to come to terms with the financial and physical consequences that the accident left in its wake.

As Tiffany explains, this accident that occurred when she was just 18 proves that workplace accidents can happen to anyone not “just middle aged men.” The purpose of the film seems to be two fold. The main purpose is to make people more aware of just how important workplace safety is and the effect that working in an unsafe work environment can have not only on the workers themselves, but on their loved ones and family as well.

The second goal of the film, clearly is of an inspirational nature. It makes clear the struggles that this young woman had in dealing with her injuries and the financial burden that such injuries entailed. It also highlights the emotional toll that such injuries take upon other family members to see someone they love so severely injured and struggling to recover and build a life in the wake of the trauma they suffered.

This is a film that is well worth seeing and employers are urged to show this film to all of their employees as well as view it themselves. Perhaps, seeing this film will make it clear just how important workplace health and safety is when one can actually hear and see the effect that these types of accidents that can be avoided can have on a person’s life.

NSW Taxi Drivers Will Be Required To Buckle Up in 2013

taxi seatbeltsStarting in January of 2013, NSW taxi drivers will be required to wear seat belts, ending a 41 year exemption for taxi drivers that has been in effect since the seat belt laws were passed. This new law is just one of many steps that are being considered and undertaken to provide safer worker conditions for those who drive taxis.

It is estimated that the new seat belt requirement will result in approximately 52 less injuries to taxi drivers each year, or one less injury a week. Other safety measures that will protect taxi drivers from passenger assaults and fare evasions are now being tried out in an effort to make taxi drivers safer in their workplace (their taxis) These other safety measures include:

  • Prepayment of fares prior to passengers getting into the cab.
  • In-car cameras
  • Improved training and support for beginning taxi drivers
  • Other Strategies to improve both taxi driver and customer awareness of security and safety in taxis.

Road Minister Duncan Gray states that unions and taxi associations were consulted before making the change. Such changes when implemented will make the job of a taxi driver safer not only from accidents but from assaults as well. It is a move in the right direction, to help improve safety for those who don’t work in more conventional jobs, where safety is more easily maintained as workers mainly work in one location, or under one specific supervisor.

This move to ensure taxi driver safety combined with the added safety measures taken by police to ensure road safety during school holidays are all part of an effort to make the roads of Australia safer for everyone. These efforts to improve safety on Australia’s roads could result in literally hundreds of lives being saved each year.

Owners and operators of other businesses and the public can also do their part to decrease those highway fatalities on Australian roads. Businesses can emphasis safe driving practices to their employees both when on the job and off. They can also be alert to worker fatigue and have a place where a fatigued worker can rest before heading home at the end of a long workday.

The public can follow seat belt laws, stay alert when driving, and remain within posted speed limits. When on long trips, stop frequently to rest for a few minutes before continuing on and don’t drive when you are tired or under the influence of liquor. If everyone works together, Australia can become a nation of safe driving and save lives in the process.

Fatal And Near Fatal Accidents Continue To Plague Construction Industry

construction safety gearOn September 20, just hours after a rally staged by construction workers in Canberra calling for safer working conditions on construction sites ended, another worker on a Canberra construction site was seriously injured and had to be rushed to Canberra hospital.

The worker, and electrical apprentice suffered head injuries after falling 5 meters. Coming so close after the rally protesting unsafe working conditions on construction sites, this accident may add pressure to the inquiry already underway into safety issues on job sites. In another incident in Sydney, a 55 year old worker fell to his death on a construction site.

These continuing accidents raise several questions concerning the construction industry. These questions include:

  • Is the safety training undertaken by the construction industry being followed by these companies or are safety practices being ignored in an effort to make larger profits?
  • Is the safety training now being offered to employers and their employees sufficient to ensure worker safety?
  • Are there sufficient inspections being carried out to catch breeches in safety before they result in a serious or fatal accident?
  • Are worker complaints about unsafe working conditions being taken seriously?

It is clear that these questions all need to be answered, and a solution needs to be found to help ensure that construction sites are made safer for the people who work on these sites. The government, the construction companies, and construction workers themselves all need to come together and to find ways to make the construction industry safer while still allowing the companies to make a profit.

While some dangers are inherent in the construction businesses the number of accidents in this field of work in the last several months indicates a serious problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. While fines and other penalties against companies failing to comply with safety guidelines are all well and good, these types of remedies won’t improve the quality of life for those workers seriously injured on the job, nor will it bring comfort to the families of those workers who are killed.

While investigations continue into improving safety on work sites, there are things that both employers and employees can do now to ensure that your work site is safe or at least safer.

  • Employers and managers need to do periodic inspections of job sites and check to ensure that proper safety procedures are in place and are being used.
  • All equipment used on the job site should be inspected and properly maintained. Any machinery that is not in proper working order needs to be fixed immediately and use of such machinery should be suspended until repairs are complete.
  • All workers should be trained properly in safety procedures and have adequate proof that they received such training.
  • Employees should report any safety hazards immediately, so they can be seen to and effectively reduced or eliminated.

By everyone in the construction industry taking these steps to help ensure that workers can do their job safely and effectively the rate of accidents are bound to decrease and many lives may be saved.

AlertForce specialises in online safety training. See our Construction Safety Courses here

Workplace Bullying Training, Why It Is Important For Both Managers And Employees

workplace bullyingIn view of the increase of incidents of workplace bullying and the physical and emotional danger this bullying subjects workers to, it seems that many companies need to get a better understanding of what constitutes workplace bullying, how to identify it, and stop it before employees get injured or harmed.

Online Workplace Bullying Training For Supervisors And Managers

Workplace bullying training is offered online to help supervisors and managers learn what the signs of workplace bullying are and how to nip this type of bullying in the bud before a worker is harmed by the actions of another worker. While this training is mandatory, it is obvious that many businesses could do with a refresher course in this area as the incidents of workplace bullying seems to be growing. There seems to be a growing demand for more stringent laws in this area, and heavier fines for businesses who do not attempt to keep this type of bullying in check. Therefore, it is the wise business that takes the time to refresh themselves on the signs of workplace bullying and actively takes steps to prevent it from occurring in your business.

Ensuring that everyone in your company that has a supervisory role knows what signs to look for and how to properly deal with incidents of bullying before someone suffers an injury will help reduce the chances of your company being penalized for the actions of some of your employees that could have been prevented. Establishing rules of behavior, and sanctions against workers who ignore those rules is necessary to ensure the safety of all workers.

Workplace Bullying Training For Employees

It is not just supervisors who need to be trained in identifying the signs of workplace bullying. Employees too need to know what constitutes this type of bullying, what they need to do if they see such bullying occurs or if they are victim of bullying. They also need to be encouraged to report incidents of suspected bullying without being made to feel as though they are talking out of turn.

The only way to prevent bullying in the workplace is to encourage an atmosphere of mutual respect and make it clear that bullying will not be tolerated. Having appropriate training that is periodically reviewed and renewed will help, but only if employees and employers and supervisors take the training to heart and actively work to ensure that the workplace is safe from bullying.

Improved Road Safety Could Greatly Reduce Occupational Deaths In Australia

road safetyAccording to the National Transport Council Road accidents account for 50% of the occupational deaths that occur in Australia. This means that a more concentrated effort on road safety needs to be instigated in order to help reduce the number of occupational deaths that occur each and every year and that is exactly what the NTC intends to do with It’s National Road Safety Partnership Draft Program that was released for public consultation on September 6, 2012.

This program is an attempt to improve road safety and reduce occupational deaths due to accidents through a collaborative effort rather than through a regulatory approach.

According to NTC project director, Dr. Jeff Potter there are many businesses that all ready have a positive road safety culture and safety procedures that are working to improve road safety for their own employees. By using these businesses in the role of mentors to share their knowledge and own safety programs with other businesses who want to improve their own road safety programs, it is hoped that occupational road related deaths can be greatly reduced.

This program may well have several advantages for both the businesses doing the mentoring and those who are using these mentors. First, it will enable business enterprises to help one another achieve a common goal that will benefit not only the safety of all workers in those businesses, but in showing their workers that they do have their interests at heart and are working to provide safety programs that are not required by law.

Second, businesses may be more apt to volunteer for this kind of program as they won’t feel as though this program is being forced upon them by yet, more statutory regulations. Third, this actually allows all concerned businesses to make positive changes in their business by working together.

If this new program works, it may lead to other such programs that address safety issues as a joint venture rather than because the law requires them to do so. This may well improve both the businesses attitude towards safety and the workers attitude towards the companies or businesses they work for.

Workplace Bullying: A Large Yet Avoidable Cost to the Public

Workplace BullyingRecently there have been a rise in the number of Workplace Bullying incidents that have been reported by the media. In light of this, and PM Gillard’s recent vow to put workplace on the national agenda, we at AlertForce decided to provide you all with some information relating to the Human Resources issue of Workplace Bullying.

What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying involves any behavior in which an employee is physically, mentally or socially threatened.

What to look out for:

  • frequent painful remarks or verbal attacks, or making fun of your work or you as a person (family, sex, sexuality, gender identity, race or culture, education or economic background)
  • sexual harassment – including any unwelcome physical contact and  comments and requests  that are sexually suggestive
  • excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relates to your work
  • psychological harassment — group of  individuals ganging up on a single person
  • any type of intimidation, belittlement or making someone appear inferior or undervalued
  • Assigning pointless tasks that have absolutely nothing to do with your job.
  • Granting unrealistic deadlines for impossible jobs
  • pushing, shoving, tripping, grabbing you while at work
  • initiation or hazing : Being compelled to do humiliating or inappropriate things in order to be accepted as part of the team.

 How big of a problem is Workplace Bullying? Is it my’problem even if I’m not bullied?

Workplace bullying has resulted in an ever growing cost to public. Is it your problem? The short answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’. According to the  PM Gillard’s review implemented by The Productivity Commission : the total cost of workplace bullying in Australia is somewhere between $6 billion and $36 billion annually.

As a tax payer, this type of problem affects you. You may ask yourself ” How can I solve this problem? Isn’t it out of my hands?”. Well, it is up to us as employers or employees, to ensure that proper Human Resources training and anti-bullying training is provided to all employees.  If everyone from the bullies to the bullied, understand the risks and the costs and subsequently the effects on business — then this issue can one day be eliminated or at least  helped.

“Costs on Businesses ? What Kind of Costs?!”

Financial costs can include legal and workers’ compensation and management time in addressing cases of workplace bullying.

Individuals who are bullied at work are shown to;

  • become less active,less successful and less confident at work.
  • become fearful,stressed, anxious or depressed thus limited productivity
  • increased staff absences, staff turnover and weak overall workplace morale.

It may be tempting for an employer to overlook something like workplace bullying and focus on more immediate workplace dangers, but the simple fact is — these problems CAN  be avoided, these costs CAN be avoided  —  But  it is up to everyone to bring these issues to light so that everyone can be successful and no one is bullied at work.

Find more information on Human Resources issues (such as Workplace Bullying)

The Benefits of Carbon Management Training Courses

carbon managementThe Institution of the Clean Energy Future Policy, which includes both a carbon tax and emission-trading scheme is going to have an impact on your business and the liability of your business. Just how big of an impact this policy will have will be up to you. However, understanding this act and what it may mean to business is going to be critical in helping you to make the best decisions for your business.

One of the best ways of understanding the new policy and what it means in terms of your business is to take one or more Carbon Management training courses. These courses are designed to help you understand the impact that carbon emissions have on the environment and why those emissions need to be lowered. They also, depending on the course, will cover things you and your business can do to improve the carbon emissions from your business and reduce your carbon footprint.

This is important as you are going to have to find new and different ways to improve your processes and reduce the amount of carbon waste from your business. This may include: finding ways to make machinery more energy efficient as well as finding new innovative processes to use.

Carbon Management Training Courses, won’t just help you to avoid those stiff penalties, they may have other advantages as well. Two important advantages to consider are:

Increased Profits Over The Long Term

While carbon management training course may reveal that you will need to spend more money on making changes now, this training will also make clear to you how you can increase profits over the long term by making changes in the efficiency of your operation. Taking steps to make your business more energy efficient will not only help the environment, but will also help your business make more of a profit by reducing the energy bills.

Will Enhance Your Business Reputation

In today’s modern economic environment most businesses are part of an international business community and with saving the environment being a big concern of both individuals and businesses around the world, going green can improve your business reputation around the world and result in more business coming your way.

These two benefits will more than make up for the time and the expense that taking Carbon management training courses entails and what is good for the environment just may be exceptionally good for your business as well.

Job Insecurity Leads To Unsafe Work Places

funny job security imageAccording to the Australian Council of Trade Unions the need to work and the job insecurity that has existed for the last couple of decades in Australia has lead to unsafe working conditions in occupations such as mining.

ACTU president, Ged Kearney said during his speech at the United Mineworkers Federation Memorial Day at Cessnock that it was impossible to create a lasting culture of safety when so much of the workforce was mobile and temporary. He pointed out that 40% of the Australian workforce was engaged in insecure work and this helped to create an unsafe work advantage.

Temporary or contract workers receive less job and safety training meaning they may not have the knowledge of all the safety issues and procedures. Add to this that many of these temporary workers need their jobs and fear being dismissed or fired and this creates an environment where workers are afraid to speak up and demand that safety procedures be followed.

Job insecurity can have a powerful impact on job performance and with the continuing job insecurity that many Australian workers face, they are reluctant to do anything that will hurt their chances of even part-time employment. Making decisions based solely on the need to make income with no thought to personal safety can not only result in unsafe working conditions for the temporary worker, but for their co-workers as well.

To complicate matters some mining companies actually favour hiring temporary workers or contractors because they are usually not members of unions, work cheaper, and are less likely to voice safety concerns. This movement towards hiring contractors instead of a permanent workforce, only re-enforces workers feelings of job insecurity and the need to “do the job without complaint” in order to remain employed.

Unless a solution to this problem is found, safety conditions in mines will continue to deteriorate putting more and more workers at risk. One solution may be more safety inspections to help ensure that mining company owners and operators are aware that unsafe conditions will not be tolerated, regardless of whether or not they hire permanent or temporary workers.

PPE: Skin Diseases – A $30 million Problem

According to a recent report released by Safe Work Australia, occupational skin diseases are the second most occurring work-related disease that general practitioners  regularly treat. The report released indicated that the cost to businesses throughout Australia is about $33 million annually.

Considering this significant cost to the public, it is important to be aware of how one can minimise the risks of  suffering from a  work related skin-disease. Workers who suffer the greatest risks are those who are frequently exposed to harmful chemicals or wet work in their daily professions.

Some Main Causes:

  • detergents
  • disinfectants
  • solvents
  • bases and alkalis
  • fuels
  • rubber accelerators; and
  • potassium dichromate in leather and cement.

Safe Work Australia Chair Mr Tom Phillips AM stated that of the workers who report exposure to chemicals, less than two-thirds said they had received chemical safety or Personal Protective Equipment training.

These numbers indicate that occupational health and safety training needs to implemented in every workplace in Australia regardless of how big or small and include how to properly handle chemicals and hazardous substances.
This is a clear message that work health and safety training needs to be integrated in every workplace in Australia no matter how big or small and include how to properly handle chemicals and hazardous substances,” he said. Quality training then, is of significant importance.

The use of PPE here is self-explanatory, and includes:

  • gloves
  • safety glasses and goggles
  • shop coats and overalls
  • boots; and
  • hearing protection systems.

An often overlooked method of reducing risks is to practice good personal hygiene. While it would seem that personal hygiene is the responsibility of the individual worker, it is up to the employer to ensure that PPE is properly maintained and employees have access to the proper facilities and cleansing agents.

When coming into contact with hazardous contaminants, the most important initial treatment should be immediately washing the contaminated part of the body, so these products are a valuable addition to industrial environments where dangerous chemicals are used.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be maintained, repaired or replaced so that it continues to be effective and safe. Each worker must be trained in ensuring the equipment is:

  • clean and hygienic, and
  • in good working order.

 What are the problems with using personal protective equipment?

Where PPE is required and used at work one must remember:

  • wearing PPE may adversely affect the performance of tasks being undertaken — either by restricting vision or mobility
  •  While PPE may be uncomfortable to wear and some workers may not be able to wear it (such as those with allergies to latex and thus cannot wear rubber gloves)
  • constant supervision is required to ensure the PPE is being used the proper manner

What is the worker’s duty in relation to personal protective equipment?

A worker who is provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) is trusted to:

  • use or wear the PPE in accordance with any information, training or reasonable instruction provided by the person conducting business, so far as they are reasonably able
  • not misuse or damage the PPE on purpose
  • advise the person in charge  of any damage, defect or need to clean or decontaminate any of the PPE they are aware of, and
  • consult with their manager if the PPE is not an adequate size or quality.

If a worker refuses to wear or use the PPE,  the employer can take action against the worker.  When a  worker who does not wear or use PPE, or intentionally misuses or destroys  it, that worker may face prosecution.

Source: http://www.ferret.com.au/c/Ferret-www-ferret-com-au/Protecting-workers-from-occupational-skin-diseases-a-33-million-problem-n1831990

Asbestos Training: Mesothelioma In Australia

SafeWork Australia has released national findings pertaining to the asbestos-caused disease known as Mesothelioma. The data examines the incidence of the disease between 1982- 2007,and the deaths between 1997-2008. Data pertaining to new cases was compiled by the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House, maintained by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Data relating to mortality was compiled by National Mortality Database, made available to us by the AIHW.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a typically fatal cancer which usually occurs 20-40 years after being exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma of the pleura  is a cancer affecting the protective lining of the lung and chest area. This type of Mesothelioma is the most common and frequently diagnosed types in Australia.  Approximately 94% of cases in 1982 were Mesothelioma of the pleura as opposed to the Mesothelioma of the peritoneum (abdominal lining) which is significantly rarer.

Asbestos in Australia

Asbestos was an extremely common substance to use in the Australian cement manufacturing industry. The substance was imported largely from the UK and the USA. However Asbestos mines were also in operation.  Until the 1960’s almost tw0-thirds of houses were ridden with asbestos cement. Because of the common uses of the product, exposure to asbestos was especially high in these periods specifically in certain industries and occupations. Following a serious of regulations on industry use of asbestos, the substance was finally prohibited in all forms in 2003 by the Australian jurisdiction and Australian Customs. Nowadays a national Model Code of Practice, How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace, helps assist employers and employees on how to manage risks associated with asbestos and how to minimise the risk of asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung-cancer.

New Cases/Incidence 

661 new cases of  asbestos causing disease,mesothelioma were diagnosed in Australia in 2008.

Initially the number of new cases seemed to be decreasing from a previous peak of 652 new cases in 2003 to 591 cases in 2006. However, in 2007  the number of diagnoses again reached a new peak of 668 cases. The age-standardised incidence rate of asbestos was 2.9 per 100,000 in 2008. This rate has gradually increased overtime — in fact, in 1982 the rate was 1.2 which eventually grew to 3.2 in 2003.  In 2008 the highest age-specific incidence rate of new cases occurred among men over 85 — 48 cases per 100,000 population.

Mesothelioma Related Deaths

In 2007, 551 deaths were reported to be caused by mesothelioma.  In the data available on deaths due to mesothelioma, the overall number of deaths have generally increased between 1997-2007. The last year of the available data showed the maximum on record.

In 2007, the age-standardised rate due to mesothelioma was 2.4 deaths per 100,000 population. The number has remained relatively stable for the 10 years of data recording on mesothelioma deaths. Over the period the rate has ranged between the minimum of 2.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 199, to 2.7 in 2001.

More info on Asbestos Training

The Importance of Food Safety Supervisors

Food Safety Supervisors aim to prevent individuals from becoming ill as a result of food poisoning.  According to the Australian Health Department, approximately 5.4 Australians suffer from food-related illnesses annually from products contaminated with bacteria or viruses.

Considering Australia has one of the safest food supplies worldwide, this number is staggering. It is the working relationship between food manufacturers, food handlers, government regulators and  quality training programs that Australia can boast a safe food supply but regardless of strong efforts, the need for continuous safety training is ever present.Individuals must be knowledgeable in the proper methods to treat and handle food because a lack of proper information can result in sickness or death.  So how does one limit the number food contamination that results in sickness? Food Safety Supervisors.

What is a food safety supervisor?

A food safety supervisor is someone who:

  •  is trained to determine and prevent food handling risks at your premises.
  • has earned a Statement of Attainment that shows they are capable and qualified to fulfill required food safety competencies from Registered Training Organisations such as AlertForce.
  • has the knowledge, capability and authority to supervise other workers in the correct handling of food at the premises, thus ensuring safe food handling.

Choosing the right food safety supervisor for your business

When choosing a food safety supervisor one must be advised to do so carefully. A food safety supervisor can be the owner, an employee or an external person to the establishment. They must however, be able to meet the food safety supervisor requirements under the Food Act.

When choosing a FSS it is important to choose someone with the following attributes:

One must maintain that their food safety supervisor has everything  needed to be fully capable at  performing the role at your business. This means that:

  • Requirements are clearly and concisely laid out in the job description.
  • Responsibilities and role requirements are clearly apparent to the individual
  • They have received relevant appropriate training from a reputable and approved training organisation.
  • they are provided time in  their working day to perform FSS tasks.
  •  They are capable of supervising other workers within the establishment and the staff are aware of their title/job.
  • They are prepared and capable in the event that your business encounters any food safety issues.
A FSS is not required to be present on the premises at all times but they must be aware of the food handling methods being implemented when the FSS is not present. This also applies when a person outside of the business has been assigned the FSS role.

One cannot overstate the importance of food safety supervisors and more specifically, hiring a good FSS. It may not only save litigation, time and stress, but also lives.

Preventing And Managing Work Related Fatigue

work related fatigueWhile fatigue is often difficult to manage studies show that fatigue does contribute to many workplace problems such increased accident rates, absenteeism, and more accidents. Therefore it is essential that all employers regardless of the type of business they operate gain insight into the causes and effects of fatigue in the workplace and learn how to prevent and manage workplace fatigue.

Workplace fatigue can be caused by situations that occur both in the workplace and outside of it. While there is little that you can do to ensure that your workers get sufficient rest at home there are a variety of things you can do to help prevent and manage fatigue while workers are on the job.

Regulating The Work Environment

One of the first steps you as an employer can do to help prevent and manage workplace fatigue is regulate the working environment. You can do this by ensuring that:

・There is sufficient lighting with which to perform all tasks. Inadequate lighting causes eye fatigue and eventually tiredness in many people. By ensuring that your employees have a well lit environment you help to reduce the chance of this type of fatigue.

・Noise levels are reasonable. Studies suggest that workers who are subjected to long periods of loud noise often experience fatigue much faster that those employees who work in an environment where noise levels are reasonable.

・Temperature levels are controlled. Working in places where the temperatures are high can induce sleepiness and also make workers feel tired faster than when they work in a cooler environment. While you don’t want your employees to be cold, maintaining slightly cooler temperatures will help reduce feelings of fatigue.

・Workers get to switch up those boring tasks. Some studies show that employees that are subjected to repetitive, boring tasks become fatigued faster than employees who have interesting tasks to perform or who are moved from task to task. If your work requires workers to perform repetitive boring tasks switching up these tasks among workers helps to manage fatigue.

・You provide your employees with adequate breaks and encourage them to eat small healthy snacks during break times. When employees eat healthy snacks during break times they are more likely to maintain their energy levels throughout the day. This helps to prevent feelings of fatigue as well as giving them a short rest period from those tasks that require sustained levels of concentration.

Benefits of Preventing And Managing Fatigue

Employers who learn to prevent and manage fatigue in workplace enjoy a number of important benefits. These benefits include higher production rates, less absenteeism, less damage to machinery and equipment, and fewer accidents. This results in increased worker satisfaction, fewer repairs and less downtime and a higher profit margins.

By providing the kind of environment that helps to reduce worker fatigue, learning to recognize the signs of fatigue and learning tricks to help workers manage their fatigue before it becomes a problem, you are providing your workers with a safer work environment and your business with the ability to turn a profit.

Fatigue Management Improves Driver Awareness

driver fatigue managementWhether hauling freight or driving passengers to their destinations, those who earn their living by driving often work long hours with few breaks. While these drivers are initially trained to drive safely and effectively there is simply no training available that prepares drivers for the strain of dealing with bumper to traffic, detours, and endless hours of watching the road pass under their wheels. Many accidents have occurred because drivers simply have been unaware of some of the early signs of fatigue and the effect on their ability to react as quickly as they should in any given situation. However, thanks to safety measures implemented by the government and insistence on fatigue management training these drivers are more aware of the early signs of fatigue, the problems that it causes, and ways to help reduce both their fatigue and the risk it poses to themselves, their passengers, or others who share the road.

Preventing Fatigue

One of the best things about fatigue management training is that it helps drivers become aware of things they can do to prevent fatigue from creeping up on them. This is important because the best way to deal with fatigue on the road is by not allowing yourself to become fatigued in the first place. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and preventing yourself from becoming fatigued when driving helps to ensure that you complete your run safely.

Understanding The Signs Of Fatigue

Fatigue management also helps drivers understand the early signs of fatigue that may pass unnoticed unless you are aware of them. Knowing these early signs and how even slight fatigue can effect your driving skills and ability to pay attention when driving helps drivers become more aware that they are becoming fatigued before that fatigue reaches a level where it makes the driver a danger to himself and to others on the road.

The more aware drivers are of these early signs of fatigue the better chance they have of dealing with this condition so they can continue to drive effectively. Fatigue management training even gives drivers tips on what they can do to minimize fatigue while driving.

Increased Awareness Equals Increased Safety

Fatigue management training is working. With the increased awareness drivers now have regarding the role fatigue plays in their ability to perform their job safely and effectively, the potential for avoidable accidents caused by fatigued drivers has diminished. Making the roads safer for these drivers and other drivers on the road while reducing damage to property and company vehicles. The few hours necessary to complete a fatigue management training course is proving to be well worth the time and money involved.

How Often is Dangerous Goods Training Required by Sea and Air

dangerous goods by airEnsuring that those who work in transportation industries know how to recognize, handle, and ship dangerous goods is essential to the safety of workers and the public at large. This often means that not only is training necessary to ensure that anyone who may come in contact with dangerous goods in the performance of their jobs, understands the law, the risks these goods pose, and what to do in cases where accidents occur or where dangerous goods are disguised as non dangerous items, but training in new methods and identification of such goods are updated on a continuing basis. That is why it is not only important for those who work in the air and sea transportation industry to receive proper initial training in dangerous goods, but also to ensure that this training is updated in keeping with Australian regulations.

Once a worker receives that initial dangerous goods training, this training is good for two years at which time the training needs to be renewed. While renewal of this training will cover much of the training you received initially it is always good to review the information you learned. In addition, you will be made aware of any changes in the regulations for recognizing and shipping dangerous goods as well as new dangerous goods that may be added to a growing list.

Getting dangerous goods training every two years will keep your company in compliance with the law as well as protect you, your workers, and the general public. This training is not designed to cost your company money but, rather it is designed to help save your company money in the long run as well as protect the health and safety of those who can be exposed to a variety of dangerous goods and to prevent accidents that can result from the mishandling of those types of goods.

Keeping Track Of Training Dates

It is essential that your company keeps track of when training has taken place as well as the date when additional training is needed. You need to be sure that everyone involved with dangerous goods gets their training updated prior to the expiration of their current training date in order to remain in compliance with regulations. Failure to do so can result in lost work until all training is completed and the possibility of heavy fines.

Group training makes it easier to keep track of training dates, and allows you to stay in compliance with the regulations as well as provide a safer work environment for everyone concerned.

What Type of Dangerous Goods Training is Needed in Australia?

dangerous good signsDangerous goods are shipped across Australia on a daily basis. The fact that most of these goods reach their destination safely is in large part due to the dangerous goods training that has been mandated to insure the protection and the health of the workers handling these products, the public, and even the environment. Various types of dangerous goods training is needed to continue to ensure that the handling and shipping of these goods are done in a manner that protects everyone from the hazards these goods present.

Types of Dangerous Goods Training

Handling Of Dangerous Goods

There are a variety of dangerous goods training programs for the handling of such goods. These training programs include the proper attire to wear when handling these goods, proper packaging in safe containers, the need for specific types of labelling to identify these goods as not only dangerous, but what type of goods are contained.

The type of training needed for the handling of dangerous goods is going to be a mix between general training and safety procedures common to handling all dangerous goods and specific training as to the handling of specific types of dangerous materials. For example, the training required to handle explosive materials will be somewhat different than handling chemicals that could effect the respiratory system if mishandled.

Storage Training

Dangerous goods training also needs to include the storage of dangerous materials. These materials needs to be stored somewhere both prior to shipping and after they arrive at their destination. This means that all persons who will be working in and around the storage facilities of these warehouses need to be trained in the proper handling and storage of these materials as well as emergency procedures so that they know what to do in the case of an emergency such as a leaky or damaged container.

Training For All Modes Of Transportation

Specialized dangerous goods training is also needed for everyone involved in the transportation of any dangerous materials from the office staff, down to those who load the containers containing this material, to those who transport and deliver this material to it’s final destination. Not only is dangerous material training needed to safely transport these materials, but also training is needed to help those in the transport business recognize unmarked dangerous materials that they may be asked to transport without being advised that these materials are indeed dangerous.

Training for dangerous goods shipped by air covers not only training to all airline personnel involved in the handling and shipping of these goods, but is also required for those who are shipping dangerous goods by air to ensure that these goods are properly handled, labelled and identified.

Needed Dangerous Goods Training Includes:

・Identifying dangerous goods

・The proper handling of dangerous goods

・The proper storage of dangerous goods

・Learning how to mark dangerous goods properly according to all guidelines and regulations

・Transporting of dangerous goods for every mode of transportation

・Who is responsible for the handling, storage and transportation of dangerous goods

Making sure that your business has the right type of dangerous goods training for the goods you are handling, storing, and transporting not only protects your company for high fines, work stoppages, and work hazards but also protects the public and the environment as well.

Signs and Effects of Fatigue

fatigue trainingLack of sleep, extreme mental stress, and boredom can all lead to fatigue. People who are tired not only view the world less positively than those who are well rested, but they also display physical and mental symptoms that can affect the way they perform both at home and at work. A worker who is fatigued can actually pose a risk to your business in several ways. Knowing the signs and effects of fatigue can help you to better prevent and manage this condition which can help you sustain higher company profits.

Signs of Fatigue

Here are some of the signs that are evident when a worker is feeling fatigued.

・Constant yawning

・slower movements

・irritability

・impatience

・inability to understand and follow simple directions

・appearing giddy or giggly

・sudden increase in the amount of days they are absent or late to work

・ Unusually quiet or argumentative

Once one or more of these signs of fatigue are noted, if nothing is done to manage the worker’s fatigue then the effect this condition can have on job performance is predictable. Here are just a few of the effects you can expect to see when a worker is feeling exhausted or fatigued.

Reduced Productivity. When a worker is feeling tired they are simply unable to maintain normal production levels. The worker is basically trying to complete tasks while in a mental fog which means that they have to think through every action including those that are normally instinctive or repetitive.

Reduced Attention To Details And Safety Measures. When a worker is feeling tired they are less likely to pay attention to the finer details a job requires and they often overlook safety measures all together. They simply do not have the patience or the mental focus to pay attention to everything so they concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and getting the job done.

Reduced Ability To React Quickly. When a worker is fatigued they simply do not have the mental alertness to react quickly to any situation. While this can wreak havoc in any job situation, when workers have jobs where the ability to react quickly is essential to safety this inability can create life threatening situations and result in damage to expensive equipment.

Increased forgetfulness. Fatigued workers can be extremely forgetful and this forgetfulness can run the gambit from forgetting to send out important emails, to leaving machines running when not in use to forgetting to put on the proper safety gear.

Increased Absenteeism. Workers who are chronically fatigued often miss work on a regular basis. They constantly feel tired and find it difficult to pull themselves together enough to even make it to work let alone try to perform once they get there.

Increased Accidents. Fatigued workers are at higher risk to cause or have an accident. They are more likely to trip and fall, Injure themselves by not following safety procedures and take increased risks that often result in injury to themselves and others.

In order to reduce worker fatigue it is essential that both workers and those who manage their workforce take fatigue management training. Being aware of the signs and symptoms of fatigue and how to prevent and manage this condition can increase worker safety and improve production for your company.

Classifying Dangerous Goods

Previously, the storage, handling and use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace were regulated separately in each jurisdiction under a different framework for hazardous substances and for dangerous goods. Now with the implementation of the new work health and safety (WHS) harmonised scheme, the WHS regulations cover hazardous substances and dangerous goods under a single scheme. This single scheme, “hazardous chemicals” includes a new process in which hazards are classified. This classifying system is based on the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

What is a “hazardous chemical”?

It is easy to get confused as to what actually classifies as a “hazardous chemical” but basically, it includes any substance that, following employee exposure, can have a harmful effect on health. Side effects of exposure can include (but are not limited to); burns, skin/eye irritation and even fatal diseases such as cancer.

 “But isn’t that the same thing as “Dangerous Goods”?

Dangerous Goods can include substances, mixtures or articles that are hazardous to people, property or the environment. These types of substances can come in chemical or physicochemical form.  It is the properties of these substances that typically cause harm. Some “Dangerous Goods” are explosives, flammable liquids/gases, corrosive substances, and chemically reactive or highly toxic substances. Other examples of dangerous goods include petrol, LP gas, chlorine, explosives and fireworks.

The characteristics used to determine if a substance is a ‘Dangerous Good’ falls under the Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods (ADG Code) 7th Edition. This code presents a list of substances considered to be ‘Dangerous Goods’.

However, to answer the initial question: In many cases, dangerous goods are also considered to be hazardous substances.

One can speculate that the system was harmonised in order to avoid confusion on whether or not a substance was a hazardous chemical or dangerous good. However, now they both simply fall under the same scheme.

Whose Job is it to classify materials as ‘Hazardous’?

The model WHS Regulations (harmonised law) made it the manufacturer and importer’s responsibility to correctly classify the hazardous chemical prior the chemicals delivery to a workplace.

More information on Hazardous Chemicals:

According to a 2009 International Labour Conference report, over 650,000 deaths worldwide were caused in 2003 due to hazardous chemicals.

Dangerous Goods Transportation by sea falls under the IMDG Code. Since 2010 every marine worker who transports Dangerous Goods has been required to receive the proper training under AMSA regulations.  

More information on training

 

Understanding Carbon Pollution Legislation

Currently there has been political furor over the announcement of a Carbon Tax scheme. Some may have read about it in the newspaper but sometimes it is difficult to dig through and find the facts.

Back in 2011, the Australian Parliament passed a law to put a price on carbon pollution.

This reform includes a carbon pricing mechanism and will provide support for jobs and competitiveness and Australia’s economic progress while also reducing pollution. Households will be responsible for increased payments that will be delivered through tax reforms.

The changes are seen as an important step in environmental and economic reform in Australia. Australia now aims to be a bigger player in the global effort to combat climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.

The government also alleges that the reforms will enable Australia to be advantageous in the environmental reform since economic and job opportunities are expected to open up as the world joins the effect to shift to clean energy.

The plan will first start with the introduction of a carbon price.  Innovation and investment in renewable energy will be consistently promoted as well as energy efficiency. Opportunities will also allegedly open up in the land sector to cut pollution.

Some may ask ‘what exactly brought this movement on? ‘These changes are the result of a study conducted by the CSIRO, The Bureau of Meteorology, and various international Academies of Science. The findings of these groups reveal that the world is warming and high levels of carbon pollution risk environmental and subsequently, economic damage.  Studies have indicated that 2001-2010 was the warmest decade ever recorded and each decade since 1940 has been warmer than the preceding.  In Australia, serious environmental and economic costs are expected to result from a warmer, less-stable climate. An increased occurrence of extreme weather events, such as droughts, heat waves and forest-fires could have a serious and negative impact on the environmental and economic state of Australia.

How it will be implemented:

The Fixed Price Period– the pricing mechanism will begin on 1 July 2012.  The price will remain fixed for three years at $23 per tonne. It will then rise at a rate of 2.5 per cent each year in real terms.

Emissions Trading Scheme – on 1 July, 2015, the carbon price will become a flexible price under an emissions trading scheme and the price will be decided upon according to the market.

Discovering the various ways in which to lower your business’ carbon footprint and ensuring environmental sustainability will also lead to economic sustainability. It is important for everyone to understand this issue for the benefit of not only Australians, but also the international community.

Source: http://www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au/clean-energy-future/an-overview-of-the-clean-energy-legislative-package/

Are there any Benefits to the Carbon Tax for My Business

scales showing benefits of the carbon taxAmid all the debate, worry, and fear about what the carbon tax means to many Australian’s, many businesses want to know if there are any benefits of the carbon tax for their businesses. The truth is that there may well be several benefits to those businesses whose managers or owners are wise enough to clearly understand what the carbon tax can mean in terms of energy savings. Here are some ways that businesses may be able to benefit from the carbon tax.

Clean Technology Program

Businesses of all sizes may benefit from the grants that will be created by the carbon tax. These grants are to be used for businesses to invest in energy efficient equipment. This means that your business may be able to get a grant to offset all or some of the cost of purchasing new energy efficient equipment for your business. The result will be not only new machines and equipment for your business for practically free or at a reduce costs, but continual savings in future energy bills.

Solar Panel Scheme

In addition small businesses can take advantage of the carbon tax and the push for businesses to cut down on those greenhouse emissions by installing solar panels at a reduced cost. Over time these solar panels will not only pay for themselves but, will end up once again saving you money on energy costs resulting in what could be a huge drop in operating costs for your business resulting in a greater profit margin.

Your Own Efforts

In addition since under the carbon tax, the cost of these taxes are going to have a knock on effect that will filter down to your business and add to those energy costs, your own implementation of carbon footprint management can further reduce your energy costs. While this may not seem like such a huge benefit now, when you can offset the rise in expected energy costs by more efficient energy use you won’t have to pass on those increased cost to your own customers which may result in an increase in business as other businesses may be forced to raise prices.

While the carbon tax may not have huge immediate benefits for your business over time this tax may well end up saving you money and increasing profits by:
• Helping you to get new, more advanced and energy efficient equipment at a reduced price.
• Lowering the cost of solar panels to an affordable level which will result in energy savings in the future.
• Encouraging you to make your business more energy efficient leading to lower energy rates and perhaps an increase in business.

When you stop and think about it these are some pretty nice benefits that you may get courtesy of the carbon tax.

The PeaceFul Place Program:Relieving After Work Stress

Occupational health and SafetyJust imagine – in just ten minutes a day you could calm your mind, get rid of stress, get rid of negativity, make it easier to do what needs to be done to meet your needs and solve your problems. The Peaceful Place meditation technique in the book “Your Peaceful Place” which comes with two audio cd’s is a way that busy people can do all this and more.

Your Peaceful Place is a special place you can create inside your mind, where you are always at peace and relaxed. A place you can get back to easily and in the process of getting there, you automatically relax and let go any stress and anxiety.

Once you have practiced this simple meditation technique every day for a month,you can relax in three or even one minute. This is important because it means that, whenever you feel stressed, before a difficult meeting, before you go to the dentist, before studying, before doing exams, before a job interview, before you go on a date, you can go to your Peaceful Place just briefly, settle your mind and body and then any stressful occasion can be handled calmly.

Your Peaceful Place, co- written by Laurence Toltz and veteran trainer Sandy MacGregor, describes Sandy’s easy to learn, easy to do, self-talk meditation technique for busy people, and isn’t everyone busy these days?

 

STAGE ONE: Building Your Peaceful Place and learning the Peaceful Place meditation technique:

The meditation technique can be learned from chapters one and two of the book and CD1 or just by listening to tracks one to four on CD1.

Stage One Benefits

1. A simple meditation technique that helps you relax quickly, let go of stress and achieve peace of mind

2. Less stressed people get on better with those around them, be they a partner, family or work mates.

3. Most people report going to their Peaceful Place just before or after they go to bed makes it easier to go to sleep. The major advantage of this meditation technique is that it is simple, people like it, they feel happy and relaxed while in their Peaceful Place. They can move from a stressed state to a peaceful one in minutes.A busy doctor who now uses the Peaceful Place System, comments that previously, after a day in the surgery, he was so stressed that when he got home he was too stressed to even play with his kids or help his wife until he went to his study and downed two scotches to help him relax. After a few weeks of going to his Peaceful Place for one to two minutes  between patients, he now arrives home fresh and ready to play with his children and be a part of the family.

STAGE TWO: Your Peaceful Place is also the place where by following a simple four step system, you make it easier to meet your needs, solve a wide range of problems and achieve your goals.

Changing long established habits of thinking and behaviour is very difficult for most people. The Peaceful Place System helps people break through whatever is holding them back and motivates them to make the changes they need in their lives.

Please visit the website yourpeacefulplace.com.au.On the home page, press the play button to listen to co-author Laurence Toltz being interviewed about YOUR PEACEFUL PLACE by Radio National’s Rachel Kohn, on her program The Spirit of Things. Questions and Answers about the book begin about 45 seconds into the interview. There is a link to Chapter One of Your Peaceful Place on the home page.

 

Testimonials 

Judith’s Story

Judith had been nervous and overwhelmed both in her personal and business life. “I felt I was living in a thick cloud. With a busy job I had trouble going to my Peaceful Place during the day, but I practiced it every night after going to bed and I now sleep better than I have for many years. I often need to get up in the middle of the night to look after my young daughter, and, when I get back into bed I go to my Peaceful Place and I can get back to sleep really quickly.”

The real plus for Judith was, that after practicing the Peaceful Place system for four weeks,  Judith began to feel more in control and the overwhelmed feeling she had lived with for so many years lifted and she was able to prioritise and see key issues in her life more clearly and objectively.“You look at things differently after using the Peaceful Place process. I am more self aware and have had a breakthrough at work. Overall the process helped me get rid of the feelings of being ‘out of control’ and ‘overwhelmed’ and I now know I’m in control of my life instead of the other way around.

Betty’s Story

Betty who had been ill, was six months down her healing journey when she discovered Sandy’s Peaceful Place system and how she could take control and make a huge impact on her recovery. “The techniques gave me the tools to help myself in all parts of my life. It is only now I have realized I don’t even think about going to my Peaceful Place, I automatically do it “I go to my Peaceful Place while waiting for appointments, prior to encountering new situations, making important telephone calls, to remain centred and be able to see situations as they are and not become caught up in the emotion of the event.

I also go to my Peaceful Place prior to meditation, prayer and any activity requiring total concentration. I go there every chance I have to just sit, and every night before going to sleep. Now I do it automatically — it doesn’t seem to take much of my time but it has maximized my body’s natural healing energies and has had an enormous impact on my coping skills, energy levels and my health and well-being. It is a major factor in me being as well as I am today.

Also See: Fatigue Management 

What Will Be The Supply Chain Knock On Effect From The Carbon Tax

supply chain and the carbon taxThe upcoming carbon tax is supposed to make the top 500 contributors to Greenhouse emissions consider the wisdom of their ways and make changes in order to reduce their carbon footprint and help save the environment. However, in reality these big companies will hardly feel the pinch of the carbon tax as these tax costs will be passed down to the average consumer through the supply chain.

While no one disputes the need to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions being shot into the atmosphere is a worthy and necessary endeavor, there is some dispute about whether charging a high carbon tax is going to be enough to make the worst violators clean up their act. Even the Government admits that these tax costs will not really be paid by the offending companies but, in the end the carbon tax will be paid by the average citizen in higher costs.

In addition, though the Government expects no rise in the cost of food, many fear that consumers will also be paying higher prices for their groceries as gas companies pass on their carbon tax bill to to individual petrol customers who then in turn charge more for gas at service stations, and those that ship goods and foods to the market will then pass on the taxes to consumers.

This will include a 10 percent increase in electric and 9 percent increase in gas bills in the first year alone. The carbon tax will have a negative effect on consumer spending which in turn will have a negative effective on the overall Australian economy which may end up in lost jobs and less money for the average family to live on.

Knock on effect from the carbon tax will be felt by all those across the country except for those companies that the carbon tax was actually designed for.

In addition, the knock on effect of the carbon tax will affect other countries as well as developing countries who rely on Australian coal exports will find themselves paying higher coal prices once the carbon tax takes effect.

Despite the fact, that Government keeps assuring the public that knock on effect of the carbon tax will only effect consumers in a somewhat limited way, many fear that the rise in prices will leave them just scraping by and leave the poorest of Australian consumers destitute. In the end, everyone will just have to wait until July when the carbon taxtakes effect to see just how affected the general public will be and whether or not the carbon tax actually has the desired effect on reducing businesses carbon footprint or if the public will end up footing the bill for the carbon taxwhile the companies continue with business as usual.

What is Carbon Accounting?

carbon accountingCarbon accounting is use of software to measure and predict the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Software that can be used for a variety of businesses from forestry and farming to corporations, mining and transport companies will give these businesses a way to monitor their greenhouse emissions and will let them know how effective their procedures for managing their carbon footprint is.

For example, foresters who cut down trees can use carbon accounting to see how their business affects greenhouse emissions and can then predict how planting new trees and other plants may lower the level of green house emissions thus reducing their carbon footprint. Corporations too can use carbon accounting to see how effectively their efforts to lower electric and gas usage is in helping to lower the overall “green house effect.”

It is expected that over the next few years as more and more businesses are held to accountability for their carbon emissions that careers in carbon accounting will grow. Carbon accounting consultants and accountants will soon be in high demand and in many cases corporate executives, managers of companies and others will be lining up to takecarbon accounting training in order to more effectively reduce their companies greenhouse emissions and avoid paying that carbon tax.

While carbon accounting has been around in Australia since the early 21st century only now with added pressure for companies to do something about their carbon emissions is carbon accounting become something more people are seeking to understand.

Australia is leading the way in carbon accounting and there are carbon accounting software programs available like the programs the government itself uses. These programs are considered to be the programs of choice as businesses who use this software should be coming up with same carbon accounting figures as the government itself does.

It is the hope of the Australian government that by making carbon accounting programs available that all types of businesses will use this accounting system when trying to reduce their carbon footprint, before engaging in certain activities that may have an adverse effect on the environment, or even when purchasing a new piece of equipment.

Carbon accounting will not only help make those businesses who are the most guilty of emitting greenhouse gasses more aware of the damage they are doing but, also to help those businesses see how even small changes can make a huge difference. Carbon accounting will be a way these businesses can predict and measure how the changes they will make can reduce or add to their carbon footprint and hopefully encourage many businesses to come up with more innovative ideas to solve this problem.

No doubt the citizens of Australia and indeed the world will soon be hearing more about carbon accounting and how it will have a lasting effect on the reduction of greenhouse gasses.

Simple Steps To Manage Your Carbon Footprint

carbon footprint management planWith the new carbon tax about to go into effect even those businesses unlikely to be taxed are thinking more seriously about finding ways to manage carbon footprint in their own businesses. Here are some simple tips that may help you to find a way to manage carbon footprint.

Make A Manage Carbon Footprint Assessment

In order to manage your carbon footprint the first thing you want to do is make a manage carbon footprint assessment. Some things you may want to look at are:

・ Machines that are turned on when not in use

・ Lights left on in rooms when no one is using them

・ Heating or air conditioning turned too high

・ Possibility of car pooling for employees

・ Are business vehicles being used unnecessarily

・ Can purchasing more efficient machinery save energy in the long run

Get Everyone Involved

Get everyone who works for and with you involved in coming up with suggestions on how to help manage carbon footprint for your business. You can make a contest out of it and reward the winners with an extra 1/2 hour for lunch, a certificate, or some other small reward. Not only will getting everyone involved help manage your carbon footprint but, it will also boost moral and help you to come up with some great ideas you may not have thought of on your own.

Once you actually come up with a plan to manage carbon footprint then implement the plan and get everyone excited about following the plan. The more involved everyone feels the more likely they are to follow the plan and do their part to manage carbon footprint.

Environmentalist Of The Month

If you are a big company with several different departments you can institute an environmentalist of the month depart. The department that does the most to manage carbon footprint for the month gets their name on a plaque where visitors of your company can see it. Not only will this encourage everyone to manage the carbon footprint, but it will make the public aware of your efforts to help reduce those carbon dioxide emissions and help the environment. With more and more citizens showing concern for the environment this will not only help to manage your carbon footprint, but will help cement customer loyalty as well.

In most cases, you don’t have to go to a big expense to manage carbon footprint. It’s all about doing the little things like turning those computers off when everyone leaves for the night. Turning lights off in rooms not being used, and making a conscious decision to make less copies, use that microwave less, and try and reduce waste that will have to be hauled away.

Even the smallest effort to manage carbon footprint can make a big difference in the environment and in savings to your company.

What Does Carbon Management Mean For SME Owners And How Can It Benefit Their Business?

carbon tax and the environmentCarbon management has become a global issue and the businesses of Australia are being asked, or rather demanded to play their part in instituting better management techniques and lowering their carbon footprint. With the new Carbon tax looming on the horizon, many small and medium size businesses fear that the trickle down effect for these taxes will place an unbearable burden on their businesses raising the cost of everything from manufacturing to shipping and forcing them to either raise their prices and risk losing customers or to eat the increased costs and make next to no profit.

However, despite the doom and gloom felt by some small businesses those SME businesses who themselves jump on the bandwagon and institute their own systems for managing their carbon footprint may offset those increased costs by saving on energy themselves and running a more productive and efficient business. Carbon management may even net them larger profits than they are currently predicting by saving on energy costs and increasing efficiency in production.

Little Steps May Mean Huge Savings

Carbon management is everyone’s responsibility and with more and more people becoming aware of the necessity for reducing their carbon footprint any company which makes an effort to reduce their carbon foot print will see an increase in customer loyalty as well as lower energy bills. Some small steps in reducing the carbon foot print that can result in huge savings may be:

・ Turn computers, copy machines, and other office equipment completely off or even unplug them when not in use.

・ Whenever possible use natural sunlight in place of those overhead lights and keep lights off in rooms not being used.

・ Switch to more energy efficient machines and equipment.

By finding ways to improve the carbon management in your businesses you may save as much as 30% to 40% on those energy bills which can offset any additional cost that the carbon tax may add to your business expenses and may even result in some extra savings overtime.

While there is little doubt that the carbon tax is an effort to force larger industries to institute better practices to manage their carbon foot print, these taxes will filter down and have effect on SME businesses a well. Whether this carbon tax will have a positive or negative effect on your business will depend a great deal on whether or not you are willing to institute your own systems to manage your company’s carbon foot print in your business. Instituting a good system now ahead of the tax can help you to benefit from your own efforts at carbon management and increasing the efficiency of your business instead of becoming a victim of the tax fallout.

Asbestos Training: Thermochemical Conversion Waste Cleanup

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Process Overview Video Description

The following is a video description for the 6 minute video displaying ARI Technologies Inc Thermochemical Conversion Process Overview. Each bolded headlines below correlates with the same headlines that can be observed in the video. The text accompanying each bolded headline provides a concise description of what the video demonstrates when the viewer sees each headline in the video.

 

  • Waste Feed Operations: Timed buzzer alerts the worker to push bags of asbestos waste off of a scale and onto a conveyor. Each bag weighs approximately 50 LB and is loaded onto the conveyor every 3.5 minutes. This adds up to a total daily load of 10/tons per day.
  • Asbestos Bag Feed & Shredding: The bag is moving up the conveyor across to the conveyor scale where the bag’s weight is electronically recorded prior to being dropped into a shredding system. Shredder housing is held at slight negative pressure and vented through ductwork to HEPA filters in order to avoid the risk of releasing harmful emissions into the workplace. The shredded waste is fluxed, mixed, and conveyed to a feed hopper. One cannot see the flux, mix, or conveyance process since they are all enclosed and out of sight.
  • Ram Feeder Pushes Waste into Hearth:   The prepared waste hopper can be observed in the background. As the ram extracts, the prepared waste descends from the hopper in the anterior of the ram where it is then pushed into the furnace. Cycle of ram is timed for 10 tons/day.
  • First Cake Breaker Breaks up Waste:  The rotating shaft is armed with blades to   The rotating shaft is equipped with blades to separate the compressed pile of waste just pushed onto the hearth by the ram feeder. It is not possible to view this process because the pile of waste that moves into view from the right conceals this process. The additional cake breaker can be observed in the background rotating in the alternate direction.
  • Second Cake Breaker Spreads Waste: The second cake breaker can be seen exposing cooler waste and dispersing it to an even depth on the hearth to increase heat transfer rates, and to achieve uniform heating.
  • Removal Plow Collects and Rake Removes Treated Product: the alloy plow gathers treated product on the hearth. The rake intermittently drags the product of the hearth where it is released into a water quench. At this time , the waste     The alloy plow gathers treated product on the hearth.  The rake intermittently drags the product off of the hearth where it drops into a water quench. At this point, the waste discharge is approximately one-half to- two thirds the mass of feed  and one-half to one-tenth the volume of the feed.
  • Removal of Treated Product Bins: Treated product is sent from the Treated product is directed from the water quench tank through the auger conveyors to enclosed storage bins where it awaits a confirmation analysis.  Each bin has a capacity of approximately 2 tons of product which equals to approximately 4-tons of asbestos fee
  • Removal of Treated Product Following Analytical Clearance: Upon being declared as “asbestos-free”, the trap door on the holding bin is opened and the treated product is position on a roll-off bin where it will await transportation off site.

More Information on Asbestos Training 

Who Has Duties To Manage And Control Asbestos Or ACM

asbestos courses logoThe WHS regulations spell out the specific obligations of those who are responsible to manage and control asbestos or asbestos containing materials. It is the person who is conducting a business or undertaking in a building that has duties to manage asbestos. This may include:

• The owner or manager of the business

• The owner or management company that owns the building that can make decisions as to the altering of the structure even if the building is being leased to someone else who is conducting business within the building.

Duties Of Person Conducting Business, But Does Not Own The Building

Many times a person conducts business in a building they do not own and have not been given rights to make any structural changes to. In such cases the person conducting the business still has the duty to manage asbestos or any asbestos containing material in the workplace in the following ways:

• Eliminate or reduce the risk of airborne asbestos exposure to their employees and the public.

• Notify the building owner or anyone who can make decisions about altering the structure and having the asbestos removed.

• Consult with his employees and make known the hazards and risks and see that they have proper training to identify those risks and know how to use protective gear to reduce their risk of exposure

• Label the area if possible

• Monitor the heath of your employees that may have been exposed to airborne asbestos fibers.

Person In Charge Of The Premises That Can Make Structural Decisions

If you are the owner of a building or a person who can make decisions regarding structural changes to the building ( such as the management company) then it is your duty to:

• Ensure that a asbestos management plan is prepared, maintained, and reviewed

• ensure that the asbestos is registered and a copy is given to anyone carrying out the removal of the asbestos

• ensure that they only hire a fully trained and licensed person or persons to conduct the removal.

• Co-operate, co-ordinate and consult with the tenant who is operating in the building to ensure that all safety issues are covered and all safety regulations have been adhered to.

In summary while it is up to the person who has control of the building to manage asbestos and asbestos containing material and see that it is properly removed or sealed to prevent further exposure in order to protect the tenants in the building. It is still your duty as the business owner or manager to protect your employees health and safety even if you happen to rent the building.

Job Losses And The Carbon Tax: Reality Or Not?

carbon taxFrom the moment that the carbon tax was first announced there has been a lot of debate whether or not this tax would accomplish it’s goal and more importantly would it lead to job losses across Australia. With those that oppose the carbon tax, warning people that their jobs are in jeopardy due to the carbon tax and the Australian Government assuring people that there will actually be more jobs not less, however, the reality maybe somewhere between these two fractions.

No one knows for sure what effect the carbon tax may have on job loss. With prices of electric, gas, and even products bound to increase as the carbon tax is passed down to ordinary consumers adversely effecting these consumers purchasing power retailers and other businesses may well see a sharp decline in sale and be forced to lay people off work in order to continue to stay in business and make a profit.

On the other hand if the carbon tax works like the Government hopes, there will be an increase of jobs in the green sector as more and more businesses scramble to reduce their carbon footprint and lower the amount of carbon tax they will be expected to pay. Which may well balance everything out.

While this may be bad news to those who may lose their jobs, and good news to those who may find good employment in the field of green technology it is difficult to tell which way things will actually go. Since those businesses which are the worse polluters will have the opportunity to pass the carbon tax down through the supply chain they may not feel any real incentive to change the way they do business.

If these businesses decide not to make any effort to reduce their carbon footprint then chances are there aren’t going to be any new jobs opening in the green technology field. At least not right away. Which could be bad news for the Australian economy.

On the other hand if these big companies do take themselves to task and make a real effort to reduce those carbon emissions then jobs will be more likely to be gained than lost. As of right now it is a waiting game with everyone holding their breaths until July when the carbon tax goes into effect and they can get some idea how the carbon tax is going to play out among these big businesses.

Like any other tax or law no one will truly know what effect the carbon tax will have on the Australian economy until it has actually been in effect for a while. In the meantime, all anyone in Australia can do is wait and hope that carbon tax does good than harm.

How Do I Get An Asbestos B License 2012? Do I Need A Supervisor? What Kind Of Training Do I Need?

asbestos safety trainingWith the new changes in the WHS laws that began in January of this year some people are a little confused as to requirements for licensing and training for certain jobs. If you are a worker that wants to apply for an Asbestos B License this year (2012) then you might have some questions that you are going to want answered. The three main questions asked by those wishing to go into this type of asbestos removal work are:

• What Do I need to do get an Asbestos B license?

• What kind of training is involved

• And Do I need a supervisor

Requirements For An Asbestos B license

If you are looking to obtain your asbestos B license you need to meet the following criteria:

1. In order to obtain your asbestos B license you must nominate the supervisor who has been appointed to supervise the asbestos removal work for the company for which you are planning to work. In order for the supervisor you nominate to meet the supervisory guidelines, they must be over the age of 18, have worked in the asbestos removal field for at 12 months and completed the VET course for supervisor asbestos removal. You will need to check with the manager of your company to make sure that the supervisor you nominate meets all the necessary criteria to be a supervisor.

2. In addition you must complete an asbestos training course. New asbestos removal training has been developed and you must get your training through a Registered Training organization. However, since many of these training organizations are still in the process of setting up these training units you may have to wait until the training is offered in your area.

Using The Current Training or Wait For The New Asbestos Training

The WHS does allow for you to get the current training that is available through registered training organizations, however the new training that will soon be in effect which will better prepare you for the safe removal of non friable asbestos and asbestos containing dust. Waiting for the new training to be offered is a wise decision as it will cover new changes in the law and may offer more about safety when handling this material.

Since starting in January 2013, all the training will be of the new units of competency it is best for your company to have all of those employees who will be dealing with asbestos removal have the most up to date asbestos training possible.

You will especially want all your asbestos removal supervisors to have the new supervisor asbestos training in order to ensure that they know and understand all the regulations they need to adhere to in order to keep your business in compliance with the new WHS regulations. Making sure that your supervisor and other employers have the most up to date training will allow you to better protect the public, your employees and your business.

Useful Facts on OHS Harmonisation Laws For Managers and more…

OHS Harmonisation lawsThe new Australian Occupational Health and Safety Harmonisation  or OHS Harmonisation laws include a series of changes to the old laws. Breaches of legislation can result in fines in excess of $ 500,000 or even imprisonment for five years for corporate or individual executives.

The changes were officially implemented in January of this year in; NSW,Queensland,The Commonwealth, and the Northern Australia.

Senior Managers and Directors who have a desire to stay clear of penalties (whether it be financial or to their reputation) should be mindful of the following important aspects of the OHS Harmonisation laws.

a)     A “Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking” or a PCBU, is the one who is chiefly responsible for upholding OHS standards— this does not necessarily mean the “employer”. An individual or a corporate body can be considered PCBU since they operate a business or duty alone or with other PCBUs.

b)    “Duty of care” now includes a more diverse group of individuals including workers and “any other person” whose safety is at risk because of the business activities of the PCBU. Someone is referred to as a worker whether they are employed or a volunteer. This means that incidents that once fell under public liability laws and negligence can now be prosecuted under the new OHS laws.

c)     The term “ Officers’ refers to Directors and managers and these individuals are personally obligated to use their best efforts to ensure that the company stays within the boundaries of OHS Harmonisation laws.  This is referred to as “Due Dilligence” and includes the following duties:

  • Gather and uphold current safety knowledge
  • Gain an understanding of the various business risks
  • Deliver and implement the proper resources
  • Maintain legal compliance with OHS laws.
  • Verify compliance and safety standards by conducting frequent and thorough audit and review processes.

Duty Holder(s) (If there indeed more than one) of OHS must ensure that they work together in collaboration and cooperation to ensure that all responsibilities related to OHS legislation are upheld.

The OHS Harmonisation laws recommend that organisations conduct an audit of current processes,safety policies, and contracts. The audit will determine and identify the proper steps needed in order to comply with the new OHS Harmonisation laws. Under these new laws; rules pertaining to personal liability need to be explained clearly to all officers to ensure that breaches are limited.

It is also encouraged to implement due-diligence practices throughout the entire company to ensure that safety measures are upheld.

Source: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/sbwire-140172.htm

 

Important Facts About Confined Spaces Safety

Confined Spaces Training

When working in Confined Spaces it is important to have adequate training in order to avoid entrapment or even worse, death. Luckily there are some measures recommended to utilize in order to understand the complexities of Confined Spaces Working.

 

 HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

According to Work Safe, it is important for the employer to mention any confined spaces and the various hazards that accompany such work. Also the employer should practice the utilization of sign postings  when required in order to secure the area.

The follow circumstances can result in serious injury or even death:

  • Firstly,  oxygen deficiency in confined spaces can result in;  slow oxidation reactions for organic or other substances, combustion, diluted air and gas, absorption of deadly substances by grains, or soils.
  • Over-abundance of oxygen in confined spaces can be caused by contaminants , whether they be from solids, liquids or a various other forms.
  • Adjusting the position of equipment can result in workers becoming overwhelmed and crushed.

It is important for one to conduct a risk assessment in order to identify the various dangers within the workplace. Doing so can determine what the nature of the confined space is,  and the work required  to be done within a confined space . Furthermore, it can help workers understand emergency proceduresIt is the employers responsibility to ensure that the assessment is consistently kept up-to-date and always valid

Some steps that employers must take to avoid many accidents, is the prohibition of smoking and naked flames. within confined spaces and the adjacent areas.Some  equipment should even prohibited, such as the use forklifts.  An additional concern is the level of heat while working in the area.

Types of Risk Assessments

Generic assessment : The employer is responsible for several confined spaces in which related work is performed at all sites. Risks factors are often identical but when this is not the case, a generic risk assessment is encouraged. This type of assessment helps identify the conditions and location of confined spaces and the type of work practiced in it.  Depending on the type of work or condition of the site, the risk factors could potential differ from eachother.

Assessment frequency: 

The assessment period should be decided on by the employer with consultation with employees or representatives. Whenever risks change, a new assessment should be conducted with this change in mind. A change in risk can result from :

  • Modification in equipment operating conditions
  • Change in the work atmosphere or environment
  • Change in work procedures or agreements.

How Do I Review Work Health and Safety (OHS) Risks?

work health safety risks chartIdentifying, accessing, and controlling work health and safety issues is imperative in helping to create a safe working environment for your employees, but none of these steps towards safety will do you much good if you don’t know how to review work health and safety risks.

The Purpose Of Safety Reviews

The entire purpose to review work health and safety risks is to ensure:

・ That the controls you put into place eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk of injury should the hazard occur.

・ That the controls that have been put in place do not create additional risks of their own and are practical to use.

・ Are new safety procedures being understood and followed?

・ Does more need to be done to decrease the risk even more?

・ Have workers had adequate training to perform the job, or use tools safely and correctly?Have workers been informed of the risks currently present and do they have the training and the knowdledge to deal with those risks?

・ Have all safety risks been found and addressed?

・ Have workers been consulted to any additional risks and possible solutions?

The best way to review work health and safety risks is by reviewing each control you have put into place in order of the seriousness of the risk involved. Make sure that each solution you have put into place takes care of the problem or reduces it while you search for better alternatives. As you gather new information about various risks or as new techniques or solutions to eliminate or reduce risks become available assess whether or not the new solutions are better and more practical than the solutions you already have in place.

If the controls you have put in place do not eliminate the risk or reduce it substantially then reassess your options and look for a different way to control the risk or consider adding additional controls to further reduce the chance of injury.

Keep in mind that to review work health and safety risks is for the sole purpose of finding out which controls work well, which ones need to be improved, and which ones simply don’t work at all or create additional risks. Not every solution you come up with is going to be the “best” solution the first time around which is why reviewing these controls is so important.

Creating a safe working environment is an ongoing part of owning or operating a business and your efforts will eventually be rewarded when over time there are less accidents, less time lost, and increased productivity and employee satisfaction. To review work health and safety risks periodically means you can find and eliminate those risks before they result in injury or harm.

PPE Training: Practice Safe Work!

Personal Protection Equipment

Personal Protective equipment can include a variety of clothing and equipment that employees, students and various professionals must wear in order to protect themselves from workplace safety hazards.

What Does The PPE Act Say?

Firstly, an employer should ensure that the worker is not exposed to any hazards in the workplace, however when that is unavoidable, the employer must ensure that workers are provided the proper safety equipment that would protect them against any potential hazards that exist.

The Codes of Practice: First Aid Facilities and Services, Workplace Amenities and Facilities, Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment 2002, all provide varies measures and suggestions in the selection and utilization of PPE. The acts also list the various PPE requirements for a multitude of workplace safety hazards.  In addition to these acts, The Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 provides further assistance in understanding PPE measures.

Often times employees may complain due to the general discomfort and hassle associated with PPE. Furthermore, there are sometimes issues with PPE that is in poor condition or may seem inappropriate. However, the employee must be informed of the necessity of the equipment and any problems regarding inappropriate equipment must be dealt with in order to ensure safety for all.

 Examples of PPE

PPE  can be used for protection in a variety of situations:

  • Respiratory protection- air cannisters/masks
  • Eye protection – eg  Safety goggles, visors
  • Hearing Protection–  Ear Plugs and other hearing apparatus
  • Hand Protection– eg  Safety gloves
  • Foot protection – eg  Steal toe boots, gripped shoes
  • Head Protection– eg helmets, construction hats
  • Protection from falls – eg  safety harnesses
  • Skin Protection– eg caps, sunscreen, long sleeved clothes

Responsibilities and PPE

Employers must maintain:

  • The required PPE are monitored and inspected by a competent individual in order to determine if other, more efficient methods of ensuring safety can be implemented
  • Professional guidance is requested in order to determine the most suitable types of PPE for what ever types of tasks are being conducted.
  • PPE Training is provided to all so that they can ensure that the proper PPE is used and maintained.
  • A constant supervisor to ensure that PPE is worn whenever required.
Employees must also be informed on how to properly wear and utilize the PPE. In addition, employees must avoid the improper use or damage of the equipment.

Remember:

While PPE  is ultimately not the most efficient way of avoiding injury, it is the last bastion of protection when all other safety measures are overcome.

Source:  http://www.safety.uwa.edu.au/policies/personal_protective_equipment_guidelines

How Do I Control Work, Health, And Safety Risks?

safety risk trainingThe WHS regulations list a hierarchy of risk control. This hierarchy begins with eliminating the hazard completely down to the least effective method of reducing risks. WHS regulations require that you use the highest control that is reasonably practical to eliminate or minimize the risk.

To control work health and safety risks the best possible scenario is to eliminate the risk in the planning stages of the job. For example, if a job requires that equipment or products be stacked then to eliminate the risk of falling stacks of equipment or products planning to stack the materials at less height over a larger area will eliminate the hazard of falling stacks of boxes or equipment or at least greatly reduce the risk of such a hazard occurring.

To avoid the risk of back injuries due to manual lifting of heavy objects making sure that there are trollies or trucks available to move those objects eliminates or reduces the risks of injuries.

However, if the risk or hazard is already present in the workplace, then you will need to find a practical way to eliminate or reduce the hazard. The first step to control work health, and safety risks already built into the job is by consulting with your workers and their representatives. Discuss with them changes in equipment, or the way the job is performed, and how these changes will eliminate or reduce the hazard that can cause them harm. Get their ideas on workable solutions as well as their concerns.

Keep in mind that in order to control work health and safety risks there may be times when the only practical solution is to institute more than one control to minimize the risk of a single hazard. For example, you may use engineering controls such as a guard rail around a piece of machinery to prevent an employee from getting a limb caught. Then you may deem additional training on operating the machinery is necessary to further reduce the risk of injury.

One of the things you can do in your efforts to control work health and safety risks in the workplace is study what other like industries have done to eliminate or reduce risks and how effective their controls have been. Keep updated on new safety measures that seem to be working and continue to work to further reduce or eliminate each risk.

While some risks may be easy to eliminate or reduce such as adding more lighting or brighter lights to an area, some may take some planning and trial and error to correct. There may also be times when you will use temporary measures to reduce risks as much as possible while instituting better controls. Keep a record of each risk you find and everything you have done to control that risk.

By making the effort, consulting with employees and keeping apprised of new and innovative controls you can not onlycontrol work health and safety risks to your employees, but you will create a more positive working environment for everyone concerned.

How Do I Identify Work, Health And Safety Risks

work health and safety signIf it is your responsibility to manage work, health and safety risks, the first thing you need to do is to identify work, health and safety risks that could result in injury or harm to your employees. This can seem an overwhelming task for those who are new just opening a business, have made major changes to an existing business and those new to position where part of their job is to manage these risks.

However, keep in mind that to identify work, health, and safety risks it is best done on an ongoing basis and using a check list for your business can help make the task easier.

To identify work, health and safety risks, it involves looking at things and situations which could result in injury or harm to a workers health. This means looking closely at:

・ The actual physical environment where work is carried on. Is there adequate light and ventilation? Is the working space large enough to perform all tasks safely? Are there any hazards that could result in injury such as uneven floors or poor material storage, or poor housekeeping practices.

・ Next take a good look at the machinery being used. Is the machinery designed for the function it is being used for? Is it in good working order and repair? Does it need any guards or other addition to prevent injury to a workers limbs? Is the noise from the machinery likely to affect the workers hearing?

・ Study the material and substances being use. Do these pose any hazards such as using chemicals or heavy materials needing to be lifted or moved by hand.

・ You are also going to need to look at each work task and how it is performed. Are the employees properly trained to used the necessary tools? Are they using the safety equipment provided? Is there undue pressure placed on them to perform the job faster than reasonably safe?

・ Work design and management. Is the job designed to be done with health and safety in mind. Is the supervisor of the area managing the work in a manner that may pose a safety or health risk to one or more employees? Does the job require repetitive movement, likely to cause fatigue, or undue stress?

In order to find and identify work, health and safety risks regularly walk around and observe everything. Make a list of those hazards you find. If there is an immediate risk such as a spill then immediately stop the work being done, remove the workers to a safe place and take care of the risk immediately.

Talk to the employees and make a note of their health or safety concerns and any suggestions they have for eliminating or reducing those those concerns. Look for instances of bullying or harassment that may be going on, but employees may be reluctant to talk about.

Take the time to look at past records of accidents, injuries or other related problems. Chances are if an accident occurred once it can happen again unless controls have been put in place to prevent future accidents.

By remaining alert and using all resources at your disposal you can identify work, health and safety risks and take steps to correct them.

What Is Involved In Managing Work, Health, And Safety Risks?

ohs risk managementAccording to WHS regulations it the duty of every business owner, manager, and supervisor and even to some extent the individual employee to help in managing work health and safety risks to employees and members of the public that visit or do business with you. But what exactly is involved in managing work health and safety risks.

The First Step Is To Identify Hazards In The Work Place

In some cases, certain jobs have known and easily identifiable hazards, in others the hazards may be there, but may not be quite so identifiable. It is the job of the owner, manager, or supervisor to identify all risks. There are a number of ways to go about managing work health and safety risks, but one very important way is to consult with the workers who actually work each given job. They are the best source of information when it comes to identifying potential dangers in the area where they work.

Keep in mind that these hazards are not just limited to working with equipment and machinery or the likelihood of injury due to poor ventilation, or lighting. The hazards may be due to fatigue, stress, or harassment as well as many other things.

Assess The Risks

Once you have identified the risks the next step is to assess the risk.

・ How likely is that the risk could actually happen?

・ What kind of harm could result?

・ How serious would the harm caused be?

Control the Risks

Once you have assessed the risk you need to begin putting in controls that either eliminate the risks all together or at least minimize the risks. These controls need to be reasonably practical given the circumstances. In other words, if you have a hazard that could result in a small non serious injury, such as a small bruise and the only way to completely remove the risk is with an extremely expensive piece of equipment this would not be considered a practical solution to the problem.

When instituting controls you should again consult with those who work in the area or with a given piece of machinery as they can often offer solutions to hazards you may not have thought of that will prove to be both economic and workable in managing work health and safety risks. Keep in mind that controls should also include any training, or testing you feel is necessary to ensure that the worker understands how to do the job and can follow all safety procedures in managing work health and safety risks.

Reviewing Your Controls

The last step in managing work health and safety risks is to review the controls you have in place to ensure they are working. Again talking with the employees is one of the best ways to find out if the controls you put into place have eliminated or reduced the hazard.

As part of managing and reviewing the controls that are set in place you may need to make frequent checks to see that the employees are using any equipment or gear that is necessary to reducing the risk and keeping adequate records of safety checks and any warning or discipline measures that have been enacted in order to encourage the employees to adhere to the safety controls and guidelines you have put into effect for managing work health and safety risks.

5 Reasons You Need Chain Of Responsibility Training

Driver fatigue whether it be the long haul freight driver or the bus driver who is asked to work frequent back to back shifts often results in serious accidents that can damage expensive equipment and jeopardize the lives of the driver, his passengers, or other drivers or passengers on the road. In order, to help reduce driver fatigue and reduce the number of accidents cause by driver fatigue laws have been passed ensuring that everyone involved in the transport business does their part to help reduce and prevent driver fatigue.

Here are 5 reasons why you need chain of responsibility training:

1. As a manager or other officer in the transport business your words and actions may have an impact on the behavior and actions of the driver of those big rigs or public transportation vehicles. Taking a chain of responsibility training course will help you to do your duties better to see to the safety of the driver and how your words and actions can make you liable if an accident does occur. By having a clearer understanding of how your words and actions can affect a drivers actions and the liability that you may have due to those actions will help you to stay in compliance with the laws and insure that all drivers maintain compliance as well.

2. Making sure that your employees; whether the driver of the vehicle, the person who schedules the work or the person who loads the cargo understands their role and responsibility in seeing that a delivery or person riding on your transport system arrives to their final destination in one piece can decrease your responsibility should an accident occur. Chain of responsibility training can not only help your employees understand their responsibilities, but, can help you to protect yourself from liability if an accident should occur by providing you with proof in the form of their certificate of completion that you are providing your employees with the necessary training to make responsible and safe decisions.

3. Chain of responsibility training helps each person in the chain understand how their words or actions impact the decisions that the driver makes when he is out on the road. Having a clear understanding of how these actions impact the safety of the driver, his passengers and others on the road and the liability that they carry for their own decisions and actions will help each person to see how they personally can be held responsible for any accidents that are a result of their actions.

4. Chain of responsibility training can help you put into effect a system of checks and balances that helps to ensure that good decisions are made all the way down the line resulting in less risk to the driver and others on the road, less damage to property and equipment, and less injuries and deaths due to driver fatigue. This not only results in more profit for your business in the long run but, also safer roads for all drivers.

5. Chain of responsibility training will help drivers and all those in the chain to better withstand pressure to ignore the law to meet deadlines or work unreasonable hours that may create a driving hazard by giving them clear cut information on how to deal with pressure from others higher in the chain without fear of losing their jobs or suffering reprisals. It empowers everyone along the chain to make sound decisions that will prevent accidents, keep them safe, and benefit the companies they work for.

By ensuring that everyone involved in the transport business has chain of responsibility training you are helping to keep your company in compliance with the law as well as keeping your company profitable and your drivers safe.

5 Reasons Why You Need Occupational Health And Safety Training

Occupational health and Safety training courses are designed to help managers and workers better understand OHS legislation and learn strategies and techniques for the implementation of procedures that help to insure a safer work environment.

Here are 5 reasons why you and your employees need Occupational health and safety training.

1. Workplace injuries are a serious concern and in most cases can be avoided. OHS training can provide companies, their officers and managers, and the employees themselves with the training necessary to identify potential hazards and risks and provide helpful tips on how to eliminate or at least minimize those hazards in order to create a safer work environment for all employees. A workplace hazard can lower worker morale, result in work stoppage and open a company to all kinds of fines and penalties OHS training will help you to understand your responsibility and identify ways to insure that your company takes those responsibilities seriously.

2. While providing a safe work environment is the responsibility of the company, workers need to understand that there are things that they can do to help keep themselves and their coworkers safe. Occupational Health and safety training for employees will teach them ways to help increase the safety of their own environment and give them the training they need to act in a safe and responsible manner thereby decreasing their chances for injury.

3. OHS laws are designed to provide workers with a safer work environment, companies and individuals who neglect or ignore these laws are leaving their businesses open to work stoppages, criminal charges, huge fines and penalties all of which can result in your business having to close it’s doors. Occupational health and safety training helps you to identify safety issues within your company and gives you strategies and tools with which to help you resolve or minimize those safety issues and keep you in compliance with all laws and regulations.

4. Insuring that all employees have the proper OHS training that directly relates to their job helps reduce the company’s liability should an accident occur. By seeing that the employee has passed their OHS training and keeping a copy of the training certificate in an employees file an employee cannot later claim that they did not have proper training for their job. This can reduce your risk of liability should an employee not follow proper procedure which may save your company a great deal in terms of fines and other penalties.

5. The safer a work environment, the more efficiently a company can run and the better your employee morale will be. OHS training is geared towards helping you and your company insure that the work environment is safe by offering a variety of training courses that doesn’t just tell you the law and your responsibilities under the law but, gives you helpful tips on how to increase safety in the work environment resulting in a more positive work place for everyone and bigger company profits.

When it comes to providing a safe working environment there really is no substitute for proper training and knowledge. Occupational Health and Safety training gives you the knowledge and the tools to provide a safe work environment for all.

5 Reasons Why You Need Workplace Harassment Training

In order for your business to run efficiently and smoothly your employees need to feel safe within the work environment. There are times when the comments or actions by others are so offensive or threatening that an individual or group of employees may not feel safe coming to work and working next to the individuals whose comments or behaviors they view as threatening. In order for your business to flourish and to be compliant under OHS laws you need to provide every employee with a work environment they feel is safe.

Here are 5 reasons why you need workplace harassment training:

1. Threatening or harassing behavior by one employee or group of employees towards another employee or group of employees results in low employee morale and if continued to result in poor work performance and a higher rate of absenteeism. This will effect your businesses ability to run smoothly and profitably. Workplace harassment training can help employees understand what behaviors and comments constitute workplace harassment and make them aware of the penalties attached in their indulging in such behaviors.

2. Workplace harassment training for managers and other officers of a company can provide them with suggestions of putting rules and regulations in place to prevent workplace harassment before it occurs as well as helping them develop strategies for dealing with such harassment when it does occur as well as helping them identify when harassment is taking place even if no complaints have been filed. This will help to provide a safe work environment for all employees and help protect the company from costly liability claims.

3. Workplace harassment training can provide your business with ways to implement a complaint process that will make it more comfortable and easier for those who are being harassed to discuss the problem as well as teach you how to conduct an investigation into harassment complaints in order to find out the truth of the matter and assure your workers that you take such complaints seriously and are dedicated to ending workplace harassment.

4. Employees who feel their complaints are being taken seriously are more likely to have a higher degree of trust in the company and worker satisfaction which results in their working harder and more efficiently due to increased company loyalty. By providing workplace harassment training for all employees you are showing each of your employees that you are aware that workplace harassment exists and that you and your company is doing everything they can to prevent such harassment and provide a work environment where employees feel safe.

5. Employers and businesses who do not take preventive measures to insure that workplace harassment does not occur or that it does not stop if it does occur can be held liable for the actions of their employees. Workplace harassment training can provide you with the laws regarding your liability and ways of preventing or minimizing your liability which can save your company and individual officers from huge fines and penalties.

By preventing workplace harassment or stopping it when it occurs your company can avoid huge fines and penalties while increasing efficiency in your workforce and increasing your companies profits.

Fatigue Management: The High Cost of Overworking

The annual cost of overworking and stress is exceeding $30 billion, which is half of the entire workplace compensation payout.Both Physical and psychological stress have trumped other types of injury and illness. The long term effects have proven to lead to a loss in productivity and a financial toll that workers and the community are forced to pay.

A thorough study of workplace deaths and injuries revealed a cost of $60.6 billion annually.The report concluded that the number of workplace deaths had fallen in 2009-2010 during the global financial crisis. Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten will campaign to encourage workers to speak up about safety and call for annual monitoring by Parliament.

Safe Work Australia’s study revealed that when “body stressing” and “mental stress” is a dangerous combination that leads to half of the injuries in the workplace.The data did not show a link between long hours and injury but the report did reveal that more than one-third of the cases and total economic costs are connected to body stressing and manual labour.

The report also showed that one-third of employees stated that “burnout” is a reason for them to take sick leave when they aren’t actually sick.

Why does it feel like I am “burning out” ?

“Burning out”  from overworking is simply another form of fatigue. It is important to get fatigue management training in order to avoid getting fed up and subsequently allowing the quality of your work and your safety to lapse.  It is hard for once to detect if they are suffering from fatigue and it is even more difficult to tell when your fatigue has reached to a level where it is no longer safe for you to work.

Fatigue systems can be broken up into three categories; physical,mental, and emotional. Some physical symptoms; include yawning, eye rubbing,  and microsleeps. If you are suffering from mental fatigue you may find your self having a difficult time concentrating and paying attention to some things. Also, you may have difficulty remembering the task at hand, or find your self making frequent mistakes in the workplace.

Finally, emotional fatigue is a common but sometimes overlooked type of fatigue. Symptoms of emotional fatigue can be perceived as “burning out”. Often times an emotionally fatigued individual will find themselves being more quiet or introverted than usual. An emotionally fatigued person will notice a loss of energy,  loss of motivation and a lack of drive.

 Source:http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/overwork-mental-stress-costs-30b/story-e6frea8c-1226297564047

5 Reasons Why You Need Sexual Harassment Training

Despite the fact that legislation was passed more than 30 years ago, sexual harassment continues to be an issue in almost every type of work environment. Seeing that Sexual harassment does not take place is the duty of everyone who works for any company or business.

Here are 5 reasons why you need sexual harassment training:

1. Sexual harassment is an ongoing problem in many work environments today. While some people clearly know that their behavior constitutes sexual harassment others may be ignorant as to exactly what actions constitutes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment training makes it clear to every employee exactly what constitutes sexual harassment and the penalties for engaging in harassing behavior.

2. Employers can be held responsible for the sexual harassment of an employee by another employee even if they have no knowledge that such behavior is taking place unless they take preventive steps to insure that that this behavior is not occurring. Not only is sexual harassment training for your employees proof of preventive steps, but taking training yourself can help you to formulate other preventive measures as well.

3. When sexual harassment occurs this harassment not only effects the employee that is being harassed but, it effects other employees and your business as well. A person who feels harassed in a work environment is far less likely to be able to perform their job efficiently and far more likely to make mistakes that could jeopardize their safety or the safety of others or cost your business money. Sexual harassment training doesn’t just make clear what constitutes sexual harassment it also informs those who are being harassed what steps they need to take to report the harassment and protect themselves from future harassment.

4. In many cases women and men as well who are being sexually harassed don’t report the harassment to their employers for fear of being penalized or seen as complainers by their superiors. Sexual harassment training can help employers, managers and others learn how to create an environment where employees can feel free to report such incidents without worry of reprisals or fear of losing their jobs because they seek to prevent the incidents of harassment from continuing. By showing that you and your business is responsive to such complaints and that you take such harassment seriously an employee is less likely to seek outside remedies when harassment occurs. When an employee feels as though they need to seek outside remedies this often results in huge payouts and fines by your business.

5. By taking a sexual harassment training course and seeing that all your employees have such training as well, you create a safer work environment for all your employees which results in a more proficient work environment, better company morale, and a workplace that employees look forward to going to every day which is good for your business and your continued business success.

Providing a work environment that is emotionally as well as physically safe for your employees will benefit your company both financially and in terms of better worker satisfaction. Sexual harassment training can help you provide such an environment.

5 Reasons You Need An Owner Builder Training Course

If you have a dream of building a new home or renovating your existing home and want to do some of the work yourself then you are going to need to do a home builder course if the estimated work on your home is valued at $12,000 or more.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to take an approved Owner builder course.

1. The first and most important reason why you need an owner builder trainer course and probably the only reason that is important to you at this point is the fact that this course is required by law for anyone who wants to do their own building or renovation. Without an approved course you won’t be able to apply and qualify for the necessary licensing you need to be able to work on your own home.

2. Construction sites are in many ways built in accident zones, even if you take every precaution possible and follow all the rules and guidelines to the letter an accident can still happen. By taking an owner builder training course you will not only learn what insurance is mandatory for you to carry to protect all those who may be working on your site, but your training should also inform you of other insurances that are available and recommended to protect you and your helpers should an accident occur.

3. Building and renovating homes are costly undertakings when you consider the price of materials, the cost of hiring plumbers and electricians, hiring those extra hands to help with the building itself and all the other incidental costs. Taking an owner builder training course can help save you money by offering tips on how to buy materials cheaper and by saving you from making mistakes that could prove to be costly.

4. Taking an owner builder training course will teach you how to supervise those workers working under your guidance so that you don’t end up paying those workers for time that they are not working. Knowing how to supervise those working under you properly can shave thousands of your final building cost and help you to keep your construction going forward in a timely manner.

5. If you are a first time builder taking an owner builder training course will give you the knowledge and the confidence to tackle and oversee your building project from start to finish with less stress and worry that you may think is possible. That knowledge and confidence is something you are going to need to use time and time again to solve those problems that crop up on every building project.

An owner builder training course will give you all the necessary tools you need to not only comply with the laws regarding building or renovating your own home but, also the tools and confidence you need to turn your dream into a reality. This training will help you to build a home you can truly be proud of both now and in the future.

Crane Safety Holds Loads Of Importance

working at heights trainingRecently the Australian crane safety watchdog, CraneSafe celebrated its 10th year in existence.  The program emerged in Victoria where there was initially an inspection program by WorkSafe. Eventually that was discontinued and CraneSafe emerged to fill the gap and to deal with the upsurge of used cranes coming into Australia.

One cannot overstate the importance of ensuring that safety regulations are met when operating a crane or hoist. Regulatory bodies will inspect whether or not cranes any changes or modifications have been made to the cranes. Constant maintenance and inspection programs should consistently be used. The cranes should be is moderately good condition for use, and ladders and other access points must be safe for consistent maintenance. Furthermore, a sufficient amount of records should be kept pertaining to maintenance, inspection and testing that the machine has undergone. Crane operators are required under the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations bill to ensure that good records are kept. This can ensure that Working At Heights safety standards are being met and that duties are complied with. It is the responsibility of the person in charge of the work site to ensure that these measures are undertaken.

Moving exceptionally heavy, large loads is essential to manufacturing and construction industries. Now there are significant safety standards that one must ensure in order to avoid any hazards.

It is important to note that there are a variety of types of cranes and all of them have specific safety measures one must undertake. Two of these types include (but not limited to) mobile cranes and Tower cranes.

Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes are mounted onto rubber tires which enable them to be transported throughout various job sites. Some designs have tracks which are similar to those found on tanks. These tracks enable the crane to be mobile. In fact mobile cranes can even move while holding a load, as opposed to other cranes which must remain stationary. Mobile cranes can be transported via helicopters, truck beds or even boats for use at sea.

Tower Cranes

Often used for the construction of high-rise buildings. This crane is strictly stationary since it has a bolted on base connected to concrete pads.

Hazards

A serious risk of operating a crane is when the crane overturns. Overturned cranes can be fatal or at the very least, cause serious injury to the operator. There are several causes for the overturning of a crane. This can occur when a crane is overloaded, if it is not on a stable surface, and if the load is not properly rigged. Extreme Wind can also be a catalyst for an overturned crane

Another serious risk is electrocution. The frequency in which an operator works in close proximity to power lines can prove fatal. Insulated barriers are an important step to avoid electrocution. Operators must always ensure that there crane is in a safe distance from electricity sources or high voltage lines.

5 Reasons Why You Need Manual Handling Training

Every Industry and every job in every industry requires some form of manual handling. In the course of an average day employees lift, push, pull or otherwise move something that requires their working without the aid of any type of machine. Just thinking about the thousands of times things are manually handled in the course of the day is enough to make your muscles ache.

So, just think how one little careless move could result in injury to your back, your wrists, arms and even feet. If that isn’t enough reason to explain why you and your employees need manual handling training, here are 5 more.

1. 35% of compensable workplace injuries are the result of manual handing. Some of these injuries take months to recover from and some people may never recover from a serious injury. This not only costs your company money, but takes a toll on the financial life of the injured worker’s family. If manual handling training can reduce the percentage of these injuries only by half, think of the amount of money your company will save and the number of worker’s families that will benefit.

2. When workers are required to take manual handling training, they become more aware of the risk of injury due to their own carelessness and this encourages them to use more caution to protect themselves from serious injury. When employees use safer techniques for lifting and manually moving loads they reduce their risk of injury and if an injury does occur it is more likely to be less serious.

3. When workers and managers or employers take manual handling training together and discuss the training afterward there is likely to be more open communication and brainstorming that can result in better safety procedures being implemented and used. If employees feel part of the solution to the problem, they are more likely to follow the procedures that are put into place.

4. Manual handling training makes workers aware that while it is the business that is responsible for seeing that the workplace is safe, the workers need to do their part by following those safety procedures and using those devices that are available to help keep them safe. This training helps them to understand that they need to take responsibility for their own safety as well.

5. Manual handling training gives workers and management tips on how to do a number of manual operations more safely thus reducing the risk of injury. In addition, these tips can help your company stay in compliance with OHS laws and as an added benefit, the tips you all learn can be used outside the workplace to help you reduce injury to yourself when working around your home.

There is always going to be some manual labor involved with every job but knowing how to safely lift and move loads will help to reduce the risk of injury for everyone in the workplace and will help increase work productivity.

5 Reasons Why You Need OHS Training

With the new Work, Health and Safety laws going into effect on January 1, 2012, a lot of the OHS rules and regulations are going to be changed and the duties and responsibilities of companies and their officers have changed as well. These changes are going to affect every industry and every job to some degree. This is going to mean changes for the companies as well.

Here are 5 reasons you need OHS training:

1. The new WHS act is going to make many more people legally responsible of seeing to worker safety on every kind of job. It is going to be essential for everyone to know their responsibilities and know what changes have been made in the safety guidelines across the board in order to keep in compliance with the new laws and to reduce the risk of liability to the business and individuals within the business.

2. In order to get the new WHS up and running within your company smoothly you are going to want to have everyone receive the training they need to perform their jobs safely and competently and want to have the proof that your company supplied each and every worker with the training they need to do their jobs safely.

3. The laws, aside from safety in the workplace, simply mean more profits for your company in the long run. OHS training provides you with important tips on preventing accidents, minimising risks and forming plans to help access the risks and develop ways of reducing the risks before an accident happens. This will result in less injury to workers, less damage to equipment, and a more productive environment, which will result in fewer payouts and more profit.

4. By taking OHS training, you will not only learn how to provide a safer work environment in different areas of your business but you will also receive tips that can result in better employee satisfaction, higher morale, and more job enjoyment, which in turn may result in less turnover in labor and reduced absenteeism, which will also result in more profit for your business.

5. OHS training can result in better employee/employer relations, which can help everyone in the workplace identify safety issues and have a more positive work attitude. It can help foster understanding and communication between co-workers and establish an overall environment of trust, which will result in employees being more likely to heed safety procedures and watch out for each other’s safety, which can result in a much more pleasant and safe place of work. OHS training courses offers more than an understanding of OHS laws and safety procedures. These trainings can be used as a means of opening communications between workers and administration while fostering a team feeling for everyone.

OHS training is more than something that is required by law. It is an outline to help you run your business safely and more productively so that your business and the Australian economy can grow and prosper.

Fatigue Management: Know The Warning Signs and Risks of Fatigue!

Fatigue management trainingAccording to WorkSafe’s website, there are various causes of fatigue in the workplace.

CAUSES

Fatigue can be caused by extended periods of physical or mental exercise,without adequate time to rest and recover. A worker’s level of fatigue can vary but it usually depends on the following elements:

 

  • A heavy workload;
  • Frequent long shifts
  • Previous hours and days worked; and
  • Time of day or night worked.
  • Fatigue is often associated with the following:
  • Spending extended periods of time awake
  • Obtaining an inadequate amount of sleep over an extended period; and
  • Obtaining a scarce quality of sleep over an extended period.

EFFECTS

Fatigue can cause a person to function irregularly while also lowering performance and productivity. A lack of sleep can greatly increase the risk for potential incidents and injuries to occur.

The only long term method of treating and preventing fatigue is through adequate amounts of sleep. The average person needs about 8 hours of sleep a day, but after consecutive nights without sleep, the worker will develop “sleep debt”. Sleep debt greatly increases the levels of fatigue.

The causes of sleep loss can include a number of factors in the workplace. Firstly, extended work hours can cause workplace fatigue. Other factors such as; irregular and unpredictable work, Shift work, stress, and working more than one job; can all cause fatigue.

Long hours and shift work can disrupt the bodies sleeping patters which can lead to fatigue. Shift workers appear to get less sleep than those who operate under normal working hours. This is often because the sleep during the day is of less quality due to various factors such as daylight, traffic and disruptive noise.

Having a high level of fatigue can lead to accidents and injuries.

Fatigue can affect one’s ability to think clearly since people who are fatigued are unable to gauge their level of impairment. The level of performance appears to deteriorate as work becomes more strenuous and long, and sleep loss increases.

Fatigue affects the ability to think clearly. As a result, people who are fatigued are unable to gauge their own level of impairment, and are unaware that they are not functioning as well or as safely as they would be if they were not excessively tired.

Some of the effects associated with fatigue are

  • Reduced hand-eye coordination;
  • Reduced visual perception;
  • Reduced vigilance;
  • Reduced capacity to judge risk; and
  • Slower reaction times.

A hindrance on any of these abilities can result in a catastrophic and fatal injury .This is of significant concern to workers who operate heavy machinery (including driving) and performing critical tasks.

A lack of fatigue management training can result in asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and numerous other ailments or injuries.

Source: http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/subjects/fatigue/about/index.htm

 

5 Reasons Why You Need Human Resources Courses

Human resource in the workplace deals mainly with dealing with a variety of issues that an employee may have. Some of these issues will be serious some not so serious but, dealing with these issues in a fair and not discriminatory manner is essential for the well-being of your company. While some companies actually have human resource departments or managers, others do not. So, in cases where there is no human resource manager to deal with these problems someone needs to pick up the slack. This may be the general manager, the employer or the director of the company.

Whoever, that person is having human resources courses can benefit your company in the following 5 ways:

1. Human resource courses will not only tell you what you need to do to comply with OHS guidelines but will give you tips on how to provide an environment where employees feel safe to come to you to tell you about safety issues, harassment, or bullying co-worker or their own fatigue and to make suggestions to improve safety in the workplace without fearing that they will be looked down upon or put their job at risk. Many of the safety issues in businesses are a result of employees being afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation by co-workers or the company officers themselves. The simple fact is if an employee feels free, he can address safety issues with someone who can do something about it the more likely it is that you can resolve those issues and lower your risk of not being in compliance because each of your employees can alert you to possible problems.

2. Human resource courses will also help to be able to identify issues such as sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination that may be happening but that employees are too afraid to report. But this training goes beyond just spotting these types of problems in the workplace but will also give you tips you can actually use in preventing and stopping this type of behavior.

3. Another reason why you need human resource courses is because this training can help you have less employee turnover. Most companies spend a lot of time and effort training their employees only to have them up and quit, and move on to another job. Training people for the same job over and over costs the company significant sums of money and effort. However, human resources training will help you to learn ways to make your employees feel a valued part of your business and improve morale. When an employee feels valued by his employer, he is more likely to stay working for that employer.

4. Human resources courses can also result in more productivity. When employees feel that their complaints and concerns are taken seriously and addressed then they have a better attitude towards the company and about their job. This shows itself in increased productivity because the employee’s concentration is no longer divided between the job he needs to do and his concerns.

5. Human resources can provide a better working relationship between coworkers, which not only results in more productivity but, also a safer working environment. When each and every employee feels that they are treated equally and there is no favoritism shown to any one person then employees have a more positive feeling not only towards you as their employer but to each other. Which means that they are more likely to look out for one another and to help each other when it is needed which makes the workplace safer for everyone.

5 Reasons Why You Need Forklift Training

A forklift can be a powerful and useful tool when used by a trained operator. But never forget that this powerful machine needs to be treated with respect and by someone who understands the risk these machines can pose if it is mishandled or if safety procedures are forgotten even for a single moment.

Here are 5 reasons you need forklift training.

1. Forklift training will explain who can drive a forklift, what licenses and specific training, if any, they need and how often they need to renew that training to help ensure that they are competent to operate a forklift safely and understand the penalties that can occur if they fail to follow those safety procedures.

2. Forklift safety will cover how a forklift should be checked to make sure it is safe for operation and how often such safety checks should be carried out. This is important in ensuring that a forklift can be operated in the way it is intended to be operated thus reducing the risk of accidents due to operating an improperly working or functioning machine. You will also learn how to record these safety checks to reduce liability in case a forklift should malfunction during use as well as how to deal with the most common problems that may occur during operation to minimize risk of injury.

3. Forklift operators will also be trained or reminded on the procedures for safely lifting and moving loads according to OHS guidelines and as well as what should never be done. They will also review the safe parking of a forklift in order to avoid injury and ensure that it placed safely out of the work area where workers are likely to trip over it or have it interfere with the safe conduction of their jobs. In view of the number of accidents that occur each year involving the unsafe use of forklifts it is wise to know and be reminded of those procedures that need to be followed in order to prevent injury or death to one or more of your workers.

4. Forklift training will also deal with the most common reasons and situations in which accidents occur and how to avoid these risks and safely operate the forklift. By learning how to avoid the most common situations and behaviors that result in accidents, you will benefit by having less expensive damage to equipment, less risk of injury to workers and a reduction of OHS penalties.

5. Forklift training will make both forklift operators and business owners aware of the risks that these machines can pose and then to identify the risks at their own businesses and find ways of eliminating or minimizing those risks so that the forklift can be used as the tool it is meant to be saving backbreaking labor and actually making the workplace safer.

Forklift training doesn’t just benefit the worker who operates the forklift but, benefits all those working in the vicinity where these machines are being operated and benefits your business as well.

The Importance of Electrical Safety

electrical safety trainingIt is important to follow the same systematic approach used for other occupational health and safety issues, when dealing with electrical safety. No one could overstate the importance of Electrical Safety knowledge. It is imperative to know how to work safely with or within the vicinity of electricity because electrical current in regular businesses and homes have enough power that if exposed to, can be fatal.

All electrical systems can potentially cause harm.  Four of the main types of injuries that occur as a result of electrical current include: electrocution, electric shock, burns, and falls. These types of incidents can occur in various instances. Through direct contact with electrical energy, electricity can travel through the body can interfere with regular electrical signals between the brain and our muscles. This can lead to instances where the heart may stop beating regularly, breathing may stop and other bodily function may shut down. Arc Flashes can result in intense burns or an intense light that can cause blindness.

Electrical safety is regulated by WorkPlace Health and Safety Regulations which states that every employer is responsible for ensuring that all employees are safe from injuries and risks to health while at the workplace.

A group comprised of employers and workers should be used to identify all hazards associated with electrical equipment.  Assessing the risk is imperative in reducing the risk, or severity of an injury.

One can control a risk by using controls such as residual current devices (RCDs) –safety switches, or a system of regular inspection of portable electrical equipment and extension cords, frequent monitoring, record keeping and testing of electrical equipment.

Electricity is one of nature’s most powerful and dangerous forces; in fact, electricity is one of the leading causes of death at work. It is unsafe for the untrained to conduct DIY electrical work. It is simply not worth the risk. Saving money is not worth a life.

Besides being extremely dangerous, it is also against the law and could potentially jeopardize insurance. It is  therefore highly recommended that people employ a licensed electrical contractor

Tasks that may seem simple for your everyday handy-man husband can prove quite hazardous if not performed by a professional. This can include tasks such as the installation of a new power point, installing a replacement light switch, or repairing an appliance such as a ceiling fan, washing machine, or air condition unit.

Electricity Safety Training can provide employees with the knowledge and skill, to effectively identify and potentially eliminate safety issues.

Some issues discussed in Electricity Safety Programs include;

  • Electricity and the Human Body
  • Electricity: General Principles
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Electrical Hazards
  • Working with Electricity
  • Protection, Isolation and Testing
  • Overhead, Underground and Hidden Electricity

 

Source :http://www.justice.qld.gov.au/fair-and-safe-work/electrical-safety/for-householders-and-consumers/dontdiy

 

5 Reasons Why You Need Fatigue Management Training

As businessmen, sometimes it probably seems like all this training for various jobs and issues are costly and a waste of time. However in most cases when you stop to think about it fatigue management training when you apply what you learn has the potential to not only help your company save thousands each year but, in many cases can help you to make a larger profit by providing a safer and more pleasant work environment for yourselves and your employees.

With that being said, here are 5 reasons you need fatigue management training:

1. A fatigued employee not only poses a safety hazard to himself and others but can end up costing your company money in damaged equipment and by affecting productivity. Fatigue management training helps managers and shift foremen as well as others understand the impact that a fatigued employee has on the company its production, his co-workers, and the overall safety of the operation he is engaged in. Fatigue management training will make you aware of all the ways that the company can be affected by an exhausted employee and just how much one fatigued employee can affect a company’s bottom line.

2. Fatigue management training helps employees understand that what goes on outside of work can affect their ability to stay alert while at work. When they are feeling fatigued, it is the employee’s obligation and responsibility to consult with their employer and discuss ways of managing that fatigue and what changes may be necessary to protect the safety of themselves and their coworkers. It also teaches employers how to provide the right atmosphere so that an employee can come to you when they are suffering from fatigue without fear of losing their job.

3. Fatigue management training makes all employees aware of the signs of fatigue and how important it is for them to report a fatigued co-worker to their employer or supervisor so that the supervisor can evaluate the employee and make a responsible decision of what needs to be done to help reduce the employee’s fatigue so that they pose less of a risk to themselves and to their coworkers.

4. Fatigue management training helps employees learn techniques to help them reduce their fatigue and manage it in situations such as shift work changes or dealing with sleep deprivation. When employees have the tools and knowledge and minimize their fatigue they can effectively reduce that fatigue or at least minimize the risk they pose because of that fatigue.

5. Fatigue management training helps managers and employers learn to recognize the signs of fatigue in an employee, evaluate it, address it, and take steps to prevent it. In some professions, this may mean rescheduling or working shorter shifts if the job requires long periods of intense concentration. It may mean providing longer breaks in some circumstances, or helping an employee deal with problems at home that may be contributing to his fatigue. With fatigue management training, you will learn how to make adjustment to help keep your employees alert, productive, and safe.

5 Reasons Why You Need Dangerous Goods Training

As you all know, dangerous goods are those goods that could cause immediate harm to people, property or the environment and many of you have probably seen at least on the news just how much harm these goods can cause if they are not handled properly. So, please keep those images in your mind while we explain why you need dangerous goods training.

1. Probably the most important in dangerous goods training is that this training covers the proper, packing, storing, handling, and transportation of dangerous goods to help ensure that these goods do not pose a threat to your workers, your business, or the general public. It is not only your company’s legal obligation to ensure the safe handling and transportation of these goods but, it is also the moral responsibility of everyone who works with these goods to ensure that they are handled and transported in such a way as to prevent risk or at least minimize it for the sake of everyone.

2. Dangerous Goods Training makes it clear who is responsible for the safe handling and shipping of these goods and what the liability is to each person who has an obligation to ensure that these materials or products are packed, handled, and transported in such a way as to prevent accidents. By making sure that everyone recognizes their obligations and are aware of the penalties for failing to take those obligations seriously will help employees and managers alike to be more of aware of the risks associated with this type of work and hopefully make them more likely to follow all safety procedures to the letter.

3. Dangerous goods training also helps everyone who has an obligation to see to the proper handling of these goods know exactly what to do to prevent and control hazards. How to pack and mark containers and who to report problems or breeches in procedure too. By having everyone concerned with the handling of dangerous goods understand what preventive measures are necessary you provide a in house check system to help ensure that every container containing dangerous goods is handled and marked properly which further reduces the chances of an accident occurring.

4. Dangerous goods training also will help managers and other officers of your company understand exactly what you need to do in excising due diligence when instructing, training, and supervising workers who handle dangerous goods as well as the type of documentation you will need to keep on file to help limit your liability in case an accident should occur.

5. Dangerous goods training will also help you to realize how complying with OHS guidelines and laws can not only benefit your business but, your employees and the public at large by providing a safer environment for everyone. This training will also make you aware of the high cost of failing to comply with the OHS guidelines both in terms of your business and in terms of personal liability.

Dangerous goods training may be required by law but its true purpose is to provide you and your company with the valuable information you and employees need to run a safer and more profitable business.

Manual Handling: Learn to Pull Your Weight– Safely

Manual Handling TrainingManual Handling does not simply refer to lifting heavy items. In fact, Manual Handling can include any activity that requires a person to use force to lift,push,pull carry, or physically transport something.  This can include normal office duties such as; carrying boxes full of paper, files, or office equipment.

 

 

 

Risks of injury often occur most often when undertaking tasks that involve:

  • Application of strong force
  • Repetitive actions
  • Frequently bending and twisting
  • Working under uncomfortable conditions
  • Long periods of work with little sleep
  • Working in adverse environmental conditions
  • Handling people or animals,
  • Heavy lifting
  • Handling loads that are difficult to grasp

 

There is no mandated weight limit as per Health and Safety regulations, since everyone has different physical abilities. Also, one must note that the weight of an object is not the only important factor when manual handling and it is not the only thing brands a task a hazardous one.

What types of Professions involve manual labor?

The question isn’t what type of professions DO include manual labor, but rather what professions  DON’T — since most, if not all jobs involve some sort of labor on a regular basis. Some examples of industries that involve manual handling on an almost a daily basis includes health care, office, warehousing, and of course; construction.

Workers in healthcare or geriatric care require the use of manual handling quite often. Training in manual handling for people working in this industry can include advice on safe lifting policies and ways to avoid injury. Courses in manual handling can also act as a refresher to show employers that skills have been updated. Other industries can receive training that will provide the following:

  • Help workers understand what Manual Handling is.
  • Understand the requirements of the Manual Handling Regulations and Compliance Code.
  • Understand the effects of Manual Handling injuries and the value of, and the need for, correct Manual Handling practices.
  • Understand the basic anatomy and function of the spine.
  • Understand how to conduct a Manual Handling Risk Assessment.

It is important in the workplace to understand what type of manual tasks  you are involved with that are potentially hazardous. By understanding and developing methods, one can effectively limit the amount of risks that they are exposed to at work. Safe work procedures can be implemented to teach employees how to safety perform their manual labor tasks.  Training can provide employees with the knowledge to reduce risk, and increase productivity in manual labor tasks.

5 Reasons Why You Need Confined Space Training

There are many extremely dangerous jobs that individuals perform on a daily basis but, working in a confined space may be one of the most dangerous jobs that there is. Those who work in confined spaces do their jobs in places not meant to be inhabited by humans even for a limited amount of time.

Here are 5 reasons that confined space training is so important:

1. Confined space training helps workers understand what constitutes a confined space as well as increases awareness of the hazards that one can expect to find in a confined space. Increasing awareness to the dangers of confined spaces makes workers more alert to these dangers and results in them exercising increased caution, which results in fewer injuries, and more lives saved.

2. Confined space training discusses the importance of atmosphere testing and how such testing can better help workers prepare to enter a confined space and what equipment they will need to work safely in that environment. The more information a worker has before entering that confined space the more likely a worker will be to get in, perform the necessary and work to get back out of that confined space safely.

3. Confined Space training will also help managers and companies determine the risks associated with a specific type of confined space. This will help them to make decisions in regards to the type of equipment necessary to ensure the safety of their worker as well as allow them to put into place emergency procedures that could save a life should an accident occur. It also allows them to develop a system of checks in order to help monitor the situation when workers are working in a confined space.

4. Those in charge of those workers that enter confined spaces need to know their obligations in regards to ensuring a workers safety. Confined space training will discuss both the legal obligations that a company must shoulder in terms of seeing that all those working in confined spaces have the proper qualifications and certificates that are needed before any worker works in this type of situation.

5. Confined space training should not just be taken by businesses but farm workers too who may have to enter silos and other confined spaces on their farm and can benefit greatly from knowing the safest way to enter and exit these places and how to protect themselves while working inside this type of environment. Your family depends on you and keeping yourself safe is one way of protecting your family.

Knowing what to do and how to do it when faced with a situation will help to avert panic and allow your training to take over which could save you from serious injury and may even save your life. Knowing what to do before you enter a confined space, what to watch for while you are in that confined space and how to get out safely will ensure that you will be free to complete the job at hand without undo worry about your safety.

5 Reasons You Need Bullying And Harassment Training

In recent years, bullying and harassing behavior has increased in the workplace often going unreported. Incidents involving bullying are not just limited to co-workers either. Many managers, line foremen, and supervisors engage in bullying behavior without even realising that their actions may be considered as bullying or harassing behavior.

Here are 5 reasons your company needs bullying and harassment training:

1. Many victims as well as perpetrators do not understand what constitutes bullying in the workplace. They feel as long as no physical touching is involved that their behavior cannot be considered to be harassing or bullying behavior. However, such behavior often leaves victims feeling isolated and fearful and can greatly affect their work performance. Bullying and Harassment training will help victims understand what constitutes bullying and/or harassment and what they can do to report such incidents in order to get it to stop.

2. Bullying and harassment training helps perpetrators understand what constitutes bullying and harassing behavior, how it effects their victims and the legal consequences of such behavior. It also gives them a clear detailed account to what will happen to them if it is proven that they are engaging in such behavior.

3. Bullying and harassment training also lays out for managers and other leaders to understand their legal obligations to prevent bullying and harassing behavior in the workplace and the penalties for not doing so. It also gives them useful tips on developing a clear plan of action that allows victims to report such behavior and the steps for conducting a thorough investigation and reporting the findings as well as how to minimize liability for the company.

4. Bullying and Harassment training will also help businesses and those that run them realize the financial effect that harassment and bullying can have on your business aside from the possibilities of fines and penalties. Workers who feel harassed and bullied often call in sick for work and when they are there find it difficult to concentrate on their jobs making them less efficient carrying out their duties, which in turn may slow down the overall, efficiency of production. Overtime this can cost your company tens of thousands in lost revenue. Bullying and harassment training will show you how to spot this kind of behavior even if it goes unreported which will allow you to correct the situation and provide a healthy working environment so that your company’s production does not suffer.

5. Studies show that employees who feel looked after by their employers are more likely to work harder in performing their duties. In addition, when employees feel safe in their place of work there is higher worker morale, which results in more efficiency. Bullying and harassment training will help you to be able to put into place safe guards for preventing this type of behavior and will show all your employees that you take this issue seriously which will result in higher employee morale, and a better working relationship between all employees.

Bullying and harassment training is require according to OHS guidelines but, more importantly such training will create a positive work environment which will result in more profit for your company and an increase in worker satisfaction.

5 Reasons You Need Asbestos Awareness Training

Asbestos is a hazardous material whose effects may not be seen or felt until 20 or 30 years after exposure. It is a continuing problem that devastates lives and costs millions each year in medical costs.  For that reason OHS has passed strict laws regarding Asbestos.

Here are 5 reasons why asbestos training is necessary:

  1. With new workers coming into the building, plumbing and electrical industry and other careers where asbestos can be a hazard, it is important that every worker in every field where asbestos may be an issue knows the potential sources of asbestos in the workplace so they can approach these areas with care. The also need to know how to recognize asbestos containing material and who they need to inform if that material is present in order to protect themselves and everyone in the vicinity of the asbestos.
  2. All workers should also know the health risks that exposure to asbestos poses not only for them but, for anyone in the vicinity where asbestos fibers may have been disturbed. Knowing the health risks results in workers becoming more aware of the importance of informing the right people of the presence of asbestos and of taking the proper steps in insuring that the area is properly closed off so that innocent bystanders are not exposed to any fibers until the asbestos can be removed properly.
  3. Asbestos awareness training also informs workers and managers the legal obligations they are under concerning the discovery of asbestos in the workplace and how to minimize the legal risks to themselves and to the company. Asbestos awareness training will teach them their legal obligations as well as making them aware of the penalties that they face if these obligations are not met.
  4. Asbestos awareness also teaches employees and management how to work safely in places where asbestos is present without disturbing the material or putting themselves at risk. This includes the wearing of protective clothing and proper clean up procedures to make sure that they are not moving any asbestos fibers to a new location where they will continue to be a hazard to unsuspecting people.
  5. Asbestos training also insures that workers are aware of what to do in an emergency situation should an asbestos incident arise and how to deal with such incidents as swiftly and safely as possible to minimize the risk of exposure to everyone concerned. And this training will make sure that the employee is competent to deal with such emergencies before issuing a certificate of completion for the course.

Making sure that anyone concerned with working in the industry where exposure to asbestos may be part of the job has asbestos awareness training and your company has those certificates on file will help to show that your company exercised due diligence under the new Work, Health, and Safety law and will help protect your company and it’s officers from huge fines and possible jail sentences.

Violence At Work: The Various Types

Human ResourcesThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the United States has established various types of the Human Resource issue– Violence At The Workplace.

The first type or, “Type 1- Criminal Intent”; the criminal has no personal or reasonable connection to the business or any employees. Instead, the incidence of violence is usually related to other crimes– this can include, but is not limited to; robbery, shoplifting, and trespassing.

A large percentage of workplace homicides are in fact, Type 1. If your business involves the handling of money or say, prescription drugs—then your business may be at a higher risk for this type of violence.

The next type of workplace violence is “Customer/Client” (Type II). This occurs when the violent offender has a legitimate connection with the business. This can include a customer, client, patient, student, or inmate.

Many customer/client incidents of violence have been known to occur in the healthcare industry. Incidents have frequently occurred in settings such as nursing homes or psychiatric facilities. People who deal with patients are the likely victims in this situation. Other roles such as Police services, flight attendant, and teachers, are at risk of becoming victims to this type of violence.

Despite the unpredictable risk of working in these fields, only approximately three percent of workplace homicides have been a result of Type II violence. However, this type of violence results is majority of non-fatal occupational violence incidents.If your job involves dealing with criminals, mentally ill, or stressed and confined individuals (Such as airline passengers after a long delayed flight), then you, or your business may be at risk for workplace violence.

Worker on Worker violence (Type III) is violence that occurs when an employee or former employee of the business, attacks or physically threatens another employee. Type III violence occurs approximately 7 percent of the time.

Any workplace can fall victim to this type of violence, however businesses that neglect to operate criminal background checks when hiring and businesses that are downsizing; are all at a higher risk.

Finally, the last type of workplace violence is Personal relationship (Type IV). This occurs when the offender does not have a relationship with the business but rather an employee within the business. This type of violence usually includes domestic violence which involves assault or threats while at work. Approximately 5 percent of all workplace violence incidents are a result of Type IV.   Workplaces that are easily accessible by the public are at a higher risk. This includes; retail businesses, food businesses, or other businesses with only one location (thus making relocation impossible.)

For More Information on Violence At Work

OHS Harmonisation: NSW Releases Finalised Work Health And Safety Regulation 2011

The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 has just been approved and released by the NSW Government. The regulations of course, are pertaining to the OHS Harmonisation Laws; more formally known as the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Despite a series of obstacles, NSW has released a finalised and detailed list of regulations that fall under the WHS Act. Some aspects of the regulations pertain to the duties of officers. This includes the duty to provide First Aid in the event of an emergency. Other duties include; the duty to provide, maintain, and implement an emergency plan.. The Danger of breaching the OHS Harmonisation laws can be avoided if one simply follows the detailed regulations.

However, It is important not to be complacent and subsequently neglect some other requirements , since all requirements carry penalties. For example, the aforementioned duty to provide, maintain, and implement an emergency plan might not seem as important as Working At Heights Safety,–however, this duty is just as important, if not more. One  random breach in WHS could result in the accidental death of an employee; but the lack of a quality emergency plan can result in the deaths of many if not all employees. The guidelines for Emergency plans are as follows:

(1) A person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace must
ensure that an emergency plan is prepared for the workplace, that
provides for the following:

(a) emergency procedures, including:

  • an effective response to an emergency, and
  • evacuation procedures, and
  • notifying emergency service organisations at the earliest
  • opportunity, and
  • medical treatment and assistance, and
  • effective communication between the person authorised
  • by the person conducting the business or undertaking to
  • coordinate the emergency response and all persons at the
  • workplace
(b) testing of the emergency procedures, including the frequency of
testing,
(c) information, training and instruction to relevant workers in
relation to implementing the emergency procedures

                                                                         -(Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011)

 The Maximum penalty: for an individual officer is set at $6,000, but if a corporation is at fault, they would face a penalty of $30,000. The importance in mentioning this regulation lies in the fact that many managers might now be considered safety officers and could thus be liable for any breaches under the WHS act without even knowing it. The entire document includes information regarding liability, the types of safety officers, the various types of breaches as per industry among many other specifics.

 Code of Practice

Various drafts of the Model Codes of Practise have been released and more are expected to follow. Many are specific to each respective industry; however, three specifically affect everyone. These include “How to Manage Work Health and Safety Risks”, “How to Consult on Work Health” and finally, “Managing Work Environment and Facilities”

 The Codes are intended for practical uses and are very important in ensuring the day –to-day management of workplace safety. However, the codes can also be used as evidence by the court to indicate what is known about a hazard or risk, and determining what is in fact, practical. Despite this, they are not mandatory as an employer can ensure compliance with the WHS ACT and Regulations by following an alternative method.

What Happens if you breach the WHS regulations?

The accompanying Issues Paper laid out various offences and the potential financial penalties for each. Right now the maximum monetary penalty for breaching the WHS act for standalone corporate offenders is $30,000. However, there is a possibility that this will be increased or even doubled.

The Model Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations are expected to come into effect across Australia in January 2012,

The  OHS Harmonisation laws could not come at a more appropriate time following a growing trend of work place deaths. With over 25 in total thus far, Victoria is home to 9 of them.  With OHS Harmonisation, workers will have the right to refuse or cease any conduct which they feel would endanger their safety.

Source: http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/sessionalview/sessional/sr/2011-674.pdf

5 Reasons You Need Food Safety Supervisor Training

Food safety trainingAll of you in the food industry know that your very business depends on the customers that purchase your food and your services.  Much of your business depends on repeat customers and while you want your customers to tell their friends that your food is “To die for” you don’t want them actually dying or even feel like they are dying after sampling your wares.

So here are 5 reasons you need food safety supervisor training.

1.   There are an estimated 5.4 million cases of food poisoning in Australia per year and 60% to 80% of food-borne illness arises from the food service industry.  Food safety supervisor training just may help ensure that not a single one of 11,500 cases of food poisoning that occurs each day occurs at your place of business.  Once word gets out that someone got deathly sick from food they consumed at a specific eating establishment or from a specific caterer, that business may as well close their doors because they are going to lose the trust of the public that their establishment is a safe place to eat.

2.   Food safety supervisor training ensures that the person who is in charge of seeing that all the food in the establishment is stored, prepared, handled, and cooked safely knows how to safely do all those things themselves and knows how to pass that knowledge on to everyone else who works in the that particular food service location.

3.   Food safety supervisor training is necessary so that new food safety inspectors can learn how to go about developing food safety plans and implementing them in a manner that everyone needs to know what they are supposed to do to ensure that all the food products in your establishment get handled properly from the time the delivery truck drops off the food items until it leaves in your customer’s stomach.

4.   Food safety training will help your food supervisor know what the most common causes of food illnesses are and how to prevent the contamination that causes those illnesses.  This training will also give them tips on what to look for to make sure that everyone in the establishment is following safe food handling guidelines and what he needs to do if someone in your business repeatedly ignores the safety guidelines and plans.

5.   Food safety training will explain to your food safety supervisor and to their employer what the penalties are for serving unsafe food or food that could possibly be unsafe and what paperwork or other things may be needed to show that the food safety supervisor and every food worker in your business has the necessary training to safely handle food and that proper supervision is given to ensure that food is safely being handled and that your food preparation and service area is sanitary.

The bottom line is that your entire business not only rests on the way your food is cooked and presented to the client but, also on the fact that your food continues to be safe for them to eat without worry that they will become sick from the improper handling or food preparation.

5 Reasons You Need OHS Harmonisation Training

As most of you already know the new WHS act is designed to save red tape and provide consistency in how the OHS laws are enforced across all of Australia.  As with any change there is going to be a learning curve and it may take some time to get up to speed on exactly what the new law entails. OHS harmonisation training can help you get up to speed on the the WHS act sooner rather than later which is going to benefit your company more than you may have ever thought possible.

Here are 5 Reasons Why You Need OHS Harmonisation Training:

The new WHS act is going to institute many new laws, rules, and regulations, and significantly change other laws.  It is going to be essential that companies know and understand what these new laws and changes in laws are in order to stay in compliance and avoid negative consequences. OHS Harmonisation training is geared to help you understand what these new laws are and what is expected of your business and each of you individually.

  1. Under the new WHS act Businesses and officers of that business can face stiff penalties for breaching OHS laws even if no accident has occurred.  OHS harmonisation training is designed to help you understand who is considered an “officer” and under what circumstances and help you understand what constitutes a breach under the new laws.  Having a clear understanding of what constitutes a breach of OHS laws can save your business up to 3 million dollars in fines and individuals $600,000 in fines and the possibility of up to 5 years in jail.
  2. OHS harmonisation training will give you a clear understanding of the Proactive role that officers of the company are required to undertake in ensuring a safe work environment for all employees and the steps you need to take and the records you will need to keep in order to fulfill your “due diligence” under the law.  These records will help protect both individual officers of the business and the business itself should any questions arise regarding the safety practices at your company.
  3. OHS harmonisation training will help you understand what the judiciary will be looking at in determining whether or not a company or PCBU did everything “reasonably practical” to ensure a workers safety.  Knowing how the definition of reasonably practical will be looked at by the court before you end up there and doing everything you can to comply with the legislative intent of the term reasonably practical will help you avoid stiff penalties and possible jail sentences.
  4. Under the new WHS act, the PBCU and officers no longer have to prove they followed procedures it is the prosecutions burden to prove you did not but, you need to be aware of what the prosecution needs to do to establish that proof and what you need to do in order to protect yourself and your company.  You don’t want some little mistake in paperwork or a careless statement to provide the proof the prosecution needs of your failure to comply with the law.  OHS harmonisation will help you to clearly understand what the prosecution will need to prove their case and how you can protect yourself should a prosecution arise.

The goal of OHS harmonisation training is to help you protect your business and yourself by making sure that you understand what the new WHS entails and what you need to do to comply with all the changes that the WHS act has instituted.

Human Resources: Harassment in the Workplace

When one hears talk of “bullying”, initial thoughts can automatically equate the word with elementary school, wedgies, and being picked on by the “bigger kid”. However, bullying is a very real reality for many people – adults included—and it is still every bit as wrong as it was in elementary school. The only difference is that the school has been swapped with an office building, or a factory, or any other kind of workplace. While wedgies may not be the norm, and your lunch money may not be at risk, bullying can be every bit  as demeaning as it was in school.

 What is Workplace Bullying?

Workplace bullying includes verbal, physical, psychological abuse conducting by a higher up office employee (or employer) or another person (s) at work. If you (or a fellow employee)  are constantly subjected to hurtful remark that demean you, your work,  or really any characteristic that you identify with; then it is considered workplace bullying. If you are a manager, not dealing with workplace bullying can cause your employees to be less active, less confident, depressed, and isolated.

It is important to receive the proper Human Resources training in order to ensure that your business maintains its Workplace Compliance requirements. Moreover, it is important for employees to receive the training to ensure the well-being of all employees which subsequently would ensure that performance stays on top.Managers who have received quality training will know how to identify and deal with bullying in the workplace. Having the quality knowledge from a Bully Prevention Training course will teach you or your employees how to look out for the signs of bullying so that it can be avoided all-together.

Other Forms of harassment in the workplace include; sexual harassment and discrimination.

Sexual Harassment can include any unwelcomed physical contact, overtly sexual comments, sex based insults as well as other  inappropriate and uncomfortable acts.
It is the responsibility of the employee to ensure the well-being of employees and thus, free of sexual harassment. Having the right training in sexual harassment can teach people to understand their rights and responsibilities as dictated by the equal opportunity and discrimination legislation.

Discrimination is another form of harassment in the workplace. Receiving the proper training would provide the knowledge needed to comprehend what inappropriate workplace behaviour is, and how to avoid it. Training in discrimination and equal employment opportunity (EEO) would ensure that employees are compliant with the anti-discrimination legislation, and would enable participants to receive a Certificate of Competency. Discrimination awareness will teach people to treat everyone with respect and without harassment.

If you or an employee initially does not like the job, then they definitely don’t want to be bullied  as well. Alertforce’s Compliance Certified Human Resource courses will teach participants how to identify, deal with, and essentially—prevent workplace harassment; while maintaining a productive workforce.

What Does PCBU Mean Under The OHS Harmonisation Act?

With the new Work, Health and Safety (OHS Harmonisation) Act about to become effective in the next couple of months it is essential that those working in every industry understand not only the rules and regulations that will be put into place but, also the role that everyone has in terms so making sure that the work environment is safe. To do that the OHS has changed some terms to make understanding who has responsibilities under the new regulations clear. One such term is a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU).

In the past, old regulations often used the term employer but, that term often lead to misconceptions regarding exactly what duties and obligations were assigned to whom. In order to clear up any misunderstanding the term PCBU has taken the place of the term employer. Under the Work Health and Safety act a PCBU is any person or entity that conducts a business or undertaking. This may be an individual, a corporation, or a charitable organization.

The PCBU has the primary duty of care to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of all workers that it engages.  However, it is the duty of each officer of the PCBU to ensure that the PCBU complies with those duties and obligations.

Here are some of the duties of the PCBU.

  • The PCBU must share all relevant information on health and safety with the workers.
  • The PCBU must provide workers with an opportunity to share their views and express concerns about safety issues with the PCBU and it’s officers.
  • The PCBU must advise workers of relevant outcomes in a timely manner.
  • The PCBU must involve any relevant health and safety representatives in the process.

In determining what is reasonably practicable the PCBU and it’s officers should consider

The likelihood of a risk or hazard occurring. Would a reasonable person concerned about safety be able to foresee this particular risk or hazard is likely to occur if some preventive measure is not taken?

  • The degree of harm that may arise from that risk or hazard
  • What the person knows or should know about this risk or hazard and ways of minimizing or eliminating the risk.

The Availability of Ways of Minimizing the Risk

Whether the cost of eliminating or reducing the risk is disproportionate to the risk itself.

The PCBU needs to look at all possible health or safety issues from the point of view of what a reasonable person could predict would happen and how they would try to minimize the dangers. The PCBU is not expected to think of or consider those hazards that are extremely unlikely to occur only those which a reasonable person would “know” are likely to occur.

The Main thing to remember is that while the Person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary responsibility for following all duties and obligations that it is the officers of the PCBU that must be responsible for seeing that the PBCU complies with those duties and obligations or they can incur personal fines and penalties whether or not an incident actually takes place.

Fitness For Duty During Holiday Season

Drug and Alcohol awarenessAs we enter the Holiday season; some may risk over-indulging in the festivities which could potentially have a harmful effect on the workplace. In the event that the celebrations seep into the workplace, it is important to have the right training in dealing with issues pertaining to Fitness for Duty.

Now is as good a time as any to refresh your employees on the current drug and alcohol work policy or introduce a new program into your workplace. AlertForce is dedicated to effectively educating and informing staff about the effects of drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Our Fitness for Duty training will explore the many issues pertaining to drugs and alcohol in the workplace and will ensure that your business meets the OH&S/HSE requirements.

The amount of workplace accidents that occur because of alcohol and drug use is bewildering. Alertforce offers quick, concise, and above all — effective, training that is specific to employees. Alertforce also offers the same in-depth training program for managers and supervisors. Each program brings and indepth understanding to the consequences of alcohol and drug use in the workplace

Affectively understanding drug and alcohol policy can ensure that you legally and morally deal with the issues in a manner which benefits both the company and the employee. Alcohol and drug use in the workplace can lead to high costs in dealing with injuries, truancy, lost production, workers compensation, and finally, rehabilitation (Safework.sa.gov.au).

According to the International Labour Association…

about a quarter all injuries in the workplace are a product of drug and alcohol use. Furthermore, an estimated 300k employees in Australia are said to partake in drugs and alcohol. If that isn’t a frightening enough concept,  up to 15 per cent of fatal work place injuries are a result of alcohol/drug abuse.

Those who do not follow the workplace drug and alcohol policy can end up injuring themselves and others, can lose their jobs and ultimately, their families.

According to SafeWork, those who abuse harmful substances are much more likely to recover from their addiction if they are employed. Thus it is best to take preventative action now before the use of drugs and alcohol result in loss of employment.

Drug and Alcohol use is covered by the (South Australian Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986). Which states:

 • employers to maintain their health, safety and
welfare at work, of their employees by
provision of a safe working environment and
safe systems of work (Section 19)
 
• Safeguarding of the public from risks to health
or safety arising from or in connection
with the activities of those at work or the
use or operation of various types of
plant (Section 3)
 
 • employers to prepare and maintain policies
relating to occupational health, safety and
welfare at the workplace (Section 20)
 
• employees to take reasonable care of the
health and safety of others and to co operate
with employers in their efforts to comply
with occupational health and safety
requirements and to ensure they are not, by
use of alcohol or a drug, in a state which
may endanger their own safety or the safety
of any other person at work.  (Safework.sa.gov.au).
 

Enjoy your holiday celebrations but ensure that you know and understand your workplace Drug and Alcohol policy. Quality training is available. Remember it is a time of celebration, not a time of tragedy. Don’t go overboard on the office party eggnog !

Source: http://www.safework.sa.gov.au/contentPages/docs/resDrugAlcoholGuidelines.pdf

Who Is Deemed To Be An Officer Under The Work Health And Safety (OHS Harmonisation) Act?

With the new Work, Health and Safety Act and all of the changes that go with it about to become effective over the next few months it is important to have a clear understanding of this act as a whole and various parts specifically. One of the areas where corporations and businesses are due to see a big change is the responsibility of the officers of a business to actively ensure that their businesses comply with the new OHS harmonisation laws and regulations. Failure of officers to do so can result in a personal fine of up to $600,000 and/or 5 years in prison.

Therefore it is of paramount importance for businesses to know just who is deemed an officer under the Work Health and Safety act. Under this act an officer is defined as:

  • Any director or secretary of a corporation
  • Any administrators or Liquidator of a corporation
  • All officers in an unincorporated association
  • Any other person who makes or participated in making decisions that affect the corporation or business as a whole.
  • Any person who makes or participates in making decisions that affect significant part of the corporation or business.
  • Any person who has the capacity to significantly affect the corporation or business
  • And any person on whose instructions or wishes a business or corporation is used to acting on.

Under the new guidelines all officers must exercise due diligence to make sure that their company complies with all of its safety obligations including:

  • Keeping current on all work health and safety matters
  • Understand the operations of the business and know and understand the risks and hazard associated with those operations.
  • To make sure that the business has the necessary resources to minimize risks to health and safety and that those resources are being used properly.
  • Make sure that the business has and implements all the necessary processes for complying with the laws which include: reporting incidents, consultations with workers, ensuring that workers get the the proper training and instruction regarding work, health and safety
  • And ensuring that health and safety supervisors get the training they need to perform their job correctly.

By taking the time now to understand just who is deemed an officer under the new laws and making sure that all those who are deemed officers have the training and are prepared to take on their new more active roles in overseeing the safety of the workers and the business you can avoid some costly future mistakes.

Remember under the new guidelines officers may be liable for any breach of safety even if no incidents or accidents occur. This could be costly to both the individual officer and to your company as a whole. So, it is essential that every officer has the training necessary to understand their obligations and how to carry them out before the January 1, 2012 deadline. Being prepared will help your business make a smoother transition.

WA Refusing To Accept National OHS Harmonisation Laws

According to a November 10th news report Western Australia is refusing to accept the new National OHS harmonisation laws that are to be signed up by January 1, 2012. This is causing a great deal of concern for the Australian council of trade who state that the WA government’s refusal is jeopardizing workers lives.

It has been pointed out that up to 21 workers are killed in WA each year and at least one worker is seriously injured every 30 minutes. With statics such as these one has to wonder why the Western Australian government would be reluctant to accept any OHS regulations that might prove to provide more safety to workers in Western Australia. However, according Government spokesmen the government feels that they were not given enough time or information about these guidelines and are concerned with the impact that such guidelines might have on the smaller businesses.

However, the unions feel that by refusing to accept the OHS guidelines, WA is sending the wrong message to employers and feel that the Barnett government should be concentrating on the rights of workers to have a safe working environment and rights of these workers families to know that their family members will be returning home from work safely.

Questions About the New OHS Harmonisation Laws

Questions and concerns that the new OHS harmonisation laws may actually create a less safe work environment in some areas and some other areas of Australia have also shown a reluctance to accept the new national guidelines as they stand. The question that no one seems willing or able to answer is what safety assurances will workers have if these new guidelines are not accepted.

The entire purpose of the OHS is to ensure that the workplace is safe for workers and that all workers get the training they need to help to insure their own safety and the safety of their co-workers and their workplace in general. If the OHS regulations are accepted or agreed with will that leave workers in WA and other areas with no protection in the workplace and no safety training?

These are question that WA needs to answer before they decide to completely reject the OHS guidelines and subject millions of workers to a lack of any safety protection what so ever. In the end it seems as though federal guidelines will prevail and those areas that are non compliant will be in for legal battles and possible fines for failing to comply with guidelines set down by OHS. However, what will happen in the end remains to be seen.

In the meantime, a 2000 signature petition was handed to the WA government on Thursday demanding that it sign up for the new regulations by January 1st. Only time will tell if the government will heed the demand issued by this petition. If the new regulations are accepted then WA will have a full year to comply with the new regulations. For the sake of the workers in WA it is hoped that the government makes the right decision for its workers.

Asbestos Training: As Important Now As It Ever Was

In light of recent asbestos exposure cases Asbestos Training remains as vital as ever before. One must educate themselves and acquire an understanding of the proper measures on how to deal with asbestos incidents so they can avoid potential exposure.Simply because Asbestos is not something that is still used today, does not mean it is no longer a risk.

 “Just like the thousands of tonnes of unexploded mines that were dropped in past wars, asbestos continues to creep up and claim its victims.”

Recently a man, Simon Lowes, was awarded $2 million, after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which the judge ruled was caused or at least contributed to, by the actions of companies; James Hardie and their subsidiary Amaca. The ‘actions’ the judge was referring to was the careless dumping of asbestos waste at a children’s railway and orphanage.

This victim of asbestos was affected by the substance when he was a mere child playing in field years ago. It is important to note that construction sites renovation projects continue to turn up asbestos contaminated zones.

As far as other occupational health and safety risks goes, It would not be a drastic exaggeration to say that Asbestos Awareness training is one of utmost importance—if only because it can save the lives and futures of innocent children. James Hardie, the accused company, received a warning from their safety advisor around the same time Lowes was exposed.  The warning was regarding their dumping of asbestos waste at the exact site that Lowes received exposure at.

It is imperative for companies to ensure that they have employees trained in asbestos awareness so that if they are ever faced with a warning like the one James Hardie received, they will act accordingly, and undertake the proper measures.

It is alleged that many ACT businesses could potentially still contain ‘’fluffy’’ asbestos unbeknownst to them. This is because many buildings were “out of the scope “of the $100 million effort to remove asbestos in the 1980s.

Because of this oversight, over 50 families may be at risk of exposure since they live in contaminated zones. This “fluffy” fibre asbestos is actually more dangerous than the typical asbestos found. Being exposed to it by a broken roof tile is potentially life threatening.

With quality asbestos training available, there is no reason why any worker should improperly handle asbestos. Quality training enables participants to become fully competent and aware in the management of Asbestos and of all compliance requirements. Receiving Asbestos Awareness training, or having your employees receive this training, is a good business decision (as it could save your company $2 million See: James Hardie case), and an ethical and moral decision.

 

Construction Safety Training For A Deadly Work Sector

The Construction industry is considered to be one of the most dangerous work sectors to be in. In Australia, the average number of construction-related deaths is about 10 per 100,000 people.  According to a study in 2006, construction industry workers experienced approximately 86 injuries per 1000 workers.

This number is nearly 25% higher than the national average for injuries for all workers in Australia*.Between 2005-06, there was approximately 877 000 workers in the construction industry and approximately 75,700 of these workers experienced a work-related injury. The most common injuries that occur are sprains, and cuts (abrasions).

Construction Related Injuries Are Often The Result…

..of inadequate training, unsuitable work practices, carelessness, and inattentiveness.

You or your employees are considered high risk when commencing a new job. For example, if you were a new contractor to a construction site, you will initially need to familiarize yourself with your new work environment.  You might also be required to learn the site procedures and the proper tasks that need to be done. Often times, new employees are not privy to the various hazards their workplace possesses.

It is important to note that accidents in the construction industry do not only occur to those who are new to the job. For example last week a respected foreman in his 60s, died from a collapsing piece of apparatus. This did not occur because the man was inexperienced—in fact he had ample experience– this occurred  because construction safety regulations were not tight enough or properly implemented.

Ensuring that your employees are efficiently trained, will benefit both you and your employee, and will ensure that work is done quickly, and more effectively.

Construction safety can be comprised of various elements that include (but not limited to), basic construction safety training, construction safety fundamentals, and managing hazards and risks.Working in the construction industry, one can be exposed to hazardous materials such as wet cement products. Cement dermatitis and burns are caused by cement’s abrasive nature.

Regardless of your experience,, one accident can radically change your life and the lives of those around you.  Safety should always be a priority– from the time the idea is conceived until the last brick is laid.With the proper training accidents can be prevented. One must be diligent and ensure that safety is not neglected. One slip, one fall, could ultimately result in a career stall. Make every day a safe work day.

Construction safety  is not simply about keeping the workers safe, but also the public at large.

Source: http://safeworkaustralia.gov.au

First Aid Training – A Skill That Saves Lives

Why Is It Important?

Every day, no matter how mundane that day may be, we are faced with potentially life threatening situations.  It may not be your life in danger, or even anyone you know personally, but simply having the right skills, could save a life.

Whether you work at an office, factory, retail store, or even at a home; first aid training is important knowledge to have. Obtaining the proper training can be the one deciding factor between life and death for an individual. Simply having the knowledge to know how and when to act when you’re first person on the scene, is one of the most important aspects to saving someone’s life.  Acting without training, even if your intentions are good–could be critical.

The Key To Saving Lives…

The key to safety is prevention. If you are aware that every other worker in your workplace has the same quality First-Aid Training, than you have that confidence and safety assurance in your everyday life. That sense of security can ultimately limit the amount of accidents that occur. Furthermore, in the event that something happens, preventative measures can make all the difference in saving that person’s life. Even if the situation isn’t as serious as one might initially suspect, the act of ‘covering all bases’ could prove vital in saving a life, or preventing the situation from escalating.

First Aid Training isn’t only about treating immediate issues, but also promoting recovery. First Aid Training teaches participants how to star the recovery process for illnesses or injuries. This can mean tending to a wound, applying plaster, or adding new bandages. The person trained in first aid will have the knowledge to deal with cuts, scrapes or bone fractures. They also know how to maintain the condition of an ailment until further medical assistance arrives (Paramedic).

Basic First Aid training is not just monumentally important for you to have as skill, but for the good of society. Many acquired skills are undertaken because they are required for your profession, or because they look appealing on your resume’— having First Aid Training contributes to something much larger—Human Life.


In the Queensland Ambulance First Aid course, you will learn how to respond to and manage an unconscious casualty, perform CPR, assist with respiratory and cardiac emergencies,’bleeding and shock,musculoskeletal injuries, poison control, bites ;and injuries to the head,spine,chest, abdomen and pelvis.

Recent OHS Problems Show Need for Adequate Training and Adherence to OHS Guidelines

Despite the fact that most businesses from all over Australia strive to follow OHS guidelines and provide training to their employees and managers recent activities by certain businesses, questionable accidents, and court findings only stress the need that adequate training and adherence to OHS guidelines is still needed across the board.

Man Trapped In Freeze Raises Questions About Training

According to a September 16th ABC news update a man operating a forklift overturned in an industrial freezer and was trapped there for two hours before rescue crews were able to get him out. Taken to Sunshine hospital the man suffered only minor knee injuries but, so far there is no information how the accident happened causing the forklift to overturn. But, it seems likely there will be questions to insure that the 20 something worker had adequate training in the running of heavy machinery and that all safety precautions were followed.  At the very least there will probably be some investigation on how such accidents can be avoided in the future.

Boral Closed For Asbestos Findings And May Face Stiff Sanctions For Ignoring Employees Warnings

In a September 16th report in the Canberra Times the building material giant which had it’s site shut down due to the finding of asbestos on the factory floor at it’s Fyshwick distribution centre may be in a world of hurt since the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and energy union decide to take the building company to court over the company’s refusal to allow them to investigate workers complaints about asbestos hazards at the centre twice in the last month. With ACT Work Safety Inspector Mark McCabe vowing to refer builders who ignore asbestos safety concerns to the Director of Public Prosecutions and ask for stiff fines the building giant may come under some heavy fines if it is found that not only did Boral ignore safety concerns about the proper handling of this dangerous material but, actually tried to keep their actions from being discovered while ignoring employee warning and complaints and putting their health at risk.

While it seems as though workers at the facility did receive adequate training in spotting and reporting asbestos concerns the management of the company either lacked or ignored the training that should have had them dealing with these concerns in a timely and safe manner.

These incidents and others like them point out that there is still a very real need for OHS training and refresher courses to insure the safety of employees and the public while helping businesses avoid stiff penalties, lost production time, and prosecution. Only through adequate training and adherence to the OHS guidelines can Australia hope to keep every workplace safe for both their employees and the public at large.

By business owners making sure that everyone has adequate and appropriate job related training and preforming safety checks and insuring that all safety procedures are being followed they can avoid the stress and worry of being closed down, taken to court, and paying huge fines for injuries or dangers that are entirely avoidable. Now would be a great time for all businesses to update their employee and managerial training to help make sure that all safety precautions and guidelines are understood and being followed.

Fatigue Management Training- Don’t Sleep On It.

When one considers the level of workplace accidents caused by fatigue, it is surprising that Fatigue Management training is not mandatory for a variety of professions. If you work in the transport industry, a factory, or in healthcare; obtaining fatigue management training is an important factor in avoiding serious injury to you or others. Fatigue Management is not just important in the aforementioned industries either; fatigue is a major safety concern throughout a multitude of industries, if not all.

Fatigue is a Physiological Condition

Fatigue is commonly referred to as the physiological condition caused by a lack of (or problems with) sleep, long hours of exertion, and stress. Thus, if you are a truck driver in Australia, and it’s not uncommon for you to drive for 14+ hours for consecutive trips; then you may be at risk of fatigue. Fatigue in the transport industry can obviously lead to disasters that can cost innocent lives. Those mere two seconds you accidentally close your eyes on your drive from Melbourne to Walla Walla, could result in a tragic loss of life. If you work in the healthcare industry, falling asleep on the job, could mean that a patient misses out on treatment that could possibly save their life!

Now that Fatigue Management training is offered online, there are very few reasons why you wouldn’t enrol in the training program. Spare time is rare- you’re constantly working shifts, going on long drives, and getting very little sleep. However, since the training is offered online, you can do it at your own convenience, so you can become educated and certified without feeling the pressure of having to fit ‘everything’ into your day. Let’s face it, after working a 12 hour shift, 24 hours just doesn’t seem like enough time in the day.

Fatigue Management Training

Fatigue Management training is a great way to help avoid becoming a car-accident statistic; it will help you avoid making a mistake you could regret for the rest of your life. Though it may seem like a daunting prospect, it is not impossible to find a balance. Fatigue Management Training will help ensure that you find that balance.

Don’t sleep on your decision to get training now, because for as long as you put it off, more stress will continue to pile up. Don’t wait until it’s too late, fatigue is one of the leading causes of work place accidents for a reason—people do not make it a priority. Your safety and the Safety of others should be TOP priority. Staying safe isn’t something you can get tired of.

Problems Companies Face When They Don’t Take OHS Regulations Seriously

The poor economy has many companies trying to find ways to cut expenses and save money in the daily operation of their businesses. Unfortunately, some of these companies decide to save money by refusing to follow OHS safety regulations, thinking they can save money on training and other safety aspects. The reality however is that companies who fail to take the OHS regulations seriously may be opening themselves to a whole host of problems that could leave the company in financial turmoil and embroiled in court battles.

Safety in the workplace is the right of every employee who works for your company and OHS is the entity that was established by the Australian government to see that every workplace is as safe as reasonably possible. Ignoring the guidelines and regulations will create more problems for a company than many companies can handle. Here are just some of the problems a company may face when they don’t take OHS guidelines seriously.

OHS Regulations & Work Stoppages

If you are not complying with OHS regulations then OHS has the right to close down your business until you do comply with those regulations. If you consider how much losing a day of production or work may cost your company it is easy to see that the money you think you are saving is just a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money you will be losing if your business is shut down for a week or even a day.

In addition, to losing production and the money that it generates you can also lose clients or customers. Your customers are not going to want to work with a company that can’t deliver their orders due to avoidable work stoppages.

No OHS Training Equals Devastating Fines

If you think work stoppages will be expensive that is nothing compared to the fines your company may face if a worker gets seriously injured and it is determined the reason was because your company failed to provide adequate safety training or failed to have the correct safety procedures in place. In a recent court decision made just this week (August 10) a mining company was fined $90,000 dollars for failing to provide proper training or follow proper safety procedures and these fines are sure to get larger the more companies who ignore the OHS regulations.

Such high fines could well result in your company failing to make a profit or worse having to close their doors because they can no longer afford to keep producing. And these fines don’t include individual law suits that may be filed by workers who are injured or families of workers who died due to your failure to take the OHS regulations seriously.

There really is no need for any company to go through any of these problems. OHS guidelines are clearly laid out and there are a variety of OHS safety training courses available to both you and the employees to help ensure that everyone understands what safety procedures need to be followed in order to make the work place safe for everyone.

In the long run following those OHS regulations will save you money, time, and help keep your employees safe and your business productive. So isn’t it time you started taking those regulations seriously?

OHS News: Mining Company Fined

OHS News: Mining Company Fined $90,000 After Pleading Guilty To Failing To Maintain A Safe Working Environment Stemming From A 2007 Incident That Seriously Injured A 15 Year Old Boy

If you think that failing to follow OHS policies and procedures is not a costly mistake then perhaps you can learn a lesson from the August 10th ruling that left a mining company $90,000 dollars poorer from a 2007 incident in which they admittedly failed to maintain a safe working environment that resulted in severe injuries to a 15 year old apprentice.

The young man was injured when a 10-tonne tray attached to a dump truck crushed him resulting in severe facial fractures and lacerations as well as significant back and leg injuries.

The incident took place in Western Australia and it was learned during the course of the hearing that the tray on the dump truck was being held in place by hardened bars instead of the usual safety pins. The safety pins could not be used on this truck due to damage to the eyelets that hold the pins so the company made the decision to use the hardened bars in place of the pins.

The court found that the mining company failed to properly train it’s employees, that it did not ensure that proper isolation procedures were followed, and that company policy did not require employees to physically lock out machinery while it was tagged.

The company did improve safety procedures after the the incident but, that did not change their failure to provide adequate safety for the young man that resulted in his injuries.

In another mining case settled just the day before the mining company and it’s supervisor were found not guilty of any OHS breaches. In this case stemming from another 2007 incident it was found that the coal mining company and it’s supervisor not only had all safety procedures in place but, the supervisor actually held weekly safety meetings. It was actually the employee who despite having an induction training course refused to follow safety procedures which resulted in his injury. The company was held blameless.

The lesson to be learned from this incident and the resulting decision is that taking the time to ensure that safety procedures are in place and used properly and that all employees receive adequate training may seem costly but, the consequences of not ensuring adequate safety may be costlier still both to the companies and the employees who work for these companies.

In these two cases settled only a day apart the results were completely different. The company that went out of it’s way to try ensure safety was held blameless while the company that failed in it’s duty to adequately insure that safety procedures were in place paid dearly for their mistake.

In the end, it is clear to see that by ensuring that safety procedures are in place and that employees have adequate safety training your company can save themselves from huge fines that may well cripple or completely destroy your company.

 

The Benefits of OHS Training Online

While OHS training is mandatory it used to be that it was often difficult for companies and employees to get their training when they needed it. Having to travel to distant locations, over night stays, and other inconveniences often caused businesses to have to slow down or even shut down losing time and money so that training could be established. However, changes in technology and the way OHS training is provided makes getting that training easier, simpler, and more convenient for both employers and their employees. OHS training online has become the new way to study and this method of studying provides a wealth of benefits.

No More Waiting For Training Openings

Prior to OHS training courses being offered Online, there were only a certain number of places where training took place and only so many instructors to provide that training. This often meant that businesses and employees found themselves waiting until there were openings so they could get the mandatory training they needed. With online training there is no waiting since the courses can be taken by many different people in many different places and only one instructor is needed to supply that training. Best of all, it means that employees of the same business can take their training at different times of the day allowing shift production to smoothly continue without being interrupted for people to attend their training sessions.

Saves Travel Time And Money

By having the option of getting OHS training online companies and their employees save both travel time and money. No longer do people need to spend hours on the road, worry about overnight motel costs the cost of gas or eating out to get the training they need. Online training brings the training to each individual company and their employees saving the expense and frustration often caused by traveling to a distant location.

No Business Slow downs

Because the OHS training comes to the company there are no business slowdowns or stoppages from having to travel for a day or more of training. Each manager, owner, or employee can take their training and still be available to work their shift, and the business is never left short handed nor does it suffer a slow down while one area or another is off getting the training they need to comply with the regulations and guidelines. This helps the business to be more profitable and the employees to spend less time away from their families and other things they need to accomplish.

More Standardized Training

Online OHS training can actually help to standardize the training companies and employees get. With regular classroom set ups in order to keep up with the demand for training several instructors for each type of training were needed. This often meant that some companies got the best instructors while others got instructors who were not as experienced or good at their job. However, since online training means one instructor can train thousands of people at one time, companies who offer this training can pick the best instructor for the job and ensure that every training session is the best.

OHS training online is definitely a new way to study. It’s proving itself to be through, complete, convenient and the best options for many companies today allowing them to get the mandatory training quicker and easier while still serving to help create a safer and healthier working environment.

NSW Food Safety Laws and How to Stay Safe!

Minister for Primary Industry, Katrina Hodgkinson, claims that a new food-safety initiative would be strictly voluntarily. There is no way to ensure that it will always remain so. If a time comes when the “Scores on Doors” rating system, stops being voluntary, then employers will be happy to know that their staff, and their establishment has met all the high quality food-safety standards of their region through the food safety training they’ve received. “Scores on Doors” will be a voluntary program that would display food –safety ratings for patrons to view. Similar programs exist overseas but are typically mandatory.

Hodgkinson is determined to keep the program voluntary for now, in order to maintain transparency and openness. However, not all owners of food businesses are against the idea of it being a compulsory program. Some believe that making the rating system compulsory will ensure prevent businesses from pursuing unsavory practices in their food business.

The “Scores on Doors” rating system assigns each volunteer food business a five, four, or three-star rating based on food-safety inspection results. Each establishment will then be given a certificate to display their results for all patrons.
Compulsory ( “Scores on Doors”) programs throughout Europe and North America have shown success. Now, in many countries the results of safety inspections can be found online.

A possible solution to ensure high-quality food-safety standards is to compel all lower-rated businesses to undergo Food Safety Training until the safety rating of their businesses improve.

Or, rather than wait for the “Scores on Doors” program to be made mandatory; businesses who refuse to volunteer can undergo online Food Safety Training so that they understand and maintain high quality Food Safety..

Currently NSW is under a year-long trial for the volunteer “Scores on Doors” rating system.

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Accredited Food Supervisors Certificate SITXFSA001A Implement food safety procedures includes SITXOHS002A
The course is suitable for supervisors who manage food-handling staff and is accepted food safety training by the relevant State Government Authorities. This course is delivered in conjunction with Access Group Training (NTIS 90867).

5 Ways To Tell If OHS Training Is Working For Your Business

ohs-for-businessOHS requires Safety and Health Training in almost every occupation from office workers to hazard waste. They have rules and regulations for land and sea and it is up to each company to ensure that they and their employees have the necessary training and competence to get jobs done in the safest healthiest manner possible.

While most businesses want a safe and healthy work environment for their employees they often find themselves wondering if all these OHS training programs are really doing any good. So, here are 5 ways to tell if that OHS training program is working for your business.

1. Are workers demonstrating skills and competency with using machine and adhering to safety procedures they learned in the OHS training? Is someone in management dedicated to making sure OHS guidelines and regulations are met? After all, no training program is going to be successful unless implemented and followed.

2. Do workers feel free to report any safety or heath concerns and are those concerns addressed by your company to further reduce the risk to the employee? If your OHS training program is working, your employees should be more aware of safety or health risks on the jobs and feel free to talk to you about those risks and suggest ways to minimize those risks.

3. Has there been a reduction in accidents, worker compensation claims, and overall absenteeism? One of the best ways of knowing if the OHS training is effective is when there is a noticeable reduction in accident and worker claims regarding various on the job health problems. When the work place is safer, workers tend to take less time off work.

4. Has the general atmosphere in the work place lightened? Do your workers look and act more comfortable when performing tasks? Is there less complaining? Overall, do workers seem less stressed and seem to enjoy their jobs a little more? The safer a worker feels on the job, the more job satisfaction they experience and the less need the feel to complain. It may take some time but eventually, if your OHS training is working, there will be an overall general improvement in workers attitude.

5. Is productivity improving? The safer the workplace, the healthier the work environment the more productive your business will become. When workers are allowed to concentrate on their jobs rather than spending time worrying about their safety or their health, the more they can accomplish during regular working hours. This cuts down on the need for overtime and overall increases the businesses bottom line.

One of the main goals of OHS training to help employers and their employees understand that safety and health is something that everyone needs to be aware of and want to improve. While it is the employers job to minimized health and safety risks as much as possible, the employees mush make effective use of the equipment supplied, the training they are given, and the procedures they learn in order to help keep themselves and the workers around them safe and healthy. If everyone from that warehouse clerk to upper management understands their role in keeping your business and each other safe and healthy then OHS training does indeed work.

4 Ways OHS Training Can Save You Money

ohs training saves moneyWhile most business owners would agree that safety in the workplace is desirable and necessary they sometimes allow concern for the bottom line to overcome their better judgment when it comes to safety. However, it is necessary to look at the bigger picture and in doing so, owners and managers will have a clearer picture how OHS training can actually improve profits by saving the company huge amounts of money.

Here are 4 ways that OHS training can save your company money:

  1. Reduces the number of accidents and worker accident claims. When a worker is injured on the job due to unsafe work conditions, the company often ends up paying huge amounts for that workers medical care and continues to pay in huge insurance premiums. OHS training programs helps both business owners and managers and workers to understand how and where they can institute safer worker conditions. The safer the work place is, the fewer accidents, the lower the number of accident claims filed by employees. Over time, this can lead to lower accident insurance premiums saving your company big money and resulting in larger profits over the long term.
  2. OHS training is mandatory. Having that training for every member of your work force will result in less fines for noncompliance and less costly shut downs. A company that is forced to pay huge fines and is shut down until they get proper OHS training can suffer thousands of pounds in lost revenue each day. Having the proper OHS training is one way to eliminate these unnecessary and costly fines.
  3. OHS training can lead to reduced worker stress and less missed work time. An unsafe work environment is much more stressful to work in than one where workers feel they can do their job without risking life and limb. When OHS training is applied across the board, workers feel safe in the work environment and less stressed when doing their jobs. Lowering the stress levels for employees results in less missed work and more consistent work team that the company can depend on.
  4. OHS Training actually increases production. Believe it or not, OHS training actually can increase production. When everyone knows the right and safe way to do a job, they can accomplish that job more efficiently with fewer accidents. Accidents or the fear of accidents can halt production and interferes with the workflow that is being done. When everyone feels that work environment is safe, they can concentrate on the work at hand which in turn improves production levels making the company more money.

Safety in the workplace not only benefits employees but employers as well and that can be seen in the bottom line. When a company is paying out less money in medical compensations and fines and has fewer work stoppages, their profit margins go up and companies find they can make more money with less production required.

 

 

First Aid Training: Saving Lives

First Aid Training: Saving Lives And The Quality Of Life In The Work Place And Beyond

You never know when the unexpected will happen. Every day at one place or another someone suffers a heart attack, takes a fall or suffers an unexpected accident while those around them call for help and stand there helpless until help comes. Sometimes, that help arrives too late and a person is dead, a family devastated and those who were there deal with the shock of watching someone they knew, loved or worked beside die while they stood helpless by. Had anyone had first aid training, the ending may have been different.

Workplace first aid training is a requirement and due to it being required lives are saved daily that may have otherwise been lost. While this training benefits those in the workplace and provides a safer environment this training reaches well beyond the doors and windows of that warehouse, office building or food service. It reaches into your homes and your neighborhoods.

Thanks to work required first aid training, many more people than ever before know what to do should an emergency situation arise and they do it. Skills people learned through a work related first aid class have been used to save lives in situations that are both surprising and unexpected from hiking accidents to natural disasters. Having someone on hand who knows what to do can mean the difference between life and death and complete recovery and paralysis or other conditions that lower the quality of life.

First Aid Training Doesn’t Have To Be Work Related

Although OHS requires first aid training for schools and work environments everyone is free to take these classes and prepare themselves for the unexpected. You simply need to have a desire to learn and have the time to take the course.

In many cases, courses are offered online and while these courses are considered basic, they can provide you with the information you need to deal with all sorts of emergency situations including:

  • performing CPR
  • bleeding and shock
  • traumatic injuries
  • poison and bites
  • shock
  • extreme temperatures
  • and more

Being prepare for emergencies can give you peace of mind, build confidence and prepare you for the unexpected. While it is always the hope that no one should ever need to use their first aid training it is good to know that you are prepared should the need arise. It is a wonderful way to help protect your family and your community.

First aid training may not interest everyone but, for those who are interested it is good to know that training is available at a reasonable price and that you can take it from the comfort of your own home or work site. The more people who have first aid training the less likely it will be that a situation arises where everyone stands helplessly by not knowing what to do should the unthinkable happen.

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Occupational Health And Safety: Big Brother Is Watching Out For You

If you are an employer or an employee, you can almost feel the subtle shift in the room’s temperature when an OHS inspector sets foot on the premises. In some cases, everyone becomes overly busy, in others nervous, some give a put upon sigh, while in other work places it is business as usual. Why does one person produce so many effects upon so many people? Because this inspector is a Representative for Occupation Health and Safety a government agency that oversees that each business is abiding by guidelines and rules that are set to protect the health and safety of the employee, employer and the public at large.

For some employers the rules set down by Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) seem to be little more than interference in their business practices that cost them money and sometimes time. It sometimes seems every move they make is watched over by Big Brother (the government).

The truth is that Big Brother is watching.

But he is watching out for you. Keep in mind that the job of Occupational Health and Safety guidelines and training is to reduce the number of injuries, deaths, property damage, legal liabilities, illness, worker’s claims against employers and missed time at work due to accident and health risks in business that could affect the lives of not only the employers and the employees but also the public at large.

More than a century ago before Occupational Health and Safety became a government agency and today in countries that lack government guidelines. Workers were expected to work in environments that lacked ventilation and proper lightening for long grueling days given little time for food or water and sometimes locked in during working hours to prevent them from leaving. Work related injuries were rife and those who were injured or became ill due to the working conditions were fired with no benefits and no recourse of action.

Death on many jobs was simply a part of earning the money to live and safety measures were not undertaken because of the bottom line. When workers had enough, riots would issue damaging or completely destroying the business and resulting in harm or death to employers and managers of these businesses.

As times changed, more and more employers began trying to offer better working conditions for their employees by establishing rules, cleaning up, better working environments and through training. However, accidents and illness still occurred due to the lack of knowledge on the part of many employers on how to properly evaluate risks and minimize them and the unwillingness of employees to adhere to the guidelines for safety that were set down. This resulted in good employers going broke trying to see to the needs of employees who became ill or injured on the job. Insurance helped to alleviate some of the financial burden on employers but did little to make workplaces safer.

Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines

Then along came Occupational Health and Safety, they set down minimum guidelines to help protect health and Safety. Individualizing these guidelines to fit the needs and the risks in various fields of work. They offered training to help make Employers aware of health and safety risks and to teach employees how to do their jobs in a manner that would pose less danger of injury or illness to them.

Today, Because Of OHS, businesses are thriving, the workplace is become safer and the public is protected to a greater degree than ever before. This has ended up saving employers money and giving employees a safer, better place to work.

 

 

Food Safety Supervisors: Mandatory Training Required by October

food safety supervisorAll NSW Food Businesses Require Mandatory Government Training By October 1, 2011

Under the regulations set forth by the NSW Food Authority, many hospitality and food retail businesses are running out of time to appoint a trained Food Safety Supervisor to their businesses. By October, 1 2011 a large number of businesses involved with the preparing and selling of food, must not only appoint a trained safety supervisor but, must notify the proper enforcement agency (usually the local council) or face fines and perhaps in some cases prosecution.

How Many Food Safety Supervisors Does My Business Need?

The number of food safety supervisors you need depends on your business. For example, a supermarket chain needs at least one food safety supervisor per location. While a single restaurant only needs one supervisor for the restaurant regardless of the number of shifts.

Who Is The Food Safety Supervisor?

The food safety supervisor is appointed by the owner. In a small businesses the owner may appoint himself, in larger businesses it could be the manager, head cook or someone who is specifically hired for the job of being the food safety supervisor. Regardless of who the supervisor is he must have the required training for the job and the certificate to prove it.

The training for the food safety supervisor is over and above the training that is require by all food handlers to take. The training must be completed through a recognize training organization and the supervisor must show the skills and competence necessary to be awarded a Food Safety supervisor certificate that is valid for 5 years after which time a refresher course is required to renew the certificate.

Once a qualified food supervisor is appointed, the owner must notify the relevant enforcement agency within 7 days of the appointment giving them details of the Supervisor. The supervisor then has the authority to supervise and train all food handlers in food safety.

The business must also keep the certificate on file and present it when requested during a food safety inspection.

If for any reason your Food Safety Supervisor leaves your employ you must appoint a new supervisor within 30 days and notify the appropriate enforcement agency of that change.

What Businesses Are Affected By This Regulation

With a few exceptions most of the businesses dealing with hospitality and food retail will be affected by this new law. That includes the following businesses:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Takeaway shops
  • stationary and mobil caterers
  • bakeries
  • pubs
  • clubs
  • hotels
  • Temporary food premises such as food stalls at festivals and community events
  • mobil food vendors (those selling food from a truck)
  • supermarkets that sell hot food.

 

What Happens If My Business Fails To Meet The October 1, 2011 Deadline?

You can fail to comply with these regulations in 4 ways.

  1. You fail to appoint a new Food Safety Supervisor within 30 days of the original or last supervisor leaving.
  2. You fail to notify the relevant agency of the food supervisor within 7 days of their appointment.
  3. Business does not notify the relevant agency within 7 days of the business becoming aware of the change in details of the food safety supervisor.
  4. Business fails to keep a copy of the FSS certificate on the premises and does not produce it when requested during inspections.

These failures to comply can result in fines of up to $330 for an individual or $660 for a registered company. In addition according to the 2003 regulations serious breaches may be prosecuted as well.

The changes in regulations and the appointment of a Food Safety Supervisor is necessary to help ensure that proper food handling and safety measures are maintained on a day to day basis. A trained food safety supervisor will need to know the safe way to handle food as it applies to all staff.

The owner will still be responsible for any breaches in food safety. By ensuring that a supervisor is available to supervise, instruct and maintain the proper handling of the food it is the hope of the NSW food authority that everyone will benefit from this new regulation and provide for a safer work environment both for those handling the food and the customers who eat the food.

 

 

Manual Handling: Different Courses For Different Jobs

What do health care professionals, dockworkers, construction workers and office workers all have in common? Most are required to do at least some heavy and awkward lifting. Therefore, it is important to know how to lift and move heavy or awkward objects without causing injury to oneself.

Of course, lifting a patient and moving them from a bed to a chair isn’t the same as lifting and carrying a half dozen 8 by ten boards and that is why there are different manual handling courses for different types of jobs. While the basics of manual handling remain virtually the same, you don’t lift things all in the same manner and the different types of risks can’t be minimized in the same way.

While a winch may make lifting that heavy load easier in a warehouse or on a construction site, it isn’t going to do the job in an office nor a home for the elderly. So courses need to be designed to address the special issues and problems in the different fields.

Manual Handling Tips For Employees

While many people think that manual handling courses are designed to help ensure that employers are in compliance with their need to evaluate the risk of manual handling to their employees and minimize the risk as much as possible, these courses are also geared towards giving employees tips in lifting and other techniques that will help them to minimize their own risk as well.

Safety in the workplace is a joint effort and manual handling classes are geared just towards helping the employer and the employee jointly understand how to recognize, report, evaluate and minimize the risk creating a safer work environment for all concerned.

That is why manual handling classes go beyond the mere basics and actually design classes to help employers and employees in individual fields deal with those issues that are relevant to them. After all dealing with patients is far different than dealing with a box of printer paper and the ways of lifting them are different as well.

In fact, in the health care profession, the risk of injury is not just to the employee but the patient as well and this issue is unique to that field and an important issue to be addressed. However, learning the proper way to move a patient isn’t going to be of much interest or use to that warehouse worker who spends his day loading and unloading crates nor to that construction worker who needs to get those roofing tiles raised to a roof.

By designing specific manual handling courses for specific trades it is possible to cover more issues that are pertinent to the individual business rather than simply give generalized information that may be of little benefit to anyone. By individualizing each manual handling course, you are increasing safety for each profession.

So if you need to take a manual handling course look for one that is specifically designed for your field. Not only will you get the most for your money that way but you will also have more information in which to help create a better and safer work environment.

 

 

Confined Space Training: No Little Thing

Laymen probably shake their head in confusion when they hear about confined space training and the first thing that pops into their minds is those small work cubicles in their office. They really don’t think of the thousands of people each day who go into manholes, underground vaults, silos and numerous other places. Even if these places came to mind, they probably wouldn’t be aware of the hazard’s these people face. Nor do they understand that a confined space does not have to be small only have a limited way to get in and out and pose dangers from gases and lack of oxygen.

Each year lives are lost because people were not aware of the risks and dangers posed by confined spaces, but before confined space training became mandatory far more lives were lost. Thanks to these training courses, workers now understand not only the dangers they face but also how to test for many of these dangers and even what to do to deal with them.

Reasons Why People Go Into Confined Spaces

There are many reasons why employees need to enter confined spaces. In some cases, they need to make repairs or conduct inspections or installations. In other cases, emergency personnel may need to go into a confined space to cut off gas lines or conduct a rescue.

At one time people were sent to do this type of work without knowing all the risks or how to minimize them. Today the confined space training not only makes employers and employees aware of the risks involved but also insures that they know how to operate the necessary equipment that will make entering these places and performing their jobs safer.

Hands On Experience In A Safe Environment

One of the best aspects of confined space training is that people taking the training actually get hands on experience in a confined space environment without all the hazards of course. This part of the training not only gives employees practice in a confined space but can also actually help employers identify employees who may not be suited to this kind of work.

There are literally hundreds of people who suffer from claustrophobia and don’t even know it until they are put to the test and then they panic putting themselves and possibly others at risk. By actually getting to practice in a confined space employers can actually see if any of their employees suffer from such problems and if so can then elect to place them in jobs where they are less likely to panic.

These people who go under our streets, into silos and vaults in order to install lines and pipes, make inspections and repairs are doing a service for their community. Confined space training allows them to do that service in a safer manner that benefits them and us all.

Working in confined spaces is not a job for everyone but, those who do it and do it well deserve to be well trained and safe.

 

Dangerous Goods Training: The Follow Through

dangerous goodsDangerous good training programs are extremely helpful in covering the rules and the regulations for everyone involved in working with dangerous goods but this training also covers the proper way to store, handle and transport these goods so that they pose less of a risk to your employees, your company, the waterways and the public at large.

However, because this training covers a lot of material in a small amount of time following through on the dangerous goods training at your own company will help ensure that you are not only in compliance with all the rules and regulations but that you are ensuring the safety of your employees as well.

If you are looking for some easy and low cost ways to follow through on that dangerous goods training here are some tips that can help you do that.

Posting The Important Main Points Up In Specific Work Areas

Using posters that serve as reminders and check lists can help employees remember the main points they learned in their dangerous goods training. For example, in the storage area you can post up signs reminding employees of special storage safety procedures, checking seals and where and how they can store containers containing dangerous goods.

Posters can also be used in the transport/shipping area as well. Reminders to wear safety clothing and to wash properly may seem a bit silly but can do wonders to increase the safety of handling dangerous materials.

Manual Handling Spot Checks

Spot checks can alert you to any mishandling of dangerous materials and is a great way to follow through on that dangerous materials training. It also has the added advantage of keeping those employees who tend to get lazy and take short cuts on their toes and complete their jobs properly for fear of sanctions such as time off work for being careless.

The Benefits Of Follow Through To You The Employer

Taking time to follow through on that Dangerous goods training has many benefits for your company. First if you keep records of your spot checks and post reminders on the handling and transport of these goods and an accident happens you have proof that you exercised due diligence in trying to protect your employees and the community.

Second, failure to comply with the rules and regulations of handling and transporting dangerous goods can cost you a ton of money both in fines and hold up on transporting. By following through the training, you are much more likely to stay in compliance than you are by simply just assuming that everyone understands what they learned and are applying it.

Third, by following through on the training you will earn the reputation of someone who really cares about their employees and the public’s well fare. In the long run, this may well lead to more business as people and other businesses will see you as someone to trust.

So take that Dangerous Goods Training one step further and follow through by spot checks and reminders and create a safer environment for all.

Make Manual Handling Training Courses More Relevant

manual handling training onlineHow Good Record Keeping, Frequent Re-Evaluation, And The Old Fashioned Suggestion Box Can Make Manual Handling Training Courses More Relevant.

Manual handling training courses are designed to help cut down on work place injuries and the risk of work place injuries for those who need to those who need to physically handle heavy materials in the course of their work. Manual handling courses are offered for the health care industries, office workers, warehouse personnel, and the construction industry.

While manual training courses are great at making sure that employers know their duties as far as finding ways to make manually handling of materials less stressful on the worker as well as making the worker aware of different things that can reduce the risk of manually moving materials, these courses are not going to significantly reduce work place injuries in and by themselves. It is going to take some real hands on experience (pardon the pun) to make these manual training courses truly effective.

It All Start With Record Keeping

Almost all companies have one or two problem areas where the risk of injury seems higher than anywhere else. By keeping good records, you can pinpoint these areas and then set out to discover why more injuries are occurring at these points or with specific jobs. By targeting these specific problems and finding ways to make handling the materials here easier and safer, you can reduce your injuries and risk of injuries significantly.

This will result in your employees missing less time, better overall production, and you will save money in the long run.

Frequent Re-Evaluation

Making changes to make handling those heavy loads easier is one thing but following up on those changes to make sure that they are really making a difference is important as well. By taking the time to frequently re-evaluated safety measures and given situations, you are able to better pinpoint those changes that work and those that don’t. In those rare cases where the cure turns out to be worse than the initial problem, you can go back and try something new and hopefully safety.

The Suggestion Box

If you really want to make those manual handling courses count then try putting up a suggestion box. The fact is that the employee is the person who is required to manually handle materials on a day-to-day basis and they may simply see risks and solutions that you as the employer may not. By allowing your employees have some say in the safety of their work environment, they will feel more a part of the company and the solution. In fact, by allowing your employees to have that say in their safety you just might discover that bogus claims of injury fall as well as those legitimate ones.

While manual handling courses are necessary and beneficial it what you as a company does after the course is completed that is going to make the real difference. Having a safe work environment not only leads to more employee satisfaction in the long run but it can also save you money.

 

Why you need Asbestos Awareness?

asbestos-awareness-training-onlineMost people think that because there has been a concentrated effort towards asbestos awareness that the problems regarding asbestos are a thing of the past or at least declining. Sadly, this is not the case, due to the long number of years between asbestos exposure and the development of problems experts believe this problem is going to be with us for many years to come.

For that reason, it is essential that asbestos awareness continue both in terms of safety and helping those suffering from Asbestos exposure.

Each year new young people join the workforce. These younger people may simply be unaware of the dangers that asbestos exposure poses for them in the workplace or their home. For that reason, we need to keep reviewing our asbestos awareness programs in order to prevent yet another generation from being exposed to this deadly material. Making those new to the workforce understand the dangers of asbestos and assuring that they know how to safely handle this material will save money and lives down the road.

In addition asbestos awareness should make people aware if they have work related asbestos diseases the dust disease board stands willing and ready to help their families. Knowing where to go to get the help you need is an important part of any asbestos awareness program and can provide help and hope for those suffering from asbestos related diseases and their families.

The Risk Of Asbestos Still Exists

It is also necessary to keep in mind that the dangers of asbestos still exist. While asbestos has been removed from many older buildings, schools, and public places there are still older factors, ships and other places that still contain asbestos. As long as asbestos and asbestos-based products are still around the risk will continue. Therefore, it is essential that Asbestos awareness programs continue in order to provide valuable information regarding this material. Making sure that your employees are aware of these risks and know exactly what to do to report and minimize the risk of asbestos related diseases is essential to protecting your employees and guarding their welfare both now and in the future.

Don’t wait until the next Asbestos awareness week to address this issue with new employees make sure that they know and understand the risks now. Forewarned is forearmed so they say. So make sure that each and every one of your employees has the knowledge they need to protect themselves.

Don’t Stop Your Efforts

Most importantly it is important that no company stop their Asbestos awareness efforts as experts predict that this problem will be on the rise until at least 2018. Making your employees aware of this problem, the risks and the help that is available can ensure that future generations are safer and healthier than the ones that have gone before.

In the long run, it will save your company, your community and all of Australia millions of dollars that is now being spent to address and deal with this problem. This is something we all need to do together.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Manual Handling Training

manual handling trainingDid you know that over 30% of the injuries happen in the workplace?  Injuries can be really damaging to business owners as they will have to compensate for the injuries, have their insurance premiums go up, and will lose the manpower they need to run their business.  That’s why businesses need manual handling training to prevent these kinds of accidents.

It is estimated that work place injury costs around $373 million to businesses in New South Wales alone.  Businesses need to be aware of how workplace injury can affect them.  It may seem like training may be unnecessary for your particular business but you always want to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

Here are the top 5 reasons:

The first reason is that you will lose the manpower you need to run your business. When your workers are injured, your business will slow down and somebody will have to work extra hours to make up for the missing person.  The extra hours means that you have to pay for overtime, costing you extra money.  A manual handling course really can make a big difference.

The second reason why manual handling training is important is because of insurance rates.  When workers get injured on the job, the compensation premiums will go up.  This will eat out the profits of your business.  Getting the training will help prevent injuries and therefore reduces your rates.  In order to find out more, you should speak to your insurance company once you have put a training plan in place.

The third reason why you should consider a manual handling course is because of the regulation fines in Australia.  Various states such as New South Wales require that you there are training in place.  If it is found that there was no training, your business could be fined.  On top of worker turnover, this is another cost that you want to avoid.

The fourth reason is that training also improves worker morale.  Training programs encourage teamwork and when your workers know that they you have their best interests at heart, morale will go up.  Workers will also be able to help each other point out mistakes and contribute to the overall well being of the team.

The fifth reason your business needs manual handling training is because your productivity will improve. Employees will be able to transport objects faster and for a longer time if they know how to properly lift, push, carry, hold, or pull objects.  This will improve your investment into your employees.

As you can see, there is simply no reason why you shouldn’t make a manual handling course mandatory for your business.  Aside from avoiding fines and cutting your risk, you are also improving your business functions and protecting your team.  You should talk with a instructor or business that can train your employees for you so you can make it effective as soon as possible.

Owner Builder Course: For The Ultimate Do It Yourselfer

owner-builder-training-onlineAre you pretty handy with a hammer and nails? Have you always wanted to try your hand at building your own hunting retreat or buying that old house and fixing it up yourself? If so, the Owner Builder Course NSW was designed specifically for you.

The owner builder course is a requirement for those of you who live in NSW and want to build your own house or do renovation work costing more than $12,000. However, there is a lot of important information that you get from this course that will make your building project go much smoother.

In the Owner Builder Course NSW You will learn:

  • What licenses you need to apply
  • How to deal with hazardous waste
  • How to negotiate for the best deals on lumber and other items you need

And you also learn about hiring sub-contractors for installing electric, gas lines and other essential parts needed to make your home complete. Best of all you can complete most of the course online.

Building or renovating your home is the ultimate do it yourself project and the Owner Builder course gives you all the information you need to do the job well. Not only does this course cover the laws and regulations related to the building trade. But it will teach you how to plan your work, budget your time and read and understand building plans and specifications.

By the time you finish this course, you will have the information you need to tackle this once in a lifetime project and do it with confidence.

The owner builder course will make it possible for you to turn that dream into a reality and for many people it turns out to be one of the best experiences of their lives.

Even If You’re Not Planning To Build Or Renovate Your Own Home, This Course Can Save You Money

Even if you are not planning to actually build or renovate your home yourself, the owner builder course can save you a lot of money. Many construction companies get their building materials cheap and then mark them up for you, that cost added to the labor can really be significant. By taking this course, you can negotiate for the materials yourself, saving that extra money you are being charged.

Since construction companies bill you for all the work they do, you often end up paying labor costs for someone who is waiting in line to get the proper permits and licenses. By knowing what you need and getting them yourself you are only going to be paying the construction company for the actual time they spend working on your house not waiting in line.

So whether you have dreams of doing the work yourself or just a desire to save thousands of dollars in needless expense the owner builder course is just what you need to make it all happen. What’s even better is that you will be learning a lot of new and interesting things about building.

 

Fatigue Prevention with Proper Management & Awareness Training

fatigue managementWith more and more people working longer and longer hours, fatigue in the workplace has become a real concern. Courses on Fatigue management teach how to assess the risk of injury or financial loss and ways of lowering that risk.

While assessing these risks are important, and everything possible needs to be done to mitigate these risks, one very important aspect of risk management seems to be getting less attention than it deserves. That is: preventing fatigue in the first place.

Fatigue is the Problem: But Why?

The problem is that even though fatigue causes problems in the work environment, lowering production and increasing the chances of accidents not all “causes” of fatigue are work related. Poor sleeping habits due to a newborn or stress at home can lead to fatigue that can affect job performance. When you combine these causes with those work related causes that leads to fatigue then prevention becomes a pretty tricky issue.

However, there are still things that you can do that will lessen or prevent fatigue in some cases, which will result in a more productive and safer work environment.

Here are just a few low cost things your business can do to help lessen or prevent fatigue:

  • Rotate jobs whenever possible during the workday. Changing jobs two or three times a day helps employees stay “fresh” and more alert. Of course, there are some jobs where this is impossible but whenever it is possible it could result in your employees feeling less fatigue.
  • Break Time Exercise Opportunities. Getting outside in the fresh air or simply getting a bit of exercise during breaks can help fight off that fatigue. Placing a basketball hoop in a convenient location or even supplying a place where employees can sit at a picnic table can help fight fatigue and re-energize someone before they get too tired.
  • The Scent of Citrus. As silly as it may sound aroma therapy has proven to work and the scent of citrus can clear the mind and make your employees feel more energetic. You can use citrus candles in the lunchroom or waft a citrus scent through work areas to help your employees feel less tired.
  • Prepare a handout for getting sufficient sleep at home. You can also do a little research and prepare a handout for all your employees that gives them tips for combating stress and offering ways to relax and ideas that promotes more restful sleep at home.
  • Encourage your employees to come to you when they feel fatigued. If your employees feel that they can come to you when they are feeling overwhelmed with fatigue, the chances are that you can deal with the situation before an accident occurs and someone gets injured or worse.

Doing what you can and taking a few small steps that may help reduce or eliminate fatigue before it occurs can help make your fatigue management plan go that much smoother and save you and your employees money in lost wages, financially expensive mistakes, injury or worse.

The Difference Between Asbestos Awareness and a B Class License

Asbestos is a dangerous material. Just how dangerous it may be depends a great deal on your exposure to it. Workers in certain fields where asbestos was once used as a matter of course may come in contact with this material unexpectedly in the course of their work. In other cases, there are people who remove this material from businesses for a living.

So What are the Key Differences?

The type of Asbestos training you need depends a great deal on the risk this material will expose you too. That is why it is important to understand the difference between Asbestos awareness training and the more detailed Asbestos training for a B class license. This will explain the key differences between the two types of training.

Objectives Of Asbestos B Class Training

The first key difference in the two types of training is the objective of the training itself. The objective of the Asbestos training for a Class B license deals with actual asbestos removal. The people who take this training are people who know what bonded asbestos looks like and already have had some experience dealing with asbestos.

Asbestos awareness training does not deal with asbestos removal but rather keeping workers safe who may hold jobs where they may run into asbestos in the course of their work. This training is geared towards teaching workers how to recognize the presence of asbestos rather than removing it as a matter of course.

What Asbestos Awareness Training Focuses On

Asbestos awareness training focuses on a worker being able to recognize what asbestos material looks like, the likely place where it may be found in the course of their work, and what action they should take should they run into this material in terms of reducing their risks, reporting the asbestos etc.

This course’s main focus is on keeping workers from unknowingly subjecting themselves to the risk of asbestos exposure rather than focusing on the safe removal of the material.

What Asbestos Training For A B Class License Focuses On

Training for the B class license on the other hand focuses on the safe removal of the material by trained professionals. This training focuses on making sure that those actually dealing with asbestos removal knows how to control exposed asbestos material. Part of the training deals with how to minimize the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers, and ensuring that those taking the training know how to use the personal protection equipment that will help to minimize their exposure.

It should be remembered that Asbestos training for A B class license only deals with the removal of bonded asbestos materials such as fibro. Those wishing to remove unbonded asbestos will need to have training for an A class license.

Knowing which training course is right for you is not only necessary to be in compliance with the regulations dealing with this dangerous material but also in giving you the right training you need to reduce your risks and better perform your jobs.

 

 

 

Does the IMDG Code Affect My Business?

In most cases, people are creatures of habit and really aren’t fond of change, businesses especially hate change when it comes to the institution of new rules and regulations that have to be followed and learned. However, in the case of the IMDG code amendment 35-10 change may actually be a good thing for your business.

How Does The Latest Change in the IMDG Code Affect My Business?

The IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) code is a lengthy and complicated set of rules designed to prevent marine pollution and to protect our environment and our seas by seeing that proper precautions and emergency procedures are in place. Because of all the rules and regulations contained in this code, it is often difficult for businesses and those in their employ to fully understand all safety procedures involved. This can cause your business to lose time, money, and have a difficult time ensuring that all regulations of the code are enforced to guarantee the proper shipping of dangerous or hazardous goods.

The new IMDG amendment 35-10 is actually geared to helping ensure that all businesses and their employees understand and can apply the code. What this amendment does is make it a requirement for all people working with the shipping of dangerous material by water to have training in the code itself to ensure that those employees understand the code and can apply it when working with dangerous material.

In Australia, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority oversees that such training does take place and that all people who work with shipping dangerous materials by sea have taken the course and know and understand the regulations associated with their specific jobs.

Who Needs To Take This Dangerous Gods Training Course?

Everyone who is involved in the shipping of dangerous goods by vessel needs to take the dangerous goods training course. This includes shippers, container packers, booking staff, port staff, and cargo inspectors as well as anyone else who works in trades where the IMDG code applies.

Where Do I Have To Go To Take This Dangerous Gods Training Course?

The good news is that the IMDG amendment allows this course to be offered as an E course, which means that you can take it in the comfort of your home or from your work facility. The course is divided into segments. At the end of each segment, a test will be given to ensure that you are competent before moving on to the next segment. At the end, those who have successfully completed the course will be able to print off a certificate showing they have completed the required training.

How Do I Prove I Have Completed the Dangerous Gods Training Course?

The nice thing about this E Training is that it is less costly than classroom training would be, making it more affordable for business owners to ensure that all their employees have the required training necessary. It also allows each individual to complete training at their own pace, making it possible for them to take the training without taking time off from their jobs.

Overall, this change in the IMDG requirements will actually, help businesses involved with the shipping of dangerous materials ensure that they do so in a safe manner that is in compliance with the code. This may in the long run help to prevent accidents that could end up costing your business huge fines and a ruined reputation.

Book Your Dangerous Goods Training Now!

Who Should Become a NSW Owner Builder?

With the shaky economy and the slowly recovering job market, it has become necessary for many people to put off realizing their dreams or at least to find more cost efficient ways of realizing them. If you have been wanting to build that dream home or renovate that home you are already living in but, don’t have the money to buy the materials and pay the full cost of labor then you might want to look into becoming a NSW owner builder by taking an Owner Builder Course NSW

What Is A NSW Owner Builder?

For those of you who are not quite sure what a NSW owner builder is, it simply means that you live in the New South Wales area, own the home where the renovations are to be done or the property where the home is to be built and meet the qualifications set down by NSW department of Fair Trading to become an owner builder including taking a department of fair trading approved owner builder course to qualify to build your own home. This course must be taken through an accredited registered training organization so make sure that you are dealing with such an organization before signing up to take the course.

Of course, not everyone has the skill set or the desire to build or manage the building of their own home. However, many people who think that they lack the necessary skills find that after taking the NSW owner builder course have a clear understanding of what is required and some training on how to achieve their goals in the proper way find that becoming an owner builder is not only doable but, also makes sense.

What Are The Benefits Of Becoming An Owner Builder in NSW?

There are actually quite a few benefits to becoming an NSW owner builder. First is the cost savings. It is estimated that by building or at least controlling the building of your own home that you can save up to 30% of new building costs and up to 50% of the costs on major renovations. In addition, you will have control of the building project instead of leaving it the hands of some construction company that you know little about. Then of course, there is the sense of accomplishment that goes with taking on a really tough project and turning it into something you will live in for years to come.

What If I Have No Idea Where To Start as an Owner Builder?

A lot of people who have become a NSW home builder had no idea where to start in the beginning. That is one of purposes of the NSW owner builder course. This course will teach you about the skills and knowledge you need to tackle this new role. In addition, you will learn the basics of the home building act and why it was put in place.

The course also covers useful information about statutory and recommended insurances, what licenses you will need, contracts, the approval process, building materials and how to handle occupational and hazardous materials.

One of the great things about this course is that you can complete most of it online at your own pace although you will have to complete some work safety training in a physical environment.

Once you have completed the course you can then decide if becoming a NSW owner builder is right for you. If you decide it is not, at the very least you have a clearer understanding of what your building contractor should be doing and how he should be doing it. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, you will have the comfort of knowing that you have the acquired the skills and knowledge needed to get the job done right.

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Chain of responsibility – about ‘extended liability’

The Road Transport Reform (Compliance and Enforcement) Bill includes enhanced general extended liability offences.Chain of responsibility is a simple process of ensuring that everyone does their bit in managing fatigue risks in the road transport sector. Any person who aids, abets, counsels or procures the commission of an offence by another person will be taken to have committed the offence and may be found guilty, even if the principal offender is not found guilty or even prosecuted. Those who work in the transport industry may need to complete their chain of responsibility training.
Any person who causes or permits the commission of an offence or coerces, induces or offers an incentive to a person to commit an offence will be guilty of an offence.
It will also be an offence to discriminate against a person who has reported or raised concerns about road law breaches, for example, by dismissing an employee who raises concerns about breaches of driving hours requirements.
The chain of responsibility for each of the parties in dangerous goods transport is defined by drawing a distinction between the primary liability of the person responsible for ensuring that a particular requirement is met, and the secondary liability of a person who is responsible only to the extent that he or she knew, or reasonably ought to have known, that the obligation was not fulfilled.
Under these laws, packers, loaders, manufacturers, consignors, schedulers, prime contractors and drivers have defined legal responsibilities that correspond to their respective duties in the loading and transport of dangerous goods. The extent of their liability (primary or secondary) reflects the extent of their control over these duties.
When one of the parties in the chain of responsibility is a body corporate, there is also potential for a director, company secretary and senior manager to be held personally liable for a breach committed by that body corporate unless the person was not in a position to influence or control the body corporate in relation to that breach, or, if the person was in such a position, took reasonable steps to prevent the breach.
Chain of responsibility training covers extended liability and all other aspects of chain of responsibility necessary to ensure workers are compliant with the Health and Safety legislation.

Asbestos Training Courses – Asbestos Detection Procedures

Asbestos training courses outline the necessary procedures for safe risk assessment of asbestos containing material (ACM). Asbestos awareness training is an important part of workplace health and safety.

You will find your asbestos training gives relevant instructions in sampling and analysis of ACM. It is important that samples of materials suspected of containing asbestos are taken only by competent persons and are analysed only by accredited laboratories. The sample should be representative of the suspected ACM (e.g. for the walls of multi-storey buildings, at least one sample should be taken on each floor). If there are any variations in the appearance, texture or colour of the material, additional samples should be taken.

The samples should be adequately labelled to enable identification of the address and specific location from which the material was sampled and should include the date of sampling and the batch identification number.

Where necessary, any damage caused by the sampling of a suspected ACM should be repaired without causing further disturbance to the ACM. If there are inaccessible areas that are likely to contain ACM, the person with control should presume that asbestos is present.

Rather than taking samples to determine whether a material contains asbestos, the person with control may simply presume the material contains asbestos. Once such a presumption has been made, the material must be treated as an ACM, with work practices and disposal criteria as required for the presence of asbestos, until the material is removed or testing has confirmed that it does not, in fact, contain asbestos.

The list of common ACM may be used as an aid in determining which materials, if any, may be presumed to contain asbestos. The full list should be found within the asbestos awareness training course.

As indicated earlier, if there are inaccessible areas that are likely to contain ACM the person with control should presume that asbestos is present in these areas. For example, it may be reasonable to presume that wall cavities or ceiling spaces contain ACM such as asbestos insulation.

It may also be more cost effective in other circumstances to apply the presumption instead of sampling and analysing suspected ACM, as would otherwise be required to rule out the presence of asbestos.

The workplace’s register of ACM must state all the presumptions made about materials in the workplace. For example, a generic presumption statement in the register might read, ‘All wall cavities are presumed to contain asbestos’ or ‘All underground conduits are presumed to contain asbestos.’

Online asbestos awareness training is the quickest way to complete your training. Make sure your asbestos training course meets WorkCover and WorkSafe requirements.

Fatigue management – some ways to reduce fatigue

If you work in the transport industry, you could be required to complete a fatigue management course. Basic fatigue management will instruct you on your responsibilities under the new legislation.
Fatigue management requires a multifaceted approach.

Some important factors include:

POWER NAPS

Taking a nap is not a sign of inability to cope with fatigue or being a poor driver; it is good fatigue management practice.  When any opportunity to nap and rest occurs, take it.

PLAN YOUR TRIPS

Most passenger and freight schedules will hinge on pickup and delivery times and dates.  It’s up to you and your Manager or Fleet Controller to plan the details of your Safe Driving Plan to include sleep periods, food and rest stops and extra time for sleeping, should you need it.

You safe driving plan should also include possible delays in your trip due to road repairs, break downs with other road users, flat tyres, wet weather or flooding. Your fatigue management course will detail how to complete your Safe Driving Plan.

DIET

You don’t have to be overweight to be a truck driver.  Eating high calorie, and fatty foods can make you sleepy even if you have had enough sleep. Big meals take more time to digest and can reduce alertness.  Drink plenty of water and eat sufficient food to keep you going.

Here is a list of recommended foods to eat.

  • Breads & Cereals: 4-5 servings daily selected from rice or pasta and bread
  • Vegetables and Fruit: at least 4-5 servings daily of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Meat and Meat Substitutes: 1-2 servings daily of lean beef, lamb, veal, chicken or pork.  Ask for you meat to be grilled rather than fried.
  • Milk or Dairy Products: 3-4 servings daily of milk, cheese or yogurt.
  • Fats: Butter and Margarine: Maximum of 1 tablespoon of butter or table margarine daily.
  • The typical Australian diet is too high in fat, sugar and salt and too low in carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Few people set out to eat a lot of fat, sugar and salt, but these come with many of our favourite foods such as burgers, chips and ice cream.

Complete your basic fatigue management course to ensure you comply with the recent safety legislation.

General load restraint awareness

The carriage of loads brings with it a great amount of risk.

This risk is increased if you and your colleagues do not adhere to safe load restraint practices. Load restraint training is designed to help you reduce the risks.

The load restraint training courses available will cover all areas of load restraint in detail. It is clearly stated in the Performance Standards in the Load Restraint Guide that a load restraint system must be capable of withstanding a force equal to 80 percent of its weight in the forward direction, 50 percent of its weight in the sideward and rearward direction, and 20 percent of its weight in the vertical direction.

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In simplified terms, this means that a load that is restrained so it doesn’t shift is required to withstand forces of at least:

  1. 80% of its weight in the forward direction
  2. 50% of its weight sideways and rearwards
  3. an additional 20% of its weight vertically

The load restraint guidelines are proven principles – they are not just devised to make life harder, but they are designed to make life safer – yours and the lives of others.  They relate to the maximum acceleration or “g” forces (in the Performance Standards) that a vehicle will meet in all conditions. Load restraint training informs drivers of these and all other relevant guidelines for risk reduction.

If a load is restrained to these standards it will not move or fall off in all normal driving circumstances, including the hardest of brake stops – to the point that skid marks are left on the road, or the vehicle rolls over.

After completing your you will know how to appropriately:

  1. Select the correct vehicle
  2. Arrange loads properly
  3. Restrain loads according to the guide

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As part of your adherence to the key elements of load restraint, consider the following:

  1. select the appropriate restraint method based on the “g” forces likely to act upon the load
  2. select the correct vehicle to carry the load
  3. arrange the load to ensure adequate stability, steering and braking and not to overload tyre axles
  4. restrain the load using either tie down, direct restraint or a combination of both

If you fail to adhere to any of these elements , then you are in breach of the law and are liable to be prosecuted.  It is not enough to pay “lip service” to the key elements of load restraint.  The consequences can be dire. Complete your load restraint training to ensure you are armed with the relevant knowledge.

Your adherence to the key elements of load restraint should also take into consideration the driving techniques used for laden vehicles, the restraint methods for general freight, methods for calculating restraint requirements, vehicle capabilities and the load restraint equipment capabilities.

You’ll find that the Load Restraint Guide, together with the load restraint training available, provides you with information on all of these areas.

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The risk management approach to asbestos awareness

Asbestos training among other things, focuses on detailing the risk management approach to asbestos in the workplace. Risk management is a common concept in business practice and ensures that safe systems of work can be established from detailed risk management plans.

What you will learn from your asbestos training is how to identify asbestos in the workplace and adopt an accepted risk management approach. You will also learn about asbestos registers and asbestos management plans. How do you identify asbestos in your workplace?

Asbestos training courses provide employers with the knowledge required to keep their workplace safe. As employers are required by law to manage risks to all persons in and around the workplace, it makes good practice to adopt a risk management approach so that consistency in applying the law will avoid making mistakes in managing those risks. Asbestos awareness training is an important part of this.

The problem is that ACM can release asbestos fibres into the air whenever they are disturbed, and especially during the following activities:

  1. any direct action on asbestos containing materials (ACM), such as drilling, boring, cutting, filing, brushing, grinding, sanding, breaking, smashing or blowing with compressed air
  2. the inspection or removal of ACM from workplaces (including vehicles, plant and equipment);
  3. the maintenance or servicing of materials from vehicles, plant, equipment or workplaces;
  4. the renovation or demolition of buildings containing ACM.

Non-friable ACM that has been subjected to extensive weathering or deterioration also has a higher potential to release asbestos fibres into the air.

Asbestos training covers risk management procedures: a detailed approach to risk management starts with an on – site assessment and an asbestos register. All premises should have an assessment and a register, even if they are new, because second hand plant and equipment brought into a building may contain asbestos. It is also good practice to have a building assessed and recorded as being asbestos free. This simple statement that establishes a baseline condition. Then any second-hand plant and equipment brought into the building needs a check for asbestos and removed prior to installation if asbestos is found.

Persons with control of premises must ensure all ACM in their workplaces are identified, as far as practicable. More specifically, there is a need to:

  1. identify the locations of all ACM and determine whether any inaccessible areas are likely to contain ACM; and
  2. identify the types (e.g. asbestos cement sheet, asbestos lagging on pipes and flues, ACM gaskets in plant or machinery) and condition (i.e. damaged or intact) of ACM.

Asbestos training courses are a very valuable tool for keeping workplaces safe, and are available online.

The food handling certificate – principles of safe food handling

There are two principles that guide the safe handling of food:

  1. The prevention of food contamination, and
  2. Controlling bacterial growth in food.

If you work as a food handler, you may be required to complete your food handling certificate. Food safety training will outline all the principles of safe food handling. Time and temperature control are the most effective practices against bacterial growth in food.

As a food handler you need to be aware of temperature control at every stage throughout the production process because bacterial growth is greatest when food is left in the danger zone.

What temperature range marks the ‘danger zone’ of foods, where bacterial growth is greatest? The danger zone is between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius. Foods left in the danger zone are susceptible to dangerous levels of bacterial growth. Food safety training will educate you on these and other important facts.

The Food Safety Standards require you to keep foods at 5 degrees Celsius and below or at 60 degrees Celsius and above to minimise the growth of harmful bacteria in the foods you handle.

And time control is just as important. Consider this: when you minimise the time food spends in the danger zone, harmful bacteria don’t have the opportunity to grow to levels that could cause a food safety hazard such as food poisoning. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to understand about such hazards. You can do this by obtaining a food safety certificate.

A handy rule is the two hour four hour rule. You can apply this rule to all high risk, ready to eat foods which have been held at a temperature within the danger zone, between 5 and 60 degrees Celsius.

  1. Refrigerate immediately after 2 hours
  2. Use immediately between 2 and 4 hours, and finally
  3. Discard the food after 4 hours in the danger zone.

By removing the opportunity for bacteria to grow and multiply, you are minimising the risk of a food safety hazard in your workplace.

Ready to eat food should be discarded after 4 hours at in the danger zone. Remember that the ‘2 hour 4 hour rule’ applies to all high-risk, ready to eat foods, so for this scenario, calculate from the time of cooking at 5.30pm to discard at 9.30pm.

Finally, monitoring and record keeping are also used to maintain the hygienic handling of food. It may be necessary for you to monitor and record the temperature and appearance of foods on food safety check sheets as a part of your workplace food safety program. A food safety course will advise you on these and many other food handling requirements. Make sure you have your food handling certificate before applying for a job that requires one.

Manual handling in healthcare – preventing injuries due to lifting

If you work in the health care industry you may need a manual handling certificate. A manual handling course provides employees with the knowledge required to prevent injuries due to manual handling. Many organisations have introduced ‘minimal lifting’ or ‘no lifting’ approaches as a part of their manual handling risk management, which also involves manual handling training. This type of approach focuses on the use of equipment to reduce injuries caused by patient lifting and other patient handling. The provision of manual handling equipment and aids is a risk control measure that attempts to control risks at their source.

This approach involves:

  1. consulting with staff in the trial and purchase of manual handling equipment
  2. providing appropriate lifting aids and equipment to assist staff in moving/transferring patients
  3. manual handling training of staff in the correct use of the aids and equipment, in manual handling
  4. techniques and in patient assessment
  5. assessing patients to determine their specific manual handling needs and standardising the method of handling
  6. encouraging appropriate patient mobility and independence
  7. prohibiting manual lifting (including team lifting) except in emergencies;
  8. providing adequate levels of appropriately skilled staff
  9. enforcing the use of equipment through supervision and post- manual handling training support.

Manual handling training provides advice on the principles of the minimal lifting approach. It assumes your organisation already has policies and programs supporting the implementation of risk management strategies.

Nursing unions have introduced no-lift policies from about 1997. Ideally, all facilities would follow a ‘no lifting’ policy, where lifting is eliminated or minimised. Any handling which involves manually lifting the whole or a substantial part of the resident’s weight is avoided. Facilities implementing ‘no-lift’ policies have drastically reduced their manual handling injuries.

Basic fatigue management – some sleep tips for on the road

If you work in the transport industry, you may need to complete your basic fatigue management training. Fatigue management training courses provide drivers with the knowledge required to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

Here are some strategies to assist you as a driver in fatigue management.

  1. Find a quiet truck bay or rest stop
  2. Use dark curtains and liners to keep out light in the vehicle cabin.
  3. Make sure your sleeping berth is well ventilated.
  4. Take eye shades and earplugs with you.
  5. Turn off your mobile phone and radios.
  6. Take time to change out of your work clothes as you would at home.
  7. Drink plenty of water.
  8. If using a motel, rent one away from the highway and railway lines to reduce noise transference.
  9. Have a cool cabin to sleep in or an air conditioned room.

Working long hours will make you fatigued in several ways:

  1. It stops you resting and sleeping.
  2. It may have you on the road in the early morning when the body clock turns alertness down.
  3. It may make you bored and drowsy.

As you can see fatigue management is an important skill for drivers. Many drivers are required to complete a basic fatigue management course to ensure they are compliant with the current transport laws. Fortunately, can be completed online.

Asbestos awareness – what must employers do?

Employers must ensure that employees and other persons are informed of the dangers, hazards and risks involved and of any precautions that should be taken. Asbestos training will inform employers of exactly how to do this.

Asbestos training courses provide employers with the knowledge required to keep their employees safe.

Employees must be provided with:

  1. Asbestos awareness training
  2. Safe Work Method Statements including emergency procedures.
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (available for use if required)
  4. Facilities to safely wash and remove PPE and clothing before they leave the workplace (if required to handle ACM)

 

Employees are to be notified in writing if asbestos work is being carried out.
All persons must be warned, by the use of signs, labels or other similar measures, of the presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing material in a place at which work is being carried out around asbestos.
Employers must identify, and implement measures to prevent any disturbance of asbestos-containing material while work is being carried out. For example, if asbestos is encapsulated, or sealed, the employer cannot allow any asbestos fibres to be released into the air – they must seal off the asbestos and areas where it exists.

An employer must ensure that procedures are in place for:
• The cleaning of premises at which asbestos work is carried out;
• The laundering and cleaning of personal protective equipment used for asbestos work;
• The containment of asbestos waste; and
• The disposal of asbestos and asbestos-containing material safely according to Environmental Protection Authority standards and guidelines (e.g. disposed of to a legitimate hazardous waste facility).
An employer must ensure that no asbestos-containing material, including asbestos cement, is reused in connection with the carrying out of construction work.
An employer must not allow the use of high-pressure hoses to clean the surface of asbestos-containing material, including asbestos cement or any structures that consist of or contain asbestos, during the carrying out of construction work.

As you can see, asbestos training is a very valuable  tool for helping to keep workplaces safe from the hazards of asbestos. If you work in the building industry you may be required to complete your asbestos awareness training. Asbestos training coursescan be completed online.

Asbestos death toll underestimated. Asbestos Training Courses can help!

According to a recent study entitled ‘Global magnitude of reported and unreported mesothelioma’, the number of deaths related to asbestos exposures worldwide has been dramatically underestimated, as some major asbestos-using nations are failing to report any related cancers. (more…)

How chain of responsibility laws affect your business

If you’re involved in road transport, you may need to undertake chain of responsibility training – read on. Under the national approach to road transport chain of responsibility laws instigated by the National Roads and Transport Commission and now implemented by States, Territories and the Commonwealth, all who exercise control over conduct that affects compliance will have responsibility, and may be made accountable for failure to discharge that responsibility.

This includes primary producers, miners, manufacturers, retailers, importers, exporters, tourism operators and all other parties involved in road freight and passenger transport. This is achieved by the clear identification of the responsibilities of various parties and holding them legally accountable for breaching them.

This approach is far more direct and effective in securing accountability for non-compliance than the previous laws, and enables all parties to know their legal obligations from the outset.

The chain of responsibility laws are designed to apply to all road transport offenses, ranging from minor breaches of log book recording to actions contributing to a serious spill of dangerous goods from a truck.

Chain of responsibility training focuses on highlighting the specifics of the legislation. What you will learn is the concept of a responsible person and about enhanced general extended liability offenses. You will also learn about Special chain of responsibility provisions for mass, dimension and load restraint.

Did you know that driving hours and speeding are also addressed in chain of responsibility legislation? These facts are also part of your chain of responsibility training.

The importance of load restraint summarised

There is an identified need to improve the awareness and understanding of load restraint issues, including the contents of the Load Restraint Guide. The importance of load restraint training can be measured in the security of the load and the protection of lives, both those of the drivers and other road users.  It is vital that all involved in the carriage of loads display a professional attitude toward the importance of load restraint and have a clear understanding of the chain of responsibility. Load restraint training is an important part of this.

The penalties involved for incorrect load restraint practices can be either on the spot fines or prosecution in a court of law. As well, the Court may apply a jail sentence.  Either way there is disruption to the carriage of the load and in many cases severe financial repercussions.

The safe carriage of loads affects us all.  It is your responsibility to ensure you undertake load restraint training, including knowledge of the relevant documents which outline the procedures for the safe carriage of loads.

Load restraint guidelines are based on proven principles and the ability of load restraint equipment to apply the necessary restraint forces.  Being aware of current load restraint guidelines is vital in the safe carriage of a load.

Load restraint training focuses on general load restraint awareness, and also includes key elements of load restraint practice. We will also explore common beliefs regarding load restraint and case studies involving load restraint.

Drug & alcohol awareness training: what managers need to know

Managers can benefit from drug and alcohol awareness training so they are alert to changes in performance and changes in patterns of attendance.

Drugs and alcohol can affect a worker’s fitness for duty. Some drugs will mean workers respond to some things quickly – others cause workers to not react at all. Some drugs will stop a worker from walking properly, or standing up, or staying awake. Some drugs will make a person unconscious, or even die.

All drugs can be harmful and can affect the way the body works and how the mind thinks. For this reason, you have to be very sure that any drugs workers are taking will not put them or anyone else in danger in the workplace.

If they are given a drug they need by the doctor, and they are taking it as the doctor has instructed, it can help them do their job better. For example, if they have asthma, and use their medication properly, it can mean they will not have an asthma attack so they do not have to take time off work.

If workers have epileptic fits from time to time, the tablets the doctor prescribes can stop this happening, making work safer for them and for others.

Using alcohol or drugs at work can affect fitness for duty, causing workers to make mistakes. This can cause big problems. They or other people could get hurt, or the work they do might have to be thrown out and done again by someone else. This would mean that your workplace loses money.

Drug and alcohol awareness training can help managers recognise signs of drug use. Here are some things that can happen at work if workers use drugs that they should not use, or drink alcohol, affecting fitness for duty:

  • workers could hurt themselves or anyone else around the workplace.
  • workers could make a mistake with their work and cause your workplace lose a lot of money.
  • it can have a bad effect on you and others around them

A few of the things that could happen to workers if they take drugs they should not be taking, or drink alcohol at work, are:

  • they can get very tired and stop thinking clearly.
  • their speech could get slurred.
  • they can feel sick and could vomit.
  • they can stop thinking quickly and become unsafe.
  • they can start to feel very confused and act differently than they normally would.
  • they may move more slowly than usual.
  • they could get angry
  • they won’t be able to operate machinery and equipment safely and could have an accident.

Managers should consider drug and alcohol awareness training to prevent unfortunate mishaps at work. For example, workers who take drugs or drink alcohol at work could also have a bad effect on other people:

  • they might make someone else have an accident
  • a worker might ruin someone else’s work or property
  • they could scare other people or they might feel uncomfortable
  • other workers may not want to work with them

Important food safety supervisor information – hazards of bacteria

If you are a food safety supervisor, you will need to do your food safety supervisor training. This food safety training will qualify you to handle food as well as manage other food handlers in commercial settings.

A food safety supervisor needs to understand food hazards, including bacteria. Did you know that bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning? While some bacteria are actually beneficial, others can cause food to go off, known as spoilage bacteria. Bacteria are found everywhere. In fact there is not a place on Earth where bacteria are not found.

Bacteria are very small living organisms known as micro-organisms. They are made up of a single cell and a cell membrane. Look at your hands: you will not be able to tell that right now there are over one million bacteria on them.

More bacteria mean greater risk. Controlling the number of bacteria, particularly harmful bacteria, is the first step in preventing serious illness from contamination. Your food safety supervisor training will equip you with the knowledge do this.

Whatever their shape or size, all bacteria live, grow and multiply. They live and grow by absorbing their food and water through their membrane and excreting their waste products back through this membrane.

Sometimes, the bacteria themselves are toxic but it’s also the process of growing and the waste they produce that cause food poisoning and food spoilage.

Bacteria need specific conditions to live grow and multiply. In the right conditions, bacteria will grow very quickly and can divide into 2 in about 15 minutes.

Without water, bacteria stop growing and can die. In fact bacteria themselves are made up of mostly water.

Have you ever wondered why dried & salted foods were common before refrigeration? Salting removes moisture through a process called osmosis, creating an environment in which bacteria cannot survive.

Living things need protein. Without a food source such as protein, bacteria cannot survive.

Can you guess which foods bacteria will thrive in? Moist foods, with a neutral pH that are high in protein. These are potentially hazardous foods because bacteria can live, grow and multiply to dangerous numbers.

Foods that have the right conditions to support bacterial growth and that may contain harmful or pathogenic bacteria are termed ‘high risk foods’.

High-risk foods include:

Seafood, meat and small goods, poultry, dairy and egg-based foods, soups, stock and sauces, fruits (including rockmelon, watermelon, blueberries and fruit salad), pre-made salads, pate and soft cheeses, ice-cream, cooked rice and pasta.

Consider this: it can take as little as 4 and half hours for 10 bacteria to multiply into over 1.3 million in ideal conditions. With potentially millions of bacteria on dirty hands alone, and one thousand on a single hair, food left uncovered or unrefrigerated is easily spoiled or contaminated by bacteria.

Did you know that the bacteria in milk can survive pasteurisation and still cause a carton of unopened milk to go off?

For further important food safety information, supervisors should complete their food safety supervisor training online to meet their compliance training obligations.

Basic fatigue management guidelines for sleep

Whether you are an owner, driver or transport business, a fatigue management course is the best way to meet your Chain of Responsibility and Fatigue Management requirements. Basic fatigue management will equip you with useful information to help you both professionally and personally. As a professional driver, you will be at your best, most alert and safest when working during the morning, the late afternoon and the early evening.  You will be at your worst performance level between 1am and 6 am when the body clock turns your body actions and alertness levels down.

Drivers who got less than 6 hours sleep in 24 hours experienced 4 times as many dangerous situations while they were driving.  Getting enough quality sleep is essential to your safety; and you should aim to get 7 ½ continuous hours of sleep where possible.

Transport delivery schedules must take sleep breaks into account as part of.  The trip plan or schedule must include adequate time for 7 hours sleep and time for the driver’s other essential activities.

If you are driving and getting little or no sleep at night, you are going to have to make up for it during the day.  During the day, your body clock will turn your alertness up resulting in a poorer quality of sleep.

Try to get as much sleep as possible at night, and take another nap during the afternoon siesta period if necessary to improve your level of sleep.

Taking naps at every opportunity can helps to compensate for those nights when you don’t get enough sleep.  Remember naps are not a substitute for 7 ½ hours of continuous sleep at night.

To get a good benefit from a nap you will need to achieve a period of 15 to 20 minutes duration.  A longer nap period of 30 to 40 minutes is even better when possible.  In some instances a 5 minute nap is of benefit although not really long enough.

SLEEP DEBT

If you get less than 7 ½ hours sleep each night you will build up a ‘sleep debt’.  Each day you go with less than 7 ½ hours sleep, the more fatigued you will be and the more unsafe you will become on the highway.

Take every opportunity available on your days off to have a good long night of sleep.  Before your next long trip ensure that you have fully repaid your “sleep debt” from the previous trip or trips.

SLEEP TIPS AT HOME

If you have trouble getting good quality sleep, here are some tips:

  • Try to setup your bedroom at home or wherever you sleep to be as comfortable as possible, so that you can sleep better.
  • Find the best room temperature to get to sleep.  It is most likely to be between 18 and 22°C and can be achieved by an air conditioner.
  • Turn down the volume of the ring tone on your phone or turn it off.  Wear earplugs to reduce noise and ask the family to be extra quiet when you are sleeping.
  • Hang extra thick curtains over the windows to reduce light coming into your room and wear eye shades or patches as another strategy.

There may be other things that you can do which is unique to your sleep patterns or sleeping environment. Online fatigue management courses are probably the best way to complete your fatigue management training.

Asbestos awareness training – some legal requirements

Where asbestos containing materials (ACM) may be present or suspected in the workplace, asbestos awareness training courses educate you on the health and safety risks of asbestos. On completion of asbestos training, participants should be fully competent and aware in the management of asbestos and aware of all compliance requirements, with qualifications from a competency based asbestos training course that is accepted by the government.

A code of practice is available in relation to health and safety issues in your workplace. They are practical documents that assist in implementing safe workplace procedures. They may also be used by a court as evidence of an employer’s failure to implement the duty of care responsibility. An asbestos training course will fully detail your responsibilities and how to fulfill them.

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001 there are responsibilities for controllers of premises. A controller of premises that contains asbestos or asbestos containing material must ensure that Risk Assessment and Control Measures are carried out.

A controller of premises must ensure that:

A register, in which the type, condition and location of all asbestos and asbestos containing material in any workplace, is prepared, recorded and maintained. For example, if it is contaminated roof tiles or in the walls of a building a register must be kept of these details.

Any action taken to control asbestos and asbestos containing material in the workplace or in plant at the workplace is to be recorded in the asbestos register. The register must be easily accessible to everyone in the workplace, including contractors and visitors (e.g. electricians, plumbers and others who may perform work in asbestos contaminated areas).

The Register must also include details of assessment concerning the asbestos that took place before any work was carried out.

Employers are required to identify, assess and control both stable asbestos and asbestos in processes. Asbestos training will properly outline how to carry out these requirements.This involves requirements in the design of workplaces and plant, labelling, notifying WorkCover in certain circumstances, controlling the exposure, providing training, and consulting with employees and health and safety reps.

An employer must ensure that asbestos work is carried out within the legal requirements of the NSW OHS Legislation. Complete your asbestos awareness training to gain a full understanding of other important asbestos facts such as health risks.

Food safety training – understanding food safety hazards

A food safety hazard is something that is dangerous and likely to cause harm to food. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to understand about food safety hazards You can do this by obtaining a food safety certificate

Understanding the key risks which lead to food contamination and applying safe handling practices will help prevent a food safety hazard in your workplace. Completing your food handling certificate will ensure you have the knowledge to do so.

If you work in a high risk establishment, such as an aged care facility, be aware that special additional procedures also apply.
Food safety training will help you easily identify hazards. Food can be unsafe for a number of reasons, including:

  • Chemical contamination
  • Natural toxic foods
  • Food allergens
  • Physical contamination and
  • Contamination by harmful bacteria

Did you know that many chemicals are used in the production, processing and preserving of food? Insect sprays, cleaning products and baits are all common chemicals that can cause food poisoning if used incorrectly.

Remember to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before use to remove any traces of pesticides and herbicides.

Different chemicals may need to be treated in different ways: check the labels and material safety data sheets to find out how they should be used and which safety precautions to be aware of. Always follow the instructions and ask your supervisor if you are unsure.

Store chemicals away from food or the equipment that comes into contact with food, such as utensils, benches and preparation materials.

Have you ever had to modify food production to cater for a food allergy? Food safety training will ensure you are prepared for this. Nuts, fish & shellfish, wheat, egg, dairy and soy account for the majority of food allergies which are caused by the naturally occurring chemicals in these foods, called food allergens.

Allergies are specific to each individual, with side effects ranging from mild stomach discomfort to death in extreme cases.

Symptoms may include:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Severe swelling
  • Eczema
  • Nausea, vomiting & diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps & congestion, and
  • Shortness of breath

There is no cure for allergies only avoidance and being prepared for any severe reaction that may occur.

A food safety course will advise you on these and many other food handling requirements. Make sure you have your food handling certificate before applying for a job that requires one.

Manual handling training – learning to work with your body

You only get one body. Most of us get it in good order and condition. Then spend the rest of our lives trying to break it, ruin it or just plain neglect it. A manual handling course will help you understand the effects of manual handling injuries and the value of, and the need for, correct manual handling practices.

The more wear and tear the body gets the shorter it’s useful life. You don’t want to be reckless at work and find that you cannot enjoy the later years of your life because of chronic injury and pain. You only get one body. Look after it!

If you are involved in any form of manual handling in the office, warehouse or as a healthcare worker, manual handling training will help you understand the requirements of the Manual Handling Regulations and Compliance Code, and earn you a

The human skeleton is made up of all the bones in our body. Where the bones connect is called a joint. This is where bones may pivot to provide us with flexibility and movement. Joints are usually coated with a smooth surface to make movement easy and painless. It is this coating and the cushioning material that often damaged when we put too much stress on our joints. Especially in the spine.

The power and strength in our movements is caused by our muscles. Muscles attach to the bones with ligaments so that the effective result is tugging on a lever to produce movement and power.

Our arms are designed as levers. Muscles act on the bones and the joints are designed for bending, twisting and lifting forces. The arms are designed for us to pick up and move objects.

Our legs are also designed as levers. Muscles act on the bones and the joints are designed for bending twisting and lifting forces. The legs are designed to be very strong and powerful to lift us up and move. The leg muscles are very powerful and the bones are strong. The legs should be used for any safe lifting.

Manual handling training is also important in showing you the basic anatomy and function of the spine. Up to one third of all work injuries in Australia occur during manual handling. Most of the reported accidents involving manual handling tasks cause back injury although hands arms and feet are also vulnerable.

Sometimes the person injured never fully recovers or requires a long period of rehabilitation before they are able to work again. This is why having a manual handling certificate is so valuable.

Asbestos awareness training: the health effects of exposure to asbestos

Where asbestos containing materials (ACM) may be present or suspected in the workplace or home, online asbestos training courses offer a convenient way to educate you on the health and safety risks of asbestos. Asbestos training is a good idea for anyone coming into contact with asbestos. Asbestos becomes a health hazard when fibres become airborne and are inhaled or swallowed. Asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibres into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested.  Many of the fibres will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibres can cause health problems.

Health effects depend on length, diameter and composition of fibre. Disease is usually associated with long-term exposure in occupational or para-occupational setting (immediate family or live near asbestos mine or factory) Risk depends on how much and how long.  Asbestos training provides comprehensive information on how to avoid or manage these risks.

Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibres, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.

All forms of asbestos can potentially cause:

Non cancer:

  • pleural plaques
  • asbestosis

Cancer:

  • lung cancer
  • malignant mesothelioma

An asbestos awareness training course provides the skills and knowledge necessary to help managers, controllers of work premises, trade persons, employees and others identify asbestos containing materials (ACMs) or suspected ACMs, and to ensure that appropriate action is taken. Asbestos training can easily be completed online.

Basic fatigue management training

Heavy vehicle drivers are the most affected by fatigue related cases. (more…)

Fatigue Management in Practice

Fatigue, if not properly managed, can lead to serious problems.  Symptoms that result from fatigue include (more…)

Learning Fatigue Management

It has been noted that driver fatigue ranks among one of the leading concerns for road safety. This means that all drivers who are constantly driving trucks and other vehicles on major highways need one course or another to enable them learn how to manage fatigue while they are on the job.

This is the reason why there are online fatigue management schools from which drivers can take an appropriate and relevant fatigue management course. Under such a course, three main categories will be dealt with. These categories include standard hours, basic fatigue management and advanced fatigue management. It is important that drivers understand all categories since it is only then when they will effectively be equipped to deal with fatigue and reduce its adverse effects.

Truck drivers potentially become drowsy and discover that they have drifted into a micro- sleep. This is very risky since maximum attention is required on the road at all times even if there are no other vehicles apart from yours.

It is risks such as this that have made it important for truck drivers and other professionals who are constantly on the road to learn fatigue management. This is the only way they can be sure of themselves. The fatigue management courses they will undertake will enable them to get a better idea of how to reduce and eliminate altogether the risks of fatigue. Online fatigue management courses are often the easiest way to receive fatigue management training.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of any fatigue management course. This is the main reason why various legislations are now being passed to compel all truck drivers to take these courses. Needless to say, anyone would agree with such legislations since they will help to make our roads safer and to make the work environment more conducive and secure for truck drivers.

Workplace Harassment Training

Workplace harassment has been defined as using undesirable physical or verbal conduct towards another employee of an organization. With this kind of understanding at the back of the minds of the administration and staff members of organizations across the world, the problem of work place harassment can become a thing of the past.

Workplace harassment training basically includes what is actually considered workplace harassment and what specific measures or steps an employee should take in the event that he or she has been harassed at the workplace. Experts and teachers of these principles argue that the best way to counter this vice is by incorporating training in the orientation procedures of any new staff member in an organization. Some governments have designed rules that direct that clear procedures addressing workplace harassment be given to employees.

All inclusive workplace harassment training should comprehensively cover the consequences that employees who harass their colleagues or customers will face in case proved guilty of committing the offense. Note that for training to be successful, some of its codes of action or/and operation must be categorized. If this is not carefully tackled, a strict supervisor might end up being judged as propagating workplace harassment while on his formal line of duty. This should go as far as classifying some of the actions that should be considered workplace harassment or not. Although some behaviors whether physical or verbal are outright harassment actions, others can be based on various factors and should be regarded as such.

Good workplace harassment training may at the end of the day be very beneficial to any organization. It will help the administration run efficiently without having to deal with litigations emerging from this misconduct. It will also help boost productivity due to increased employee turnover and suitable working conditions.

What is Manual handling training?

Manual handling training is a process of training that spells a professional’s guidance and regulations that are to be used in carrying out the stipulated task. The manual handling training includes information on the risks involved and how injuries are likely to occur, use of mechanical aid equipment, appropriate systems of work as stipulated on individual grounds, information on how to carry out safe manual handling and involvement of practical work that gives room to a trainee to do things right. The essence of manual handling training is to facilitate a healthy and safe working environment for both the workers and those around that working environment. Health care workers just like any other workers have their manual handling training that also spells out the guidance and regulations of their work.

Health care workers are responsible for taking care of others everyday. While this is so, they are also faced with a number of health and safety hazards at their work stations.  Employers have a responsibility of ensuring that their employees have safe and healthy working environments and the risks involved are significantly reduced by avoiding manual handling processes and operations that could otherwise be hazardous. It is an obligation that is in relation to health care workers to consider the age of the workers and the commonly used equipment to reduce the risk of injuries in the workplace.

Nurses and other health care parishioners take their manual handling courses or training before they are assigned to work in any health care hospitals or institutions. Health care manual handling courses can be found in many medical training schools and institutions and also in health care provision centers. You can also opt for online training through relevant websites.

In some countries like the United Kingdom, manual handling is subject to legislation. There are a number of areas that entail manual handling at work. They include Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1992), Lifting Operation and Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998), the Health and Safety at Work Act which was implemented 1974, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998) and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (1998).

Health care workers can contribute to improved working environments by relating to their respective manual handling operations in their work places that they once learned during their manual handling training courses. Finally, a healthy and safe working environment is enhanced and facilitated by the cooperation of employees and employers commitment and relevance at the workplace.

Health and Safety Training

Health and safety training is ranked among the most important things that any business can offer to its employees. The extent to which this ought to be carried out will vary from one business to another and for this reason, it is important to ensure that you understand your needs first before seeking out the same. In essence, health and safety training will aid them understand many things which including the following.

  • Ensure that they learn how to work safely without running into any health risks.
  • Enable them understand the businesses health and safety policies, how you intend to bring them to effect and what they are supposed to do to meet the requirements.
  • Ensure that your workers understand fully well their health as well as any safety responsibilities they have to uphold not only for themselves but fellow employees and any other people on the business premises.

In addition to this, there are instances when new staff members are recruited on a monthly basis. When they come in, they don’t understand some of the factors that matter most to your business and as such, it is important to ensure that they go through health and safety training. Also, those who have been in the business for a long duration needed to be reminded about the health and safety regulations that they ought to uphold.

It is important to note that health and safety training would be pointless if the employees don’t assimilate what they are being taught. As such, it is advisable to consider using additional teaching material such as DVDs, pictures and online training to ensure that this information is passed along. In the event that there is no one in the company who can train workers on the health and safety training programs available, it is ideal to consider hiring a specialist in the field. This is an important aspect as it ensures that your business will not lose business simply because your workers messed up in one of these areas.

Learning to Manage Fatigue through Online Fatigue Management

It has been noted that driver fatigue ranks among one of the leading concerns for road safety. This means that all drivers who are constantly engaged in driving trucks and other vehicles on major highways need one course or the other to enable them learn how to manage fatigue while they are on the job. (more…)

Why do we need Fatigue Management for industry?

THE EFFECTS OF FATIGUE
We have defined fatigue as ‘loss of alertness, drowsy driving and falling sleep at the wheel’. It is certainly all of these things and more. (more…)

Asbestos Training: learning the risks of exposure to asbestos fibres.

This article focuses on highlighting the health risks associated with asbestos fibres. We are not going to get to technical. Just give you some basic facts. Asbestos training will help you understand the risks involved. (more…)

Who should do an owner builder course?

An owner builder is a person who does his own building work rather than employing the services of a licensed builder company or even individual. Before one can achieve this, there are processes to be followed, and the first one is undertaking the owner builder course.

But some questions one may ask are; is the course meant for anyone? And if not, who is eligible then? And after the course, is one free to embark on their building work? We take a look at these and other issues in summary and see how to go about them.

First, anyone can undertake the owner builder course. There are some institutions that offer online training to enable you to do this. One simply has to sign up for the course, log in, study and take the quiz. However, there are cases where some individuals may be exempted from taking the course. Such special circumstances include the following; if someone is a holder of a current BSA license, if someone is already an interstate builder or holds a trade contractor’s license or any other professional qualification that meets the minimum qualification for any BSA license such as a civil engineer, an architect, a building surveyor and other related professions.

Once one has completed the owner builder course, they are awarded with an owner builder certificate. But this is not all there is to enjoying the privileges of an owner builder. There still remains the one challenge of acquiring the owner builder permit or license. One has to prove the ownership of the land they intend to develop first and demonstrate the required experience in doing the work before applying for the license. There is also a limitation on the number of owner builder permits one can get; therefore, it is important to find out all these facts first. Legislation for owner builder courses varies from state to state in Australia.

Book Your Owner Builder Course Now!

Why Asbestos training is needed?

Why is asbestos training needed? Asbestos Exposure and Occupational Safety are two critical terms. The naturally occurring mineral asbestos has been used in a wide variety of occupational settings. (more…)

Manual Handling Training for Healthcare Workers

Managing manual handling risks should be regarded as a cyclical process aimed at continuous monitoring, review and improvement. Manual handling training can get your staff up to speed on what are some of the things to be aware of before they receive their manual handling certificate. An online manual handling course (more…)

Where can I do Asbestos Awareness Training?

There is a growing need for businesses working for government and private sector jobs to conduct Asbestos Awareness Training. (more…)

How Asbestos Training and Asbestos Training Courses help

Asbestos training and asbestos training courses help you understand the history of asbestos in Australia. Asbestos is the name applied to six naturally occurring minerals that are mined from the earth. The different types of asbestos are: (more…)

How to improve your fatigue management?

THE EFFECTS OF FATIGUE

We have defined fatigue as ‘loss of alertness, drowsy driving and falling sleep at the wheel’. It is certainly all of these things and more. (more…)

Fatigue Management Training for 4.5 tonnes and above

A National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, responsible for regulating all vehicles in Australia over 4.5 tonnes will become operational on 1 January 2013. (more…)

Australia calls for input on changes to trucker fatigue management reforms

Minor legislative changes to the hours of work and rest within the Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue reforms may be warranted, according to a discussion paper released for public consultation today by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

The Improving the basic fatigue management option discussion paper, explores whether amendments should be made to the reform requirements for split rests, the 14 day cycle and early starts contained within the Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) option.

Under the fatigue reforms, accredited operators who have undertaken comprehensive fatigue management training and put appropriate risk management systems into place are able to opt to schedule hours of work and rest that allow more flexibility in their work schedule, which potentially introduces increased risk through less restrictions on work hours. This is known as the BFM option.

“Any change to the agreed national heavy vehicle fatigue laws, even a minor change, has the potential to significantly impact road safety for drivers and the community and must therefore be carefully considered.”

“One of the key issues we have been exploring is whether drivers should be allowed to split their seven hour break into two blocks, even if it means the two blocks sum to a period exceeding seven hours.”

Under the current fatigue reforms, a long break of seven hours is required in any 24 hours.

“We have also explored whether a driver should be able to work more than seven days in a row if risk is adequately managed and whether the night rest period for drivers should be adjusted so it does not restrict drivers going to bed early and starting work early on a consistent basis.

Under the fatigue reforms, the BFM option requires a 24 hour rest in seven days and a night rest period of between 10pm to 8am.

Online basic fatigue management courses are readily available and easy to complete.

Courtesy: The Gov Monitor

The Value of Asbestos Awareness Training in the Workplace

You might have never heard of asbestos awareness training, but it can save lives. It gives householders and workers a fundamental understanding of the way to recognize its presence, where it is usually located in buildings, and methods to avoid being exposed. Knowing where it is found can help workers avoid being exposed to this deadly mineral. And if it is found an asbestos removal service should be called without delay.

What forms of things contain asbestos fibers?

It is present in fireproofing materials, insulation, cement, building materials, shingles for roofing, ceiling plaster, brake linings, and other types of building materials. Tiny asbestos dust can become airborne (float in the air), especially during the manufacturing of materials with asbestos. These airborne particles can be breathed in, resulting in mesothelioma, cancer, and different asbestos-related medical conditions.

Asbestos awareness training is vital since asbestos is seen in a great number of buildings as well as houses and schools. Within the workplace or home asbestos will mostly be found as sprayed-in insulation above ceilings and on steel beams, in ceiling tiles and floor tiles manufactured previous to 1981, and in insulation around pipes and ducts. So far as floor tiles are concerned the bulk of 9-inch tiles and a few 12-inch tiles will include asbestos if they were produced previous to 1981.

Asbestos training & asbestos courses can be found online.

Courtesy: Articlear.com

Manual handling training – an employer’s legal obligations

Manual handling law is managed by Acts of Parliament in each State and Territory in Australia. Each State and Territory has an Act (the Law), which enforces Regulations (the framework), which are supported by Codes of Practice (the guidance). (more…)

Equal employment opportunity – what does it mean for managers?

As an equal opportunity employer in general, employers and supervisors must treat people fairly, whether they, or their relatives or associates, are male or female, from one ethnic group rather than another, married or not, older or younger, and so on. (more…)

Load restraint – the vehicle owner’s responsibilities

What are the vehicle owner’s responsibilities for load restraint? Although the driver is responsible for the conduct of the vehicle, in many cases the owner can be responsible for the restraint of the load. As an owner, it is their responsibility to ensure that all employees, including any contractors used, abide by the rules of load restraint, as laid out in the Load Restraint Guide, and know what the Performance Standards mean.

They need to ensure all employees understand the characteristics of loads and why loads move. They should also schedule regular load restraint training (TLIA107C or TLID407C), and have the load restraint responsibilities of each position clearly defined within the position description.

As part of your company quality manual, the guidelines for load restraint should be detailed so that each member involved is fully aware of their responsibilities and actions.

Sexual harassment in the workplace – it can happen out of work too

Some forms of sexual harassment, such as assault, physical molestation, stalking, sexual assault and indecent exposure are also criminal offences. The Anti-Discrimination Act provides that all kinds of sexual harassment are against the law regardless of where the sexual harassment happens. (more…)

Work performance and safety – alcohol & drug awareness for employees

As an employee you should know how alcohol and drugs impair judgement, and affect work performance and safety for everyone. (more…)

Workplace bullying – behaviours supervisors need to watch

What are some examples of bullying behaviour, or workplace harassment?

Bullying behaviour can be obvious and aggressive. Examples could include: (more…)

Eco-drive…reduce cost and save the planet

Reduce cost and save the planet. When fuel is combusted it produces energy which drives your vehicle. One of the many bi-products is carbon dioxide, which is now linked to climate change. More fuel burned=more CO2 emitted from your exhaust – it is exactly in step. (more…)

Food safety training – your responsibilities

As a  food handler, it is your legal responsibility to maintain food safety in the workplace.

This means understanding all policies and procedures in your workplace, food safety hazards and prrinciples for safe food handling. (more…)

Fatigue management – know your body clock

Have you ever wondered why you feel drowsy during certain times of the day, even though you may have gotten good sleep at night? That’s quite normal. Why? Because of circadian rhythms – in other words, your body clock. (more…)

Indian aviation employs new fatigue management strategies

Pilot’s fatigue has been recognized as one of the serious safety hazards and contributory factors in accidents/serious incidents. Analyses of such incidents reveal that the operating crew were affected by micro sleep phenomenon. (more…)

Forklift accident highlights need for proper training

The failure to separate pedestrians from vehicles in the workplace can lead to both accidents and subsequent fines from the enforcing authorities.

A case in point was reported recently where a company in the North of England failed to act on a risk assessment that identified a failure to separate vehicles and pedestrians at its factory. (more…)

First aid training saves a life

Two years ago Sarah Gregory completed a first aid course just in case she ever found herself in a situation where she had to save someone’s life. Now the former Milford Haven woman has done just that. (more…)

Builder fined over asbestos awareness error

A Solihull building firm has been fined £1,000 after failing to take precautions against asbestos while working at a school.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after bosses at Greswolde Construction Ltd of Station Road, Knowle, failed to warn its employees that the substance was present despite being in possession of a survey detailing where the asbestos was. (more…)

CNN video – the future of food industry & why we need food safe training

Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

Jamie Oliver on food safety

While promoting fresh home cooking, Oliver also emphasizes the importance of food safety precautions. He has published numerous articles and videos on his website that are designed to teach people about the importance of cooking safely in the home. (more…)

Manual handling safety

In most jurisdictions, manual handling is the leading cause of injury and can often account for around
50% of all injury claims. Manual handling effects all workers whether they be in manufacturing,
heavy industry or office environments and therefore should be addressed by all employers. (more…)

Why you should keep up-to-date with manual handling instructor training

Do your staff need regular and in-depth manual handling training due to their job roles? Have you decided to train your own members of staff so that you can save on hiring an outside manual handling trainer? (more…)

Did workplace bullying prompt workers suicide?

In the days before Kevin Morrissey committed suicide near the University of Virginia campus, at least two co-workers said they warned university officials about his growing despair over alleged workplace bullying at the award-winning Virginia Quarterly Review. (more…)

Fatigue management training – reducing accidents

If you are a truck driver and you become drowsy you can drift into ‘micro-sleep’, which is a brief nap that lasts around 3 to 5 seconds.  At 100 km per hour, in 5 seconds a vehicle travels 100 metres providing plenty of time to run into a tree, off a bridge or into the pathway of a bus full of school children. (more…)

Chain of responsibility legislation – what has changed?

The traditional approach in road transport law in Australia has been to apply legal liability for not operating safely on drivers only, or in some cases owners or operators. Where other parties could be held accountable, this was generally through legally cumbersome ‘cause or permit’ or ‘aid and abet’ laws. (more…)

What employees need to know about equal employment opportunity

All employees are required to understand what inappropriate workplace behaviours are, and how to avoid them. You need to understand your rights and responsibilities under the equal opportunity and anti-discrimination legislation and your obligation to treat everyone with respect and courtesy and without harassment. (more…)

Manual handling training – reducing injury for healthcare workers

Statistics from the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission for the aged care industry show that in 1996–97 strains and sprains made up three-quarters of all the workers’ compensation injuries that occurred. It is important to remember that manual handling injuries can be the result of lots of stresses and strains over time. (more…)

Asbestos awareness

What are the historical uses of asbestos? Asbestos is the fibrous form of mineral silicates belonging to the serpentine and amphibole groups of rock-forming minerals. (more…)

First aid training – something we all need.

First aid is really a foundation of info that we all need to know. You will find a number of types of first aid and anyone can benefit from obtaining the first aid training out there. The great news is that, it is fairly simple to discover this info. In fact there are even online first aid courses available. (more…)

Manual handling safety – how to protect your back

Lifting objects is part of our daily life and fortunately the strength of your back and the rest of your body allows you to do this. However, lifting (or manual handling as it is often called) is also a common cause of back pain. (more…)

Egg recall sparks calls for quick passage of food safety legislation

Washington, USA.

The recall of 380 million eggs — almost 32 million dozen — due to a possible salmonella contamination is sparking calls for the quick passage of food-safety legislation after the August recess.

The recent outbreak has sickened hundreds of people across multiple states. (more…)

Forklift training – national campaign

A compliance campaign at targeted sites, with workplace audits, begins this month in South Australia as part of a national campaign to assess and improve forklift safety in the grocery wholesale and fruit and vegetable wholesale industries.

The national campaign aims to reduce the rate of incidents and injury from forklift-related tasks such as loading and unloading vehicles. (more…)

Sharing News on Facebook & Twitter

Start to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can read regular news, updates and upcoming events on our Facebook Page and Twitter.

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Basic eco-drive training for everyone

Drive better, and greener, by applying some of the driving skills and attention usually only found on the racetrack and in doing so become a more energy efficient driver. (more…)

Forklift operator least stressful job

Forklift operators may face workplace safety issues and need forklift safety training but they have been listed by an online job board with librarians and piano tuners as the least stressful jobs for 2010. (more…)

About fatigue management training

All heavy vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) over 12 tonnes and buses with 12 seats (9 in NSW) will need to comply with fatigue management legislation. Under OH&S legislation employers have a duty of care responsibility to provide a safe workplace and safe systems of work and employees must be mentally and physically fit for work and work in a safe and responsible manner. (more…)

Load restraint – what are the driver’s responsibilities?

Here are some of the load restraint responsibilities of both the driver and the operator.

As far as the courts are concerned, the driver is responsible in any incident as they are in control of the vehicle.  As a driver, you should ensure you and your manager share the same understanding of your responsibility in regard to load restraint. (more…)

AlertForce: Fatigue management training online

Fatigue and falling asleep are serious safety risks. If you are fatigued, your performance may become impaired. Your response times in critical situations may become slower. And your ability to get to and from work safely may be compromised.

Fatigue management training can help you avoid accidents and get home safely. (more…)

Defining workplace bullying prevention

One definition of workplace bullying is: “the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker.” (more…)

Drug alcohol training: intoxicated workers – how do you know?

Managers need drug and alcohol training to know how to identify drug and alcohol related issues. But how do you know? (more…)

What are the General Responsibilities for Load Restraint?

All members involved in the safe carriage of loads are responsible for the correct application of load restraint. The only difference is the degree of responsibility. Depending on the individual arrangements, the degree of responsibility may change for each member involved.
(more…)

Bully-Proof Your Workplace

In some cases a behaviour that is perceived to be inappropriate and bullying is nothing more than one person being oblivious to the impact they are unintentionally having on someone else. (more…)

David Jones to Settle Sexual Harassment Claim

David Jones Ltd. may have made a settlement offer to a former employee who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company, its board and former Chief Executive Officer Mark McInnes, the Sun-Herald reported today without saying where it got the information. (more…)

HP’s Mark Hurd resigns amid sexual harassment investigation

Mark Hurd is stepping down as CEO of Hewlett-Packard following an investigation into claims that he sexually harassed a former contractor to the company. (more…)

DIYers Are Advised to Be Asbestos Aware

Nearly half (47%) of homeowners who do DIY in their properties do not realise that asbestos was used as a building material in homes as recently as the 1990s, according to a survey carried out by the British Lung Foundation (BLF).

As part of Action Mesothelioma Day 2010, the BLF is urging people who carry out DIY to be Asbestos Aware after the recent survey of 2,000 homeowners revealed that nearly two thirds (65%) are not confident identifying asbestos-containing materials in the home. (more…)

Fatigue Management – General Awareness Training

You may wonder why bosses taking the time to address a personal health issue like fatigue. Fatigue is a technical term for feeling tired, drowsy or sleepy. Fatigue and falling asleep are serious safety risks. (more…)

Introduction to Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)

Asbestos is a hazardous material that poses a risk to health by inhalation if the asbestos fibres become airborne and people are exposed to these airborne fibres.
Exposure to asbestos fibres is known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

It is important for employees who may work in buildings that contain asbestos to know where it is likely to be found and how to avoid exposure.
Asbestos-containing materials were used extensively in Australian buildings and structures, plant and equipment and in ships, trains and motor vehicles during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, and some uses, including some friction materials and gaskets, were only discontinued on 31 December 2003.

The well-known adverse health consequences of exposure to airborne asbestos fibres can be prevented if precautions are taken and appropriate procedures are followed. Strong management and control of all asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in the workplace is essential.
The risks posed by asbestos vary depending on the nature and condition of the materials and the potential for exposure.
Asbestos awareness training can help identify and reduce workplace risks.

The Importance of Restraining a Load on a Vehicle

There is an identified need to improve the awareness and understanding of load restraint issues, including the contents of the Load Restraint Guide. (more…)

An introduction to fatigue management strategies

Driver fatigue is a major safety hazard for all drivers on the highway.  Fatigue related crashes tend to be severe and with little or no braking or avoidance action prior to the accident. (more…)

DJs Sexual Harassment Case – Who is the Victim?

The sexual harassment lawsuit against former DJs chief executive Mark McGuiness is raising eyebrows not only due to the scandalous nature of the story (which guaranteed it huge media coverage), but also the actions of the victim, Kristy Fraser-Kirk. (more…)

Chain of Responsibility Training

A safety management system is designed to ensure the continued safety of the employees of a company. According to OSHAcademy, an online training center that offers courses in workplace safety, an audit of the safety management system should be done yearly to ensure that the safety management system is working correctly. (more…)

Indian Aviation Fatigue Laws in Review

MUMBAI: While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for flight attendants to check on pilots during lean-activity periods in the cockpit to prevent the flying crew from falling asleep at the controls, the country’s aviation regulator is yet to issue scientifically backed pilot rest rules despite the rising instances of fatigue-related air crashes the world over. (more…)

Fatigue Management Expert Joins NTSB

With the swearing in of Mark Rosekind and Earl Weener as members of the NTSB on June 30, the investigative body reached its full complement of five for the first time since President Obama took office in January 2009.

Rosekind is an internationally recognized fatigue expert who has conducted research and implemented programs in diverse settings, including all modes of transportation, health care, law enforcement, elite athletes and military groups. (more…)

Lafarge Plasterboard introduces manual handling guidance

Lafarge Plasterboard has announced that from the end of July 2010 all of its GTEC plasterboard products complying with BS EN 520 will include manual handling guidance. (more…)

Armidale: top food safety standards

Armidale Dumaresq Council (ADC) is offering a big pat on the back to local food outlets, following the results of this year’s annual health and safety inspection. (more…)

Forklift Operator Training – Playing by the Rules

Since companies and all owners were required to properly equip all workers with training and knowledge in forklifts, courses have begun sprouting everywhere in all kinds of manner. Forklift operator training is vital to ensure that all operations remain safe and efficient for everyone. Having skilled workers at hand will also boost productivity in the long term. (more…)

US to Up Penalties for Food Safety Handler Violations

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation late last week that would stiffen the penalties for companies that knowingly violate food safety standards. (more…)

Manual handling certificate

For organizational heads, the training will enable you to meet legal requirements which among others, include the task of assessing risks associated with various related activities, to enable you to provide a secure working environment for those under you – something you cannot do without proper training. (more…)

Manual handling training

Manual handling has often been associated with a high risk of injury; in fact, a recent assessment of causes of such risks ranks lack of proper training in the top five. (more…)

Getting food handlers training

When it comes to this type of course mostly what you will need is a computer and a will to learn. (more…)

Food safety training

When it comes to food, not many people think that following safety precautions is essential. But that is not really the case. (more…)

Online basic fatigue management training: outcomes

Fatigue can have serious consequences if not looked into early and that is why many people look for ways to solve this problem. Others go to their doctors when the condition has become serious. Online fatigue management programs are meant to have you back on your feet, especially if you have to put up with long hours of work.

Following the instructions given can mean that you never have to worry about your health no matter how long you work.

Many people are using these services and have seen their health improve very quickly with the simple rules given on the websites. You will have an easier time following these rules and in no time at all, you will improve your health and have an easier time maintaining it. You can never go wrong with online fatigue management programs.

Online fatigue management courses

There are many reasons one could suffer from fatigue. This is however more often experienced by those who are working in certain industries. (more…)

Chain of responsibility legislation: what has changed?

The traditional approach in road transport law in Australia has been to apply legal liability for not operating safely on drivers only, or in some cases owners or operators. (more…)

Eco driving: general tips

Avoid peak rush. More traffic means more stopping and starting, not to mention stress and headaches, and the big one – so much time is wasted. Unless you absolutely have to, plan carefully to avoid rush traffic by leaving earlier or later. (more…)

Eco driving: reduce cost and save the planet

When fuel is combusted it produces energy which drives your vehicle. One of the many bi-products is carbon dioxide, which is now linked to climate change. (more…)

Sexual harassment awareness

Sexual harassment does not have to be repeated or continuous to be against the law. It can be a one-off incident. Certain conduct may only have to occur once to constitute sexual harassment. (more…)

What is sexual harassment?

It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that everybody in the workplace is free from sexual harassment. Every employee plays a significant role in ensuring the achievement of workplaces that are free of all forms of sexual harassment. (more…)

Manual handling – why do we need to take care?

Your health and safety at work is very important. Not just because of any legal requirements either. People, who are happy at work, performing tasks they can properly manage, make for a great workplace. (more…)

Equal employment opportunity and the law

Various federal, state and territory laws say that it is against the law to discriminate against people, or treat them unfairly, in various areas of public life. One of these areas is employment. (more…)

How hygeine affects food safety

1. Keeping the workplace clean:

The bacteria that contaminate our food come from the surfaces and equipment used to process, store and transport food. (more…)

Food handling certificate: understanding food safety hazards

A food safety hazard is:

–       Something dangerous

–       Likely to cause harm to food

Food safety hazards include:

–       Physical risks

–       Chemical risks

–       Biological risks

Some foods are more susceptible to food contamination than others and can be considered as high-risk foods. High-risk foods include:

–       Fish and seafood

–       Meat and small goods

–       Poultry and game

–       Dairy and egg-based foods

–       Wet dishes, soups, stock and sauces

–       Fruits including rockmelon, watermelon, blueberries and fruit salad

–       Pre-made salads

–       Pate and soft cheeses

–       Ice-cream

–       Cooked rice and pasta

To prevent food safety hazards, you must understand:

–       The key risks to food contamination, and

–       The practices that need to be applied

What is a food safety program?

A food safety program:
– Systematically identifies the food safety hazards that could occur in your workplace
– It outlines the procedures that must be followed to control food safety hazards (more…)

Handling Food Hygienically – Food Safety Training

Customers rely on food staff to provide food that is safe to eat. As a food handler, it is your legal responsibility to maintain safe food handling practices in the workplace. It is also your responsibility to carry out duties to monitor food handling, taking action to correct or report any unsafe practices you observe in your workplace. The AlertForce Food Safety training program will help you to understand the risks, and to follow safe food handling practices.

Food Safety Policies and Procedures

Food Safety Policies and Procedures have become increasingly important for food businesses.

Food businesses must:
– conform to legal requirements
– ensure that food is free from contamination

Food poisoning outbreaks can have a devastating effect.

Sound food safety practices help:
– Identify food safety hazards
– Reduce the likelihood of outbreaks occurring

Disturbing Food Safety Results At Sports Stadiums

Sports fans might want to just watch the game instead of eating at some sports stadiums across the country. ESPN just went through a list of food safety inspections and made some pretty gross discoveries.

ESPN looked through 107 health inspection reports for all the major league stadiums and ball parks. They found more than half of the concession stands or restaurants had been cited for at least one “critical” or “major” health violation. (more…)

New aviation safety measures to include fatigue management plan

WASHINGTON — Congress is getting ready to pass tough new aviation safety measures that were developed in response to a deadly commuter plane crash in western New York in early 2009, a key lawmaker said Wednesday. (more…)

Europe Fail Learners Without Eco Driving Skills

Learner drivers could fail their driving test, if they pose a threat to the planet, under proposals being drawn up by the European Commission.

Braking suddenly, revving the engine or wasting fuel by being too heavy on the accelerator pedal could prove costly. (more…)

New Food Safety Reporting System Prompts Recalls

FDA Says New System Helped Identify Over 100 Food Safety Problems in First 7 Months

According to an agency spokesperson, a review team meets each work day to discuss all submissions. Yesterday the agency highlighted two actions that were prompted by the Registry:

(more…)

Why do supervisors need bullying prevention awareness?

Bullying is not acceptable workplace behaviour and it should not be tolerated in any form.

Workplace bullying should be treated like any other health and safety hazard. As part of normal workplace risk management procedures, bullying incidents, practices or potential for bullying should be identified, assessed for risk, and steps taken to minimise the risk. Follow-on procedures should ensure bullying does not occur or continue.

Bullying can adversely affect the health and safety of employees. It is unacceptable under the Occupational (Workplace )Health and Safety Acts and Regulations. The legislation requires employers and employees to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. Supervisors are encouraged to participate in developing safe work procedures to deal with bullying, and providing it is safe to do so, should report incidents of bullying to an appropriate person at the workplace.

What is workplace bullying?

One definition of workplace bullying is: “the repeated less favourable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behaviour that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker.”

Another definition is: ‘Workplace bullying means any behaviour that is repeated, systematic and directed towards an employee or group of employees that a reasonable person, having regard to the circumstances, would expect to victimise, humiliate, undermine or threaten and which creates a risk to health and safety.’

What is Equal Employment Opportunity?

It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that everybody has equal employment opportunity and the workplace is free from discrimination. Every employee plays a significant role in ensuring the achievement of workplaces that are free of all forms of discrimination.

“When people experience their work environment as fair, flexible, safe and rewarding they’ll do a better job and have more job satisfaction.” Your workplace recognises that a workplace that is free from discrimination is essential in attracting and retrieving talented people from all backgrounds.

Equal Employment Opportunity or simply equal opportunity is about giving everybody a fair go. It is also about making sure that work places are free from discrimination, has fair work practices and behaviours. A diverse background of people and culture can bring an immense value to your work place.

Why managers need drug and alcohol awareness training

The specific recognition of alcohol consumption and drug use as a potential health and safety hazard means it must be managed just as you would manage any other workplace risk.

How do you identify drug and alcohol related issues?

Drugs work depending on how they are taken, where they are taken, and how many are taken. All drugs can have side effects, even legal drugs. For example, drunk people have taken too much alcohol. The alcohol has affected their ability to make choices, to keep their voices down, to think before they speak, and to walk properly. The intoxicated person may also want to have a fight, or to argue with other people.

Signs and symptoms

Both alcohol and drugs have hangover effects that can continue beyond consumption and drug use. It is important to note that other factors (such as fatigue) may also display hangover effects.

Signs and symptoms that may indicate a person is adversely affected by alcohol or drugs include:

  • stimulation
  • euphoria
  • loss of inhibition
  • impairment of co-ordination, judgement, intellectual capacity and ability to act quickly
  • blurred vision
  • slurred speech
  • in some cases feelings of exhilaration, energy, increased mental alertness
  • lackadaisical, “I don’t care” attitude
  • delayed decision making
  • poor concentration
  • strong and severe mood swings
  • walking with a blank stare and disjoined walk (e.g. PCP)
  • dry mouth and throat
  • increased appetite
  • dulled reflexes
  • hangover-headache, shakiness, nausea and vomiting
  • chronic fatigue and lack of motivation
  • distinctive odours of substances used
  • impaired coordination, concentration, and memory
  • slowed speech
  • irritating cough, chronic sore throat
  • reddened eyes (often masked by eye drops and glasses)
  • impaired tracking and visual distance
  • distortions in time estimation
  • “bad trips”, unpleasant psychological reactions that may include panic, confusion suspicion, anxiety and loss of control
  • dilated/ constricted pupils depending on which drug they have used
  • needle marks or open body sores
  • tremors
  • physical and moral deterioration

Be mindful that these signs and symptoms could be as a result of some other mechanism other than drugs or alcohol. Signs and symptoms alone cannot confirm impairment related to alcohol and other drugs.

Drug and alcohol training for high risk work OH&S

You must always be able to safely carry out your duties in a fit state and not cause increased risk to yourself or others.

This also includes being ‘in readiness for work’ if you are placed on an on-call roster. You must be able to demonstrate that you are fit for work. You must immediately notify a supervisor or manger if you have any concerns about your current or potential fitness to work safely.

It is important that you are aware of your legal requirement to take reasonable care of the health and safety of others and to co operate with your employers efforts to comply with occupational health and safety requirements and to ensure you are not in a state which may endanger your own safety or the safety of any other person at work. (more…)

Why do employees need alcohol and drug training?

The understanding of your role in OHS law

Alcohol and other drug use is a major contributing factor in workplace accidents.

The use of alcohol and other drugs becomes an occupational health and safety issue if a person’s ability to exercise judgment, coordination, motor control, concentration and alertness is affected at the workplace, leading to an increased risk of injury or illness.

All workplaces in Australia are subject to Occupational Health and Safety Laws. All persons who enter a workplace have rights and responsibilities. In some states these are called obligations.

This means that you may have multiple responsibilities or obligations depending on your role in the workplace or your purpose for being there. You may be an employee, and a supervisor or manager, at the same time. In that case you would have obligations in each of these capacities.

Even volunteers and visitors entering a worksite have responsibilities or obligations.

Your individual role in complying with Occupational Health and Safety laws is contained within various state Workplace Health and Safety Acts. There are severe penalties in place for failing to meet your obligations and responsibilities.

Obligations to self and others

As an individual entering a workplace, you have specific workplace health and safety responsibilities to yourself and to others.

You must:

  • comply with instructions given for workplace health and safety
  • use personal protective equipment if the employer provides it and if you are properly instructed in its use
  • not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided for workplace health and safety at the workplace
  • not wilfully place others at risk
  • not wilfully injure yourself

What is Manual Handling?

Manual handling is a risky activity. We all have to perform manual handling tasks at work. We should always be looking at ways to make our workplace safer through better practice.

Injuries resulting from manual handling can be very painful and difficult to fix. Therefor it is very important to acquire the basic knowledge and skills necessary to work safely and efficiently when manual handling. (more…)

Why is manual handling awareness in healthcare important?

Manual handling remains the single largest cause of injuries to health care workers. Importantly, manual handling injuries are a significant cause of the loss of nurses from health and community services. Other occupational groups at risk include facility cleaners and health care assistants.

What is different to other Manual Handling?

You are most likely working in healthcare because you want to help people. Often the people you help have poor mobility. They depend on you to get around or in some cases just the simple task of turning in bed.

The human body is a very awkward heavy object.  If you were asked to work in another job where you were required to move objects weighing an average 80kg or more, you would probably be going for the forklift. Yet some healthcare workers continue to handle patients, day in day out, as if there were no consequences. Everybody knows of a colleague who has chronic back or neck pain due to working in the healthcare industry.

How bad is the problem?

The following major contributors to nurse injuries have been recorded:

  • manual handling of people
  • muscular stress with no objects being handled
  • slips, trips and falls
  • manual handling of trolleys
  • the use and adjustment of beds
  • handling of linen and lead aprons.

Sprains and strains were the main types of manual handling injury. Of injuries to registered nurses, 40 per cent involved the back, 12 per cent the upper limbs, and 9 per cent the lower limbs. Of injuries to enrolled nurses, 30 per cent were to the back and 17 per cent to the upper limbs. Beds were involved in nearly all patient-handling activities where injuries occurred, e.g. repositioning and transferring patients.

Manual handling is the most common cause of injuries for employees working in aged care facilities, accounting for 58 per cent of all injuries.  Nurses, carers, cleaners, laundry, maintenance, administration and kitchen staff have all been injured during manual handling.

What is Chain of Responsibility?

Chain of Responsibility is a simple process of ensuring that everyone does their bit in managing fatigue risks in the road transport sector.

Road Transport is a risky activity.  Driver fatigue is a major safety hazard for all drivers on the highway. The risk of death or serious injury to a driver and passenger or the occupants of other vehicles in a fatigue related crash is very high.

There is legislation, throughout Australia, to manage fatigue under Occupational Health and Safety. Everyone in the supply chain is responsible for the management of fatigue. The aim of the laws is to ensure that legal liability is imposed on all those in the transport chain who have responsibility for certain tasks where their actions result in an offense.

The laws target speeding, illegal driving and working hours, overloading, exceeding vehicle dimensions and poorly restrained loads. Improved compliance with these and other laws will provide a safer industry for workers in the road transport industry and other road users.

Chain of responsibility is a key initiative targeting those who, by their actions, inactions or demands, put drivers’ lives and other lives at risk, and gain an unfair competitive advantage by breaking the law.

The principle was developed by the National Road Transport Commission1 in the early 1990s and is a major component of the Commission’s ‘smart compliance’ approach to ensuring compliance with road transport laws.

Chain of Responsibility training is essential for anybody in the supply chain.

Eco driving for fuel efficiency

Discover some simple tips on eco driving and see how adopting a few minor modifications to your driving style can significantly reduce fuel usage, which in turn reduces dangerous greenhouse gas emissions.

The further you drive, the more fuel you use. It might sound silly, but just think about it for a moment. Really well planned routes anticipating time of day, traffic, stops and checking radio or TV before you head off will save you buckets of time and fuel. Try and use local destinations and suppliers if you can or if it’s appropriate. Go local! Also consider the frequency you travel from place to place. Is it necessary to do a run 5 times a week or can it be just 3? Of course it always depends on what you do, but too often these fundamental plans are not thought through.

Use the right tool for the job. Many businesses have a huge variety of vehicles, from trucks to vans and even scooters. Trucks are built to carry heavy loads, scooters light loads (genius!). But think about it – so often we use the wrong tool for the job. If possible, try and use a smaller vehicle if it is suitable for the job, (like local, urban routes), and big cruisers or large vehicles when covering distance or carrying loads, respectively. So often we use big vehicles when the power and speed is really only needed for less than 1% of the time. Incorporating this big picture strategy will make a big difference to your fuel consumption.

Reduce the Cost of Motoring With Eco Driving Tips

The cost of motoring can have an impact on both our wallets and on the environment. The good news is that by using strategies to reduce our current vehicles’ impact on the environment, we can save money, too.

By adopting the principles of Eco Driving, you should be able to reduce fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and your likelihood of being involved in an accident. By adopting smooth and safe driving techniques, you can save on average 5-10% on your fuel bill.

The Golden Rules of Eco Driving

According to web site EcoDrive.org, you should:

  • Change up a gear as soon as possible: Change up a gear when you hit 2,000 to 2,500 revs, to minimise internal friction in the engine
  • Maintain a steady speed: Use the highest gear possible, driving with the lowest RPM
  • Anticipate traffic flow: Look ahead to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. As well as a smoother driving or riding experience, it should lead to lower fuel consumption and even fewer accidents
  • Decelerate smoothly: Take your foot off the accelerator when slowing down for a red light or a junction. Leave the car in gear and decelerate smoothly
  • Check your tyre pressures frequently: Tyre pressures that are 25% too low increase rolling resistance by 10% and fuel consumption by 2%. And, of course, correctly inflated tyres have a longer life and provide a more comfortable ride and optimum roadholding.

Some More Ways to Save Fuel

Drive slower because at high speeds, air resistance and friction in the engine increase. Travelling at 50mph uses 15% less fuel than 70mph, and any speed over 45mph sees wind resistance and engine friction increase, leading to increased fuel consumption.

Take a look in your boot, back seat and foot wells. Are you carrying unnecessary weight such as unneeded tools (you don’t need your full toolkit in a heavy case – indeed you may decide to leave any on-the-move maintenance to your breakdown provider), clutter and luggage that has taken up residence in your car. All of these add to the weight of your vehicle and to the fuel consumption.

While you’re considering unnecessary weight, think about unnecessary drag, too. Roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes all significantly affect your car’s dynamics, so increasing fuel consumption. Remove them if they’re not in use.

Turn off your engine if you’re stationary – in a serious traffic jam, while waiting for a level crossing or just sitting in a car park. There’s little point in using fuel when you’re travelling nowhere.

If you plan ahead, you can avoid congestion and road works. And try to keep your car for longer journeys, because a cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel as a warm one, while catalytic converters only become effective after five miles of driving.

A few simple steps such as these and a little driving skills refinement can help the planet and your pocket. Why not start applying them now?

Courtesy: Ezine Articles

OSHA forklift certification – What’s involved, What You Need To Know

There are many different jobs that require a person to know how to use a forklift. Usually, if you work in construction or in most warehouses, then you have to know how to run some basic machinery. Not only do you have to know how to run a forklift but you also have to have OSHA forklift certification. Running a forklift isn’t necessarily hard if you know the basics. When you are operating any type of major machinery, that could be dangerous, it is always good to be certified by a company that specializes in safety.

If you need to get an OSHA forklift certification and you have access to the Internet, you are in luck. You can get certified to run a forklift and even print out your operator card and get your certificate immediately, from the comfort of your own home.

Running a forklift can be simple but you want to make sure that you have the proper training. There are all kinds of accidents that are associated with people and machinery. Forklifts are a tool but they can be dangerous if they are misused. Getting OSHA certified forklift training is the smart way to go and it is required, if you plan to run a forklift at work. It is awesome that you can do most of your training online. Once you have a trainer evaluate you, then you are on your way to running a forklift successfully on your own.

Driving home the importance of forklift training

Overturning or rollovers are the leading cause of fatal injuries in forklift safety related accidents; and in almost all of the cases, the driver is struck or crushed by the roof guard of the safety cage. Accident investigations conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) find that the single consistent identifiable characteristic in these accidents was that the driver was not wearing seat belts.

In comparison to an automobile, not using a seat belt in a forklift exposes the driver to a larger danger of injuries although forklifts move at speeds usually far lower than cars. The following is an explanation why this is so.

Forklifts that are largely used indoors, such as in warehouses, may very well look like large mechanical toys, but they are far from being so. In reality, even the smallest riding forklift is heavier than a small car or truck. Their center of gravity is also located higher. Moreover, forklifts steer by rotating their rear axle, which is usually mounted on a pin. While this mechanism allows forklifts to turn on the proverbial dime, it also reduces the effective equilibrium making it easy for a forklift to overturn. In other words, it is easy for a forklift to rollover.

During a rollover, the driver’s natural and instinctive reaction is to jump away from the falling forklift. But as we have seen, forklifts are machines with a high center of gravity and low stability. They are also heavy. Once a fork lift becomes unstable, it tends to come down extremely fast because of its heavy weight, small base of stability and high center of gravity. The bars of the safe cage also get in the way. Therefore, it is almost impossible for an operator to jump clear. They get caught by the guards of the safety cage and suffer severe injuries, which are often fatal.

The attempt to jump is the single largest cause of fatal injuries. Accidents by their nature are unpredictable. Forklift drivers should, therefore, without exception, wear their seat belts at all times.

Courtesy: Ur Health Safety

Emotional volatility justifies fitness-for-duty test: Court

SAN FRANCISCO—An employer can order a fitness-for-duty exam when a worker’s emotional stability is in question, even when job performance has not been affected, a federal appellate court ruled. (more…)

Asbestos study finds trained workers more aware of asbestos risks

A Safe Work Australia report has found that workers trained in health and safety are more aware of asbestos and its dangers

In 2009, Safe Work Australia commissioned the Asbestos Exposure and Compliance Study of Construction and Maintenance Workers. The report findings were published in February 2010 and focused on four trades – electricians, carpenters, plumbers and painters.

This follow-up report reviews the literature on worker safety behaviour and the factors that influence workers’ understanding of the health risks of exposure to asbestos.

In Australia, as a consequence of the high level of asbestos consumption in the past, large volumes of in-situ asbestos are still present in many older buildings and in water and sewerage pipes. Significant adverse health effects, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis can arise from exposure to airborne asbestos fibres which can be generated when these in-situasbestos containing materials are disturbed. However, safe work practices such as those defined in regulations on management and control of in-situ asbestos can prevent potential exposure to airborne asbestos fibres.

It was unknown whether these safe work practices were being followed in Australia, especially among workers with high potential risk of exposure, such as construction and maintenance workers. This led Safe Work Australia to commission the Asbestos Exposure and Compliance Study of Construction and Maintenance Workers. The study targeted four trades: electricians, carpenters, plumbers and painters. The study was completed in 2009 and a descriptive research report was published in February 2010.

The present report is a follow-up report of the initial descriptive report from the Asbestos Exposure and Compliance Study (the Asbestos Study). The aims of this report are:

  • to conduct a brief literature review of worker safety behaviour models to provide background information on factors influencing worker safety behaviours
  • to examine which factors influenced workers’ understanding of the risk of asbestos, and
  • to examine which factors influenced compliance with safe work practices when working with asbestos containing materials (ACMs).

NTC backs WA on fatigue management

The National Transport Commission has backed Western Australia’s stance on national regulations, saying a blanket model will not work when it comes to reforming cross-border differences.The Transport Forum WA recently vowed to oppose any attempt by governments to alter the state’s fatigue management scheme to align it with other jurisdictions.

During a recent meeting with the Forum and the Northern Territory Road Transport Association, NTC Chairman Greg Martin told the groups there would be “no disadvantage to any jurisdiction” and “one size does not fit all”.
(more…)

Fatigue Management law in 2013: NT

Fatigue management law in the Northern Territory will not be introduced until the national heavy vehicle regulator starts in 2013.

The Department of Lands and Planning was due to introduce the law last financial year but decided to hold fire until all jurisdictions move to national regulations. (more…)

Chain of Reponsibility – businesses urged to review

Law firm Cooper Grace Ward is warning Queensland businesses to examine their operations following the introduction of chain of responsibility law for heavy vehicle speed.

All parties involved in the delivery of goods can now be held accountable if a truck driver is caught speeding after the Queensland Government introduced the law on July 1. The law applies to vehicles over 4.5 tonnes. (more…)

QLD Truck Drivers Better Protected

From the 1st of July 2010 news laws to protect truck drivers against the influence of speed will now be enforced. (more…)

Gossips/Slimy Weasels Under Fire

Self-made billionaire and stock trader Ray Dallio has updated his policy’s and procedure for his company Bridgewater Associated to firing anyone who has been overheard spreading malicious gossip three times about their colleagues .

(more…)

David Jones CEO Steps Down After Inappropriate Behavior

David Jones, chief executive Mark McInnes has had to resign after allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a female staff member. (more…)

Offices Pay For Your World Cup Hangover

When Google integrated an online version of Pac-Man onto their website  the US alone lost $145 million dollars in one day. (more…)

Ecological, Disabled Friendly Taxi to Take Over NY

Melbourne RMIT University student Damian Lucaciu, has developed his concept design, Melbourne Taxi 2010 has been adapted to suit and change the iconic New York taxis. (more…)

Alcohol Solutions Raise Safety Issues

Alcoholics in the UK have found a new solution that has yet to be approved in their own country. (more…)

Why You Should Not Eat in Your Car

An excellent reason why you should not eat in your car.

Market/Homemade Food Council Crack Down

The Bundaberg Regional Council have been focusing on the regions homemade food and market food sellers. (more…)

Forklift Championships Heats Up

The National Forklift Championships (NFC) heats will be starting next month. (more…)

Alcohol Awareness Teacher Plead Guilty to Drink Driving

Susan Evans, a UK alcohol awareness teacher was arrested by the police when she was caught “weaving between lanes” when driving home from party. (more…)

Doctors and Nurses Demand Crackdown on Assaults

Worksafe acting executive director for health and safety Stan Krpan has announced that Nurses have been identified as the most at risk of violence group in the workplace. (more…)

New Emergency Response Unit for Dangerous Goods By Sea Transport

A new self-contained mobile unit called the Cylinder Response Unit (CRU) has been organized for as quick response solution for sea transport emergencies. (more…)

Organic Debate Over: Normal Food Winner

A major study from the University of Sydney has found that the nutrient composition had only a small difference between normal and organically grown food. (more…)

Wasted Energy and Efficiency Cause Business to Lose Years of Productivity

IBM completed a study in the US, which looks at the price of wasted energy, lost productivity and operating costs. The study included 6,456 workers in 16 different cities. (more…)

MyFord Touch Infotainment: Driving Ecologically has Never Been so Easy

Car guru, Jeremy Clarkson once said “its not what you drive its how your drive it!”. (more…)

Computer Stress Syndrome Becoming Common

A news clip, on a new modern stress  called Computer Stress Syndrome.

Work Place Bullying Takes Distrubing New Twist

Bullying in the work place took a new twist when Dean Hutchinson was smacked with a 30cm piece of wood across the temple of his head. (more…)

Workers Walk of Job Due to Ration of Free Beer

Copenhagen workers went on strike mid-april when management changed the work place alcohol policy from being able to drink 3 beers to 1. (more…)

NSW Food Authorities Sends Strong Message to Butchers

A nightmare Yagoona butcherey has been fined over $5,000 for using illegal chemicals to make his meat look more appealing and for complete lack of cleanliness. (more…)

Forklift Accident Smashes $100,000 worth of Alcohol

A video clip of a Russian forklift driver who smashes over a $100,000 worth of alcohol , leaving more than just a financial headache.

(more…)

CCC finds Staff Drug Abuse in WA Hospitals

The Corruption and Crime Commission has found alarming rates of drug abuse and theft by doctors and nurses in hospitals in Western Australia. (more…)

Boss Allows Unlicensed Staff to use a Forklift, Sued for $700,000

Joel Coughlan, a professional table tennis player who was working in North Rockhampton lost 3/12 toes when he was injured when a employee lowered a metal component (called a cyclone) that was suspended by a sling to a forklift. (more…)

20% of Motor Crashes are Due to Fatigue

The evidence that is currently available suggests that 20% of motor vehicle crashes are due to fatigue. (more…)

Perth’s Billionaire Opens Carbon Saving Restaurant in New York

Fertilizer plant billionaire and Perth socialite Pankaj and wife Radhika Oswal have opened a environmentally friendly, vegetarian restaurant called Otarian in New York and London. (more…)

Food Safety Imports Grown Concerns

AusVeg, national peak industry body representing the interests of Australian vegetable and potato growers has expressed concerns over the nation’s reliance of importing vegetables from China. (more…)

Ecological Drivers perfer Diesel to Hybrid

The Hybrid car was introduced to the Australian car industry 10 years ago, as the new environmentally safe alternative. (more…)

Top Gear takes on Fuel Efficency

With the current economic crisis and the global outcry to reduce global warming, driving fuel efficient and buying ecological safer cars has become important. Top Gear, the popular English car show has taken fuel efficiency to a new level, a super car level.

Fatigue Management and Chain of Responsibilities being updated with new Electronic Work Diaries

The Minister of Assisting the Minister for Transport and Roads David Borger has been consulting with the heavy vehicle industry to pilot electronic work diaries for heavy vehicles. (more…)

Truckies being charged on F3 Debacle for not taking breaks

The F3 debacle on the 12 of April has left more than a few motorists fuming. During the 12 hour pile up truck and taxi drivers were fined for not taking their necessary breaks. There has been heavy criticism on the way authorities have handled the situation and the usefulness of the 28  million dollars in the infrastructure has been. Instead of assisting motorists, police have taken to the steps to stop smokers from consuming cigarettes in their cars.

Despite RTA investigations on previous accidents and similar occurrences NSW Road Minster David Campbell could not promise that the gridlock would never happen again. Since the incident the RTA has been swamped with complaints, so much so that NSW online newspapers have been offering links for direct complaints and organized an infringement notice to fine David Campbell, who did not take the public outcry seriously.  Some motorists have been able to keep their sense of humor Devils Advocate of Seven Hills said : “Whoever was in charge of that operation should be out looking for work today. They missed the opportunity to book all those stranded motorists for illegal parking.”

Courtsey of news.com.au and dailtelegraph.com.au

The Importance of Food Safety at Home

AlertForce are leaders in health & safety compliance training

Dangerous Goods by Sea and Fatigue Create Controversy

There has been a great deal of controversy since the Shen Neng 1 hit the Douglas Shoal last Saturday. (more…)

New Alcohol Bans are being Fought by NSW Premier

The battle of alcohol bans continues as police push for new laws while the NSW premier protects party goers rights. (more…)

New Food and Safety Laws create new “Scores on Doors” scheme

Cafes, takeway shops and restaurants are now under pressure to enter the ratings system known as “scores on doors”. (more…)

Australian Food and Safety laws come under global pressure for beef products

Australian meat producers’ reputations of being safe and ecologically friendly are being underpinned by the sacrifices of globalization. (more…)

HSE solutions for drug and alcohol testing

Testing for drugs and alcohol to see if you are fit for work is becoming more common and it is becoming just as important to be aware of your rights. (more…)

Negative effects of Fatigue in your political work place

Fatigue management plays an important part in your office, but there are dire consequences when fatigue affects the office that is running the country. (more…)

NRMA would like to see technology used for fatigue management

NRMA would like to see new technology used on roads to fight fatigue just as it is used for speeding. (more…)

NSW highways being updated for fatigue management

New rest stops are being built on NSW major highways to combat fatigue for drivers. (more…)

Do you need fatigue management? A truck driver now under investigation because he pushed a car along the highway.

A UK truck driver is now under investigation after a video was put up on youtube where the driver was pushing a car, unaware along the highway.

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