How good is your WHS training? REQUEST EVALUATION

Articles on: OHS News

Is Asbestos Training any good?

Recently the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency (ASEA) completed a report based on an “Analysis of existing training materials used by organisations in the utilities sector”.  The report followed an investigation of asbestos training materials undertaken by the former OHS manager of the Australian Workers’ Union, Dr Yossi Berger.  Berger applied a specific list of

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Increased OHS penalties, mental health and suicide prevention

On March 9 2016, Victoria’s Industrial Relations Minister, Robin Scott, introduced a Bill to Parliament that increased an OHS penalty to $3,000,000 but also clarified the roles of WHS assessors and those conducting WHS training. According to the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum, the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 allows for rules to be made concerning

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Asbestos in Australia

Until around the mid-1980s, Australia had one of the highest rates of asbestos-related illnesses (per capita) in the world. Although the mineral was once touted for its affordability, ease of use, and resistance to heat fire, millions of people worldwide have developed toxic, life-threatening illnesses after coming into contact with asbestos. Asbestos in Australia Numerous

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Do wellness programs work?

Wellness programs are now found in many workplaces. But do they improve wellness or work health and safety (WHS), both in the short term and with longer term sustainability? “The jury is still out”, according to Julie Armour from Sydney-based risk management consultancy Working Armour. Ms Armour says a recent review of the financial reports

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Dangerous, difficult and ‘sometimes appalling’: road management in spotlight

Working conditions in the traffic management industry are dangerous, difficult and “sometimes appalling”, according to the Workplace Rights Ombudsman’s Workplace Report on the Contract Traffic Control Industry Queensland. Highlighting the high fatality rate and importance of traffic training courses, the report calls for among other things, all site supervisors and potential site supervisors are to

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Heavy-industry employers urged to ratchet up workplace health and safety training

Training both workers and senior managers, including board members, in best-practice approaches to workplace health and safety (WHS) must remain a priority if heavy industry is to further reduce workplace fatalities. The manufacturing industry has the highest average incidence and frequency rate of serious workers’ compensation claims for the five-year period from 2004–05 to 2008–09

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Tougher liability laws see board and senior executives train up on WHS responsibilities

Early reluctance by boards and senior executives to acknowledge personal liability for company workplace health and safety (WHS) breaches has been replaced with acceptance and realisation they must be safety literate, a new report suggests. The new ‘officer’s duty’ under the harmonised WHS Act is designed to make boardrooms, and those working closely with them,

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Senate inquiry urges overhaul of the VET FEE-HELP system

A Labor-chaired senate inquiry committee has called for an overhaul of the vocational education and training fee help (VET FEE-HELP) system, claiming existing safeguards aren’t working. In a report to Federal Parliament this month (October 2015), the Education and Employment References Committee said there was evidence of “rampant abuse, accelerating costs, and doubling of bad

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TAFE: is it still relevant?

Faced with reduced funding from the Federal Government, cash-strapped state governments are looking at alternative models for workplace training. In this new environment, questions are being asked whether government instrumentalities such as TAFE remain relevant. In South Australia, ABC Online reports 500 job will be axed in the SA TAFE sector over the next four

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Taking fatigue management to the next level: trucking shows the way

In September 2015, the first operator was accredited under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) livestock transport fatigue management scheme (LTFMS) to provide flexible work arrangements that save time, lives and money. Goondiwindi owner driver Pat Mulligan currently subcontracts to a large livestock transport business and welcomes the flexibility that the scheme provides his operations.

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Who is protecting the protectors? Traffic controllers under the gun

A string of serious safety incidents involving traffic controllers has critics calling for an overhaul of legislative and safety protections, including traffic control training and planning. In the most recent incident, Queensland detectives are investigating after two projectiles were fired at a traffic controller at a roadworks site on the Bruce Highway at Burpengary on

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Are you driving your workers’ mad?

The high incidence of workers’ compensation claims for psychological injury in Australia remains an ongoing concern for workplace health and safety (WHS) professionals. In recognition of Mental Health Week, the ABC’s Mental As program and National Safe Work Month, AlertForce this month devotes a number of its news articles to exploring WHS programs for workers

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To claim or not to claim: government releases easy guide to work disease

The Federal Government has moved to end confusion in the work health and safety market over what is and isn’t an occupational disease (including lung cancer due to asbestos exposure) by publishing an up-to-date “deemed-diseases” list. Safe Work Australia’s (SWA) Deemed Diseases In Australia report lists diseases and associated work-related exposures to streamline identification and

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Mining employers opt for online training to reduce costs

Online training is proving cost-effective in the coal industry, as the industry explores less expensive ways to present government-mandated mining courses. This is reflected in latest training offerings from AlertForce, one of Australia’s largest work health and safety (WHS) training providers. Chief executive officer Mr Brendan Torazzi said falling coal prices had seen a greater

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Apprenticeships under pressure: industry body calls for urgent changes

Apprenticeships are under pressure, with latest figures revealing falling numbers, high injury rates, fatigue management problems and a shift in training priorities. The Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) said a combination of the end of the mining boom, fewer manufacturing and engineering jobs, currency movements, and “relatively high unemployment” had hurt the

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Confronting sexual harassment: an employer’s guide

Managers and supervisors must ensure that everybody in the workplace is free from sexual harassment. The following article explores those responsibilities and what to do if harassment occurs. Despite being outlawed for more than 25 years, sexual harassment remains a problem in Australian workplaces, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) concedes. In fact, nearly one

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WorkSafe advises caution when dealing with trainers that aren’t RTOs

WorkSafe Western Australia has warned employees undertaking workplace training with companies that aren’t registered training organisations (RTOs) they may not receive their work licence. The warning this month (September, 2015) follows its investigation into a non-registered training provider, A & J Training and Assessing. WorkSafe director of business services Robyn Parker explained that A &

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