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Articles on: OHS News

Why are WHS laws important when working in construction?

Construction sites are extremely busy places with many subbies working side-by-side completing various tasks. The work is strenuous and generally involves heavy lifting and working from heights. Heavy vehicles come and go off-site all day and often there are tower cranes or all-terrain cranes operating in and around the site. It is an environment of

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The asbestos awareness checklist and what you need to know

Its currently Asbestos Awareness Month and asbestosawareness. com.au have launched a campaign aimed at people who work in the building sector and home renovators titled ‘Go Slow! Asbestos – it’s a NO go’. Although asbestos products were banned in the 1980s for use in commercial and non-residential properties, it continued to be used in multiple

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What is WHS and what does it mean for your business?

As we fast approach the festive season, WorkSafe bodies across Australia are issuing warnings for workplaces to be more vigilant with workers safety especially in high-risk workplaces like construction where the demands to “finish the job” can overtake safety procedures. Prior to 2012, workplace health and safety (WHS) laws were known across Australia as occupational

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ASEA launches new asbestos awareness training course

ASEA launches new asbestos awareness training course aimed at the utilities sector The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency is Australia’s leading peak body when it comes to all matters regarding asbestos management and safety. Established to provide a national focus on asbestos issues in both the workplace and in homes across Australia, their primary objective

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Why is Working at heights training is required?

Working at heights is the leading cause of death in workplaces in Australia. Working at heights is a high-risk job and one of the leading causes of death and serious injury in workplaces across Australia. According to statistics from SafeWork Australia, between 1 January 2003 and 31 December 2015: 359 workers were killed following a

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Why you need to Asbestos Removal Training

Asbestos is a known carcinogen and is the word used to describe a group of six naturally occurring mineral fibres, which belong to two groups: Group A: Serpentine Group – comprised of only chrysotile (white asbestos) Group B: Amphibole Group – comprised of anthophyllite, amosite (brown asbestos or grey asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), tremolite, and

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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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