Company Offers Free Cancer Prevention Skin Checks

Toowoomba construction company McNab have reportedly shown their dedication to the continued awareness and prevention of skin cancer for their staff. Queensland is the capital of skin cancer in Australia and Australia has one of the highest death-rates for melanoma in the world.

McNab launched a Safe Summer campaign which informs and educates staff about sun exposure, hydration and personal protection from the sun and UV rays.

McNab have joined forces with Danger Sun Overhead’s Joanne Crotty whose husband, a carpenter, died from melanoma skin cancer at the age of 43.

“I never thought I’d be a widow at 38 with four young children, especially from an illness that is preventable… and I’m just one story,” Ms Crotty said.

“80 per cent of cancers detected in Australia are skin cancers and two out of three people will be diagnosed before they are 70 years of age.

“There is a need for education.”

McNab has even gone to the extent of offering staff free skin cancer inspections throughout the  summer months and it is already proving to be a successful movement.

McNab HSEQ Manager John Martinkovic said “With the incentive for our staff to get checked for free, we are seeing them book themselves in for an appointment, and their families as well. We’ve already seen cases of melanomas being treated earlier.

“There is no cure for skin cancer, and the fatality statistics are only going up. Your only hope is early detection” he said.

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Source: http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/hunter-mines-fatality-free-for-2012

Confined Spaces: WA Mines 3x More Fatal Than Any Other State

Confined spaces training

WA mine sites are three times more fatal than other states in Australia, according to recent reports from Safe Work Australia.

The report also revealed that workers are treating their own injuries on the job out of fear of being fired. This “culture of cover-ups” is reportedly a result of  mining companies trying to keep profits and production at full speed. Following inquiries by The Sunday Times, Department of Mines and Petroleum director-general Richard  Sellers  said inspectors will probe the first-aid kit claims.

Mining is reportedly number three on the list of deadly jobs in WA, only surpassed by the agriculture and construction industries. Over a dozen lives have been lost in four years, with countless injuries and close-calls.

Since WA has over a third of Australia’s mine workers, it accounts for nearly half of the deaths.

Safe Work reports that from 2007- 2011 16 mine workers died in WA. Of the mining deaths  Queensland had five fatalities,NSW and SA had five, and Victoria had one.

It was also revealed that

  •  Companies are informed prior to safety inspections
  • Following this month’s ore price drop, whole mine-safety teams were laid off.
  • Some inductions for new recruits consist of simply a  video with a questionnaire with answers provided.
  • Department of Mines noted over 50″significant incident reports” in under two decades. Some incidents include crushed workers, and deadly fumes in underground mines, explosions and other mining disasters.

Advocacy group FIFO Families’ said  several workers acquired their own first-aid kits for work because of the the fear they have of reporting “lost time injuries”. This fear is thought to stem from companies linking bonuses to “no lost-time” injuries since some contractors desperately wanted a clean safety record.

Consultant and campaigner Helen Fitzroy, who founded legacy charity Miners’ Promise following the mining death of her husband, has called for an elimination of production bonuses because they result in workers not reporting incidents.Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union secretary Gary Wood  stated that mine inspections were often “controlled” during site visits .He confirmed allegations that some companies had no desire to have injury reported on their record.

Mines Department director-general Richard Sellers noted the success of his inspectors hosting impromptu safety inspections. Sellers stated that these “pop” inspections had prompted a safety overhaul in WA that has made the mines some of the safest in the world.

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Confined Spaces: Trapped NZ Miners Make It Out Safely

Mining SafetyTwenty-eight miners were rescued after being trapped underground in a New Zealand mining site. The miners were trapped in the gold mine when a truck caught on fire. The men were compelled to find shelter in a specially designed refuge chamber prior to being safely evacuated out of the mine.

NZ mining industry has claimed the lives of hundreds of miners since the industry emerged over a century ago.

Twenty-eight miners who were trapped underground in a New Zealand mine have been safely rescued.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell was confident throughout the situation that miners would remain safe. O’Connell said that the mine was built in such a way that the miners could survive for numerous days based on the amount of amenities available. O’Connell was confident that the training of the miners would provide them with the knowhow to get through similar situations.

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Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-17/fire-in-nz-gold-mine/4135340

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.

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