Occupational Health and Safety:Roofing Company Fined For Injured Worker

A roofing company and its director have been fined a total of $100,000 after a worker suffered head and neck injuries when he fell through a roof. The Mallon Company, trading as Frontline Roofing, and director Michael Moore pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday to failing to provide a safe work environment and, by that failure, causing serious harm to a contractor.

The company was engaged in August 2010 to replace the roofing of a commercial premises after a hailstorm. Mallon engaged Debri to perform the re-roofing and Terry’s Crane Hire to provide a crane. Debri removed asbestos sheeting from the rear of the roof and moved the wrapped sheets to the front.

A crane operator employed by Terry’s and a 19-year-old dogger, who was a contractor engaged by Terry’s, began removing the asbestos sheets and landing the packs of new metal sheets. The 19-year-old accessed the roof to guide the crane operator and was warned by the Debri employees to be aware of the hazardous rusty tin sheets and damaged polycarbonate.

He walked across the damaged sheets and stepped onto the end of one of them while trying to remove the slings from a pack of metal sheets. The sheet collapsed and he fell to the cement floor, about 3.3m below, suffering serious head and neck injuries. Safety mesh was installed below the roof, but not in the frontage area, although there were plans to install it once the asbestos had been removed. Mallon was fined $70,000 and Moore was fined $30,000. They were also ordered to pay $2200 in costs. Terry’s and its director were fined $71,000 in June, and Debri is also due in court over the matter at a later date.

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Source: http://bigpondnews.com/articles/NationalRegional/2013/09/20/Roof_company_and_director_fined_100000_907996.html

WorkSafe VIC Issued $4 Million in Fines This Year

WorkSafe officers paid more than 2,200 transport industry operators a visit this year, issuing 737 safety notices in the process.

WorkSafe issued $4.1 million in fines across all sectors in Victoria, according to the annual Victorian WorkCover Authority annual report.

With more than 21 per cent of workers still at home six months after an injury, the report shows that the longer one is off work, the less chance they have of coming back.

They are also more likely to suffer secondary issues, such as mental health.

The report suggests a strong support network is needed to help those return to work.

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

Occupational Health and Safety:Tubing Manufacturer Fined $28k For Crushed Thumb

A manufacturing company responsible for the tubing and electrical components in South Australia, was fined $28,000 in addition to legal fees. The company was found responsible for an incident with a crimping machine that crushed an employees thumb because of a lack of guard.

SafeWork SA charged Tubing and Electrical Industries under the Occupational Health, Safety, and Welfare Act 1986 for failing to provide and maintain safe working conditions– especially by failing to provide a guard fitting for the machine.

On 25 July 2011, an employee was operating a machine inwhich the guard had been removed in order to provide better visual access.

The top of the worker’s thumb became lodged in between the jaws. The injury caused long-term nerve loss which also required  hand therapy for nine months which subsequently prevented him from being able to attain full-time work.

Magistrate Michael Ardlie  explained his decision, saying “The bypassing of the guarding is a significantly serious transgression on the part of the defendant.”

Ardlie recognised the company took appropriate action following the incident by securing a guard and implementing a Standard Operating Procedure for the machine in question.

The defendant faced a maximum penalty of $300,000. The court imposed a fine of $40,000, with a 30 per cent reduction to $28,000 following the defendant’s early guilty plea, demonstration of contrition and cooperation with SafeWork SA.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.pacetoday.com.au/news/missing-guard-leads-to-penalty-and-crushed-thumb

OHS:Union Warns Oval Construction Deadline Risks Worker Safety

occupational health and safety trainingSouth Australia’s Labor has been accused of risking the safety of workers by rushing a redevelopment project on the Adelaide Oval for a March state election deadline.

The construction union have warned of the implications of the government’s plan to give  the main contractor a $5 million bonus if the election deadline is met.

The government has denied any reports of the project being rushed, but emphasised that it must be finished in time for the AFL season.

“It’s certainly not worth the price of one of our workers on that site getting killed,”  said Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union state secretary, Aaron Cartledge.

Concerns have arisen following the death of a construction worker at the $1.8 billion desalination plant.

The court found 35-year-old steel rigger Brett Fritsch was killed as a result of the unsafe workplace practices of his employer, Ferro Con.

A parliamentary inquiry in 2011 indicated that the desalination project was rushed and production took precedence over safety.

Opposition frontbencher Iain Evans said “We cannot afford a repeat of the tragic circumstances that marred the construction of the desalination plant “.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety or OHS

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/oval-deadline-a-risk-to-safety/story-e6frgczx-1226717219393

Occupational Health and Safety: Worker Killed By Scissor Lift at BGC Plant

Occupational Health and SafetyAn employee of the BGC cement plant in Naval Base was killed recently after he was crushed by a scissor lift. The middle-aged man was doing work at the company’s cement site on Beard and Morley Streets. Police were informed of the incident shortly after noon, but Emergency services and WorkSafe inspectors are always on site.

WorkSafe had to visit the plant a year ago when another employee was killed, after being buried alive under a sand pile that collapsed on him in a silo.

WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said that any work-related death was a tragedy, and extended his sincerest condolences to the family.

According to a WorkSafe spokeswoman the man, in his 20s, was working under a pile of fine sand when it collapsed on him and killed him.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/man-dies-at-naval-base-building-site/story-fnhocxo3-1226717087866

AG To Investigate Workplace Safety Fine Loophole

Occupational health and safetyThe state Attorney-General in Adelaide will be carefully looking into a legal loophole that allows insurers to pay fines placed upon businesses  who have been charged for unsafe work conditions.

The move came about following the death of a Adelaide desalination plant worker in Summer 2010.

Brett Fritsch, 35, died after  a 1.8-tonne steel beam fell onto him from a crane while it was being moved.

Rigging company Ferro Con SA and its director were prosecuted for breaking workplace safety laws.

The company was told to pay out $200,000, but its insurer covered the cost.

Unions called on the Government to close the loophole, saying it allowed companies to put a price on workers lives by making it cheaper to get insurance instead of implementing safety systems.

South Australian Attorney-General John Rau says businesses should not be able to choose insurance over safety.

“Imagine if you were able to get an insurance policy that said somebody else would go to jail if you committed an offence. What we’re looking at here is something pretty well in that space. Somebody else pays the fine instead of you,” he said.

“Some people are in effect insuring against criminal liability and having an insurance company basically pay their fines for them. It’s clearly unsatisfactory. It’s a way of companies actually dodging their responsibilities to keep workplaces safe.”

More info on Occupational Health and Safety  ( OHS )

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-30/insurance-liability-loophole/4924014

Occupational Health and Safety:Man Killed While Working at an Almond Farm

Occupational health and safetyA Robinvale man  was killed during an occupational health and safety accident at Wemen almond farm this week. The man is believed to have been killed after becoming caught beneath a slasher at the Annuello Wemen road farm.

However, WorkSafe Victoria later revealed the man was operating a tractor which they believe ran him over when he climbed down from the vehicle.

A spokeswoman said WorkSafe  will be conducting an investigation into the workplace death.

Ambulance Victoria media spokesman John Mullen said paramedics were called at 8.26am, but the man had already succumbed to his injuries when they arrived.

Olam Australia executive director Bob Dall’Alba said the company was shocked and saddened at the man’s death.

“Above all else, our thoughts and condolences are with the man’s family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time,” Mr Dall’Alba said.

“We are doing everything we can to determine the cause of this tragic accident.”

Mr Dall’Alba said the company closed the farm down immediately after the incident, and will be offering counselling and pastoral care the the man’s family,colleagues and staff.

“I want to assure you of our company’s commitment to safety and providing a safe environment for all of our employees,” he said.

“The Annuello farm will remain closed until consultation with all stakeholders is complete.”

The incident is Victoria’s third workplace death in eight days, following the deaths of a carpenter and an electrician earlier in the week.

Source: http://www.sunraysiadaily.com.au/story/1739473/man-killed-while-working-on-almond-farm/?cs=1259

OHS Training: Unions Go After Labour Party For Safety Changes

occupational health and safetyOne of the nations most prolific blue-collar unions intends to spend up to $1 million in a campaign directly attacking federal Labor over OHS changes that may have a serious impact of the safety of workers.

Electrical Trades Union state secretary Troy Gray targeted proposed changes to national electrical licensing rules and said the union campaign would be the most ambitious since the union was founded more than a century ago.The ETU in Victoria will donate $300,000 to Adam Bandt, the Greens MP for the seat of Melbourne, in  the coming federal election

Gray stated that the changes, which have  gone through the Council of Australian Government, would lead to lower safety standards.

They would allow a large amount of highly skilled electrical work to be done under supervision. And an exam would no longer be required at the end of an apprenticeship, he said.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/union-in-shock-1million-move-against-labor-20130730-2qxez.html#ixzz2ao3DPNyU

Mental Wellbeing An Important Part of Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and SafetyFor a long time, both government and businesses have neglected to consider mental health as important to workplace safety as physical safety. Now research has shown that depression in the workplace costs the nation in excess of $12 billion per annum.

Recently, this change in mentality has come with the launch of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance.

Finally, for the first time ever, this alliance has brought together the efforts of Australian mental health organisations, as well as business and government officials. Together they reportedly aim to ensure that workplaces are mental health friendly.

“Mental health is a significant business issue that requires the attention of organizations. People who experience mental health issues face incredible challenges in the workplace. Many are misunderstood, shunned and underutilized,” said Karla Thorpe, Associate Director, Compensation and Industrial Relations at the Conference Board of Canada. “In a world where shortages of critical skills are top of mind for many organizations, employers cannot afford to allow this situation to continue.”

 

More info on Occupational Health And Safety

Source: http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1618942/mental-health-at-work-just-as-important-as-safety/?cs=64</em>

Occupational Health and Safety: QLD WorkCover Jobs In Jeopardy According To Union

Occupational health and safety An additional 200  Queensland public servants suffer wage cuts or employment termination while MP’s have seen drastic  pay rises, a union says.

The Together public sector union  reports that the government is compelling 25 per cent of WorkCover Queensland’s staff to choose between redundancies or classification downgrades.

This issue has emerged soon after it was revealed that  MPs pocket an extra $57,000, thereby increasing their base pay to $194,000 annually.

Together secretary Alex Scott says ‘Once again this has been a rushed process with a lack of transparency,’

He called forcing workers to choose between lower wages and their job, an ‘outrageous attack’ on workers.

Adding fuel to the fire is the government’s refusal to overturn laws that dictates state MPs’ wages should match their federal counterparts.

The government received legal advice that a 2009 wage freeze imposed by former Labor premier Anna Bligh breached legislation.

Which has now resulted in a hefty pay rise.

Mr Scott said WorkCover staff have already faced massive budget cuts and weeks of upheaval, including the closure of almost all regional WorkCover offices.

The Industrial Relations Commission will hear the wage matter on Friday.

Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/article.aspx?id=885129

 

Occupational Health and Safety: Tour Guide Gets Compo For Broken Leg

Occupational health and safetyA tour guide who suffered a broken leg while helping a tourist, has won a workers compensation claim against her employer and insurer.

Adventure Tours Australia declined to pay Megan Elizabeth Woff compensation for the injury she sustained when she was struck by a snapped shackle of a 4WD tour bus which was towing a bogged car. The company reportedly refused to pay compo on the grounds that she was still a trainee at the time.

The company alleged that she was participating in a familiarisation tour – a prerequisite for  any potential employee.

But Ms Woff  brought the courts her claim that she was a “worker” under the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act.

Magistrate John Lowndes said: “The breadth of the definition is immediately apparent – it covers a person who is performing work or service not only under a contract but also under an agreement.”

Tour group recruitment manager Steve Wright was unwavering in his feeling that she was simply taking part in a familiarisation tour and thus not an employee by the company at the time .

But Dr Lowndes said: “Mr Wright’s … justification for requiring Ms Woff to go on a familiarisation tour was implausible, illogical and lacked credibility.”

Lowndes was confident that an agreement had been made between Ms Woff and the tour company – rendering them liable for the injury.

More info On Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/07/03/322441_travel.html

 

OHS: Birkenhead Man Crushed By Fence, Dies

A Man was crushed by a steel fence earlier this month, and has since died as a result of the industrial accident.

The man was critically injured while unloading the fence panels from a shipping container during the second week of may.

He died recently as a result of his injuries.

Safe Work SA is currently reviewing the incident, and investigating whether  there were any breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act.

SafeWork SA executive director Bryan Russel stated that the incident was a tragedy for the man, his family, and everyone else involved. “Work health and safety is a shared responsibility and we must all remain vigilant in eliminating and minimising risks,” Russell said.
 More info on Occupational Health and Safety
Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/man-crushed-by-steel-fence-panels-at-birkenhead-dies/story-e6frea83-1226652512638
 

OHS:WorkSafe Crackdowns on Apprentice Safety

High-risk apprentices will now be safer following a renewed crackdown on construction projects by WorkSafe ACT

Commissioner Mark McCabe released two new sets of guidance requirements for apprentice supervision.

Under these new requirements, apprentices and trainees are prohibited from working without mandated supervision or without required accreditation

”We have seen several accidents in recent months involving apprentices working alone doing high-risk work,” Mr McCabe said.

”Supervisors should be aware that they are responsible for the safety of all of their workers, and especially apprentices and trainees, who require a higher level of supervision than experienced workers.”

Last February, Fairfax Media reported young electrical apprentices were illegally being told to work despite no proper supervision and completing jobs charged at the full commercial electrician’s rate.

A WorkSafe audit and compliance campaign was launched following two serious accidents in the ACT in which apprentices suffered from electric shocks while working without supervision.

Mr McCabe said  ”I am releasing these new guidance notes as part of a campaign to ensure that all supervisors understand and adhere to this responsibility,” he said.

”Failure to do so could not only lead to severe penalties for supervisors, it could cost lives.”

The guidance notes for construction and electrical call for risk assessment and proper supervision as well as fines of $3 million for corporations and $600,000 and even up to five years imprisonment for individuals who breach the rules.

The notes state that licensed electricians must be present when an apprentice is carrying out licensed electrical work as a suitably qualified person must be present to oversee output by apprentices and trainees.

Mr McCabe said closer scrutiny of supervision of apprentices by WorkSafe inspectors in the ACT would begin in coming months.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/crackdown-on-work-sites-for-apprentices-20130520-2jx8v.html#ixzz2UMhWD9z3

SA Lost Over 1.5K Years Of Productivity Due To OHS Claims

WorkCover recently revealed that SA businesses lost over one and a half thousand years worth of productivity during the 2011/12 period due to compensation claims.

According to the safety watchdog, the loss of productivity resulted in a loss of $208 million to businesses.

Statistics from the WorkCover SA website report that the workers compensation claims amounted to over 560,000 days of lost productivity which is equivalent to 1536 years of work.

On top of the days lost, almost 30,000 claims for workers compo for workplace injuries and illnesses incurred in the 2011/12 period have so far cost the SA Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Scheme approx. $208 million (an average daily cost in excess of $7800).

Chief Executive Officer of WorkCoverSA, Greg McCarthy, stated the reducing the cost of workers compo in SA is in everyone’s best interest and prevention is more efficient than the cure. McCarthy added that in cases where an injury has occurred, employers should be supportive of the injured workers and help them return to work swiftly and safely.

WorkCoverSA’s Experience Rating System, introduced in July 2012, rewards medium and large employers with lower workers’ compensation premiums for good claims performance.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.in-business.com.au/news/story/2013-5-24/15918

OHS: Falling Gate Kills Worker

A 32-year-old man was killed when a steel gate pinned him between it and a vehicle. The industrial accident occured at Bayswater North  earlier last week.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the incident occurred just after 7pm at an automotive engineering factory in Clipsal Drive.

It is believed three men were working on a large steel gate at the factory when the heavy object suddenly fell from its track.

The gate then landed on one of the men and pinned him between the gate and a vehicle.

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Emergency personnel were unable to revive the 32-year-old Croydon man.

Police said the two other men, believed to be a 55-year-old from Ringwood East and a 44-year-old from Donvale, were not injured.

WorkSafe Victoria also attended the site and will prepare a report for the coroner in conjunction with police.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/man-crushed-killed-by-falling-gate-20130509-2j8sm.html#ixzz2T3n3JEkG

OHS: Wharfies Demand Safety Reforms

The protests are part of a national campaign by the Maritime Union of Australia to push the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to end its opposition to a national stevedoring code of practice.

Workers rallied in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin and Devonport on Tuesday, but not in Perth, where other union meetings were being held.

About 40 union members turned up blowing horns and waving placards at chamber offices in Brisbane and succeeded in gaining a 20-minute police-brokered meeting with ACCI members.

Outside the NSW Business Chamber, 200 protesters rallied against opposition to the code, aimed at protecting the safety of workers.

MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer said the ACCI argued the code was too expensive, but that was a step backwards.

”For them to say that the cost of implementing the code is an obstacle effectively says wharfies’ lives and safety are not a priority for them,” Mr McAleer said.

In Melbourne, MUA assistant national secretary Warren Smith told more than 100 union workers that waterfront workers were 14 times more likely to die on the job than the average worker.

ACCI spokesman David Turnbull said industry would work with unions to make sure the code reflected good practice. He said Safe Work Australia would make the final decision on the code.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source :  http://www.smh.com.au/national/wharfies-demand-industry-back-safety-reforms-20130326-2gsdg.html#ixzz2P3R5TBB2

OHS: Crushing Conveyor Belt Incident To Be Investigated

A 27-year old worker was rushed to the hospital following a serious incident that resulted in his leg becoming lodged in a conveyor belt.

According to a spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria revealed that the paramedics were called to Thorton Engineering early in the morning.

Upon arrival they discovered the man had serious crush injuries to his leg. He was rushed to Geelong Hospital and was said to be in stable albeit, serious condition.

WorkSafe Spokseperson Rosanna Bonacurrso stated that the watchdog organisation was notified of the incident at the Corior workplace. Bonacurso stated

“It’s believed a 27-year-old worker suffered injuries to his right leg after it was caught between a roller and steel product.

“A WorkSafe inspector visited the workplace this morning and is making inquiries.”

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/article/2013/03/08/360778_news.html

Alertforce Joins Forces With LexisNexis For WHS-Modules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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POTTS POINT, NSW- Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF) has partnered with leading content provider LexisNexis to provide LexisNexis Online Training- Work Health and Safety (WHS ) modules.

The partnership will combine AlertForce’s Occupational Health and Safety training expertise with LexisNexis renowned legal content, to provide participants with the ability to identify and apply crucial aspects of the Model Work Health and Safety Act.Together both organizations have specially designed three interactive online training modules to allow participants the ability to engage in the modules at their own convenience. Each training module was written in conjunction with employment specialist law firm Harmers Workplace Lawyers.  

The following modules will be offered:

  • Course 1 – Health and safety duties

  • Course 2 – Health and safety representation in the workplace

  • Course 3 – Health and safety consultation in the workplace

Each course should take under an hour depending on the individual user and time spent exploring additional resources.

Completion of the LexisNexis Online WHS training modules will provide participants with the opportunity to earn CPD/CLE points ensuring that individuals are competent and compliant with the tools needed to sharpen your organisation’s competitive edge. Each course can be purchased individually allowing participants to engage in the modules according to their own schedule. In addition to offering this convenient option, organisations are also able to purchase a 12-month subscription in order to continuously train employees.

Brendan Torazzi, the founder of AlertForce says, “ Our partnership LexisNexis allows you to learn at  your own pace in a convenient and cost effective way and earn CPD/CLE points without the travel times or costs associated with external training! ”

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces.

For more information please contact Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

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OHS:UK Pie Manufacturer Employee Death Hits Close To Home

Andrew Jones Pies, a Yorkshire based pie manufacturer which is now facing bankruptcy , has been ordered to pay  £375,000 following a gas explosion which killed a man an injured another.

The manufacturer has been found in breach of health and safety laws, with a judge claiming it had “failed dismally”.

According to reports, the judge acknowledged that while the business is not in a financial position to pay the fines, the charges  expose the manufacturer’s failings.The explosion occured in 2009 when baker David Cole, repeatedly attempted to light a 3-decade old oven, unaware that gas was building up inside the baking chamber. Eventually the door blew off the oven and hit Cole, who was trapped when a section of the roof collapsed. Cole died and another worker at the scene was seriously injured.

The case is similar to a local case involving the directors of the  Pokolbin’s Drayton’s Family Wines. The winery was charged with failing to ensure the  safety of their workers which resulted in a  2008 explosion which killed two people.

Workcover NSW launched a criminal investigation against the winery almost two years after a coroner revealed that poor safety measures was a key cause of the blast which killed two employees.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.foodmag.com.au/news/uk-pie-manufacturer-fined-375-000-for-safety-brea

Dry Cleaner Audit Following Dangerous Incident

Soon after receiving criticism for “high handed statements”, WorkSafe ACT will be auditing all dry cleaners throughout the territory. WorkSafe has already issued approximately 60 improvement notices in just six inspections. 

Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe stated that he was ”appalled” at the first results of the audit, which were launched in response to a near-fatal carbon monoxide leak from a Woden dry cleaner.

The Drycleaning Institute of Australia expressed their disappointed by the  alleged lack of communication from WorkSafe ACT  pertaining to any breaches.

Chief executive officer Philip Johns said the Work Safety Commissioner’s  comments were “accusing” the entire industry of being responsible, despite the industry’s efforts to work very hard to be compliant with all safety laws.

”We would hope that the authorities come to us if there are any particular breaches, rather than making some fairly high-handed statements about getting your house in order, otherwise cop a $250,000 fine,” Mr Johns said.

”A little bit of working together is actually going to help us achieve more,” he said.

Johns revealed that the industry will conduct their own audit to address any potential safety issues.

McCabe said on Wednesday he would be more than happy to assist the industry with the internal audit.

He said it was to premature to commence talks with the industry, given the audit was still in its early stages.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety
Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dry-cleaners-have-their-say-20130131-2dnvv.html#ixzz2JmLGdv8m

OHS: Christmas Season Bad For Bosses

 Australian employees are expected to take approximately one million sick days this holiday season, costing employers $350 million.Absenteeism will be especially high this season with data suggesting that 1,069,889 working days will be lost mainly because Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve both fall Mondays.

This means that anyone who decides to fake sickness on December 24 will be subject to a five-day break. In addition, those who decide to avoid work on December 31 will get a four day break. Approximately 570,000 ‘sickies’ are expected on these two days.

Surveys conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Morgan and Banks and Direct Health Solutions on workplace absenteeism, revealed that 67 per cent of workers admit to taking a sick day on a Monday.Reports indicate that employees who have become more privy since they are now 50 per cent more likely to ask for a certificate before or after a public holiday.

Many workplaces that stay open during the Christmas- New Year period suffer from higher levels of absenteeism.According to Paul Dunden, chief executive of Direct Health Solutions, service and production roles going full throttle during the Christmas period.”As a result these industries are at risk of high levels of absenteeism either side of public holidays over the festive season,” he said.

Retailers are  especially susceptible to absenteeism.

“Retail tends to increase shifts during the Christmas and Boxing Day sales period because it is the busiest shopping period in the year,” said Margy Osmond chief executive of the Australian National Retailers Association.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://tools.themercury.com.au/stories/53873245-business-news.php

OHS: A Significant Decline in Work Safety

ohs training Approximately  33% of ACT workplaces that had  a safety inspection last financial year  passed – a  significant decrease on previous years’ outcomes.The dismal results have showcased  a policy difference between the government and its new cabinet partner, Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury, who wants the building industry put more money into training workers.

A third of inspected businesses complied with health and safety laws in 2011-12, compared with just under 55% per cent in 2009-10. The government’s objective was reportedly 80 per cent.ACT Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said the trend was likely to reflect his inspectors’ focus on the construction industry, which has been tainted this year by a record high rate of   safety incidents and deaths.

Mr McCabe and former public service commissioner Lynelle Briggs will presumably report the findings of their inquiries into industry practicess within a week.WorkSafe ACT and its preceding agencies reportedly lost half of their inspectors over the past seven years, at a time Canberra was undergoing a construction boom.

A disappointing 34 qualified inspectors now supervising construction sites, reduced  from 68 in 2004-05.Labor frontbencher Simon Corbell, who became the ACT’s first Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations Minister last week, said yesterday the result showed why the government had created the new portfolio.

”Poor compliance across industry is a deep concern for the government. My first priority will be to respond to the findings that Mark McCabe and Lynelle Briggs present in the coming weeks.”

Mr Corbell said the government hired five extra inspectors when it merged WorkCover with WorkSafe in 2010.”But I don’t think inspecting capacity on its own will solve this problem. We need to improve the culture of occupational health and safety in all workplaces,” he said.”We need to be sure that businesses don’t just see it as red tape, and instead treat their safety of their workers as a matter of real importance.”

The Greens attempted unsuccessfully to campaign for workplace safety funding during the last Assembly.The minor party went to last month’s ACT election pledging to increase a building industry levy from 0.2 per cent of the value of construction projects to 0.3 per cent, to raise more money to train apprentices.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/dramatic-decline-in-worksite-safety-20121111-296sm.html 

OHS: Builder and Union Clash Using Ads

Conflicts between builder Grocon and Victoria’s most prominent construction union continue, with expensive billboard attack-advertisements being erected throughout Melbourne’s freeways. A spokesperson for Grocon described the give billboards as a fragment of a campaign meant to discredit or “distract from the union’s increasingly toxic brand”.

The billboards were erected at the Flemington section of CityLink, the Monash Freeway in Richmond and the West Gate Freeway in Port Melbourne.The ads are estimated to have cost approximately $20,000 monthly. As such, the ad is expected to remain in place until the end of the month.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union  has also taken to running ads amidst the dispute with Grocon. The dispute was reportedly started following a disagreement over who was to appoint shop stewards and the right to display union paraphernalia at work sites.Police clashed with protesters at a Grocon Lonsdale Street Emporium site, when a picketline was formed last August. Grocon claimed in court that the picket line was a tool to intimidate its employees.

Bill Oliver, state secretary of the union’s building division, claims to have remaining concerns regarding the safety of workers on Grocon’s sites.

“Until workers are able to have proper safety representatives rather than employer-appointed stewards, the union will continue to have concerns,” he said.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/union-billboards-attack-grocon-on-safety-standards-20121108-28zua.html#ixzz2Bqu8pUtj

Young Parent Campaigns For OHS After Serious Accident

A young mother of two, Tiffany Ward has been adamant campaigner for occupational health and safety since she almost lost her arm in a  a potato processing plant accident in 2008. The life changing accident has compelled her to become deeply committed to preventing others from suffering such debilitating injuries in the workplace.

Ward now appears in a recent government-backed film meant to educate workers about the importance of safety practices at work. In the video, Ward recounted the moment she realized how serious her injury was, after a workmate unwittingly pressed start on the potato slicer while she was cleaning it.

Ward recalls looking down and seeing torn flesh and bones instead of her arm. Her body was reportedly lifted off the ground because of how twisted her arm was in the machine.

Other employees had to hold Ward up for approximately 40 minutes until medics were able to free her. The injury has left her family mentally and financially wounded and her disability has limited her job prospects.

“I drop things all the time. All the cutlery and plates in our house are plastic because I have no strength in my right arm,” she said.

Ward is hopeful that the film will be seen as a warning to young people now entering the workforce.

“It can happen to anybody. It doesn’t only happen to middle-aged men,” she said.

Every year over 25 workers die as a result of occupational accidents in Queensland and over 5000 are left with detrimental injuries. The cost of workplace accidents is estimated at $6.2 billion of public funding annually.

Source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/new-push-to-prevent-workplace-accidents/story-e6frf7kf-1226478898090

Workers Union Launches Investigation Into Two Rig Deaths

OHS TrainingThe Australian Workers Union (AWU) revealed their intentions to launch an investigation into the two deaths of offshore drilling rig workers in Victoria. The two men were killed in an operational incident approximately 50 km off the coast of Port Campbell.

The Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit recently returned to land and the AWU stated that they have been briefed on the incident. Reports indicate that something malfunctioned with the equipment and it struck either one of both of the workers which lead to their unfortunate deaths. More details are expected to emerge, however, for now all work has been suspended, and the well has been secured.  Police flew to the rig following the accident.

The National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority (NOPSEMA) launched an investigation into the deaths. Origin (the company in charge of the drilling Unit) stated that there were no environmental issues as a result of the incident and the gas production will not be adversely affected.

The Union intends to investigate the incident further in order to avoid similar accidents from occurring in the future. The oil and gas industry offshore has reputable and good quality occupational health and safety standards, but the work is inherently dangerous.

A full investigation with the company and the safety authority will be launched.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-28/awu-launches-probe-into-drill-rig-deaths/4226664?section=vic

OHS:Commonwealth Contractor Fined $50k

OHS TrainingWorkSafe hopes that a recently imposed fine on a Commonwealth contractor will send a strong message to other companies who consider sending inadequately trained and equipped workers into Goldfields desert.

MAX Network was fined $50,000 following a guilty plea for sending two female employees in a car to the remote community of Tjuntjuntjara.

The women were lost in the desert all night and spent the night their until coming across a roadhouse the following day.

WorkSafe commissioner Lex McCulloch stated that employers and staff need to understand the risks of travelling in remote areas.

McCulloch said this case highlights the need to be very vigilant for the many workers who traverse great distances in their daily professions.  He added that it is fortunate that the incident did not result in a tragedy. He stated that the situation could have easily ended in a much worse result.

McCulloch said that companies need to assess the risks for remote area work, and develop strategies and manage whatever risks for their adequately trained staff.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-16/contractor-fined-50k-over-lost-workers/4202984?section=wa

AlertForce Approved For HSR Training Course

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

July 27, 2012

POTTS POINT, NSW– Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and environmental training company, AlertForce (AF), was approved by Comcare for the 5-day Health and Safety Representative (HSR) training course.

In order to be approved and subsequently offer the HSR course, the applicant must represent a training organisation, company or sole trader.  A Comcare assessor analyzed the quality of AlertForce’s face to face training program and subsequently approved them for the HSR course until 22 July, 2017. Throughout this time period AlertForce will be frequently be assessed based on the approval criteria, which will further ensure that their OHS training program remains one of high quality. AlertForce completed application was processed and approved according to the criteria set by the following:

  • How to become an approved provider of Health & Safety Representative (HSR) training for the Commonwealth jurisdiction, 1 January 2012 (Guidance 1); and
  • HSR Training Course Requirements, 1 January 2012 (Guidance 2)

According to the application process, each applicant’s course content must be relative to the functions and powers of an HSR. Furthermore, the applicant must be found offering high quality content and high quality training. In addition, each applicant’s course must be within the applicant’s capability and capacity and must be administered by an individual with relevant experience and knowledge. AlertForce’s approval indicates that the company has fulfilled the aforementioned requirements and will soon include the HSR course in their catalogue of various other award-winning training courses.

“AlertForce’s course will certify that prospective HSR’s will have ability to ensure that fellow employees are involved in the dialogue and decisions affecting their occupational health and safety” says Brendan Torazzi, AlertForce company founder.The HSR course will teach individuals how to be a central part of the partnership between employer and employee. A HSR’s duty includes tasks such as inspecting the workplace for safety lapses, accompanying an investigator during an inquiry, investigate OHS complaints, and initiate safety protocols.

AlertForce (http://alertforce.com.au) specialises in delivering fast, competency-based, interactive short online and face to face OHS & E courses to mitigate risk and health and safety & environmental hazards in Australian workplaces. Contact: Brendan Torazzi – CEO AlertForce. Ph: 1300 627 246

 

More information on HSR can be found at the  ComCare Website

 

 

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OHS:Comcare Appeals Public Servant’s Compensation Claims

OHS TrainingA public servant is at risk of having money taken away after having to fight for compensation for injuries sustained while having sex in a motel. The Commonwealth have appealed to the full bench of the Federal court to strip the public servant of compensation.

The unnamed public servant was sent by her government employer to a country town for a departmental meeting where she stayed in a hotel.

A night prior to the meeting the women suffered facial and other physical injuries when a glass light fitting came away from the wall while she was having intercourse with a male friend.

Originally the Commonwealth workers compensation agency Comcare, rejected her request for compensation, a decision which was supported by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

However, this year Justice John Nicholas of the Federal Court reversed the previous rejection of compensation on the grounds that the woman was “in the course of her employment” when she sustained the injuries.

Comcare has subsequently appealed the decision citing that sexual intercourse was not an activity “expressly or impliedly induced or encouraged”  by the woman’s employer.

More information on Occupational health and safety

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/national/twist-in-sex-on-the-job-payout-case-20120719-22biv.html#ixzz21DRsCpFK

Wife of Slain BHP Worker Searching for Answers

OHS TrainingThe wife of a man killed at BHP Billiton’s Port Hedland site has revealed that she was two months pregnant upon the death of her husband.

A year has passed since the untimely accident in which Fenner Dunlop trainee Jordan Marriott-Statham was killed by a loaded crane. His wife Kelly stated that she is still currently unsure the reason for his death. The Department of Mines and Petroleum stated recently that they are still currently investigating the incident.

Mrs.Marriott-Statham could not emphasize in words how hard the past year has been for her and her family since her husband’s death.

Since returning home following the incident, she has grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of accountability and answers surrounding the death of her husband. She stated however, that a final report would not provide closure but it would provide some answers.

Since the accident, Marriott-Statham stated WA-based leg-acy scheme Miners’ Promise had been a significant help.

More information can be found  on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/14190919/widow-still-waiting-for-answers/ 

OHS: Worker Devastated After Courts Deny Him Comp

A Hobart man is  deOHS Trainingvastated after a court judgement denied him workers’ compensation

28 year old Anthony Young lost his leg after it was crushed by a machine at K&D Brickworks while on the job in September 2010.

Despite working at the New Town plant for 2 years, the Supreme Court has decided that Young is not eligible for workers compensation as he was hired under a contracting agency, therefore making him an independent contractor. Young was a contractor employed by Tasmanian Contracting Services when the accident occurred.

Young reportedly devastated by judgement, which was upheld by the Full Court of Appeal. He is said to be struggling to pay medical bills and make ends meet.

“It’s coming to the stage now that I can’t even afford to pay for things I need, so I just go without it. I guess there must be some legal side of things but I don’t know how you can find out someone is not a worker when you pay your taxes, you pay your super just like every other person does.” said Young.

K&D was fined $60,000 as a result of the accident. A case for damages for personal injuries was also lodged by Young against the company but it has not yet concluded

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-04/amputee-loses-compo-case/4109032?section=tas

 

OHS: Worker Devastated After Courts Deny Him Comp

OHS: Compensation Amendments Marginalize Workers

OHS Lawyers have warned that all injured workers will soon have to pay their legal costs under new workers compensation laws which could potentially leave many unrepresented victims or unreported claims.

Richard Brennan, a Sydney solicitor who represents injured workers claims, warned that Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile had mistakably made it increasingly difficult for injured workers to have their claims heard.

Nile has come under fire for amendments made to workers compensation laws which were allegedly aimed at helping eliminate costs.

Brennan stated that Nile’s attempt to save one out 1000 workers from paying insurance company costs, has instead insured that all 1000 workers will have to pay the fees.He warned that this could potentially lead to insurance companies paying lawyers any fee they desire.

The Labor MP Adam Searle and the Greens MP David Shoebridge fruitlessly attempted to explain the consequences of the changes to Nile but the government has defended the amendments that they believe will rein in on the $4 billion WorkCover deficit.

More on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/changes-to-compo-laws-leave-workers-worse-off–lawyers-20120624-20whh.html#ixzz1yyVotkJM

OHS: ACTU Condemns BHP for Safety Practices

OHS TrainingThe ACTU congress has criticized the safety record of energy resource company BHP Billiton.  This condemnation comes after BHP’s company chairman Jac Nasser made disparaging comments regarding Australia’s labour laws. Nasser made comments eluding to the so-called inflexible regulations on labour laws, which he believes are the cause of “never ending” strife within the industry at BHP’s coal mines.

However, ACTU congress in Sydney passed a resolution indicating their support for the 4000 BHP mineworkers who have been involved in stand-off with the company for over a year over enterprise bargaining. ACTU believes BHP desires to weaken safety in Queensland, which ACTU believes lead to the deaths of 29 coal workers at the Pike River Coal mine in 2010.

The resolution passed by ACTU also criticizes the BHP for their lack of cooperation with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten addressed the ACTU conference and stated that the cause of industrial strife is simply BHP’s refusal of negotiating with staff. Shorten stated that since the company struggles to persuade its workforce of the need for change, then the problem must not simply be the law but also the method in which the case is being put forth and the involvement of the workforce in question.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/actu-congress-slams-bhp-on-safety-record/story-fn3dxity-1226359189466

Supermarket’s Hit Back At Unsubstantiated Claims

OHS TRAININGThe Chairman of Woolworths has defended the company’s reputation for using trucks to move goods throughout the country.

The Transport Workers Union alleges that Woolworths has an unreasonable delivery schedule that transport companies struggle to live up to. The schedules being imposed are allegedly resulting in reckless driving and road deaths, according to the union.

The union held a protest at Coles and Woolworths supermarkets throughout the country.Coles spokesperson stated that the union’s claims are unconfirmed, while Woolworths Chairman James Strong, calls the allegations as “unfair”.

Strong believes that the problem could be dealt in a different manner and asserts that the TWU’s use of sensationalist terms is common.He is hopeful that the public can decipher between the truth and conjecture . He maintains that a rational discussion is needed between the TWU and the supermarket chains.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-10/woolworth-chairman-defends-truck-transport–policy/4003768?section=nt 

Co-Workers Gather To Remember Fallen Workers

OHS TrainingCo-Workers  came together to remember workplace deaths and address safety standards;

 A significant amount of workers rally in response to the number of construction industry deaths in Queensland.
Thousands of workers in Queensland gathered the Roma Street Forum to remember their 15 colleagues, killed on duty.
Unions claim that standards have slipped, at the fault of Queensland’s workplace regulator.
Bill Shorten, the Federal Employment and Workplace Relations minister, addressed the crowd regarding the improvement of industry safety standards. “It is unacceptable that the same accidents that killed people 60 years ago are still happening today.”
He wants workers to feel comfortable in reporting safety issues to their manager or union, and for that to happen the culture of the industry must change.More information on Occupational Health and Safety

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-27/colleagues-gather-to-remember-workplace-deaths/3976434?section=qld 

OHS:WorkCover Scheme To Receive Serious Cuts

ohs trainingThe O’Farrell government plans to make significant cuts to workers compensation which would result in a slashing of lump-sum payments for injured workers and eliminating weekly benefits for long-term recipients from the scheme after a specified time. Workplace lawyers have cited concerns that the changes would designate NSW into “the meanest system in the country”

The government has stated in the past that it intends to re-evaluate the $13 billion WorkCover scheme which encompasses a deficit of approximately $5 billion. An announcement regarding these changes is expected by Tuesday.

Various lawyers and union representatives are concerned that 50% of the 28,000 workers who receive benefits and medical expenses; will be abandoned because of the proposed changes to the scheme.

Barrister Bruce McManamey stated his concern that the coming changes may result in injured workers losing their homes.

Currently, injured workers receive their normal, full salary for the first 26 weeks off work. A scaffolder without children or a partner would receive $1100-1500 a week for the 26-weeks. If the worker is off for longer the payout would drop to $432 a week.The proposed changes would make it so that an injured worker could receive only 90 per cent of their salary, but not exceeding that amount.

Some Lawyers have alleged that the cuts to WorkCover are to ensure that NSW does not lose its AAA credit rating.

More information on Occupational Health and Safety

Source:http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/injured-workers-face-savage-compo-cut-20120421-1xdq0.html#ixzz1spnIf1bi

OHS:Cruise Ship Crocodile Attack Probed By WorkSafe

OHS TrainingWorkSafe has stated the possibility that they will investigate a crocodile attack that happened in Kimberly because the victim was at work at the time of the attack.

Tara Hawkes 23, was exiting a fresh-water pool at Talbot Bay, when she was attacked and bitten on the leg by an approximately two-metre crocodile.

Hawkes is an employee at True North, a cruise ship owned by North Cruises. The boat’s owner is currently preparing an accident report to be handed over to Worksafe.

Worksafe Commissioner Lex McCulloch says the report will assist in determining whether or not charges are to be laid.Worksafe says it will most likely investigate a crocodile attack in the Kimberley because the victim was at work at the time.

McCulloch indicated that the investigation may indeed lead to charges if the company is not able to show them that they have measured the risks and provided training for their employees so that they know what to do in similar situations.He added that they have been in contact with the company and will be gathering more information regarding the accident and then they will make a decision on how to proceed next.

Hawkes suffered lacerations to her leg and is currently receiving treatment in Perth where she was flown to following the incident.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety 

Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-03/worksafe-considering-croc-incident/3930384

OHS: Timber Company Doubles Fine After Appeal

OHS TrainingA subsidiary  of a notable Australian forestry company received nearly double their initial fine on appeal for Occupational Health and Safety breaches . Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Australia Pty Ltd, now under BSG Holdings Pty Ltd, received a conviction and fine of $230,000 after originally receiving a $120,000 fine in November 2010. Michelle Cooper died in 2008 as a result of a collapsed timber pack which exceeded a tonne in weight. The timber pack hoist fell on her as she dislodged a piece of jammed material.

The Director of Public Prosecution stated that the original fine was inadequate which compelled the undertaking of the case. Judge Tinney acknowledged that the company does not openly disregard safety but neglected to ensure that a common hazard was given more attention considering the size and nature of the machine involved. WorkSafe’s Executive Director for Health and Safety, Ian Forsyth is pleased with the increase because of the high-risk nature of timber milling.

Forsyth believes that the highest standards of safety must be upheld for timber workers. Forsyth signified that they were disappointed that a company of such high regard in the industry were not leading the way with regards to health and safety. He believes there is now an opportunity for the industry to closely examine where safety improvements can be made to limit risks and costs.
Source: http://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/wsinternet/worksafe/sitetools/news/carter+holt+harvey+workplace+fatality+fine+nearly+doubled+after+appeal

OHS:Ten year Work Health and Safety Strategy Open For Comment

OHS TrainingThe draft Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy for 2012-2022 is now available for public comment.

Safe Work Australia has made a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the draft commenting process. Comments can be sent to AustralianStrategy@SafeWorkAustralia.gov.au. If it is not possible for you to email your comments then you can use post to mail the comments in.

The public comment period will be stopped at 5:00 pm on May 21, 2012. No extensions will be given for public comment.  The draft strategy can be accessed from the Safe Work website where the public will be able to download a PDF and Word Format draft.

The purpose of the comment period is to utilize a wide range of expertise and experience in ensuring that the highest standards are met in implementing the safety strategy. Any area of the draft can be commenting on by anyone interested in the occupational health and safety legislation process.

SafeWork has supplied a template for participants to comment on the draft. In this template they have provided a cover sheet and a public comment response form.  The cover sheet is important because it gives Safe Work Australia your permission to publish your comments on their website. All comments will be accepted and considered when pertaining to the Work Health and Safety Strategy draft. There is no amount of detail that must be included in your comment since all feedback and comments will be welcomed and will assist in a comprehensive safety strategy.

It is important to note that even if you submitted comments on the Model Work Health and Safety Act/Regulations/Codes of Practice then you should still comment on this draft since it is a separate body of work to the work health and safety legislation.

This legislation will be implemented in planned improvements to occupational health and safety in the next decade.

All comments are expected to be carefully considered and used in order to determine what aspects of the strategy can be improved. Following the comment period, the strategy will be revised with consideration of all the public comments.  Considering the influence this strategy could have on you or your employees throughout the next ten years, the public should serious consider commenting on the strategy in order to ensure that the views, needs, and opinions of the public are considered.

The new Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 is expected to be implemented later this year.

Source: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/PublicConsultation/Pages/WHSStrategyPC.aspx

OHS: NSW Premier Seeks to Change Workcover Scheme

ohs trainingNew South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrel emphasised the need for change in the state’s WorkCover compensation system because of massive expenditures.

O’Farrell says that the reforms will not be revealed for another month.

O’Farrell has received criticism for not being bold enough in his first year in office.  Since then, O’Farrell has announced his plans to take his time to respond to questions regarding a new audit for the WorkCover system.

He said that they have received the report regarding the financial situation with WorkCovers scheme, and they are planning to discuss their plans within a month. O’Farrell also made reference to the audit’s warning that the scheme will be $4 billion in deficit by year’s end.

The government will look into making the scheme more sustainable since the deficit currently amounts to $9 million a day.Premiums are twice the cost in NSW than in other states, said O’Farrell

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-26/o27farrell-to-slash-costs-of-compensation-scheme/3913224?section=nsw 

WorkSafe Lose Cyclone Appeal Case

ohs trainingWorkSafe lost an appeal in WA Supreme Court over charges against Fortescue Metals Group that resulted in the injury of workers during a 2007 cyclone.  FMG and its subsidiary company, Pilbara Infrastructure, had 17 charges against them for failing to maintain a safe work environment during Cyclone George. However, all charges were dismissed by the Magstrate’s Court in 2011.

Since then, WorkSafe attempted to appeal the decision but the Supreme Court again dismissed the claim.  Despite the deaths of Debra till and Craig Raabe and the injuries, both courts reviewed the evidence and dismissed the charges.  FMG is allegedly pleased with the decision from the courts.  Four other companies connected with the rail camp with WorkSafe charges against them have had them dismissed or have had successful appeals.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-23/worksafe-loses-fmg-appeal/3908856?section=wa

OHS: Union Officials Denied Entry To WorkSites

OHS legislationThree union officials have been prohibited from gaining entry to worksites because a federal workplace umpire denied the issuing of a right-of-entry permit to them.

All three members are of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, and all three of them were found to be unfit and not “proper persons” to enter worksites.

The officials are Gareth Stephenson, who was part of a conflict in 2009 on the West Gate Bridge; Michael Powell, who was declared by Fair Work Australia to be responsible for “disregarding various aspects of industrial law”; and Shaun Reardon, who was found to have broken building laws in five incidents; such as the Melbourne closure in 2009.

Commissioner Leigh Johns is not confident that three officials will be able properly carry out their jobs because of the lack of permit.

CFMEU state secretary Bill Oliver said the union is considering an appeal.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/union-officials-banned-20120320-1vi2p.html#ixzz1piWxCgWn

OHS:Truck Driver Charged For Two Deaths

ohs trainingA truck driver has been charged for dangerous driving that resulted in the deaths of two individuals.

An aspiring student Sarah Frazer and a respected tow truck driver Geoff Clark were killed when a table-top truck hit them on the side of the Hume Highway.

Mr Clark pulled over to assist Frazer, whose car had shut down.  The 23-year old student was about to excitedly embark on her dream of going to school for photography. Clark, a father of four, was helping Frazer prepare her vehicle for towing prior to the incident.

Both Clark and Frazer died instantly and the truck’s driver was hospitalized for shock. The driver has assisted police in their investigation. The 24-year old driver received three charges; including two counts of dangerous driving resulting in death, and negligent driving resulting in death.

He will appear in court on May 8.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/truck-driver-responsible-for-two-deaths-charged-20120312-1uucs.html 

OHS:WorkCover May Receive Cuts and Reforms

OHSFollowing statements to Parliament from Finance Minister Greg Pearce, it appears that NSW Government is discussing serious cuts to WorkCover. Pearce appeared before parliament where he declared that Workcover’s deficit had increased by $1 billion in six months.

Pearce stressed the importance of the Government implementing new ways of enticing the claimants to return to work. Thus, the Government is attempting to improve the rehabilitation practices and return to work schemes. Pearce believes it is imperative that the government reduces the deficit by reforming the current scheme.

Jana Gumbert from the Australian Lawyers Association is concerned that the changes will affect seriously injured workers.

Gumbert fears that seriously injured workers will lose their right to sue for limited benefits and have to rely simply on the limited support provided by insurance companies.

More Info on Occupational Health and Safety 

OHS:Transport Workers Union Calls For Accountability

ohs trainingThe Transport Workers Union (TWU) says retailers such as Coles and Woolworths need to be held accountable for trucks detected speeding on the nation’s roads. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) alleges that retailers like Coles and Woolworths need to be held responsible for the speeding trucks on the nation’s roads. Police determined that a B-double truck was doing 142 kilometres an hour on the Hume Highway in NSW.

The truck belonged to the transport company, Scotts Transport. TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says the company has received safety complaints in the past. Sheldon alleges that road authorities and the Fair Work Ombudsman should be investigating why trucks are speeding. Sheldon says that the cost pressures and deadlines of companies like Coles are having a detrimental effect on the trucking industry in order to make increased profits. Officers are planning to inspect an additional 32 of Scott’s trucks because of past safety complaints.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-08/twu-wants-major-retailers-accountable-for-speeding-truckies/3877384

More info on Occupational Health and Safety 

OHS: Glass Panels Endanger Workers At ASIO Site

OHS TrainingConcerns have arisen regarding the safety of workers at a recently established ASIO site in Canberra. These concerns have emerged after approximately 19 panels of glass cracked and crashed to the ground at the sites main entrance.

Workers were immediately vacated from the area when the danger became known however no injuries have occurred. The construction union said the responsibility lies with the builders to ensure that no future incidents occur.

The Construction,Forestry, Mining and Energy Union claims that it was not informed of the incident  for several days  and the secrecy and tight security surrounding the project have hindered the unions ability to protect the workers.

The secrecy and tight security at the site has only succeeding in hindering the unions abilities to protect the workers.

ACT secretary Dean Hall claims that the builder, Lend Lease was piggybacking on ASIO’s reputation to deny the union efficient access to the site. Hall says that they have issues because the builder has restricted the right of entry wherever possible, and they are hiding behind their client.

The Half-Billion dollar headquarters in Caberra came under serious scrutiny and controversy when a teenager was found unconscious for up to 36 hours after falling nine metres into the basement of the site.

A spokeswoman for the Department said the panels from the façade of the main entry “progressively failed” from approximately midday.  The panels remain unfixed to the building. Investigation into the Occupational Health and Safety incident continues but WorkSafe commissioner Mark McCabe has stated his satisfaction with how the incident was handled.

Source: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/fears-for-asio-site-workers-20120305-1uels.html#ixzz1oNqi2jFJ

Truck Driver Charged For Fatal Hume Highway Accident

ohs trainingA truck driver from Sydney has been charged over a collision that resulted in the death of three people on the Hume Highway in January. Investigators have commenced what has been described as an “unprecedented” operation on the company the trucker works for. Vincent George of Lennons Transport Services, was charged with three counts of dangerous driving that resulted in death . The B-double truck traversed an embankment before crashing through a guard rail and smashing head on into another vehicle. The fatalities of the accident are, Calyyn, and his ageing parents Donald and Patricia Logan. The family had just finished visiting a newborn addition to the Family. George has since had his licensed suspended and will face a court in May.

Police indicated that impending charges are possible upon the release of toxicology results. A Sydney truck driver has been charged over a horrific crash that killed three people on the Hume Highway last month. Road Safety authorities and the police are reviewing Lennon’s line of trucks. Each driver will be tested for illicit substances, and trucks will be searched. Drug detection dogs will also be present at various inspections. Police Assistant Commissioner, John Hartley is confident that the operation will act as as a warning to the trucking industry. Hartley said “charges will be laid” to any trucking company that decides to neglect their safety measures.

More info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-22/truckie-charged-over-fatal-hume-highway-crash/3843984?section=nsw

OHS: WorkSafe Profile Report Reveals High Risk of Diabetes

Occupational health and safety trainingA recent study conducted by WorkSafe Victoria and Monash University revealed that one quarter of employees in Victoria are at a serious risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease. The study was conducted with the involvement of 400,000 employees throughout Victoria.

The study also revealed that 90 per cent of employees neglect to ingest sufficient amounts of fruit or vegetables. Approximately 70 percent of the sample are said to be receiving insufficient amounts of exercise.

Diabetes occurs when there is an overabundance of glucose found in the blood.The chronic disease is the sixth highest cause of death by disease in Australia as it can result in instances of heart disease, stroke and renal failure.

The risks of developing Type 2 disease is significantly increased when coupled with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, lack of physical activity, and poor diet.

Despite the lack of an existing cure for type 2 diabetes, it can be effectively managed by adopting a healthy eating system and regular physical activity.

Considering the average person spends a third of their day at work, WorkSafe has recommended to approximately 4,000 employees to see their doctors immediately because of high blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

WorkHealth ambassador Wayne Kayler-Thomson said business owners should take the responsible action of ensuring that measures are undertaken to improve the health of their workforce, for the benefit of both employee and for the business’ bottom lines.

According to Thomson, improved health can help reduce absenteeism, boot productivity, and attract motivated, committed staff to deliver strong results for the business.

Thomson recommended workplace initiatives such as health checks, encouraging exercise and supplying fruit and vegetable boxes, to help encourage a healthy workforce.

More Info on Occupational Health and Safety

Source: http://www.monash.edu.au/ohs/wellbeing/work-health-check-peninsula.pdf

Occupational Health and Safety: Owners of Exploded Factory Request Reduced Penalties

OHS TrainingThe owners of an exploded factory that resulted in the death of three men, have requested  their penalties for breaching occupational health and safety practices to be reduced since they have shown good faith in paying out compensation and admitted to the breaches .

Michael Roder SC appeared before a full bench of the South Australian Industrial Relations Court and stated that, while Quin Investments and Nikolai Kazub had accepted they had been in breach of workplace laws, those breaches were not indicative that they caused the explosion.

The explosion resulted in the deaths of Damian Harris, Matt Keeley and Darren Millington and the injuries Cameron Edson and Damian John.Last year, the company and the accountable officer faced a fine of $95,000 for two counts of occupational health and safety breaches; as well as defective equipment that resulted in the explosion.

The parties sought appeal in the Industrial Relations Court in July and it was determined that the evidence was not proof that the defective factory equipment had led to the explosion.But on appeal to the Industrial Relations Court in July, it was decided the evidence did not prove the defective factory equipment had caused the explosion.

The Prosecution stated that while the licenses for explosive manufacturing were surrendered by Quin Investments, Kazub was responsible for the operation of another explosives manufacturing factory in Norther Territory. Prosecutors have alleged that a displaced shaft in ribbon blender had rubbed against another metal surface, which triggered a chemical reaction which led to an explosion.

Ms. Chapman of the Prosecution stated that the company had botched its responsibility of maintaining the safety of its employees on the day of the explosion, and the accused parties’ safety practices were a “potentially catastrophic risk”.

Chapman has expressed concerns for a lack of record for any item in the factory. The ribbon in question had not been monitored in over two decades.Michael Roder SC for Quin Investments and Kazub stated that $20,000 of the fine had already been paid out which should be seen as a good sign of penitence for the unfortunate deaths of the three individuals and the injured parties.

Chapman has requested that the compensation order be upheld and that the same penalty be applied to Quin investments and Kazub.

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Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/owners-of-explosives-factory-want-fines-reduced/story-e6frg6nf-1226227911705 

Occupational Health and Safety: Lumber Worker Dies From Fallen Tree

ohs trainingA Lumber industry worker died as a result of a falling tree yesterday. Paramedics reached notified of the incident but the man had died at the scene.  Police allege that the man had  just chopped one tree when another fell on top of him. The killing tree fell when it was hit by a reversing bulldozer.

WorkSafe has sent three inspectors from Geelong to investigate the site.Colac Otwar Shire deputy mayor Lyn Russel has indicated that the death of the forestry worker would have an impact on the community.

She believes that the small town will pull together in reaction to the incident since the people tend to work hard and support each other. Only about 100 to 150 people live in the small Gellibrand community with many of the residents employed by the logging industry.

According to Russel, the incident could have occurred when they were felling or loading, but it remains uncertain.

Currently, details are still being pieced together in order to determine who, and what, was involved.

This is the ninth occupational health and safety death in approximately three weeks and the 25th for the entire year. Many of the incidents are still under investigation and have mostly occurred during regular, routine jobs. WorkSafe officials have warned of the pressures of working during this busy and pressure filled time of the year

Source : http://www.standard.net.au/news/local/news/general/falling-tree-kills-worker/2393616.aspx

WorkSafe Releases Data On Occupational Health and Safety Claims

ohs trainingWorkSafe Victoria has disclosed that the average expenditure on rehabilitation for injury cases in Bayule, exceeds $10,000.

WorkSafe Vic. data for the past financial year, displayed that over $5 million was claimed as workers compensation by businesses. 490 people were reportedly injured and needed rehab in Banyule, and the average cost was $10,205 each. Within this same financial year, businesses in Nillumbik Shire Council claimed compensation payments in excess of $1 million. 133 people were said to have received compensation, at an average cost of $8627 each.

This data was released as part of the WorkSafe campaign “Any day now” , that aims to remind workers that inspection can happen at any point which means that employers and employees should work to maintain the safety standards of their company prior to inspection.WorkSafe Victoria Health and Safety head, Ian Forsyth stated that unsafe practices were still being discovered, such as missing guards on machinery,and other types of breaches that can potentially cause injuries.

WorkSafe had also recorded a greater volume of prosecutions in the new financial year, charging 45 workplaces in the past four months .Forsyth stated that WorkSafe has been inspecting, investigating and prosecuting occupational health and safety breaches.

Source: http://www.banyuleandnillumbikweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/millions-claimed-by-injured-staff-worksafe/2357238.aspx

Hobson’s Bay Pays Out the Most In Occupational Health and Safety Claims

ohs trainingSince 2006, Hobsons Bay has accumulated the second highest number of occupational health and safety cases in the Western region. It was a close second to Wyndham.

Currently WorkSafe is at work to ensure that safety improvements be met prior to inspection. This comes following news that Victoria was home to the safest workplaces in all of Australia.The new WorkSafe campaign “Any Day Now” commenced last night and has arrived following the Government’s yearly report regarding work-safety incidents.In Hobsons Bay, 4681 claims were made, with the total payout from July 2006 to June 2011 exceeding $100 million.

Despite having more WorkSafe claims, Wyndham has paid out approximately $96 million in compensation.The only injuries recorded in these statistics are injuries that required the worker to be off work for 10 or more days, or those who had treatment which costs more than $580.Overall, there were 17,720 claims in Western Australia, and a total payout in excess of $366 million.

The most common issues are those pertaining to dangerous manual handing practices, damaged storage racking, unguarded machinery, unsafe scaffolding, unsafe dangerous goods storage, and inadequate forklift safety.

According to the report, Victoria boasts the lowest number of injuries per-thousand workers out of every state.

Source:http://www.starnewsgroup.com.au/star/williamstown-altona-laverton/322/story/144648.html

Supreme Court’s Occupational Health and Safety Compliance, A Concern

OHS trainingLawyers claim that if the Supreme Court building were to be investigated by occupational health and safety inspectors, it would be condemned.The Law Society has requested that a 10-year plan be drafted that would layout plans to renovate and revamp the historic building. Premier Jay Weatherhill was the one explicitly called out in their request for these improvements on the building and on the entire Victoria Square precinct.

The president of the Society, Ralph Bonig stated that for over ten years, consecutive governments had ignored a desperate need for bigger courtrooms with disabled access, improved infrastructure (including modern audio/video equipment), and refurbished elevators that connect courtrooms to the basement cells.

Bonig stated that their Supreme Court is the worst of its kind in Australia, and continues to be embarrassment to the nation.The facilities throughout the building allegedly fail to comply with occupational health and safety regulations.  The Law Society stated their disappointment that some senior magistrates such as the Chief Justice are unable to attend proceedings at the court simply because they are confined to a wheel chair.

Chief Justice Doyle hopes that improvements of the facilities would make it possible to stream court hearings live across the internet

.Investigations will continue, and improvements are currently under consideration. Attorney General John Rau stated that he believes this to be an important issue since new facilities are required in order to meet current standards.

 Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/states-courts-are-worst-in-the-nation/story-e6frea6u-1226193925635

 

Union Leader’s Permit Remains Revoked

occupational health and safety trainingUnion frontrunner  Joe McDonald has received a rejection on his permit to enter work areas. The decision was put forth by the WA Industrial Relations Commission.  Mcdonald is the head of the Construction,Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and was seeking the reassignment of his work permit.

Mcdonald relinquished his permit in 5 years ago when he was found guilty of criminal assault regarding an incident that occurred in 2002.

WAIRC declared that Mcdonald’s conduct since the incident has indicated that if he was granted permission for entry, that he would likely act improper manner that would hinder an employee or employer during their workday.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the State Government and Master Builders association pressed for the refusal of Mcdonald’s permit.

The CCI was pleased with the decision, as they believe that workplaces should be free of heavy-handed union tactics.

Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/mcdonald-denied-worksite-entry-permit/story-e6frg13u-1226198286268

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Some Businesses Get Extension On OHS Regulations

occupational health and safety trainingBusinesses will be able to postpone implanting new occupational health and safety regulations, if the changes they have to make require a long period of time.  The extension will grant businesses 12 months until they have to implement.

Federal Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans will declare publicly that Safe Work Australia has arrangements to assist businesses in the transition into the new system on January 1. Evans said the extension would be granted to businesses that have to fulfil the model regulations which subsequently would require the completion of several duties

Western Australia and Victoria are the only two states that haven’t yet signed off on the new OHS regulations which ultimately means they are at danger of not receiving several millions of dollars in Federal payments.

The federal government have promised up to 450 million dollars in rewards  to all states that agreed to the OHS laws and meet requirements on time.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/firms-get-grace-on-ohs-laws/story-fn59noo3-1226190694160

Top Union Says WA Endangering Workers Over OHS Laws

occupational health and safety trainingA prominent union body has criticised WA government for declining to approve the new countrywide occupational health and safety (OHS)  laws. The Australian Council of Trade Unions stated their belief that the Liberal government was jeopardising workers by neglecting nationwide safety standards. All states except WA and Victoria will be adopting it. ACTU stressed the national importance of safety standards and the assurance that every worker and their family feel safe.

It is alleged that the governments decision poses a risk to worker’s lives since 21 workers are killed each year in WA on average and someone is injured at work approximately every 30-minutes.The president of ACTU believes that the government is sending the wrong message to company heads.A government spokesperson stated that the government had not received adequate time and information by the federal government. They refused to make a decision until they had analyzed the full impact of the regulations, particularly on its affects on small businesses.

There is some concern that the laws might have a weaker outcome for WA workers.

Queensland has also allegedly indicated that they will not sign up for the mining section of the laws.Union secretary Simone Mcgurk stated that all workplace ministers had a meeting and discussed and agreed to harmonise the OHS laws in 2009, thus giving the government ample time.All states have been given 12 months to implement the laws. Meanwhile Mcgurk and ACTU have participated in a large petition to get WA to sign off on the laws.

Source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/unions-claim-workers-safety-endangered/story-e6frg14c-1226191590298

Son Sues Parents Over Workplace Accident

occupational health and safety trainingAfter successfully suing his own parents following a workplace injury, a man claims there aren’t any ill-feelings between him and his parents.

The mid-thirties man was granted $844,000 when he sued his family in the Supreme Court after he suffered devastating back injury. The incident occurred while he was operating a harvesting machine on their tobacco farm.

The court found that the  individual had contributed to his injury and thus he received reduced compensation. He received 70% less compensation, which left him $400,000 for his pain and suffering and almost four hundred and fifty thousand dollars for loss of income

Despite finding that his parents had in fact not been negligent, they had indeed breached occupational health and safety regulations.The man had previously been directed by doctors to cease his work on the farm when he suffered a back injury in a car accident eight years ago. The accident required him to receive spinal surgery.

Despite claiming there is no ill will between the parties, he intends on appealing the reduced compensation decision.

 Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8369415/son-sues-parents-for-workplace-injury

Locals Call for Tighter Restrictions on Coal Seam Gas

occupational health and safety trainingThe speedily developing coal seam gas industry has the capability to revitalise elements of countryside Australia, but if feebly supervised will lead to ”environmental and social disaster”, the National Party’s new gas guideline says.

The party, which has been deplored by some farmers for being too intimately connected to mining corporations, will encourage  more regulation and tighter ecological security, principally on farmland.

Almost sixty percent of the nation’s existing and proposed coal seam gas operations exist within federal electorates held by National MPs.

The party adopted five philosophies that it says will administer its policy towards the industry, which aims to drill up to 40,000 gas wells through Queensland and NSW in the next decade.  The party assured the public that no drilling would progress without validation that it would not damage the surroundings, and key rural land would be categorized  as “no-drilling” zones. Landholders should receive monetary restitution based on gas extracted from their land, and the territories that are known as gas paddocks should observe a ”fair share” of the profits speculated back into their communities.

The policy stated that seam gas must not be developed near residential areas. In an assembly, it was decided that if these conditions are met, the industry could prove to be beneficial to Australia.The federal independent MP Tony Windsor is discussing stronger national regulation of the industry, and has made his backing for the government’s mineral resources rent tax conditional.

The National Farmers Federation is not backing Mr.Windsor’s stance saying that while several farmers are concerned about the impact of the industry on water, they have no desire for national oversight. They believe higher regulation would lead to ”a huge army of environmental police who are going to be tramping over farms all over the place, imposing their will on operations other than coal seam gas”.

Source : http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/nationals-want-tighter-controls-on-coal-seam-gas-20111106-1n1z0.html

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Two People Injured at Cattle Stations

OHS trainingTwo separate incidents on isolated cattle stations have led to the hospitalization of a man and a woman. A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson claims that the woman was injured upon falling off her motorbike while gathering cattle.

The woman was not wearing safety apparatus and subsequently suffered a fractured collarbone and elbow as well as several abrasions and cuts. The woman was taken to the hospital where her injuries were treated.

The man who was injured around the same time, was discovered in an ‘altered state of consciousness’ after he was knocked out at a cattle stationIt is unclear if the man was knocked out unconscious by a cow or by an opening gate.

He will be airlifted to another medical facility where he will have his head injuries treated.

Source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/two-injured-on-remote-qld-cattle-stations-near-burketown-and-llanarth/story-e6freoof-1226178977803

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Investigations to Commence into Helicopter Crash

Occupational health and safety trainingAn investigation by The Australian Transport Safety Bureau  is currently being conducted into the helicopter crash that resulted into the death of a worker.

A survivor of the crash has since been rushed to the hospital after sustaining multiple injuries.

While no one is certain as to the causes of the crash, the helicopter was commissioned to carry out a geological survey over Collier National Park Range.

Investigators are on  currently on their way Perth to do an occupational health and safety assessment of the incident.

The investigative time will also speak to the lone survivor in order to gather more information about the accident.

Melbourne Prositute Sues Brothel

Occupational Health and Safety TrainingA prostitute in Melbourne has sued the brothel she worked at after being assaulted and having a gun pulled on her. The event took place when the woman refused to have unprotected sex with a customer who then attacked her and attempted to rape her. The woman has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to the physical injuries she sustained.

The unidentified woman finally escaped but only after the customer threatened her life while wielding a gun. The man allegedly pointed at the woman’s head said he could do anything he’d like to her and there wasn’t anyone to stop him. The woman blames the lack of security and occupational health and safety precautions at the brothel she works at. According to the woman, the brothel allows customers to have unprotected sex with the workers. Despite winning a claim for the attack on her, she is now discussing the possibility of suing her former employer for the permanent harm she received working at the brothel.

Source: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8272220/prostitute-sues-brothel-after-beating-gun-attack

Union Concerned about Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational Health and SafetySince the assaults on workers in Darwin, The Miscellaneous Workers Union has stated that it is very concerned about the occupational health and  safety of detention workers. The union does not believe that the centre for detention workers, Serco, has the appropriate safety precautions in place for its staff members.

Two inmates will face charges in court for assault for assaulting numerous workers.The union has since stated that the incident is one, in a growing group of assaults that have been occurring to workers.The site is a safety concern for the union because of it risks the safety of not only workers but clients as well. Miscellaneous Workers Union continues to struggle to make light of the issue in order to prevent future assaults.

Workers were said to have sustained cuts and bruises after one of the detainees wielded a knife. The union wants to see an end to the assaults on the Serco employees and for safety to be a priority.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-14/detention-workers-union-calls-for-great-safety-for-workers/2838436

Company breaks Occupational health and Safety act

trucking company breaks actA truck driver almost perished after being crushed while working for a skip bin hire company, in Engadine.

Investigations have determined that the man was working in an unsafe environment and the accident could have been foreseen and thwarted.

The company SAE Investments and its director have plead guilty to breaking the Occupational Health Safety act 2000, and have since been subject to fines exceeding  $80 000. SAE Investments have also been ordered to pay the legal costs of the worker.

The incident that injured the employee occurred when a vehicle’s hydraulic breaks released causing the truck to roll down a hill and crush the worker.

The accident has left the worker with a severed nerve, injured liver, fractured ribs, pulmonary contusions and a fractured knee.  He also sustained serious cuts and lacerations to the face, arms, abdomen and legs.

The worker is not going to be able to return to work for up to eight months.

Steps are being taken to improve safety.

Source: http://www.theleader.com.au/news/local/news/general/skip-bin-accident-was-preventable/2213466.aspx

Contractor Breaks Occupational Health and Safety Codes

occupational health and safety actAfter failing to disconnect the electricity to a building that was being demolished, a contractor now faces a financial penalty of $5000.

The demolition contractor, Michele Antonio Galluccio is guilty of demolishing a site without following the occupational health and safety codes. He has since been fined at Perth Magistrates Court.

Gallucio did not ensure that all lines of electricity were cut when he began the demolishing of the building.

Not only did Gallucio cause great risk by not severing all sources of electricity of building, but he also potentially endangered the lives of civilians since the facility was still open to the public due to a fallen barrier.
A WorkSafe Executive stated that this sort of occurrence is a reminder of the importance of upholding safety standards when involved in a field such as demolition.

Not disconnecting the electricity to the building, created the possibility of electrocution for employees.

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/9785587/contractor-left-power-on-during-demolition/

Man loses leg in mining accident

miner loses leg in accidentA man has allegedly lost one of his legs and had the other one crushed following a mining accident  at Fortescue Metals Port facility in Port Hedland.

A spokesperson from the company has confirmed that there was indeed an accident at the facility and the man is seriously injured. The spokesperson said that the facility was on maintenance shutdown during the accident. The man was subsequently rushed  by helicopter to a hospital in Perth.

It is believed that a Hydraulic ram failed and subsequently caused the accident. This is the second case like this, after the death of a worker at BHP Billiton,

The State Secretary of the   Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union ,Kevin Reynolds , stated that this is the most serious type of accident but less serious accidents also occur every day.

Reynolds claims these accidents are the result of the government did not provide Occupational Health and Safety inspectors or union officers.
Reynolds also claimed the workers would complain had they not been in fear of losing their jobs.

The man in the accident is currently in stable condition.

Source: http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/mans-legs-crushed-on-fortescue-worksite-20110710-1h8ic.html

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