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Issue 6 May 2011
Message from the Chair 3
Model work health and safety laws update 4
Developing the National Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012 – 2022 7
6th annual Safe Work Australia Awards 9
Safe Work Australia Week 14
It has been a very busy start to 2011 with the implementation of model work health and safety legislation across Australia well underway.
The public comment process for the model work health and safety Regulations package closed in April and the response was fantastic. A total of 1343 submissions were received from a broad range of organisations and individuals across Australia.
This has been an important step in shaping the model work health and safety legislation for Australia. It will ensure consistency in the final versions and ensure they are relevant for everyday working Australians.
During this busy period Safe Work Australia celebrated the 6th annual Safe Work Australia Awards at Parliament House in Canberra on 28 April. Winners were announced in the four national categories, along with a number of highly commended awards, reflecting the outstanding quality of entries this year.
Entries are currently being sought for this year’s state, territory and Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission awards. I encourage you all to apply.
Now we look ahead to national Safe Work Australia Week, a key initiative of Safe Work Australia. In its seventh year, the week will be celebrated from 23 to 29 October 2011.
National Safe Work Australia Week is held annually in October to raise awareness of work health and safety. The week aims to encourage Australians to get involved in, and concentrate on, safety in their workplace to reduce death, injury and disease.
This year we invite organisations and individuals who are passionate about safety to become a Safety Ambassador during the week. For more information, read the article on page 12.
The week coincides well with the harmonisation process and organisations can use the resources provided by their jurisdictions to inform their organisation of the changes they will face.
This is an exciting time for Australia as we move towards a nationally harmonised approach to safety in the workplace.
To stay up to date on the implementation of the model work health and safety laws and other initiatives of Safe Work Australia visit www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au or subscribe to the mailing list for email alerts.
Tom Phillips, AM
Safe Work Australia
Safe Work Australia continues developing model work health and safety laws for implementation in the Commonwealth, states and territories by December 2011.
Safe Work Australia is currently developing the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and model Codes of Practice to support the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act.
The draft model WHS Regulations and model priority Codes of Practice were released for public comment in December 2010 for a period of four months. A total of 1340 submissions were received as part of the public comment process. Comments were provided from both organisations and individuals across Australia, across a broad range of industries.
Additional draft model Codes of Practice are being developed and will be released for public comment later this year.
This public comment period will provide an opportunity for businesses and individuals to comment on further draft model Codes of Practice not yet released.
The proposed additional draft model Codes of Practice include:
Safe design of buildings and structures
Codes of practice relating to mining safety
This list of Codes of Practice is indicative only and it is possible that there may be some merging or further splitting of areas or topics.
Please visit the Safe Work Australia website www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au for updates about additional Codes of Practice to be released for public comment, or subscribe to our mailing list to receive email notifications.
Register your interest in the National Work Health and Safety (WHS) Strategy
2012–2022 Consultation Workshops now.
Safe Work Australia is in the process of developing the National WHS Strategy
2012–2022 (the new National Strategy).
To ensure that consultation reaches a wide range of interested stakeholders and the potential audience, Safe Work Australia is holding a series of workshops across Australia.
At the workshops participants will examine:
Safe Work Australia is seeking people with a strong interest in work health and safety to attend the workshops.
At each workshop places have been reserved for representatives from employers and employees, regulators, work health and safety professionals, academics and interested community members. Safe Work Australia aims to have broad stakeholder representation at all workshops.
A series of general consultation workshops will be held on the dates and locations indicated below.
Places are strictly limited and attendance is by invitation only. To register your interest in receiving an invitation, please email email@example.com including your contact details, preferred venue and expertise area.
The winners of the 6th annual Safe Work Australia Awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Great Hall, Parliament House on 28 April 2011.
38 finalists from across Australia competed for this year’s awards, covering a broad range of industries.
Finalists of each of the four national award categories have been recognised as winners in the state, territory, Seacare or Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission awards held last year.
All entries were carefully considered by a judging panel made up or representatives from:
The Chair of the national judging panel, Mr Drew Wagner said that judging for the 6th annual Safe Work Australia Awards was both challenging and rewarding.
“It was a challenging task because of the high quality of entries we received in each category”, said Mr Wagner.
“The depth and breadth of the innovative and thoughtful solutions developed for specific work hazards and the outstanding level of commitment displayed by all organisations and individuals made it hard to choose only one winner for each award.”
The judges had the chance to meet with most of the nominees to hear their stories and see solutions first hand, which was an integral part of the judging process.
“All of the finalists, including those that won awards or were highly recommended, should be very proud of their achievements,” said Mr Wagner.
“I hope that the finalists this year can help spread the word on work health and safety and encourage others to follow suit.”
More than 300 people attended the awards ceremony including Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins, finalists, Safe Work Australia Members, work health and safety professionals and key industry, employer and government stakeholders.
Category 1 – Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System
This award recognises demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement on work health and safety through the implementation of an integrated systems approach.
Two awards are given under the following sub-categories:
Ballina Bypass Alliance – NSW
The Ballina Bypass Alliance (BBA) was awarded Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Private sector for their design and construction of the Ballina bypass section of the Pacific Highway upgrade and for their achievement of outstanding outcomes in work health and safety by adopting an integrated systems approach to safety.
BBA has built a safety culture that sets new standards for innovation and excellence in Pacific Highway road projects. The leadership team is committed to the core guiding behavioural principle for the project which is Safety first, every time.
Visionstream was highly commended for their development of a strategic framework which focused on creating a safety conscious culture, the schematic management of risks through hazard identification and appropriate investment in resourcing and training for work health and safety. This framework has led to increased awareness of work health and safety within the company.
Tasmanian Alkaloids Pty Ltd was highly commended for the company’s new safety management system which is designed to protect employees from injury and illness. The system has led to a decrease in site injuries, increased pride in the workplace and has created a positive attitude towards safety among employees.
Courts Administration Authority – SA
The Courts Administration Authority (CAA) was awarded Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System – Public sector for their outstanding work health and safety management system. Health and safety has been integrated across all levels and aspects of CAA including induction, performance management plans, purchasing and contractor management. This has resulted in increased participation and a reduction in incidents across the organisation.
Category 2 – Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue
This award recognises excellence in developing and implementing a solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue. Entries for this award may include a product solution, design/engineering innovation, training program, awareness raising activity or other risk control measure that reduces the risk of work-related injury and disease.
CSIRO Livestock Industries – SRCC
CSIRO Livestock Industries was awarded Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue for their development of the LN2 Filling Station. This electronically controlled system provides a monitored, well controlled environment for handling the hazardous material and asphyxiant, Liquid Nitrogen.
With the introduction of the LN2 Filling Station, the likelihood of a spill or unplanned release of LN2 resulting in asphyxiation, cold burns, pressure build-up and explosion is remote.
Category 3 – Best Workplace Health and Safety Practice/s in Small Business
This award recognises high standard workplace health and safety practices in small business. This category is limited to small businesses that have fewer than 20 employees or full-time equivalents.
Clifford & Co Response Services - TAS
Clifford & Co Response Services was awarded Best Workplace Health and Safety Practice/s in Small Business for successfully providing tailored emergency response, first aid and security solutions to industrial sites. A review of their Nyrstar Hobart (NH) site identified that entry into, and rescue from confined spaces could be improved. In response, Clifford & Co developed individual rescue plans for each high-risk space at the site.
Since the rescue plans were introduced, there has been a significant improvement in the efficiency and accuracy of rescues at the NH site. Having tailored, well rehearsed plans in place for each site has brought comfort and confidence to rescuers.
Saints Tyre & Auto was highly commended for their commitment to health and safety in the workplace and to their customers. Saints Tyre & Auto consulted stakeholders and staff on the development and implementation of a work health and safety management system for their business.
The implementation of Saints Tyre & Auto’s safety management system has created a workplace where staff feel confident and safe.
Category 4 – Best individual contribution to workplace health and safety
This award recognises individuals who have made an exceptional difference to health and safety.
Two awards are given under the following sub-categories:
Glen Barber – Victoria
Glen Barber was awarded Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety for his work as Health and Safety Representative for the Operations Unit Leaders at the Loy Yang Power Station.
Extremely committed to health and safety in the workplace, one of Glen’s key achievements was identifying high level hazards in the station’s coal Crusher House.
Glen immediately raised concerns and consulted urgently with a wide range of people from various professions. He presented a comprehensive report to management and appointed a number of sub-committees to start work immediately on a range of temporary and long-term control measures.
Through his active research and work on solutions to issues, Glen is a highly valued team at Loy Yang Power Station.
Frank Naso, a physiotherapist for Eldercare Incorporated was highly commended for his design of a heavy duty sling to assist staff to roll bariatric residents in bed during their personal care. The introduction of Frank’s sling has minimised the risk of staff injuries and has made residents feel comfortable and safe.
Daniel Germany – NSW
Daniel Germany was awarded Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety for his commitment to workplace safety. As Essential Energy’s Manager, Tools and Personal Protective Equipment, Daniel has made a significant contribution to work health and safety by developing and implementing group breaking work health and safety initiatives. These include working with manufacturers and internal stakeholders to redesign pole platforms and fall-arrest harnesses to reduce risks to line workers.
Daniel has shown a person commitment to innovation, driving improvement, consultation, communication, and above all, the safety and comfort of fellow workers.
Danny Norton, a Senior Electrical Engineer for Sinclair Knight Merz was highly commended for recognising the need for plant owners and operators to be better informed in the industry. He researched and developed a comprehensive range of risk assessment tools and workshops which he presented to relevant industry organisations and individuals across Australia.
Danny has played a major and proactive role in the introduction of safety initiatives to reduce the risk of arc flash injury. His efforts have been significant in raising the profile of arc flash and in recent progress towards the development of an Australian Standard.
A full list of finalists and ceremony photos for the 6th annual Safe Work Australia Awards are available at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/NationalActivities/AnnualSafeWorkAustraliaAwards/6thAnnualSafeWorkAustraliaAwards/Pages/6thAnnualSafeWorkAustraliaAwards.aspx
Calling for all Safe Work Australia Week Safety Ambassadors
Safe Work Australia is seeking nominations of Safety Ambassadors for National Safe Work Australia Week.
What is Safe Work Australia Week?
Safe Work Australia Week is a key initiative of Safe Work Australia. Now in its seventh year, the national week will be celebrated from 23 to 29 October 2011.
National Safe Work Australia Week is held annually in October to raise awareness of workplace safety. The week aims to encourage all working Australians to get involved in, and concentrate on, safety in their workplace to reduce death, injury and disease.
Safe Work Australia Week is celebrated across Australia in partnership with the state, territory and Commonwealth work health and safety regulators.
What are Safety Ambassadors?
Safe Work Australia Week Safety Ambassadors are leaders in their industry, promoting the importance of safer workplaces by driving the message that everyone deserves the right to return home safely from a day’s work.
Safe Work Australia Week Safety Ambassadors range from Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to health and safety representatives and employees, all dedicated to making workplaces safer.
What do Safety Ambassadors do?
Safety Ambassadors demonstrate safe work practices in the workplace and are dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of a safe working environment for all employees.
Safety Ambassadors need to take the lead for Safe Work Australia Week in their organisation. They can organise events or activities for their workplace and can attend or encourage staff to attend events that have been arranged by the work health and safety authority in their state or territory.
Safety Ambassadors can come up with a range of ways to celebrate the week and can be as creative as they like. Their aim is to make workplace safety a priority and to encourage all staff at their workplace to participate in Safe Work Australia Week activities.
Safe Work Australia Week Safety Ambassadors should use Safe Work Australia Week as the starting platform to implementing regular activities which focus on safety in the workplace.
What are the benefits of becoming a Safety Ambassador?
There are many benefits in becoming a Safety Ambassador, including:
Ideas for work health and safety activities in the workplace
How do I become a Safety Ambassador?
To register your interest in becoming a Safe Work Australia Week Safety Ambassador, email firstname.lastname@example.org and a Safe Work Australia representative will be in contact with you.
Visit your state, territory or Commonwealth regulator website to see what activities/events are being planned: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/NationalActivities/SafeWorkAustraliaWeek/Pages/SafeWorkAustraliaWeek.aspx
Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Booklet Australia 2011
The Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Booklet Australia 2011 is a pocket-sized summary of the main statistics on work-related injury, disease and death produced by Safe Work Australia.
Information includes the main types of injuries for which compensation was paid, the cost of injury and incidence rates by industry.
The booklet can be viewed here: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Documents/567/KeyWHSStatistics2011.pdf
Notified Fatalities Monthly Report - November
The monthly notified fatality report provides a national summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian work health and safety jurisdictions.
Besides providing an estimate of the numbers of work-related deaths, the report also includes details of the types of incident involved; the industry of the workplace at which the fatalities occurred; and the industry of the decedent’s employer. Only the most recent report is presented — this will include any necessary revisions.
The report for November can be viewed here: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/NotifiedFatalitiesMonthlyReport.aspx
National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance Report: Exposure to biological hazards and the provision of controls against biological hazards in Australian workplaces
The report focuses on the exposure of Australian workers to biological hazards and the control measures that are provided in workplaces that eliminate, reduce or control worker exposure to biological hazards.
Biological hazards are organic substances that pose a threat to the health of humans and other living organisms. Biological hazards include viruses e.g. HIV, Hepatitis, Avian influenza, pathogenic micro-organisms, toxins, spores, fungi and bio-active substances. Biological hazards can also be considered to include biological vectors or transmitters of disease e.g. human blood or tissue, live animals.
Findings of the study include:
The full report can be found at: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/NHEWS-WetWork.aspx
National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance Report: Exposure to biomechanical demands, pain and fatigue symptoms and the provision of controls in Australian workplaces
The report identifies demographic and employment characteristics of Australian workers that are associated with exposure to biomechanical demands, pain and fatigue symptoms and the provision of biomechanical demand controls.
Biomechanical demands, such as repetitive hand or arm movements, lifting heavy loads or working in awkward postures contribute to the development or worsening of inflammatory or degenerative musculoskeletal disorders which are one of the leading causes of morbidity and disability in Australia and worldwide.
Findings of the study include:
The full report can be found at: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/NHEWS-biomechanical.aspx
National Hazard Exposure Worker Surveillance Report: Wet work exposure and the provision of wet work control measures in Australian workplaces
Occupational skin diseases, such as contact dermatitis of the hands, are one of the most common work-related problems presenting to Australian general practitioners. One of the most important risk factors for occupational skin disease is wet work, which refers to exposure of the hands to liquids, either through frequent hand washing or through immersion of the hands in liquids.
This report describes the employment and demographic characteristics of Australian workers who reported high levels of wet work exposure in the course of their work. The report also examines the provision of wet work controls to exposed workers.
Findings of the study include:
The full report can be found at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/NHEWS-biological.aspx
Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) Report 12th Edition
The 12th edition of the CPM report indicates that the rate of compensated injury fatalities is at its lowest level since the start of the National OHS Strategy 2002-2012 and it is expected that the target of a 20 per cent reduction by 2012 will be achieved.
There were still 223 compensated fatalities recorded in Australia for 2008–09 and each year 14 out of every 1000 workers continue to be injured seriously enough to require a week or more off work.
Other key findings in the report include:
The CPM report series can be found at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Statistics/Pages/ComparativePerformanceMonitoring.aspx
Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2007-2008
This is the fifth report in a series that estimates the number of workers and bystanders killed each year due to work-related injuries. To achieve the best estimate, Safe Work Australia examines three datasets that contain information on work-related fatalities.
These datasets include the National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics, the Notified Fatalities Collection and the National Coroners Information System. Not all traumatic work-related fatalities are notified to work health and safety authorities.
Some key findings of the report include:
To view the full report visit: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/AboutSafeWorkAustralia/WhatWeDo/Publications/Pages/Work-relatedFatalities07-08.aspx
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