OHS Regulator News

Victorian news
New family violence guidelines
The Victorian Government has launched WorkSafe guidelines explaining why family or domestic violence is a serious workplace safety issue, and what employers are required to do about it.

Workplace Safety Minister Jill Hennessy said last week, "Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for their employees, and that includes doing whatever they can to support workers experiencing family violence."

She added that it was common for the perpetrators of family violence to target women in the workplace, and the five-page guidelines help employers implement practical measures to prevent violence against their employees. The measures could include

  • implementing a call screening process to protect workers from threatening calls;
  • providing a safe room or area to retreat to if a perpetrator appears at the workplace behaving in a violent and intimidating manner;
  • ensuring visitor screening protocols are in place; and
  • allowing workers to take leave to address issues relating to family violence.
Read more: Information for employers: Addressing family violence in the workplace [pdf]  Ministerial media release.

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New chemical sites under investigation
Victorian government agencies charged with removing chemical stockpiles in Epping and Campbellfield are investigating three new sites in Craigieburn which may also contain dangerous goods. WorkSafe, the CFA and Environment Protection Authority are assessing contents of three warehouses after new information was received by WorkSafe.

The sites appear to house bulk containers similar to those being stored at the eight sites found in late December. Chemical testing will be required to establish the presence of dangerous goods, but 24-hour security has been put in place at each site as a precautionary measure. Air monitoring will also be established at the sites. Read more: WorkSafe media release

Latest edition of Safety Soapbox
The latest edition of Safety Soapbox was posted on March 8. In this edition, Cameron Ellis – Construction OHS Advisor/Technical Inspector - talks about ensuring safety around the solar rebate, recently introduced by the state's Labor Government.

In this edition, as well as a round up of news, WorkSafe is asking for suggestions for a new name.

Also in the edition is the list of incidents reported to WorkSafe which covers the month of February 2019. This month the construction industry reported a total of 225 incidents. Of these, 74 per cent resulted in a physical injury. Read the full summary [pdf]. Access the March 8 edition of Safety Soapbox here.

WorkSafe Events
The regulator runs events around the state which provide an opportunity to meet with WorkSafe staff, get information and so on. Click on the event for more information

Safe Work Australia news
Fatality statistics
There have been no updates of the notified fatalities since the last edition of the journal. As at 28 February, there had been 21 fatalities notified to Safe Work Australia. The workers killed have come from the following industries:

  • 7  Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 5 Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 4 Construction
  • 2 Public Administration & safety
  • 2 Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 1 Mining

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage and in particular, here.

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