OHS Regulator News

Victorian news
2019 WorkSafe Awards - Hurry up, nominate now!
Urgent: nominate your HSR now - entries for the 2019 WorkSafe Awards are open but close at the end of the month. There are also other categories you/your workplace might be interested in putting in nominations for... 

Now in their 31st year, the awards celebrate the achievements of businesses and individuals that improve health and safety in the workplace and support workers who have been injured on the job.  They're also a great way for workplaces to share their success and show how they are leading the way.

Of greatest interest to us is the Health and Safety Representative of the Year Award - if you've got a great HSR, then nominate them now to show how much you appreciate what they do! Entries close May 31st - so there's not a lot of time to think about it. Enter here.

WorkSafe looking for inspectors 
WorkSafe Victoria is establishing an infrastructure project inspection team and needs to recruit more construction inspectors. Applications close today, May 22. As well as construction inspectors, the regulator has also advertised a number of multi-disciplinary inspectors in locations including Melbourne; the South West Coast and Shepparton/Gouldburn Valley. Check out the job ads here. and here.

Work-related mental injuries
WorkSafe has this week sent out a bulk email on Work-related mental injuries, noting that these are Australia's second most common cause of workers compensation claims. They now account for more than 10 per cent of claims in Victoria - approximately 1,300 claims per year. The communication includes some tips for employers on how to address work-related stress, a short video, and a link to the WorkSafe stress page. Read more on Stress.

WorkSafe Advisory: extension of hours
In news I missed due to being on leave, WorkSafe has announced that it has extended the hours of operation for its Advisory Service.  From the end of April, the service has been taking calls Monday to Friday from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

WorkSafe's advisory service staff answered more than 230,000 calls over the past 12 months and responded to more than 46,000 emails seeking information and advice. Calls included 15,700 reports of incidents, 52,000 occupational health and safety inquiries, almost 77,000 inquiries relating to compensation and fraud and almost 67,000 licensing and information requests. The Advisory Director Kelly Harris said the extended hours were designed to make the service more responsive to the needs of Victorian employers and workers. Read more: WorkSafe media release

WorkSafe events
There are two events coming up which will provide an opportunity to meet the WorkSafe Agriculture Practice Team. If anyone has any farm safety issues they would like to discuss, try to get along to one of these. The team at the WorkSafe stand is keen to have a chat, hear about approaches to managing on-farm safety and about any new and innovative safety solutions. There will be information and guidance materials for people to take away.

  1. Mallee Machinery Field Days
     Wednesday 31 July - Thursday 1 August, 8:30am to 5:00pm
    Speed Airport, 2574 Sunraysia Hwy, Speed VIC 3488 
  2. Sheepvention 
    When: Sunday 04 Aug 2019
    Where: CRT Innovations Hub, Hamilton Showgrounds, Shakespeare St, Hamilton
New installation to reflect on workplace safety
The WorkSafe Reflections Installation is designed to encourage workers to change the way they see safety in their workplace and help create safer working environments. It's an important initiative that everyone in Mildura can experience.

When: 18 - 26 May
Where: Langtree Mall, Mildura

SafeWorkNSW newsletter
The latest edition of the NSW regulator's newsletter has a feature on scaffolding. The regulator says that across NSW construction sites, falls from heights is the biggest cause of death and serious injury. Scaffolds are involved in many of these falls, with non-compliant scaffolds rating among the highest risks of harm. Consequently SafeWorkNSW now has a proactive safety initiative, "Operation Scaff Safe 2019", to get industry to set the bar higher when it comes to erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolds. The newsletter has lots of other interesting items - check it out here.

Safe Work Australia news
Fatality statistics
As of May 16, there had been 56 fatalities notified to Safe Work Australia  - that is five more since the previous update on April 28. The workers killed have come from the following industries:

  • 20 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 15 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 9 in Construction
  • 7 in Public Administration & safety
  • 3 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 in 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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