OHS Regulator News

Victorian news
Quad bikes: Government taking action
The Andrews Labor Government is taking action to protect and educate farmers and workers with a renewed call for vigilance on and around all-terrain vehicles or quad bikes.

The campaign launched on Monday by the government and WorkSafe Victoria is part of an ongoing push to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on quad bikes. It includes WorkSafe television commercials depicting how easily quad bikes can roll and the devastating consequences they can have when not operated properly. David Elder, a farmer who received serious injuries when his four-wheeler overturned on a farm, will share his story as part of WorkSafe's latest quad bike safety awareness campaign.

Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy said, "Any death on a Victorian farm, factory or workplace is one too many – that's why we're running this campaign, so families don't have to experience the grief of losing a loved one." 
Read more: Don't Risk It: Smarter And Safer On Quad Bikes, Government media release; Don't Risk It: Smarter And Safer on Quad Bikes. Mirage News

Reminder: WorkSafe Advisory: extension of hours
HSRs: remember that WorkSafe has extended the hours of operation for its Advisory Service, making it easier to get advice from the Regulator.  Since the end of April, the service has been operating from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday .

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

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NSW releases Farm Safety Guide
A new A-Z Farm Safety Guide, designed to help farmers improve health and safety across their operations, was launched in Central West NSW recently.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said the publication was produced in a partnership that included SafeWork NSW, NSW Farmers and farmers themselves to make health and safety compliance easier. "This is a ground-breaking tool created by farmers for farmers, and includes cost-effective advice on the biggest work, health and safety concerns," Mr Anderson said. "This guide gives great advice on how people can manage heat, the use of chemicals, as well as fall prevention techniques and tips for working in confined spaces.
Read more: SafeWorkNSW media release. A-Z Farm Safety Guide [pdf]

Safe Work Australia news
Fatality statistics
There has not been an update to the notified fatalities on the Safe Work Australia site: as of May 16, there had been 56 fatalities notified. The workers killed came 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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