OHS Regulator News

Victorian news
Health service charged after patient death 
In a short media release today, WorkSafe has announced that it has charged Melbourne Health following the death of a patient at its Broadmeadows aged persons mental health unit. The regulator lodged three charges against Melbourne Health under section 23(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act at the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court on 7 June relating to the death on 23 September, 2013.

WorkSafe alleges that Melbourne Health contravened the OHS Act on three occasions when it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the 75-year-old male patient was not exposed to risks to his health or safety arising from the conduct of its undertaking. Source: WorkSafe media release

Regulator issues wet weather warning
WorkSafe is today warning employers about the dangers of working in the wet as the state weathers another winter downpour. Construction sites and farms are of particular risk at this time of year, with mud and water logged soil increasing the risk of slips, trips, falls and excavation or trench collapses. Builders and contractors are being urged to regularly assess their sites after any rainfall as dry ground can quickly become soft, muddy and slippery.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said builders and contractors should regularly assess their sites after any rainfall as dry ground could quickly become soft, muddy and slippery. "There were almost 4000 injury claims in the construction industry last year and wet weather can only exacerbate the dangers on-site," Ms Nielsen said. Read more: WorkSafe media release

New Safety Alert
WorkSafe has issued a new Safety Alert about the risks associated with glass panels breaking from child impact at early childhood education and care services. Recently a 5-year-old child at an early childcare education and care service leaned on a window which dislodged, smashing the glass. The child was hospitalised after sustaining a severe wrist laceration.

The incident led to WorkSafe conducting visits to early childhood education and care services, during which a number of windows and doors with glass panels or inserts that may be a safety risk were identified. The Alert provides recommendations on how to control these risks. 
Read more: Glass panes at early childhood education and care services

WorkSafe events
Remember the 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


WA: Checklist for stone benchtop fabrication and installation
The WA Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety has developed a checklist [pdf] for employers and workers engaged in the fabrication and installation of stone benchtops. The checklist highlights safety issues with a focus on silica hazards. It provides information on how to best manage those risks to minimise negative outcomes through compliance with occupational safety and health legislation.

Queensland: Mobile health screening for coal workers
The Queensland Government last week announced in its budget $1.2 million over two years to fund a mobile health screening service for coal workers, to improve the detection of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung), silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases. 

Safe Work Australia news
Fatality statistics
There has been an update to the notified fatalities on the Safe Work Australia site: as of June 6, there had been 64 fatalities notified to the national body. This is eight more in the time since its last update on May 16 The workers killed came from the following industries:

  • 23 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 15 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 11 in Construction
  • 7 in Public Administration & safety
  • 4 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 in Mining
  • 1 in manufacturing
  • 1 in 'Other services'

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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