Regulator News

Investigation into the culture of the Victorian Building Authority

The Herald Sun reports that the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) will be investigated over allegations of a toxic work culture after claims a bullied and harassed worker took his own life.

Amid claims of widespread issues across the whole organisation the CPSU notified members yesterday they and the VBA have 'agreed on terms of reference for an independent inquiry in allegations of bullying, inappropriate behaviour and poor workplace culture', overseen by Mr Greg Smith AM (former Deputy President of the Fair Work Commission) as the Independent Reviewer. 

VBA employees will be able to make submissions to Greg Smith either directly, or through their Union, with the CPSU strongly encouraging members to participate and contribute.

WorkSafe's HSR Newsletter

WorkSafe Victoria have included some helpful information about prevention of exposure to the flu virus in their recent newsletter for HSRs.

It includes a reminder that the duty to provide a safe work environment includes identifying risks associated with potential flu virus exposure, and may require the provision of adequate infection control procedures and the right equipment and training.

'Like COVID-19, flu is caused by a virus which initially presents similar symptoms to COVID-19. Flu is also spread in the same way (by small aerosols and droplets, when infected people cough, sneeze or even when they are just talking), as well as through direct contact with fluid from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes, and by touching a contaminated surface with the flu virus on it, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.'

A by-now-familiar range of measures should be considered to minimise transmission of the flu in workplaces:

'Getting vaccinated.  Influenza vaccination each year before winter arrives is recognised as the best way to prevent influenza.  Employers may consider promoting and organising flu vaccinations for their employees. The Victorian Government has recently announced that there will be free flu vaccinations for all Victorians. However, the implementation of other controls measures will assist in reducing risk of infection, including the following.

Ventilation. Providing an adequate supply of fresh air (ventilation) to enclosed areas of a workplace dilutes the number of airborne virus particles and lowers transmission risk and needs to be considered as part of a suite of infection control measures.

Physical distancing. This may be achieved by re-designing the workspace; for example, by spreading out desks, workstations and furniture in break rooms and common areas.

Maintaining good personal hygiene can prevent the spread of the flu virus, including washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, or coughing into their elbow or shoulder, providing alcohol-based hand sanitiser for employees and visitors at the workplace.

Stay at home if sick. If you are sick with flu, stay at home and avoid close contact with other people to prevent them from also becoming sick.  This is especially important if you visit people who are more likely to get really sick if they get the flu - including pregnant women, infants, older people or people in hospital or residential aged care.'

WorkSafe’s HSR Newsletter can be accessed and subscribed to here.

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