Regulator news

Victorian news

HSR Newsletter promotes new online support channel

WorkSafe today sent out the latest edition of its HSR Newsletter. In it there's news of WorkSafe’s new online support channel for HSRs proved a hit at last week’s DELWP Health & Safety Representatives Forum. It was promoted at a Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Expo at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 15th of August. WorkSafe says that HSRs have a critical role to play in Victorian workplaces, representing the interests of employees. It is widely acknowledged that HSRs can make a real difference in having OHS issues addressed and can help achieve better health and safety outcomes.

HSR Support Officers, Kim Giles and Sam Hatfield promoted the HSR Support Channel using CodeSafe (QR code technology) to give HSRs online access to a library of guidance materials relevant to their role via a simple app which they recently developed. Check out the newsletter, including a report on the online support channel.

Safety Soapbox October edition

The latest edition of Safety Soapbox was sent out on Monday this week. In this edition, the editorial remembers that October 15 was the 49th anniversary of the West Gate Bride collapse, still one of Australia’s worst peace-time workplace tragedies. Thirty five construction workers died when one of the West Gate Bridge spans collapsed during construction.

At 11:50 am on 15 October 1970, two years into its construction, the 365 ft. (112m) 2000-tonne span between piers 10 and 11 of the West Gate Bridge collapsed and fell 164 ft. (50m) onto the Yarra River’s muddy edge below. The annual memorial service took place yesterday.

In September the construction industry reported 150 to WorkSafe. Of these, 59 per cent resulted in injury. There were two 'serious near misses' and 16 incidents involved young workers. The pdf summarising the incidents can be downloaded from the October edition, together with the 'Absolute shocker' and more. Go to this page on the WorkSafe website for the October edition of Safety Soapbox.

Targeted blitz on hydraulic mobile cranes

WorkSafe Victoria will continue the targeted blitz on hydraulic mobile cranes operating on construction sites throughout October. The regulator says that more than 100 visits have already been conducted around Victoria so far. With yet another crane toppling incident recently occuring, the regulator urges employers using cranes to remain vigilant.

Health and Safety Month

Don't forget that in addition to the world's biggest event for HSRs (our HSR Conference), there are a number of events being organised as part of Health and Safety Month around the state, including the big WorkSafe event on October 30. Go to the WorkSafe website for details of events and to register.

Safe Work Australia news

Fatality Statistics
SafeWork updated its stats last week: As of October 10, the number of fatalities notified to national body was 121. This is another five more since the last update on September 26. Three of the five fatalities were in Transport, postal & warehousing. The workers killed came from the following industries: 

  • 41 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 28 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 17 in Construction
  • 8 in Mining
  • 6 in Public Administration & safety
  • 6 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 5 in Manufacturing
  • 2 in Professional, scientific & technical services
  • 2 in Wholesale trade
  • 2 in 'Other services'
  • 2 in Administration & support services
  • 2 in Arts & recreation 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.

Mandatory rollover protection for quad bikes

The federal government has responded to calls from the ACCC, unions, farmers and community groups, announcing last week that roll-over protection will be mandatory on all new quad bikes within 24 months. Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said the new standard would see improved safety information available to consumers, reduce the frequency of rollovers and provide increased protection to operators in the event of a rollover to reduce the risk of serious crush injuries and deaths. “Quad bikes are the leading cause of fatalities in Australia of all consumer products that aren’t regulated,” Mr. Sukkar said.

Prominent manufacturers, such as Honda and Yamaha, along with industry body the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have strongly opposed mandatory roll-over protection, arguing instead that behavioural changes such as helmet use, as well as preventing children and passengers from using quad bikes, would be more effective. Some are threatening to no longer import quad bikes into Australia. Read more: Farm online


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