Regulator news

WorkSafe Victoria news

New Safety Alert: Increased demand for transport and logistics

WorkSafe Victoria has issued a Safety Alert as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased need for deliveries to shops, homes and distribution centres, and the temporary lifting of heavy vehicle curfews in Victoria. The Alert lists the safety issues this has created, and goes through measures employers and self-employed persons need to implement in order to identify and control hazards and risks. Access the alert here

Western Australia stops FIFO workers from NSW; Queensland to take similar steps

Fly-in, Fly-out workers in NSW will not be allowed to fly to Western Australia from Monday.  The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia’s (CME) said the decision had been made by the WA resources sector in the interests of community safety. CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the move had the support of the WA resources sector. 

“The sector is very grateful for the support given to us by the WA Government, and we want to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 across our sites and the wider community,” said Mr Everingham. “We have been in discussion throughout the day with our members across all commodities and decided this was the best course of proactive action to take.” 

Queensland too is banning interstate FIFO except for those critical to a project’s operation. Only critical interstate fly-in-fly-out mine workers will be allowed into Queensland in order to protect remote and regional communities and local mine workers. According to Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham, Queensland will close its borders from midnight Saturday to interstate FIFO workers unless they were critical to a project’s operation. Source: SafetyCulture

ACT: be kind!

The ACT government had reminded the public to be kind and respectful to frontline workers. The reminder was released following reports of aggression and verbal abuse of healthcare staff in the ACT. Incidents have also occurred in other states. The ACT government said, “abusing doctors, nurses, health workers or their support staff is never OK. In all your dealings with others during the COVID-19 response, whether in person or online, please be respectful and kind,” it said in a statement.

 

Safe Work Australia news

COVID-19 webpage updated

The national body has updated its information on COVID-19 in the workplace and has the following pages:

  • Preparing workplaces for COVID-19: this section has information on steps to take to prevent the spread of the virus, worker and customer hygiene, cleaning and physical distancing 

  • Preparing workers for COVID-19:  includes information about emergency plans, communicating and consulting with workers, PPE and workplace entitlements.

  • What to do if a worker has COVID-19: includes a step-by-step guide and contact details for the COVID-19 hotlines in the states and territories.  

  • Fact sheets and industry information: this section has fact sheets on minimising the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for a range of industries.  

  • Working from home: includes information about working from home safely and other useful resources on working from home. 

  • Mental Health and COVID-19: the duties of employers under OHS/WHS legislation apply to psychological health too. This section includes information on risks to psychological health and steps to minimise workplace stress. 
     
  • COVID-19 information for workers: includes information for workers on their and their employers' duties in relation to COVID-19.  

  • COVID-19 information for small business: has information for small businesses on identifying and minimising risks and what to do if a worker has COVID-19

  • Staying informed about COVID-19: this section assists in keeping up to date with the latest information and has links to resources on health, tax, workplace entitlements, travel advice, and more

National Fatality Statistics

Safe Work Australia has updated its statistics. As of 26 March there had been 43 worker fatalities notified to the national body - five more since the previous update on 12 March. Four of these were in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries. 

The fatalities this year have come from the following industries:

  • 17 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 9 in Construction
  • 6 in Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • 5 in Public administration & safety
  • 3 in Mining
  • 2 in Manufacturing
  • 1 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.

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