Advice on COVID-19 and WorkCover
WorkSafe has produced advice which is now available on its website on Workers' Compensation and COVID-19. The information provides answers on the following questions:
- If I contract COVID-19 at work will I have an entitlement to compensation?
- How can I access treatment if I'm required to self-isolate or am not able to attend an appointment because of COVID-19?
- How do I get a certificate of capacity if I am required to self-isolate or am not able to attend an appointment because of COVID-19?
- Should I attend an IME appointment if I am unwell?
- Who can I contact with any other question about my claim and the COVID-19 measures in place?
Safety Alert following death of electrician
On August 18 this year, a licenced electrician working at an older domestic property was fatally electrocuted. WorkSafe has issued a Safety Alert which provides information on the causes of the incident, potential safety risks in the task, other risks which may be present in older properties, and recommended ways to control these risks. It also covers the legal duties of employers and self-employed persons, and information on the requirements under electrical safety law, which is regulated by EnergySafe Victoria (ESV). Read more: Electrician electrocuted working at a domestic property
Information on cattle crushing and workplace manslaughter
WorkSafe has sent information out to rural employers where there may be risk to life due to cattle crushing. The regulator says that being crushed or trampled by cattle is the second highest cause of farm deaths. The document provides information and advice to the sector. Read more: Workplace manslaughter: Some steps to reduce risk of death from cattle crushing
NSW: Duty holders warned after rolling-vehicle death
In an incident information release, SafeWork NSW has told businesses to consider all reasonably practicable control measures to prevent the uncontrolled movement of work vehicles, after a 52-year-old tow truck driver was recently fatally crushed by a prime mover. The worker was loading the prime mover onto a tilt tray semi-trailer in Newcastle when it rolled backwards off the tray and crushed him. Among a range of recommended control measures, the document stresses that vehicles should be parked on level ground where possible. Read more: Tow truck driver crushed by rolling prime mover
Safe Work Australia
New resources for transition to GHS 7
Safe Work Australia has published new guidance to assist businesses with the transition to GHS 7. Australia will begin a two-year transition to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7) on 1 January 2021.
To help businesses understand the changes required under GHS 7, Safe Work Australia has published a dedicated GHS 7 web page and suite of information sheets. These information sheets provide details about classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals, and the duties of manufacturers, importers, suppliers and end users. Find out more on the new GHS 7 web page.
SWA notes that the transition to GHS 7 was due to start on 1 July 2020; however, it was delayed due to the impact of COVID-19 on Australian businesses.
To ensure that businesses who had started to implement GHS 7 are not disadvantaged, work health and safety (WHS) regulators are allowing importers and manufacturers to classify and label chemicals in accordance with GHS 7 from 1 July 2020 to 1 January 2021, ahead of the official transitional period. Read more: SWA news
National Fatality Statistics
Safe Work updated its fatality statistics on August 27, at which time there had been 109 worker fatalities notified to the national body - this is five more than the previous update on August 13. The fatalities this year have been in the following sectors:
- 36 in Transport, postal & warehousing
- 21 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
- 18 in Construction
- 12 in Public administration & safety
- 9 in Manufacturing
- 5 in Mining
- 2 in 'other services'
- 1 in Arts & recreation services
- 1 in Accommodation & food services
- 1 in Retail trade
- 1 in Administrative & support services
- 1 in Electrical, gas, water, & waste services
- 1 in Wholesale trade
Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage.
Podcasts from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Canada's CCOHS has produces a number of short, and free, podcasts on a range of issues, such as Workplace Inspections During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Maintaining Our Health When Working Remotely. Although they sometimes make references to Canadian legislation, it's interesting to hear the perspective of another regulator on what should be happening in workplaces. CCOHS Podcasts