Regulator news

Victorian news

Independent review of Dangerous Goods Act and Regs - submissions sought

In April 2020 the then Minister for Workplace Safety, the Hon. Jill Hennessy MP, announced a comprehensive review of Victoria’s dangerous goods laws and appointed Andrew Palmer QC as the Independent Reviewer. The Review is part of the Victorian Government’s response to high profile incidents associated with illegal chemical stockpiling at several sites across Melbourne.

The Review is considering contemporary issues and challenges in the management of dangerous goods including emerging risks and issues and their impact on the safety of people and property. A Consultation Paper has been released: it raises a number of issues which address the Review’s Terms of Reference and suggests ways in which those issues might be addressed. It also discusses Victoria’s dangerous goods landscape, the current regulatory framework and presents a list of questions to assist in making submissions.

All interested individuals and organisations are invited to share their views by making a submission. The Terms of Reference, the Consultation Paper and the list of questions can be downloaded from this page of the Engage Victoria website. The closing date for submissions is 5pm, 30 November, 2020. 

WorkSafe: Health and Safety Month helping to navigate COVID-19

The focus of WorkSafe's first fully virtual Health and Safety Month will be helping employers and workers navigate through coronavirus (COVID-19). 

There are more than a dozen free webinars and online sessions featuring guest speakers and industry experts covering topics like managing mental health through the pandemic, working remotely, leadership, fatigue, supporting injured workers and the impact on premiums. All sessions will be interactive with presenters ready to answer questions.

Some of the sessions include;
  • Surviving COVID-19 - a WorkSafe perspective
  • Leading the way: Industries innovating workplace mental health prevention
  • COVID-19 and Healthcare
  • Managing the risk of COVID-19; what does an inspector look for?
  • How the Building and Construction industry is dealing with COVID-19
  • How does COVID-19 impact your workcover premium

One of the sessions being promoted is with Ambulance Victoria’s CEO Assoc. Professor Tony Walker ASM. On October 26 he will be running an interactive session on the importance of leadership in workplace mental health during COVID‐19 and beyond. He will share his experience on how to address work related factors that can impact workers’ wellbeing and how to create a mentally healthy workplace. Health & Safety month events are free, but registration is essential. Go to this page on the Worksafe website to check out what webinars are being run and to register. 

Comcare COVID-19 webinars

1- Accelerated workplace change in the face of COVID-19 (Last chance to register)

The webinar, tomorrow at 10.30 am, will explore the rapid and large-scale changes that workplaces of different sizes and across various industries have undertaken in the face of COVID-19. Presenters from Comcare and Safe Work Australia will discuss shifts in work health and safety (WHS) risks and hazards, leadership, culture, working arrangements and WHS policy and systems that have contributed to accelerated workplace change.

There will also be the opportunity to submit questions to the presenters.

Webinar details

Date: Tomorrow, Thursday 8 October 2020
Time: 10.30 am – 11.30 am AEDT
Via: Microsoft Teams

Who should attend:

  • employers
  • work health and safety practitioners
  • health and safety representatives
  • human resources managers
  • mid-level managers
  • workers.

Register to attend on the Comcare website.

2 - As part of Mental Health Week, Comcare will be hosting a free webinar: COVID-19, our work, mental health and wellbeing, on Wednesday 14 October 2020; 2.00 - 3.30pm AEDT (Australian Eastern Standard Time).This will be their second webinar as part of National Safe Work Month 2020.

Comcare’s Ngaire Anderson, Director Mental Health and Research will be joined by Beyond Blue’s Linda Sheahan, Workplace Engagement Manager and Associate Professor Karina Jorritsma, Future of Work Institute, Curtin University.

Topics include:

  • Emerging research and insights on our work, mental health and wellbeing
  • COVID-19 and some of the challenges associated around mental health and our wellbeing
  • Opportunities and risks related to working from home and the future of work

For more on this webinar visit the Comcare website. Anyone with any questions about the webinar, contact Comcare by email at events@comcare.gov.au

SafeWork SA: Silica activity

SafeWork SA has committed to a second-round of audits from October 2020 on silica dust exposure ensuring ongoing compliance within exposure limits and rectification of any previously identified issues. Following audits in 2019, SafeWork SA inspectors are again visiting workplaces identified as either being involved in fabrication and installation of engineered stone products or having the potential for high levels of exposure. Read more: SafeWork SA Alert

Safe Work Australia news

National Health and Safety Month

A reminder of the upcoming national health and safety month in October - next week! Safe Work Australia has a dedicated National Safe Work Month website. There are resources available to download including a WHS best practice checklist for employers.  

Each week in October focuses on a WHS topic that acknowledges the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages best practice WHS. Check these out here.

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work last updated its fatality statistics on September 24, at which time there had been 113 worker fatalities notified to the national body. At the same time last year, there had been 137 reported fatalities - it appears that fewer workers are being killed in Australian workplaces, possibly due to fewer workers being on worksites due to the coronavirus pandemic. The deaths this year have been in the following sectors:

  • 38 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 22 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 20 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 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.

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