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Safety Soapbox October edition

The latest edition of Safety Soapbox was sent out today. In this edition, the editorial reminds the construction industry about the risks associated with the use of scaffolding, use of ladders and works at height. Over the past 12 months three Victorian construction workers have been fatally injured as a result of falls from heights. Many other workers are also seriously injured as a result of falls from portable ladders. From 2019-2020, there were 162 incidents reported involving falls. 

The edition also has news that WorkSafe is running a blitz on electrical safety. WorkSafe Inspectors are visiting domestic and commercial construction sites to highlight the importance of managing electrical risks onsite during construction work, of buildings or parts of buildings and associated permanent or temporary structures with builders, contractors and workers.

In September the construction industry reported 189 incidents to WorkSafe. Of these, 77 per cent resulted in injury. A summary can be downloaded from the Safety Soapbox newsletter.

Other news in the bulletin: Mandatory training for solar workers 

Solar Victoria’s commitment to safety means all workers in the Solar Homes Program must complete the free mandatory training unit VU22744 Work safely in the solar industry by 30 June 2021.  This includes accredited installers, licensed plumbers who work with retailers in the program, apprentices, trades assistants and labourers on installation sites. The two day course consists of five units, all of which are fully funded – no charges apply. Check the October edition of Safety Soapbox for more information on this training, and also for interstate news.

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

A reminder that there are still WorkSafe events for Health and Safety Month happening. 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. 

Reminder: Independent review of Dangerous Goods Act and Regs - submissions sought

A comprehensive review of Victoria’s dangerous goods laws is currently underway. The Review is part of the Victorian Government’s response to high profile incidents associated with illegal chemical stockpiling at several sites across Melbourne, and is considering issues and challenges in the management of dangerous goods. The Consultation Paper 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. 

Other news

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work has not updated its fatality statistics since October 8, at which time there had been 121 worker fatalities notified to the national body. The deaths this year have been in the following sectors:

  • 38 in Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 25 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 22 in Construction
  • 12 in Public administration & safety
  • 10 in Manufacturing 
  • 5 in Mining 
  • 3 in Accommodation & food services
  • 2 in 'other services' 
  • 1 in Arts & recreation 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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