New Safety Alert: Falls from ladders
WorkSafe has issued an alert to highlight the dangers of the incorrect selection, set up and use of portable ladders. Recently, two employees in separate incidents have sustained critical head injuries as a result of falling from ladders. WorkSafe says in its new alert that portable ladders are one of the least stable but most commonly used tools for working at heights. Incorrect selection, set up and use of ladders can result in falls. Falls continue to be a leading cause of serious and fatal incidents in the construction industry. This industry continues to see serious and fatal fall incidents where risk control measures are not in place or not adequately controlling the risk of a fall. Read more: Safety Alert
Major Hazards forum
A reminder that WorkSafe is hosting the National Major Hazard Facilities Forum online this year: a 'virtual' two day event, to be held on May 4 and 5.
- Engage Major Hazard Facility operators, safety practitioners and regulators with modern safety theory
- Challenge existing paradigms about safety management at Major Hazard Facilities
- Hear from guest speakers from industry, regulators, and academia as well as practical case studies and facilitated workshops
It would be fantastic if HSRs from at facilities which have been designated as being 'Major Hazard Facilities' could also participate with their management representatives. Further event and ticketing information to be announced, but companies can pre-register their interest in attending here.
New COVID-19 vaccine information for workplaces
Safe Work Australia has published new information about work health and safety and COVID-19 vaccines.
SWA reminds employers that they have a duty under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws to eliminate, or if that is not reasonably practicable, minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. The new guidance provides information about rights and obligations under the model WHS laws and how they relate to COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccine work health and safety information is available for employers, small business and workers in 37 different industries and is accessible via the dropdown menu tool on the SWA site.
New advice on Improving ventilation in workplaces
A new COVID-19 fact sheet on Improving ventilation in indoor workplaces has been developed by Safe Work Australia. The fact sheet highlights practical steps for employers/PCBUs to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and improve ventilation in indoor workplaces.
For example, ensuring heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are well-maintained and operating properly and turning off or limiting air recirculation, can help to manage the risk of COVID-19 in indoor workplaces. SWA stresses, however, that the most effective ways to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection at the workplace are for employers to ensure workers do not attend work if they are unwell, to practice physical distancing, and to maintain good hygiene and environmental cleaning.
National Fatality Statistics
Safe Work Australia has pdated its statistics since the last edition of SafetyNet. As at 18 February, 11 Australian workers had been killed at work in 2021. The 2020 and 2021 figures listed in the table on the SWA website are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working.
Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.The deaths this year have been in the following sectors:
4 in Transport, postal & warehousing
2 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
1 in Arts & recreation services
1 in Construction
1 in Manufacturing
1 in Other 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.