Regulator News

The 2021 WorkSafe Awards are now open!

The WorkSafe Awards are a way to recognise those individuals, teams or organisations that go above and beyond for workplace safety. 

WorkSafe Victoria want to recognise and celebrate the efforts of those who work to keep Victorians safe at work. health and safety and return to work champions. The VTHC encourages subscribers to nominate themselves, a colleague or your workplace.

Entries are now open across the following categories:

  • Health and Safety Representative of the Year (the main event for HSRs!)
  • Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm
  • Workplace Health and Safety Solution of the Year
  • Leading Return to Work Practice
  • and more..

Sally Collier-Clarke and Sara Jorgensen, ANMF members and HSRs at Bendigo Health were the joint winners of HSR of the year in 2019. They were also key note speakers at the VTHC OHS Reps Conference in 2020.  Find out more about the awards here and nominate your HSR. Entries close on 7 May 2021, so don't delay!

New HSR newsletter

WorkSafe's newsletter for HSRs was sent out today. The edition has items on the WorkSafe Awards, the newly re-issued Representation Guide, the importance of consultation with regards to Hazardous Manual Handling, and more. Check out the newsletter here

New Silica Campaign

This week WorkSafe launched a campaign aimed at stonemasons across Victoria who have either not yet signed up for or have not completed their free health assessment. Their campaign begins with the story of Milé, a former stonemason who has been through the health assessment program and has been diagnosed with early-stage silicosis.  

A constant worry about job security meant Milé kept putting off taking a health assessment for silicosis - until he saw that other workers were being removed from the work, and spoke with Dianne in WorkSafe's Health Assessment team. 

For many stonemasons, the fear of the unknown can stop them from signing up for — or even progressing with the free silica health assessment program offered by WorkSafe. 

Watch the video to find out how WorkSafe assisted Milé. Find out more about silica - the health effects, what HSRs should do to ensure that workers are not being exposed and more. 

New Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road or Rail

The Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road or Rail, edition 7.7, commenced in Victoria on April 1, 2021.  The Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail) Regulations 2018 have also been amended to reflect the new edition of the ADG Code where necessary. 

The Code provides important controls on the movement of commonly-used dangerous goods, such as petrol, LPG and paints, primarily to protect public safety.

The ADG Code is prepared by the National Transport Commission and approved by the Transport and Infrastructure Council. It is based on the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations by the United Nations, while retaining some Australian specific provisions. Anyone involved in the transport by road and rail of substances classified as ‘dangerous goods’ must comply with the code by October 1, 2021.

The ADG Code 7.7 includes United Nations and Australian based changes. A detailed table of the amendments can be viewed on the NTC website here [pdf]. A copy of the code can be downloaded on this page of the NTC site.

Major Hazards forum - registrations now open

As announced in a previous edition of SafetyNet, WorkSafe is hosting the National Major Hazard Facilities Forum online this year: a 'virtual' two day event, on May 4 and 5.  

WorkSafe has said the purpose of this event is to bring together like-minded persons from across Australia to share best practice with the aim of improving safety outcomes and reducing risk at Major Hazard Facilities. The forum will:
  • 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
The day will be structured around the theme of Resilience Thinking: Driving better safety outcomes. 

Participants will be able to hear from renowned industry experts including Trish Kerin (IChemE Safety Centre), Dr. Drew Rae (Griffith University), Dr. Tristan Casey (Griffith University), Dr. David Provan (Forge Works) and many more – as well as industry and national regulator representatives. The program can be accessed here.  

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. 

When:  May 4 & 5, 2021
Where: Virtually
Cost: $275.00 inc. GST 
Registration: Register now here

QLD: New safety alerts

  1. Operator killed by reversing telehandler   
    In January 2021, a worker on a private property was fatally injured when a telehandler ran over him. Early investigations show the telehandler was loading a crop-dusting plane with fertiliser at a private airstrip on the property when the operator reversed it over a worker.

    The alert goes through the safety issues and the possible control measures to prevent such incidents occurring. It also gives advice on implanting a traffic management plan  

  2. Forklift operator seriously injured by falling pallet 
    In February 2021, a warehouse facility worker was seriously injured when several pallets fell onto the forklift he was operating.

    Initial enquiries indicate he was using the forklift to place a stack of pallets onto storage racking when for reasons yet to be established the pallets fell and landed on the forklift’s overhead protection cage but also struck the back of his head. Investigations are continuing. 

    This alert also goes through the safety issues and possible control measures and provides information on forklifts and racking

National News 

Review of the workplace exposure standards - public comment closes 30 July

In March 2020, Safe Work Australia paused the release and public consultation for the workplace exposure standards (WES) review until further notice. Public feedback resumed on 1 February 2021 with Release 15: paraffin wax to zirconium compounds. This release will be open on the SWA consultation platform, Engage  until 30 July 2021. Read more. 

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia last updated its statistics on fatalities on April 1, at which time they had been notified that 24 Australian workers had been killed at work in 2021 - this is one more than at March 18. The deaths this year have been in the following sectors:

  • 9 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 3 in Arts & recreation services
  • 3 in Construction
  • 2 in Manufacturing 
  • 2 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 2 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 1 in Other Services 
  • 1 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Public administration & safety

These figures 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. 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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