Regulator News

Victorian news

Proposed Workplace facilities, amenities and work environment compliance code - Public comment

One of the most important Compliance Codes has been redrafted and updated by a tripartite committee and has been released for public comment.

The proposed Workplace facilities, amenities and work environment compliance code (proposed code) was made available for public review and comment from tomorrow Tuesday 1 June 2021.

There is a dedicated webpage for public comment on the Victorian Government’s consultation platform, Engage, to allow employers, employees, other interested parties and members of the public to view materials online and provide online submissions. Submissions can also be lodged by email or via post. Comments will be accepted until close of business on Monday 28 June 2021. 

Please note: All submissions will be treated as public documents and will appear online unless clearly identified as being confidential.

Reminder: Changes to the Dangerous Goods regulations

From 1 July, the Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012 will require all duty holders occupying premises with prescribed quantities of dangerous goods to notify WorkSafe at least every two years - previously, notification was required every five years.

If there are significant changes, as prescribed in the Regulations, to a site where dangerous goods are stored and handled, an additional notification will also be required within three business days of the change occurring. Prescribed changes include a significant change in the quantity or type of dangerous goods, changed ownership or control of the dangerous goods, and other prescribed changes that significantly alter the risk profile of the site. 
Read more: WorkSafe media release 

National News 

NSW: Code of Practice for Managing Psychological Hazards at Work

NSW has become the first state in Australia to introduce an industry-wide Code of Practice to formally clarify the legal responsibilities businesses have to address hazards in the workplace that have the potential to cause psychological or physical harm.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor released the Code of Practice: Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work which encompasses risks to psychological health covering all NSW workplaces.

“This Code comes after our research found only one in five NSW businesses reported having a basic awareness on how to control work-related psychological health risks and less than ten per cent of all workplaces said they have an established approach to handling these issues,” Mr Anderson said. “Every workplace in NSW has a legal duty of care to their employees to protect them from psychosocial hazards such as bullying and harassment, violence in the workplace and importantly, remote and isolated work." 
Read more: NSW media release. Download the Code of Practice: Managing Psychosocial Hazards at Work

Comcare: reminder to employers

As Victoria continues its lockdown this week, Comcare wanted to provide a summary of its guidance to help employers and workers stay safe, remain vigilant and maintain COVID-Safe workplaces. Comcare has continued to develop its COVID-19 guidance to support workers and employers, including:

Employers are reminded to notify Comcare of all COVID-19 cases that are work-related, including cases acquired while working overseas, and should follow the public health advice in their jurisdiction.

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia has not updated its statistics on fatalities since May 13, at which time they had been notified that 34 Australian workers had been killed at work in 2021. The fatalities have been in the following sectors:

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

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, consequently sometimes the numbers of deaths in each sector change. 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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