Regulator News

Victorian news

Reminder: Proposed Workplace facilities, amenities and work environment compliance code out for 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 until  close of business on Monday 28 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. 

If HSRs have any comments they would like to send through to the VTHC, we will consider it and if agreed, include it in our submission. Send these through to [email protected].

National News 

WA: Workplace Behaviour draft code of practice released

draft Code of Practice, Workplace Behaviour has been developed by Western Australia's Commission for Occupational Safety and Health, and is open for comment until 30 August. The 44-page draft Code focuses on the general principles applied to the prevention and management of inappropriate or unreasonable behaviour like prolonged conflict, discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, threats and intimidation. It is to be read in conjunction with the general duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1984.

According to the code, higher level safety controls for inappropriate or unreasonable workplace behaviour include adjusting staff levels for peak periods and setting achievable targets. 

NSW: Resources regulator tells employers to check traffic management and parking 

The NSW Resources Regulator has called for mine and quarry operators to assess the adequacy of their traffic management plans for parking locations, the separation of pedestrians and vehicles, and warning and communication systems, following a light vehicle fatality on 24 May.

The worker, a contractor, was a passenger of the vehicle when it parked in a West Wyalong Quarry yard and the driver alighted to assist some electrical workers. The contractor also left the vehicle and knelt to pick up some dropped washers.

The driver got back in the vehicle, did a left U-turn, striking the contractor and killing him. 

In an investigation information release, the regulator says mines and quarries must comply with the general risk management and traffic-specific legislative requirements of the NSW Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013, as well as the regulations underpinning them.

It adds that light vehicle operators must "vigilantly: observe the surrounding area and intended path of travel prior to starting vehicles; and ensure the intended path of travel is clear of pedestrians and other obstructions prior to moving". Source: OHSAlert

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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