Regulator News

Victorian news

New Safety Alert

WorkSafe has issued a safety alert about the hazards and risks associated with handling and storage of hay bales, following the death of a worker when handling hay bales near a haystack. It is believed he struck his head after hay bales fell from a stack behind him.

In the Alert, WorkSafe says that farmers and farm workers can be at risk of serious or fatal injuries when moving, lifting, loading or unloading hay bales. The weight of bales can vary from 40kg to 1500kg, depending on the type of hay, the size of the bale, compaction density and moisture content. The size and weight of hay bales means the collapse of stacks, or hay bales falling from fixed stacks, mobile plant or attachments, can cause crush injuries or death. 
Read more: Farm worker fatally injured while handling hay bales 

National News 

New Comcare COVID-19 guides and information

A range of new COVID-19 restrictions have been introduced across the country that will impact many employers and workers.
Whether current restrictions have changed in your location or for your team, clients or customers, Comcare has guidance that can help:

Comcare has also developed self-paced online learning modules for workers, managers, and supervisors on how to safely wear face masks and maintain a COVID-safe workplace:

Reminder: occupational lung disease campaign

If you haven't checked at the Safe Work Australia Clean Air. Clear Lungs. campaign yet, do it now. The campaign aims to raise awareness of occupational lung diseases and provide persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) and employers information to manage these risks at work. 

Occupational lung diseases are caused by workplace exposure to a range of often invisible hazardous chemicals and dusts. High risk industries include agriculture, construction, manufacturing and those working with engineered stone.

Safe Work Australia has information, including case studies, information sheets and checklists, to help duty holders identify and assess the risk of exposure to hazardous materials at their workplace. Go to the site to learn more about occupational lung diseases, identifying the hazards, managing the risks, and monitoring and reviewing the controls at your workplace. Information has also been translated into languages other than English.

For more information and to access the Clean Air. Clear Lungs. campaign kit, visit this page on the SWA site. Subscribe to the Occupational Lung Diseases mailing list and keep an eye on SWA's social media

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia updated its statistics on fatalities on June 24, at which time it had been notified that 51 Australian workers had been killed at work this year, eight more than the previous update on June 10. The fatalities were: 4 in Transport, postal & warehousing; 1 each in Construction, Manufacturing, Education & training and finally, one is currently 'unknown'. The total numbers of fatalities have been in the following sectors:

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

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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