Regulator News

Victorian news

WorkSafe Awards finalist announced

Twenty-three finalists have been short-listed for the 2021 WorkSafe Awards. The regulator received more than 180 nominations from across Victoria for the seven award categories, which recognise excellence in workplace health and safety and return to work.

Finalists include health and safety representatives, people who have returned to work after injury, and businesses across industries such as health care, transport, construction, and farming.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Officer Colin Radford said it was wonderful to see the strength of entries in the Health and Safety Representative of the Year category, as well as in the new award for 2021, Commitment to Workplace Health and Safety on a Farm. "We wanted to shine a light on the outstanding work of HSRs representing Victorian workers, as well as achievements in farm safety, including innovations that save time and lives," he said.

Health and Safety Representative of the Year

  • Adrian Lidsey and Christopher Ball (Crown Melbourne, Southbank and UWU members)
  • Cameron McCormick (University High School, Parkville and a member of the AEU)
  • Alyce Dickson (Barwon Health, Geelong and a member of the ANMF)

Operator charged after car wash fatality

WorkSafe has charged a service station operator, Chevron Australia Downstream Fuels Pty Ltd, following the death of a customer using an automatic car wash at Springvale in November 2019.  

The 73-year-old Mulgrave man had driven into the car wash before walking out to re-enter an access code. As the man attempted to get back into his vehicle he was crushed when the wash cycle started and his car door was struck by a gantry. He died from his injuries in hospital three days later.

WorkSafe has charged the company with four breaches of section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure a workplace was safe and without risks to health.

The regulator alleges Chevron failed to:

  • Erect signs instructing car occupants not to leave their vehicle while the car wash was in operation.
  • Fit anti-collision bars or other controls to detect impending contact between the car wash's moving parts and obstacles present in the wash bay.
  • Remove protruding brackets from inside the gantry legs.
  • Install boom gates that would only allow entry to the wash bay after a valid access code was entered.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 2 December 2021.

Reminders:

1 - Communicating OHS across languages compliance code -  public comment closing soon

The public comment period for WorkSafe’s proposed Communicating occupational health and safety across languages compliance code will close at 5pm on Monday 6 December, 2021. This new code will provide guidance for those who have duties or obligations under the OHS Act and OHS Regulations to communicate OHS matters in appropriate languages. For more information or to make a submission prior to 5pm Monday visit Engage Victoria's website.

2- Lead compliance code – public comment closing soon 

The public comment period for WorkSafe’s proposed Lead compliance code will close at 5pm on Monday 6 December, 2021 . This new code will help employees and employers undertaking lead processes and lead-risk work to more easily comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017. For more information or to make a submission prior to 5pm Monday visit Engage Victoria’s website.

3 - Webinars on horticultural safety

There are still two webinars which will be run by WorkSafe and Agriculture Victoria, the Labour Hire Authority, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) to assist growers in protecting themselves and their workers against OHS risks.

The remaining virtual sessions will run from 4-5pm on 8 December 2021 and 19 January 2022. Farmers are welcome to attend all three sessions to keep up with the latest information. Register for the webinars hereRead more: WorkSafe media release 

4 - WorkSafe Fact Sheets:

  1. Employee psychosocial fact sheet: Work-related violence 

  2. Psychosocial Hazard Fact Sheet: Work-related violence.
    This guidance provides employers with information about their duties to identify, assess, and control hazards and risks associated with work-related violence. It also provides information on preventing and responding to incidents of work-related violence.

National news 

National Fatality Statistics 2021  

Safe Work Australia updated its statistics on fatalities on November 25, at which time it had been notified that 122Australian workers had been killed at work this year. This is four since the previous update on November 11. Fatalities have been in the following sectors:

  • 41 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 22 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 18 in Construction
  • 12 in Manufacturing
  • 7 in Mining
  • 5 in Arts & recreation services
  • 5 in Public administration & safety
  • 3 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 in Other Services 
  • 2 in Retail trade
  • 1 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Accommodation & food services
  • 1 in Education & training
  • 1 in Administrative & support services
  • 1 in Healthcare & social assistance

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. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Preliminary worker deaths webpage. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities database which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. 

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