Regulator News

Victorian news 
Online information sessions for horticultural producers  
Agriculture Victoria and WorkSafe Victoria, along with the Labour Hire Authority, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) are working together to run harvest webinars in February and March to assist horticulture producers in navigating the latest requirements. 

These webinars will provide information on:
  • COVID-19 and employer obligations, including vaccination for authorised workers, from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
  • how to keep workers safe in horticultural workplaces during harvest season, from WorkSafe Victoria
  • ensuring labour hire workers are treated fairly and provided through a licensed labour hire provider, from the Labour Hire Authority
  • labour relations and free one-on-one safety consults, available to all Victorian primary producers, from the VFF
  • seasonal workforce support, from Agriculture Victoria.

Each webinar will have time at the end for questions and operational staff will be able to answer these and provide additional information. To RSVP click on the date you'd like to attend: 

Wednesday February 16 (that's today!) or Wednesday March 2  

Safety Soapbox newsletter out now  
The first edition of WorkSafe's Safety Soapbox for 2022 is out today. In this month's editorial, WorkSafe warns employers and workers to take trenching safety seriously: not using appropriate controls can be fatal, irrespective of the depth. Since 2017, there have been three trench-related fatalities at Victorian construction worksites. The newsletter, apart from providing advice, also has a video Safety Guide to Trenching Controls

Other items:

  • OHS Essentials Program for small construction businesses - a free service
  • WorkSafe's new media campaign for young workers: Does your workplace make you feel.. UMM?
  • Notification of a Safety Alert, following the collapse of a wall frame. 
  • A free online webinar on March 3 (8 am - 9.30 am) being run jointly by WorkSafe, Energy Safe Victoria, Environmental Protection Agency and Victorian Building Authority to support their Build Aware campaign in Bendigo. Read more and register here
  • Latest construction prosecutions
  • Interstate news
  • Incidents reported to WorkSafe:
    • During December the construction industry reported 150 incidents to WorkSafe. Of these, 70 per cent resulted in injury. More than half of these were 'significant' or 'serious'. In of these incidents, an apprentice fell from roof onto concrete slab while laying roof sheets on double a storey house, sustaining multiple injuries.
    • During January the construction industry reported 103 incidents to WorkSafe. Of these, 81 per cent resulted in injury. 

Access the February 2022 edition here  - the summaries of reported incidents can be downloaded from this edition of Safety Soapbox.

New WorkSafe Dangerous Goods newsletter  
WorkSafe has recently launched a new Dangerous Goods Newsletter, the 'DG Digest’. The 3-monthly newsletter provides useful information and guidance to duty holders who use, manufacture, store, sell, transport or import dangerous goods. 
Subscribe here (to this and other WorkSafe newsletters). View the latest edition.

WorkSafe Awards Dinner  
Due to the number of COVID-19 infections still being relatively high, WorkSafe has decided to postpone its Awards Dinner to April 21. It's a terrific night - particularly for the finalists and their workmates, colleagues and for their union. More information and to buy tickets.

National news 
National Fatality Statistics 2022  
Safe Work Australia has not updated its statistics on fatalities since February 3, at which time it had been notified that 12 Australian workers had been killed at work this year. The fatalities have been in the following sectors:

  • 6 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 2 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 2 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 1 in Construction
  • 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, 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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