Regulator News

Victorian news   
Amusement ride safety reminder as industry re-opens 
WorkSafe Victoria is reminding amusement ride operators across Victoria to make safety a priority as the industry re-opens following two quiet years due to COVID.

Already this year WorkSafe has completed 279 inspections at events – including the Grand Prix, Moomba, St Kilda Festival and the Australian Open – and issued one improvement notice for inadequate guarding on the passenger doors of one ride. WorkSafe also issued an improvement notice to a ride operator last November after patrons became stuck due to a mechanical fault.

WorkSafe Executive Director Health and Safety Narelle Beer said maintenance of rides should already be completed as operators set up for Easter events this week. "Every person who uses amusement rides, or works with them, has the right to do so without risking their lives, or risking an injury," Dr Beer said.

Event organisers, ride operators and owners are also reminded to ensure that appropriate control measures and safety checks are in place while rides are operating. "Ultimately the safe operation of amusement rides is the responsibility of the operators," Dr Beer said. "WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute any amusement ride operators who fail to meet their obligations to ensure the safety of their employees or the public."

Members of the public who may have a concern about the safety of a ride should report it to WorkSafe's advisory service on 1800 136 089. Read more: WorkSafe media release.

Warning on the risks of rock falls 
Following an incident in which a worker was hit by rocks, WorkSafe has issued a reminder about the importance of managing the risks associated with rock fall whilst charging development headings in underground mines.

An underground development heading was being charged (loaded with explosives) by two employees. The first employee was at ground level close to the development heading face and was loading explosives into drill holes. The second employee was several metres back from the face operating a pneumatic trigger.

The first employee was struck by a rock on the helmet that fell approximately 3.5m from the centre of the development face. The employee was knocked backwards receiving injuries to their shoulder and neck, requiring admission to hospital. Read the Safety Alert: Serious mining incident – Rock fall hits employee during development heading charging 

Campaign strives for less harm on farms
Matt and Ali Reid run Otway Milk, a 688-hectare farm at Carlisle River, south-west of Colac, milking about 700 cows and employing five permanent full-time workers. As part of WorkSafe's farm safety campaign, Mr Reid said their strong safety culture, which includes a comprehensive training and induction program, regular safety meetings and the safe separation of children from farming operations, was a far cry from his own upbringing on a dairy farm at Rochester.

As WorkSafe's confronting farm safety campaign – It's never you, until it is – makes a return across television, radio, print and digital media, it is encouraging more farmers like the Reids to have potentially life-saving conversations about safety in agriculture. "One of the things we learnt along the way is not everything has to cost money. There are examples where all it has cost is a five-minute conversation to find a better way," Mr Reid said. Read more: WorkSafe media release

National News   
Comcare Webinar: Contractor management  
One of the webinars Comcare is running over the next few weeks, Contractor management—Shared duties and control, may be of interest to workers and HSRs under the Comcare system. 

Comcare's Senior Inspectors, Susan Jones and Craig Servin from Comcare's Regulatory Operations Group will provide organisations that engage contractors with a clearer understanding of shared duties and responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

The webinar will cover:

  • refresh of duties and responsibilities under the WHS Act
  • understanding ‘control of work’ and what is reasonably practicable
  • practical tips on managing contractors.

Webinar details: Tuesday 3 May; 11am - 11:45 am AEST; via Microsoft Teams. Register now

National Fatality Statistics 2022  
Safe Work Australia updated its statistics on fatalities on April 7,  at which time it had been notified that 47 Australian workers had been killed at work this year, this is 18 more than at the time of its previous update on March 17. Seven of the fatalities were in Transport, postal & warehousing, and six were in Agriculture, forestry & fishing.

The fatalities have been in the following sectors:

  • 22 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 12 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 3 in Public administration & safety
  • 3 in Construction
  • 2 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services 
  • 2 in 'other services'
  • 1 in Accommodation & food services
  • 1 in Manufacturing
  • 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. 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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