SafetyNet Journal

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SafetyNet 709

Posted on 15 April 2024

This week in SafetyNet: more Asbestos found in local parks, changes to the workers' compensation laws explained, charges laid over fatal school trip,International Workers' Memorial Day approaches, and much...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 10 April 2024

There has been a mould problem at my work for awhile now and no one is getting serious about it. I am at lost with...
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ANIMATED RECREATION: EXCLUSION ZONE WARNING

Posted on 8 April 2024

Resources Safety and Health Queensland's chief inspector has reminded employers conducting crane operations that they must establish and enforce exclusion zones around the task, ensuring...
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WORKSAFE 'ANALYTICS HUB' $31 MILLION OVER BUDGET

Posted on 8 April 2024

Fresh IT project cost blowouts are expected to top $100 million across state government agencies, including WorkSafe.
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SHORT PROGRAM REDUCES STRESSFUL INTERRUPTIONS

Posted on 8 April 2024

A three-hour coaching program developed by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern's Institute of Psychology aims to help supervisors recognise and reduce unnecessary interruptions...
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CHALLENGES AFFECTING SAFETY REPORTING CULTURES

Posted on 8 April 2024

A recent 118-page report on safety reporting culture in Queensland's mining industry reveals that unclear wording, difficult-to-navigate digital systems, and time-consuming processes hinder many workers...
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WORK BOOT INJURY CONCERNS

Posted on 8 April 2024

A major review has highlighted the importance of safety boots in preventing injuries but also their potential to cause harm.
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PAKISTAN: MINE DISASTER CLAIMS 12

Posted on 8 April 2024

Twelve mine workers have lost their lives in a gas explosion at a coalmine in Balochistan, Pakistan. The explosion occurred due to a build-up of...
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MARK RUFFALO IN PFAS CONTAMINATION DOCO

Posted on 8 April 2024

A new Australian documentary titled ‘Revealed: How To Poison A Planet,’ featuring Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo exposes a David and Goliath battle against major chemical...
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ASBESTOS DISCOVERED IN SEVEN MELBOURNE PARKS

Posted on 8 April 2024

Asbestos has now been identified in mulch at seven Melbourne parks. Following Hobsons Bay Council confirming the presence of asbestos at Donald McLean Reserve in...
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COURT GREEN LIGHTS DAMAGES FOR LONG COVID

Posted on 8 April 2024

A worker who contracted COVID-19 at an aged care facility has been granted court permission to pursue damages for long COVID.
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RAIL FINES INADEQUATE, WARNS RTBU

Posted on 8 April 2024

Fines imposed on the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and NSW Trains have been described as ‘woefully inadequate’ and are unlikely to deter employers from...
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AVIATION UNIONS FIGHT FOR SAFER STAFFING

Posted on 8 April 2024

The United Firefighters Union aviation branch is planning a four-hour stoppage at airports on April 15, seeking safer staffing levels following concerns raised over personnel...
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CHARGES LAID OVER FATAL VIETNAM TRIP

Posted on 3 April 2024

A 16-year-old participant in a school trip to Vietnam in 2019, organised by World Challenge Expeditions, experienced diabetes-related complications, and later passed away at Melbourne’s...
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SafetyNet 708

Posted on 28 March 2024

This week in SafetyNet: understanding changes to workers' comp, play centre charged after child falls, curbing discrimination in religious schools, top cardiologist accused of harassment,...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 27 March 2024

The safety issue resolution procedure at our workplace is rubbish. Any advice on how we can fix it?
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THIS WEEK’S COVID NUMBERS

Posted on 27 March 2024

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 22 March 2024. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 decreased in the week ending 12 March...
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NEW INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER REPORT

Posted on 27 March 2024

The NSW Parliamentary Library has released a research report on industrial manslaughter laws as the state considers enacting legislation making it a criminal offense carrying...
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CURBING DISCRIMINATION IN RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS

Posted on 27 March 2024

The Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has recommended legal changes to significantly limit the circumstances under which religious educational institutions can discriminate against their employees.
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TELEHANDLER LICENCE: WORKSAFE SURVEYS DEMAND

Posted on 27 March 2024

Following recent amendments to our OHS Regs creating a new non-slewing telehandler license, WorkSafe has created a survey to establish where operators are located and...
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CHILD INJURED IN FALL: PLAY CENTRE CHARGED

Posted on 27 March 2024

WorkSafe has charged an indoor play centre in Maidstone after an eight-year-old child suffered a fractured spine when they fell about seven meters from a...
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BALTIMORE BRIDGE DISASTER: SIX WORKERS MISSING

Posted on 27 March 2024

A cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, causing a collapse and sending vehicles into the water.
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TOP CARDIOLOGIST ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT

Posted on 27 March 2024

One of Australia’s top cardiologists has been accused of harassing a young female colleague, Jennifer de Jongh. Professor Chris Semsarian is alleged to have engaged in...
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ENGINEERED STONE BAN: IMPLEMENTATION AGREED

Posted on 26 March 2024

Last Friday, Work Health and Safety Ministers from the Commonwealth, states, and territories convened to address important implementation issues regarding the upcoming prohibition on the...
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INADEQUATE INSTRUCTIONS: $40k FINE FOR S.29 BREACH

Posted on 26 March 2024

Australasian Machinery Sales, trading as Trout River, provided MulchXpress with a novel piece of plant called the 'Slinger' to reload blower trucks on-site. The company...
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FORKLIFT FAILURES: ARROW FINED $140k

Posted on 26 March 2024

Arrow Worldwide, a company providing warehousing, storage, and transport services, faced legal charges after an incident where a delivery truck driver suffered severe injuries. The...
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SafetyNet 707

Posted on 21 March 2024

This week in SafetyNet: ‘metho’ used to 'extinguish flames', research on dermatitis in healthcare workers, High Court to decide on dismissal-related psychological safety, calls for...
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BALLARAT MINE COLLAPSE: 1 DEAD, 1 CRITICAL

Posted on 20 March 2024

Our thoughts are with the families and coworkers of a miner who died and another who is fighting for his life following a collapse at...
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SACKED WORKERS & PSYCH INJURY: HIGH COURT DECISION AWAITS

Posted on 19 March 2024

The High Court is set to determine whether employers are obligated to ensure safe disciplinary and dismissal procedures to prevent sacked workers from experiencing psychiatric...
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‘METHO’ USED TO 'EXTINGUISH FLAMES': $545K FINE

Posted on 19 March 2024

A&J Australia has been fined $545,000 for 16 safety breaches, including fire safety failures resulting in severe injuries.
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COMBATTING DERMATITIS IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS

Posted on 19 March 2024

With healthcare workers consistently using gloves throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it's unsurprising the rate of work-related dermatitis has nearly doubled.
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FSU PUSH FOR MENOPAUSE WORKPLACE RIGHTS

Posted on 19 March 2024

The FSU and Maurice Blackburn are both advocating for workplace rights for menopausal women, including flexible work and paid leave, in separate submissions to a...
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FARMERS WARNED OF FATIGUE RISKS

Posted on 19 March 2024

WorkSafe data highlights March and November as peak months for workplace fatalities in agriculture. Fatigue is common among farmers at these times due to long,...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 18 March 2024

A casual employee was injured at my workplace and taken to the hospital. They were unable to work for three days and needed time off...
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SafetyNet 706

Posted on 13 March 2024

This week in SafetyNet: report released indicates the finance sector is failing on harassment, women HSRs networking night, global union fights gendered violence, 13 million...
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INDUSTRIALL: ZERO TOLERANCE ON GENDERED VIOLENCE

Posted on 13 March 2024

The IndustriALL Global Union's Executive Committee has endorsed a new policy on gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH), misogyny, and sexism. This policy articulates IndustriALL's commitment...
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NEW ZEALAND PROHIBITS PFAS IN BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Posted on 13 March 2024

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in New Zealand will ban the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetic products starting from December 31,...
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BOEING REVIEW: FEAR OF RETALIATION IN SAFETY REPORTING

Posted on 13 March 2024

As news breaks of Boeing whistle-blower, John Barnett, being found dead in the USA after alleging he faced retaliatory action, it's perhaps is not surprising...
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FINED AFTER FALL: SERIOUS SPINAL INJURIES

Posted on 13 March 2024

Metal fabrication subcontractor, Karagata Australia has been convicted and fined $35,000 after a worker fell four meters at Tullamarine, sustaining serious spinal injuries.
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SUPERVISOR SENTENCED OVER FATAL TRUCK INCIDENT

Posted on 13 March 2024

Workplace supervisor Simiona Tuteru has been sentenced for recklessly allowing a drug-affected truck driver to operate a vehicle, resulting in the deaths of four police...
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NSW EYES INDUSTRIAL MANSLAUGHTER AMID REGULATOR CONCERNS

Posted on 13 March 2024

The NSW government is considering introducing an industrial manslaughter offense with significant fines and prison sentences as part of a broader overhaul of workplace safety...
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NZ: 13 MILION IN FINES FOR WHITE ISLAND DISASTER

Posted on 13 March 2024

Five entities charged over the White Island volcanic eruption in New Zealand in 2019, which killed 22 people, were fined a total of $13 million...
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FSU: FINANCE SECTOR FAILING ON HARASSMENT

Posted on 13 March 2024

The Finance Sector Union (FSU) has conducted a survey that reveals that many workers in the sector are experiencing sexual harassment at work, but may...
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USING DEVICES AFTER HOURS INCREASES ANXIETY

Posted on 13 March 2024

A South Korean study has identified and compared the associations between long working hours, the use of work-related devices after hours, and anxiety symptoms.
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WORK DESIGN FOR PSYCHOSOCIAL HEALTH

Posted on 12 March 2024

SafeWork NSW has released a 38-page guide titled Designing Work to Manage Psychosocial Risks emphasising the crucial importance of understanding how the work is actually...
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COVID NUMBERS CONTINUE TO EASE

Posted on 12 March 2024

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 08 March 2024. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has decreased this week. The 7-day average...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 12 March 2024

Is it necessary to keep records of Forklift daily inspections if the Forklift passes inspection? If so, for how long? It seems like a lot...
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SafetyNet 705

Posted on 7 March 2024

This week in SafetyNet: Victoria’s injured worker entitlements slashed, Qantas fined $250k for HSR discrimination, concern about diesel fume levels at Southern Cross Station, WorkSafe charges...
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INJURED WORKERS ENTITLEMENTS SLASHED

Posted on 6 March 2024

Unions are justifiably furious the State Government have made a deal with the Liberals to pass legislation that will significantly reduce the rights of injured...
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QANTAS FINED $250K OVER THEO'S TREATMENT

Posted on 6 March 2024

Following on from our report last week that Qantas Ground Services has agreed to compensate HSR Theo Seremetidis with $21,000 after a court found he...
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CHARGES OVER PARKVILLE YOUTH JUSTICE ASSAULT

Posted on 6 March 2024

WorkSafe has charged the Department of Justice and Community Safety after a youth justice worker was assaulted at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct in March...
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WORKPLACE BULLYING: PRINTCO DIRECTOR FINED

Posted on 6 March 2024

The Director of Printco, a real estate signage company, faced allegations of bullying towards a subcontractor who was verbally abused on multiple occasions. The bullying...
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TRANSFORMING SHIPBREAKING: HKC'S IMPACT

Posted on 6 March 2024

Shipbreaking, one of the most dangerous occupations globally, has been the focal point of a worldwide campaign aimed at improving worker safety and conditions. This...
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DIGITAL WORK TRENDS IMPACT MENTAL HEALTH

Posted on 5 March 2024

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) conducted a pulse survey of 27,000 workers in 2022, concluding that the COVID-19 pandemic was...
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HEALTHCARE HEROES TRIUMPH IN WORKSAFE AWARDS

Posted on 5 March 2024

ANMF members Jen Gamble and Gaye Coles, nurses at University Hospital Geelong, were jointly awarded the title of WorkSafe’s HSR of the Year on February...
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COVID NUMBERS EASE

Posted on 5 March 2024

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 01 March 2024. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has decreased this week. The 7-day average...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 5 March 2024

Is it legal to always lock a first aid room?
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QANTAS AGREES TO $21K COMPENSATION FOR DISCRIMINATION

Posted on 28 February 2024

Qantas Ground Services has agreed to compensate HSR Theo Seremetidis with $21,000 after a court found he was unlawfully discriminated against.
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4-DAY WEEK WIN: WORKER CONSULTATION KEY

Posted on 28 February 2024

Medibank conducted a trial of a four-day work week, offering employees fewer meetings, more autonomy, and reduced low-value work.
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PSYCH HAZARDS: SWA CEO SOUNDS ALARM

Posted on 28 February 2024

Safe Work Australia's CEO, Marie Boland, has affirmed the need for better management of psychosocial hazards in the workplace as the number of mental health...
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HEAT AND FIRE RISKS: EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS

Posted on 28 February 2024

With temperatures peaking in the low 40s in certain areas this week, Victorian workers face significant risks associated with extreme heat and fire danger. Employers...
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NSW ENHANCES ENFORCEMENT ON PSYCH HAZARDS

Posted on 28 February 2024

SafeWork NSW is undertaking a regulatory overhaul aimed at addressing psychosocial risks such as excessive workloads and bullying following the recent tabling of an independent...
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ROOFING COMPANY'S FINE HIKED FIVEFOLD

Posted on 28 February 2024

The fine for D Buck Roofing Pty Ltd, has been increased five-fold due to its failure in ensuring a safe work environment for its workers....
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PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH IN AUSSIE WORKPLACES

Posted on 27 February 2024

Safe Work Australia has released a report on psychological health trends in Australian workplaces. Key findings include:
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WORKSAFE TARGETS CONSTRUCTION FALLS

Posted on 27 February 2024

WorkSafe is launching a blitz to address falls in construction after hundreds of workers suffered harm last year, and nine Victorians died.
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UK BURNOUT CRISIS: £26 BILLION GOES UNPAID

Posted on 27 February 2024

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has released data showing UK workers contributed £26 billion in unpaid overtime last year, with 3.8 million people averaging 7.2...
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TRAGIC WEEKEND TOLL: TWO WORKPLACE DEATHS

Posted on 27 February 2024

Two workers tragically died in separate incidents over the weekend, prompting investigations by WorkSafe.
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SWA UPDATES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GUIDANCE

Posted on 27 February 2024

If a perpetrator threatens, intimidates, or commits violence against a partner or family member at their workplace, including when working remotely, it becomes a workplace...
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INDIA: ANOTHER DEADLY FACTORY FIRE - 11 LIVES LOST

Posted on 26 February 2024

A fire broke out on February 15 at an illegal paint factory in Delhi, resulting in the deaths of eleven people and severe injuries to...
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WEEKLY COVID ADMISSIONS RISE

Posted on 26 February 2024

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 23 February 2024. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has increased a small amount this week....
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 26 February 2024

Can Safe Work Australia’s 'Managing Risks in Stevedoring' be used as evidence of what is reasonably practicable in Victoria? Is Federal legislation, such as Marine...
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ENGINEERED STONE PHASED OUT AT IKEA

Posted on 26 February 2024

IKEA Australia have followed Bunnings lead by announcing their intention to ‘phase out’ engineered stone products, following pressure from Union members.
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CONTAMINATED MULCH: SYDNEY PARKS CLOSED

Posted on 26 February 2024

Friable asbestos has been discovered in mulch at Harmony Park in Sydney, leading to its closure. Asbestos was also reportedly found at Victoria and Belmore...
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SafetyNet 703

Posted on 22 February 2024

This week in SafetyNet: Amazon France hit with massive surveillance fine, Australian universities failing staff on mental health, the language of tech surveillance, Victoria’s first...
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TURKISH CYANIDE LANDSLIDE: 9 MINERS MISSING

Posted on 21 February 2024

On 13 February a cyanide-laced landslide swept into a valley, trapping nine miners who are still missing. The incident occurred at an open-pit gold mine...
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FRANCE: AMAZON’S MASSIVE FINE FOR INTRUSIVE SURVEILLANCE

Posted on 21 February 2024

The French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) has fined Amazon France Logistique €32 million (AU 53 million) for implementing a surveillance system deemed excessively intrusive.
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ABUSE IMPACTS DIFFER: SUPERVISORS OFTEN CULPRITS

Posted on 21 February 2024

Researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Japan categorised aggressive words and phrases into different types, including criticizing job performance, attacking...
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WAKE-UP CALL: UNI STAFF MENTAL HEALTH

Posted on 21 February 2024

The Australian University Staff: Work, Digital Stress, and Wellbeing Survey report compiles four years of surveys from 2020 to 2023, providing insight into the mental...
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HSR POWERS STRENGTHENED FOR OFFSHORE WORKERS

Posted on 20 February 2024

The powers of HSRs in the offshore sector have been strengthened, aligning them with WHS laws. A parliamentary inquiry confirmed deficiencies in safety provisions in...
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HEFTIER SAFETY FINES FLAGGED FOR BIG FIRMS

Posted on 20 February 2024

The Victoria Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) is considering changes to workplace health and safety fines to ensure they have a ‘real economic impact’, especially for...
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PROSAM FINED $80K FOR FALL PROTECTION FAILURE

Posted on 20 February 2024

Wattle Glen builder Prosam Building Services has been found guilty of four charges of failing to maintain a safe working environment and fined a total...
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MALICIOUS: THE LANGUAGE OF TECH SURVEILLANCE

Posted on 20 February 2024

Following last week’s report on Cole’s partnership with Palantir Technologies, a US defence contractor, to install ‘bossware’ in their supermarkets, researchers are warning human resources...
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LANDMARK MANSLAUGHTER CONVICTION: $1.3M FINE

Posted on 19 February 2024

Stonemasonry business, Universal Stone and Marble has become the first company convicted under Victoria's workplace manslaughter laws following the death of a worker fatally crushed...
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COVID NUMBERS DROPPING

Posted on 19 February 2024

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 16 February 2024. The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has continued to decline this week. The...
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ASK RENATA

Posted on 19 February 2024

Members of my DWG feel unsafe expressing political opinions at work due to mixed messages from management about whether it’s allowed or not.  
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SafetyNet 702

Posted on 15 February 2024

This week in SafetyNet: Research indicates 25-36% of Victorian workers are at high risk of injury; Canadian Mounties relaxed about cannabis rules; safety-first calls amid...
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25-36% OF VICTORIAN WORKERS AT HIGH RISK OF INJURY

Posted on 14 February 2024

A recently published study funded by WorkSafe from Monash University has analysed OHS data from 2053 Victorian workers from a broad array of jobs, industries,...
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BREAD & ROSES REVIVED: 'PERFECTION 12' SONG

Posted on 14 February 2024

SafetyNet subscribers will recall last week’s appalling story of sexual harassment experienced by the twelve UWU members who’ve filed a major sexual harassment case against...
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CANADA: MOUNTIES RELAX CANNABIS POLICY

Posted on 14 February 2024

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has relaxed its policy on recreational cannabis use for its members, now requiring them only to be fit for...
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COMMUNITY INPUT WANTED: OHS SENTENCING REVIEW

Posted on 14 February 2024

As reported last week, the first major review of sentencing outcomes for OHS offences in nearly two decades is currently being conducted by the Sentencing...
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CRIMINAL SANCTIONS FOR MIGRANT WORKER EXPLOITATION

Posted on 14 February 2024

After years of committed campaigning the Migrant Workers Centre is celebrating recent changes to the Migration Act, which offer stronger protections for migrant workers and...
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RAIL SAFETY LAW UNDER REVIEW

Posted on 14 February 2024

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is conducting a review of the Rail Safety National Law (RSNL), with review recommendations and the final report expected by...
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UK: SAFETY FIRST AMID COLD SNAP CHAOS

Posted on 14 February 2024

The Trades Union Conference (TUC) is urging bosses to be understanding during cold weather forecast for much of north Wales and northern and central England....
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SAFETY IN WORKPLACE REFORMS: TWU FIGHTS 'AMAZON EFFECT'

Posted on 13 February 2024

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke has claimed the Closing Loopholes No 2 legislation will achieve several significant objectives, particularly relevant to HSRs. It will end...
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NZ: FINES FOR TEEN CONSTRUCTION FATALITY

Posted on 13 February 2024

A teenager, 19 years old and just four months into a building apprenticeship, died at a residential construction site in the Bay of Plenty region...
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WORK-LIFE WIN: ‘RIGHT TO DISCONNECT’ LAW

Posted on 13 February 2024

The Senate has passed legislation establishing the Right to Disconnect in Australia, hailed as a significant victory for work-life balance. Australian workers now have rights...
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DANGEROUS GOODS BREACHES: $47K FINE

Posted on 13 February 2024

West Footscray distribution and warehousing company, West Point (Vic) Pty Ltd has been fined $47,000 for unsafe storage and handling of dangerous goods after pleading...
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FATAL ROOF FALL: NURSERY CHARGED

Posted on 13 February 2024

WorkSafe has charged a nursery and horticulture supply company in Monbulk after a worker fell through a shed roof and died.
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CRUSHED IN COLLAPSE: CARLISLE HOMES CHARGED

Posted on 13 February 2024

WorkSafe has been charged Carlisle Homes Pty Ltd after a contractor was seriously injured in a collapse at a construction site in Glen Waverley in...
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