Welcome to the 10 November edition of SafetyNet.
We hope you find this week's journal useful and interesting. Feel free to share it, and please, encourage others in your workplace to subscribe.
For OHS news and helpful information visit We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page, or for advice, Ask Renata
At last week’s HSR Conference we heard from several Unions on their WorkSafe-funded projects to produce better outcomes for injured workers.
Each project uses different methods to address common psychological hazards in their industries. Follow the links below to find out more about each project.
Mind Your Head Campaign
The Mind Your Head campaign is about recognising the impact our workplaces have on our mental health and encouraging action in workplaces to address mental health hazards by bringing unions, employers and regulators together to provide the resources and tools required to identify and address workplace mental health hazards.
Learn more and sign up to Mind Your Head, here.
CPSU Vicarious Trauma Training
The CPSU, who represent the Victorian Public Service, have established a new website to raise awareness and introduce practices to prevent or lessen the impact of vicarious trauma, which occurs when workers are exposed to traumatic content, or hear or read about traumatic details in the course of their work. The website’s content is relevant to all organisations whose staff engage with traumatic content as part of their work.
You can view the CPSUs website here.
AMWU Collaboration Between Workers and Management
The Collaboration Delivers Wellbeing in Manufacturing Project sees the AMWU partnering with metal, food, print and vehicle employers in manufacturing to improve mental health literacy, identify and mitigate risk factors, develop skills to promote psychological health, support injured workers and reduce stigma and discrimination. The AMWU views working collaboratively with employers toward these objectives as a foundation for ongoing cooperation on matters of shared concern.
Click here for more information.
What powers do I have, as a HSR who hasn't received training yet?
Under Victorian legislation, once a worker has been elected HSR for his or her DWG, that person is entitled to exercise all their powers and rights, under the OHS Act.
On Tuesday 11th of October Victoria recorded:
1,292 new daily infections
14 COVID deaths
156 hospitalisations, and 7 are in ICU.
During this year’s HSR Conference, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Professor Ben Cowie spoke on the impact COVID has had on our workplaces and community and the lessons learnt from our response.
GRIEFWORKS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS
Uniting’s WorkSafe-funded support program, GriefWork, celebrated its 25th anniversary, Friday 21 October at Uniting’s program hub in Prahran.
NATIONAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK
To prevent exposure and eliminate asbestos-related diseases, ASEA are asking home occupiers and tradespeople to do things the right way by ensuring proper and lawful disposal of asbestos.
Click here for more information on how to do things the right way
HEIGHT RISKS OBSERVED BY INSPECTOR ATTRACT 15K FINE
In April 2021 Express Sheet Metal Pty Ltd had been engaged to install ‘whirly bird’ ventilators on a factory roof in Dandenong when a WorkSafe inspector observed an elevated work platform, without an operator in the basket, raised about 10 metres onto the roof canopy.
DEATH ATTRACTS $800K IN FINES, DESIGNERS & SUPPLIERS WARNED
In May 2019, a worker was fatally crushed at L&M Radiator, manufacturer, and servicer of industrial radiators, when a suspended radiator that was passing fell from an overhead gantry crane after lifting chains failed.
WORKPLACE EXPOSURE AND LUNG FUNCTION DECLINE: REGULAR TESTING IS KEY
Working together, researchers from local and international universities have looked examined the relationship between cumulative workplace exposure to a wide range of substances and lung function decline.
They say their findings highlight the key role that regular workplace testing plays in limiting exposures and detecting diseases at an early stage.
The results of their study show specific exposure controls are vital.
'Periodic workplace health surveillance and lung function testing in exposed occupations will help to identify respiratory disease at an early stage to control the exposure and to protect against further disease progression,' the researchers say.
For a more detailed overview of the research, read more here
A company that developed an autonomous robotic crawler, known as Magneto-EX, to perform inspection and maintenance tasks in confined spaces, has been recognised by Western Australia's 2022 Work Health and Safety Excellence Awards, which were presented at a Perth ceremony on Friday.
HSR INITIAL & REFRESHER TRAINING
Trained HSRs are more effective HSRs - have you just been elected and haven't organised your training yet? Do it now! And if you completed your initial five-day training then organise your annual refresher now. There are things happening in the OHS space you need to be aware of.
Remember: under Section 67 of the OHS Act 2004 all HSRs and dHSRs are entitled to attend at least 1 one-day refresher course every year, yet many just don't get around to it. If this is you, then check out the courses scheduled for next year, and enrol now, before they fill up. It's important to attend in order to keep up your knowledge of OHS law and practice up-to-date. In the past year we have had significant amendments to the OHS Act, new regulations (for crystalline silica) and new codes. Trained health and safety reps make a real difference in their workplaces, and it's great to meet with others and share experiences!
Go to this link to enrol in any of the five-day initial or refresher courses. Remember to then notify your employer at least 14 days before the course.
Initial Courses Dates:
21 - 25 November – Geelong – Available
21 - 25 November (Education Sector) – AEU Abbotsford – Available
5, 6, 7 December & 12, 13 December – Carlton – Available
5 - 9 December -Bendigo - Available
Refresher Course Dates:
16 November - Narre Warren – Available
29 November - Trades Hall Carlton – Available
1 December – Geelong – Available
14 December – Trades Hall Carlton - Available
Refresher Course Dates - Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment:
1 December - Narre Warren - Available
Click here for 'What's on?' in VTHC OHS Events