SafetyNet 649

Welcome to the 23 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

Union News


As of Tuesday 22nd November 2022, Victoria recorded:  

3807 new daily infections   
27 COVID deaths  
419 hospitalisations, with 9 currently in ICU

Read more


The COVIDSafe team attended an ACTU affiliates briefing on Tuesday afternoon with Professor Michael Kidd to discuss the recently released National COVID-19 Community Protection Framework, and the fact we're seeing a definite increase in cases, which he described as ‘an upward curve that is yet to reach its peak.’

The message for us all with holiday season fast approaching is to be vigilant, be protected and be community-minded.

Read more on best practice for prevention of workplace transmission



What are the safety considerations regarding bar staff having a drink at our upcoming Christmas party?

Ensuring bar staff consume zero alcohol while on duty eliminates risk of alcohol impairment.

If such a policy were deemed not ‘reasonably practicable’ then limiting their intake to one or two standard drinks might be a reasonably practicable way reduce the risk.

Key message: don't let 'em get too smashed.

Read Renata's full response



5 December, Trades Hall will be hosting a liveshow and workshop event with Dr. Todd Denham and Professor Lauren Rickards, authors of the Climate Impacts at Work Report on addressing the impacts of climate change in the workplace.

We've all seen the devastating impact that natural disasters have had on Australian workers in the last four years. From record bushfires to record floods to psychological impacts like anxiety and depression the impacts of these disasters will unfortunately, continue to get worse. 

This is a chance to hear from HSRs. We want to know how you think your workplaces can be climate safe.

This is a hybrid event, both in person and online, but we strongly encourage you to consider the benefits of in-person attendance. There will be food and drinks provided.

We look forward to seeing you

Where: Victorian Trades Hall Council, Meeting Room 3 and Online
When: 5 December, 6PM - 7:30PM
RSVP here


International News


Two massive fires broke out in footwear manufacturing factories in Delhi within the space of a week. On the first of November, two workers were killed and eighteen injured in a Delhi footwear factory.

According to media reports, the first fire was caused by an explosion in a polyurethane (PU) machine used to produce the soles of the footwear. Around 300 workers were in the factory when the fire broke out with many having to jump from the building to save their lives.

Prior to the explosion, workers had requested that the faulty machine be replaced but the factory owner took no action. The factory was operating without relevant fire department certificates and had no firefighting equipment. Four days later a fire broke out in another footwear factory in the same industrial area. Fortunately no casualties were reported.

More International News


Regulator News


WorkSafe are reminding Victorian workplaces to slow down as the year’s end fast approaches.

‘When workers are rushed to finish jobs before the holidays, the chances of mistakes are higher and can lead to serious, or even tragic incidents.’

Resources to help slow down and stay safe



Recently, a worker from a high-rise apartment construction site suffered a head injury, sustained from hazardous manual handling, leaving them unconscious and hospitalised after being struck in the face by a makeshift trolley.

You can read the case study and key steps to improve hazardous manual handling of construction material, here



For national Asbestos Awareness Week this week, WorkSafe Victoria have thrown a spotlight on the recent prosecution of Victorian printing and manufacturing company, Carton Finishing Pty Ltd, fined for failing to ensure the ‘presence and location’ of asbestos in its factory was ‘clearly indicated’, as required by the Regulations.

Read more

View a summary of recent WorkSafe prosecutions here




The Healthy Working Lives Research Group at Monash University have analysed data on NSW workers compensation claims to examine the ‘frequency, incidence, patterns and outcomes of psychological injury’ among distinct occupational groups in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry, compared to workers in other industries.

Their findings have been outlined in a full report claiming new knowledge which may support injury prevention and minimise consequences when injuries do occur.

The full report can be downloaded here, as can infographic summaries by occupation.




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 linkto 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:

5, 6, 7 December & 12, 13 December – Carlton – Available
5 - 9 December -Bendigo - Available

Refresher Course Dates:

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 more OHS Events

OHS Team

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