SafetyNet 667

This week VTHC has a number of upcoming events, including International Worker's Memorial Day and our HSR BBQ.

We also take a look at research suggesting more be done for hybrid workers, asbestos guidance for council workers following more illegal dumping, ComCare gets a new CEO and La Tosca gets a slap on the wrist.

A subscriber writes to Ask Renata about OHS training for managers and directors, and as always we encourage you to send in your own queries to Ask Renata.

For OHS news and helpful information visit We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page.


Union News


On April 28 we'll come together on International Workers Memorial Day to remember lives lost and recommit ourselves to the task of prevention.

Victorian Trades Hall Council will be host a memorial service, starting at 10.30am, including a minute's silence at 11am, and the chance to lay wreaths.

While the event will be live streamed, we strongly encourage all those able to attend in person.

It is important that we come together as a movement  to support each other and demand the safety and well-being of all workers.

Remember the dead, fight like hell for the living.

RSVP here to join us 28 April for International Workers Memorial Day at Trades Hall.



Another illegal dumping event highlights the risk to Council workers from exposure to cancer causing asbestos fibres.

Learn more.



I would like to enquire about OHS training for managers and directors to increase awareness and ensure they understand their obligations when it comes to safety.

HSRs tell us they continually encounter obstructive managers who do not possess the  pre-requisites required by sections 22 and 73 of our Act to provide advice on OHS matters or act as the employer representative for the purposes of resolving safety issues.

VTHC, our affiliates, and even employer groups, have been urging WorkSafe for some years to construct and offer specific training for managers. HSRs tell us there’s a desperate need.

Read our full response, here.



From 14 April - 20 April, Victoria recorded:  

6,052 total cases for the past week (+4%)
6 COVID deaths on average each day over the past week
298 cases in hospital (+1) with 18 in ICU (+3)

More COVID numbers here.


Regulator News

Greg Vines, former deputy director general for the ILO has been appointed as the new CEO of ComCare.

Vines will be responsible for the Commonwealth work health and safety regulator's day-to-day operations, which will focus on fostering mental health and improving compliance in workplaces covered by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

it's reported Vines brings extensive experience in workplace safety and workplace relations to the role, having served in leadership positions in unions, including the CPSU-SPSF, and various public service roles.




La Tosca Production Pty Ltd is a Brunswick pasta supplier which manufactures fresh pasta for wholesalers.

The injured person commenced employment in June 2019 as a factory worker. Like many of the factory workers, English was not her first language.

The injured person was cleaning the Laminator, a machine used to cut pasta dough, when her hand and arm were entangled in the moving parts of the machine.

Her arm had to be amputated above the elbow. An investigation found the machine did not have a physical guard to prevent access to the danger area nor was it powered off during cleaning.

The worker had apparently learned how to clean the Laminator by watching other employees, and there was no lock-out tag-out procedure in place.

La Tosca was sentenced to pay a fine of $25,000, without conviction, and to pay WorkSafe’s costs of $13,425.




A study led by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands shows home and hybrid workers have higher risks of developing musculoskeletal pain (MSP) compared to on-location workers.

Learn more.




This May Day, Trades Hall wants to celebrate the HSRs that keep workplaces safe.

The event will start off with a BBQ in the loading bay with music and gas heaters to keep the good vibes going, and then have an HSR Panel. We are excited to have WorkSafe HSR of the Year Nominees Adrian Zammit, Michelle Giovas and Sean Aherne joining us to share their real life experiences in their workplaces and their OHS advice. 

When: Monday, 1 May, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: Victorian Trades Hall Loading Bay

All HSRs are welcome to RSVP here and enjoy an evening of discussion and comradery. 



The Victorian Trades Hall Council’s OHS Training Unit is one of the most experienced training providers in Victoria.

We have delivered OHS training to tens of thousands of Health & Safety Reps across Victoria since 1983.

We deliver high quality WorkSafe Approved training that is practical and solution-focused in multiple locations around Melbourne’s suburbs and regional Victoria.

5 Day HSR Initial OHS Training Course Fee - $950 (inc GST)
1 Day HSR Refresher Training Course Fee - $350 (inc GST)

Click on the links below for dates and locations.

HSR Initial OHS Training Course
HSR Refresher OHS Training Course

VTHC also offers tailored training, including for managers and supervisors, on Comcare, and gendered violence.

Check out our website for more information.


OHS Team

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