SafetyNet 681

The week's SafetyNet features road safety news for heavy vehicles, renewed calls for bans on engineered stone, an international push for clear guidance on biohazards, calls for improvements on airport and heat protections, underreporting of food delivery injuries, and much more.

A metal worker writes to Ask Renata about welding fumes, and as always, we encourage you to send in your own questions to Ask Renata.

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

For previous issues visit our SafetyNet Archive.

 

Union News


ACTU CALLS FOR URGENT REFORM OF GIG ECONOMY

A 22-year-old motorcyclist has died in a collision with an SUV in New South Wales, renewing demands for better protections for food delivery riders.

There have been 12 confirmed deaths of food delivery riders in Australia since 2017, prompting the ACTU to call for urgent reforms.

Read more

 

SAFE LOADS, SAFE ROADS

A vehicle weighing tech company, supported by the Australian Government, have launched a 'National Overload Awareness Campaign' called 'Safe Loads, Safe Roads.’

Overloaded heavy vehicles risk damaging infrastructure, compromise vehicle handling, increase stopping distances, and heighten the chance of vehicle roll-over.

Learn more

 

COVID LESSONS - ILO PUSHES FOR BIOHAZARD STANDARDS 

The International labour Organisation (ILO) has on its agenda for the next International Labour Conference a standard-setting item on protection against biological hazards.

The ACTU have responded to a report and questionnaire prepared by the ILO and are joining unions around the world in calling for a Convention - a legally binding treaty subject to ratification by ILO Member States - supplemented by non-binding guidelines.

Learn more

 

ASK RENATA

At my work we do MIG welding and grinding in the manufacturing of semi-trailers, but the fumes are not adequately captured... can you provide any info about mitigating the problem?

Welding fumes are a known cause of cancer but there's plenty that can be done to keep workers safe.

We think you’ll find WorkSafe Victoria’s guidance Controlling exposure to welding fumes contains all the information you’re looking for.

Worth noting: the AMWU are calling for a stricter limit on exposure to welding fumes and have recently launched a National Welding Fumes Exposure Register.

Read our full response here

 

ALARMING U.S. FINDINGS PROMPT MORE CALLS FOR STONE BAN

There have been further calls for engineered stone products to be banned following findings that about 100,000 US workers could be at risk of silicosis from exposure to silica dust, with approximately 2.3 million workers exposed to silica in their jobs.

More here

 

WEEKLY COVID NUMBERS

From 21 July - 27 July, Victoria recorded: 

1,102 (139%) total cases for the past week
6 COVID deaths on average each day over the past week
122 cases in hospital (7 day rolling average) with 3 in ICU (7 day rolling average)

More COVID weekly stats here

 

International News


BRITAIN: CORONER CALLS ON HEATHROW TO IMPROVE SAFETY

A coroner who presided over an inquest into the death of a British Airways engineer at Heathrow Airport has written to the airport operators, seeking answers to concerns regarding worker safety at the airport.

Read more

 

ITALY: SAFETY PLAN MISSES MANY HEATWAVE WORKERS

Italy is planning to introduce special measures to assist construction and agricultural companies in supporting their employees during a hot summer heatwave, but the primary union representing these workers believes the plan falls short by failing to include workers in delivery firms, seasonal jobs, and other categories.

Read more

 

INDIA: THREE WORKERS KILLED IN EXPLOSION AT CEMENT FACTORY

An oxygen cylinder explosion at the UltraTech Cement plant in Himri, Chhattisgarh, resulted in the death of three contract workers. The deceased were young workers hired by a private company to fix pipelines at the plant. This incident has highlighted the problem of unsafe work conditions in India's cement industry.

Around 83% of workers in this industry have unstable jobs, doing dangerous work.

Learn more

 

Regulator News


TRADIES NATIONAL HEALTH MONTH: FREE TOOLS AND RESOURCES

The construction industry ranks third for the highest number of injury claims in Victoria.

As part of Tradies National Health Month WorkSafe are promoting free programs and resources to keep worksites mentally and physically safe.

 

SPOTLIGHT ON WORKING SAFELY AT HEIGHT WITH SOLAR

Rooftop solar installations are hazardous, particularly due to the significant risk of falls. WorkSafe and Solar Victoria are emphasising safe work practices at heights through a series of safety solution sheets, specifically designed to assist solar installers provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health.

You can download WSV's technical solution sheets here

 

 

Research


GIG ECONOMY CYCLISTS' INJURIES UNDERESTIMATED

A 2022 study in Sydney found food delivery cyclists, who work for companies like Uber Eats and Doordash, are more likely to get injured and go to the emergency room than previously reported.

Learn more

 

Events


SAFE • RESPECTED • EQUAL • ORGANISED

The annual VTHC Women’s Rights at Work Conference (WRAW Con) is on at Trades Hall on Friday 25 August (Equal Pay Day) on the theme of Safe. Respected. Equal. Organised!

WRAW Con will bring together women, gender diverse and non-binary folks to get organised around emerging issues for women at work and celebrating women in our movement fighting for safety, respect and equality.

The day includes a full conference program of speakers, panels and workshops, a social hour and evening screening of feminist union classic film Made in Dagenham.

More details and tickets

 

OHS TRAINING UNIT

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
http://www.weareunion.org.au

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