The week's SafetyNet features research on sleep for shift workers, mental health through good design, work attitudes to pregnancy and menopause, five prosecutions involving poorly guarded machinery, unsafe systems that caused bullying, new WFH guidelines and much more.
For OHS news and helpful information visit We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page.
For previous issues visit our SafetyNet Archive.
PAID FDV LEAVE KICKS IN FOR SMALL BUSINESS WORKERS
After a successful decade-long campaign, run by the union movement, workers in small businesses now have the right to take up to 10 days of paid leave if they are dealing with family and domestic violence (FDV) with the Federal Government's FDV-leave package taking full effect this week.
MAJOR FIRM'S UNSAFE SYSTEMS LINKED TO BULLYING
A recent review on the workplace culture of a major accounting firm by former federal sex discrimination commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has found the firm's 24/7 work culture normalised bullying and immense pressure on employees, causing widespread harm.
Should a HSR be notified of an incident where a member of his/her DWG injured them self? Whether or not that person needed medical attention - GP or hospital?
Of course it is our view that HSRs need to know the hazards and injuries in their workplace, how else can workers be involved in collaboratively making their workplaces safer? But it’s not just us – WorkSafe think so too.
Page 36 of their excellent Employee Representation Guidebook has the following to say:
The information provided by the employer to the HSR, needs to be specific in relation to:
- the area and/or tasks being performed at the workplace where the injury occurred
- the actual or potential workplace hazards leading to the injury.
Read our full response here
WEEKLY COVID NUMBERS
From 28 July - 03 August, Victoria recorded:
493 (-55%) total cases for the past week
4 COVID deaths on average each day over the past week
97 cases in hospital (7 day rolling average) with 5 in ICU (7 day rolling average)
More COVID weekly stats here
UK: FIREFIGHTERS WITH NO PPE?
Fire services are trying to send firefighters into burning buildings, exposed to toxic fumes, without their breathing apparatus. The FBU is fighting this and after calling for the regulator to investigate, HSE subsequently took a year to decide it was happy with the decision!
You can find out more here, and sign the petition here.
NIGERIA TACKLES WORKPLACE GENDERED VIOLENCE
The National Union of Textile, Garment, and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria is leading an effort to use ILO Convention 190 to fight against gender-based violence and harassment in the textile and garment industry with a training session in Lagos focused on empowering women leaders to combat GBVH by providing information, raising awareness, and building skills to promote gender equality at work.
FINES AND INJURIES: MACHINE GUARDING NEGLECT
A Melton exhaust system manufacturer has been fined $40,000 after a worker lost four fingers using a machine that wasn't guarded properly.
Frustratingly, this is the fifth such case in a year, with over 126 similar injury claims, $380,000 in fines, orders, and costs imposed.
BOSS GUILTY OF DISCRIMINATION IN BLOCKING RETURN TO WORK
An diesel mechanic who suffered an injury outside of work and sought to return to his job has been awarded $44,000 in damages, after a court found his employer discriminated against him by ignoring medical advice and refusing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate his return.
EXPANDED INCIDENT REPORTING: CHANGES PROPOSED
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is seeking feedback on expanding the types of incidents that need to be reported and introducing regular reporting on matters like workplace bullying and traumatic events.
SAFE REMOTE WORK: NEW GUIDELINES
Safe Work Australia has released new guidelines for managing risks when doing computer-based work from home.
Download the resources here.
WA CAMPAIGN TARGETS MINING HARASSMENT
Off the back of a number of recent incidents a campaign called ‘SPEAK UP, REPORT IT’ has been launched in WA encouraging those in the mining industry to report sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviours and emphasising that bullying and harassment are not acceptable in the resources sector.
HOW MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS REALLY IMPACT WORK
A study has explored how menopausal symptoms impact the work of women working in hospital environments.
TAILORED PPE TO BOOST MENTAL HEALTH
A project called ‘Healing by Design’ has focussed on design principles to address psychosocial hazards in the workplace, particularly for healthcare workers.
NEW SLEEP GUIDELINES FOR SHIFT WORKERS
Australian researchers have crafted 18 new sleep guidelines exclusively tailored for shift workers with unconventional hours – a group often overlooked by traditional sleep advice.
PREGNANT WORKERS ENCOUNTER BIAS, EXCLUSION
A study from the University of South Australia has revealed issues faced by pregnant workers and working parents in Australia.
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.
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.
VTHC also offers tailored training, including for managers and supervisors, on Comcare, and gendered violence.
Check out our website for more information.