SafetyNet 696

In this week's SafetyNet: take our super-tricky HSR Conference quiz, asbestos 20 years on from the ban, 16 actions to end NDAs, Qantas guilty of discriminating against HSR, IKEA latest to ban engineered stone, TWUs great big convoy, unreliable tech linked to burnout, jumping castle prosecution in Tassie and much more.

Take action on proposed changes to WorkCover by signing our petition. 

A retail worker writes to Ask Renata about traumatic events, and as always, we encourage you to send in your questions to Ask Renata.

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

To access previous issues, you can visit our SafetyNet Archive.

 

Union News


COURT BACKS HSR: QANTAS FOUND GUILTY

A Qantas-subsidiary has been found guilty of unlawful discriminatory conduct against a HSR during the early stages of COVID-19, ruling that though the HSR's consultation was flawed, that did not invalidate his ‘cease-work’.

Learn more

 

ARE YOU GAME TO TAKE OUR SUPER-TRICKY HSR QUIZ?

Both lauded and derided - if you missed out on the HSR Conference, or you want to have another go, check our fiendishly difficult (and some would say arbitrary and pedantic) HSR Rights and Powers quiz.

It's online now!

 

THIS WEEK IS NATIONAL ASBESTOS AWARENESS WEEK

It's been 20 years since Australia banned the importation of asbestos but people continue to be exposed. 4000 Australians a year die of asbestos-related diseases. The Asbestos Council of Victoria is working hard to eradicate asbestos in the soil and the built environment to stop these unnecessary deaths.

View our video here and donate to support the Asbestos Council of Victoria's work here

 

16 ACTIONS OVER 16 DAYS TO END NDAs - JOIN US!

Activists across Victoria are participating in a workplace blitz of '16 Days to End NDAs' urging the Victorian government to halt sexual harassment cover-ups at work.

Your assistance is crucial! Order a free 16 Days Activist Pack and get everything you need to take meaningful action in a couple of easy steps.

Learn more

 

MORE RETAILERS ACT: ENGINEERED STONE PHASED OUT AT IKEA

IKEA Australia have followed Bunnings lead by announcing their intention to ‘phase out’ engineered stone products, following pressure from Union members.

Learn more

 

NATIONAL CONVOY FOR TRANSPORT SAFETY

TWU members together with industry groups are organising national convoys to push for transport reform in the face of soaring truck crash deaths.

Learn more

 

ASK RENATA

A contractor was at my work the other day when he unfortunately had a heart attack. I was quite shaken by the experience. How should my employer deal with exposure to unexpected traumatic events?

Exposure to traumatic events can be a psychosocial hazard.

If you or other staff members are struggling as a result, you have the right to:

  • Visit your own doctor for treatment
  • Time off to recover if required by your WorkCover certificate of capacity
  • Payment of reasonable medical and like expenses
  • Have your Union delegate or HSR present when you talk to your employer about your injury
  • Return to safe and meaningful work in accordance with your doctor's recommendations

Read our full response

 

WEEKLY COVID UPDATE

Victorian data taken from Department of Health Weekly Report 10 November 2023.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 increased this week to a daily average of 321, up from 270 last week.

The 7-day average of ICU patients remained the same this week (12).

Deaths in the most recent 28-day period have continued to increase, with a current 28-day total of 122.

More COVID data

 

Research


SUPPLY RELIABLE TECH TO AVOID BURNOUT

A study of 7,000 workers from 2,000 companies has found unreliable technology causes burnout in both manufacturing and service workers.

Learn more

 

CUT SITTING TIME: OFFICE TOOLKIT WORKS!

A recent study found that office workers can reduce their sitting time effectively using a new toolkit, which was deemed sustainable, cost-effective, and satisfying for participants.

The toolkit involves discussing group-specific action strategies. Three strategies targeting the work environment, processes, or personal behaviours are then chosen through a voting process.

Learn more

 

CLIMATE, PPE, & HEAT STRAIN IN HEALTHCARE

Rising temperatures caused by climate change, combined with wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for certain jobs, can significantly increase heat-related risks for workers, especially in the healthcare sector.

Learn more

 

Regulator News


20 YEARS ON ASBESTOS STILL A RISK TO WORKERS

WorkSafe is reminding employers that Asbestos remains a danger in Victorian workplaces despite a ban 20 years ago and can cause deadly mesothelioma if disturbed during construction or demolition.

WorkSafe is conducting inspections statewide during National Asbestos Awareness Week to ensure safe handling and removal.

Learn more

 

ASBESTOS 2024: REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN!

ASEA is inviting you to attend their 2024 conference, in person or virtually, to learn about new approaches in managing, removing, and disposing of aging ACMs.

Learn more



HEALTHCARE FOCUS: PRE-CHRISTMAS O.V.A. GUIDANCE 

 

The sixth re-run of WorkSafe Victoria’s (WSV) Occupational Violence & Aggression (OVA) Campaign It’s never OK launched on Sunday night, and will run until a week or so before Christmas.

In this iteration of its long running campaign Healthcare Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression guidance has been updated and is now available in seven different languages.  

Hospital and aged care scenarios from the campaign will run on TV, social, digital and regional press channels, together with direct emails linking to guidance online guidance.

 

CONCERNED ABOUT WORKCOVER REFORMS? ADD YOUR VOICE

Victorian workers need and deserve a robust and sustainable Workcover scheme.

As unionists, we know that WorkCover needs reform. We also believe this is a moment where we can make greater changes to improve the safety of Victorian workers, address the root causes of injuries and have a system that is responsive to workers medical needs.

We do not believe changes currently being proposed achieve that.

VTHC rejects changes that reduce access and support for injured workers or remove injured workers from the WorkCover scheme. 

Sign the petition to show your support for injured workers.

 

WORKSAFE’S HSR SURVEY: A CHANCE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Victorian HSRs are being asked to share their thoughts by participating in WorkSafe’s 2023 HSR Survey which seeks to identify what support HSRs currently receive, and what kind of support they find most helpful.

WorkSafe aims to utilise the information gathered to enhance resources available to HSRs.

WorkSafe’s 2023 HSR Survey is open until 30 November and can be accessed here.

 

 

 

 

Prosecutions


JUMPING CASTLE TRAGEDY: OPERATOR CHARGED

The operator of the inflatable jumping castle in which six children were fatally injured at Hillcrest Primary School in Tasmania has been charged with breaching section 32 of the State Work Health and Safety Act 2012.

Taz-Zorb faces allegations of failing to comply with safety duties, exposing the children to life-threatening risks. The charge carries a maximum fine of $1.5 million if convicted.

Learn more

 

FORKLIFT AMPUTATION: SCRAP METAL COMPANY FINED 100K

Portland Rusty Scrap Metal has been sentenced over an amputation that occurred in a January 2022 incident in Heywood.

Learn more

 

Events


FREE DOWNLOAD: 150 YEARS OF OHS IN VICTORIA

For a limited time, SafetyNet subscribers can download Barry Naismith's illustrated history paper The Story of the 150th Anniversary of OHS in Victoria.

Barry was motivated to make his history paper available FREE to SafetyNet subscribers for a limited time, saying…

‘The movement and its HSRs helped shaped this history, and helped save many lives. It is therefore as much their history as anyone else's.’

Learn more

 

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 training webpage for more information.

 

OHS Team
http://www.weareunion.org.au

 

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