SafetyNet 569

March 24, 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of SafetyNet. We hope you can find something useful in this edition to pass on to your fellow workers.    

We regret to inform our subscribers that two more Victorian workers have lost their lives. 

Visit our We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page for news, memes and more. If you have any questions or need any advice, we can be reached via the Ask Renata facility on the website or through the closed OHS Network Facebook page. If you have comments or want to send through any ideas, email us at [email protected]

Union News

Another two Victorian workers killed at work

On Monday this week WorkSafe issued a media release with the news that it is investigating the death of a painter at a residential property in Terang last Tuesday, March 16. It is believed the 63-year-old man was working alone before he was found unresponsive by the property's owner around 11.00 am.

The second fatality occurred on the evening of this Monday, March 22, when a man was electrocuted while working alone in a West Melbourne building. WorkSafe believes the 21-year-old was undertaking electrical work on a car stacker elevator when he was killed. 

WorkSafe is investigating both of these incidents.

The two deaths bring the workplace fatality toll to ten for 2021. The VTHC sends our sincerest condolences to the men's family, friends and colleagues.

Tradies walk to raise money for memorial

On the third anniversary of the deaths of Jack Brownlee and Charlie Howkins in a trench collapse near Ballarat, a group of tradies, friends and family, are walking to raise money for a memorial to honour the young men and others killed in workplace incidents. The tragedy occurred on March 21, 2018. Mr Howkins was killed instantly, while Mr Brownlee died in hospital the next day. 

The four-day, 127 kilometre walk from Geelong to Ballarat was Kelly Dubberley's idea. He is Jack Brownlee's father's best mate. The group had aimed to raise $10,000 towards the cost of the memorial, Mr Dubberley said, but they have already surpassed that amount and are now aiming for $20,000. The memorial is planned for parkland in the housing estate near where Mr Brownlee and Mr Howkins were killed. While nothing will bring back the two young men, it is hoped the memorial will become a place people can gather with others who have lost loved ones in workplace incidents. Mr Brownlee's parents, Janine and Dave, and Mr Howkins' wife, Dr Lana Cormie, were key in the successful VTHC campaign for the introduction of industrial manslaughter laws in 2019 to hold employers accountable for the deaths of workers and others. The legislation came into effect in July 2020. However we are yet to see any employer charged under the new laws. 

Secretary of Ballarat Trades Hall Brett Edgington said the memorial would become the focus of Workers Memorial Day each April. "A few hundred people can be accommodated around the memorial in parkland, it will be a positive and affirmative piece of public art," he said. 
Read more: ABC News online; Industrial manslaughter laws

April 28: International Workers Memorial Day

April 28th is International Workers Memorial Day, and this year for the first time in Victoria, official statistics will acknowledge the toll of workplace illnesses.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim the lives of health workers and frontline workers around the world, it is particularly relevant to stop and hold a (socially distanced) vigil remembering the dead and fighting for the living. Join workers and bereaved family for a moving ceremony at Trades Hall on 28 April at 10.30 am. RSVP here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) -  update  

Australia has had a total, to date, of 29,211 cases of coronavirus disease diagnosed.  

Internationally, the numbers of infections and deaths seem to be levelling off: the cumulative number of infections last Wednesday was 121,214,690  - the number today is 124,789,223. This is  almost 3.5 million more - the previous two weeks saw over 5.5 million, then 3 million more cases. While some the numbers in some countries seems to be decreasing, countries such as Brazil (see below) are seeing a surge. (note: the numbers are updated continually). There have been 2,745,378 COVID-related deaths around the world.

On Tuesday this week, Victoria's Acting Premier, James Merlino, and the Minister for Health, Martin Foley announced that the current restrictions will be further eased from 6 pm Friday March 26. The changes include masks no longer being required in retail settings - Victorians will still need to carry one with them at all times and wear it on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis and in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals.  There are also changes to numbers of people allowed to gather in homes, and changes to density requirements - now 2 square metres per person. Caps on workers returning to workplaces no longer apply, all workplaces must still have a COVIDSafe plan in place, and observe the new density limits.

The Minister for Health, Martin Foley said, “These changes are another positive step in Victoria’s social and economic recovery but also a reminder that now is not the time to be complacent – we must continue to keep each other safe, so we can stay open.” Read more: Victorian government media release.

A number of European countries have recently suspended the rollout of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine due to concerns that a small number of people vaccinated have suffered from blood clots. However, there is no evidence that the blood clots are related to the vaccine - in fact, the number of clots reported is lower than the number that would be expected in people not having received the vaccination. Both the Australian and the Victorian governments are taking advice from the TGA and Chief Medical Officers, and continuing the rollout in Australia. Both governments have produced up-to-date information on the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. These have been added to our webpage on COVID-19 Vaccines.

Meanwhile in Brazil, despite soaring infections - 73,400 yesterday and about 3,000 COVID-related deaths daily - President Jair Bolsonaro is not convinced that lockdown measures are effective and is now asking the country's Supreme Court to reverse coronavirus restrictions imposed by several federal states. Brazil has the world's second-highest number of COVID-related deaths - only behind the US.

For more information, go to these pages on the website: Coronavirus disease and Coronavirus the Victorian situation 

Reminder: Two job vacancies at the VTHC Training Unit

Are you an OHS Trainer? Are you committed to HSRs and unions? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you might be interested in working in the VTHC Training Unit. The Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) is looking for people who want to make a difference for working people.

The VTHC is seeking to employ two Safety and Rights Trainers. The positions are based within the OHS training team which is dedicated to advancing the rights of working people across Victoria. The OHS training team educates and organises working people about their rights and safety at work, supports unions to advance working people’s rights and campaigns for social change through building the capacity of unions and activists.

If this interests you, then go to Ethical Jobs to find out more about the duties, selection criteria, pay and conditions.
But hurry: Applications close at 5.00pm this Friday, 26 March, 2021  

Ask Renata  

Hi Renata,  

What is required to be displayed on an OHS noticeboard? The only thing I can find is the 'If you are injured at work' poster. My employer wants to remove the board and put everything online

According to the law, there are a couple of things which must be displayed. You are correct in that one of them is the ‘If you are injured’ poster. The second is a list of each HSR and deputy HSR for each DWG – this must be displayed at each workplace under the management of the employer (s71 of the OHS Act).

Further, if any HSR issues the employer with a PIN, then the person to whom it was issued must (under s60(4)(b)(ii)) “display a copy of the notice in a prominent place at or near the workplace…”

So, the employer cannot just decide to get rid of the noticeboard and insist that everything go online. That would be a breach of his duties under the OHS Act.

In addition to all the above, under s69(1)(e), the employer has a duty to ‘provide such other facilities and assistance to a health and safety representative for the DWG as are necessary or prescribed by the regulations to enable the representative to exercise his or her powers under this Part.’  While there is nothing specific in the regs, the following is advice provided by WorkSafe in its recently updated Employee Representation Guide:

What facilities and assistance is the employer required to provide to the HSR?

The employer must provide such other facilities and assistance to an HSR for the DWG as are necessary or prescribed by the OHS Regulations to enable the HSR to exercise their powers under part 7 of the OHS Act.

What is reasonable in the particular circumstances will depend on a range of factors, including the nature of the work and the working environment, hazards present and the composition of the DWG. Such facilities may include:

  • access to a private room, desk and chair for discussions or interviews
  • facilities for filing, for example a lock-up filing cabinet and shelves
  • ready access to a telephone, internet, and email
  • access to computers and photocopying facilities
  • access to meeting rooms for meetings of HSRs and meetings of the DWG
  • access to relevant technical equipment (for example a camera or noise meter)
  • use of noticeboards
  • transport or travel expenses to commute between workplaces, if required.

So if the employer is trying to remove a noticeboard which you find useful and have been using,  then you could consider issuing a PIN -or at least going through the issue resolution procedures – see Resolution of issues.

Please remember: if you have any OHS related queries, then send them in via our Ask Renata facility on the website. 

VTHC launches new COVIDSafe workplace project to help workers

The COVIDsafe workplace project is run by Trades Hall to make sure that workers in communities and industries that are most at risk of COVID are provided with a safe workplace and are informed enough to be COVIDsafe at work. 

If you have any concerns about anything that’s happening at work regarding COVID safety- such as your workplace being unclean, too crowded or you’re being told to attend work when sick- then join together with other workers and do something about it. Visit the COVIDsafe workplace website to get the information you need to help make sure your workplace is safe.

Visit the COVIDsafe workplace website now. Because if your job isn’t COVIDsafe, it’s not safe!

OHS Help App
A reminder to signup for the OHS Help app has been developed by unions to put important resources at your finger tips. If you have not yet registered for the OHS Help App, you can do so here.

The app will help you:

  • Find advice on particular workplace hazards
  • Practical how to guides about OHS topics such as PINs, consultation and much more.
  • Easy access to OHS resources, including information on the VTHC's OHS [email protected] website
  • Log issues with your union
  • Access your legal HSR rights and powers at a glance

We'd love to hear what you think of the new app. 

Parliament House staffers "strike"

Parliament House staffers yesterday held a sit-in in the room (the so-called 'Prayer' or 'Meditation' room) where employees allegedly have sex during work hours, saying the building is a “disgusting” place for women to work.. The strike is reaction to yet another scandal which puts Prime Minister Scott Morrison under pressure to take urgent action on cascading issues inside the Liberal party.  

Two dozen staff – women and men – from Labor and the Greens attended, calling for urgent reform in making parliament safer and more comfortable for women. They were there for a short period before returning to work. Organiser of the 'strike', Georgia Tree, admitted it was unusual for staffers to speak publicly about internal affairs, but said women have “had enough”. “That someone would do that to their own boss is horrific, but that culture is pervasive,” she said.

Reports from Channel 10 and The Australian on Monday alleged Coalition staffers took photos of their genitalia inside the Parliament offices of their politician bosses, as well as airing claims that staffers regularly brought sex workers inside the building for their MPs. One employee reportedly captured himself committing a solo sex act on the desk of the female politician he worked for, sending it to a Facebook Messenger group of other staffers. That staffer was identified and terminated moments after the Channel 10 report was aired. Read more: The New Daily

Asbestos news

Victoria: Clean up at Lara continues

The huge task of the clean up and removal of a contaminated waste stockpile near Geelong began in April 2019 after the site's owner went into liquidation leaving a clean-up bill of $100m. The now insolvent C&D Recycling company abandoned what was thought to be about 320,000 cubic metres of mostly building waste at Broderick Road in Lara after it shut in December 2017. The stockpile, a fire hazard which is also contaminated with asbestos and other toxic substances, has taken years to clear. Over 133,000 cubic metres of waste has already been taken away. 192,000m3 of material remains onsite.

Project Manager Michael Fitzgerald said "Due to the presence of asbestos in the stockpile, the material is unfortunately unsuitable for recycling,” he said. "EPA’s role at Broderick Road is to reduce the risk of a fire, clean up the site and make it safe, and to dispose of the waste materials at properly licensed facilities." The clean-up job is expected to be finished mid-next year.

ACT: Schools asbestos, lead clean up costs almost $40m

ACT’s Education Directorate has spent almost $40 million in the past four years cleaning up lead paint and asbestos in schools, admitting they only informed parents of the most recent contamination because of media attention.

Ten sites at nine schools recorded lead dust readings above the acceptable threshold since the beginning of this year. The discovery of lead dust at Richardson Primary School prompted the directorate to test the heating ventilation and cooling systems across schools of a similar age.

A directorate spokesman said the recent discoveries were low risk because the hazardous materials weren't accessible to staff and students. Nevertheless, the directorate should have informed both staff and the families of students when either asbestos or lead dust was discovered, how and when the clean up would be done, and when works were completed. 

Meanwhile, documents released under freedom of information laws showed the directorate forked out $38.7 million in four years since the 2016-17 financial year to remove and remediate hazardous materials. Source: The Canberra Times

South Africa: Last white president diagnosed with mesothelioma

Frederik Willem de Klerk, South Africa's last white president, has been diagnosed with cancer according to an announcement made by his charitable foundation. De Klerk, known by his initials FW, recently turned 85 and is suffering from mesothelioma, the asbestos-related cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. The FW de Klerk foundation said there is no 'immediate threat' to his health and they are hopeful that treatment will be a success. However, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. Read more: The Daily Mail.

November 22 - 28: National Asbestos Awareness Week

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency (ASEA) says that the 2020 week saw excellent participation from organisations all over Australia, spreading the message that asbestos can be present in more places than you’d think. There was a range of different activities that focused on knowing the health risk of asbestos, taking precautions before working with potentially asbestos-containing materials, and seeking professional help.

The Agency will be developing this year’s campaign for National Asbestos Awareness Week and will be sharing the theme and related key messages in the coming months. As with previous years, it will work closely with stakeholders to develop a consistent and tailored theme and related messaging for 2021.

This year, ASEA will continue to provide updates for National Asbestos Awareness Week through the National Asbestos Awareness Week mailing list. To ensure you receive the latest information, updates and news, subscribe to the mailing list.  

More information on Asbestos: In the workplace and In the Home

International Union news

UK: Health union and TUC slam idea of forced COVID vaccine

A government plan to force all NHS (National Health Service) and care staff in England to get vaccinated against COVID-19 has been criticised as “sinister” and likely to increase the numbers refusing to have the jab. Health unions and hospital bosses urged the health service to continue its efforts to persuade its 1.4 million workforce in England to get immunised rather than resorting to compulsion and “bullying” to try to increase take-up. Downing Street did not dispute a 2 March report in the Daily Mail that it was considering making it mandatory for everyone working in health and social care to be vaccinated as a way of protecting patients. But the report triggered unease and criticism from key organisations in both sectors.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Forced vaccinations are the wrong way to go and send out a sinister and worrying message. Encouragement and persuasion rather than threats and bullying are key to a successful programme, as ministers themselves have repeatedly indicated.” She added: “Mandatory jabs are counterproductive and likely to make those who are hesitant even more so. This will do nothing to help health and care sectors that are already chronically understaffed.” Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA’s chair of council, said: “Any proposal for a compulsory requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated raises clear ethical and legal implications.” 

Also commenting on leaked cabinet plans that the Prime Minister and Health Secretary have agreed to make vaccinations a legal requirement for people working in care homes, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as we can is the best way to make sure our workplaces are safe, to protect care home residents, and to open up our economy again.  But forcing workers to get vaccinated isn't the right way to do this. Not only will it harm trust and employee relations, it may also be discriminatory and leave employers open to legal challenge." She said, "Instead, bosses should make it as easy as possible for care workers to get vaccinated, for example by giving them paid time off for the appointments and guaranteeing decent sick pay for any time off to recover. They should consider running on-site vaccination clinics and bringing in health professionals to talk through workers’ concerns.  Read more: UNISON news releaseDaily MailThe Guardian. Sources: Risks 988, TUC media release


Research

Literature review: Work, Health and COVID-19

With work a key vector of COVID‑19 transmission, this European report examines why it is critical that occupational health and safety measures take centre stage in mitigation policies. Workers in sectors declared essential by state authorities have been mandated to continue working in physical settings during the pandemic. This has also been the cse in Australia.

Several such sectors involve many face‑to‑face contacts with colleagues and clients, meaning that workers face a higher risk of exposure to COVID‑19. Unregulated safety measures, a lack of personal protective equipment and crowded settings further increase the risk in these sectors. Persisting inequalities are exacerbated by the pandemic, as low‑wage workers, workers from ethnic minorities, migrant workers and women are over-represented in these sectors. They also face intersecting factors, including precarious contracts, job insecurity, inadequate paid sick leave, a lack of bargaining power and low socioeconomic status.

The report found that the risks faced by (recent) migrants are compounded by the fact that their residence permits, access to healthcare and housing may be mediated by their employers. Studies show that there is also a gender dimension to the OHS implications of the pandemic, with women facing a higher exposure to the disease, a higher care burden and an increased risk of domestic violence. These patterns of inequality play a significant role in a health crisis, determining who is at greater risk of becoming infected, and whether or not they will have access to healthcare and self‑isolation.

Besides recognising COVID‑19 as an occupational disease and providing adequate protection to workers across sectors, it is important for OHS measures to go beyond workplace exposure to the disease and to include the various factors increasing exposure because of work. Policy recommendations include better representation of workers at all levels of employment, sector‑specific OHS measures, broader EU‑wide policies and infrastructures, improved job security and sick leave policies, disaggregated data collection and inclusive messaging. Read more and download the report (which is also available for purchase in hard copy): Damini Purkayastha, et al. Work, health and Covid‑19: a literature review. [pdf] ETUI Report 2021.03


Regulator News

Victorian news

WorkSafe Victoria issues Safety Alert after fatality

The VWA has issued the alert to highlight the dangers of overhanging items in storage racking, following the death of an employee in the first days of March this year. The worker, who was operating a reach forklift, was fatally injured when the forklift struck items that were stored at height and overhanging the aisle, causing the items to fall and strike him on the head.

Items stored in storage racking should not be overhanging. In the event that a forklift strikes overhanging items, the items could become dislodged or unstable, putting employees at risk of serious or fatal injuries due to falling items. 

The Safety Alert, Employee dies after overhanging items fall from storage racking, sets out recommended ways to control the risks, and reminds employers of their legal duties. 

New HSR newsletter

WorkSafe has this week issued its latest edition of the HSR newsletter. In it WorkSafe provides advice on:

  • Returning to work (after the COVID working from home measures) 
  • Infection Prevention and Control training for Disability Service Provider Workers
  • The role of the HSR vs the OHS Committee
  • HSR Support Officers 
  • WorkWell: WorkSafe’s Workplace Mental Health Guide for COVID-19
  • and more

National News 

Statement of regulatory intent - COVID-19

Last week Australia's workplace health and safety regulators updated the COVID-19 Statement of Regulatory Intent which sets out their approach to compliance during the pandemic.

The statement now includes information on the COVID-19 vaccine as an additional control measure that employers should consult their workers about to manage COVID-19 workplace risks. All Australians who can be vaccinated are encouraged to do so in accordance with the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Employers should follow the public health advice in their jurisdictions. While vaccinations are considered a high order risk control measure, employers should continue to apply all reasonably practicable COVID-19 control measures.

For the latest information and ongoing updates on what this may mean for workplaces, workers and some of the key considerations for employers:

Note that the advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman regarding mandating vaccinations is:

In the current circumstances, the overwhelming majority of employers should assume that they won’t be able to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

There are currently no laws or public health orders in Australia that specifically enable employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus. The Australian Government’s policy is that receiving a vaccination is voluntary, although it aims to have as many Australians vaccinated as possible.

There are, however, limited circumstances where an employer may require their employees to be vaccinated.

The document then provides more information about the factors that might warrant this.

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia updated its statistics on fatalities on March 18, at which time they had been notified that 23 Australian workers had been killed at work in 2021; this is five more since March 4.  The five deaths were: two in Arts & recreation services one each in Construction, Electricity, gas, water & waste services, and Public administration & safety. The deaths this year have been in the following sectors:

  • 9 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 3 in Arts & recreation services
  • 3 in Construction
  • 2 in Manufacturing 
  • 2 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 1 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 1 in Other Services 
  • 1 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Public administration & safety

These figures are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage.


Prosecutions

Trainer charged over track rider's death

On 9 March, 2020, at about 6.30am, a 31-year-old male track rider was killed after a car struck the horse he was riding across Thirteenth Beach Road at Barwon Heads. WorkSafe Victoria has charged O'Brien Thoroughbreds with a single alleged breach of section 21(1) and section 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing, as far as reasonably practicable, to provide a system of work that was safe and without risks to health.

WorkSafe will allege that the company failed to implement a traffic management plan and to ensure that employees and horses wore high visibility clothing or equipment.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at the Geelong Magistrates' Court on 25 March.

Unlicensed worker falls 4 metres, company charged

Global Freight and Logistics (Aust) Pty Ltd, a logistics business operating a warehouse in Truganina, and its employees used an item of powered mobile plant known as an Order Picker. Using or operating this piece of equipment is 'high risk work' under the OHS Regs meaning that employees who operate it must hold a valid high risk work licence class LO.

On 17 October 2018 an unlicensed employee was using the Order Picker to retrieve a product from a shelf. He was not wearing a harness. The picker had two side rails and two back rails, which were able to be lifted up in order to get in and out of the picker. The employee lifted the back rails to get the product from the shelf but in doing so fell through the gap, hitting the ground about 4 metres below. He taken to hospital with a fractured pelvis.

The company:

  • failed to provide a safety harness for the use of the picker,
  • was unable to produce any employee records for the injured person,
  • did not provide any operating procedures to ensure that its employees were aware of the safety requirements for operating the Order Picker, and
  • did not know whether the employee held a high risk work licence.

Global was found guilty following an ex-parte application, and was without conviction fined $35,000 plus $1,891 in costs.

Company fined $40,000 after 200kg frame falls on worker

Victoria Ductwork and Sheetmetal Pty Ltd, a company manufacturing ductwork for the heating and ventilation industry out of premises in Doveton was last week fined $40,000 over an incident in February 2019.

The workplace has a driveway, accessible to pedestrians and vehicles, used to store various metal components including a large steel frame weighing about 200kgs, leaning up against a wall on a slight angle.

On the day of the incident two trucks arrived to pick up items for delivery. The first truck was loaded and moved out of the driveway but was still at the workplace. Two employees were standing on the driveway when the second truck was being loaded. The truck driver of the first truck had some problems tying down his load, and reached for a piece of wood lying on the ground in the driveway. As he picked up the wood it knocked a small steel frame which then fell onto the large steel frame causing it to fall.  It brushed the leg of one employee, and fell onto the other employee, who was admitted to hospital for 10 days suffering a broken ankle, and fractured vertebrae, sternum and ribs.

WorkSafe's investigation revealed there was a risk of serious injury or death to employees and other persons that used the driveway area as a result of metal components becoming unstable and falling on them.

The company, which had no prior matters, and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, was fined s $40,000 plus $1,654.83 in costs.  It was given credit for the early plea and finalising the matter during the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption on the court's operation. Had it not been for this, the offender would have been convicted and fined $60,000 with costs.

To check for any Victorian prosecutions before the next edition, go to WorkSafe Victoria's Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage. 

SA: Woolworths convicted and fined for 'blind spot'

Supermarket giant Woolworths has been convicted of WHS offences after a "blind spot" in its inspection and maintenance regime allowed degraded equipment to fall on a worker, inflicting multiple fractures. 

South Australian Employment Tribunal Deputy President Magistrate Stuart Cole fined Woolworths Group Ltd $72,000, plus costs. He found that while the employer appeared to have proper safety procedures for a wide range of activities, it failed to implement one for the bakery trolleys it inherited when it took over the site where the incident occurred.

In August 2018, at Woolworths' Salisbury Downs supermarket, the worker was pulling on a loaded two-metre-high bakery trolley when its wheels jammed, causing it to fall on her and pin her to the ground. She suffered fractures to her spine, sternum and tibia and required surgery. She was unable to work for six months, only returning to her pre-injury duties in June last year.

In sentencing Woolworths, Deputy President Magistrate Cole took into account that it immediately responded to the incident with national action – directing its 1,052 Australian stores to danger-tag and isolate all similar bakery trolleys, and inspect all wheeled equipment to ensure their wheels were not defective. It also implemented a bakery trolley inspection and maintenance system, and sent photographs of wheels in good and poor condition to all stores. Although an appropriate penalty for Woolworths was $120,000, Magistrate Cole applied a 40 per cent discount for its guilty plea. Source: OHS Alert


International News

Europe: proposal on endocrine disrupting chemicals

The European Commission is proposing that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) be classified under CLP (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labeling and Packaging of substances and mixtures) as either ‘category 1: known or presumed’ or ‘category 2: suspected’ in a move likely to stoke further intense debate among stakeholders about the right approach to these substances.

The draft proposal, which was discussed with member states at the latest meeting of the competent authorities sub-group on endocrine disruption (CASG-ED) on 22 March, is a major step in changing CLP to account for EDCs, as required by the chemicals strategy. Source: Chemical Watch


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