Union News

VTHC'S OHS BASICS MONTH

Our second event - Safety Consultation 101 - is coming up this Tuesday, 14 June as part of OHS Basics Month.

5:30pm – food and drinks

6:00pm – event start

CFMEU consultation expert Dr. Gerry Ayers will take us through best practice. Then we'll look at how to make sure your employer consults you properly, providing the tools you need. Finally, we'll cover how to use your rights as a HSR to get information from your employer.

This will be an in-person event at the Victorian Trades Hall Council. Dr. Ayers' presentation will be live-streamed to Facebook for those that can't attend.

RSVP here. We look forward to seeing you.

Our third event - Using HSR Powers to Win – is also next week on Thursday 16 June. We will be joined by 2021 HSRs of the Year to discuss how they used their powers under the OHS Act to campaign for and win major workplace changes.

This event will be held on Zoom so RSVPs are essential.

Other OHS Basics Seminars coming up:

Check out the full calendar of events here! Download our Getting OHS Representation Right Booklet here. Here's a link to re-watch last week's seminar on OHS Fundamentals. To view slides from last week’s seminar, click here.

COVID-19

Latest Numbers 
On Tuesday 7 June Victoria recorded:

  • 9,181 new daily infections
  • 12 COVID deaths
  • 514 hospitalisations, 24 in ICU and 8 of these on ventilators

Cumulatively this equals:

  • 1,950,178 total Victorian infections
  • 3,522 Victorian COVID deaths (an increase of 88 since last post)

You can check the Victorian live update here

Australia wide: As of June 7, there have been a total of 7,475,637 COVID cases (7,295,230 last post) and 8,802 deaths, an increase of 253 since last week's SafetyNet.

Worldwide: As of June 7, there had been 535,924,290 worldwide infections (532,635,961 last week). The number of official COVID-related deaths is now 6,321,503 (Source: Worldometer). 

Read more: Coronavirus; COVID-19 Victorian situation

VACCINATION UPDATE 

83.56% of all Victorians, as of June 7, have received their second dose, 86.14% their first, and only 54.79% the crucially important third dose.

The figure for all Australians for the same date is 84.20%, 86.90% and 53.5%.

Check the ABC Vaccine tracker and The Age for daily updates. 

ASK RENATA

'Manual handling of disabled clients with hoists wheelchairs and shower chairs  - my employer sends untrained people to be shown safe patient handling using a buddy system. This doesn’t seem right. I had to pass an exam at Tafe for mine. Further down the track these new starters will need then train the next people. Legally where do I stand if I train a new starter and a client is dropped or harmed? I don’t think this is a safe work practice.'

Whilst, under s.25 of the Act employees are required to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions, and to follow work policies and procedures, it is the Employer (under section 21) that has the ultimate duty to provide the information, instruction, training, and supervision necessary for workers to do their job safely.

It sounds like your employer may be in breach of this duty by failing to have adequate processes to ensure people are trained to perform hazardous manual handling tasks safely.

Of particular note: An employer must review and, if necessary, revise any measures used to control hazardous manual handling risk if...

  • an occurrence of a musculoskeletal disorder at a workplace is reported by or on behalf of an employee; or
  • after any incident occurs... that involves hazardous manual handling; or
  • for any other reason, the risk control measures do not adequately control the risks; or
  • after receiving a request from a health and safety rep

Additionally, were you and your workmates given a say on training procedures for safe patient handling? If not, may we suggest you raise this with your employer, through your HSR if you have one, and request that training procedures be reviewed and revised in accordance with their consultation obligations under s.35?

If not, may we suggest you raise this with your employer, through your HSR if you have one, and request that training procedures be reviewed and revised?

If you don’t have an HSR there, then you should start talking to your fellow workers and set up a meeting with the employer to raise it – challenge the policy, propose what you want, etc. See here for helpful information on safety issue resolution and here for more information on Hazardous Manual Handling.

If you have any OHS-related questions send them in via our Ask Renata portal. Your questions will be answered by someone in the VTHC's OHS Unit.

 

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