Union News


The third event for OHS Basics Month - Using HSR Powers to Win - is happening 4pm TODAY, 16 June.

This webinar will be led one of WorkSafe's 2021 HSR of the year Adrian Lidsey and his co-workers from Crown Casino. They used their HSR powers to get indoor smoking banned from the Casino, saving lives. It will cover:

  • Your employers' duties to you as a worker and HSR
  • How to work with your DWG, with other HSRs and hold the best HSR elections
  • Different ways you can use your powers as a HSR under the OHS Act to secure safer workplaces

Understanding your powers as a HSR can save lives. RSVP now to the seminar by clicking on the link below.

This event will be held online.

Zoom -  https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89071124206
Event - https://www.weareunion.org.au/ohs_basics_using_hsr_powers_to_win

We hope you can join us.


'I have a question regarding my obligation to attend company-wide HSR meetings organised by my manager at a different work site. In my experience these are token events of little value and I’d rather not participate. What is my obligation as a HSR?'

Becoming a HSR imposes no function or duty upon a person who voluntarily nominates and is elected to the role. Here’s what WorkSafe’s recently updated Guide to Employee Representation has to say on the matter…

The role of an HSR is voluntary and although HSRs have certain powers, there are no duties or functions imposed by the OHS Act or OHS Regulations on the HSR other than those imposed on all employees in the workplace under section 25 of the OHS Act.

Therefore, it is not appropriate for employers to, for example:

nominate or choose HSRs
give HSRs duty statements
request or instruct HSRs to conduct inspections or undertake risk assessments on behalf of the employer
task HSRs to write or develop policies and procedures on behalf of the employer

It is our view that employers cannot mandate attendance at HSR meetings as it inappropriately imposes a duty upon a person acting in that capacity, in breach of s.58(3) of the Act.

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.


Latest Numbers 
On Tuesday 16 June Victoria recorded:

  • 7,889 new daily infections
  • 22 COVID deaths
  • 465 hospitalisations, 27 in ICU and 9 of these on ventilators

Cumulatively this equals:

  • 2,009,964 total Victorian infections
  • 3,685 Victorian COVID deaths (an increase of 163 since last post)

You can check the Victorian live update here

Australia wide: As of June 16, there have been a total of 7,713,806 COVID cases (7,475,637 last post) and 9,199 deaths, an increase of 397 since last week's SafetyNet.

Worldwide: As of June 16, there had been 542,381,868 worldwide infections (535,924,290 last post). The number of official COVID-related deaths is now 6,336,397 (Source: Worldometer). 

Read more: Coronavirus; COVID-19 Victorian situation


83.63% of all Victorians, as of June 16, have received their second dose, 86.19% their first, and only 55% their crucially important third dose.

The figure for all Australians for the same date is 84.23%, 86.93% and 53.7%.

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


National Fatality Statistics 2022  
Safe Work Australia last updated its statistics on fatalities June 2, at which time it had been notified that 74 Australian workers had been killed at work this year.

The fatalities have been in the following sectors:

31 in Transport, Postal & Warehousing 
16 in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing
6 in Construction
5 in Public Administration & Safety
4 in Electricity, Gas, Water & Waste Services
4 in 'other services'
3 in Manufacturing
1 in Mining
1 in Accommodation and Food Services
1 in Professional, scientific & technical services
1 in Health care & social assistance
1 in Arts & recreation services

Sadly there have been 14 more worker deaths this year, than at the same time last year.

These figures are based 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. As a result the numbers of deaths in each sector change. 

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Preliminary worker deaths webpage.

Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities database which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change

Share Tweet


There has been a mould problem at my work for awhile now and no one is getting serious about it. I am at lost with what to do. Our shower and locker...
Read More
Resources Safety and Health Queensland's chief inspector has reminded employers conducting crane operations that they must establish and enforce exclusion zones around the task, ensuring workers are not in danger if a...
Read More
Fresh IT project cost blowouts are expected to top $100 million across state government agencies, including WorkSafe.
Read More