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CSG Posts (82)

CSG Posts

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: June 2022
Speaker: 
Jason Green, President, Australian branch - Workplace Health Without Borders
 
Check out the latest presentation from our June 2022 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.
 
 

OHS without borders – helping overseas

One of the silver linings for CSG over the last couple of years has been the introduction of zoom events, which have allowed us to expand our scope beyond the Melbourne CBD, both with our members as well as our speakers. This could not have been illustrated better than by our June event, where Jason Green, speaking from Sydney, opened our eyes to the situation in parts of the world well beyond ours.

Workplace Health Without Borders began in Canada in 2011 and the Australian branch is its newest. Their activities are aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals and consist primarily of mentorship, equipment donations, accredited training as well as policy and advocacy.

These activities focus on developing countries where a great proportion of the workforce is in the "informal" economy, and where there is a severe shortage of occupational hygienists and practitioners.

When Jason took us through some recent projects, it was astounding to think that there are countries grappling with hazards that we have already dealt with here, sometimes for a long time. This includes the use of lead paint in some African countries, asbestos in Indonesia and the issue of silicosis in Tanzania. It is clear that practitioners in Australia would have a great deal of expertise they could offer in these and other areas.

If you are interested in volunteering some of your time or finding out more about their work, check out the Workplace Health Without Borders Australian branch website here.

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Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: May 2022
Speaker: 
Keith Govias, Principal Consultant, Workplace Risk, Gallagher
 
Check out the latest presentation from our May 2022 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.
 
 

Ethics in safety

This was such an interesting presentation that challenged us to look at the broader scope of our profession. In the words of Keith Govias, OHS professionals are moral change agents, and an ethical charter is a core element to their identity.

Discussions on ethics can be quite theoretical, but Keith put a very practical slant on it. While he began by explaining some complex theories, he did it in such a way that they could be understood and applied. Each of the 5 theories produces a different way of approaching ethics in business, such as the most common, which is a cost-benefit analysis. Keith showed us how to look beyond this.

One of the most interesting parts for me was when he discussed how to apply an ethical framework to incident investigation, to create a just culture that doesn't focus on worker error.

Another fascinating topic was the discussion of ethics versus following the law, and how mandatory vaccination policies pose an ethical conundrum.

Keith also discussed a number of valuable free resources available, such as ethical counsellors, the Body of Knowledge chapter on ethics that you can access here, and of course, networks such as your own Central Safety Group.

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Wednesday, 11 May 2022 01:17

FREE EVENT -CONTRACTOR MANAGEMENT

Written by

Free Event - contractor management

CSG members LinkSafe are holding a free event on 25 May 2022, 2:00 - 4:00pm on Contractor Safety Management - The Do's, Don'ts & Down Right Silly, Lessons in effective contractor management.

LinkSafe Legal Expert Sue Bottrell will walk you through the modern approach to contractor safety management and some of the outdated practices undertaken in the name of contractor safety management. They promise that the session will be entertaining and informative.

As it's a free event, it's bound to book out quickly, so make sure you register now via the link here.


Sue Bottrell is LinkSafe’s Legal Advisor and a leading expert in contractor safety management. You may remember her excellent video presentation during our CSG Talks short video series last year. She spoke about the legal implications arising from the tragic incident on the Eastern Freeway that resulted in the death of 4 Victorian Police officers. Of course that is being played out in the courts as we speak, so it’s timely to hear again what Sue had to say about the contractor management aspects of this incident. Her talk A very public tragedy – but who is really responsible? is available to members and non-members alike.

Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: April 2022
Speaker: 
Tracey Browne, Manager - National Safety & Workers' Compensation Policy and Membership Services, Ai Group
 
Check out the latest presentation from our April 2022 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.
 
 

New psychological hazard regulations

There is clearly a great deal of interest in this topic judging by the turnout. It was also invaluable to have Tracey speaking to us, because she was a representative for Ai Group on a working group that reviewed WorkSafe Victoria’s proposed OHS Amendment (Psychological Health) Regulations.

She expressed frustration that jurisdictions are forming their own codes rather than adopting the National Code. However, we have seen this occur with other hazards, so I suppose it is not that surprising.

Ai Group have a few concerns about the draft Victorian regulations. The first is about the heirarchy of controls, where information, instruction and training are the lowest order control. While this is appropriate for physical hazards, such as manual handling, it is not really applicable for psychological hazards in their view.

Another issue is the section on Prevention Plans: Ai Group has asked for much more detail to be given about those, because the draft code gives scant guidance on this topic.

They are also concerned about reporting requirements, including the need to report twice a year as well as the notion of notifiable incidents. While it is self-evident that Tracey is speaking on behalf of employers, I would love to hear the employees' and union perspective on this, as I suspect they would have very different views.

Public comment on the proposed regulations closed on 31 March, but you can read the initial proposed draft along with 79 submissions here: https://engage.vic.gov.au/proposed-psychological-health-regulations

During discussion after the presentation Tracey gave us a timeline for the legislation: penalties will not come into effect until 2024; the Regulations are due to be released in July 2022, while the Compliance Code is due in October 2022. For the latter there will be just 2 weeks allowed for public comment, so keep an eye out for that.

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Presentation & Full Event Video Now Available
CSG Event: March 2022
Speaker: 
Pam Pryor AO, Manager OHS BoK Development, Australian Institute of Health and Safety
 
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2022 event, along with the full event video, now available to members.
 
 

The changing role of the OHS professional

It was another big turnout for our March event and it was great to see so many people staying on after the recording had finished to continue the discussion. As OHS professionals, attendees had much to think about during and following Pam's presentation.

Pam made it an interactive session by conducting a number of short polls throughout. The polls prompted us to contemplate our roles as well as the emergence of the concept of "wellness" and how that fits into OHS. The polls do not show up on the recording, but Pam does discuss the results and we have included a summary of the results in the presentation package.

While Pam began by analysing some of the challenges for OHS professionals, she also looked at the positives of how we can take control of our roles and "craft" them to improve both our own work and our organisations themselves. Pam also alerted us to a range of resources, including research, publications and the OHS Body of Knoweldge (BoK), which is a wonderful free resource under the auspices of the AIHS. See www.ohsbok.org.au

Pam also touched on some other topics that are currently being developed by AIHS in position papers and for future BoK chapters. The talk of a Code of Ethics certanly piqued attendees' interest and CSG will be looking to address this topic at an event later this year. As always, Central Safety Group is here to serve its members, so we always welcome your suggestions for future speakers and events.

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A special offer for CSG financial members

Do you want to be informed and challenged? If so, join Kevin Jones at his SafetyAtWorkBlog for award winning news, commentary and opinion on workplace health and safety.

To celebrate Central Safety Group’s 60th anniversary, Kevin Jones has provided a very generous offer for financial members: 12 months’ FREE subscription to his blog and its library of articles.

Kevin, a Life Member of Central Safety Group, has been writing and editing the SafetyAtWorkBlog for over 14 years, during which time the blog has achieved several Australian and US awards as an important source of safety news and analysis.

Kevin is regularly contracted to develop and refine discussion papers and has recently written the safety and risk chapter for a major Australian infrastructure project.

SafetyAtWorkBlog provides over 3,000 exclusive posts on occupational health and safety matters. Your CSG membership for 2022 provides you with full access to this library. Not only that, your subscription will last until 12 months from the date of creation.

Current financial members have been sent the access details. New and renewing members will also be sent details once their CSG membership for 2022 has been finalised.

Central Safety Group membership has always offered great value for money and now there is even more reason to join today. Membership costs just $75 for the calendar year.

Join / Renew Now

Thank you Kevin for this wonderful offer in celebration of our 60th year!

 

Monday, 21 March 2022 04:09

CSG committee bulletin 004

Written by

Central Safety Group Inc. AGM

On the 8th February 2022, Central Safety Group held its inaugural AGM as an Incorporated Association.

As there were no additional nominees for the committee, all office bearers were re-elected unopposed.

  • President - Nan Austin
  • Vice-President - Frank Imbesi
  • Secretary - Heather Turner
  • Treasurer - Cameron Cranstoun
  • Committee Members - Jane Loudon, Marina Milankovic, Christina Rennick

 

The financial statement shows that we had quite a number of costs during 2021, mostly related to the website and our 60th anniversary this year. While we are a not-for-profit organisation, it was agreed that our financial situation is a little bit precarious. At the same time, our website is our biggest asset with its ever-increasing resources for members and, therefore, it is worth the investment.

To this end, four proposals were put to members regarding fees and charges, all of which were carried unanimously. As a result, the following resolutions were passed:

  1. The Individual membership fee for 2023 will increase to $80 per calendar year.
  2. The Corporate membership fee for 2023 will remain at $300 per calendar year.
  3. The casual attendance fee for non-members at our monthly lunchtime presentations, will increase to $15, effective from the March 2022 event.
  4. For external CSG functions (such as the networking luncheon at Parliament House) financial members will be charged a $20 co-payment. Non-members continue to pay the full amount for attendance at external functions.

 

Log in to view the Minutes, Annual Report and Financial Statement.

 

Thursday, 03 March 2022 12:07

Worksafe Victoria News

Written by

Worksafe Victoria News 
 

We recommend that you bookmark the Worksafe Victoria News https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/news in order to be alerted to the activities of our safety regulator.

While this site sadly has a strong focus on workplace fatalities and prosecutions, the media releases in January and February 2022 contained some valuable information, including:

  • Essential legislative changes such as COVID-19 no longer being a notifiable disease.
  • Campaigns to minimise work injuries such as the free online information session to help ensure farmers are aware of the latest health and safety requirements. After this online event, inspectors will visit farms in the Yarra Valley to conduct compliance checks.
  • A reminder for small business owners in construction about the OHS Essentials program that consists of three personalised advice sessions offered by independent consultants, but funded by Worksafe Victoria.

 

Then there is the new UMM … is that safe? program, to help young workers speak up. https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/UMM

Young people created this social media campaign, and it uses a tall, orange, furry mascot called UMM to deliver the messaging. [UMM being that feeling you get when something is not right.]  

In the first instance, young workers are encouraged to report unsafe work and injury to their manager, supervisor, or HSR. The next recommended action is to get their mum, a workmate (or other third party) to make a report on their behalf.

While CSG members may not be the target audience, we welcome your thoughts on the effectiveness of UMM on behalf of the young persons in your life.

Thursday, 03 March 2022 11:39

Update to EWP Requirements

Written by

Update to EWP Requirements 
 

On the 25 November 2021, WorkSafe Victoria gave a presentation on the 2021 Industry Standard on Elevated Work Platforms (EWPs). The presenters were Andy Taylor, Senior Engineer and Brian Chamberlin, Education Officer, WorkSafe Victoria.

There have been 10 fatalities associated with EWPs over the last 10 years in Victoria and there are 30 claims per year for incidents.

An EWP, where the industry standard applies, has a platform height that can be adjusted by: a powered scissor mechanism; a telescoping boom or tower; articulation or any combination of those.

An EWP is not:

  • a work platform used in conjunction with a forklift
  • an order picking forklift
  • work boxes temporarily attached to a crane
  • suspended scaffolds
  • lifts (elevators)
  • non slewing mobile cranes (telehandlers), except when configured as an EWP
  • building maintenance units and equipment
  • mast climbing work platforms
  • personnel and material hoists

 

The industry standard also does not apply to:

  • horticultural EWPs (specifically designed for the horticultural industry)
  • plant or equipment used by Victorian fire services (Country Fire Authority and Fire Rescue Victoria)

 

Selection

There are five types of EWPs:

  • Scissor
  • Vertical Mask
  • Truck Mounted (bucket tray or cherry picker)
  • Self-Propelled Boom Lift
  • Trail Mounted Boom Lift – these are smaller and often used for tree pruning -also referred to as a cherry picker

Operators must select the right piece of equipment for the job, not just whatever is available on site.  The first option that should be considered is the use of scaffolding in preference to an EWP.  Other considerations are capacity of the machine, hazards at the worksite, emergency procedures etc.

 

Training

Training is required for:

  • All Operators -if over 11m, they will require a high-risk licence
  • Safety Observers -in the operation of the type of equipment and, if over 11m, they will require a high-risk licence
  • Electrical Spotters -they must have an Energy Safety Victoria card
  • Training may be required for others including Supervisors and delivery drivers, who may need a licence if they operate the EWP as part of the delivery or pick up

 If the EWP reach is less than 11m, proof of training and competency is required e.g. an EWPA yellow card.

The Safety Observer must have a line of sight to the working EWP, but cannot double as the Electrical Spotter.  The Safety Observer can be used for more than one piece of equipment if they are all in the line of sight and the observer has been trained in the operation of all the types of equipment being operated.  The Safety Observer cannot leave the area until the EWP has ceased operation and all is safe.

Safe systems of work

If the equipment is to be used on a slab, the slab must be able to take the weight of the EWP; if on the ground, it must also be suitable (hazard free).

When working on inclines, the ground conditions must be checked prior to setting up the EWP with checks for slippery surfaces.  The brake wheels must be facing up the incline and the boom bucket must be on the upside of the base and the outriggers level.

A full body harness must be worn by all persons on the platform, and they must be secured to an anchor point.

Where working over water, a risk assessment must be completed, and the wearing of the safety harness may be exempted.

Considerations for the collection and delivery of the EWP include traffic management; lighting at the site as mornings and evenings are the usual times; harnesses to be worn; ground surface; overhead power lines etc.

Crushing hazards

These have been involved in a number of fatalities and can occur where:

  • overhead or adjacent fixed structures are present near the EWP operational areas, e.g. roofs; structural beams; cable trays; pipework.
  • the platform moves unexpectedly while the EWP is close to an overhead or adjacent fixed structure, due to unstable ground conditions; an operator not being familiar with the specific EWP model controls; malfunction of the controls.
  • ground-based obstacles are in close proximity to the EWP that may divert an operator’s attention from overhead or adjacent structures (or their passenger’s safety) while travelling or manoeuvring the EWP.

 Controls in these circumstances could include secondary guarding, pressure sensors remote controls with the operator on ground level, etc.

 Emergency procedures and resources

These need to be in place to rescue the operator(s) of an EWP should they become sick, injured, stranded or trapped at height due to malfunction or misuse of the EWP.  Other emergency situations can occur when the operator has fallen outside the platform of the EWP and is suspended by a harness.  No one should operate an EWP alone and the rescue person / observer must understand all the ground controls on the EWP.  These controls must be checked prior to operation.

Inspection and maintenance

EWPs must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that the risks associated with their use are controlled.  This may be achieved by adhering to the inspection and maintenance recommendations supplied by the manufacturer or from relevant Australian Standards.  Log books, pre-start checklists, preventative and breakdown maintenance, and tagging systems all need to be part of the safe work process.

 

The WorkSafe Victoria Industry Standard on EWPs is available on their website and contains further information.  https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/resources/elevating-work-platforms-industry-standard

You can also view an introduction to the new Standard on the WorkSafe Victoria Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNGxuAAM0sE

Remote and flexible working: Practical tips for employers to keep their staff safe 

Over the last two weeks of Health and Safety Month 2021, WorkSafe Victoria ran free 45-minute webinars on a variety of topics. The theme for the month was “You learn something new every day”.

For the above topic the presenters were all from WorkSafe Victoria: Sarah Hellwege, Senior Psychological Health & Safety Specialist; Samantha Harrison, Principal Ergonomist; Renee Walsh, Program Officer; and Lucas Kowalski, Return to Work Manager.

All presenters agreed that the current conditions regarding return to work were challenging.

Sarah Hellwege stated that resilience and coping skills have taken a hit and that psychosocial hazards include the design and management of work. Isolation and family responsibilities have caused extreme pressure along with return to work employees dealing with an increased client load, longer hours and dealing with stressed clients.

Organisational support is often missing and, with changes taking place at a quick rate, this leads to uncertainty. To overcome this, she recommends that there be regular catch-ups with Managers as well as meetings with teams and other sections in HR.

Managers need to know what to do if they see that someone is struggling, not motivated or not their optimal self:

  • Know the stressors and reach out, using the ‘Look, Listen, Link’ model
  • Have an open conversation with flexible working solutions, such as EAP or individual work design
  • Keep checking that solutions are working

 

Renee Walsh recommended a review of job roles so that safety could be ensured for both working spaces (at home and in the office) for those working in hybrid roles. With this becoming the “new normal”, organisations must re-think the way their employees work. Good work design is the key and must include environmental considerations.

Renee’s recommendations:

  • Employ controls to cover a variety of tasks
  • Share with teams to maintain interest
  • Match tasks to skills (otherwise you could either overwhelm or disengage employees if bored)
  • Long work hours should be discouraged; leave should be encouraged
  • Ensure decision-making follows clearly understood lines and leaders act as role models
  • Communication between leaders and team members is vital for success

 

Samantha Harrison reiterated that contact and consultation with employees is essential for both their physical and psychosocial safety.  However, employees have responsibilities to report problems to their team leader for early intervention.  Resources are available on the WorkSafe website including information on COVID, mental health guidance material, fact sheets and the WorkWell Tool Kit.

Lucas Kowalski stated that return to work fundamentals still apply in the current situation.  Communication with the injured person is still important and visits to the workplace should still take place.  The injured person still requires regular updates to stay informed about what is happening at the workplace. 

The Manager should be aware of secondary mental injuries in instances where the injured person was working from or recovering at home.  The transition to the larger office or workplace can be stressful for many people.  Consider what they will be doing when they return on the first day, first week etc.  Re-training or up-skilling can take place outside the workplace.

Information that came out of the Q&A session:

  • Testing and tagging should be undertaken by the employer if the equipment belongs to the company.
  • Team Leaders need to set up forums for consultation with HSRs e.g. Tool Box or Town Hall meetings.
  • Officewise is still a good resource though a bit out of date. It is currently being reviewed by an external consultant and the new version may include information on working from home, use of headset etc.
  • Hot desking can still be used, but appropriate cleaning regimes need to be established, in addition to taking into account the seating, the person and the work to be undertaken.

 

The webinar is now available on the WorkSafe Victoria Youtube channel here.

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