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CSG Posts (80)

CSG Posts

Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: June 2021
Dr Kate Branford, Senior Human Factors Specialist, V/Line
Check out the latest presentation from our June 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.
**Please note that the video of this presentation is available for 2 weeks only**

Human factors and human error

There was a great turn-out for this presentation, even though some members were a bit shy to turn on their cameras!  Nevertheless, all attendees were treated to an excellent and informative session.

The bulk of the presentation focused on human error, which typically accounts for 60-80% of incidents. However, Kate demonstrated that there are many aspects to this. For instance, it doesn't relate to operators alone; it could be human error on the part of a designer or the person who does a risk assessment, among others.

In relation to design, it is worth considering optical illusions and perception of information. This was illustrated brilliantly via an interactive section of the talk that showed us just how easy it is to misread visual information. One of the take-home messages for me was that human errors do not occur randomly; context is important.

If you would like learn more about V/Line's general approach to safety, Sylvia Hudson gave a detailed presentation in April 2016 about their updated management system Destination Zero (log in first)

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Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: May 2021
Gavin Kenny, Manager SHEQ - Service Delivery, Melbourne Water
Check out the latest presentation from our May 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

Using technology to make work safer

This was a fascinating presentation and quite an eye-opener for those of us who are technologically-challenged. While Central Safety Group has only recently joined the world of zoom, Gavin Kenny at Melbourne Water has spent the last 4 years implementing a whole range of innovative solutions to common health and safety issues.

Gavin covered the whole gamut: from the use of Virtual Reality technology when designing new plant, through the use of animation to bring the Confined Spaces compliance code to life and developing apps for workers and maintenance contractors to use in the field, to very low-tech ways to engage with the workforce. With the latter, one that caught my eye was an annual staff barbecue called "Whingefest".

Another feature is the conversion of many of their procedures into a digital format to make them less cumbersome and, therefore, easier to use. It is part of their philosophy to reduce safety clutter. This was also the topic of our October 2019 presentation by Dr David Provan, here, which is definitely worth checking out again (log in first to access it).

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Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: April 2021
David Trembearth, Safety Business Partner, Coles
Check out the latest presentation from our April 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

Musculoskeletal issues – what’s new in risks and prevention

There was a lot of interest in this topic and David gave attendees a lot to think about after his excellent presentation.

David was keen to point out that manual work is not a bad thing and that he is not against manual handling. In fact, current research indicates that it is not only physical factors that contribute to workplace musculoskeletal disorders, but other workplace factors as well. Therefore, one needs to look at how a task is "shaped". With appropriate design controls, manual tasks can be made much safer.

David busted a few myths about the reliance on conventional interventions. He confirmed what many of us have suspected for a long time, that training is not an effective prevention tool. There was certainly quite a bit of head-nodding at this point from attendees.

David alerted us to some useful resources, including Safe Work Australia's handbook on the principles of good work design.

Due to copyright reasons, we are not able to include the video David shared about a couple of the innovative design solutions he has implemented at Coles. You had to be there! Make sure you put the second Tuesday of the month into your diaries so that you don't miss out on our great presentations!

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Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: March 2021
Christina Rennick, General Manager Health, Safety and Wellbeing, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne
Check out the latest presentation from our March 2021 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

Hospital safety during the pandemic

This informative session provided fascinating insights into the experiences of St Vincent's Hospital during both waves of the coronavirus pandemic in Victoria. And the experiences of each wave could not have been more different.

During the first wave much of their time was spent making extensive preparations for what the pandemic may bring. While they had only one case of Covid-19, they had to deal with a degree of anticipatory anxiety among their staff as they came to grips with the quickly-developing knowledge about this novel coronavirus.

The second wave was a completely different story, where "the only constant thing was change". They developed many strategies to deal with all the new challenges, and then when staff infections increased, they needed to review their processes to keep everyone safe. Christina shared many of these strategies in detail.

Her presentation stimulated a lot of discussion and has inspired us to delve into related topics for future meetings. In particular, dealing with post trauma from these experiences.


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Friday, 12 February 2021 08:38

Celebrating Ollie Matthews

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Celebrating Ollie Matthews

At Central Safety Group's AGM on the 9th February 2021, our President Alan Matthews (universally and affectionately known as Ollie) formally resigned from the position after being at the helm for an impressive 18 years. Ollie's career in OHS and association with CSG is extensive, making him one of the group's living treasures!

He commenced with Fairfield Plumbing in 1966, which became Pratt Safety Systems in 1974, where he was their sole technical adviser. The company specialised in safety eyewash units; safety showers; safe storing and dispensing of chemicals and flammable liquids, as well as manufacture of safety signs, including working with the authorities to develop HAZCHEM signage for vehicles and buildings. It was at this time that Ollie first started attending CSG meetings.

In 1986 Ollie commenced as the first OHS Manager with the now John Fawkner Private Hospital in Coburg. By 1991 he was OHS Manager for five hospitals and eventually became National OHS Auditor for Healthscope hospitals across Australia, a position he held until March 2015. After a brief break of 6 months, he joined the Ramsay Healthcare group looking after two hospitals part-time before retiring from work in July last year.

Ollie has many memories of CSG since he first attended meetings in 1974 and he offers an insight into the evolution of the group. Originally  there were a number of safety groups that all had a connection with the Department of Labour and Industry (DLI), now Worksafe.  Meetings were in a similar format to how they were conducted prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but the venues were many and varied. He recalls that meetings in 1974 were held at the Richmond football ground; later they took place in various hotels, including the Celtic Club, and the group even experimented having breakfast meetings at the North Melbourne football ground. Other venues were the Bryant and May match factory in Richmond, the Australian Ballet in Southbank and a number of meeting rooms in offices in the CBD. He also recalls that there was a period when CSG conducted annual Apprentice Seminars with guest speakers on safety-related topics.

In 2003 Ollie was elected President of CSG and in 2013 he was awarded Life Membership. He has overseen many changes within the composition of the Committee. While welcoming and encouraging the evolution of the group through the input of new Comittee members, he provided continuity and a steady and supportive presence along with a strong commitment to our values.

In addition to his illustrious career in OHS and long involvement with CSG, Ollie has packed in many other interests. In 2020 he retired, after 20 years as board member and 16 years as President, of the Riddell District Football and Netball League. He has umpired 2,038 matches and continues to play and umpire football in the AFL Masters competition. In 2019 he was inducteOllie's ostrichesd as a Legend in the Hall of Fame.

Ollie has been a volunteer fireman with the CFA and was the initial Unit Controller with the Craigieburn SES for 10 years. In between all of that, he is a painter of wonderfully quirky emu images.

We wish Ollie all the best in his retirement alongside Jan, his wife of 50 years, their three daughters and seven grandchildren. Family, golf, painting, travelling...he continues to enjoy a rich and fulfilling life, and we look forward to seeing his smiling face at future CSG meetings. Thank you, Ollie, for all you have done for Central Safety Group!

Monday, 15 March 2021 10:37

Central Safety Group news

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Central Safety Group news

Central Safety Group's AGM on the 9th February 2021 was action-packed! (Well, as much as an AGM can be, that is.)

A motion to commence the process of becoming an Incorporated Association was passed, and a sub-committee has been formed to facilitate this. It's expected to take about 6 months to complete the process. The main advantages of this move are to establish a clear structure for the group as well as to protect individual members from legal liability.

Our long-serving President Alan Matthews formally resigned from the position (see the separate blog entry about this), and Vice-President Nan Austin was duly elected as his replacement. Congratulations Nan! 

Due to the move to becoming an Incorporated Association, it was decided not to fill the role of Vice-President at the moment, nor to alter the rest of the make-up of the committee. The review of our group and roles within it means that the scope of the Executive roles in particular could change and we want to clarify those before asking anyone to put up their hands to join the committee.

Finally, two new Life Members were appointed at the AGM. Our Secretary Jane Loudon was the first of these. In 2014 when our then secretary John Knowles left the group suddenly due to ill health, Jane became our saviour by stepping into the role immediately without a second thought. She has since established herself as an invaluable member of the committee, particularly in her work securing a high calibre of speakers for our monthly meetings.

The other new Life Member is Marina Milankovic, who has been a committee member since 2006, served as Treasurer from 2008-2015 and, since 2016, has been Membeship Secretary. During the challenges of 2020 she played an important part behind the scenes to ensure that CSG could adapt to the changing situation.

To view the full list (and smiling faces) of our committee and Life Members, go to the About Us section of the website here.

To view the AGM minutes, President's report and Treasurer's report, go here (login required).



ISO 45003:2021: Introducing the first global standard for managing psychosocial risks

CSG members may be interested in ISO 45003: Occupational health and safety management — Psychological health and safety at work — managing psychosocial risks. It was published in June 2021 and is the first globally agreed standard for psychological injury prevention. The ISO framework has been applied so this standard aligns with the structure of ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety management systems. However, the new standard offers more specific psychosocial risk guidance to address the many areas that can impact a worker’s psychological health, including ineffective communication, excessive pressure, leadership, and negative or toxic organisational culture.

The ISO resource includes a course that takes you through the standard structure to demonstrate the requirements in each section. You can read the entire standard online, but payment is required if you want a hard copy. I am currently doing the course and find it very systems-focused. I love an integrated systems approach so have found the demonstrated overlay onto ISO45001 a sensible approach.

As Worksafe Victoria is currently considering the addition of psychological hazards into the OHS Regulations 2017, this is your opportunity to address the three psychological hazards identified in the standard now. These hazards are: how work is organised, social factors at work and the work environment (equipment and tasks). The ISO resources offers a further online course offering practical guidance on how to conduct a psychosocial risk assessment.

Go to www.45003.org to access:

(1) free ISO 45003 Foundations Course that provides a comprehensive overview to get you across the standard quickly for incorporation within your occupational health and safety management system

(2) free live panel discussion on 4 August 2021 where they will discuss current psychosocial risk assessment practice, hosted by the Psych Health and Safety Podcast

(3) free course to teach you how to meet your legal obligations where they exist and how to address important requirements of ISO 45003:2021

We welcome your thoughts on this emerging workplace issue as Victorian employers will have a wide range of capacities to manage this workplace hazard.

Presentation & Full Meeting Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: December 2020
Professor David Caple, AM
Check out the latest presentation from our December 2020 meeting, along with the full meeting video, now available to members.

What Covid-19 means for workplace safety

Normally on the 2nd Tuesday of December we would be gathering together at Parliament House for our annual Christmas lunch. While it was disappointing not to be able to do that this year, we were thrilled to have Professor David Caple present to us instead. Having such an engaging and high-calibre speaker was a ray of sunshine at the end of a gloomy year.

Amongst some research results David shared with us, it was interesting to learn that in some states, which have been opened up for a while, there is still a relatively low percentage of people returning to the office. It is clear that many people have relished the opportunity to work from home; however, the presentation and subsequent discussion highlighted the physical and psychological risks associated with this. David provided a number of links to useful resources for dealing with this delicate balance between working from home and returning to the office.

Thank you, David, for ensuring we ended the year on a high!


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Video Now Available
CSG Meeting: November 2020
Michael Connory, CyberCertified
Check out the video of the zoom presentation from our November 2020 meeting, now available to members.

Web safety – are you taking risks?

Every day lately there seems to be yet another report in the news about cyber crime, so Michael Connory's presentation to us, at our inaugural zoom meeting, could not have been more timely.

It was fascinating, and somewhat disconcerting, as he showed us on-screen some of the resources to track cyber crime in real time, not to mention the numerous ways we make ourselves vulnerable to attacks. This can have devastating consequences for us personally as well as for our organisations. Michael also guided us through ways to check if our passwords have been breached and other useful tools. It was a real eye-opener!

There is a lot of talk at the moment about guarding against complacency with mask-wearing; this could just as easily be a metaphor for our web safety: don't be complacent and do place barriers against potential breaches.



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Thursday, 12 November 2020 09:56

Launching CSG zoom meetings

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Central Safety Group's inaugural zoom meeting Tuesday November 17, 2020

Yes, we have launched ourselves into the new reality and joined the world-wide trend of remote meetings. Indeed our first offering couldn't be more appropriate: Michael Connory of CyberCertified will be speaking to us about the prevalence of cyber crime that has arisen while so many people are working from home and shopping online. He will share some invaluable advice about how we can improve our web safety.

While we look forward to physical meetings again at some point next year, we're excited about trying out this new technology for delivering our presentations, especially as its convenience has the potential to add extra value to your membership.

All details of the meeting are on the website

Meeting details


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