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Physical Capacity Testing for Emergency Workers
CSG November 2015 Presenter: Professor David Caple

Physical Capacity Testing for Emergency Workers

Presentation by: Professor David Caple, OHS Consultant and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University, David Caple & Associates

Presentation package now available (members only)

Physical capacity testing of workers in emergency services can be controversial. Our guest speaker Professor David Caple talked about some of the key issues surrounding this at Central Safety Group's meeting on November 2015. Risk factors associated with this type of work have given rise for the need to do physical capacity testing, which is now a feature of the EBA for emergency workers. One factor is that emergency workers have high cognitive and physical demands and these result in a higher probability of a risk of injury.
A range of controls has been introduced to address the risk factors and the findings from physical capacity testing. These include design controls; training (both physical and skills) as well as peer support programs and controls specific to particular divisions.

The presenter:

David Caple, whose background is in ergonomics, has been a leading figure in occupational health and safety in Australia for many years. He has advised a wide range of businesses, industry groups and public sector organisations, and worked with Australian and overseas governments on work health and safety issues. He is an OHS consultant and Adjunct Professor, Centre for Ergonomics & Human Factors, La Trobe University.

 
OHS Today:
What's Wrong,
What's Right?
CSG October 2015 Presenter: Kevin Jones, SafetyAtWorkBlog.com

What’s wrong with OHS today (and what’s right)

Presentation by: Kevin Jones, Freelance journalist, SafetyAtWorkBlog

Presentation package now available (members only)

Kevin Jones, well known for his award-winning SafetyAtWorkBlog (www.safetyatworkblog.com) led a discussion at Central Safety Group's meeting on October 13, 2015, about some of the positives and negatives of OHS today. He began by stating that one of the major problems is the excessive documentation required and this may be due to WorkSafe conditions.
Kevin believes that there is also an excess of consultation; management need to be more decisive and focus on the short term – attack the easy problems first to achieve some progress. Recurring problems are either not addressed or the controls implemented are inadequate.  Businesses need to look at the source of the problem and eliminate the hazards.
Kevin stated that there was no face associated with safety, that no-one was seen as a safety champion. There is no engagement of the media by safety groups.
He raised the issue of there being no safety economics in Australia, even though it is possible to determine the costs of safety and relate it to the benefits. Safety managers are expected to know all and be all.  However, funding is tied to the risk profile of a business and is therefore not successful.  Implementation of OHS is seen as reactive with little or no progress.
Kevin also noted that there was little talk about the ethics of safety.
He followed up the session with a blog entry (attached).

The presenter:

Kevin Jones is well known for his award-winning Safety At Work blog (http://safetyatworkblog.com) which keeps readers up-to-date with the Australian and international OHS scene. It’s a beautifully written blog, serving up a tasty mix of news, insights and fresh perspectives on a sector he knows very well.

 
Prolonged
Sitting
CSG September 2015 Presenter: Nyssa Hadgraft, Epidemiologist, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Monash University

Is prolonged sitting at work an OHS issue?

Presentation by: Nyssa Hadgraft, Epidemiologist, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Monash University

Presentation package now available (members only)

There is now evidence to suggest that long hours in a sedentary position increases the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular and other health problems. Our speaker at Central Safety Group's meeting on September 8,2015, Nyssa Hadgraft, is a member of a team called The Stand Up Australia Program of Research that is doing internationally-recognised research on the health impacts of too much sitting and interventions to reduce sitting time.
Nyssa spoke about the group’s findings and discussed recent workplace studies they have done. Findings include that office workers spend most of their day sitting (6+ hours per day) and lot of this sitting time is unbroken (30mins+).  While excessive sitting is detrimental even for those who exercise, prolonged standing is also an issue.
Nyssa outlined a number of strategies to reduce workplace sitting, including the provision of height-adjustable desks, but they have cost implications. Helpfully, all the other measures she suggested have no cost attached. The key take-home message is Stand Up – Sit Less –Move More.

The presenter:

Epidemiologist Nyssa Hadgraft is a postdoctoral research fellow in public health at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of the team at Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute led by Dr David Dunstan doing world-recognised research on the health impacts of too much sitting.

 
Safety on a
Mass Scale
CSG August 2015 Presentation: Steve Goss, Sentry Business Resilience Solutions

Safety on a mass scale – managing risk and safety at epic events

Presentation by: Steve Goss, Sentry Business Resilience Solutions

Presentation package now available (members only)

How do you manage safety for a crowd of 500,000 out for a good night? Members heard how it is done from Steve Goss, the man behind safety, risk and emergency planning for the 2015 White Night festival in Melbourne’s CBD with his lunchtime presentation on August 11, 2015.
Following significant challenges experienced at the first White Night in 2013, where debrief comments included “from a crowd safety and risk management perspective, it is the worst event witnessed”, Steve was brought in to make radical improvements to the safety approach.
Steve explained that many of the 2103 problems were foreseeable and, when he joined the organisation, he tackled the main issues of communication and crowd control. He outlined crowd dynamics as well as how safety was improved through design. An installation risk assessment includes specifics for every item of plant, and he also developed a decision matrix for adverse weather conditions to use when considering cancelling events or specific activities.
Importantly, his system involves briefing and liaising with all relevant stakeholders such as security agencies, emergency services and transport and traffic management bodies.
The extensive planning and constant vigilance led to a very successful event in 2015 with the number of incidents significantly reduced in number and severity.

The presenter:

Originally a Senior Sergeant in the Victoria Police, Steve Goss then worked as a safety regulator in the upstream oil, gas and mining and quarrying industries, followed by senior executive roles in safety & risk management at both the Melbourne Racing Club and the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. Steve set up his company Sentry Business Resilience Solutions (Sentry) in 2009, and his clients include businesses, not-for-profit organisations, sporting bodies and local and State government agencies.

 
Manual
Handling
Challenges
CSG July 2015 Presenter: Daniel Venditti, State HSE Advisor, Bunnings

Manual handling challenges in Bunnings retail operations

Presentation by: Daniel Venditti, State HSE Advisor, Bunnings

Presentation package now available (members only)

Daniel Venditti, State HSE Advisor with hardware giant Bunnings outlined the company’s approach to manual handling challenges and risks in a presentation to Central Safety Group on July 14, 2015. These included a wide and complex range of manual handling tasks, concrete flooring, racking up to 3 metres and big and bulky packages. Bunnings employees include many part-time and casual workers and a workforce with 25% aged over 50.
A large number of injuries centering on known hot spots led to the development of the BSafe (Bunnings Safe) program in 2004. The methodology involved a move away from the compliance approach to incorporating safety into the business.  Safety leadership training was provided, LTIFR was abolished and replaced by IFR, and staff were encouraged to report all injuries.  This resulted in a 30% increase in incident reporting and was followed by an increase in resources for safety as compared to injury management.
Daniel explained how further strategies evolved over the next 8 years as a result of workplace incidents and the current strategy aims to reduce complexity.  Ownership of the safety system has been assigned to the stores, which have monthly activities that must be completed and reported to Head Office.
Daniel also outlined their range of controls to address the fact that 50% of reported injuries were found to be related to manual handling activities.

The presenter:

Before joining the safety team at Bunnings, Daniel Venditti (who is also a VFL player with the Coburg Lions) worked in injury management and vocational rehabilitation. His background includes a degree in health and exercise science and postgraduate qualifications in OHS management.

 
WorkSafe
Victoria
Priorities
CSG June 2015 Presentation: Worksafe Priorities, WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: health & safety priorities for 2015-16

Presentation by: Tim McLean, Director Improvement Programs, WorkSafe Victoria

Presentation package now available (members only)

WorkSafe Victoria’s current priority hazards, industries and emerging issues were discussed by Tim McLean, Director Improvement Programs at WorkSafe in a lunchtime presentation on June 16, 2015. The priority hazards range from mandatory work, such as construction and dangerous goods to strategic work with both physical and psychosocial risks as well as occupational violence and worker health.The strategic approach includes addressing supply chains and networks; elimination of risk at source; improved compliance and risk control; increase in awareness and capability; working with and through others; and a whole of organisation approach at WorkSafe itself.Industries in focus are wide-ranging: health; construction; agriculture; manufacturing; warehousing and transport.
He also outlined progress in meeting targets and action plans set by the five-year Worksafe 2017 strategy in the areas of Safety, Return-to-Work, Service and Sustainability. The strategy underpins WorkSafe’s two approaches to workplaces: Encouragement for effective workplace safety through campaigns and financial incentives, and Deterrence for poor performance through inspections and prosecutions.

The presenter:

Tim McLean leads the design and delivery of strategic prevention programs to improve health, safety and wellbeing in Victorian workplaces. He has been with WorkSafe Victoria for the past 8 years, and has a background in public relations and strategic communications with a focus on influencing behaviour change.

 
Incident
Investigation
CSG April 2015 Presenter: Graham Dent, Dent Consulting & Legal

Incident investigation: implications of the model work health safety legislation for Victorian businesses

Presentation by: Graham Dent, Principal, Dent Consulting & Legal

How can businesses be proactive in managing an incident investigation under both Victorian and national safety legislation? Leading OHS lawyer Graham Dent spoke to Central Safety Group on April 14, 2015, about what happens with incidents when businesses consider themselves to be “Victorian” (with their facilities and personnel based in Victoria), but operate interstate. They could have employees who travel as sales representatives or transport workers or install and maintain plant and equipment interstate.
Graham discussed how he has worked on recent cases involving interstate aspects, where the approach of the interstate authorities has induced “cold sweats” for some clients.
Graham also talked about how WorkSafe Victoria deals with (or tries to avoid) the Codes of Practice and guidance under the national Model Work Health Safety laws that now govern all states except Victoria and WA.

The presenter:

Graham Dent has over 30 years’ experience in the regulatory field including time as a government prosecutor in OHS, industrial and consumer law matters. He is now in private legal practice representing clients in major regulatory actions for OHS, environmental and other areas. Graham is also the founder of Australia’s largest online OHS forum with 13,500 members, the Work Health Safety Leadership Group.

 
Key OHS
Issues
2015
CSG March 2015 Presenters: Carolyn Davis, ACCI and Phil Lovelock, VECCI-organisation logos

Key OHS issues for employers in 2015

Presenters:

    Carolyn Davis, Manager, Work Health and Safety and Worker’s Compensation Policy, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
    Phil Lovelock, Senior OHS Consultant and Specialist Policy Advisor, Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI)

Presentation package now available (members only)

What are some of the most pressing OHS issues facing employers in 2015?
Both national and Victorian perspectives were presented at Central Safety Group's lunchtime talk on March 17, 2015. The national scene was discussed by Carolyn Davis, Manager Work Health and Safety and Worker’s Compensation Policy with the ACCI.
This was followed by Phil Lovelock presenting a more detailed look at what’s currently happening in Victoria. Issues for VECCI include the state of flux within WorkSafe Victoria itself and the alignment of regulations with the Model WHS legislation.
Both Carolyn and Phil are responsible for informing and representing businesses of all sizes and sectors of the economy. ACCI is a peak organisation which represents at national level VECCI and other state chambers of commerce and industry associations. VECCI is Victoria's most influential employer group, directly representing 15,000 members.

The presenter:

Carolyn Davis has a background in industrial chemistry and occupational hygiene, and has been involved in WHS management, policy and advocacy for more than 20 years. She currently represents industry on a range of issues with Safework Australia and other agencies.

The presenter:

Phil Lovelock is a qualified Occupational Health and Safety specialist who provides occupational health and safety assistance to a wide range of industries. He also conducts a number of OHS courses for VECCI and provides input to WorkSafe Victoria.

 
How Would
We Manage
Ebola?
CSG February 2015 Presentation: Dr Jane Canestra, Program Manager Health Emergency Management, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

How would we manage Ebola – and other public health emergencies?

Presentation by: Dr Jane Canestra, Program Manager Health Emergency Management, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services

Victoria’s emergency management arrangements for health emergencies, such as Ebola, were outlined by Dr Jane Canestra at Central Safety Group's meeting on February 10, 2015. She discussed the emergency management responsibilities of the Department of Health and Human Services and how the State Health Emergency Response Plan is used to coordinate the Victorian health response to significant emergency incidents, giving the arrangements for Ebola as an example.
While the risk of importation of Ebola into Victoria is low, Victoria may eventually need to manage a confirmed case of Ebola. The Department of Health & Human Services has developed the Victorian Ebola Virus Disease Plan which has been issued to metropolitan, regional and other health services and stakeholders including general practitioners.
Victorian health services have responsibility for ensuring all potentially involved staff are appropriately trained, informed and clear about each individual’s role in the event of a suspected Ebola case presenting at any hospital or health care service.
Jane spoke about coordination at departmental, health sector, Victorian and national level as well as about health services training in specialist preparedness.

The presenter:

A medical practitioner and specialist emergency physician, Dr Jane Canestra was involved in disaster medicine for many years before her appointment to her current role. She has also provided medical expertise to numerous State and National Working Groups, including the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

 
 

Next Meeting

 

OHS Job Scene–What’s
Different
Now

CSG October 2021 Zoom meeting - Speaker: Helen O'Keefe, Founder & Principal Consultant, HOK Talent Solutions



The current job scene for OHS – what’s different now

Presented by Helen O'Keefe, Founder & Principal Consultant, HOK Talent Solutions

Tuesday 12 October 2021, noon

The current job scene for OHS – what’s different now
What’s the current job scene for OHS? The news is that at the moment there are more roles on offer than candidates, according to Helen O’Keefe, who runs a leading national health & safety executive search agency. This will be the subject of her zoom presentation for CSG at midday on Tuesday 12 October.
Helen will discuss the reasons for the current shortage of applicants happening across the board in a range of industries, as well as in different levels and roles in the OHS field.
She will be offering advice to recruiters, current job seekers and people trying to decide whether to move in the current job climate. “When you have a candidate-led market, the traditional recruitment methods may not work,” says Helen. “Candidates also need to consider certain things carefully before accepting a new role.”
Helen will talk about how workplace changes during the pandemic have led to some organisations creating different OHS roles or adding new requirements.
The session will conclude with discussion and questions from the audience.

About the Speaker:

Helen O’Keefe is the founder of HOK Talent Solutions, which specialises in national HSE recruitment. Helen has a passion for the health and safety industry, and had been working in recruitment for this sector before founding her own agency in 2015. Prior to this, her background includes working as National Recruitment Manager for the Australian Red Cross, and as an HR consultant with pharmaceutical company GSK.

Date: Tuesday 12 October 2021
Time: 12:00pm to 1:00pm
How: Online via Zoom.
N.B. A video recording of the session will be available on the website exclusively for financial members.
Cost: Financial members* free. Others $10
[Individual membership fee for 2021: $75]
*If unsure of your membership status, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
RSVP: COB Monday 11 October 2021.
The Zoom meeting link will be emailed upon confirmation of payment.
Online using our RSVP form
or phone the secretary T: (03) 9387 9768 Mobile 0417 040 252
or Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Don’t forget to put every second Tuesday from February to December in your Calendar!

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