Issue 219 - SafetyNet 219Welcome back to SafetyNet - Edition number 219 - with apologies. There was a technical issue on Friday, and as a result, the journal did not go out as expected. Prior notice: we hope that from the next edition, the journal will be broadcast every second Thursday instead of Friday.
Unfortunately Victoria has had another fatality since the last edition of the journal.
VTHC Annual Health and Safety Reps Conference
Well, it's on again…. Victoria's biggest event during WorkSafe Week: the VTHC Health and Safety Reps Conference. This year it will be held on Wednesday October 19, once again at the Melbourne Convention Centre - 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, 3006 (Crown side of the Yarra River).
This will be the last conference under Victoria's current Occupational Health and Safety Act, and for this year at least, elected health and safety reps have the right to attend the conference on paid leave as it has been granted approval by WorkSafe Victoria under S69 of the Act.Victorian fatalities
On Wednesday 17 August, a 17-year-old was been killed in an accident on a dairy farm at at Yalca, north of Shepparton. Early media reports were that the teenager was preparing to milk a cow by placing cups on its teats when he suffered "a significant head injury". It is believed he may have been kicked in the head by a cow. Paramedics say the teenager died from massive blood loss and serious head injuries.
Worksafe were at the scene and will prepare a report for the coroner.
The boy's death is the 13th traumatic work-related death in Victoria this year and the eighth in regional Victoria.
WorkSafe inspectors were also investigating a serious incident in Berringa, near Ballarat, which occurred on Tuesday August 16, in which a 65-yr old farmer was trapped for 18 hours in cold and wet conditions after the tractor he was driving rolled. WorkSafe's General Manager for Operations, Lisa Sturzenegger, said, "[both incidents] show[s] some of the serious outcomes associated with farming."
And in another potentially serious incident in Pearcedale on August 21, a farmer whose tractor ran over his head and upper body, is lucky to be alive. The tractor was moving slowly when the 49-year-old stepped off to check seed dispensers, but it appears he slipped on the step and was run over by the tractor which weighed nearly three tonnes. While the tractor's back wheel went over him, the man appears to have escaped serious injuries because the ground was relatively soft and he was pushed into it. He was able to call for help quickly because he had his phone on him.
Under the new Work Health and Safety Act, will volunteers be able to issue PINs?
Under the new Act, any elected health and safety representative who has completed the approved initial training course will be able to issue PINs. The next question is can volunteers be elected HSRs, and the answer is 'yes'.
Under the WHS Act, a worker is broadly defined to mean a person who carries out work in any capacity for a business or undertaking and includes employees, outworkers, apprentices, trainees, persons gaining work experience, volunteers, contractors or subcontractors and their employees. This means that all of these people can be members of the Work Group, and any worker who is a member of a Work Group is eligible to stand for election to be a HSR.
The point, though, is whether the Work Group would/should elect a volunteer as their HSR - and my advice would be that if there is only going to be one HSR for the Work Group, it might be best for the HSR to be a paid worker, rather than a volunteer. However, if there are going to be two or more HSRs, then a volunteer as one could be considered.
(The Model WHS Act from this Safe Work page)
Don't forget that if you have any OHS - related queries or questions, send in an email through the Ask Renata function on the website. You'll get an answer within a couple working days at the latest.
Mesothelioma rate increasing in Australia
A new Safe Work Australia report, Asbestos-related Disease Indicators [pdf] reveals that the number of new cases of mesothelioma is increasing, and that asbestos-containing products are still prevalent in many workplaces. Deaths due to mesothelioma in Australia increased from 416 in 1997 to 628 in 2008 and deaths attributed to asbestosis - which can lead to lung cancer or respiratory or cardiac failure - increased from 43 to 109 over the same period. ACTU President Ged Kearney said the latest figures have shocked Australian unions and are an unwelcome reminder that the fight to eradicate asbestos from our workplaces, homes and communities is far from over.
"As long as asbestos remains in our homes, our workplaces and in our community generally in public buildings people will be in danger of exposure," Ms Kearney said. "The Federal Government's Asbestos Management Review which is currently underway must recommend the elimination of asbestos from the built environment by 2030 and the establishment of a National Asbestos Authority to oversee prioritised asbestos removal."
ACTU Media Release
National Asbestos Management Review
As reported in previous editions of SafetyNet, the Federal government has commissioned a review into the management of asbestos in Australia, with an Issues Paper now released for public comment. VTHC is in the process of preparing a submission, and we will make this available as soon as it is completed. In the meantime, we encourage workers to put in their own submission, even if brief. In consultation with the ACTU, a list of important points has been developed to assist you in putting together a submission. Go to this page on our website.
$1m Supreme Court payout for mesothelioma victim
A Victorian Supreme Court jury this week awarded more than $1 million compensation to a man who worked at a James Hardie factory in Western Australia in 1972 and is now suffering from mesothelioma. According to Andrew Dimsey, of Maurice Blackburn lawyers, his client was awarded $1.15 million, despite attempts by James Hardie to have the jury dismissed. He said that every issue in the case was in dispute, from James Hardie's duty of care, to its breach of duty of care, to the cause of the cancer and the damages claim by his client. The man worked as a machinist and fitter and conducted maintenance on a machine in the asbestos sheeting factory, visiting the facility three times, for several hours. He was not warned about asbestos or given a mask.
In what is the first time in more than a decade that a mesothelioma case has been decided by jury verdict in Victoria, a jury found James Hardie had failed to take reasonable care to avoid Mr King's exposure to asbestos and that this caused his mesothelioma.
ABC News Online
NT WorkSafe 'pumping out' asbestos removal licences
According to industry sources, NT WorkSafe is issuing licences to removalists without requiring proof of insurance. It appears many are not taking out public liability insurance that specifically covers asbestos as it is more expensive. This can have serious consequences - if a building or home is contaminated by the licensed, uninsured remover, the owner would be left with the clean up bill.
WorkSafe confirmed it does not ask for proof of insurance that covers asbestos, with Executive Director, Laurene Hull, saying it is not their job to do so. "(The) focus of licensing asbestos removers in the Territory is competency and experience," she said. "The licence does not aim to ensure any other aspect of a business operated by a licensed removalist, including, for example, its financial or insurance arrangements, which are, rightly, the sole responsibility of the individual contractor."
NT News, several sources, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, say WorkSafe used to require proof of asbestos insurance a few years ago.
James Hardie gets tax boost
Even though, as reported in the last edition of SafetyNet James Hardie Industries has had a sharp drop in net profit in its first quarter, just last week the company won a $242 million tax battle in Australia that could lead to a boost to its contribution to the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund. The company's share price climbed 4.8 per cent to $5.46 after the full bench of the Federal Court decided that James Hardie subsidiary JCI should not have had to pay extra tax over an amended tax assessment for 2006. The Australian Taxation Office had given JCI a $368 million amended tax bill, which was paid in the fiscal year to March 2009. Its parent company disputed the payment, but was twice rebuffed.
But on August 22, the appeal court overturned the previous decisions, ordering that the ATO repay Hardie half that original bill - $184.3 million - plus interest on the unpaid portion of the assessment. The ATO had 28 days to appeal the decision. If the ATO accepts the decision, and the $242 million refund is paid to Hardie before March 31 next year, 35 per cent of the sum (approx $80 million) will be contributed to the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund before next July.
Source: The HeraldSun
ACT asbestos finds spark plan for risk training
The Canberra Times this week reported that more than 10,000 ACT building workers may have to undergo mandatory training in asbestos safety as the territory Government reacts to a crisis sparked by big finds of asbestos in the capital. The territory's plan also includes an education campaign for the general public due to as more asbestos-contaminated soil is found. Big building projects around the capital have been plagued by huge finds of soil contaminated by asbestos in recent years, often adding millions of dollars to their costs.
Responding to the recommendations of an Asbestos Management Review Report, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says that action is needed to tackle the quantities of the substance remaining in the community. Ms Gallagher said she intends to form a multi-agency taskforce, chaired by the Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe which would have authority to instruct government agencies and departments to move quickly when asbestos-related incidents and situations emerge.
Source: Canberra Times
Bullying at the NGV
The Age last week reported that claims of bullying at the National Gallery of Victoria were 'rife', with at least two complaints against the gallery's commercial operations manager, who resigned abruptly prompting scrutiny of its 'internal culture'.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) said that according to a State Services Authority survey, employees who work for our State are 30 per cent more likely to experience bullying in their Government workplace than with any other employer in Victoria. One in five public sector employees have experienced bullying and more alarmingly one in three witness bullying.
The union says the NGV's culture displays a consistency with these outcomes and is one employer amongst many where bullying is not being dealt with appropriately by senior managers. "Work intensification, a lack of adequate resources, the failure of the regulator to treat psychological injury (stress) seriously, and the immediate pressures of responding to the politicised agenda of an elected government are all contributing factors to this culture," said Julian Kennelly, the union's Communication Manager. "The seriousness of the NGV incidents has prompted a closer investigation by CPSU of all major public arts institutions," he added.
Sources: The Age – Claims bullying rife at NGV
And according to a recent CareerOne survey of over 2000 people reported in the Herald Sun, over half of Australian workers understand about bullying. In responding to the survey, 61 per cent of employees claim they have been bullied by a manager, more than 37 per cent claim their boss has asked them to do something unethical, while 12 per cent say they have experienced sexual harassment. Source: The Herald Sun
This week, Josh Bornstein, a principal with one of Victoria's major labour law firms Maurice Blackburn, said the Federal Government should introduce new laws to enable victims of workplace bullying to seek court orders or injunctions before they sustain a permanent psychological injury. He said that currently victims of workplace bullying have to rely on ohs or personal law, but "Invariably these cases proceed well after employees suffer irreparable harm to their health and career."
Principals under stress – Union concern
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has reported that in recent months the number of principals of small to medium-sized primary schools voicing concerns about workload and, in some cases, high levels of stress, has increased significantly. It says a number of critical issues compound the problem. These include how the school is funded; the overly complex compliance and accountability process schools must comply with; and, though a minority, vexatious, complaining, threatening and litigious parents. The union notes that, ironically, one issue that is causing workload problems is the requirement to complete a Risk Register that forms part of the DEECD's Occupational Health and Safety System (OHSMS). The AEU says that after neglecting OHS for many years, in 2009 the department developed the OHSMS to meet its statutory responsibilities under the OH&S Act 2004. The union supports the system but is disappointed that it is being implemented with limited support to schools.
Source: AEU Principals Bulletin, August 2011[pdf]
Nurses say more staff needed, not security guards
The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) wants the state government should hire more staff to deal with the increasing problem of violence in emergency departments, rather than install armed guards. A third of 1500 Victorian nurses and midwives surveyed last year reported experiencing occupational violence. It is estimated that only half of such incidents are formally reported. The ANF says the main cause of this violence is frustration over long waiting times. ANF Victorian branch assistant secretary Paul Gilbert told a parliamentary inquiry that nurses opposed the government's election promise for armed guards because firearms would increase risk to staff and patients. The union says the $21 million allocated for the guards, would be best put to funding 235 full-time nurses for emergency departments.
In its submission, the union said the government needed to fully implement recommendations from a 2006 ministerial taskforce, including improved surveillance of waiting areas, personal duress alarms and sufficient staffing to ensure safe care. The enquiry also heard that as well as suffering verbal aggression, and incidents such as getting bitten, punched and slapped and having objects thrown at them, nurses reported being gagged from speaking out against because they fear management.
The inquiry, which is being held by the Victorian state parliament's drugs and crime prevention committee, was ordered by Police Minister Peter Ryan after criticism of the coalition's pre-election promise to station armed guards at emergency wards, and is continuing.
The ANF's Victorian OHS Coordinator, Kathy Chrisfield said violence was not an issue solely in Emergency Departments - nurses in maternity wards and aged-care units had experienced violent episodes with patients and their family members. Improved surveillance of waiting areas, personal duress alarms and sufficient staffing to ensure safe care were among the 29 recommendations the Victorian Violence in nursing taskforce made in 2005. The union wants these implemented, addressing the causes of violence.
Posties ask for customer support
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) which represents Australia's posties, is asking customers to write to Australia Post's CEO Ahmed Fahour to not proceed with a planned new postal delivery service known as Separate Bundle Delivery (SBC). The system will require posties to sort separate bundles of mail while they are out on the street on their round, instead of at the Mail Delivery Centre. The posties oppose the SBD on health and safety grounds, as an expert report commissioned by the union found nine major risks associated with SBD. These include:
- Having to spend even longer on their rounds than they do currently
- Increased exposure to UV radiation posing an increased risk of skin cancer (already an occupational hazard)
- Increased problems due to increased neck movements, upper limb actions and lack of back support
- Increased risk of traffic and other accidents
Read more: CWU Website
OHS Harmonisation forum
Have you joined the OHS Harmonisation forum yet? If you're interested in the current OHS harmonisation process in Australia, and would like to have a say, then join up. Members can post questions or comment on issues raised by others. It has close to 900 members, including HSRs, OHS professionals, managers, lawyers, and business owners as well as representatives from Safe Work Australia and number of the State and Territory regulators. Membership of Linked In and the Harmonisation Group are both free. Simply click here to join Linked In and follow the prompts to join and set up a brief profile (you can add to it later if you wish). Once you are on Linked In you can apply to join the Group by going to the Group Homepage. There are also a wide range of other OHS groups on Linked In including a number which are Australian based.
International Union News
UK: Hope for swifter justice after work deaths
Moves in the UK to speed up the justice system following the death of a worker have been welcomed by construction union UCATT. Under the current process it often takes between four and five years following a worker's death for the company responsible to be convicted. But the union says changes to the Work Related Deaths Protocol (WRDP) to take effect in October 2011 may significantly reduce this time lag. The key change will mean that in some cases - where there is an extremely low probability of a coroner's inquest returning an unlawful killing verdict - charges relating to health and safety offences can proceed before the inquest has taken place. This means only those more likely to result in manslaughter or corporate manslaughter charges will have to wait on the outcome of an inquest. UCATT says under the current protocol, no charges can be made until a coroner's inquest has concluded. The union says it hopes the reforms will increase the conviction rate of employers - at the moment only approximately 30 per cent of companies are prosecuted and convicted following the death of a construction worker.
UCATT news release . HSE guidance on the Work Related Deaths Protocol Source: Risks 519
New Hazards, the workers' health and safety magazine, out now
The new issue of the UK's Hazards magazine is out now, and is packed with workplace health and safety news and campaign resources. Want to know about the perils of behavioural safety? It's in there. Need hard facts to challenge the government's assault on workplace safety protections? There too. As well as news and features, there's a photofile on the persistent and deadly menace of child labour, and a stunning pin-up-at-work poster encouraging more women to become union safety reps.
Support Hazards by subscribing. See the latest issue online. See the updated behavioural safety, women reps' and organising webpages.
USA: New York restaurant workers abused and sacked for joining union
The IUF is asking workers around the world to send messages urging New York's Central Park Commissioner to terminate the contract of a company which continuously abuses the rights of its workers at the Boathouse Restaurant. 60 of them have walked off their jobs and were joined on the picket line by 37 of their co-workers who were illegally terminated in retaliation for organizing a union. The workers began organizing in 2009 because of very low wages, stolen overtime pay, long hours, no benefits, unsafe conditions, rampant favouritism, sexual harassment, ethnic discrimination, and extremely abusive managers.
Read more of their story and send a message to Parks Commissioner Benepe.
Global Labour Movement Charter
The AAWL says workers are not responsible for the crisis that many capitalist-based countries are going through. In all countries the rights and living standards of workers are under attack by capitalists and their governments desperate to increase profits. All workers are now facing some common problems and need to fight back together for their common demands. The Global Labour Movement Charter is our set of global demands.
Read the Global Labour Movement Charter document. It is now published in ten languages Download the Global Charter leaflet [pdf]
More Australians support of nanotechnology – but how informed are they?
The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr, last week released the results of the fifth survey commissioned by his department on public attitudes to nanotechnology, saying the Gillard Labor Government was working with researchers and industry to ensure the benefits of nanotechnology were realised, while ensuring any risks were identified and managed. The survey shows an apparent increase in understanding of the technology, with an incredible level of support. The Minister said: "After considering specific benefits and risks, such as those relating to human health and safety or the environment, respondents actually became more excited or hopeful about the technology, increasing their level of support from 84 per cent to 93 per cent." Improved medical treatments and preventions attracted the highest levels of support (90 per cent) followed by improved technologies for the environment (87 per cent).
Of concern to unions is the low level of information available in workplaces not only with regard to the long-term safety of nano-forms of existing chemicals, but also with regard to whether workers may be exposed to them.
Health and Safety Harmonised Legislation – Transitional Principles
Safe Work Australia has developed transitional principles setting out how arrangements under existing work health and safety (WHS) legislation, some of which will directly affect health and safety representatives (HSRs). These are listed below, with some brief information.
Elected positions – including HSRs, deputies and health & safety committee (HSC) members. Workers elected into these positions pre-harmonisation will continue in those roles under the new Act. The three-year term of an HSR/deputy (as provided under the model WHS Act) will be held to have started when the HSR was elected under the pre-harmonisation laws.
Training requirements – where the HSR under the pre-harmonisation laws could not issue PINs or direct that unsafe work cease, they will not be able to exercise these powers until they have completed additional training. Where the HSR had these powers under the pre-harmonisation laws, they will continue to be able to exercise these powers for twelve months after the commencement of the WHS Act. However, they must complete a refresher training course before the end of the twelve months in order to continue to be able to exercise these powers. The second scenario is likely to be the situation for Victorian HSRs.
Continuation of HSCs – a HSC established under pre-harmonisation laws will be taken to be a HSC established under the model WHS Act upon commencement, as long as the constitution of the HSC is consistent with the principles in the new Act. HSCs established under and consistent with the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act will be deemed to be compliant.
Work Groups – ('Designated Work Groups' in Vic Act) will be recognised under the new model WHS Act unless they do not comply with the WHS Act requirements.
Agreed policies and procedures – as a general principle, policies and procedures that were agreed under the pre-harmonisation laws will be taken to have been agreed also for comparable provisions of the model WHS Act (eg procedures for consultation; procedures for election of HSRs determined by workers in a work group) unless they fail to meet minimum requirements prescribed under the model Act or Regulations.
Authorisations (eg licences, registrations) – issued under pre-harmonisation laws will continue to operate until the term of authorisation expires.
Australia to establish three national transport regulators
At its meeting in Canberra on August 19, COAG (the Council of Australian Governments) announced the signing of three new Intergovernmental Agreements on heavy vehicles, rail and maritime safety which will lead to the establishment of three national transport regulators by January 2013. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will be established to oversee the heavy-vehicle sector, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to regulate the rail industry and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to regulate commercial vessels. In the Communiqué COAG states: "The signing of Intergovernmental Agreements to this end represents a landmark microeconomic reform through establishment of national standards, which when complete will significantly reduce the number of regulators. There will also be benefits to safety, for example, an interstate train will operate on one signalling regime, no matter what jurisdiction it is in."
COAG Communiqué [pdf ]
Tasmanian Coroner recommends enforcing seat belt use in cranes
Following an inquiry into the death of a worker who died of head injuries after being thrown from the window of an overturing crane, Tasmanian Coroner Christopher Webster has called for employers to enforce seatbelt use in vehicles. As the integrity of the crane's reinforced cabin was not compromised in the accident (aside from a crack in the windscreen), the HighRig Crane Hire employee "was unlikely to have died in the manner he did" had he been wearing his lap belt.
In November 2008 the worker was driving the 20 tonne Crane along the East Derwent Highway on the way to a depot when he lost control while descending a hill, causing the vehicle to swerve and then roll over at least three times. The worker was thrown from the cab through the partially open driver's window, and was crushed when the crane has come to rest on him, causing immediate fatal injuries.
Read more: Magistrates Court of Tasmania Record of Investigation Into Death
Federal Govt enquiry on 'Fly-in, Fly-out'
On 23 August 2011 the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, The Hon Simon Crean MP, asked the House Standing Committee on Regional Australia to inquire into and report on the use 'fly-in, fly-out' (FIFO) and 'drive-in, drive-out' (DIDO) workforce practices in Regional Australia.
The Committee, chaired by Independent MP Tony Windsor, will examine the extent and projected growth of the trend and its impact on individuals, communities and companies, among other issues. Mr Windsor said the benefits of fly-in, fly-out workers would also be considered as part of a wide-ranging investigation. Submissions to the inquiry close on October 7.
Read more including Terms of Reference, brochure on preparing a submission and more
From WorkCover NSW a safety alert: Preventing electric shocks when using chafing dishes [pdf] – this follows an incident at a hotel involving a worker who received an electric shock from a chafing dish.
Worker's fall leads to fines of $110k
Two companies were convicted and fined this week over an incident in Melbourne's north that left a worker with serious injuries after falling nearly four metres from an unguarded conveyor belt. The man suffered a broken leg, wrist and thumb, sustained back injuries and was hospitalised for 13 weeks after the fall on 13 September, 2005.
The man was an employee of Roan Services Pty Ltd and a deemed employee of Future Universal Waste Services Pty Ltd (formerly SKM Recycling Pty Ltd), as he was working on a conveyor belt that sorted materials for recycling at a site operated by the latter company at the time of the incident. When the machine became blocked, he was instructed by his manager to fix it. He was standing on the edge of the conveyor which gave way, causing him to fall on to the concrete floor nearly four metres below.
The investigation revealed the conveyor had no handrails, and no means of fall protection for workers engaged in the task of clearing the conveyor. Both companies pleaded guilty of failing to provide a safe working environment in the Melbourne County Court.
In sentencing, Judge Smallwood referred to a previous case where SKM Recycling Pty Ltd (now Future Universal Waste Services Pty Ltd) was fined $50,000 after a worker's hand was caught in a baling machine, but noted the company had endeavoured to improve their health and safety record. Future Universal Waste Services was convicted and fined $75,000 and Roan Services was convicted and fined $35,000.
WorkSafe Media Release
Unsafe workplace costs Tullamarine company $50k
A Tullamarine company was this week fined $50,000 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court over an incident where two men suffered serious hand injuries in February 2009. Willow Ware Australia Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 21 of the OHS Act.
The men were installing a switch on a machine which started up crushing the men's hands. While hydraulic air hoses had been removed from the area being worked on, this was did not sufficiently isolate the machine and prevent it from causing injury.
WorkSafe's General Manager (Operations) for Health and Safety, Lisa Sturzenegger, said not ensuring machinery was made safe before it was worked on was a frequent cause of serious injury. "As this case shows, injuries often happen during installation and maintenance. These are some of the most dangerous times as normal precautions may be set aside for the work to be done. In those situations, alternate procedures must be in place and the machine made safe. In the case of hydraulic plant pressure must be released or vented so that operation or movement of parts is not possible."
Source: WorkSafe Media Release
Resources giant Santos fined under $90k
Resources giant Santos Ltd was last week been fined a low $84,000 for safety failings that led to an explosion at a South Australian gas processing facility - nearly six years after it was first charged. The fine is, in the words of OHS Blogger Kevin Jones, akin to being 'slapped with stale celery' for the 2004 incident which was a near miss but a near miss that was just a second away from a catastrophe, especially given the company's half-year profit of $504 million (up 155%). Industrial Magistrate Michael Ardlie found that at the time of the explosion - which placed 13 employees of the Moomba facility at risk - Santos had an inadequate hazard identification and risk assessment process and an inadequate system of inspecting plant. Magistrate Ardlie made comment that Santos was later than usual in making a guilty plea – SafetyAtWork points out that this is partly because the company unsuccessfully pursued legal action in relation to this Moomba incident through to the High Court of Australia.
Source: OHNews SafetyAtWorkBlog
NZ: High Hazards unit to be formed following Pike River mine tragedy
"Damning" evidence presented to the Royal Commission on the Pike River Mine disaster, which killed 29 workers, has led the New Zealand Government to establish a "high hazards unit" to improve health and safety in the mining industry and petroleum industries. The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) welcomed Minister for Labour Kate Wilkinson announcement of the establishment of the new unit, saying a beefed up inspectorate is absolutely necessary as has been evident from the first phase of the inquiry into the explosion at Pike River. "However, people will be concerned that while this issue is being addressed promptly, the Minister is insisting on waiting for the full inquiry before the other obvious area of risk – regulation – is addressed," CTU President Helen Kelly said.
She added, "in the first phase of the inquiry it was plain to all except perhaps the Minister that the regulation of mining is inadequate and the removal of standard practices such as check inspectors had been a major error. Having a site inspector for the purpose of enabling inspections to be carried out at a coal operation on behalf of the people at work at the coal operation is a core part of good mining regulations and these inspectors will always be more available, more alert and are completely complementary to Labour Department inspectors."
CTU news release
Canada: Stop Sticks to Stop Sharps Injuries
Needlestick injuries are a major injury and health hazard for health care workers with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimating that there are about 385,000 sharps-related injuries every year in the United States among health care workers in hospitals (mainly nurses, but also laboratory staff, housekeepers, physicians and others). Accidental punctures by contaminated needles can inject hazardous fluids and transmit infectious diseases, especially blood-borne viruses such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed an awareness-raising "STOP STICKS" campaign to help prepare and motivate health care workers to protect themselves from sharps injuries and to provide organizations with tools and strategies for establishing safety culture in a sharps injury prevention program. The STOP STICKS campaign's website provides guidance and resources such as posters, videos, and newsletter articles. According to NIOSH the campaign has had a positive impact on the knowledge, behaviours, and attitudes of health care workers.