SafetyNet 465, November 14
Welcome to the latest edition of SafetyNet.
It is with great sadness that we report that as a result of an explosion and fire at the Yallourn power station on Monday a worker has been killed - he died in hospital yesterday.
If you would like to comment on any issue at all, or tell us about something in your workplace, do so by sending an email here. (Please don't 'reply' to your email).
To keep up to date and informed between editions of SafetyNet, go to our We Are Union: OHS Reps Facebook page, and for those who are HSRs and/or passionate about health and safety, join the OHS Network page, a safe place to raise and discuss issues: check it out and ask to join.
Fatality at Yallourn Power Station
A man in his 50's died in hospital yesterday after an explosion at the Yallourn Power Station, in Victoria's east. The worker, a member of the CFMMEU Mining and Energy Division, was flown to Melbourne's Alfred Hospital with severe burns to his upper and lower body after a high voltage circuit breaker exploded. The union released a statement saying Mr Edwards was a long-term member. The union said they are devastated at his death in what they describe as a catastrophic incident. "His family and co-workers have our condolences and support," the statement said. "We urge authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this horrific event so we can prevent anything like it from happening again."
Worksafe and Energy Safe Victoria are investigating. Energy Australia yesterday issued a statement.
This latest death takes Victoria's 'official' workplace fatalities for 2018 to 22. The VTHC sends it sincerest condolences to the worker's family, friends and work colleagues. Read more: ABC news
Family distraught son killed in workplace known to be unsafe
In a very disturbing report by the ABC, the family of a young apprentice who was killed at work just weeks ago speak about how he should never have been working at that factory. Their 20-year-old son, Dillon Wu, died while working at a Melbourne factory: he was found unconscious and alone at the bottom of a large metal tanker, overcome by fumes. Dillon had just begun his 'dream job' - a prestigious metal engineering apprenticeship with the training arm of The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group), one of the country's most powerful business groups.
Ai Group has now been accused of sending him to work in a factory it knew was extremely hazardous. Ai Group was Dillon's direct employer, but his practical training began at Marshall Lethlean - a company in Melbourne's outer east that builds tanker trailers for transporting petrol, milk, chemicals and gas.
The ABC says it has a copy of a safety audit Ai Group carried out at the factory as part of a WorkSafe Victoria initiative in August, a month before Dillon was placed there. The report catalogued serious hazards, including the factory's lack of procedures for staff working in confined spaces, which it categorised under "High/Significant Risk, Almost Certain likelihood, Serious consequence". Despite the identification of eleven high-priority safety hazards in the report delivered to Marshall Lethlean on August 24, its training arm sent Dillon Wu to begin his apprenticeship at the factory a month later.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, which represents workers at the factory, said Marshall Lethlean made no changes to its safety procedures after the Ai Group audit. "It's quite disturbing to know that not only the host employer knew about it, but that the direct employer knew about it," said Tony Mavromatis, the Victorian secretary of AMWU. "We have these rules and regulations for a reason and it's just shameful what has happened here."
Read more: Family distraught after apprentice dies in worksite employer Ai Group knew was unsafe. ABC News. More on Confined Spaces
VTHC Young Workers Centre research on franchise workers
The VTHC's Young Workers Centre has released the Health & Safety Snapshot: Young Workers in Franchises. This is the team's second snapshot to document health and safety issues young workers experience on the ground, and its first to focus specifically on young workers in franchises.
The findings, based on the YWC survey of 373 young franchise workers, show that a staggering two-thirds of young franchise workers felt unsafe, bullied or uncomfortable at work, particularly when working alone at night without protections in place to keep them safe.
A 16 year old former Subway worker shared the following:
"[I felt uncomfortable] working late hours with another 15 year old. [I was] 15 at the time working with another 15 year old until 10pm. We would have to walk down the road to a pub to go to the bathroom, sometimes late at night… No emergency buttons worked in either stores and managers would sometimes not answer their phones… [When I raised these issues there was] No response from head office."
The overlapping health and safety duties between franchisors and franchisees and the high numbers of young people and teenagers working in franchises have created the perfect storm: health and safety knowledge is low and the chains of responsibility for health and safety at work are unclear.
Director of the YWC, Keelia Fitzpatrick, said "Thousands of young Victorians enter the world of work each year, many of them in franchises. Urgent reform to WorkSafe regulations and franchisor and franchisee practices on the ground is needed to give workers a positive and safe experience in their early working lives." Download the YWC Snapshot here
ACTU: More than one in two women harrassed at work
More than 60 percent of women have been sexually harassed at work but less than half of those harassed have reported the incident, according to the interim results of a survey being run by the peak body for working people, the ACTU.
More than 7500 people have participated in the survey which began on September 18 and will be open until the end of November.
Of those who answered questions about their experience of sexual harassment, 61 percent of women and 35 percent of men said they'd experienced sexual harassment at work. Forms of harassment included crude or offensive behaviour, unwanted sexual attention, inappropriate physical contact, and harassment on social media. The survey also found that 64 percent of people had witnessed sexual harassment at work.
ACTU President Michele O'Neilsaid, "Everyone should go to work free from the fear of harassment and unwanted sexual attention. The fact that thousands have chosen to take part in this survey in only six weeks shows how important this issue is to working people in Australia.
Learn more: ACTU media release; Michele O'Neil interview on the Today show
How often do we have OHS Committee meetings? And is it 'should have a meeting' or 'must have a meeting' in that time? Is there any way a company can get out of having a meeting?
The OHS Act specifies that the OHS committee must meet at least every 3 months, but at any other time if a majority of the members request it. This is a 'must' under section 72(4):
"A health and safety committee must meet –
(a) at least every 3 months; and
(b) at any other time if at least half of its members require a meeting"
Also, the frequency of meetings can be agreed to and included in the committee's constitution – quarterly is not really often enough for a committee to function properly, and it would be better to meet every six weeks say, or monthly. See this page on committees.
And no, the company should not be able to get out of a meeting.
If they continually try to do this, then I would recommend that the HSRs raise this as an issue to resolve (under s73), and then if there is not a satisfactory outcome, then contact WorkSafe and request an inspector to attend the workplace (under s75).
Please send any OHS related queries in to Ask Renata - your query will be responded to as quickly as we can – usually within a couple of days.
Mesothelioma figures frightening
The latest figures published on Tuesday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) based on diagnoses reported to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, reveal that at least 710 Australians were diagnosed with mesothelioma last year. Western Australia had the highest rate of new mesothelioma cases in the year (4.9 per 100,000 people), while Tasmania had the lowest (1.5 per 100,000 people). Survival rates for the disease remain very poor, with the average time between diagnosis and death being about 11 months.
The Registry, which was established in 2010, has been under threat of discontinuance by the Coalition government several times- only efforts of unions, researchers and some state governments saved it. The institute has also drawn on data from an older authority to make longer-term comparisons dating back to the early 1980s.
According to the report, the number of mesothelioma cases has steadily risen since that time, with a far more modest 157 cases reported in 1982. To date, the number of diagnoses has peaked in 2014 at 770.
In not unexpected figures, men are four times more likely to be diagnosed with the rare cancer than women - this is because the majority of cases are based on exposure in the types of environments in which males are more likely to work. Since 2010, 93 per cent of people who provided work and housing information to the national register had some exposure to asbestos
Read more: Mesothelioma in Australia 2017, AIHW Report
WA schools warned of asbestos in heat mats
Western Australian schools have had to investigate asbestos in their science labs amid worldwide concerns that some types of heatproof mats used on top of bunsen burners contain asbestos. Metal mesh mats with ceramic centres were banned recently from schools in Britain and New Zealand after they were found to contain tremolite asbestos, even though they had been certified asbestos-free by suppliers. Tremolite is one of the six recognised forms of asbestos.
A number of Perth private schools which had mats analysed by an independent lab found they had tested positive for tremolite asbestos. An Education Department spokeswoman said it notified public school principals on Friday that ceramic mats containing tremolite were supplied to schools in New Zealand and Britain.
Some schools have since also tested their science rooms for asbestos dust. A warning sent to all private school principals and heads of science last week by the Association of Independent Schools of WA recommended removing the "potentially dangerous" mats and sealing cupboards until they had been checked and cleaned.
Read more: The West Australian
Friday November 30: Asbestoswise Commemoration Service
Please remember to put the annual Asbestoswise Commemoration Service into your calendar: St Paul's Cathedral (corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets) on Friday November 30. It is an important event during Asbestos Awareness Week, and provides a focus to not only remember those who have perished due to asbestos exposure, but also to remind ourselves and others that asbestos kills, and that it is still a hazard in many of our workplaces and buildings.
The service will be followed by a barbecue on the banks of the Yarra, kindly offered by the CFMMEU, many of whose members still face this hazard today. More information to follow in coming weeks, but please put this in your diaries: all are welcome. More information on Asbestoswise - please support this worthwhile organisation and donate if you are able to.
Asbestos Council of Victoria/GARDS events
ASV/GARDS, the Gippsland based not for profit organisation supporting people with asbestos related conditions and their families for over 25 years will be holding the following events:
- November 14: Asbestos Awareness Morning Tea (10am-noon)
ASV/GARDS office, 41 Monash Road Newborough (Sponsored by Slater+Gordon Lawyers)
Experts Asbestos litigation lawyers, an OHS&E environmental firm, Representative from Latrobe City environmental Health unit, Sustainability Education Officer from Latrobe City will answer questions from the community - while everyone enjoys scones, jam and tea. There will also be a display of items containing asbestos both past and present.
Please join ASV/GARDS for an informative morning where questions about the asbestos issue can be talked about with professionals in their field of knowledge.
- November 30: Asbestos Awareness Day Service
11am, Centenary Rose Garden, Commercial Road, Morwell.
Speakers: Michael Borowick, recently Assistant Secretary of the ACTU and Shane McArdle Director at the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency who will share their knowledge and expertise with those gathered; Steve Dodd Secretary Gippsland Trades & Labour Council/ Union organiser for the AMWU; and more. There will also be music by Takin Time (Susan Parrish and Joe Omar), the Yallourn Madrigal Singers; and Scottish bag piper Dick Henry.
An Ecumenical Service for those wishing to remember loved ones and honour those suffering this very preventable disease will be conducted by Canon Jeff from St James Church Traralgon. The event will conclude with a free community BBQ with the compliments of the GTLC.
November 19 - 20 ASEA Conference - it's not too late!
If you are interested in any aspects of work and asbestos, then register for this year's ASEA conference 'Asbestos: the next national plan - proactivity, prevention, planning'. This year's conference will focus on the future of the National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness - what is the direction of the next national plan and what will it look like?
As well as the main conference, there is a welcome reception on the evening of Sunday Novermber 18. For more information on what to expect at this year's event and to register, visit ASEA's website.
International Union News
UK: Work stress is a 'growing epidemic', warns TUC
Warm words won't fix the 'growing epidemic' of work-related stress, the TUC has said. The peak UK union body was commenting on figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on 31 October that show that across Great Britain 15.4 million working days were lost to work-related stress, anxiety and depression in 2017/2018 - an increase of nearly 3 million on the previous year and the highest level on record. The new statistics show there were 239,000 new cases of work-related stress, depression and anxiety reported over the last year.
TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Work-related stress is a growing epidemic. It's time employers and the government took it more seriously. Warm words are not going to fix this problem." She added: "Managers need to do far more to reduce the causes of stress and support employees struggling to cope. This means tackling issues like excessive workloads and bullying in the office. Toxic workplaces are bad for staff and productivity. My advice to anyone suffering from stress, anxiety and depression at work is to join a union. This is the best way to get your concerns heard." The annual HSE statistics show 1.4 million workers were suffering from work-related ill health and around 555,000 from non-fatal injuries in 2017/18. A total of 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury. Workplace safety crimes resulted in 493 convictions, with fines totalling £72.6 million (A$130 million). The report shows HSE enforcement action has fallen sharply.
Read more: TUC news release. HSE news release and report, Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2018, HSE, 31 October 2018. (note, the HSE site appears to be down at the moment) Tackling workplace stress using the HSE Stress Management Standards, TUC and HSE guidance for health and safety representatives [pdf]. More on work-related stress here (TUC) and here (OHSReps). Source: Risks 874
UK: Teachers sent home for refusing to teach violent pupils
Teachers at an Edinburgh school have had their pay stopped and been barred entry to their classrooms after refusing to teach eight pupils in a dispute over violent and disruptive behaviour. The union NASUWT has been supporting the teachers at the school since November 2017, but it says despite months of discussions with the school and Edinburgh City Council over the behavioural issues there had been "no tangible progress". Union members voted in favour of a lawful refusal to teach or supervise certain pupils, but action was deferred to allow time for the issue to be resolved through negotiation. However, on 22 October - almost 12 months after the concerns had first been raised – the ban on teaching or supervising the eight pupils considered to pose the greatest risk to health and safety took effect. Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: "The teachers, and indeed other pupils at the school have, month after month, faced violent physical assaults, a constant stream of verbal abuse and threats and malicious allegations. Equipment has been smashed and classrooms trashed. Rather than supporting the teachers to deal with these pupils, Edinburgh City Council instead has embarked on a campaign of aggressive and punitive actions towards the teachers, simply because they have dared to stand up for what is right." The union leader added: "The action the council is taking against our members is far more disruptive to children's education than any action the teachers themselves are taking. Teachers are entitled to a safe working environment and pupils are entitled to learn in safety, free from violence and disruption… The council should let these dedicated and committed teachers go back to work immediately and genuinely engage in discussions with the NASUWT to seek to resolve the dispute."
Read more: NASUWT news release. BBC News Online. TUC violence at work guide and related violence and assaults reporting form [pdf]. Source: Risks 874
China: Pepper spray used on protesting pneumoconiosis workers
Shenzhen police used pepper spray on a group of protesting pneumoconiosis workers last week. In a video circulating in Chinese social media, some of the workers, already debilitated by the fatal occupational illness, were seen falling to the ground as they could not breathe. The workers, who contracted the occupational illness in the 1990's while working in construction sites, are demanding their long overdue compensation. They argue they have not been properly diagnosed with the occupational disease, that the compensation they've been offered is insufficient to cover for medical bills and that the Shenzhen government did not fulfill its promise to reimburse them 2,000 yuan in transportation fees. Read more and watch the video here. China Labour Bulletin
UK study confirms silicosis major health problem
A UK study covering more than two decades of data has confirmed that silicosis remains a major global health problem, occurs in industries ranging from mining to dentistry, and often affects young workers.
The researchers found that in the 22 years to the end of 2017, UK chest physicians voluntarily reported 216 cases of silicosis to an occupational respiratory disease scheme, which equated to about 700 cases when considering the estimated proportion of non-reported diagnoses.
They found that one in six silicosis cases were diagnosed in workers under the age of 46, and the majority of all cases (93 per cent) occurred across seven industries traditionally associated with exposure to silicosis-causing silica: mining, quarrying, ceramic or brick work, foundry or metal manufacturing, construction, stonemasonry, and tunnelling.
Interestingly, the researchers noted that a recent Australian study, led by Monash University's Dr Ryan Hoy, identified seven cases of silicosis linked to artificial stone, but no UK workers with the disease had job descriptions suggesting they worked with this product, (sometimes referred to as Caesarstone) and used in the fabrication of kitchen and bathroom benchtops. In relation to this, though, the team said that in the absence of easily accessible industry data, it "is not possible to know whether the lack of reported cases is real or reflects a lack of awareness among clinicians".
Read more: Barber, C et al: Epidemiology of silicosis: reports from the SWORD scheme in the UK from 1996 to 2017 [Full article] Occupational and Environmental Medicine, online first November 2018, doi: 10.1136/oemed-2018-105337. Source: OHS Alert
OHS Regulator News
WorkSafe urges caution
Victoria's regulator is urging employers and workers to 'slow down and put safety first' as the state enters a traditionally dangerous time of year for workplaces. Between 2008 and 2017 in Victoria, 53 people died in the months of November and December as a result of workplace incidents. This two-month period accounts for 22.3 per cent of all workplace deaths. Last year, November and December became a tragic time for five families whose loved ones were killed.
WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said busy workloads and tight deadlines that often occurred at this time of year were no excuse for workplaces to cut corners on safety. "Workplace health and safety is the responsibility of everyone, and as holidays approach it is essential employers and workers take the time to slow down and not rush to get things done," Ms Nielsen said. "There is no situation where getting a job finished is more important than coming home safely at the end of the day."
Read more: WorkSafe media release
November 30: Major Hazards Forum
Twenty years on from the event that initiated the formation of the Major Hazards Program, WorkSafe is holding an industry forum. Managers, engineers, safety professionals, health and safety representatives (HSRs) and employees working in Major Hazard Facilities (MHFs) are invited to hear from a number of influential speakers from the industry and contribute to WorkSafe's strategy for overseeing and engaging with the Major Hazards industry. Note that this is not an accredited training course under s69 of the Act - but as it is being organised by WorkSafe, employers are encouraged to attend with their elected HSRs.
When: 8.30am - 4pm, Friday November 30
Where: The Windsor Hotel, Melbourne. Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be provided.
Cost: Tickets are FREE - but spaces are limited, so for more information and to register, go to this page.
Safe Work Australia News
The figures on the Safe Work website have not been updated since our last edition of SafetyNet, when as of 1 November 2018, there had been 106 fatalities reported. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage).
There still has not been an updated monthly fatality report - the latest was that for December 2017, during which there 21 work-related notifiable fatalities. To download the latest report, go to the Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report webpage.
National Return to Work Survey Report
Safe Work Australia has released the 2018 National Return to Work Survey Report. The survey is undertaken on a biannual basis and compares the return to work experiences and outcomes of injured workers against a number of variables, including returning to work, workplace rehabilitation and employer support.
Key findings in 2018 include:
- The vast majority (92.7 per cent) of all workers surveyed reported having returned to work at any time since their work-related injury or illness.
- There was a significant increase in the proportion of unsuccessful return to work attempts (those who had to take additional time off since returning to work, due to their work-related injury or illness) from 2016, at 19.6 per cent. This was significantly higher among workers in the Comcare scheme (27.9 per cent) and Victoria (28.8 per cent).
- Approximately 38 per cent of workers who had returned to work reported that they worked reduced hours upon their return. Those who experienced mental illness were the most likely to work reduced hours upon returning to work (53.7 per cent).
Read more: Safe Work Australia media release. The report and the summary can be downloaded from this page.
Susan Day Cakes convicted and fined after worker loses tips of fingers
The Cake Syndicate Pty Ltd, trading as Susan Day Cakes, bakes and distributes cakes and related food products from its Dandenong factory.
A machine at the workplace is used for the individual wrapping of small cakes and muffins in plastic film. The machine is fed by two conveyors to transport the product to the horizontal flow wrapper, where two films the product and a mechanical hot seal seals it into the film case. On 10 March 2017, the site maintenance manager alerted the operations manager that machine had some serious issues - its screen and control system would freeze for no apparent reason. When this occurred, the machine would keep running but all the buttons, emergency stops and interlocks became non-operational and this was a major safety issue as the operators could not stop the machine in an emergency. He said that a technician was needed to attend the site and diagnose and resolve the issue urgently. The manufacturer subsequently provided verbal instructions on how to fix the fault which reduced the frequency of the frozen screen - however there were ongoing issues.
On the 10 April, an employee was tasked with ensuring the wrapping film went through the machine properly and that the cakes were wrapped correctly before they were packed. The conveyor belt stopped moving and cakes were building up along the production line leading to the wrapping section. The employee pressed the stop button in the operator's screen but it continued to operate. She pressed it a second time and the machine stopped.
At about 7.30pm, the employee was directed by the machine operator to take the film out. At this time the machine had totally stopped. She lifted the lid over the wrapping section using her right hand and put her left hand under the cover to grab the bits of film that were stuck. As she did this, a blade came down and cut through the tips of two of her fingers. She had not been aware that the interlock switch on the guard was not operating, and said that nobody had told her this or warned her about any safety faults on the machine.
The company did not report the incident to WorkSafe (see Notifiable incidents). The company pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined an aggregate $30,000 plus $1,500 in costs.
Roofing company fined for failing to notify incident
C.M.C. Roof Plumbing Pty Ltd, a roof plumbing company operating in the Melbourne metropolitan area has been fined for failing to notify WorkSafe of an incident involving the employee of a subcontractor.
On 6 March 2017, CMC was doing restoration works, specifically removing and replacing an existing roof and pergola roof. On 7 March 2017, the subbie was on the pergola roof and fell approximately 2.2 metres to the ground below - he was driven to hospital by a co-worker where he was admitted as an inpatient for a fractured right femur.
On 7 June 2017, a search of the WorkSafe Incident System Database was done to establish whether an Incident Notification had been received by WorkSafe from CMC in relation to the incident - but no notification had been received. The offender pleaded guilty and was without conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $1,750.
Company fined, not convicted, after worker has fingers of right hand amputated
Summit Manufacturing Pty Ltd manufactures, amongst other things, disposable food grade plastic trays.
On 8 August 2016 an employee was operating a thermoforming machine which produces the plastic trays. He and another employee were conducting a test run following a tool change, to ensure that the product was manufactured correctly. While undertaking the test, the tool activated while the employee was working on it and severed the fingers on his right hand. His fingers were surgically re-attached, save for the tip of his little finger.
Summit Manufacturing pleaded guilty and was without conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $15,000 and to pay costs of $5,000.
To check for new prosecutions reported before the next edition of SafetyNet, go to the Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings webpage.
EU: Guide for small retail sector
The European Commission has published a practical guide for small retail sector. It says that small retailers are an important source of employment and economic activity, but they have to face an increasing number of concerns due to modern digital revolution. This guide, addressing also the field of occupational safety and health, assists them with the development of appropriate strategies and solutions.
Explore the Commission guide (which is available in a number of languages)
EU-OSHA provides businesses with more information on its website section and publications about occupational safety and health in micro and small enterprises and new challenges of work digitalisation.
Small retailers can also find practical help to assess their occupational safety and health risks through the Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool tailored to different countries/languages.
Japan: Serious overwork common in school teachers
Teachers and officials at elementary, junior high and high schools across Japan are working more than 11 hours per day on average, raising concern about serious health repercussions or even deaths. A government survey found senior staff such as vice principals worked particularly long hours, with their daily average standing at about 12.5 hours. This means they worked 4.5 extra hours per day, or 90 hours per month, well over the official 80-hour monthly overtime threshold at which the prospect of death from work is considered a serious risk. In the survey, which drew responses from some 35,000 school teachers and officials, 80.7 per cent said they have stress or concerns related to work, of whom 43.4 per cent cited long working hours as the cause of their distress. The survey results were cited in a white paper adopted by the government in October outlining measures to prevent deaths from overwork. The government is aiming to slash the proportion of employees working more than 60 hours per week to no more than five per cent by 2020. In 2017, the figure stood at 7.7 per cent, unchanged from the previous year.
Read more: Japan Today. Source: Risks 874
Korea: Samsung agrees to payouts after work disease deaths
A major campaign spearheaded by occupational disease victims and their families has forced Samsung to agree a wide-ranging compensation scheme. Those affected - and workers' children with related ailments - will receive up to 150m won (A$183,455) per illness. Hwang Sang-ki set up the Supporters for the Health and Rights of People in the Semiconductor Industry (SHARPS) with the help of local labour activists in November 2007. The grassroots advocacy group organised sit-in protests at Samsung sites to pressure the company into the deal. It alleged there was a link between the working conditions at Samsung and diseases including brain tumours, blood cancers and multiple sclerosis. As of June 2018, SHARPS said, it had identified 319 other victims, 117 of whom had died. "Samsung Electronics stands by the promise to unconditionally accept the suggested solutions and will work quickly on detailed plans for execution," a company statement said. The deal covers both workers directly employed by Samsung and those hired by sub-contractors. The level of compensation paid will depend on the illness involved and the length of time the person worked for the company. "Since we agreed to do so in July, we will act on the arbitration decision," said Kong Jeong-ok, a medical doctor and a SHARPS founder.
Read more: Sharps 'Stop Samsung' blog and SHARPS webpage. More on health and safety in the electronics industry: Hazards. Source: Risks 874
If you have an OHS related event you would like us to advertise, please email Renata with details, including cost, and where to RSVP.
BE TRADES HALL TRAINED: VTHC OHS Training Centre
Make sure you attend training provided either by your union or the VTHC! HSRs are elected by their fellow workers to represent them. We understand what HSRs need and have been training effective HSRs for many years. Remember that under Section 67 of the OHS Act, both HSRs and deputies have the right to attend the training course of their choice (in consultation with their employer).
The VTHC OHS Unit is now running courses in a number of new locations to cater for HSRs in the outer suburbs of Melbourne such as Epping. This is in addition to courses in our usual locations. Most of the HSR 5 day courses to the end of the year are now full, but send an email to Lisa Mott (or call her on 03 9659 3511) to register for courses next year. Below are the dates for the next few courses run by the VTHC OHS Training Centre. The 2019 timetable will be available soon.
|HSR Initial OHS training course||HSR Refresher OHS Training Courses*|
* HSRs are entitled to attend this course every year subsequent to attending the Initial OHS training course.
OHS Training at the ACTU
The ACTU (Australian Council of Trade unions) runs training courses in occupational/workplace health and safety.
Course information and applications can be found on the ACTU Website. For more information, email or phone Chris Hughes (03 9664 7389 Mon-Fri) or Anna Pupillo (03 9664 7334 Mon-Wed & Fri). Click here for the full calendar of ACTU training courses.
November 26: Southern Safety Group
The tenth and last meeting of the SSG for 2018 will be held on Monday 26th November.
Richard Greenwood will be presenting on combustible dusts are the hidden chemical hazard. Commonly neither a hazardous substance nor a dangerous good, there may be nothing in the Safety Data Sheet or workplace procedures to signal the need for risk controls.
Combustible dust explosions may occur when any fine combustible material is disturbed in an enclosed space. In a recent incident in Victoria, neither the site nor the maintenance contractor recognised the hazard was present. A routine maintenance operation lead to an explosion with serious injuries to two workers, leading to an Enforceable Undertaking and production of basis workplace training materials for awareness of the hazard.
The Annual General Meeting will be held after Richard's presentation. The first meeting for 2019 will be held on February 25th with guest speaker Gary Rowling on communicating safety in a more effective way.
When: 3.00 pm (Check in at 2.30pm) to 5pm
Where: Surdex Steel: 46 Brooks Drive, Dandenong South
Members are free; Non-members $5.00. Annual Membership: $25.00; Corporate $50.00
RSVP via email to Gary Thexton
November 27: Western Safety Group 60th Anniversary Celebration
Join members past, present and potential of the Western Safety Group in celebrating sixty years making our workplaces safer. Drinks and finger food are provided in this free celebratory event that aims to maximise informal networking with a minimum of official business. Feel free to invite colleagues who are not in your safety department because after all safety is everybody's business!
When:Tuesday November 27th from 5pm at
Where: Grand Star Receptions, 499 Grieve Pde, Altona North.
Cost: Free! Please register at the Eventbrite website
November 28: Dangerous Goods Advisory Group
The next and last meeting of the Chemical Hazards Communication Network will be on November 28. The Agenda covers a range of issues:
- Labelling and SDS issues
- Chemical Hazard Communication Regulatory Matters
- Australian, EU & USA Hazardous Chemical Management developments
When: 5.30 for a 6pm - 8.30pm, November 28 (no meal afterwards as there will be end of year Pizzas)
Where: MFB Burnley Complex, 450 Burnley St, Richmond 3121
Melways Map 44 G12 (or Inner City 2H D12).
Please RSVP via email to Jeff Simpson. More detailed information.
December 1 - 5: AIOH Conference
The 36th Conference and Exhibition of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH2018): Occupational Hygiene: Challenges, Opportunities & Solutions.
When: December 1st to 5th
Where: Crown Convention Centre, Southbank Registration and More Information