National Safe Work Month: Keeping WHS a priority

As National Safe Work Month draws to a close, it’s important to keep the discussion around work health and safety going. That’s why the the final week of National Safe Work Month is dedicated to keeping WHS a priority in the workplace.

For this week’s theme, Safe Work Australia has provided an information sheet outlining how your business can continue to demonstrate best practice work health and safety measures both during COVID-19, and into the future. 

You can find other resources on the Safe Work Australia website.

What’s On?

Today, WorkSafe Victoria is running four separate webinars.

At 9:00 am, you can watch Shop no further: Solutions, tools and practical advice for preventing mental injury in retail. This webinar covers metal health and wellbeing in retail, providing tailored tools and information to help you take action and bolster the mental health of your workplace.

At 10:15 am, WorkSafe Victoria is presenting How the Building and Construction industry is dealing with COVID-19. This webinar discusses the health and safety issues facing the construction industry during the pandemic. it includes steps the sector has taken to care for the wellbeing of the workforce, and is lead by a panel of industry experts.

At 11:30 am, you can join in on How small business owners can proactively look after their mental health, a webinar focused on getting small business owners to prioritise their own mental health, and create a mental health plan in response to COVID-19.

The importance of leadership in workplace mental health during COVID‐19 and beyond is running from 3:00 pm. It covers the key role leaders play in promoting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. It will cover the importance of addressing factors which affect mental health in the workplace.

On Tuesday, there are two separate webinars.  

The Victorian Trades Hall Council is hosting their 2020 HSR Conference from 9:00 am to 2:45 PM. This year’s conference is focused on psychosocial health. 

WorkSafe, Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE are presenting COVID-19 and beyond: Know your rights as a young worker. This webinar is designed to help young workers understand their responsibilities and rights at work, and touches on new challenges presented by COVID-19.

 

 

 

National Safe Work Month: a safe and healthy workplace is for everyone

Week four of National Health and Safety Month reminds us that a safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone, no matter what industry you’re in. To better understand work health and safety best practice, check out the best practice checklist provided by Safe Work Australia. There are also resources available to promote health and safety in your workplace.

What’s On

This week, WorkSafe Victoria is offering a wide range of free webinars. 

On Tuesday the 20th:

At 10 am, WorkSafe Victoria is presenting Surviving COVID-19: A WorkSafe perspective. This webinar will outline how WorkSafe has been supporting Victorian workplaces during the COVID-9 crisis, and how it has adapted to respond to the crisis.

At 11:15 am, you can view Lessons learnt from leaders during COVID-19. This webinar is an honest conversation about leading through change. It features chief executives from the Victorian Workplace Mental Wellbeing Collaboration. They’ll be sharing insights into their leadership approach, and how they’re prioritising the mental health of their people. 

On Wednesday the 21st:

At 9:00 am, you can join Leading the way: Industries innovating workplace mental health prevention. This webinar tackles mental health issues and risks, and shows how organisations across industries are tackling this issue. It provides practical tips and resources for protecting the mental health of your workplace.

At 10:15am the same day WorkSafe is hosting Working from home? What employers need to consider. It covers topics including ergonomics, human factors and the guidance available to employers and workers.

On Thursday October 22nd:

At 9:00am you can join in on Looking after injured workers during covid-19. This webinar outlines how Victorian workers returning to work after experiencing a work-related injury have been impacted by COVID-19. 

10:15am, you can sit in on Managing the risk of COVID‐19: What does an inspector look for?  This panel discussion will talk about what WorkSafe inspectors look for. Topics covered range from the OHS Act, Chief Health Officer Directions, defining risk and why consultation is a key legal obligation.

At 11:30am, you can join in on the webinar How does COVID-19 impact your workcover premium? Learn how WorkSafe supports businesses with their premium payments and have your questions answered by the experts.

Finally, WorkSafe and WEstjustice are presenting the Workplace safety community information session. This information-session webinar is for migrant community leaders, covering workplace safety laws, as well as your rights and responsibilities at work. There are two sessions, at 3:30pm and 5:45pm. 

National Safe Work Month: Using data to make workplaces safer

Week three of National Health and Safety month is dedicated to using data to make our workplaces safer. Learning the statistics on common causes of injury helps to reduce work related injuries and fatalities. 

According to Safe Work Australia, in 2018 144 workers suffered fatal injuries at work. 69% of these fatalities occurred across the following industries:

  • Transport, postal and warehousing (38)
  • Agriculture (37)
  • Construction (24)

The primary causes of worker fatalities in 2018 were:

  • Vehicle collision (44)
  • Being hit by moving objects (24)
  • Falling from height (18)

Out of the 144 worker fatalities, 62% were vehicle-related. In-depth work work related fatality statistics, as well as work related injury statistics can be found on the Safe Work Australia website. Safe Work Australia is also supplying a range of resources for this week’s theme. 

What’s On

On Wednesday 14th of October Comcare is hosting COVID-19, our work, mental health and wellbeing, a webinar focused on the impacts of pandemic in these areas. It runs between  2 and 3:30 pm. 

 

National Safe Work Month: Mental Health and COVID-19

It’s week two of National Safe Work Month, and in recognition of Mental Health Day this Saturday October 10, this week’s theme is Navigating Mental Health through COVID-19.

COVID-19 has bought new psychosocial hazards to many workplaces.

These may include:

  • Exposure to aggressive customers
  • Low support or isolation due to remote working
  • Increased emotional demand in the workplace
  • Poor environment conditions due to covid-19 exposure
  • Stress due to changing responsibilities and restructuring

Inadequate psychological health and safety measures cost Australian organisations $6 billion a year in lost productivity.

You can find Safe Work Australia’s mental health infosheet on the Safe Work Australia website.

Managing Psychosocial Hazards

Employers have a responsibility to eliminate or minimise work related psychological health and safety risks as far as reasonably practicable. As Safe Work Australia directs, this can be done through:

  1. Identifying hazards
  2. Assessing risks
  3. Controlling risks
  4. Reviewing and maintaining control measures

What’s on this week?

This week, WorkSafe Victoria is delivering a free webinar tailored for multicultural community leaders on Tuesday October 6th at 6:00pm. You can find out more about this information session on the WorkSafe website.

Safe Work Australia is co-presenting a webinar on Accelerated Workplace change in the face of COVID-19 with Comcare on October 8 at 10:30 am. This will cover the changes workplaces have undertaken to adapt to the challenges and risks posed by COVID-19. You can find more information on the Safe Work Australia website.

 

National Safe Work Month: Keeping safe through COVID-19

It’s National Safe Work Month. Australian Workplaces have made significant changes to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s not surprising that this year’s theme is ‘Work Health and Safety through COVID-19’. 

Work related injuries and illnesses can affect any of us, and our families and communities. COVID-19 must be treated as a workplace hazard, and companies and organisations must work to manage the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 in the workplace.

What is National Safe Work Month?

Since 2009, Safe Work Australia has been running a national campaign aimed at raising work health and safety awareness. National Safe Work month is an opportunity for you and your organisation to make a commitment to improving health and safety in your workplace.

Each week has a different focus, including:

  • Joining National Safe Work Month (week 1)
  • Navigating mental health through COVID-19 (week 2)
  • Using data to make workplaces safer (week 3)
  • A safe and healthy workplace is for everyone (week 4)
  • Keeping WHS a priority (week 5)

Starting a conversation around health and safety is important. Safe Work Australia provides a wide range of resources on their website to help your organisation get involved, including ideas for a range of ideas for virtual activities.

WorkSafe Victoria is running free webinars throughout the month. You can find out more about these on the WorkSafe website.

$30,000 fine handed down following crushed arm at tomato farm

WorkSafe reports Tatura Fresh Pty Ltd was convicted and sentenced to pay a $30,000 fine on Monday after a worker’s arm was caught in an unguarded winding mechanism while operating a powered leaf mat washer.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide or maintain a working environment that was safe and without risks to health in the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court. The hydroponic tomato farm was also ordered to pay $3623 in costs.

The court heard the washer was an overseas import, and Tatura Fresh had failed to ensure it met Australian standards. The company also failed to ensure that guarding was present around dangerous and powered areas.

The machine’s emergency stop control was not operational, and there was no safety switch on the device. The worker suffered nerve damage and serious crush injuries.

Tatura Fresh had failed to ensure there was a documented system of work for operation of the machine.

This incident emphasises the importance of ensuring that machinery is serviced and inspected regularly and meets Australian standards. It also highlights the need for documented systems of work.

Employers must make sure all safety guards and gates are compliant. They are also required to ensure staff have adequate training in safe operation of all machinery and equipment. Staff must also be provided with written work procedures in their first language. For more information, visit the WorkSafe website.