Discussion 2

about 1 year ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

Do you have examples of existing or emerging gaps in the model WHS laws?

  • Margaret Theakston over 1 year ago
    I've worked in an organisation where supervisors and managers say they have no role in the assurance and management of WHS because they have no duties under the legislation. They of course have duties as workers to take reasonable care and they are in a unique position by virtue of their management position to oversee and influence how work is undertaken. This may not be a legislative issue to resolve, but if there were a way of making managers (who are not officers) more accountable for WHS, I think it would be a good thing.
  • KKing over 1 year ago
    Our company is actively engaged in providing technology solutions to a variety of companies in Australia that are all struggling with the need to be compliant with the many different pieces of commonwealth legislation and then the various passages of state & territory regulations, there are quite a number of areas that we could all do a far better job at explaining the WHS 2012 and the many components and sub components of it. I have firsthand experience dealing with a wide variety of companies that believe it or not do NOT have a working WHS system at all. Large companies, medium ones and well as lots of small ones. I have done a huge amount of work on the implementation of the National Clean Air Agreement with the underpinning GHS standard and it is very frustrating that I have to explain this to these companies like they are just starting kindergarten there is a total lack of knowledge of what it is, what it does, what it means to their businesses, how it works and just how important this one piece of legislation is to not only them but the community as a whole given the amount of people who present annually to the public health system with a preventable respiratory ailment (14-15 ABS Data 30% of the 11m presentations) this represents a substantial number of people. There is a need to clarify this part of the legislation and then educate the market place with a campaign that raises the awareness. I am pushing very hard but the weight of having to explain this from scratch is very costly.The uptake of the WHS system is poor to say the least and this is because it is scattered around so many websites why can we not have a simple portal that has all of the links in the order of merit instead of this massive spider web of check this site click this link in that document if the aim is and I am sure it is what everyone wants is to make a better system then this needs to be priority one. We didn’t even make it to the end of Q1/18 and 22 women & men went to work and never came home this by anyone’s standards is totally unacceptable and yet here we are and you cannot go to the document library on the web and get all the docs that help make the best system, maybe it is time to employ a librarian to get this fixed. We pride ourselves on safe work, yet people are still dying trying to feed their families. The term reasonability practicable is a very dangerous term even though this is properly explained in its own document there are lots of businesses that hide behind this as an excuse to not do the job correctly, there are not too many things in business that we cannot engineer a solution to we put a man on the moon 50 years ago but we still have no solution to some of the simplest problems because this is being used as a get out of jail card simplify and close down the loophole.The risk assessment policy is also ambiguous in part there is a definite need to provide clarity as this is being manipulated by some parties and then we have other parties over using the RA /SWMS system to exclude smaller contractors. If you want to see just how bad the situation really is step out of your office and get yourself some lunch while you are waiting take a really good look at the systems that they don’t have in place you wont see 1 first aid sign, there are no chemical advisory signs then be really brave and as if they have a WHS system and a safety rep in place and this will enlighten you just how bad the situation really is and the majority is because we have created such a difficult system to follow and administer.My company has a national and international focus and I manufacture, import and export and as such I must be across the legislation and regulation in every jurisdiction I operate in and for Australia alone I have about 22k documents in play just to deal with the WHS/OH&S & OSH systems.This is a full-time job I engage the best business services company in Australia and they have a team of 12 working between here and NZ just making sure the solutions I am putting in place meet all the requirements if anyone thinks this is an effective way of solving this problem they are kidding themselves. Good women & men are going to continue to die at work if these things are not addressed.
  • Frank Hussey over 1 year ago
    The Australian Tourist and Heritage railway association (ATHRA) suggests that the following section of the model law needs to be removed"Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Regulations 2014 Information about OHS Regulations (pre 1 July 2014) OHS Regulations (from 1 July 2014) - High Risk Work - Pressure equipment for which licence is not required No equivalent requirement Schedule 4 - High Risk Work - Pressure equipment for which licence is not required includes a new item Item 2.9 - Boilers manufactured before 1952 provided they are used solely for a historical purpose or activity, including an activity that is ancillary to a historical activity. Examples: (1) An historical activity may be an historical display, parade, demonstration or re-enactment. (2) An activity ancillary to a historical activity may be restoring, maintaining, modifying, servicing, repairing or housing a boiler used, or to be used, for a historical activity. If you operate a heritage boiler, you are no longer required to have a high risk work licence"As we said in our ATHRA submission to the review p 5 "Confusion still exists in some states as to what exemptions apply to the heritage sector due to ongoing interpretation/debate over the pre-1952 heritage boiler exemptions clause. As many of our heritage locomotives have been reboilered and/or upgraded to welded steel type....' There is no guide as to what modification might make a boiler built pre 1952 into a post 1952 for the purpose of this clause. Then there are different interpretations of the "use for historical purpose". Running scheduled tourist & heritage fare paying passenger trains is deemed not to be a historical purpose - but there are many variations in between and each state interprets it differently e.g. is a quarterly but scheduled event with fare paying passengers a historic purpose? Most say not - some say yes We think the bottom line here is that any 65 year old unmodified boiler should have Licensed operators - not the other way around. We submit that this section of the model law is wrong in principle and widely interpreted in practice and should be removed.
  • lizm over 1 year ago
    clearer definition of what is a SWMS and a JSA and when one is required.
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    • REM over 1 year ago
      From what I understand they are one and the same. We have issues where some principal contractors want us to prepare a SWMS for the entire scope of works and then our people, must before starting any works complete daily JSA's. Why bother preparing Safe Work Method Statements when the worker needs to complete a JSA (Job Safety Analysis) on a daily basis. My understanding is that a Safe Work Method Statement is only required when High Risk Works are undertaken - i.e., Confined Space, Working at Heights over 2m, Work Near Traffic etc etc. Some organisations claim that the JSA is for use in breaking down a task in steps such as changing a tyre, installing pipework, fixing a toilet etc etc. My personal opinion is that they are one and the same and the small day to day tasks do not require a JSA or SWMS. Workers are subjected to site specific inductions, completing take 5's / take 2's and any other risk assessment you can think of . The legislation needs to difinitely look at this problem and clearly define what the requirements are. Unfortunately even if this does happen, the principal contractors out there still will have their own requirements and if not adhered to we do not work on their site. Bit of a catch 22 situation where the small subcontractor cannot win either way.
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      • Safer Habits over 1 year ago
        Agree, clarity and education around this would benefit all end users. The risk assessment, SWMS, JRA, JSA, JSEA, etc are a way to demonstrate a planned approach to the work about to be undertaken, involving consultation with the workers, key controls and then allow that plan to be communicated to key stakeholders. Different formats and templates all have their values, with everyone having their favorite though I believe the end use is to prevent harm. The primary exposure group is typically the workers and therefore any format should be focused on ensuring they can understand the plan to manage the risks. When we over complicate the process, I believe we can lose the trust and faith of the workers as the process can be viewed as a "compliance" exercise of little value.
  • advanceohs over 1 year ago
    My concern is regarding the HSR training for HSR's. The regulation states that the training must be provided if requested by the worker. Unfortunately, some workers (and employers) may not be familiar with this requirement and therefore continue in their role as a HSR without training with obvious consequences.My recommendation is to make HSR training explicitly compulsory or remove the existing requirement in the regulation.Thankyou
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    • Yogi1955 over 1 year ago
      If the HSR is serious about their function/role they will undertake research to learn what they can/can't do.If they aren't serious why should the employer foot the bill for training that may just be a waste of time and resource?
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      • Think Safe Work Safe - Work Health & Safety over 1 year ago
        HSR Training should be compulsory. That is if the PCBU, in consultation with workers, agrees to create workgroups to enable workers to elect HSRs then the PCBU should arrange for all HSRs to attend endorsed HSR Training - no exceptions!
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        • Yogi1955 over 1 year ago
          If creating work groups and electing HSRs can be established through consultation, why can't the training of HSRs be 'agreed' via consultation, or, as per the act, on request?The legislation is about consultation rather than prescription - 'no exceptions' is prescriptive and may be onerous on some small PCBUs AND some workers. That may well cause some otherwise willing workers to forego nomination.
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          • Think Safe Work Safe - Work Health & Safety over 1 year ago
            We all like to believe that WHS legislation is "performance based" and not "prescriptive!" However, in truth this is not always the case. For example s.72 states the PCBU "must" allow a HSR to attend a course of training in work health and safety if the HSR requests same. "Must" is prescriptive, however the weakness here is the fact that many HSRs do not know that they can ask to attend training and that the PCBU must grant this request.HSRs that do not understand there role will be of little use in assisting the PCBU to ensure a safe workplace. Consultation training should be compulsory as was the case in OHS Act 2000 NSW. The current legislation has "dropped the ball" here. Cheers :)
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            • Yogi1955 over 1 year ago
              NSW 2000 Act had committees training as compulsory, but committees themselves were not. There were three options for consultation, committees was first, HSRs second and "other agreed methods was third. HSR training was not compulsory and many workplaces managed on the "other agreed methods" because committees didn't suit all workers and employers under that act. Several employers I worked with adopted 'team meetings' as their other agreed methods, where every member had opportunity to raise and address issues.s72 is not prescriptive on the basis that the HSR needs to request training.Previously, (pre-1983 in NSW) prescriptive legislation required every employer to apply the same standards on prescribed matters. The requirement to 'prescribe HSR training for every HSR' is a return to such a standard. And not every workplace has HSRs either, if at least one worker doesn't request it. Prescribing HSR training won't affect those PCBUs either.
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              • PHIL over 1 year ago
                If we are to be serious about Health @ Safety, HSR Training should be mandated and compulsory. As an employee, he / or she is either elected by their peers (within a work group) or appointed by the employer in some instances. The role requires excellent communication skills with management and workers, good understanding of WHS legislation, including Codes and Standards relevant to their specific industry etc. If we are after a "tick in the box" then the current position applies. Alternativly if we are to be serious about the HSR role and its defined duties, then mandatory training and evidence of competency should be mandated across all sectors or at least where HIGH RISK WORK is part of the PCBU's scope e.g Construction, Mining etc.
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                • SJHinton over 1 year ago
                  Many participants in HSR training have raised the question why isn't the HSR program a certified course or contribute to a certified WHS course. This could contribute to greater motivation and achievement for workers who have an interest and passion for continuous improvement of WHS within the workplace.
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                  • Stephen Cooper over 1 year ago
                    The content of the HSR training course is about half of the nationally recognised Cert III in WHS. The issue with making it a certified course is that certification requires workplace-based performance evidence to be deemed competent. While this is easily achievable in major cities, businesses in regional and remote areas (in addition to the economic disadvantages they already face) will therefore be legislated to incur even higher costs to mobilise RTO assessors, re-mobilise HSRs, or invest in technology to allow this kind of communication. A simple training course (without workplace-based assessment) still achieves the intended learning outcomes but does not impose this additional burden. Many RTOs offer assessment and certification to the relevant units with an additional fee - I'd recommend looking into this option if businesses are interested in certifying their workforce (many are not and this is not a legal requirement).
                • Tom Bourne over 1 year ago
                  The amendments to the Queensland WHS Act reflects the need for mandatory HSR training.
            • SJHinton over 1 year ago
              Is there a 1-2 page flyer to provide prospective HSRs an overview of their roles, responsibilities and rights so they can be better informed?
      • SJHinton over 1 year ago
        My experience as a HSR trainer is that most of the newly 'appointed' HSRs have work/job responsibilities, a new role and home/family to balance. Until they attend the training (as the PBCUs don't seem to be proactive in providing guidence in the role) before they have the time and space to fully understand the role, responsibilities, support within the legislation and COPs and the positive difference they can make in their new role.
    • SJHinton over 1 year ago
      In Queensland it will be compulsory to train all HSRs from 1st July 2018. This a positive change. As a HSR trainer many HSRs do not understand their roles or responsibilities until they undertake the training. I have tried to get an understanding from the regulator, regarding the status of a HSR if they do not complete the annual refresher course. Are they still a HSR if the PBCU doesn't send them to the update training for 2, 3 or 5 years?
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      • Stephen Cooper over 1 year ago
        The term length and re-election process should be agreed as part of the setup process. Ultimately it is up to each workforce and employer to decide what those arrangements should be. The need for refresher training depends on the specific role and individual - people with more involvement in HSR duties require less refresher training as it is often in their minds, people with less involvement in HSR duties require more refresher training as the knowledge is not often used. Compare units of competency issued by RTOs (such as white cards) - these do not have an expiry date.
    • Martin over 1 year ago
      I do agree with you AdvanceOHS, to a degree. Most workers would definitely not be aware of the consultation mechanism of having HSRs in the workplace, let alone having the opportunity for HSR training. However, I do not think having compulsory training is the answer. I imagine all PCBUs would be aware of their mandatory requirement to consult with the workers, but avoid the HSR mechanism because of two differing factors; 1) they may feel threatened with the power of the trained HSR who has the potential to 'shut down' their operations; and 2) the 5 day training is too onerous on small business. Perhaps we could consider minimising the HSR training down to a workable (and cheaper) three-days - but also aim at educating the PCBUs on the positive effects HSRs have in the workplace.To my way of thinking, compulsory training is not the answer. For HSRs to be effective in the workplace, the PCBU has to be 100% behind them. So, I would be more inclined to reducing the impact on an organisation by reducing time away from work to perhaps 3 days (which will reduce costs) and promoting the numerous benefits.
  • Steve AFS over 1 year ago
    The following is an email I sent to Mr Rau, Governor General. I received a response from SafeWork stating that this would be reviewed in your review. Please advise if it has been tabled for discussion, The WHS laws are to protect all members of the workforce at all times, this really doesnt offer any protection as it stands, thank you.Good morning,My name is Steve Brown, owner of Australasian Fire & Safety RTO #6580, we have come across an issue which I believe needs your attention. As an RTO we must deliver our Nationally Accredited Training Courses as directed by the relevant training packages endorsed and governed by Australian Skills Quality Authority ASQA. Within the confined Space training package it states that the WHS Regulations are to be adhered to, it is here I have found an issue. I have wrote to our clients who have attended our Confined Space training courses, to garner their support, which I have received. During the training course we discuss the Confined Space entry permit which highlights the issue I want to address with our Governor General in the hope that we can have changes made to the WHS Regulations 2012 (SA). The section in question is:Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012—1.1.2013Chapter 4—Hazardous workPart 3—Confined spacesDivision 3—Duties of person conducting business or undertaking77—Confined space entry permit and risk assessment must be kept (2) Subject to subregulation (3), the person must keep— (b) a copy of the confined space entry permit at least until the work to which it relates is completed. Full excerpt at end of email.Here follows the email I sent to our clients:During my career I have always been under the impression that most permits should be kept for 3, 5 or 7 years, this does tend to vary dependant on the industry concerned. The issue as I see it is that, according to the above excerpt, a Confined Space permit can be disposed of once the work to which is relates is complete, it also states that it must be kept for two years if there has been a notifiable incident.A this offers no protection to any worker carrying out Confined Space work as there may be no evidence that the said work had actually been carried out.B a notifiable incident, especially one involving any hazardous substance, may not present itself until a few days have passed, by which time there may be no permit to prove that was where/when the worker was exposed.I sent SafeworkSA an email & received an automated response saying they received the email and will get back to me; they didn’t. I then approached Safework Australia, received an email suggesting that I mention in our training, "the fact that any gas test results MUST be recorded and kept for 30 years and to advise our students to ensure they insert any gas test results on the permit." This means that the permit must then be kept for 30 years also. We used to tell our students this anyway, and it isn’t foolproof as the gas test results could easily be stored on a spreadsheet and the permit still gets destroyed.The WHS Act and regulations are in place to protect all members of the workforce, this option of being able to destroy the permit, in my opinion is very wrong. I am writing to you to gain your support in a submission I want to make to the Governor General to have this legislation changed. I have been advised that I need support from companies like yours to do this.To give your support to this request please simply respond with your agreement/support or not, I will then use your organisations name, I’ll withhold your personal name if you request and I can then submit the email to the Governor General. It will basically be what I have sent to you today, also I can BCC you in if you like.Please help me to put this forward, all staff members are important and everyone should be able to return to their loved ones every day, thank you.77—Confined space entry permit and risk assessment must be kept(1) This regulation applies if a person conducting a business or undertaking—(a) prepares a risk assessment under regulation 66; or(b) issues a confined space entry permit under regulation 67.(2) Subject to subregulation (3), the person must keep—(a) a copy of the risk assessment until at le​​ast 28 days after the work to which it relates is completed; and(b) a copy of the confined space entry permit at least until the work to which it relates is completed.Maximum penalty:(a) In the case of an individual—$1 250.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$6 000.Expiation fee:(a) In the case of an individual—$144.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$720.(3) If a notifiable incident occurs in connection with the work to which the assessment or permit relates, the person must keep the copy of the assessment or permit (as applicable) for at least 2 years after the incident occurs.Maximum penalty:(a) In the case of an individual—$1 250.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$6 000.Expiation fee:(a) In the case of an individual—$144.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$720.(4) The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or permit must be kept under this regulation, a copy is available for inspection under the Act.Maximum penalty:(a) In the case of an individual—$1 250.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$6 000.Expiation fee:(a) In the case of an individual—$144.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$720.(5) The person must ensure that, for the period for which the assessment or permit mustbe kept under this regulation, a copy is available to any relevant worker on request.Maximum penalty:This version is not published under the Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002 [2.1.2013](a) In the case of an individual—$3 600.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$18 000.Expiation fee:(a) In the case of an individual—$432.(b) In the case of a body corporate—$2 160.
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    • KKing over 1 year ago
      Steve,the WHS Act 2012 is the highline that provides the must do items a risk assessment is to be performed prior to the commencement and a SMWS completed if required the Act clearly states the RA is to be retained for 45 days after the completion of the risk and 2 years if there is an incident the WHS Act has no capacity to set fines nor punishment this is taken care of on a state by state basis with their regulations and enforcement, I do however agree that the fines are lame and the RA and any relevant documents and assessments should be held in the same secure manner that the Air Quality tests are in accordance with the National Clean Air Agreement 2013 I am writing a submission on this very subject that will be posted prior to the Friday deadline
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      • Steve AFS over 1 year ago
        Hi KKing, you are not wrong in anything you have said however, a risk assessment can be valid for 5 years. Take the example of a winery, they have lots of vessels all identical, so a risk assessment can cover all of these unless of course there has been any changes; a permit can be completed with reference to that RA and still be a legitimate document which can then be disposed of once the work has been completed. The results of any air sampling MUST be kept for 30 years but this does not necessarily mean the permit needs to be kept, all that is needed is a record perhaps, on a spreadsheet of the sampling results.BTW my issue is not with the fines, my 1st post is simply a copy and paste. My issue is that there is no protection for the worker if things go awry.Steve
  • vanders1000 over 1 year ago
    What some organisations think is required to be on a SWMS, and when a SWMS is actually required. How is a site specific SWMS done when workers do call-outs to breakdowns etc.
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    • REM over 1 year ago
      This is what I wrote in a post above. (From what I understand they are one and the same. We have issues where some principal contractors want us to prepare a SWMS for the entire scope of works and then our people, must before starting any works complete daily JSA's. Why bother preparing Safe Work Method Statements when the worker needs to complete a JSA (Job Safety Analysis) on a daily basis. My understanding is that a Safe Work Method Statement is only required when High Risk Works are undertaken - i.e., Confined Space, Working at Heights over 2m, Work Near Traffic etc etc. Some organisations claim that the JSA is for use in breaking down a task in steps such as changing a tyre, installing pipework, fixing a toilet etc etc. My personal opinion is that they are one and the same and the small day to day tasks do not require a JSA or SWMS. Workers are subjected to site specific inductions, completing take 5's / take 2's and any other risk assessment you can think of . The legislation needs to difinitely look at this problem and clearly define what the requirements are. Unfortunately even if this does happen, the principal contractors out there still will have their own requirements and if not adhered to we do not work on their site. Bit of a catch 22 situation where the small subcontractor cannot win either way.)Im with you on this topic - íts becoming bigger than Ben Hurr! We are a plumbing contractor who are always on call outs, break downs, maintenance jobs. We turn up to site with a Blank JSA and the guys complete on site prior to the works being done. if it involves fixing a leaking toilet we dont even complete a JSA - its not a requirement! But to appease the customer we complete a Take 5 chit (small RA) so that we are aware of our surroundings and the possible hazards and risks associated with that task - be it big or small.
  • pawheatley over 1 year ago
    Better clarity in regard to notifiable incident definition for a dangerous occurence. Currently in Sec 37 (G) states:the collapse, overturning, failure or malfunction of, or damage to, any plant that is required to be authorised for use inaccordance with the regulation;Worksafe ACT are interpreting this as being registered under section 44 of the Reg relating to the design of the plant - This is not clear at all and is not always consistently interpreted by PCBU's.
  • lizm over 1 year ago
    Whitecard training is only required once in a lifetime - unless not working in the industry for 2 continuous years. All other training is required to be renewed, whitecard should be too as laws and regulations do change and people forget training they had 10 years ago.
  • gmnicho over 1 year ago
    Clearer definitions of duty holders would be great. I’m a middle manager, a more senior manager tried to tell me I was the PCBU, the company is a multinational. Concerning thing was that the senior manager was actually a National Health, Safety and Environment Manager.
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    • Alind72 over 1 year ago
      Hi gmnicho. Without knowing your organisations exact structure it’s challenging to provide specific guidance. However I would highly doubt that you should be considered the PCBU, as the PCBU would very likely be the multinational company that you work for...as they are the entity (person) conducting the business. You may well be considered an officer of that PCBU depending on what ability you have to make significant decisions effecting that business but usually in a large organisation the management board and their direct reports (eg directors / GMs etc) have officer responsibilities. Middle managers are usually tasked with implementing the decisions of “officers” and therefore have a comparatively reduced responsibility. While I do not usually like to question fellow safety professionals, on this occasion I believe your National HSE Manager has miss interpreted the legislation. If you still have uncertainty can I suggest contacting you jurisdictions regulator, as they would be happy to provide clarity.
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      • V3 over 1 year ago
        Alind72, It is also important to note that there are persons who can be Shadow Directors. That is, persons not validly appointed, but are taken to be a Director if acting, or when Directors act in accordance with their instructions. Agreed that no all Managers would be deemed Officers, nevertheless, they are required to exercise a high standard of care to support Officers and their due diligence requirements.
    • Aussie Mental Health over 1 year ago
      I agree; this is often misunderstood by all levels of management in my workplace. The distinctions between workers, officers, and PCBU’s is so misunderstood and argued about, accountability for WHS is almost non-existent. It is a continual battle for me as WHS implementation for distict wide Mental Health Services sits with my role.
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      • Think Safe Work Safe - Work Health & Safety over 1 year ago
        I believe that we need a definition for Managers/supervisors/team leaders. These supervisory positions are grouped under the general term "Worker" and their duty is vaguely explained in s.28 "Duties of workers." In practice the only section that captures their responsibility is s.28(b) ....while at work a worker (Manager/supervisor/team leader must take reasonable care the his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.This is not strong enough and needs to be corrected in the revised WHS legislation to provide clear definition of these supervisory roles and then state their WHS responsibilities.
  • Kurt over 1 year ago
    Too many Principal Contractors have differing views and opinions as to the content and format requirements of SWMS. Having to change our documents and practices for every builder has led to many of our workers becoming fed up and disengaged from the consultation process. Safe Work Australia's information sheet contains all the useful guidance material we need, but in my experience PCs just want things done their way regardless. I believe that introducing a SWMS template into the Regulation as a Schedule would help to ensure SWMS are compliant to the law and settle some ongoing disputes between subbies and PCs.
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    • PHIL over 1 year ago
      The current variation of what constitutes a Safe Work Method Statement or Project Safety Plan between Clients, Regulatory Authorities, State Governent Angencies including Federal Government Safety Commision (FSC) is mind blowing for a builder let alone a small subcontractor. There is currently so much time wasting by all concerned in preparing such documents which in reality have lost their value and effectiveness. So much unnecessary information e.g. Initial / residue risk ratings, registers etc etc, that means absolutely nothing to the worker on the ground. As the requirements become more extensive and complex, there is no doubt that most small subcontractors are engaging consultants to develop these documents without consultation with there workforce etc. there is urgent need to have continuity amongst all those who require such documents.
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      • nicole west over 1 year ago
        Thank you Phil for spelling out what some of these acronyms are! It was doing my head in trying to work out exactly what they were. It's like reading emoji's!
    • GC over 1 year ago
      I agree, as a principle contractor we request SWMS for High Risk Construction Work as per the regulations and provide a template based on the example contained in the Code of Practice - Construction Work yet we still receive SWMS for every conceivable (and some not so conceivable) task and many times the High Risk Construction Work is overlooked.There needs to be a standard regulated SWMS template.I have often had discussions with subcontractors who have worked for a Tier 1 or 2 builder and their comments are "well that's what ABC Company wanted and they are Tier 1 so they would know better than you guys"
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      • Rob Gleeson over 1 year ago
        I also agree im sick of seeing SWMS for a hammer. We are in the process of overhauling our Safe Work Instructions (SWI). The purpose is to focus on SWMS for High Risk Activities only and using the Code Of Practice as reference, all other SWI's will be defined in detail depending on the business units needs. This overhaul is also combined with a half day training course for front line managers and others to be able to write, assess and/ or evaluate(External Docs) SWMS.The one thing i have constant "discussions" with business units is around the definitions around High Risk Construction Activities, and would like to see the word Construction removed from High Risk Construction Work. Many managers given the opportunity will argue against the need for SWMS if their work does not fit under the Construction definition.
  • Meg over 1 year ago
    Currently, AEDs are not within immediate reach of many Australians due to the variety of different approaches to their regulation and provision. For any Australian suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, their chance of survival is heavily dependent on close proximity to an AED.This inequitable situation has to change.Some 23,000 to 33,000 Australians are estimated to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) each year.For each minute that passes without treatment, the chance of survival is reduced by 10%, therefore there’s a 10 minute “window of opportunity” to act.The average ambulance response times in Australia, whilst exceptional on a global scale is between 8-12 minutes.Overall Survival of SCA is estimated to be between 9% - 12%.Survival climbs to above 50% when CPR and Defibrillation is applied within 3 minutes.Currently only 1 in 4 workplaces have an AED installed.Existing Workplace Health and Safety laws, regulations and codes of practice say only that AEDs are optional.We all agree First Aid Kits and fire extinguishers plus training must be mandatory in workplaces because they save lives. Now, AEDs and training in their use, must become mandatory for all Australian workplaces so more Australians will survive their cardiac arrest.
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    • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
      Meg, my understanding is that the various Codes encourage PCBUs to assess the first aid and emergency needs and implement a suitable level of training and resources. One of my clients has assessed their needs and considered AEDs but have determined that the AEDs are too expensive for the level of risk they determined. I understand your call for AEDs to be mandatory but I would argue that this should not be included in the WHS legislation BUT be encouraged by the State WHS regulators through a rebate scheme similar to that applied to Crush Protection Devices on quad bikes. Of course AEDs are not only of benefit to specific workplaces and there are AED-location apps for accessible devices. To capitalise on this type of technology, superheros a rebate scheme should be managed through the various health departments so that the broader public benefit is emphasised. I would support you in saying that the cost of a publicly-accessible AED should outweigh the medical costs of a heart attack.
    • Barrenmore over 1 year ago
      The First Aid Code of Practice addresses this already. It is up to the employer to conduct a risk assessment and from that risk assessment determines the medical equipment and if an AED would assist in risk minimisation. I am not for imposing an AED tax on a business however I am for accurate and well thought out risk assessments that do consider if the business does need one or not. Personally I would like to see more public AED’s rather than just put it on businesses.
  • Jas over 1 year ago
    Hi I’m really puzzled by the gap between the need for asbestos registers in commercial properties and residential properties. If you are injured at work it’s a workplace incident . My proposal would bring residential rentals inline with commercial rentals . The act “ how to manage asbestos in the workplace 2011 “ mentions that a tradesman must identify the locations of asbestos before work starts . With asbestos being a treaty exclusion in insurance policy’s . No trades are able to get either PI or PL insurance for asbestos related claims . If errors in judgement are made there is no cover . This puts them in an unfair position and ultimately add to the climbing rates of asbestos exposure as shown in the asbestos exposure register where this figure is climbing every year . Mirroring the commercial system is an easy fix .
  • Rhys over 1 year ago
    I often think that Confined Space Entry should be covered by a Schedule 3 High Risk Work license rather than just a permitting system. Given some recent incidents permitting may not be enough.
  • Marie Boland over 1 year ago
    Thank you for your feedback so far. I’ve recently been in Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin and Adelaide talking to regulators, businesses, unions, industry organisations, researchers and community groups about their experience of work health and safety laws. A range of general but important challenges for businesses and regulators were raised. I heard about smaller businesses wanting more guidance on how to interpret WHS laws and the need for practical advice on what they need to do. This reflects many of your comments on this forum. Businesses were also keen for clarity and a common understanding around consultation and representation requirements in the workplace to ensure duty holders and workers are enabled to work cooperatively to achieve strong WHS outcomes. I've also heard from unions and workers about the importance of their participation in discussing and ensuring good WHS outcomes in the workplace. All of the consultations reinforced for me the intention of the laws that anyone who can influence safety outcomes should be able to use that influence in positive ways. The growth in the gig economy and its impact on changing how people will work is seen as an important issue. I also heard about the complexities of potential regulatory scope creep between WHS and public health and safety, particularly in relation to recreational and adventure tourism. Businesses, regulators and community groups also discussed the challenges in addressing psychological health including the risks arising from bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace. Domestic violence as a work health and safety issue was also highlighted noting that it has already been recognised as an industrial issue.
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    • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
      Marie, I think that WHS laws do identify that psychosocial risks are part of the PCBUs' duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment but a lot of people are confusing the catalysts for the psychological harm with the harm itself. For instance, domestic violence and sexual harassment, as well as occupational violence, bullying and a range of other interpersonal actions can create psychological stresses and harm. Each of these actions originate from a different social or organisational point but all of them affect a worker's mental/psychological health for which the WHS legislation applies a primary duty to PCBUs. In short, I think the WHS obligations cover the harm that can result from a range of social interactions and organisational actions. The interactions are best addressed through Codes and the enforcement of those Codes rather than the legislation itself.
  • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
    I understand the inclusion of “as far as is reasonably practicable” in WHS laws but this phrase is difficult for the layperson to understand when their question if “how do I comply?” It deters them from trying to understand their legislative WHS obligations or they push this activity to others.I accept the legal wordage of the phrase but would suggest looking at alternative words that can be owned by the PCBU rather than written for lawyers and the Courts.
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    • nicole west over 1 year ago
      Isn't that why Work safe Australia produced a document in May 2013 "How to determine what is reasonably practicable to meet a health and safety duty"?!!!!
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      • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
        Yes, Nicole, that is part of the reason but the document's message has not cut through to encourage PCBUs to raise their WHS standards rather than managing to the lowest possible/allowable level.This process is a review of the legislation but the legislation, and the supporting documents, cannot be the start and end of the review's considerations. I don't think the legislative aims can been reviewed without looking at how the legislation is understood and applied in the workplaces. I think one of the review's criteria is to look at the effectiveness of various elements of the laws. Effective communication of critical OHS/WHS concepts, not only through publishing a single document unsupported by an education/communication strategy, is required to ensure that WHS obligations are understood as widely as possible.
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        • nicole west over 1 year ago
          Thanks for that SafetyOz. I agree it is frustrating to deal with PCBU's who fail to see the importance of striving for higher level controls but choose for lower and generally cheaper options. You can lead a horse to water but it doesn't mean you can make it drink!I guess I interpreted the "reasonably practicable" clause as the electric cow prod for the worker to make some real changes but I can see I was naïve, and this works both ways.
  • Brett S over 1 year ago
    As an electrical contracting company, we have some concerns surrounding working "near" energised electrical parts.Regulation 154 says electrical work shall not be carried out on electrical equipment while the equipment is energised. It doesn't clarify the extent of the electrical equipment. It could be interpreted that this just applies to the portion being worked on. Conversely, it could be read to mean the entire piece of equipment (e.g. an entire switchboard).One main issue is the WHS Regulations do not seem to differentiate between working near energised electrical components to actually working on the energised component. Regulation 155 introduces the term "exposed parts", but fails to provide a definition of exposed and what constitutes working near. AS/NZS 4836 does provide guidance surrounding what is defined as exposed and also introduces "on or near" which is deemed to be within 500mm to an exposed energised part for competent persons or 3m for non-competent persons. To this end, I believe the WHS Model Regulations need to provide greater clarity with regards to the what is deemed to be working on and provide clarity of what is meant by exposed and the legal requirements regarding working near exposed energised parts.
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    • Stephen Cooper over 1 year ago
      It should be 'work involving energised electrical equipment that could involve the risk of electric shock' or similar
    • nicole west over 1 year ago
      No idea Brett but good point. Does the WHS Act in this sense act as an umbrella and the underlying regulations and codes of practice for your sector act as tools to meet the obligations of the act? What I mean is while it might not specify (re: energised electrical equip) in the legislation specifically, does it refer to what you are asking in any of the regulations or codes of practice for working near energised electrical parts? I find that the language is quite generic sometimes and leaves some points unclear in this regard.Cheers Nicki
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      • Brett S over 1 year ago
        Thanks for your reply NickiI actually went to WorkSafe Tasmania's state office and they were most unwilling to provide any clarification. We therefore as a company had to determine our own stance regarding what is legally compliant and what isn't. I believe if the regs and electrical COP were to say "workers shall not work on energised electrical parts or near exposed energised electrical parts" with a definition as per AS4836 of what "exposed" and "near" means all ambiguity would be removed from this piece of legislation.Cheers,Brett
  • safetyfirst over 1 year ago
    As an AICIP Certified In-service Inspector I have noticed an increase in enquires as to the qualifications required for individuals conducting in-service inspections on boilers and pressure vessels.AS/NZS 3788:2006, Table V1, Examples of Evidence of Competency, is vague in it’s interpretation.I believe that there is a substantial difference between (2.1) “ Has satisfactory knowledge, training and experience in the particular type of inspection and pressure equipment” and (2.3) “Has a certificate as an in-service inspector from AICIP (in Australia), CBIP ( in New Zealand), National Board BPVI (in USA), API or equivalent eg highly experienced ex-government in-service pressure equipment inspector. Certification is mandatory in New Zealand”.Section 3.2.2, Particular Responsibilities, is just as vague when stating (b) “Acting only within areas of competency”.The only saving grace for clients is that Section 3.2.2. (i) states “ Issuing a certificate of inspection and report to the owner in accordance with this Standard and requirements of the owner”.Clarification in the area of In-service Inspector qualifications would clear up a lot of issues.
  • cameron.B80 over 1 year ago
    For every Australian worker who loses their life from an injury sustained at work, more than 8 will die from a work related illness or disease each year. Controlling exposures to disease-causing hazards was identified almost 3-years ago as an area requiring improvement within the Construction sector. Model WHS legislation does not provide for effective coverage of key health risks associated with exposure to chronic acting health hazards, such as respirable crystalline silica. The effective management of this hazard, has therefore relied on Sydney Metro taking a proactive approach, and embedding additional specific Contractual requirements on this issue for our Principal Contractors. Clear gaps in existing legislation include:• Omission of competency requirements for occupational health and hygiene; • Omission of a standardised framework for health risk assessment, including methods and frequencies for exposure monitoring; • Omission of the requirements of AS/NZS 1715;• No requirement to notify the WHS Regulator of exceedances of the Workplace Exposure Standards or diagnosis or deemed diseases; • No defined trigger points for the requirements of performing Health Monitoring. This information is provided with the aim of improving occupational health performance in this high-risk industry such that exposures to occupational health hazards do not adversely impact the health of those persons servicing the wider construction industry.
  • TScar over 1 year ago
    After working in a regional hospital for almost six years, change was a common occurrence. However, the management did not keep up with the changes to accommodate the humans that work there. My manager had no idea of my job role and how stressful each day could be. My manager did not have regular meetings to discuss issues that arose in the course of a day. There was no supervisor and a mentally disturbed colleague (aggressive and manipulative) that the rest of team had to put up with. This was not dealt with appropriately by the manager and the behaviour continued. The manager had "too much to do" to worry about the team and placed undue pressure on colleagues. This manager does not have the people skills to work with my colleagues. The manager knows enough about "the code of conduct" and legislations that constitutes harassment etc. to use against co-workers going about their day feeling grossly unsupported or valued. Employees still need assistance to stand up to inadequate bosses that treat them badly. So many colleagues have dived into depression and anxiety from lack of empowering leadership.
  • Healy over 1 year ago
    Due to increasing psychological stress in the workplace and allegations of bullying and harassment, more could be done to provide regulation around these forms of risks to health and safety as the WHS laws do not make it clear to the lay person how they are protected. A definition in the Act or Regulations for bullying/harassment would prove useful.There is also the difficult issue of providing adequate protections to employees who wish to report issues/incidents to the regulators. Although they have protection against discriminatory conduct for a prohibited reason, a vindictive employer may take further steps to identify reasons to dismiss an employee that are disconnected from the report. In other words, the protections against discriminatory conduct offer very little protection in practice, because the act of reporting drives a wedge between the employee and the employer.
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    • Stephen Cooper over 1 year ago
      Although there is arguably a risk to mental health in the OHS sense, are the risks of excessive stress, bullying, harassment etc. better handled through other legislative means? (such as the fair work act)
  • SafetyOz over 1 year ago
    WHS (and OHS) laws are based on an assumption that employers/PCBUs value their workers’ health and safety and that they accept their primary duty of care. Increasingly I am advising small- to medium-sized companies whose senior and middle management are hostile to WHS.Countering this assumption is left to WHS regulators to enforce the laws. It would be good to see an acknowledgement of this lack of WHS commitment in the principl legislation.
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    • GEA over 1 year ago
      I agree. I often get push back on WHS obligations; generally stemming from a cost perspective.
  • bpcannon over 1 year ago
    Marie - Thanks for undertaking this important piece of work. My key concerns with current OHS legislation is an emerging grey area when it comes to placement and usage of AEDs. We currently require team members to undertake first aid training which now includes familiarisation with AEDs. The challenge is that very few workplaces actually have them. Workers are 500 times more likely to die of Sudden Cardiac Arrest than in a fire and AEDs make a massive difference in the outcome should they have one. I strongly believe that regardless of the type of work being undertaken, workplaces should be required to ensure there is access to an AED within 90 seconds of their workplace (to allow for usage within 3 to 5 mins). It is easy to say that if SCA isn't a direct result of the work being undertaken it is not an employers responsibility but there could not be a better investment in saving lives and out apathy on this issue is costing thousands of Australian lives every year.
  • Bernard Corden over 1 year ago
    Dear Marie,I sent a response to SWA for the mid-term review of its current strategy but it did not receive any acknowledgement.I sent a response to WHS Queensland covering its best practice review of its legislative framework by Tim Lyons. I received no response and it did not receive any acknowledgement in the report.I have provided a written submission for this review and I expect the same.One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption - Upton Sinclair
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    • Admin Commented 2018 Review Secretariat over 1 year ago
      Thanks Bernard. We will get in touch with you directly.
  • Bernard Corden over 1 year ago
    The Model WHS Legislation – What does not work and whyA reasonable estimate of economic organization must allow for the fact that, unless industry is to be paralyzed by recurrent revolts on the part of outraged human nature, it must satisfy criteria, which are not purely economicR H Tawney - Religion and the Rise of Capitalism (1926)The most fundamental weakness of the Model WHS Act is the ineffectiveness of its object in Division 2, especially Subsection 1, Clauses 3a, 3b, 3c and 3h. This enervates the entire legislative framework and renders the Safe Work Australia strategy, which advocates a responsive and effective regulatory framework, like a house of cards on a flood plain……No matter how beautiful your strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Irrespective of their occupation or political persuasion every employee has a fundamental right to a healthy and safe working environment. This allows them to lead successful working lives and is consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also aligns with the object of harmonised legislation, which is to provide a balanced and nationally consistent framework and secure the health and safety of people at work.The emasculation of the legislative framework commenced with the relocation of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission to Canberra in June 2000 and included its subsequent dissolution in January 2006. During the transition, a former BHP executive was appointed as an interim chairman and almost two decades later, harmonisation and national uniformity remains unresolved.Safe Work Australia, is merely a statutory agency. It requires ministerial council approval of corporate and operational plans and allows the Subiaco besom, our Minister of Jobs and Innovation to veto the appointment of its representatives. The fundamental tenets of independence and tripartite arrangements have been relinquished and you cannot be half pregnant. This neoliberal laissez faire dogma and its shallow commitment is best summarised by the late Harry S. Truman........Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it.Chapter 10 in the Model WHS Regulations allows for mine safety legislation to be incorporated into the legislative framework. However in Queensland, mining and oil and gas legislation comes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. It creates a potential conflict of interest and significantly increases the risk of regulatory capture. This was identified in the Cullen report following the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster in 1988 and in the recent Queensland parliament Black Lung White Lies report. The recent introduction of gross negligence causing death or industrial manslaughter to reinforce Queensland WHS legislation is inapposite to its mining and resources sector. It is reactive and divisive legislation that peddles more blame and fear and enervates any remaining skerrick of confidence in the current arrangements. Moreover, it has overcomplicated and further disrupted national uniformity and harmonisation. This is a fundamental tenet of the COAG Intergovernmental Agreement, International Labour Organisation Convention C155 and object of the Queensland WHS Act 2011 and Model WHS Act. It is rather absurd but under the amended legislation corporations and senior officers may face industrial manslaughter charges following a fatality on a construction site but not at a coalmine, metalliferous mine or operating petroleum plant and drilling rigs.It will provide safety consultants and registered training providers with a steady income via delivery of mundane death by Pierrepoint training courses. Mandatory training for health and safety representatives and appointment of work health and safety officers is purely symbolic given genuine independence and tripartite arrangements were relinquished under the Safe Work Australia Act 2008.The outcome will merely benefit training organisations and achieve an insignificant reduction in risk. It will confirm the course presenters have a pulse and the participants can scrawl their name on an attendance register. Much of this training is superficial rote learning or indoctrination. Its focus on legislation and antediluvian accident theory confuses learning with metrics. It will be as ineffective as the general construction induction or white card. Governments are never more vulnerable to committing acts of stupidity than when they demonstrate an avowed intent to its electorate. Its Kafkaesque bureaucracy is now matched by a Camusian Myth of Sisyphus absurdism and Cicero’s dictum resonates……..More law, less justice.In Queensland there are currently 66 confirmed cases of mine dust lung diseases and the victims continue to suffer. Meanwhile the Black Lung - White Lies and Rathus reports have been shelved to accumulate dust as the toll escalates. The state government juggles with chain saws to reduce the financial impact on its virtual pot of gold, which masquerades as a workers’ compensation scheme. Its self-insurance arrangements using accredited auditors failed to identify an operational risk of respirable dust in underground coal mines. Independent audits using the JAS-ANZ scheme with surveillance and recertification audits by accredited conformity assessment bodies with certified auditors was as equally ineffective. Furthermore, anything that remotely jeopardises the Adani Carmichael project, which is another race to the bottom, becomes a political hot potato. The doublespeak rhetoric flows incessantly, especially with fundamentalist ideologies such as zero harm. The harridan Minister for Jobs and Innovation exerts formidable authority over Safe Work Australia, which is only an agency with superficial independence. It assists with delivery of a workplace relations system amidst an autonomous neoliberal maelstrom. This is reinforced by a unilateral doctrine of laissez faire with a malevolent freedom to harm and abrogation of moral responsibility. The following endogenous and exogenous issues undermine the effectiveness of the Model WHS legislative framework and the Safe Work Australia strategy:• Rampant unfettered neoliberalism with its laissez faire doctrine• Regulatory capture and revolving doors• Race to the bottom• The gig economy and franchising• WHS curriculumThe gig economy is merely indentured servitude or peonage and is exacerbated by franchising, which has an enormous socioeconomic impact and significantly increases psychosocial risks. Recent media investigations provide ample substantive evidence involving Covina Farms, 7-Eleven, Retail Food Group, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, AeroCare and Tip Top Bakeries.Following the great financial crisis, hardly a week elapses without an exclusive expose of malfeasance, turpitude or noncompliance with good governance and the principles of corporate social responsibility. The miasma is evident across countless commercial and industrial sectors including aged care, building and construction, energy markets, financial services, franchising, mining and mineral resources, retail, telecommunications, transport and waste recycling.The industrial safety discipline is currently renowned for its excessive Kafkaesque bureaucracy and brutal gotcha culture. It is underpinned by puerile binary oppositional logic with an emphasis on regulations and compliance to the letter of the law. This places an inordinate focus on objects or insignificant hazards and diverts attention from subjects or operational risk. A dearth of critical thinking or discernment is evident, which destroys creativity, learning and innovation. It eventually depersonalises and disparages humans who are treated like automatons and extensions of machines and resemble the Epsilons of Huxley’s Brave New World………We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control, no dark sarcasm in the classroom, teacher leave us kids alone. The legislative framework advocates a performance based, preventive, systematic and consultative risk management approach. It is somewhat constrained by an immature and anachronistic safety curriculum. This teleological schema is merely a cultural reproduction process that signifies its trajectory, projects its future and preserves the interests of the powerful. Political motives are deceptively disguised and invariably support establishments that regurgitate its content and justify their actions within those institutions. The current safety curriculum adopts a mechanistic and reductionist perspective that is infatuated by adversarial legislation and accident theory apothegms, which place an extraordinary emphasis on reactive performance metrics. After several decades industrial safety remains preoccupied by the absence of harm, which has propagated an entrenched culture of risk aversion. It is alienated by a climate of compliance and enforcement that cultivates blame, fear, retribution, anxiety and anomie, which significantly increases psychosocial risks.The way a curriculum is presented significantly influences learning and has a profound impact on industrial safety. This is frequently referred to as incidental learning or the hidden curriculum, which is more often caught rather than taught. It currently regards students as receptacles for data and confuses metrics with learning and requires methodological and ontological change using a transdisciplinary approach……..All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.In 1992-3, the cost of work related injury and disease in Australia exceeded $20 billion and it was uniformly distributed between employers (40%), employees (30%) and the community (30%). The allocation of cost to specific agents is quite complex and extremely dependent on the outcome severity. It significantly increases for individuals, their dependents and the community if the consequences involve traumatic fatalities or serious injuries. More recent estimates put the cost at $62 billion per year with a staggering redistribution amongst employers (5%), employees (77%) and the community (18%). The allocation of costs endured by employees has increased by a staggering 157% with a corresponding decrease of 88% for employers. This unhealthy alliance of state and corporate interests is a moral abrogation of responsibility and may also be a significant contributory factor in the resurgence of mine dust lung diseases. Even the Subiaco besom could do the math on her infamous white board and establish who the losers are in this callous arrangement of casino capitalism with its winner takes all philosophy…………..One of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption. This variation, despite a steady decrease in fatalities and serious injuries, is partly attributed to significant increases in average weekly earnings. However, descriptive statistics often conceal more than they reveal and correlation does not imply causation. Additional exogenous factors, which include rampant neoliberalism with its laissez faire doctrine, the gig economy and an unabashed worship of profit may be significant weapons in Abaddon’s arsenal.Much of this malaise can be traced back to the 1970s when dozens of think tanks were established throughout the western world and provided with billions of dollars to promote an economic model of deregulation, diminution and privatisation. This corporate call to arms was instigated by Lewis Powell and Bryce Harlow in the United States to reform the egalitarian clemencies of the 1960s. It involved the merger of corporate and state interests and an enormous redistribution of power. Its impact has destroyed many of the social reforms of democratic governments, including workplace health and safety, which begs the question…..Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?Many of these issues cannot be resolved using traditional accident theory supplemented by myopic black box psychology of behaviour based safety. It is a wicked problem and requires a transdisciplinary approach that integrates risk theory with the fundamental principles of social psychology. The conundrum is neatly summarised by Einstein......Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. Moreover, despite the spin and ideologies such as zero harm there are currently 66 miners suffering with black lung and the toll is escalating. Meanwhile, maritime officials have the power to immediately block the cruel export of live sheep. There are countless exogenous and endogenous risks that render the Model WHS legislation and the SWA WHS strategy ineffective. This extirpates the legitimacy of industrial safety and it has about as much integrity as an episode of My Kitchen Rules.……….The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.Bernard CordenT: 0403 280 535E: bcorden@optusnet.com.au
  • Maritime Safety Guy over 1 year ago
    I have a couple of observations, firstly the definitions of serious injury in Section 36 are far to open to interpretation and are overly restrictive, suggest that 36(a) is expanded to include any injury that is treated by a registered medical practitioner, and sub categories removed.Secondly I see a discussion about SWMS, I am in an PCBU that commissions HRCW, but is not the PC. The requirement for us to provide a SWMS to the PC is at odds with the reason a PC is appointed in the first place, they are the ones with the experience in delivering the construction work and have management and control. I suggest that this can be replaced by a requirement to ensure the PCBU commissioning the project is made aware of the risks and the controls being used by the PC to manage HRCW prior to the project commencing.I have experience in obtaining an exemption for certain activities, however it was overly complex and I dread the day when there is a need of an exemption within a tight timeline.
  • Think Safe Work Safe - Work Health & Safety over 1 year ago
    Managers and Supervisors are not aware of their WHS responsibilities.While the WHS responsibilities of primary duty holders i.e. PCBU and Officers, are clearly defined, no definition for Managers and Supervisors is covered under the current legislation! Instead, these 'key positions' are included under the term "Worker" s.28Prosecution involving Managers and Supervisors often rest on breaches of s.28(b)The WHS laws could be improved by providing a simple definition for managers and supervisors and then listing their WHS responsibilities to ensure a safe workplace for the area and workers that they control.
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    • Yogi1955 over 1 year ago
      Australian employers are too diverse between Small medium and large enterprises for this to be effective. PCBU and relevant Officers should be establishing 'key position' descriptions for their own organisation and including WHS responsibilities as 'delegated' authority from Officer(s).
  • Safe-1 over 1 year ago
    Yes inconsistency in working at heights in the residential building industry is placing QLD workers at greater risk. Queensland have a 3 meter height rule for edge protection and NSW / VIC have a 2 meter height rule. The real incident statistics are not available to the industry as Subcontractors all have their own insurance. This makes a mockery out of the legislation amogst the industry. In NSW if working over 2 meters they must have double planks on ladder trestle systems and in QLD it is 3 (depending on work type). In which state do the statistics prove one height is more safe than the other when it comes to number of planks? Workers mostly state single planks are more effective. The legislation has not caught up with the changes across the residential building industry in relation to new building designs and block sizes the since its introduction. "Good luck with that" management is the best solution the Regulators have. Definitions Gap Under what definition would roof racks on a Ute fall under in the different states? Other Gaps Subcontractors are disadvantaged and way behind most others when it comes to learning and knowing how to apply their health and safety requirements. Due Dilligence There should be a clear list of minimum duties that Officers can complete to provide evidence they meet due dilligence e.g. develop and approve a company risk register, attend regular consultative meetings, participate in site inspections / audits quaterly, sign off on incident register quaterly etc.
  • Laurie over 1 year ago
    I have to agree with the comment made by Steve AFS. Whilst the WHS laws are a good step in the right direction there is clarification required on how it should be applied by individual industries. I would therefore like to suggest that industry specific bodies should review the WHS and how they perceive it's implementation within their own industry. Within my own industry of Oil & Gas there are often challenges made by auditee's that these laws do not apply to them. I continually have to remind them that they do until they are physically engaged in drilling or work-over operations at which point the various petroleum & gas regulations apply.Some time ago I questioned one of the regulatory bodies on their perception of how the various legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice etc. should be applied. The answer given was that the Commonwealth laws {Acts & Regulations} were the primary followed in order of preference by: State laws, Australian Standards, International Standards, API {considered to be industry best practice} & other applicable standards {e.g. those to which the plant was built}.Perhaps each industry should produce an advisory document on how to apply the WHS.