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A new report suggests that lost time injuries (LTI) should no longer be the focus of measuring work health and safety performance.

Issues in the Measurement and Reporting of Work Health and Safety Performance: A Review isn’t suggesting that injury indicators be discarded altogether. Rather, it advocates using a range of measures including injury and illness outcomes and positive performance indicators.

“Disregarding one or the other would [be] akin to asking investors to choose between receiving a Balance Sheet and an Income Statement: both are important because they provide different perspectives on an organisation’s success – one reflects position and the other reflects performance,” the report says.

The report recommends a shift away from LTIs to Class 1 work-related illness and injury (WRII) outcomes, total recordable injury frequency rates (TRIFR), valid positive performance indicators and the innovation of new approaches to measuring performance.

For more details, visit the report.

Published on 19 December 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

South Australia has suspended three construction codes of practice in response to a review by the state’s Small Business Commissioner.

The South Australian Minister for Industrial Relations, John Rau suspended the Construction Work Code of Practice; Preventing Falls in Housing Construction Code of Practice; and Safe Design of Structures Code of Practice.

The Small Business Commissioner Mike Sinkunas reviewed the codes in consultation with the Housing Industry Association (HIA) and the Master Builders South Australia.

Sinkunas concluded that an unintended consequence of the existing codes would be non-compliance by many in the industry.

“Many [participants] do not have the time, skills, or even inclination to read and digest the voluminous amounts of information and associated paperwork that is seen as ambiguous, confusing and not really relevant to their situation,” his report said.

“The implementation of the current Codes will lead to increased costs to the industry and these costs would be passed onto consumers.”

According to Rau “it is prudent that the Government suspend the Codes of Practice and consult with the building industry, unions and the Small Business Commissioner in order to improve these Codes”.

Rau said during the suspension that all businesses still had a duty to provide safe workplaces.

However, the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is concerned that cost rather than safety is driving the suspension and review of the codes.

The CFMEU’s South Australia State Secretary of Construction Aaron Cartledge told Adelaide’s Radio Digital the union hadn’t been consulted about the review and if the codes were watered down this would increase safety risks.

He also rejected claims that the codes were too costly to implement.

The HIA sees it differently, saying the “decision is a victory for commonsense bearing in mind that the Codes were designed without consideration of their impact upon the residential industry.

“It is important that unnecessary impediments to this part of the industry are withdrawn given that we are coming off three years of significant reduction in activity in South Australia with respect to new home starts.”

For more details, visit the Minister, Small Business Commissioner, CFMEU and HIA.

Published on 21 November 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Barwon Water Alliance has won top honours at the 2013 NSCA/GIO National Safety Awards of Excellence.

The winners of the 21st annual safety awards were announced at a ceremony held in Sydney last week.

Barwon Water Alliance beat seven other contenders to win the pinnacle award, GIO Workers Compensation Award for Excellence in WHS.

Finalists for the pinnacle award comprised the eight category winners:

• Tenix Group, ManpowerGroup Best Continuous Improvement of a WHS Management System

• Equipment Safety Systems Pty Ltd, The Mac Best Solution of a WHS Risk – small business

• Namoi Cotton Co-operative Ltd, The Mac Best Solution of a WHS Risk – medium to large business

• RSPCA Queensland, SGS Best WHS Training Program

• Metro, Safe Work Australia Best Communication of a Safety Message

• Daniel Smith, Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (Inc.), Ian Chisholm Award for the Best Individual WHS Achievement

• Hydro Tasmania, Ansell Best Health and Wellbeing Program

• Barwon Water Alliance, Brookfield Multiplex Constructions Best Safety Leadership Program/Initiative

The NSCA Member of the Year was also announced. This award went to Interface Landscapes.

For more details, visit award winners.

Published on 24 October 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

15 Aug 2013

NT hands down model safety fine

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A company has been fined for failing to report a notifiable incident under the new work health and safety laws in the Northern Territory.

Perkins Welding & Fabrication Pty Ltd was prosecuted in the Darwin Court of Summary Jurisdiction for failing to report a notifiable incident after a worker was injured last year.

“Under the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, companies must immediately report notifiable incidents to NT WorkSafe,” the Work Health Authority’s Doug Phillips said in a media statement.

“A notifiable incident includes the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person or a dangerous incident.”

The company was also prosecuted for failing to take out compulsory workers compensation insurance under the Northern Territory Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act.

The company was fined $16,000 for not reporting the incident, and $58,225 for failing to take out the insurance.

For more details, visit the authority.

Published on 15 August 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

15 Aug 2013

Kiwis to use Aussie safety laws

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New Zealand is introducing new WHS laws based on Australia’s Model Law.

The changes are in response to the Pike River coal mine explosion in November 2010, which killed 29 miners.

A royal commission into the tragedy found the New Zealand WHS system was in need of major reform.

In response to the commission’s findings the New Zealand Government established an independent taskforce to research the required changes.

After considering the taskforce’s recommendations, the government created the Working Safer blueprint, which includes a new Health and Safety at Work Act based on Australia’s Model Law.

“Australia has been through an extensive modernisation process to develop this legislation, drawing on its own and international experience,” the blueprint says.

“We can capitalise on that work and at the same time generally align ourselves with our neighbours.”

The changes include introducing positive duties for directors and clarifying duty holders and their duties.

Corporate manslaughter is also under consideration.

The New Zealand parliament is expected to introduce the new laws by December 2014.

For more details, visit the reforms

Published on 15 August 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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