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Phase one of New Zealand’s new work health and safety (WHS) regulations has been released as the country prepares for the start of its new workplace safety regime in April.

The New Zealand Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016 support the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). Both laws come into force on 4 April.

The regulations cover managing risks in specified circumstances, as well as managing health, isolated work, young people and limited-attendance childcare centres, among other activities.

Under the Act, persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the workplace is without risks to the health and safety of any person.

For more details, visit the NZ laws

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

A new work capacity certificate is being developed in Queensland in response to stakeholder consultation.

The new certificate will focus on what work can be done after injury, supporting early and safe rehabilitation and return to work, and encouraging return-to-work discussions as early as possible.

The Office of Industrial Relations has almost completed its consultation with stakeholder focus groups and peak representative associations and consideration of survey responses and written submissions about the fit note.

The new certificate is expected to start being available in July, with full implementation by January 2017.

“To ensure the success of this transition, a website dedicated to doctors will be developed to support their education needs,” according to a Queensland Government media release.

For more details, visit WorkCover Qld

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

Coalminer’s pneumoconiosis is now under the spotlight of the Senate Select Committee on Health.

Also known as black lung disease, coalminer’s pneumoconiosis was thought to have been eradicated but has been diagnosed in six Queensland coalminers in recent months.

The re-emergence of the disease has prompted its inclusion in the Senate Select Committee on Health.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division’s General President, Tony Maher, has welcomed the federal attention on the disease.

The Senate Select Committee on Health, which was set up in 2014 and has been inquiring into a number of health issues, will now shine a light on coalminer’s pneumoconiosis within the following terms of reference:

  • effect of reduced Commonwealth funding on state- and territory-provided hospital and other health services
    • effect of additional costs on access to healthcare and Medicare’s sustainability
    • effect of reduced Commonwealth funding for health promotion, prevention and early intervention
    • interaction between elements of the health system
    • improvements in the provision of health services
    • better integration and coordination of Medicare services
    • health workforce planning, and
    • any related matters.

The committee is due to table its final report on 20 June.

For more details, visit the Senate Committee

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

An expert panel has been established to review and recommend changes to Victoria’s work health and safety (WHS) laws.

The Victorian Government has appointed Dr Claire Noone, Cathy Butcher and Margaret Donnan, among others, to the panel. Noone, Butcher and Donnan have significant policy, regulatory, advocacy and industry experience between them.

The panel will examine WHS compliance, enforcement and promotion. Stakeholder consultation will be undertaken as part of the process.

A report on the panel’s findings is due to the Victorian Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, WorkSafe Victoria has launched a new public awareness campaign about WHS aimed at employers.

“While the majority of employers understand why it is important to maintain a safe workplace, there are still far too many fatalities and injuries occurring every year,” said WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies in a media statement.

“Our campaign shows an employer dealing with the consequences—telling the family, supporting traumatised employees and dealing with a WorkSafe investigation.

“The campaign reminds employers that inspectors visit workplaces anywhere, any day, any time, and the message is a blunt one: If your workers aren’t safe, then neither are you.”

Amies added: “Last year, 20 Victorians lost their lives at work and more than 26,000 workers were hurt seriously enough to receive compensation. Already this year there have been four workplace deaths.”

For more details, visit the Victorian Government and WorkSafe Victoria

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

A construction worker was killed at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site on the weekend.

The male worker died late last Saturday afternoon. He was 63 years old and sustained crush injuries, according to The Advertiser.

SafeWork SA is investigating the incident.

“I offer my condolences to the man’s family and friends at this difficult time, and every support is being offered to the family,” said SafeWork SA Executive Director Marie Boland in a media statement.

Another worker, 54-year-old Jorge Castillo-Riffo, was crushed to death at the same site in 2014.

The most recent fatality brings South Australia’s 2016 work-related death toll to five.

For more details, visit SafeWork SA

Published on 25 February 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today


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