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A Victorian parliamentary inquiry has recommended that the state government assess the feasibility of free testing of firefighters and others who may have been contaminated by chemicals at the Country Fire Authority (CFA) Training College at Fiskville.

The inquiry noted that Brian Potter, a former CFA chief officer and Fiskville instructor, raised concerns about contamination and possible health risks at Fiskville in 2011. And possible links between the training site and cancers and other diseases were reported by the Herald Sun in December 2011.

The inquiry’s interim report recommends that the Victorian Government assess the feasibility of providing free voluntary testing for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) for firefighters, former college staff and trainees, and people who live near the college.

The inquiry also recommends that the Victorian Government ensure that any person who wants to see records and documents about their involvement with Fiskville is able to do so from government agencies and departments.

Testing of the soil and water at the training college and adjoining properties is also recommended.

For more details, visit the interim report

Published on 2 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.

A Western Australian (WA) parliamentary inquiry into how fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work affects mental health recommends a number of changes to health and safety laws.

The inquiry calls for the definition of the term ‘health’ to include ‘mental health’ and the term ‘hazard’ to include ‘psychological hazard’ in WA occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation.

The OHS legislation should also change to apply to FIFO workers who are off shift in a residential facility.

Mine managers should also report all suicides and attempted suicides to the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP). In addition, all deaths, regardless of the cause, the location on the mine site or whether the worker was on or off shift, should be reported.

The inquiry also calls for the introduction of a FIFO code of practice. This would include provisions for even-time rosters, and rosters that support mental health and wellbeing, such as two weeks on, one week off, or eight days on, six days off, the inquiry report adds.

For more details, visit the inquiry report

Published on 2 July 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin.


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