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Archive for: September

Coalition Senator Eric Abetz has been appointed as the new federal minister for work health and safety (WHS).

WHS falls under Abetz’s employment portfolio.

As well as being the Employment Minister, he will also take on the roles of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service, and Leader of the Government in the Senate.

In Opposition, he was initially Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and later became Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations.

He was first elected to parliament as the Senator for Tasmania in 1994.

He takes over WHS from the ALP’s Work Place Relations Minister Bill Shorten.

For more details, visit Eric Abetz.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A company has been prosecuted after it failed to stop a high-risk work procedure in which a worker was crushed between a roller door and a forklift.

At the time of the incident, Holsten’s Pty Ltd’s roller door had been malfunctioning for some time, SafeWork SA said in a media release.

The workers would stand on the tines of the forklift so they could be lifted up to manually pull down the door.

“The employer was aware of this practice and did not stop the use of the forklift for this purpose, despite the availability of a platform ladder at the premises,” SafeWork SA said.

“Other employees who regularly operated the forklift did not hold valid high risk work licences.”

The worker was injured when he was lifted too high and was crushed between the roller door and the back rail of the forklift, SafeWork SA said.

The worker was treated in hospital for rib, back, right shoulder, chest, stomach and lung injuries.

SafeWork SA prosecuted the company in the South Australian Industrial Relations Court for breaching the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986.

The company pleaded guilty and was fined $66,000 plus costs.

For more details, visit SafeWork SA.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A company and its director have been fined a total of $100,000 after a 19-year-old independent contractor sustained serious neck and head injuries in a fall.

Mallon Company Pty Ltd was engaged to replace a roof in August 2010, WorkSafe Western Australia said in a media release.

Mallon subcontracted the re-roofing to Debri Pty Ltd, and subcontracted the lifting of the old roof and the landing of the new roof to Terry’s Crane Hire.

Terry’s Crane Hire engaged a 19-year-old independent contractor to carry out the dogging work.

The worked started in September 2010.

Debri’s employees warned the dogger to be aware of rusty sheets and damaged polycarbonate sheeting on the roof.

However, when the dogger was on the roof removing slings from a pack of metal sheets, he inadvertently stood on the end of the damaged polycarbonate sheeting and fell on to the cement floor 3.3 metres below.

He sustained serious head and neck injuries.

At the time of the incident, no safety mesh was installed in that part of the building, WorkSafe said.

Mallon and its director were prosecuted for the incident and pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates last week.

The court found that they had failed to work with Debri and Terry’s Crane Hire to ensure the risks of falling were managed, said WorkSafe.

Mallon was fined $70,000 and its director Michael Moore was fined $30,000.

Terry’s Crane Hire and its director were prosecuted in June and fined $71,000.

Debri is still to be prosecuted.

For more details, visit WorkSafe.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

The start date for the new Heavy Vehicle National Law has been delayed again.

The laws were rescheduled once before to start in October instead of September because of IT problems surrounding the permit application system.

This was reported in an earlier e-bulletin.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has been using the extra time to fix and test the system, and has found that it requires more work, which has pushed out the start date to beyond 1 October.

NHVR CEO Richard Hancock said in a media release that the testing had gone well, but the “NHVR Board wants more preparatory work done in areas such as user acceptance, training and support for local government”.

No new start date has been confirmed.

As reported in the earlier e-bulletin:

“Until our new start date, though, it’s business as usual for heavy vehicle operators and drivers,” Hancock said.

“Come to us for [the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme] and [Performance-Based Standard] services as you have been since January.

“Stick with your local road transport authority for all other road transport business with government, including access, vehicle standards and fatigue management.”

For more details, visit the regulator.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Over 600 newly diagnosed mesothelioma cases have been notified for 2012, says the latest data.

The numbers were published earlier this week in the Australian Mesothelioma Registry’s (AMR) second annual report.

As at 30 June, the AMR had received 619 notifications of people being newly diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.

Of these people, 511 were men and 108 were women, and 79.6 per cent were over the age of 65 at the time of the diagnosis.

This is fewer than the 639 new diagnoses notified in 2011, which included the 612 recorded in the first annual report and an additional 27 that were notified after the annual report was published.

However, like the previous year, it is likely that notifications for 2012 will continue to come in even though the report has been published, the AMR says.

For more details, visit the mesothelioma report.

Published on 26 September 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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