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News Articles and Updates Archive

Archive for: January

The Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) will start in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia on 10 February.

As reported in an earlier e-bulletin, the HVNL was initially meant to start last year.

“The NHVR recently took a very difficult decision to set aside the planned September commencement date, because we knew our IT systems needed more work,” said NHVR CEO Richard Hancock late last year.

“We have now done that work and can confidently say we will be ready on 10 February.

“We have also been working closely with our regulatory partners, state and territory road transport authorities, local government and police agencies to support them with their preparations for the new national law.”

For more details, visit the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Published on 30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Labour-hire practices will be the target of a safety inspection program in Western Australia (WA) until June.

“Unfortunately, a number of serious injuries and some deaths have occurred over recent years involving workers employed under labour hire arrangements,” WorkSafe WA Commissioner Lex McCulloch said.

“There is a pressing need for both host employers and labour hire agents to be very clear on their responsibilities regarding the safety and health of labour hire workers, in particular their training and supervision.”

Work health and safety inspectors will be visiting employers and labour-hire agencies in all industries and regions.

They will be looking at a range of factors, including the training and supervision of labour hire workers, hazard identification, risk assessment, risk control and consultation with labour hire workers and the labour hire agent.

For more details, visit WorkSafe in Western Australia.

Published on 30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Workers have been electrocuted, shocked and severely burnt in New South Wales.

Two workers were electrocuted and 14 received electric shocks between August 2012 and August 2013.

WorkCover NSW General Manager of Work Health and Safety Division John Watson said “businesses need to take precautions and always use a licensed electrician for all electrical installation work”.

This includes de-energising before starting work and ensuring “workers, equipment, material and plant remain at safe distances from overhead and underground electric lines”.

In one of the incidents, “a worker was installing air-conditioning at a petrol station when the wiring he was working with was still energised and he received an electric shock. Tragically, he passed away in hospital”, said Watson.

In another incident, a truck driver and a crane operator were unloading housing trusses when the crane touched 11,000 volt overhead powerlines.

Watson said the shock threw the crane operator from the controls. The truck driver was also shocked when he attempted to take control of the crane and became stuck to the electrified controls.

The crane operator recovered from his initial shock but was shocked again when he tried to pull the truck driver off the controls. Nevertheless, he recovered again and used a crane sling as a lasso to drag the driver off the controls.

Watson said the crane operator then suffered a heart attack, but he was resuscitated; he also sustained severe electrical burns and part of his left foot had to be amputated.

The truck driver was also burnt.

WorkCover successfully prosecuted the company – which was fined $65,000 for breaching the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.

For more details, visit WorkCover NSW.

Published on 30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A physiotherapist, a resource industry reformer and a mounted police officer have received Australia Day Honours for their services to work health and safety.

Barbara Jean McPhee received an Order of Australia for significant service to physiotherapy as a practitioner in occupational health, and as an author.

McPhee is a specialist occupational health physiotherapist and the principal consultant at OHS Services Network.

Her long association with WHS includes being an independent expert member of the New South Wales Mine Safety Advisory Council since 2006, a member of the NSW Joint Coal Board Ergonomics Intervention Project from 1990 to 1991 and President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia from 1991 to 1993.

Among her books, she co-authored Bad Vibrations: A Handbook on Whole-Body Vibration in Mining (2nd Edition Coal Services Health and Safety Trust, 2009), and she authored Practical Ergonomics: Human Factors at Work (Coal Services Health and Safety Trust, 2005).

Tania Joy Constable received the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in the development of Australia’s liquefied natural gas and other resource and energy industries.

Among her achievements, Constable oversaw the regulatory reform that established the single national regulator for offshore petroleum in Commonwealth waters, the National Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Authority.

Sergeant Karen Mercia Owen received the Australian Police Medal.

Owen is a sergeant at the Mounted Unit of the New South Wales Police Force. She has been with the unit for 30 years.

Among her duties, she is responsible for managing the WHS risks of pairing riders with horses.

She has also led the Anzac Day parade, worked on many demonstrations and rode the Household Cavalry horses and performed for the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

Other recipients were also honoured for their WHS and other achievements.

For more details, visit the Australia Day Honours.

Published on  30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

One thousand heavy vehicle drivers are being tested at truck stops for health risks until 10 February.

The testing is part of a joint initiative between Safe Work Australia, National Transport Commission, preventionXpress and the Institute for Breathing and Sleeping to improve truck driver health.

The testing started in December 2013, and drivers in New South Wales and Victoria are being tested from 26 January until 10 February.

Drivers are offered a free, confidential, 10-minute health check conducted by a preventionXpress health professional. It involves testing height, weight, blood pressure and a blood prick test for diabetes, and a lifestyle questionnaire.

“Through the health checks truck drivers will learn more about their risk of Australia’s five major chronic preventable diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” says Safe Work Australia.

“Personal health risk factors like alcohol, tobacco, balanced diet, physical activity, effective sleep pattern, fatigue and psychological health and wellbeing will also be identified.”

Any at risk drivers will be referred to their GP.

The de-identified health information collected at the truck stops will be reported to the National Transport Commission and Safe Work Australia and used to create preventative health programs for the road freight transport industry.

For more details visit the testing initiative.

Published on 30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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