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Archive for: May

NSCA’s most experienced international training facilitator, Marilyn Hubner, delivered the long-awaited Fiji Certificate IV in WHS program to enthusiastic participants in March 2014.

The program was developed in conjunction with the Fiji National University (FNU) and was very well received with participants organising a special ceremony for Marilyn at the end of the program.

The international safety training program continues in October 2014 when the NSCA delivers the Diploma of WHS in Fiji.  The NSCA is currently working closely with the FNU to promote the program.

Following on from this successful training program, the NSCA is exploring other opportunities to further support safety training at an international level.

For every $1 workplaces invest in effective mental health strategies they will receive a return of $2.30, according to a new PwC report.

The report says mental health conditions affected productivity, participation and compensation claims to the tune of $10.9 billion a year.

“One in five Australian workers are experiencing mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety right now, but sadly too many workplaces still do not realise the importance of their employees’ mental health,” beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC said in a media statement.

“This report shows that employers have a responsibility not only to their workers, but also to their businesses’ profitability, to tackle these conditions at work.”

PwC partner Jeremy Thorpe said small business often benefited the most from introducing mental health initiatives. “For example, small mining businesses that invest in effective mental health programs receive an average return on investment (ROI) of 15, meaning they get $15 out of every $1 they spend. Small essential service providers receive an average ROI of 14.5,” Thorpe said in a media statement.

For more detail, visit the report.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Federal safety bodies and the commonwealth workers compensation scheme have been spared the axe in the Federal Budget.

As reported in the previous e-bulletin, the Australian Government’s commission of audit recommended consolidating Safe Work Australia; the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency; Comcare and other safety bodies within the Department of Employment.

It also recommended that Comcare’s claims management be outsourced, having the private sector underwrite its workers’ compensation insurance scheme.

However, none of these changes are in this year’s Budget.

For more details, visit the Budget 2014.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Tobacco kills half its users, says the World Health Organization in the lead-up to World No Tobacco Day on 31 May.

Six million people die from tobacco-related disease each year. “More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke,” WHO says in a media statement.

“Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease.”

Smoking tobacco and other products is banned in most Australian workplaces.

Graphical images on cigarette packets have also been introduced, among other initiatives such as taxes, to persuade Australians not to smoke.

Taxes are viewed as playing a significant role in reducing tobacco use. “Taxes are the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young people and poor people,” WHO says.

“A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10 per cent decreases tobacco consumption by about four per cent in high-income countries and by up to eight per cent in low- and middle-income countries.”

Total tobacco taxes in Australia accounted for more than 63 per cent of the final price of a packet of cigarettes in 2012.

New laws will increase the excise and excise-equivalent customs duty on tobacco over four staged increases of 12.5 per cent each over the next two years.

For more detail, visit World No Tobacco Day.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A number of changes to the Queensland work health and safety (WHS) laws started last week.

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 commenced on 16 May.

As reported in an earlier e-bulletin, the amendment removes the power of health and safety representatives to direct workers to stop unsafe work. However, workers will continue to have a right to stop unsafe work.

Among other changes, it also allows codes of practice adopted in Queensland to be approved, varied or revoked without requiring national consultation. However, local consultation will continue.

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 also commenced on 16 May.

It removes a number of requirements, such as that requiring certain workers to undergo audiometric testing, fitting rollover protective structures to earthmoving machinery, and the requirement that an applicant applying for class B asbestos removal licence to nominate a supervisor to the WHS regulator when.

Among other changes, an asbestos register is not required if a workplace was:
• constructed after 31 December 1989 (instead of 31 December 2003), and
• no asbestos has been identified at the workplace, and
• no asbestos is likely to be present at the workplace from time to time.

For more detail, visit the changes.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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