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OH&S in the workplace

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Directors, Executives, Managers and Employees are all now seen to be responsible for OHS&E within the workplace. In some states the crime of “Industrial Manslaughter” is a reality.

Unsafe work efficiencies such as having damaged pallets in your racking can cause major collapses. All work practises need to be revised to ensure it is the best and safest way to execute that task and in turn this will be likely to increase workers confidence when working in and around these racking structures

It is important to remember to organise your racking to be inspected on a regular basis as poorly maintained racking can have disastrous consequences.

In the quest to reduce hazards in the workplace, scheduling an IRIA inspector to inspect your racking will give you peace of mind that your workers are not at risk of potentially fatal accidents.

To have your racking inspected, click here to get a quote or contact IRIA on 1300 136 649

15 New Inspectors graduated to begin task of keeping Victoria safe

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New inspectors to boost workplace safety

Fifteen new inspectors who graduated from a 17-week training program last week will begin the task of keeping Victorians safe and healthy at work this month.

The new inspectors will assist WorkSafe to carry out more than 45,000 workplace inspections each year.

WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies and Member for Geelong Christine Couzens presented the graduates with their instruments of appointment at a ceremony at WorkSafe’s headquarters last week.

The new group includes five women and 10 men with experience in sectors including construction, mining, oil and gas, healthcare, ergonomics, chemical and mechanical engineering.

The new inspectors will be based in Mulgrave, Essendon Fields, Traralgon, Warrnambool, Geelong, and Melbourne.

Minister for Finance Robin Scott said a strong WorkSafe inspectorate played a crucial role in ensuring Victorian workers were able to return home from work safe each day.

“Inspectors are WorkSafe’s frontline, upholding the integrity of Victoria’s occupational health and safety laws,” Minister Scott said.

“They also play a large part in educating employers and duty holders on what they need to do to keep workers safe.

“Both of these roles take passion and commitment, and I congratulate today’s graduates for taking up this important cause.”

WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies said the experiences and skills of the new graduates would benefit all Victorian workers and employers.

“As the nature of work continues to change, so do workplace health and safety needs,” Ms. Amies said.

“The previous experience of our new graduates will ensure that WorkSafe maintains a diverse inspectorate with a deep understanding of industry and the dynamics of the modern workplace.”

Author:    Stephen


Worksafe ACT Issues almost 250 improvement and prohibition notices

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WorkSafe ACT has issued almost 250 improvement and prohibition notices, 23 infringement notices totalling over $80,000, enforceable undertakings of more than $700,000 during 3,854 workplace visits across Canberra in the past year.

ACT Work Safety Commissioner Greg Jones said there had also been two successful prosecutions and a number of significant charges laid, including the first manslaughter charge for a workplace fatality in the ACT, which is currently before the courts.

“It has been a busy financial year so far and in terms of activity we are already tracking higher than the previous year in compliance actions,” Mr. Jones said.

“Our skilled inspectors are in workplaces and worksites across the ACT every day to support safety and take action where appropriate. At the end of May, there had been 2248 proactive and 1606 reactive workplace visits to ensure Canberra’s have a safe place of work.

“In addition to this, inspectors have visited 123 workplaces and spoken to 144 apprentices and young workers as part of the Young Workers and Apprentice Audit that commenced in March this year.

“Young workers continue to be a key focus for WorkSafe as there is increased vulnerability with inexperience both in skills and ability as well as in knowing their rights and responsibilities when it comes to work health and safety. We will report the findings of the audit throughout the year as this important work progresses.”

To the end of May this financial year the safety watchdog said it has issued:

  • 77 Prohibition Notices which is up from 58 for the whole of 2016-17
  • 170 Work Health and Safety Improvement Notices up from 140 for the whole of 2016-17
  • 23 Infringement Notices (totalling $82,800) up from 1 Notice in 2016-17
  • 2 Prosecutions (Paul Papas – October 2017 – fines totalling $1,980 plus clean-up costs of $248,000 and Samarkos Earthmoving – November 2017 – $60,000)
  • Two significant enforceable undertaking entered (Glass Tech and Milin Builders) with a collective financial component of over $700,000.

“While the above is a reflection of the strong regulatory activity of WorkSafe what it doesn’t capture is the extensive education and engagement that occurs each and every day with employers, workers, and industry, which prevents many safety issues before they even occur,” Mr. Jones said.

“This pre-emptive intervention works hand-in-hand with enforcement action which WorkSafe ACT doesn’t hesitate to take where there are serious or repeated safety concerns.

“I’d like to send a reminder to employers and workers to continue to put safety at the forefront of activity each and every day so workers go home safely.

“This must come from the top with Directors, managers, and supervisors showing leadership by demonstrating a positive safety culture.  This will go a long way in meeting their legislative responsibilities,” he concluded.


Aurthor:  Stephen

Edited:    Katie Carr


Man crushed to death by falling pallets from a forklift

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Company fined over forklift incident

Auckland – A major freight distribution and logistics company in New Zealand was sentenced following an incident in which a worker was crushed to death by falling pallets that were being moved from a train wagon by forklift in September 2016.

The man was standing beside the forklift. The pallets it was carrying fell and struck the worker as the driver was reversing. The victim died at the scene.

An investigation into the incident found that the company did not identify the risk of a pedestrian being hit by freight falling from forklift tines and that its system relied on administrative controls that were ambiguous and contradictory.

“Administrative controls like rules and procedures are simply not enough, pedestrians need to be segregated from forklift activity,” said WorkSafe Deputy General Manager, Investigations and Specialist Services, Simon Humphries.

Mr. Humphries said that more should be done to protect workers and ensure their safety.

“Fixed barriers to separate people from moving plant don’t work in every workplace, but a temporary barrier and warning signage would have kept the victim outside of the dangerous area and alive.”

The company was fined $506,300. Reparations of $118,020.10 were ordered for emotional harm and consequential loss in addition to payments of $105,000 already provided to the family of the victim. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $6030.

Author:     Haydee


Racking Safety Concerns

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An inspection program carried out by WorkSafe Western Australia in the wholesale industry has highlighted “serious” concerns with the safety of racking.

The inspection program was carried out over the 2015/16 financial year in both metropolitan and regional areas.

It involved visits to 127 workplaces to look at a range of hazards faced by workers in the wholesale trade.

WorkSafe director Joe Attard says the wholesaling area involved a number of activities that were potentially hazardous and could result in serious injuries.

This led to inspectors issuing 206 improvement notices, two prohibition notices and 39 verbal directions, with the largest number of notices being issued in relation to pallet racking.

“The work activities in wholesaling that result in injuries most commonly involve muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects, and the occupation most at risk is store persons,” Attard says.

“Many serious incidents have taken place that involved racking, and it is an area with which we already had concerns.”

The three main areas concerning racking for which notices were issued were:

  • Safe working loads not displayed – no provision of information on how much weight the supports are manufactured to hold;
  • Racking not secured or bolted down – leading to the potential for racking to move or topple over if bumped by a forklift or other mobile plant; and
  • Missing safety locking pins – no safeguard against the pallet racking supports being knocked out of place.

“It’s crucial that the wholesale industry understands the importance of ensuring the stability of racking in their workplaces and that racking is designed for easy access and use to minimise the risk of injury to workers,” he says.

“This inspection program also resulted in a number of notices concerning hazardous substances, fire precautions, warning signs and guarding of machinery – all very important areas with risks that need to be assessed and minimised.

“The notices issued covered a wide range of issues, so we plan to monitor the wholesale industry closely in the future to ensure employers are making use of the information we have provided to make their workplaces safer.

“These proactive inspection programs are really all about providing employers with information on how to comply with workplace safety laws and helping them to identify risks to the safety and health of workers.

“We firmly believe that raising awareness with proactive inspection programs is the best way in which to lessen the risk of work-related injury and illness.”


Author:   Unkown


A must read – Racking Collapses on man

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A Wodonga company has been ordered to pay $10,000 to the court fund and been put on to a 12 month undertaking to be of good behaviour after a customer was hurt when shelves collapsed on to him in February last year.

A man went to a Wodonga premises to buy some angle iron and was told by a worker to “help yourself” and was directed into a storage yard.

WorkSafe told the Wodonga Magistrates Court today he could not reach the top of the rack which contained the angle iron, so he climbed up a short distance and was reaching for a piece of metal when the rack began to move away from the shed wall.

The customer fell to the ground and the rack and its contents fell on him.

The 63-year-old man was taken to hospital where he was operated on and was in intensive care for five days. He suffered six broken ribs and fractures to the ribs, and cuts and bruising to both legs and other parts of his body.

The court was told:

  • The company did not ensure pallet racking was secured sufficiently to prevent it breaking away from the wall or from collapse;
  • signs designating the safe work load was not fixed to the pallet racking;
  • There was no adequate safe work procedure in place for loading and unloading racking;
  • Unaccompanied visitors were permitted to access all areas of the yard; the pallet racking and conduct loading or unloading of the racking without supervision;
  • Visitors were not made aware of the safe working load limits of the pallet racking;
  • Visitors were not prohibited from standing on the pallet racking.

The Court took into account the company’s good corporate standing, no prior convictions in its 40 years of operation and that it took prompt and remedial action in response to the incident.

The company addressed the above issues after the incident and has also been ordered to pay WorkSafe’s costs.

The director of WorkSafe’s Manufacturing, Logisitcs and Agriculture Division, Ross Pilkington said maintaining high safety standard was essential for any business.

“Whether you’re a CEO, supervisor or worker, making safety a priority is essential. If you’re a business leader getting involved in safety but understanding what’s going on in your operation is vital.”

He urged all business leaders to look at WorkSafe’s new online safety campaign, the Skeleton Project which targets musculo-skeletal injuries.

“These injuries, caused by poor manual handling practices, inadequate equipment and slips, trips & falls account for 60% of all Victorian workers compensation claims and cost the community more than $1-billion a year in treatment and rehabilitation costs.”

Find out more about the skeleton project at

Facing similar issues? WorkSafe’s Guidance Note for pallet-racking provides information on the safe operation and maintenance of static pallet racking.

The charges:

Section 21 (2) (a) Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004: this section requires employers to provide or maintain plant or systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

Section 23 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004: This section requires employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the business.

Author:    Unknown

Edited:     Katie Carr