January 2016 Newsletter

2016 has arrived Happy New Year !!!!!!

Well it is finally here, another year begins and the challenges start straight away.

We hope that the following information is helpful to you and your business when you start the planning for activities and focus points of 2016.

New worker cover medical certificate being considered:

An interesting fact: Work related injuries cost the Queensland economy $5.8 billion a year according to latest estimates—around four times the cost of compensated work-related injuries. The community bears more than half of the total economic cost, followed by workers and employers.

The impact that work-related injuries have can be reduced by promoting a positive return to work culture and implementing practices to return injured workers to work quickly and safely. It’s also good for business. The potential savings from supporting early return to work can help business maintain operational requirements and minimise claim costs that impact on your workers’ compensation premiums.

To support a positive return to culture, we are currently reviewing the workers’ compensation medical certificate. In 2016 we will introduce a new certificate that focuses on capacity, rather than incapacity, for work. This will encourage doctors, workers and employers to start talking about the issue from the very first medical appointment.

We will keep you posted as this is progressed through the chain of “sign offs” by the relevant decision makers.

WHSQ Action Plans for 2016:

Seven Queensland industry sectors have been identified as requiring targeted efforts to improve safety in order to keep the state’s work injury rates trending down. Recent statistics show that the serious injury claim rate for the targeted sub-sectors, including the metals manufacturing, meat processing, road freight, civil construction, construction trades, horticulture and livestock sectors were much higher than each overall industry claim rate.

Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Grace Grace issued a statement saying. “Although the rate of workplace deaths and injuries in this state is lowering, it’s no reason to ease up on work safety. We know that jobs in the these industries often involve hard, physical, dirty work—but these workers have as much right to a safe workplace as those in other industries. Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will work closely with businesses in these sectors to identify the most prevalent injuries and what is causing them. We will look at the financial impact of injuries on their business, as well as the impacts on workers and their families”.

So with this in mind the following industries will form the Action Plan for the year of 2016.

The Metals manufacturing industry action plan and the Meat processing industry action plan highlight:

integration of health and safety, injury management and health and wellbeing systems
resource materials for the control of occupational health and hygiene risks
initiatives and resources to raise awareness and build industry capacity to manage musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial and chronic disease risks.

The Road freight industry action plan highlights:

accessing and working on and around trucks and trailers
coupling and decoupling
immobilising heavy vehicles and trailers
work related violence for bus drivers
loading, unloading and cross-loading cattle

The Civil construction industry action plan and the Construction trades action plan highlight:

working around mobile plant and moving traffic
operating elevated work platforms
loading and unloading trucks
working around electrical installations.

The Horticulture industry action plan highlights:

design controls for on farm transport of workers and loading and unloading of produce and equipment
establishing partnerships with research institutions to improve safety
establishing safety networks in major horticultural growing regions
initiatives and resources to raise awareness and build industry capacity to manage musculoskeletal disorders, psychosocial and chronic disease risks.

The Livestock industry action plan highlights:

livestock loading and unloading facilities
safe work environments for young and travelling workers
the use of agricultural chemicals
exposure to noise and UV radiation
working in isolation / remote workers.
Injuries in these sectors make up a significant proportion of the state’s workers’ compensation claims and it is only natural that if there is a focus on where the injuries are happening it can only prove to be a benefit to us all.

Would be interested to hear feedback on the above points from any of you in the industries identified.

Safety Alerts issued through 2015:

The following list are the issued safety alerts that were posted through the year.

If you require any further information on any of these, or missed them when they came through, let us know and we will only be too happy to pass them on.

Support of mobile plant on outriggerThe purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the potential risks associated with inadequate support under outrigger feet on mobile plant – particularly on poor ground, including fill.
Date issued: 22 December 2015 |  Read more
Stair module failures on scaffoldingA number of incidents have occurred in Queensland where modular scaffolding stair units have dropped or stair treads have failed.
Date issued: 12 November 2015 |  Read more
Re-design of rider restraint systems on amusement devices
Setting-up and dismantling of amusements rides.
Multi-cutters and other discs on power tools and air tools
There are identified risks with rider restraint systems on some amusement rides. This alert outlines information on engineering controls to assist in ensuring the safety of patrons.
Date issued: 01 May 2015 |  Read more

Safely immobilising heavy vehicles and trailers

For you that are in this related industry, some information for your follow up.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is investigating a fatality at a workplace in Nanango where a worker was crushed by a truck trailer combination which rolled while he was attempting to repair an airline. Workers frequently need to get in and out of heavy vehicles during on-road activities, or when working on or under a heavy vehicle or trailer to clean it, check for faults, and undertake servicing and repairs. Tragically though, many Queensland workers have been seriously injured or killed due to a heavy vehicle or trailer not being effectively immobilised.

Businesses must ensure that the risk of being crushed or hit by vehicles and trailers is controlled and there is a safe system of work in place which includes training. Guidance was published earlier this year as part of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s Safely immobilising heavy vehicles and trailers campaign to help businesses address these risks. This campaign will run continue into 2016 as inspectors visits businesses throughout Queensland and variety of industries providing information and awareness.

I feel that this is sufficient to get the year started.

As you know our world is forever changing and the laws and regulations that impact us change more often than we would all like!

The right of entry has changed again in Queensland and the global system of labelling chemicals is in the final year of transition, to commence this time next year.

We will release further details on this new requirement within the next month, so you can then start to focus on getting this area of your business compliant!

If you need to discuss this before then, just drop us a note or contact and we will talk you through the major impacts.

So there it is. A start for 2016 and more to follow!

As the old saying goes:

“The failure to plan is a plan to fail!”

So if you need help to plan, you know who to contact.

Thank you to all who have allowed us to work with them through 2015 and we look forward to catching up in 2016 to share some of your achievements.

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Workplace Health & Safety Consultants

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Tel: 07 3410 8482

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