November 2016 – Newsletter

Reminder on what is important in our lives!

As 2016 flies past us all and we are starting to plan for the Christmas Break, celebrations with families and loved ones, I felt it was timely to stop and think why we do what we do day in and day out!

We have had several fatalities this year, and most, I would confidently say, were totally avoidable, so now it is important to remember those that have been effected by these incidents.

Ask yourself:

What can I do to make it a better workplace?

What can I do to change the culture in the workplace?

What part can I play to become a safety leader, not follower?

We would welcome the chance to talk to you or your team about what your answers were to the above questions. Developing safety leadership and culture is increasingly important for businesses trying to positively influence work safety, reduce their injury rates and create a healthy and productive work environment

With these thoughts, I wanted to share with you some “findings” and statistics that you can use in your tool box meetings or safety talks to your team:

Trucking Executive receives 10 years jail for workplace accident:

An Adelaide trucking company boss twice found guilty of manslaughter over a driver’s death due to faulty brakes has had his sentence reduced. Peter Francis Colbert, 56, was convicted in September over the death of Robert Brimson, 45. Mr. Brimson was killed when the truck he was driving slammed into a pole on Main South Road at Happy Valley in 2014. Justice Malcolm Blue sentenced Colbert to 10 years, six months’ jail with a non-parole period of seven years and five months, commencing from September 2016. Colbert was also convicted of endangering the life of another driver who the court heard warned him about failing brakes two days before the fatal crash.

This is a salient reminder to Executive Officers of their Duties as detailed in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 specifically section.19 primary duties, s.20 duties of a person conducting a business or undertaking and the penalties outlined in s.31 for category 1 breach where a person is exposed to death or the risk of death due to reckless behavior where statutory offences can in certain circumstances become criminal manslaughter charges.

NB: The words “criminal manslaughter” have been in the newspaper several times in October with the Queensland fatalities still fresh in our minds.

Ladder safety matters – don’t let this be your last step!!

With time off (holidays) over Christmas we often look at working around our homes, so some sobering thoughts for you: Across Australia, about 1,600 men aged over 65 were hospitalized annually with ladder-related injuries, with most occurring while doing DIY and maintenance work at home.

Using a ladder around the home is something the DIYers have done for decades, but re-thinking the risks involved a ladder fall can have a lasting impact on both the injured person and their family, and often the consequences of a fall go far beyond the injuries themselves. Many men have difficulty adjusting to life after a fall, where they are less mobile, less independent and less able to do their own maintenance and DIY work.

“Research indicates older men suffer a heavy sense of loss at not being able to help out around the house, and this would be felt particularly among Queensland men used to being outdoors. The burden on families can also be significant, with family members leaving employment to care for fall victims, or returning to work to be able to afford the professional ongoing care needed”, reported from the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Almost every ladder injury was preventable and it is often a split-second decision, something that the man knows is a risky shortcut! Of those admitted to hospital, one third need intensive care. Shockingly, a quarter of these intensive care patients die, and of those who do survive, over half are not well enough to live at home after 12 months.

The figures show just how serious a fall from a ladder can be, and should be a sobering reminder for older Aussie men to stop and think before doing something risky on a ladder. It’s very important to maintain three points of contact always and not overreach.

Following some simple ladder safety tips can drastically reduce the risk of injury:

    • choose the right ladder for the job
    • don’t work in wet or windy conditions
    • take time to set up your ladder
    • work safely up the ladder
    • have another person hold the ladder
  • know your limits and work to your ability Some surprising facts follow for you to consider with your team:


  • In the environment / market place we work in today we are always trying to cram more work time into the workplace, so shift work is growing in popularity with businesses.
  • New study results shows shift workers suffer more work injuries

The injury rate for Australian shift workers at 49.9 injured workers per million hours worked, is more than twice that of non-shift workers at 23.2, per new Safe Work Australia study results.

The study found shift workers accounted for only 16 per cent of hours worked, but they accounted for 30 per cent of injured workers. However, it also stated that further investigation into the causes was needed to improve the safety of shift workers because not all groups of shift workers had significantly higher injury rates.

Shift workers who were machinery operators and drivers had a significantly lower injury rate than their non-shift worker counterparts. There were no significant differences in the injury rates of shift workers and non-shift workers in clerical and administrative workers; retail trade; transport, postal and warehousing; and health care and social assistance.

The study found shift workers in the following groups had significantly higher injury rates than their non-shift worker counterparts:

  • Occupations: labourers; community and personal service workers; technicians and trades workers; and professionals.
  • Industries: manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and public administration and safety.

So, one final note before we close. Remember the joy and excitement of the works get togethers need to be organized and controlled! Sorry, but remember you have an obligation as it is still a workplace as well as a “party”.

I look forward to having you all part of our network again next year. If there is anything mentioned through this newsletter you require further information on, do not hesitate to contact us.

If you want more statistics to share with your team on musculoskeletal impacts or the changes to the Workplace Bullying Guidelines, let us know. Always happy to share information!

Until next newsletter.

Stay safe and well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Workplace Health & Safety Consultants

PO Box 678
Bribie Island QLD 4507
Tel: 07 3410 8482

Worplace Health & Safety Training and Audits

WH&S Services:

  • Safety Officers
  • Fire Safety Advisors
  • Risk Assessments
  • Seminars
  • Hazardous Material Management
  • Harmonisation Laws
  • Farming / Rural WH&S


HR Services:

  • HR Management
  • HR Audits
  • Staff/Team Assessments
  • Staff Surveys
  • Software Systems
  • Coaching Programs


Workplace Auditing Services:

  • Safety Management Systems (OHSMS AS4801)
  • Construction Audits
  • High risk safety work (SWMS) Audits
  • Traffic Management
  • Environmental Audits
  • Ergonomic Audits
  • HR Audits
  • QMS Audits


PBC&S Accept Credit Cards