October is Safety Month
Every year throughout October, Australians observe National Safe Work Month, which is a time for workers and employers to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace.
Last year in Australia, 191 people died while doing their job and over 106,000 people made a claim for a serious injury.
No industry should be unsafe to work in and no death or injury is acceptable.
The theme for this year’s National Safe Work Month campaign – ‘A moment is all it takes’ – calls on all of us to spend a moment each day considering safety in the workplace.
Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said that while a safety incident can happen in a moment and in any workplace, a moment’s forethought can prevent harm.
“Taking a safety moment can be as simple as spending five minutes every morning talking with your team about the hazards and risks in your workplace, and how to prevent harm.
Leading up to October, Safe Work Australia will publish a range of resources on the National Safe Work Month website, including posters and graphics specific to a range of industries. Employers and workers can use these resources to raise awareness of work health and safety in their workplace.
“Injury or death in the workplace changes lives forever. This October, take a moment to consider what workplace safety means to you,” Ms Baxter said. n
Share your safety moment using #mysafetymoment
Self Assessment Tool - using Angle Grinders
In February 2016, a worker was killed while operating a 9 inch (230 mm) angle grinder when part of a broken disc struck his chest. It appears that the high impact of the projectile caused fatal internal injuries.
This is just one example of many where workers have been seriously injured when angle grinders have not been used correctly.
As a response to increasing injuries occurring from the unsafe operation of angle grinders, the Manufacturing and Logistics team (with assistance from the Engineering Unit and senior inspectors) have developed an easy to follow self-assessment checklist that can be used by anyone working with an angle grinder.
Please share this tool with anyone you feel may benefit from it. It can be found online or downloaded as a PDF with the following link-
Is your workplace ready for summer?
With UV levels strong enough on a summer’s day for Victorians to be sunburnt in just 11 minutes, it’s essential to have UV safety on your agenda.
At this time of year, it's a good idea to reinforce this via a toolbox talk or similar avenue.
While the sunburn fades, the permanent damage to DNA doesn’t. It adds up with each exposure, increasing the risk of developing skin cancer. The skin cancer risk is even higher for people who work outdoors; receiving up to 10 times more UV damage over their lifetime than an indoor worker. Despite these alarming numbers, a recent Australian Workplace Exposure Study found just 7% of workers in the construction industry have adequate protection from UV damage.
Don’t put your workers at risk - ensure appropriate protective clothing is worn; provide shade and cool water; and provide sunscreen for your workers.
Not only is UV a hazard so too is heat.
People in control of the workplace, such as managers and supervisors, and workers all have duties under work health and safety laws to manage risks to worker health and safety, such as those associated with working in heat.
Safe Work Australia has published a new guide for managing the risks of working in heat. Click here to view the guide or you can download the document below.
NSW Work at Height Blitz
Falls from heights are the leading killer on NSW construction sites, so SafeWork will be visiting construction sites across NSW over the next 12 months, to ensure compliance and raise awareness about the risks when working at heights.
This has been prompted by a tripling of falls incidents reported over the last five years, with the majority occurring in the construction industry. So far this year, eight workers in NSW have been killed, and many more suffered catastrophic injuries.
An additional and alarming statistic reported by SafeWork Australia is that nearly half of all fatalities in construction last year occurred between October and the end-of-year.
The blitz coincides with the introduction of tough new laws, where employers can be fined up to $3600 for failing to control the risk of falls adequately.
Work at Height is high risk - Ensure your workers are protected.
Check the lnk below for WorkSafe Victoria's Safety Alert re Glass in Childcare Centres
Check here for WorkCover Queensland's Health and Safety Alerts