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Uncontrolled cutting of engineered stone banned in Victoria

Last week WorkSafe announced immediate changes to the Victorian OHS regulations relating to cutting, grinding and polishing engineered stone with power tools. Under the new regulations – which are already in effect – anyone cutting engineered stone with a power tool must ensure it is fitted with either an: Integrated water delivery system (on-tool water suppression) that supplies a continuous feed of water. Using a hose or other handheld device to direct water to the cutting point isn’t acceptable – an integrated delivery system needs to be interlocked with the power tool. On-tool dust extractor that is attached to a HEPA filtered dust…

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Managing Contractor Safety

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in – whether it’s construction, aged care, transport, or financial services – at some point you’re likely to engage an independent contractor. And, their safety, is your responsibility. Protecting contractors. Protecting your business. Time and time again, one of the biggest gaps we see in Safety Management Systems is Contractor Safety. Many employers fall into the trap of thinking that health and safety is the sole responsibility of the contractor. But, according to health and safety legislation any individual, corporation, partnership or association that conducts a business or undertaking (PCBU) has a duty to…

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Franchisees, are you meeting your OHS responsibilities?

Who is and isn’t responsible for workers Health and Safety is especially complex when it comes to franchises. And, the reality is that many franchisees and franchisors don’t understand the legislation and how it applies to them. As a franchisee, you are the employer You hire people to work in your business and are responsible for their health, safety and welfare when they’re at work. Generally speaking you have the same OHS responsibilities as any other business. But… the franchisor often dictates processes, procedures and equipment This is where it gets complicated. Typically, an employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring…

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Are office ergonomics all they’re cracked up to be?

Almost any office worker will tell you –  good ergonomics are essential to preventing back and neck pain. After all, if you’re sitting at a desk, staring at a screen for hours upon hours a day you need to make sure you’re sitting right… Right? Office injuries are costing us big bucks Over the last three decades as the number of us who spend our days sitting at a desk has grown, so has the ergonomics industry. Back and neck pain, carpal tunnel and a host of other ‘office injuries’ are a reality of office life and responsible employers are…

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Worksafe fines Victorian Employer $60,000

Victorian employer fined $60,000 John’s Nuts Operations Pty Ltd has been convicted for failing to meet the requirements of the State Workplace Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013. Why? The employer made the mistake of: Waiting to receive funds from its Workers Compensation Insurer before paying the injured worker his weekly benefits – for five weeks in a row. Failing to consult with the employee and plan for their return to work. As a result John’s Nuts Operations was convicted and fined for breaching sections 104: Plan Return to Work and 105:Consult about the return to work of a worker, and for contravening…

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Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)

The do’s and don’ts of a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) By definition, a SWMS is a Safe Work Method Statement for high risk construction work,  not ALL work.  The various State OHS / WHS Regulations are explicitly clear in their definition of when a SWMS is required – it may surprise some to learn, that there are less than twenty activities identified in the legislation as high-risk tasks requiring the preparation of SWMS. Before embarking on the time consuming and costly exercise of developing a suite of SWMS documents, you should ask yourself one simple question. “Am I in the…

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Safety Software

– Essential? Nice to have? Or not necessary? Are you a multi-site business? Is your Safety Manager’s desk covered in paperwork and their inbox is full? Are your Line Managers drowning in spread sheets? Have you been considering purchasing safety software or thinking there must be a better way? You’re not alone. Many other organisations are weighing up their options. To invest in software or not – that is the question. Why you get safety software Safety software is designed to facilitate the roll out of your safety system. This means that your safety processes are supported by software. Incidents…

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ISO45001 What you need to know

Based on current information from Standards Australia, ISO 45001 will be adopted in October 2018. ISO45001 is the new international standard for safety management systems. Published in March 2018 it will replace OHSAS18001 by March 2021. This standard will focus more on identifying and controlling the safety risk when compared to the OHSAS 18001 and AS/NZS 4801. Organisations already certified to OHSAS 18001 have three years from the 12th of March 2018 to migrate to the new ISO 45001 standard. Your existing certification body will send you information about the migration but you can expect additional audit days to be added to…

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WorkCover Are you paying more than you need to?

All employers in Victoria will be receiving their WorkCover premium renewal notices early next month. Many will simply pass it on to accounts for processing without getting past the first page. Some may be surprised by the cost, while others will be wondering how best to fund the payments. Very few will look closely at the details. And even fewer will question if there is the potential to reduce the amount they pay. In this article we explain what the Notice means, the sections to refer to for information about how your premium is calculated and what you can change…

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Yet to transition to ISO9001:2015? This is your opportunity to improve your business

You have until the 14th September 2018 to transition to the 2015 standard. Failure to transition will put your certification at risk. Organisations that are certified to ISO9001 are (or should be) aware of the requirement to transition to the new 2015 version of the standard. If you are yet to transition, now is the time to approach your certifying body to schedule the transition audit. More importantly, the transition presents an opportunity to review your business. What are your goals? What do you see as ‘success’? How would achieving ‘success’ benefit your clients? How do you (or should you) go about…