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Australia Falling Short on Construction Safety

Australia Falling Short on Construction Safety | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
The construction sector in Australia is falling behind on efforts to minimise workplace accidents, a leading safety consultant says.
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

There seems to be different opinions and reports on the performance of safety within the construction industry, depending on whom you’re speaking with. Statistics will show that in Australia there are still one fatality a week.

 

Could there be just too much expectation on getting this totally right? Do we need to allow more time and resource to get on top of this?

 

There are positive indicators which should be mentioned falling from heights focussed on roofing , tagging and testing of electrical equipment, PPE being worn, traffic control and the wearing of PPE on sites. No doubt that with the change in legislation surrounding contractor management that the contractual side of the construction project would be heavily scrutinised creating a more safety aware projects and construction sites.

 

This article does raise a very good point of the fact more principal contractors need to communicate and converse with workers in these sites on how they believe safety systems of work would look like. Consultation may need to be looked in a different light, rather than discussing what we should discussing what we need to.

 

 

 

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Almost 50 safety notices issued in ACT construction site blitz

Almost 50 safety notices issued in ACT construction site blitz | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Six ACT construction sites are shut down after a crackdown on unsafe residential building sites.
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

WorkCover blitzed the ACT building sites with six construction sites issued notices to stop work and issued 44 improvement notices. This is after the planned crackdown on unsafe building sites through the Canberra.

 

These were residential building sites in ACT, WorkCover have made it clear that these inspections will become more regular and that building companies need to improve their safety moving forward to avoid their sites being closed down.

 

Crackdowns are great for kicking off the focus on certain areas of site safety, but does this create a culture of reactive safety? Should there not be a total focus on safety planning and ensuring that companies are working with their employees and stakeholders to keep them up to date with concerns and improvements. Shutting sites is a big deal, not just for the contractors themselves but also this is clear indication that these businesses need to improve their safety systems.

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Modern workplace designs, are they safely designed?

Modern workplace designs, are they safely designed? | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

Smaller office spaces, downsizing, decreasing desk space and making it all open plan.

 

This is the new office desk. It's only big enough to hold your computer, you can feel the breath of the person next you and you are almost touching the person behind you's chair.

 

But this is where it's all moving to, making space more full is now the idea. People often ask me about air flow, temperature, amenities and facilities.

 

Whilst we increase the amoung of people on each floor are businesses creating better facilities for people, is it comfortable. Is Jane who is getting hot happy and Joe at the other end of the floor who is hot all the time are they having their needs met?

 

More consideration needs to be taken when designing workstations and offices for workers, because what might be right for one person really is not right for the other. Many offices now are purchasing the fully adjustable desks, which allow staff to sit or stand. Standing desks are becomming very popular and they are proven to have some benefits.

 

If there is an office with 50% normal non adjustable desks and the other 50% with them, who makes the decision who gets one.

 

Consistency needs to be the approach with office designs to ensure it meets the requirements of every worker.

 

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Ergonomics in the office corporate environments

Ergonomics in the office corporate environments | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

Ergonomics and wellness of employees is at the top of the priority list for most large corporate businesses in Australia. But is saying they are and actually being one, two very different issues.

 

The photo attached is a setup in financial institution where an individual works from for up to 10 hours per day.The ergonomics of this does not seem to present as very positive. On further discussion it would seem that innovation on how to solve the issue has been hindered by the cost.

 

Workstations like this are hard to convert to an ergonomic friendly design and with no change available to the role of the person in question only minor changes can be made to ensure the comfortability of the worker.

 

If businesses are not willing to put money where it is needed for safety in design than is there really a point at all with them saying that workers safety is the priority?

 

 

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Risk Management for workers within the equine industry

Risk Management for workers within the equine industry | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

Working within animal related industries can we very enjoyable and is a sought out role by many people. However working with animals can also be of high risk and very hard to control.

 

From the photo attached, if you were to conduct a very basic risk assessment there are many hazards that pop out. Working with wastage, pest control, manual handling, working in hot and cold conditions and not to mention the factor of the horse interaction.

 

So, how do we keep our workers safe?

 

This is an industry where experience is a must, you cannot walk into a stable without prior horse handling experience. Much of your risk management principles will have to be a result if the hiring process ensuring your workers have the correct knowledge and experience.

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CFMEU supports women in construction | CFMEU National

CFMEU supports women in construction | CFMEU National | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
The Union for Australian Construction Workers Portal - National, ACT, NT, SA and TAS sites.
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

Coming from a background of Construction and Engineering, I recall some of most treasured memories spending time and speaking to women in all roles who work within the industry.

 

It seems times have changed in building and construction with increase in women in the industry looking more positive than ever before. With the CFMEU now supporting women and their rights for equality in a tough industry.

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Motivation_Attitude_Perceptions_and_Skills_Pathways_to_Safe_Work.pdf

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Jade Gail Eriksen's curator insight, July 18, 2014 6:57 AM

Great document outlining how safety culture is the first step in creating awareness and buy in for any workplace

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Are we victims of our own systems? - Safety and Risk Management

Are we victims of our own systems? - Safety and Risk Management | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Are we victims of our own systems? Really awesome recent discussion in WHS Leadership Linkedin Forum: Are we victims of our own systems?

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Jade Gail Eriksen's curator insight, March 27, 2015 5:07 AM

The core value and reason behind WHS can often be lost by over systemizing processes makng people be less accountable for their own actions and more reliant on what they don't have to do.

 

If you research into the amoung of off the shelf systems on offer, its easy to see how the legislation and everything it stands for is being lost in forms and procedures set out by businesses who don't want to have a proactive approach.

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Effective WHS Training for Construction

Effective WHS Training for Construction | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it

Get a white card for owner building construction in Australia with complete work health and safety training from Safe Rite. The company offers comprehensive online WHS training for owner builder construction jobs in Australia.

 

 


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The Main Advantages of an OHS Management System in the Work ...

The Main Advantages of an OHS Management System in the Work ... | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Occupational Health and Safety must be one of the key issues to consider in all corporations simply because you should make sure that all your personnel. ... The Main Advantages of an OHS Management System in the Work Environment ...

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Work Health and Safety: What is the difference between an Act, Regulation and Code of Practice?

Work Health and Safety: What is the difference between an Act, Regulation and Code of Practice? | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Need to know about work health and safety? Check out these definitions and ESSENTIAL resources for anyone involved in OHS/WHS in Australia.

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Emily Wylie's curator insight, March 10, 2014 5:43 PM

I found that this article helpful in defining the difference between an Act, Regulation and Code. Before I wouldn't have been able to tell you the difference between an Act or a Regulation.

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How and why do construction plant-related fatalities occur?

How and why do construction plant-related fatalities occur? | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
The construction industry is a major part of the Australian economy. Construction sites are everywhere. Some of them are recognisable from kilometres away due to their impressive tower cranes. You may…
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

this article covers off accidents on building sites surrounding mechanical. Could this be due to lack of training or awareness of the dangers of using these plant machines?  

 

It could be apparent that workers on sites are not aware of what hazards these machines cause. It raises the point that accidents on construction sites are not reported on a regular basis, question could be around this could be well, does the media think we care about hearing of blue collar workers having accidents at work?

 

Regardless of the question if we want to know, these injuries and in some cases deaths impact the lives of families of those involved.

 

The number of people who are injured whilst using these machines in most cases are not the machine operators, making the hazard and risk for anyone working on or near the sites. The statistics speak for themselves that there is still a major gap in the safety management of mechanical plant on sites.

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Federal agency to prosecute ACT CFMEU for safety breaches

Federal agency to prosecute ACT CFMEU for safety breaches | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Union says prosecution of officials for alleged work safety breaches politically motivated and endangers ACT workers.
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

In every industry there has to be some politics this article really presents the not so healthy state of the relationship between the unions and government bodies. The fines are large and its no surprise that the ACT union officials are not sitting comfortable.

 

But, holistically anyone who breeches safety should be fined and disciplined right? Or should the unions not be liable for breeches? The fact that some of the union delegates are ex-football players should really have no bearing on the decision of the courts. 18 Breeches does not seem like a small error in judgement. This should be a case that is intensely reviewed and action to come from it.  

 

There are rules under the legislation that have to be followed and Unions just don’t seem to be helping their reputation by not following the rules, acting like police was never going to be positive. Their bad behaviours just create tension and taking the focus off the projects and safety of workers. We’ve come too far to go back again.

 

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WHS in Aged Care Industry

WHS in Aged Care Industry | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

This photo is the work area of a friend of mine who works in Aged Care. We often discuss the WHS issues she faces day to day. Along with care of patients day to day there is a high risk to all staff in all areas of the facilities.

 

Some of the highest risk areas are the kitchen, laundry, maintenance contractors and the manual handling of patients by carers.

 

Training is a large part of their WHS strategy and induction of their staff a priority. Risk assessments must be carried out on a regular basis and aged care is also goverened by strict food rules and clinical care standards.

 

Workers are exposed to many types of patient conditions and infection control when working with hazardous substances and bodily fluids is a high risk to all staff. There has to be a high level of hygiene management followed by all staff.

 

Managers in aged care play a massive part in ensuring the safety of the workers, when working with patients who can become violent or had to handle there must be strict policies and processes in place to protect workers and their safey.

 

 

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Construction, is it still the high risk environment we think it is?

Construction, is it still the high risk environment we think it is? | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

This photo is a high end residential building with 323 apartment over two twenty storey residential towers with three levels of basement parking. My friend is the site administrator.

 

The site has over 30 contractors at anyone time, so contractor management is a high risk on this site. This includes ensuring all contractors are inducted onto the site, sign in and sign out register is managed and that all contractors are across their SWMS.

 

At this point there is no scaffolding but they are laying reinforcement and pouring concrete. Due to the amount of concrete trucks coming in and out of the site traffic management is a high risk activity at this point in the construction program.

 

There are two WHS officers on site at all times and the contracts administrators manage the contractors insurances and induction.

 

 

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First prosecution case of an officer under WHS laws :: SafetySolutions

First prosecution case of an officer under WHS laws :: SafetySolutions | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Officer pleads not guilty in the first prosecution of an officer under Work Health and Safety Laws in the Australian Capital Territory.
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

This prosecution presents as a strong standing in what will be case law surrounding the new legislation and penalties.

 

In my view, the investigation clearly identifies that the PCBU did not meet its obligations under the new Act.

 

I feel confident that the new system of prosecution is robust and that businesses may begin to see WHS as an intergral part of their overall strategy.

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Are we victims of our own systems? - Safety and Risk Management

Are we victims of our own systems? - Safety and Risk Management | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
Are we victims of our own systems? Really awesome recent discussion in WHS Leadership Linkedin Forum: Are we victims of our own systems?

Via Dave Collins, Jade Gail Eriksen
Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

The core value and reason behind WHS can often be lost by over systemizing processes makng people be less accountable for their own actions and more reliant on what they don't have to do.

 

If you research into the amoung of off the shelf systems on offer, its easy to see how the legislation and everything it stands for is being lost in forms and procedures set out by businesses who don't want to have a proactive approach.

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Zero Accident Vision and its OHS potential

Zero Accident Vision and its OHS potential | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
In 2013 the  Safety Science journal allowed open access to an article that discusses "The case for research into the zero accident vision" (ZAV). The terminology is slightly different but seems com...
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Motivation_Attitude_Perceptions_and_Skills_Pathways_to_Safe_Work.pdf

Jade Gail Eriksen's insight:

Great document outlining how safety culture is the first step in creating awareness and buy in for any workplace

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Risk Management is not a one person sport


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OH&S Strategy Summit 2012 - Australia's occupational health and safety event - SafeToWork

OH&S Strategy Summit 2012 - Australia's occupational health and safety event - SafeToWork | Making Sense of WHS | Scoop.it
OH&S Strategy Summit 2012 - Australia's occupational health and safety eventSafeToWorkThe OH&S Strategy Summit is one of the premier occupational health and safety events in Australia.

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