News

Double Fatality in Confined Space Prompts Warning

March 01 2018
In January this year, two brothers died in a tank on a trailer after apparently being overcome by fumes in Sarina, about 35 kilometres south of Mackay, Qld.

The brothers were cleaning the residue in the tank which had been used to carry 20m3 of a mixture of molasses and urea when they were overcome.

The deaths have ignited fresh warnings for anyone conducting works in a confined space. The importance of requirements for safe entry into confined spaces, either intended or inadvertently, should be considered by employers at any workplace where these works may be undertaken.

Employers can prevent similar incidents by ensuring that workers are trained and competent in confined space entry processes; including the appointment of a stand-by person who remains outside the confined space communicating with the workers and implementing emergency procedures if needed.

Employers must establish a communication, continuous monitoring and rescue plan before commencing confined space work. In addition employers should provide PPE, rescue and fire suppression equipment, safety harnesses where necessary and ensure that the space is well ventilated. Atmospheric testing and monitoring must be carried out where there is a risk of an unsafe atmosphere due to low oxygen levels or harmful levels of contaminants.
 
If your workplace requires further guidance regarding confined space work, please contact us to book in an independent audit of your work areas.

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Inspection Program: Looking At Scaffold Safety

March 01 2018
WorkSafe WA has announced it will be undertaking a proactive inspection program relating to scaffolding across Western Australia.

Several falls from height resulting in injury and death have occurred in the construction industry over the last few years. This inspection program will focus on the safety practices in place and how they can be made safer to reduce the level of incidents occurring.
 
Inspectors will pay particular attention around the supply and hire of scaffolding, slips and trips, falls from height and manual tasks. The construction industry will play a major part in the program however inspectors will be looking at any workplace that contains scaffolding.
 
Further information regarding the inspection program is available via this link:
http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/announcements/inspection-program-looks-scaffold-safety
 
Please contact us to book in an independent audit of your scaffold areas, or any working at height activities. One of our team will assess your site and provide a report of any areas of improvement prior to the likely regulatory site visits.

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Statewide Oil Awarded 4801 Certification

January 09 2018

Safety Solutions WA wish to extend congratulations to or client Statewide Oil Distributors, who have recently gained AS/NZS: 4801 Certification.

Statewide Oil Distributors is a family owned business which has been operating for over 30 years supplying bulk and packaged Mobil lubricants. The business is located in Welshpool with additional depots in Kalgoorlie and South Australia.

Safety Solutions WA has been working closely with the Statewide Oil team to build and maintain the company safety systems to the AS/NZS: 4801 standard required to gain this certification.

Having an effective and functioning safety management system is an important aspect in reducing workplace injury and illness. Having such a system is also beneficial in assisting your business to handle legal obligations, tender for new work, ethical concerns and improvements in financial performance. Having effective processes and policy framework in place can greatly improve safety, morale and compliance with your team by building a strong safety commitment from management level.

If you would like assistance in developing your workplace safety system to the AS/NZS 4801 level, please contact us on 9434 1680 or info@sswa.net.au.

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WorkSafe Plan Assessment

January 09 2018

Have you considered the WorkSafe Plan Assessment for your business? The WorkSafe Plan is an audit and assessment process which can be used to rate safety and health management systems and is now being used as the minimum requirements for contractors working for a number of large development, design / construct and maintenance companies.

WorkSafe Plan Assessments are less intrusive than an AS/NZS: 4801 Audit. Anyone considering this level of certification will find the WorkSafe Plan a good measuring stick as to how your system is progressing towards the higher level.

The WorkSafe Plan is suitable for business of all sizes and can be used to:

  • Provide information on desirable safety and health management practices
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in safety and health management systems
  • Provide a measure for safety and health performance
  • Implement a cycle of continuous improvement
  • Compare performance with organisations in the same industry
  • Gain recognition for standards achieved in management of the organisation’s safety and health systems

WorkSafe encourages best practice by presenting WorkSafe Plan Certificates of Achievement to organisations that have undertaken an independent WorkSafe Plan assessment and have achieved the required ratings in each element. WorkSafe Plan Certificates of Achievement are presented at three levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum and are recognised across all of WA.

The team at Safety Solutions WA are recognised WorkSafe Plan assessors. For further information on the Worksafe Plan, or any other OSH inquiry, please do not hesitate to contact the team at Safety Solutions WA.

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Implementation of AS 4801 and Federal Safety Accreditation (OFSC)

November 15 2017

Safety Solutions WA can assist your business with the implementation of AS 4801 and Federal Safety Accreditation (OFSC) levels of safety management. We can also provide guidance with maintaining these accreditations and coach your workers on what to expect from an auditor during the auditing process.

Our experienced team can conduct a mock audit to identify gaps in your existing safety management system. These gaps will assist in identifying where improvements can be made to bring your system up to AS 4801 and/or OFSC accreditation levels. Safety Solutions WA can then provide you with the necessary assistance in implementing these improvements.

If your company has recently completed an AS 4801 or OFSC audit, our team can provide guidance on how to apply corrective actions in a practicable way that works with your business while still meeting the assessable criteria.

For any assistance on this or any other workplace safety issue, don’t hesitate to contact us on 9434 1680 or info@sswa.net.au

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Electrical Testing and Tagging

November 15 2017

Electrical tagging is to be completed by a competent person by the first day of the quarter. Unlike some common beliefs, there is no grace period. It is recommended that you organise to have your equipment tested by your electrical testing company (or a competent person who has been trained for the process within your company) so you are ready for the 1st of December.

If you are working on a construction and/or demolition site, you must provide the main contractor with a record of the relevant testing date (i.e. an electrical register). The tag must bear the name of the competent person who conducted the test, their licence number and the test date or re-test date.

Remember – the testing quarters for construction and demolition sites are as follows:
Red: December to February
Green: March to May
Blue: June to August
Yellow: September to November

The periodic tagging and testing of electrical equipment does not remove the onus on the operator to visually inspect all equipment for damage prior to use. Any damaged equipment is to be ideally tagged out of service and removed from the work area for repair/replacement.

If you are working in any other workplace other than a construction or demolition site, the person in control of the workplace must ensure that electrical equipment and RCD’s at the workplace are subject to the appropriate checks, tests and inspections necessary to reduce the risk of injury or harm occurring to a person at that workplace.

Further information on the requirements of electrical tagging frequencies is detailed in AS/NZS 3760.

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Sub-Contractor Assessments

November 10 2016

Does your company engage contractors to carry out works for you, or on your behalf?

Are you aware that you have the same duty of care over these people whilst they are at you workplace as if they were direct employees?

The proposed Work Health and Safety Bill places even more emphasis on contractor / sub-contractor assessment that what the present WA OSH Act expects. Due to this, those of you in the construction industry or associated trades will no doubt have seen an increase in OSH/HSE detail within tenders and assessments made by your clients of late.

If not doing so already, you need to start doing the same.

Depending on the scope of works, size on contract, or contractor, this can be a daunting, confusing and often time consuming process.

Safety Solutions WA have developed a Sub-Contractor suitability assessment process to assess your contractors prior to either award or mobilisation. We will take the whole process off of your hands and provide you with detailed reports of findings from assessment of your potential sub-contractors safety systems and plans. If needed, we will provide guidance to the sub-contractors as to how meet their / your legal and your own company expectations, in order to have a compliant and understanding sub-contractor arrive at your workplace when it’s time to start.

Contact us to discuss how we can carry out all of your sub-contractor assessment needs.

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Preparing for Christmas

November 05 2016

With it now less than 7 weeks to Christmas (already!), workplaces will be getting ready for the end of year break and this may mean either a mad rush, or a general slowdown in work activity, dependent upon your organisations scope of work.
 
Unfortunately, going by historical statistics, it’s also a time where workplace incidents tend to spike – and we have already seen this in workplaces over the past couple of weeks, with some nasty events occurring.
 
Workplace hazard identification is one of the basics of workplace risk management however, is often something regularly overlooked or conducted not so well. During incident investigations, it is quite regularly ascertained that events resulting in injury (or worse) could have been avoided if the hazards present at the workplace had been adequately identified and effectively controlled.
 
The Safety Solutions WA team urge all of you to proactively assess your workplaces to identify hazards and make them safe. Try some of the below before you break for the end of the year:

  • Carry out a site inspection – how many management personnel have done this recently?
  • Jump onto the WorkSafe website to find requirements and sample checklists for your particular industry
  • Talk to your workers – they will know what is likely to bite or sting.
    • Encourage them to speak up
    • Take on board their ideas or suggestions
  • Look at how other similar workplaces are operating
  • Review any incidents (even minor ones) that have occurred over the last year – is the hazard that caused the incident still present? How can that risk be eliminated or reduced?

Contact us at Safety Solutions WA to help you out. A basic workplace OSH Compliance inspection carried out by one of our team can be a simple and inexpensive way to have someone independently look at your workplace and provide recommendations. These not need be over the top or take a lot of your time – let us just look at compliance matters to start with and you can then build on your workplace safety processes from there, with our help when needed. to help you out. A basic workplace OSH Compliance inspection carried out by one of our team can be a simple and inexpensive way to have someone independently look at your workplace and provide recommendations. These not need be over the top or take a lot of your time – let us just look at compliance matters to start with and you can then build on your workplace safety processes from there, with our help when needed.

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Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws implementation update

September 30 2016

WA is reviewing the model WHS Regulations 2011. A public consultation process, which started on 1 June 2016 and ended on 31 August 2016, is currently underway to enable all participants in WA workplaces to have input into the new legal framework. After this process, and once any necessary Cabinet approval is obtained, the new laws will then be introduced into Parliament for consideration and passage.

The Green Bill contains the core provisions of the model WHS Act with some amendments, and excludes a number of the model provisions that the Western Australian Government has consistently opposed.

Key proposed variations from the model WHS laws include:

  • Omitting the right of entry provisions for work health and safety entry permit holders—this is already provided for under industrial relations laws
  • Omitting the power of Health and Safety Representatives to direct unsafe work to cease—individual workers retain the power to stop unsafe work
  • Removing the reverse-onus of proof in relation to discrimination claims
  • Omitting provisions for enforceable undertakings
  • Omitting the procedure if prosecutions are not brought, thereby shortening the limitation period by one year
  • Removing prisoners and volunteers from the definition of ‘worker’
  • Inserting the concept of ‘control’ into requirements for managing risks
  • Omitting provisions for remedial action
  • Omitting the requirement for consultation with other jurisdictions when developing Codes of Practice, and
  • Requiring a review of the Act after five years.

Contrary to the Western Australian Government’s previous position, it proposes to adopt the model WHS Act penalty provisions. These penalties are significantly higher than current penalties in WA for corporate and individual offenders.

The Green Bill also adopts the positive duty of ‘officers’ to exercise ‘due diligence’ to ensure that their PCBU complies with its obligations.

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Workplace Inspection Campaign

September 15 2016

WorkSafe WA have announced that during 2016/17 financial year WorkSafe Inspectors will be undertaking proactive inspection programs to look at safety issues in the following industries:

  • Retail and transport - concentrating on mobile plant and the movement of mobile plant
  • Pubs, taverns and bars
  • Takeaway food workplaces

These inspection programs involve WorkSafe Inspectors visiting workplaces within these industries in Perth and regional areas ensuring that organisations are able to demonstrate safe systems of work and workplaces.

If you work within any of these industries and need some assistance or guidance in getting your workplace up to a better safety standard, or would like an independent workplace inspection to measure against the current WorkSafe inspection priority areas and provide recommendations for any areas of improvement, contact the team at Safety Solutions WA to see how we can assist.

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