NEWS

Keeping Your Young Workers Safe

  Young Workers can be a valuable resource to a business. They’re inexpensive, have high energy, and in a world where technology and media is advancing more and more every day, they are able to bring new ideas to the table that others won’t have even experienced before. Young Workers can be a significant risk when it comes to workplace safety. Over 13000 serious workers compensation claims were for young workers in the 2015-16 period. Young workers can lack experience and maturity, may also take more risks than older workers and be fearful to speak up to superiors. Young Workers will also  likely be   unfamiliar with work health requirements  and potential safety risks.  As an employer it’s essential that you are able to help these newbies find their feet in the workplace. Here is how you can do it.: Safety Inductions are key Let your workers know about all the measures in place to keep them and their colleagues  safe is crucial. For a lot of your young workers, this will be their first time in any sort of professional environment, so they will be unfamiliar with the tasks they are required to do and the equipment they are using. By making sure your worker fully understands their surroundings and knows how to properly use their  tools, you’ll be able to ensure that they can carry out their job safely They need to take responsibility too Give your young workers permission to question and speak up about any risks they may identify, or even if they feel unsafe. Making sure that there is an open dialogue between you and your workers will help to maintain WHS standards.  Giving your young workers  responsibility for their own safety and supporting their contribution will help them take... read more

What is on the Horizon for WHS Laws in 2019?

Over the past year, Safe Work Australia has been completing a review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws. The Model Law is the foundation of the laws that most states and territories in Australia will use for their WHS acts.  The review is meant to be released in the early months of this year and can be expected to make changes to the Model Law. Below are three main issues that Safe Work will be looking to remedy with changes to the model WHS law, and therefore, are what might be binding for your workplace by the end of the year. No More Escape! The big topic considered in this report was the implementation of significantly stricter investigation, prosecution and sentencing for industrial deaths.  Using insurance for fines, investigation costs or defence costs for a breach of the WHS legislation resulting in an industrial death will be no more. Fines may increase, with larger fines for bigger businesses or repeat offenders. The new Australian laws would reflect current Queensland laws for Industrial Manslaughter. This means that individuals could face 20 years imprisonment and companies could be fined up to $10 million. These changes will help enforce accountability and reduce workplace deaths. Clarity on Who is Responsible for Workers Recommendations have been made to clarify who has the ‘Primary Duty of Care’ for a worker. This applies to labour hire and other employment arrangements where an employee may report to multiple organisations. This will benefit temp or agency workers, as they have been tend to fall through the gaps of WHS safety conditions. It will be able to... read more

Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos!

Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos! When you think of the festive season, your mind will generally go to the joys of the time- a nice break, spending time with your family, and the fantastic food that you will feast on.  For businesses however, it may feel like a mad rush to the finish line as you attempt to meet end of year quotas and to complete projects before they close for the year. Retail, travel and hospitality sectors will experience one of the busiest times of year. With the significant strains and stresses that the season brings, thoughts of workplace safety can go side-ward. Over the past decade, almost 25% of all workplace fatalities occur in the lead up to the silly season.  So how do you make sure that your business is kept safe and everyone gets to go home for their holidays? Take Time to Think in the Rush With the holiday season being such a mad rush for many businesses, employee’s focuses will be more on what needs to get done, rather than how to keep themselves safe. The lack of concentration can lead to mistakes being made, and therefore injuries are at a higher risk. WorkCover Queensland says the majority of injury claims they receive over the season are usually from easily preventable incidents such as ladder injuries, slips and falls. While you may have a busy day ahead of you, simply stopping, thinking, assessing the risks and how to manage them before you begin a task can save you a lot more than time. Casual Staff Need to Stay Safe Too!... read more

Fire Safety For Summer

It’s heating up. How do you stay safe during fire season? It’s the end of spring, which means summer is only a few weeks away. While the Australian summer comes with many incredible things- barbeques, Christmas, seasonal fruit- it’s also synonymous with something less pleasant- fire season. As we head into the warmer months it’s important to protect yourself, your homes and your businesses from fire danger. Keep it clean Keeping areas clean and tidy is the simplest way to make sure that fires don’t have the fuel to continue to spread. Clearing any rubbish, plant debris and other fire propellants in a 20 meter radius will help create a ‘circle of safety’ for your properties.  Keeping gutters clean, trees and shrubbery trimmed and all flammable chemicals sealed and secured will also make your home or business instantly safer and less likely to be caught in a fire this summer. Maintain the Equipment You know the ads making sure you check your smoke alarms in your homes. But you should definitely be doing more than that if you’re a business owner. Checking your fire extinguishers are fully charged, accessible and visible. Making sure your fire plan is effective and up to date is also extremely useful to making sure that everyone is prepared in case a fire happens. Knowing where to evacuate to, who is in charge during a fire, and the procedures in place to prevent fires during the warmer seasons are all essential to making your business safe. Do you need to do a fire safety course? Excite Safety does accredited fire safety first attack and evacuation... read more

Common Workplace Safety Mistakes

Every business wants to believe they have the highest standard of workplace safety, and no one wants to be caught out on faults in their OHS policies and procedures.  Safety is vital for a business to run smoothly. There are however, many mistakes that are common in business practice. Whether it be for reasons of effort, time, money or a simply lack of awareness to what is going on. But without the remedying of these issues, there can be nasty consequences.  A simple category 1 breach of the WHS Act 2011 of reckless conduct carries a penalty of $3,000,000 for the company and a 300,000 or 5 year imprisonment for an individual worker responsible. So what are these common mistakes and how can you avoid them? Believing that just because there have been no injuries, that your business is safe. Just because none of your workers have reported injuries, does not automatically mean that your business is safe. You might be fortunate that no one has cut themselves on that sharp bench (Or told you that they have) but that does not mean it will comply with the WHS standards.  Many employees may lie about injuries to save their companies safety record, or simply become ignorant in noticing the risks around the business To remedy this make sure that you and your employee’s eyes are always peeled and that there is an open and easy way to address workplace safety issues. Completing regular risk assessments will allow you to identify any and all potential hazards and allow you to pinpoint exactly how you can fix these issues. Keeping training... read more

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2018 Tip 4

In the lead up to the World day for health and safety at work (April 28th), here is your fourth tip for supporting young workers in your workplace. Tip 4: Create a ‘buddy’ or mentoring system within the workplace This is by far the most valuable tool for supporting the younger generations in the workforce. A mentoring system involves appointing a mentor (supervisor) to the young worker. This person should be an approachable and helpful supervisor who is educated on all facets of the workplace. Young workers can be assured they always have a go-to-person if they have any questions or require further training. A ‘Buddy’ system works slightly different, in that the ‘Buddy’ is an employee of similar age and acts more like a friend in the workplace than a supervisor. This encourages young workers to ask questions to their buddy, which they may have been hesitant to ask a supervisor. These systems create a welcoming environment and encourage young workers to speak up for themselves and ultimately develop their skills by gaining extra guidance. We can all do our part to create safe and healthy workplaces for our future generations. If you don’t know where to start or you just need a little guidance, email us at enquiries@excitesafety.com.au or give us a call on (02)9521 3410.... read more

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2018 Tip 3

In the lead up to the World day for health and safety at work (April 28th), here is your third tip for supporting young workers in your workplace. Tip 3: Encourage young workers to ask for help and guidance Young workers often feel they have no bargaining power due to a lack of experience and age. Often dangerous tasks will be accepted by young workers simply because they feel they have no say over a senior who has worked in the company for 10 years. Companies should be including all workers and encouraging them to speak up when they are unsure about a task. Encourage young workers to take 2minutes to ask to avoid injuries that could last well over 2months. Missed the first two tips? Check them out here Stay tuned for the fourth and final tip next Thursday. We can all do our part to create safe and healthy workplaces for our future generations. If you don’t know where to start or you just need a little guidance, email us at enquiries@excitesafety.com.au or give us a call on (02)9521... read more

World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2018

The theme for the 2018 World Day for Safety and Health at Work is ‘Generation health and safety.’ On April 28th, we recognise the critical importance of safety at work and this year the focus is on highlighting the importance of improving safety and health for young workers and generations to come. The 541million young workers (15-24 years old) in Australia, account for more than 15% of the worlds labour force and suffer up to a 40% higher rate of non-fatal occupational injuries than adult workers. Young workers are vulnerable to risks due to the physical and psychological development stage, lack of experience and lack of bargaining power which leads to them accepting dangerous tasks. It’s time to stand up for young workers by creating a safe workplace to assist in their learning. So how can an organisation assist their young and vulnerable workers? In the lead up to this event, we have four valuable tips on supporting the young generation of workers. Tip 1: Offer appropriate training and guidance Training and qualification requirements vary depending on what industry you operate in. Training may be as simple as a tour of the office and introduction to policies and procedures of work, but if your workplace is, for example a construction site, various high level qualifications and appropriate training is needed to comply with WHS standards. When hiring new employees, always record required qualifications and licences and keep track of the expiry dates. For some young workers, it could be their first time in a proper workplace and therefore they need to be educated on the required training levels. Tip... read more

What most business owners ignore until it is too late.

Starting a business is exciting.   You set up your ABN and register a name.   Open a bank account, get some business cards printed and wait for the money to roll in. You start getting work, then you get more work.  Then you find yourself needing help. so you employ a person, then another.  Before you know it you have a great team working on whatever it is that you love to do. Things are Great! Then one of your employees has an accident on the job. They need time off work.  They need medical bills paid, Work Safe is called in to investigate. They find that you didn’t fulfil your duties to provide a safe workplace. You don’t have any policies in place. You don’t have any training or induction records. You didn’t provide sufficient instructions or supervision to your worker. Your insurance company decides you didn’t fulfil your end of the deal, they refuse to pay out. Your employee is now taking you to court and seeking damages. Things are looking bad, you could lose the business and your personal assets as well. But it doesn’t have to get this bad. By providing a safe workplace, By ensuring that all your employees agree to policies and procedures designed to keep them safe, By training and supervising your workers, By keeping records of all those things, You ensure that you have done everything within your power to keep your workers safe. Now,  even if a worker gets injured, your business is protected. Safety should be part of your everyday work and every day at work should be safe.   Want to... read more

Cameras to be used to police Jetski Hoon hot spots.

As the 2016/17 boating season is about to start,  all the jet ski riders that have been hibernating over winter are heading out onto the water to have a good time. But if you plan to behave in an antisocial manner, be aware that  new legislation passed in NSW this past July has given Authorities the ability to place cameras on known trouble spots to monitor and police bad behaviour by jet ski riders. Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Duncan Gay has said   “This will initially be introduced on the Georges River and in Port Hacking and Botany Bay. An evaluation will be completed at the end of the 2016-17 boating season before any other declared areas are considered. It is envisaged that a mix of fixed and temporary cameras could be located on land or water, including vessels, and used to target hot spot on-water enforcement locations identified by police and RMS. The use of existing community safety closed-circuit television infrastructure will be explored where feasible.” “Cameras will be used only in declared areas which have had a history of non-compliance with marine legislation and will not be deployed across the State’s waterways to catch people out for minor offences. This scheme will supplement, rather than replace, police and boating safety officer patrols” Full details of the new legislation can be found here After the rising number of incidents last season, this is a positive move to ensure more people can enjoy a trouble free day on the water, and the small element of troublemakers will eventually be caught and held responsible for their actions. Smile for the camera!... read more