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...
Christmas Doesn’t Mean that WHS Turns into Chaos!

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!...
Fire Safety For Summer

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...
Common Workplace Safety Mistakes

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...
World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2018 Tip 4

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....
World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2018 Tip 3

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...