Tag Archives: ohs

2016 Australian Workplace Fatalities

OHS, OHS Consultant, OHS Consultant Melbourne

Safe Work Australia’s latest worker fatality statistics identifies that 148 workplace fatalities have occurred from 1st January 2016 to 8th November 2016.

The below link will bring you to a numerical chart with industry breakdown:

http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/statistics/work-related-fatalities/pages/worker-fatalities
Some notable industry trends are listed below:

Fatalities by Industry

  • Transport, postal & warehousing account for 35% of all workplace fatalities
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing account for 23% of all workplace fatalities
  • Construction accounts for 15% of all workplace fatalities

Year on Year Comparisons

  • Transport, postal & warehouse fatalities are up 8% on 2015
  • Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing fatalities are down 22.7% on 2015
  • Construction fatalities are up 28% on 2015

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

Are You GHS Ready?

OHS, OHS Consultant, OHS Melbourne

From the 1st January 2017 new labeling for workplace hazardous chemicals is required.

The Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a United Nations initiative that standardises chemical classification, labelling and safety data sheets (SDS) for use in workplaces internationally.

To meet the new requirements manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals will need to reclassify their products, relabel them and prepare new safety data sheets.

To meet the new requirements manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals will need to reclassify their products, relabel them and prepare new safety data sheets.

The GHS changes include using a common set of pictograms, signal words, hazard statements and precautionary statements for labels and SDS to communicate information about a chemical to the user. It covers physical, health and environmental hazards.

For persons conducting a business or undertaking, essential tasks for GHS readiness include:

  • reviewing current inventory holdings for GHS compliant and non-compliant stock
  • allowing holdings of GHS non-compliant stock to run down
  • ensuring all new purchases are GHS compliant
  • reviewing SDS to ensure hazard management practices are in place
  • ensuring workers are aware of the new labelling system and SDS.

In WA, VIC & ACT the GHS classification has not been mandated yet but the hazards associated with using  chemicals still need to be communicated to workers and companies in the aforementioned states may be wise to implement the changes now to keep up with the rest of the country.

Posted by Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

What Nobody Told Me – SWMS Vs JSA

SWMS, JSA OHS Consultant

When working with clients time and time again we are asked to clarify when a task requires a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) and what is the difference between a SWMS and a JSA.

With that in mind I have prepared the below comparison table which helps to identify when each type of document should be used and what the differences between the documents are.

SWMS

JSA

Must be in place for tasks involving high risk work as per the OHS Regulations Should be in place for tasks that do not involve high risk work
Must include legislation, codes of practice and Australian standards referencing Does not need to include legislation, codes of practice and Australian standards referencing
Must include the address and ABN of the company submitting the SWMS Does not need to include the address and ABN of the company submitting the JSA
Should include a risk matrix where no two risk scores repeat themselves. (5×5 matrix – 1-25 risk scores recommended) A basic risk matrix is required (3×3 – H,M,L matrix is acceptable)
Should include required training, equipment, hazardous substances, PPE and permits required to complete the task in specific requirement identification sections. Should include required training, equipment, hazardous substances, PPE and permits required to complete the task in the risk control measures sections.
Job step, task process, possible hazards, initial risk score, risk control measures, residual risk score and control responsibility should be detailed. Task process, possible hazards, risk control measures, control responsibility and risk score should be detailed.
Additional blank sections should be included in the rear of the document in the event that the task changes and additional safety control measures are required. Additional blank sections should be included in the rear of the document in the event that the task changes and additional safety control measures are required.
Must be communicated to and signed by all persons undertaking the listed tasks. Must be communicated to and signed by all persons undertaking the listed tasks.

 

I expect the workplace debates on whether a task requires a SWMS or a JSA to rage on into the future but I hope readers of this basic comparison can identify what type of risk control tool they should be using and what the document should include.

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

 

How Good Does it Feel to Give?

health and safety, OHS, WHS, occupational health and safety

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service are running a campaign aimed at small businesses and company’s to help meet the constant demand for blood donations.

The campaign is called RED25 and Custodian Safety Services have proudly registered to become one of the many Australian businesses encouraging clients, friends and family to donate blood and share in the feel good emotions that saving lives through blood donation gives.

Donating blood is obviously at the discretion of the individual donor but take it from my own personal experience that it feels good to give back to the very community that has helped Custodian Safety Service become a vibrant and growing OHS Consultancy. Maybe you may feel the same?

For information on how to register in Custodian Safety Services RED25 group or on how to become a blood donor contact Cathal on the details listed in this website or visit https://www.donateblood.com.au/red25/join-group and follow the on screen instructions.

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

 

How OHS Consultants Help Companies in High Risk Industries

  • Contractors working for government/large organisations must submit OHS documents for pre-approval
  • Level of detail required by government/large organisations can be high
  • Contractors can find preparing the documents, frustrating, difficult & time consuming
  • The client can also find the process frustrating & time consuming
  • Contract pre-start difficulties can mean a bad start to a working relationship
  • Custodian Safety Services have the capabilities to prepare documents to what’s required of a fee for service basis
  • Custodian Safety Services have helped a number of contractors, often by referral via the large contractor, achieve document compliance and start the client off with a healthy working relationship.
  • This is a win/win scenario for all parties and we will continue to learn and develop this service offering in the future based on our experiences and strive to maintain our high level of success rate in the future.

How OHS Consultants Help Companies Manage OHS

  • All employers have a responsibility to ensure their employees have safe access to work, safe equipment to work with and a safe system of work.
  • Where a builder or contractor is also a person in control of a business and undertaking (PCBU) they may have the responsibility for the safety of other company employees
  • While these issues are placed at the forefront of importance at contract commencement they often become less of a priority as the project progresses, schedules get busy and resources are stretched.
  • having a competent person available to regularly check and inspect that safe access to work, safe equipment to work with and a safe system of work are in place becomes even more of a challenge.
  • Custodian Safety Services have the technical capability to regularly check and inspect that safe access to work, safe equipment to work with and a safe system of work are in place.
  • Our clients have found the reports beneficial and value a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ and have found that they can manage OHS across a larger area.
  • We will continue to pitch and develop this service offering in the future based on feedback received and our own experiences.

How OHS Consultants Help Companies with High Risk Tasks

  • Being compliant is hard work
  • Many business owners & managers are forced to make decisions on what areas of the business receive resources and what don’t.
  • Many companies acknowledge the importance of OHS but often don’t have the skills, expertise or time to manage the area sufficiently.
  • Custodian Safety Services has the technical capabilities to assist with the management of OHS within organisations.
  • Custodian Safety Services provide free company OHS assessments (Gap Analysis), absorb the cost of 1 hour no obligation consultations, have quick job turnaround and guarantee all of our work meets current legislation and standards.
  • Custodian Safety Services have assisted companies in multiple industries to date that include commercial construction, rail, telecommunications & waste & recycling.
  • Many companies have asked us to continue to develop there OHS systems which is always a good indicator of how successful our work has been.
  • We will endeavour to develop the services offered and fee structure based on experiences and we will continue presents the services to companies who we feel would benefit most.

What Nobody Told Me – Hiring an OHS Consultant

5 things to Consider

Placing your company’s OHS management into the wrong hands can lead to accident’s resulting in injury and/or property damage, inconvenient and avoidable work stoppages and contract delays where clients expect a high level of compliance from contractors. It pays to do your due diligence when choosing an OHS consultancy. Within this article we discuss 4 critical components in choosing the right OHS consultant for your business.

1.      Reputation & Quality of Work

Outsourcing your OHS management may have a lot of benefits, but it can also be a significant risk if not put into the right hands. You want an OHS consultancy whom can deliver what’s required with a high level of quality and whom you can trust and establish a long term relationship with. The types of questions you may want to ask include:

  • Do they have any solid client references from other similar sized clients like you?
  • What success stories can they share?
  • What industries do they get majority of their business from?
  • What areas do they specialise in?

2.      Customer Service & Support

Customer service during the purchase phase is paramount and all good professional service providers will assist in the planning, development, training, trouble shooting, maintenance and upgrading of a service. You should expect to receive a detailed proposal in writing for large jobs or a quotation in writing for smaller jobs. The types of questions that should be answered in the proposal/quotation prior to project completion include:

  • Job Delivery Time frame
  • Fixed Fee Guarantee
  • Professional Indemnity & Insurance
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Exclusions
  • Availability

 3.      Pricing & Fee Structures

In the OHS consulting services industry it is common place for OHS service providers to charge ‘day rates’ without giving an accurate assessment of how long (or short) a job might be. This ‘open cheque book’ type of fee structure has turned many businesses away from using OHS consultants in the past as they experienced job over runs and often pay far in excess that what was originally forecast. The types of questions you may want to ask include:

  • Do you provide a fixed all inclusive job proposal/quotation?
  • Can you set and guarantee a job completion date?
  • Do you take on jobs under $500 in value?

4.      Responsiveness & Dependability

Business moves fast. With that you need to have professional service providers such as accountants, IT and finance brokers to be both responsive and dependable. OHS consulting is no different and you need a provider that can solve your issue or assist your efforts when the time arises in the quality expected from a professional service provider.

Posted by: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

Dogman Required?

ohs, dogman, rigging, ohs melbourne

The debate over whether a dogman is required to sling and lift loads in Australian workplaces has raged on and on countrywide for quite some time now.

Every week you can rest assured that a workplace manager and a client/contractor or employees are at odds about the requirement of a dogman to sling and lift loads.

Unfortunately if we are to consider the issue of dogman requirements across all Australian workplaces and in all Australian states there is no definite yes/no answer to the issue.

If a dogman is needed in ‘every instance of lifting a load’ then every nurse in every hospital and aged care facility should have dogman training which is currently not the case. However, in many construction sites and steel foundry’s dogman training is a pre requisite prior to performing any load slinging/lifting.

Is a bundle of steel being lifted and the persons below any more critical that a patient and a nearby nurse?

rigging, dogman, ohs melbourne, ohs

To help with this commonly encountered workplace dilemma here are a few notes on Dogman requirements we always use to provide direction:

  • If there needs to be an assessment made as to the weight of the load, a dogman is required.
  • If there is a need to make a selection of the lifting equipment (sling/chain) needed to lift the object a dogman is required.
  • If there is a need to work out where and how the lifting chain/sling is to be attached to the load a dogman is required.
  • If the load leaves the sight of the person operating the crane/hoist and whistles or radio signals are used a dogman is required.

The exact requirements on whether a dogman is required or not will continue to vary from state to state based on legislation and industry to industry based on expectations but hopefully you might find these short notes useful.

Posted by Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au

safety culture, ohs melbourne, ohs consulting, whs, occupational health and safety, health and safety, ohs

Safety Culture – Where to Next?

Safety Culture

In 1993 the UK Health and Safety Commission defined safety culture as:

“The safety culture of an organisation is the product of individual and group values, attitudes,Perceptions, competencies, and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation’s health and safety management. Organisations with a positive safety culture are characterised by communications founded on mutual trust, by shared perceptions of the importance of safety and by confidence in the efficacy of preventive measures.”

This definition of Safety Culture has been widely accepted in Australia ever since and was recently cited in the SIA’s Core Body of Knowledge publication in October 2014.

However, the effectiveness of ‘safety culture’ within organisations with regards to the reduction of workplace accidents and injuries has continued to come under the spotlight in recent times.

At an event focusing on OHS I attended recently a university professor at RMIT stated that ‘safety culture is not something that exists or is something that prevents accidents, organisations must work on fixing organisational and management procedures – if they act on this they will fix the problem.’

Another professor, Patrick Hudson has a more positive view on safety culture and in a recent virtual seminar for Safe Work Australia he likens organisational culture to a game of snakes and ladders—we can climb up but also slide down.

He outlines the key components in distinguishing if an organisation has a healthy safety culture is whether it is proactive or reactive with regards to its OHS management and its senior leadership.

He also states that ‘climbing the ladder’ is harder that company’s think but the good news is that his never encountered a companies that wants to go down the ladder and if companies do get up to the top everybody benefits.

Peter’s full virtual seminar can be viewed here on the Safe Work Australia website: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/australian-strategy/vss/pages/patrick-hudson-culture-ladder

My own opinion as an OHS consultant working day in day out with businesses to improve their OHS Management across all levels is that the development of a safety culture is not a quick fix and is certainly a difficult area to focus our efforts on while still offering justifiable value for money for any business within any industry.

Whatever you opinions are on safety culture and its effectiveness within organisations at the moment this is an area where I will be watching with keen interest in the coming year as the debates surrounding the topic continue.

Posted by: Cathal Uniacke – cathal@custodiansafety.com.au