The Victorian Government has concluded the public hearing section of its inquiry into Labour Hire. Industrial Relations Minister Natalie Hutchins has said in a media release that
“Evidence has been put to the inquiry suggesting widespread underpayment of award wages, tax avoidance, nonpayment of superannuation, poor occupational health and safety practices, maltreatment of workers and backpackers on visas, and, in some instances, allegations of illegal conduct.”
This article focusses on the occupational health and safety (OHS) evidence provided through the
[Guest Post from Dave Robertson of Quadbar]
On March 3 2016, the Queensland government released its “Statewide Plan for Improving Quad Bike Safety”. The document covers a wide range of issues but risk controls like substitution and engineering only get small mention.
According to the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Grace Grace, the government intends
“…to create a safety culture through education and awareness as the immediate first step toward improving safety outcomes for quad bike users and their passengers.”
It must be noted that the plan covers occupational and recreational use of quad bikes but it is also important that the Statewide Plan does not indicate how the success of the plan and the safety culture model will be assessed.
Continue reading “Queensland plans for a safety culture for quad bikes”
A decision by WorkSafe Victoria about the fitting of crush protection devices (CPD) to quad-bikes (All Terrain Vehicles/ATV) gained the major prominence in the latest edition of a major Australian farming newspaper, The Weekly Times. The newspaper reports that
“WorkSafe Victoria is tightening rules around quad bikes that will see them banned in workplaces unless appropriate rollover protection is fitted.”
Some of the argument over the last 24 hours has been around whether this means that CPDs are mandatory and, as always, cost.
Dr Tony Lower, Director of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety has released his review of farm safety incident statistics for 2015. According to a media release (not yet online), Dr Lower found
“…there were 69 on‐farm injury deaths. The main causes continued to be quads, accounting for 15 cases (22%), with two of these involving children. This is the fifth year in a row where quads have been the leading cause of non‐intentional injury deaths on Australian farms.” Continue reading “Stats show quadbikes remain the leading cause of deaths on Australian farms”
2015 has been a big year for public attention on the exploitation of workers. In May, the Four Corners program revealed the exploitation of, largely, migrant or illegal workers in the food processing and vegetable growing sectors. In the last month, 7Eleven workers have featured, also after a Four Corners investigation in conjunction with Fairfax Media. In both cases, workplace safety has been mentioned but not featured.
In September 2015, the Victorian (Labor) Government released the
New research into quad bike safety by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) shows increasing maturity in the discussions on the safety of quad bikes and farms. According to a 2 September report on Australian ABC radio, more attention is now needed for quadbike rider’s actions, workplace conditions and choices.
The attention on the suitability and design of quad bikes has dominated the safety debate over the last few years. There is no doubt that the design of quadbikes could have been made safer, or that new vehicle models offer better stability or that Operator Protection Devices (OPDs) offer a safety improvement.
The focus on riders has been almost exclusively about “active riding” techniques and the use and suitability of personal protective equipment, such as helmets. Continue reading “Quad bike safety discussion is maturing”
The final report into quadbike safety has finally been released by the University of New South Wales in a series of five papers and in the wake of Queensland coronial findings into nine quadbike-related deaths. (A New South Wales inquiry is currently underway)
It has been a
In June 2015 a research report was presented to a traffic safety conference in Gothenburg, Sweden that is set to reignite the debate on quad bike or all terrain vehicle (ATV) safety in Australia.
The paper entitled “The Australian Terrain Vehicle Assessment Program (ATVAP)” (Paper No.15-0144-W in the Technical Papers section of the
In early June 20915, the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) provided a case study of agricultural safety and the importance of safety culture – Raby Stud, part of Hassad Australia. The study shows great potential but the promotion of this case study would be more convincing if more OHS detail was available and if there was better coordination of its media.
RIRDC emphasised that:
“The injury rate is now close to zero at ‘Raby Stud’, near Warren in New South Wales, thanks to the attitude that ‘it won’t happen to me’ is simply not good enough to ensure everyone gets home safely to their families every night.”
Continue reading “Agricultural safety case study from Australia”