NSW Minister should take the tough decision on quad bike safety

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It was reported during the recent Farm Safety Week in Australia, that the  Federal Government is willing to work with the States to improve quad bike safety.  The New South Wales (NSW) Government has responded by saying the Federals should provide a national five-star safety rating system on the farm vehicles.  Such a system is widely supported until the discussion turns to the criteria to be included.

Some of the print reporting of the current discussions sound has the NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean, sounding like a politician – reasonable and measured.  However, the delivery of the same message on the NSW Country Hour program for July 18 2017 (at the 43 minute 40 second mark) is much tougher.  The Minister should be even tougher on this issue and take it up to the quad bike manufacturers. Continue reading “NSW Minister should take the tough decision on quad bike safety”

What is Farm Safety Week really saying about safety?

This week is Farm Safety Week in Australia.  This means that a lot of organisations will be issuing media releases about how to either, improve safety performance (ie. reduce harm) or raise awareness of risks and safety.  What is likely to be missing from the information is practical information.  This is partly because of the unique nature of farmers – isolated, small businesses, politically conservative and working from home.

Safe Work Australia

On the first day of the week Safe Work Australia (SWA) released an

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WorkSafe responds on Strategy 2030

Last week SafetyAtWorkBlog wrote about the release of a WorkSafe Victoria Strategy 2030 discussion paper. WorkSafe has responded to a series of questions that were clear and straightforward.  The response is largely unhelpful.

“The discussion paper seeks feedback on WorkSafe’s next long term strategy which will support an even greater focus on injury prevention, the provision of tailored services and empathetic support to every injured worker and the transformation of WorkSafe into a technologically agile organisation.

The discussion paper has been promoted with a series of community seminars across the state, shared on social media, and sent to our employees and key stakeholders to promote and encourage feedback among their networks.

Workplace safety affects every Victorian which is why we are seeking the views of employers, workers and the broader community.

A summary of the feedback will be made available on the WorkSafe website before the end of the year.”

The questions asked by SafetyAtWorkBlog are listed below.

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No review report but WorkSafe Victoria releases a discussion paper on its future

WorkSafe Victoria has released a discussion paper in support of its development of a WorkSafe Strategy 2030 but you wouldn’t know it.  At the time of writing – there is no mention of it on the Facebook page, nothing on its news website.  The paper is only available through this rarely used community engagement page.

One of this blog’s readers drew attention to this paragraph on page 8 which indicates that WorkSafe Victoria is basing part of this discussion paper on recent reports which seem to include the Independent OHS Review which is yet to be publicly released:

“A number of independent reviews undertaken recently have also highlighted opportunities for us to strengthen our approach to regulating health and safety in Victorian workplaces, and in further supporting injured workers.

We know in some cases we are not meeting the expectations of the community, and the outcomes of these reviews are informing the development of our strategy, and the way we deliver our services in the future.”

It would be good to know what failed community expectations are being referred to.

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Asbestos – out of sight but not out of mind in Asia

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By Melody Kemp

Hmong uplander with child. Source: Melody Kemp

Asbestos resembles polio. Just when you think it’s beaten, it returns like some ghoul. If you think this is overly dramatic, last year Laos was struck by a polio outbreak. This year we learned that Laos now ranks amongst the globe’s major importers of asbestos. And it’s driven by cynical market forces targeting poorer nations, inadvertently promoted by international aid. Continue reading “Asbestos – out of sight but not out of mind in Asia”