Serious questions raised over the role of Safe Work Method Statements

Any safety conference involving the Australian construction industry will have some discussion on Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and this weekend’s Building Safety conference was no different. During the presentation on Saturday by the Federal Safety Commissioners, SWMS was bubbling along underneath many of his words and statements. Sadly, the audience (now) seems to have … Continue reading “Serious questions raised over the role of Safe Work Method Statements”

Safe Work Method Statement templates cause concern

On 30 November 2012, SAI Global announced a commercial arrangement with SafetyCulture for the sale of generic Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS), particularly for high-risk industries. This has caused something of a stir with some Australian safety professionals who claim that this runs contrary to good safety practice. The controversy of SWMS in Australia is … Continue reading “Safe Work Method Statement templates cause concern”

New workplace safety laws set to pass in South Australia in October

South Australian Independent Member of Parliament, John Darley, has been negotiating on that State’s Work Health and Safety laws for many months.  On 17 October 2012, according to a media release from SA’s Premier Jay Weatherill and Workplace Relations Minister Russell Wortley, Darley agreed to support the passing of the laws after achieving some amendments.  Those amendments involve changes to … Continue reading “New workplace safety laws set to pass in South Australia in October”

Inadequate risk assessment results in an injured worker and $99k fine

There is increasing attention being given to the preparation of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) in Australian OHS laws.  Amongst many purposes, SWMS should provide a basic risk assessment of tasks being undertaken, usually, that day.  Often SWMS are too generic by being prepared days or weeks earlier, often SWMS miss the big risks by … Continue reading “Inadequate risk assessment results in an injured worker and $99k fine”

OHS app is attractive but may be no better than a paper system

Over the last few months I have been using my iPad to take photographs of good and bad workplace practices.  These photos are usually shown to a site or business manager after a visit so that control measures can be identified.  The advantage of an iPad is that no one has to squint at a … Continue reading “OHS app is attractive but may be no better than a paper system”

Safe Work Method Statements and independent positions

Over the last few months most Australian OHS regulators, and many labour law firms,have been conducting workshops and public seminars on Australia’s plans to harmonise its OHS legislation.  In those workshops, the consultative process and timeframes have been described by some as a “nightmare”, which is not exactly inspiring participants who are seeking clarity from … Continue reading “Safe Work Method Statements and independent positions”