WHS STATS EVERY EMPLOYER SHOULD KNOW…
Did you know that the time lost per claim from workplace health and safety accidents has increased by 33% in the last 15 years?
And, that the amount of compensation payable per claim has increased by 30% from $5,200 to $6,800?
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Photo: SafetyCulture Library
Manufacturers and importers in most jurisdictions are required to label their hazardous chemicals in accordance with the international system used to classify and communicate chemical hazards.
Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter said a five-year transitional period gave chemical manufacturers and importers time to reclassify chemicals and implement necessary changes to labels and safety data sheets.
“To ease the burden on suppliers to re-label existing chemical stock, chemicals manufactured or imported before 1 January 2017 can continue to be supplied without needing to meet the new labelling requirements,” said Ms. Baxter.
She reminded chemical suppliers, manufacturers and employers with employees handling hazardous chemicals to contact their work health and safety regulator for more information on how GHS affects their work.
“WHS Regulators can provide on-the-ground advice, guidance, and information regarding, classifying, labelling and handling chemicals to ensure your workplace remains safe.”
October is Safe Work Month and NT WorkSafe is calling on all Territorians to get involved to raise awareness of workplace safety. The safety watchdog reminds workers and employers that it is everyone’s responsibility to help keep their workplace safe.
This year NT WorkSafe, the Small Business Safety Program and partner organisation Beyond Blue have organised free safety seminars and other activities in major regional centres across the Territory. Members of the public will get an opportunity to learn more about household gas safety and solar installations during these seminars.
For more information on how to take part in Safe Work Month visit NT WorkSafe website.
SINGAPORE — The projected annualised rate for fatal workplace accidents this year is expected to be the highest since 2009, with the main contributor, the construction sector, set for its worst record since 2013.
Between January and June, there were 42 workplace fatalities, compared to 30 over the same period last year.
This year’s annualised fatal injury rate is projected to reach 2.5 per 100,000 workers, the highest since 2009, when it was 2.9 per 100,000.
Over the last few years, the rate had plateaued to around 2.0 per 100,000.
Out of the 42 deaths, 18 took place in the construction sector.
Most of the cases stemmed from workers who did not observe safety rules, although some companies have also been showing a lackadaisical attitude towards safety issues at their workplace.
To get safety records “back on track”, safety requirements will become a bigger feature in public construction projects, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say on Wednesday (Aug 24).
Speaking at the Singapore Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Conference at the Suntec City Convention Centre, Mr Lim noted that some construction companies “have accepted WSH infringements as unavoidable”.
“They even set aside ‘safety budgets’ to cover the enforcement fines,” he said.
A study on 33 construction deaths, which occurred between June last year and May this year, showed that seven in 10 of such fatalities were due to poor planning or execution of work activities.
According to the study, 87 per cent of the companies involved in the construction deaths did not carry out thorough risk assessments or implement adequate risk control measures.
To bring Singapore back on track in achieving a fatality rate target of 1.8 per 100,000 workers by 2018, Mr Lim also announced several measures, such as incorporating more safety considerations into public construction tenders.
Contractors tendering for a project will need a minimal bizSAFE Level 3 certification, or an equivalent recognition, and their past WSH performances will be considered before tenders are awarded.
For example, in the Tuas Terminal Phase 2 project, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be placing more emphasis on long-term and consistent safety performance of contractors in the tender evaluation criteria.
Both the MOM and MPA will also set safety and health targets, and conduct joint inspections during the design and construction phases.
The Design for Safety (DfS) regulations, which came into effect at the start of this month, will also require companies to adopt an outcome-based approach in risk management.
Mandatory for projects with contracts worth S$10 million and above, the DfS regulations require safety features for workers, who are building and maintaining the projects, to be implemented from the design stages by developers and designers.
Mr Alan Chew, director of Chew Hock Seng Construction, cited over-confidence as the main cause of fatal accidents in the construction sector.
“With over-confidence and thinking that they (workers) know best, they will do things differently, and take shortcuts or devise another method,” he said.
Mr Edwin Loo, a senior project manager at Conint, noted that workers tend to take risks when they are under pressure by their bosses to keep to the timeline for the project.
“There has to be support from the top management to exercise safety, to create a culture of safety, more than just pushing for productivity,” he added.
August is Tradies National Health Month, so it’s a good time to reflect on the priorities for health and safety management for this key industry sector.Frankly, the issue of tradies health and safety needs a lot of attention. According to data from Safe Work Australia, tradies are among the highest ranked sectors in regards to serious injury and disease compensation claims. Statistics have shown that 1 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve someone working as a tradie.
Safeguarding tradies’ health and safety involves three key groups of people:employers, physiotherapists and, of course, tradies themselves. Each of these groups has a unique role to play and neither can do the work alone. We want to focus on what each group can contribute to the health and safety of tradies’ work environment, why this work must be cooperative to be successful, and how to go about managing such a multi-layered health and safety strategy.
Construction industry profile – WorkSafe QLD
The construction industry has been identified as a priority for work health and safety by the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022(Australian strategy). This construction industry profile presents an overview of the main trends of workers’ injuries and fatalities in the Queensland construction industry.
- Around 11% of construction falls injuries were caused by ladders.
- There has been a 30% decrease in the rate of serious claims in the construction industry in the past five years.
- 22% of serious claims were for back injuries.
- There has been a 22% decrease in the rate of construction fatalities over the past five years.
- 13% of fatalities caused from falls from a height were from roofs and ladders and most of these involved falls of less than four metres.
The number of workers in the construction industry has decreased by nine per cent over the last five years. Within the construction industry, 78 per cent of workers were classed as employees and were covered by workers’ compensation schemes.
There have been significant reductions in the numbers and rates of injuries and fatalities in this industry over the same period. Nevertheless, the construction industry remains a high risk industry.
Latest data published shows the construction industry accounted for eight per cent of workers covered by Queensland workers’ compensation schemes but 12 per cent of workers compensation claims for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work. It also accounted for 23 per cent of work-related fatalities.
Almost 3000 workers’ compensation claims are accepted from the construction industry each year for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work. This equates to a massive 12 serious claims each work day.
Main causes of injury
- Hitting or being hit by an object 38%
- Body stressing 30%
- Falls, trips and slips 19%
Main causes of fatalities
- Vehicle incidents 35%
- Hitting or being hit by an object 30%
- Falls from a height 13%
For more information on this article, visit safeworkaustralia.gov.au.
- Last updated
- 02 August 2016