Unions NSW has launched a newly revised Dignity and Respect Charter on 9 August, after the Federal Government passed a number of amendments to the Fair Work Act, including specific new provisions for bullying at work.
Has anyone of you seen Monday nights episode of Four Corners on the ABC? Doing what Four Corners is renowned for, the episode “Chemical Time Bomb” exposed one of the most truly shocking occupational health & safety abuses to occur in Australia.
Safe Work Australia has recently published its Guide on “How to determine what is reasonably practicable to meet a health and safety duty” (the Guide).
The Guide is aimed at assisting a person conducting a business or undertaking (the duty-holder/PCBU) to meet the standard of health and safety required under the model Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act).
Fact: many injured workers are routinely harshly and illegally sacked by their employers when they make a complaint about unsafe working conditions, when they threaten their employer with a genuine bullying complaint, or even when they simply happened to be injured at work and lodge a workcover claim. There certainly appears to be a toxic anti-safety culture in many organisations and companies, ultimately causing countless preventable injuries; again at the cost of those unfortunates who dare to raise a safety issue or those who got injured on the job.
South Australia lost more than 560,000 days of productivity due to workers compensation claims over financial year 2012, WorkCoverSA has revealed.
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips, Vic’s workcover Minister revealed on 19 April that recent WorkCover statistics show Victoria is the safest state in Australia for young workers when comparing the work health and safety schemes of each state and territory. Now, now, isn’t this a rather misleading way of hiding the truth of SafeWork Australia’s newly released report “Work-related injuries experienced by young workers in Australia, 2009–10″, which shows that workplace health and safety basically is not working for young workers, that under 25′s account for most work injuries, and… hang on, that almost two thirds (75%!) of injured young workers did not apply for workers’ compensation?
Victoria safest for young workers: WorkCover stats
Friday, 19 April 2013
Assistant Treasurer Gordon Rich-Phillips today revealed recent WorkCover statistics that show Victoria is the safest state in Australia for young workers when comparing the work health and safety schemes of each state and territory.
The report ‘Work related injuries experienced by young workers in Australia 2009-2010,’ is the latest national data available that compiles the number of work injury claims, for workers under 25, per 1,000 employees across the states and territories. The national results are:
- Victoria – 10.2 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- ACT – 14.9 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- Tasmania – 15.8 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- Queensland – 18.7 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- Northern Territory – 28.8 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- New South Wales – 29.6 claims for every 1,000 employees;
- South Australia – 30.6 claims for every 1,000 employees; and
- Western Australia – 30.7 claims for every 1,000 employees.
“These results confirm Victoria as the nation’s leader in workplace safety,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.
“Victoria already has the lowest rate of workplace injuries of any state in Australia, and this data clearly demonstrates that we also take the lead in safety among young workers in particular.
“Victoria has the safest and most effective scheme, the lowest rate of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths, and the lowest workers’ compensation premiums in the country and the Coalition Government is committed to continuing the current workplace safety scheme.”
WorkCover Chief Executive Denise Cosgrove said the fight to ensure every worker made it home safely every night would go on.
“I am determined we remain the safest state for every worker – from the youngest to the oldest – and that will drive our strategic thinking over the next five years,” Ms Cosgrove said.
“We know that young workers are less likely to speak up about safety and seek assistance – they may fear looking stupid or incapable, or even fear losing their job.
“If they are not sure about what to do, they are more likely to just ’have a go’, and therefore can put themselves, and others, at risk.
“Employers and supervisors play an important role in reducing risk for young workers and also in supporting young workers with appropriate training and supervision, and encouraging them to speak up about safety,” Ms Cosgrove said.
To view the full Safe Work Australia report, go to www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
The truth, as posted on 28 March 2013
75% of young injured workers do not apply for workcover
A fifth of all work-related injuries experienced by Australian workers were incurred by workers aged 25 and under, according to new data released by Safe Work Australia.
The report, Work-related injuries experienced by young workers 2009-2010, found the injury rate of young workers (the rate of injuries per 1,000 workers) was 18 per cent higher than for those aged over 25.
The injury rate of 66.1 work-related injuries per 1,000 young workers was considerably high compared to 56.2 injuries per 1,000 workers aged over 25.
|Under 25’s account for most injuries|
The report also found the difference between the injury rates of young and older workers was greatest in the manufacturing, accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance and construction industries.
Other findings showed that almost two thirds of injured young workers did not apply for workers’ compensation, with half of them feeling their injury was too minor to warrant lodging a claim; a quarter of all their compensated injuries involved the hand, fingers and thumb, with young males at particular risk; and two thirds of young worker fatalities involved a vehicle.
Chair of Safe Work Australia, Ann Sherry said young people needed to understand the different safety issues in their workplaces and learn the value of following safety procedures to protect them while they were working.
“Often in their first jobs, young workers can get caught up with the excitement of entering the workforce,” Ms Sherry said.
“They may overlook the need to be familiar with the potential workplace hazards and safety procedures in place.”
She said the statistics in the report showed why it was necessary for young people to learn safe workplace practices and who they should go to for help.
“The safety habits and behaviours they learn now will set them up for positive safe work practices for the remainder of their working lives,” she said.
It may be interesting to see if “young workers” in other states actually report their injuries! And if they claim workers compensation for their injuries?So that apples can be compared with apples and not with pears, eh.
Only 16% of Australian workplaces comply with Safe Work Australia’s new code of practice on first aid, according to research by St John Ambulance. But this is only the tip of the iceberg for the crisis in Australian occupational health and safety, which itself appears to need first aid…
It’s the Christmas party season, and this workplace OHS article stresses the importance and the responsibility of the employers to minimise the risk of injury to staff attending such parties.
A friend of mine likened Workcover to a sacrificial system where people were being sacrificed for the great dollar deity. We were watching Devils dust. The description was blood lust for money. We thought the concept and the article an interesting combination…
A new study undertaken by The University of Auckland’s Business School Department of Commercial Law has found possible links between the country’s no-fault accident compensation system and its high rate of workplace incidents
The same principle applies to Work Health and Safety in Australia, NSW is a prime example. Now that the workers compensation laws have changed and employers have no real incentive to worry about safety can we expect an increase in workplace fatalities and serious injury? Research from New Zealand suggests this will be the case.