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Safety Dimensions Blog

The Safety Dimensions Blog

What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to nail your goals

How to nail your goals

Are you left with a bundle of New Year’s resolutions which sounded like a good idea at the time, but never made it past the idea stage? Here are six hacks to revive those goals. 1. Know what you want and get SMART about it Goals work best if they have broader purpose...

read more
Key WHS statistics Australia

Key WHS statistics Australia

Safe Work Australia compiles the National Dataset for compensation-based statistics which comprises information on workers' compensation claims provided by each of the jurisdictional workers' compensation authorities. Although 563,600 people experienced a work-related...

read more
Why sleep is your superpower

Why sleep is your superpower

Are you and your workers skimping on sleep? It’s been proven that sleep deprivation not only means poorer performance, productivity and safety outcomes, but has an impact on our physical health. Researchers found workers losing just 16 minutes of sleep (from the 7-9...

read more

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Safety Dimensions Blog

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

Working in air pollution – what are an employer’s obligations?

If your job requires you to work outside, the recent bushfires and dust storms may put your and your staff at risk of exposure to air pollution. As an employer you need to be aware of your legal obligations. Under the Work Health Safety Act 2011, employers have a duty...

How to nail your goals

Are you left with a bundle of New Year’s resolutions which sounded like a good idea at the time, but never made it past the idea stage? Here are six hacks to revive those goals. 1. Know what you want and get SMART about it Goals work best if they have broader purpose...

Key WHS statistics Australia

Safe Work Australia compiles the National Dataset for compensation-based statistics which comprises information on workers' compensation claims provided by each of the jurisdictional workers' compensation authorities. Although 563,600 people experienced a work-related...

Labour hire – what are your WHS obligations?

When hiring labour, no one should assume that someone else is taking care of health and safety. Everyone in the chain is required to know who is doing what and work together  so risks are eliminated or minimised. With major construction and infrastructure projects all...

Why sleep is your superpower

Are you and your workers skimping on sleep? It’s been proven that sleep deprivation not only means poorer performance, productivity and safety outcomes, but has an impact on our physical health. Researchers found workers losing just 16 minutes of sleep (from the 7-9...

Limited places remain for subsidised WHS training

Want to give your business the edge for 2019? Want to do it at no cost to your business? Queensland tradies have a limited opportunity to get WHS training, funded by their building and construction industry body, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ). Being qualified...

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail.

Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a criminal offence. The new laws will commence on a day to be proclaimed or 1 July 2020 at the latest, but those found negligent before the legislation commences may still be prosecuted if an organisations work policies cause a workplace fatality before the commencement date.

When will Workplace Manslaughter apply in Victoria?

Workplace Manslaughter applies when all of the elements of the offence are proven:

  • the accused is a body corporate or a person who is not an employee or volunteer
  • the accused owed the victim a duty of care pursuant to sections 21 to 24 or sections 26 to 31 of the OHS Act (this includes duties owed to employees, contractors and members of the public) (applicable duties)
  • the accused breached that duty by criminal negligence in circumstances where there was a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness
  • the act that breached the duty of care was committed consciously and voluntarily
  • the accused’s breach of the duty causes the victim’s death.

Workplace Manslaughter may apply even when the death of the person occurs sometime after the relevant incident. For example, depending on the circumstances, if an employee develops an asbestos-related disease after an employer exposed them to asbestos without the use of adequate personal protective equipment.

Who can be charged with Workplace Manslaughter?

A person, a body corporate, an unincorporated body or association or a partnership, including government entities and officers of these entities (but not employees or volunteers), who owe applicable duties to ensure the health and safety of another person in the workplace, can be charged with Workplace Manslaughter.

However, in certain circumstances, officers of organisations may be charged if their organisation owes applicable duties:

  • directors and secretaries of companies
  • partners of a partnership or joint venture
  • the trustee of a trust
  • persons who participate in the making of decisions that affect a substantial part of the organisations business
  • persons who have the capacity to affect significantly the organisations financial standing.

Negligent conduct

Voluntary and deliberate conduct is ‘negligent’ if it involves a great falling short of the standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances and involves a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness. It is a test that looks at what a reasonable person in the situation of the accused would have done in the circumstances. The test is based on existing common law principles in Victoria.

Negligent conduct can include a failure to act.

Examples of negligent conduct may include when a person:

  • does not adequately manage, control or supervise its employees
  • does not take reasonable action to fix a dangerous situation, in circumstances where failing to do so causes a high risk of death, serious injury or serious illness.

Causation: the conduct caused death

It must be established that it was the accused’s negligently criminal breach of the duty of care that caused the death. That is, his or her acts or omissions must have contributed significantly to the death, or been a substantial and operative cause of it. The acts or omissions must be such that an ordinary person would hold them, as a matter of common sense, to be a cause of the death. This is the existing common law test of causation.

Penalties

If convicted of Workplace Manslaughter, the following maximum penalties apply:

  • A maximum of 20 years imprisonment for individuals
  • A maximum fine of $16.5 million for body corporates

Note – the new laws will commence on a day to be proclaimed or 1 July 2020 at the latest, negligent conduct before the legislation commences may still be relevant for the purposes of prosecution if an organisation’s omission to amend unsafe work policies causes a workplace fatality post-commencement.

SOURCE: https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/victorias-new-workplace-manslaughter-offences

Ready to train your people in risk management, hazard identification and subcontractor management?

We have a range of programs to train your people in risk management, hazard identification  and subcontractor management which can be tailored specifically to your industry and organisational needs. Training can be delivered as individual modules or as part of one of our accredited programs.

You can see our full program suite here >> or see some relevant units below:

Risk Assessment & Hazard Identification

This program helps you identify and describe the difference between a hazard and a risk, and introduces a way of thinking about hazard identification and risk management as an everyday activity. 

It will also enhance the skills and capabilities of leaders in the areas of hazard identification, risk analysis and identification and how to implement appropriate risk controls.

Download the course outline>>

Subcontractor Management

Learn to effectively manage WHS site risks and performance by learning how to effectively select, manage and monitor the complex and difficult world of subcontractors.  It also covers the WHS obligations regarding subcontractors, stepping through the various stages of effective subcontractor management, including assessing, evaluating safety history, attitude and managing expectations of performance and reporting.

Download the course outline >>

BSB41415 Certificate IV in WHS

The BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety is a nationally accredited program which will teach you how to identify hazards in the workplace, assist with responding to incidents, assess and control risk and consult on work health and safety issues. This program is most suited to those in a Safety Officer or Health and Safety Representatives role, or those currently in leadership roles wishing to shift their career into Health and Safety.

Read more about this program >>

Want to find out more about how we can customise our programs to your industry and organisation?
Let's talk!
Call us on 1300 453 555, email info@safetydimensions.com.au or use our contact form here.

More from our blog

Subscribe Now! >>

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

read more
What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

read more

What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs.

This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during 2018, using data collected in mid-2019. The figures are derived from the National Student Outcomes Survey.

 

Here’s the highlights :

 

%

97% were satisfied with the overall quality of our training

%

93.7% would recommend our training

%

96.4% would recommend us as their training provider.

%

89.3% achieved their main reason for doing the training.

Download the full report
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Australian vocational education and training statistics 2019.
https://www.ncver.edu.au/

More from our blog

Subscribe Now! >>

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

read more
What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

read more

How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year.

With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events.

Some lost loved ones, their homes and/or animals in the fires or are close to those who have. They may have fought the fires with the CFA on behalf of grateful communities, helped their neighbours or friends defend their homes or evacuate from harm’s way under intense circumstances. Family or friends may be isolated or quarantined in the Coronavirus response or are waiting on tenterhooks for news on affected relatives or friends.  Both of these situations are ongoing.

Emotionally and physically so many Aussies have been traumatised, so what can you, a colleague or supervisor do to help?

Everyone deals with trauma differently.  There is no ‘right way’.  Some will want to talk about it whilst others won’t.  Some find it difficult to focus or will withdraw, while others are all talk.  Some are emotional whilst others behave just like they did before the events. What is common to all is what they’ll need from you as their workmate or Manager.


Listen

Truly listen.  This is not interrupting them with your own view on what has happened, cutting them short or telling them how they ‘should’ be feeling, for example “aren’t you angry at those darn pollies“? It is not about making them feel their reaction is wrong or ‘making’ them talk about it if they don’t want to.

Listening is being present in the moment with them.  Listening is letting them share what they wish to (or not). Listening is letting them express as little or as much as they wish.  Listening is not judging.  Listening is accepting a perspective and allowing them to share.  Whatever their reaction, remind yourself they are having a very normal response to a very abnormal and traumatic event, and let them express what and how they feel in a way appropriate to them.


Acknowledge

“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not.
The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone”.

Robin Williams

Acknowledge how they feel. When you acknowledge how someone feels they feel supported and not alone. Statements such as “I can’t imagine how frightened you would have been” are appropriate. Everyone will feel differently as everyone’s experience is different – sad, angry, frightened, scared or frustrated – empathise and acknowledge their feelings and accept their reaction as just that – their unique reaction.

The worst thing you can do is tell them how they ’should be feeling’ or what you think they should do to fix, or get relief from the situation. They won’t feel listened to or heard.  When you are present, listen deeply and acknowledge how they feel – they will feel heard and supported and most importantly, not alone.


Support

Know the difference between listening and acknowledging vs counselling.  As a Manager or work colleague it is not our role to provide counselling at work.  Rather, our role is to support people the best way we can, and when it comes to the psychological side of dealing with trauma, this support includes encouraging them to seek professional support.

Never attempt to provide counselling to others unless you are qualified to do so.  Why?  Trauma is a tricky topic to integrate and process, and you may do more harm than good if you venture into this territory (even with the best intent) without the skills and knowledge to truly help.  Also, the workplace is often a refuge for people experiencing trauma and to blur boundaries by attempting to help them ‘process’ emotion at work, can have countless side effects.

Your role is to listen, acknowledge and support.  This support may include referrals to a professional and often practical help such as flexible work hours or working from home, time off, food, clothing or housing or perhaps reduced workloads.  These supports are needed, wanted and will show you care without venturing into territory where you are not qualified to offer advice.

Listenacknowledgesupport. Three simple steps that will make a huge difference.

Where you or your staff can get support

Lifeline
13 11 14
Lifeline provides free, 24-hour Telephone Crisis Support service in Australia. Volunteer Crisis Supporters provide suicide prevention services, mental health support and emotional assistance, not only via telephone but face-to-face and online.

Beyond Blue
1300 22 4636
Beyond Blue is an Australian independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental disorders

Embrace Multicultural Mental Health 
(02) 6285 3100
A national platform for multicultural communities and Australian mental health services to access resources, services and information in a culturally accessible format.

Headspace
1800 650 890
Free online and telephone service that supports young people aged between 12 and 25 and their families going through a tough time.

Want to be a better leader?

Designed for emerging leaders, in the BSB42015 Certificate IV in Leadership and Management you’ll learn how to provide leadership and guidance to others in the workplace and to manage effective, motivated, high performing teams in all types of organisations and industries.

This program is customised to your organisations needs and timeline with time between the sessions to enable staff to to trial their new skills within the workplace supported by an expert management facilitator.

To find out how we can customise this program for your needs contact us on 1300 453 555, info@safetydimensions.com.au or click here.

More from our blog

Subscribe Now! >>

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

read more
What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

read more

Working in air pollution – what are an employer’s obligations?

Working in air pollution – what are an employer’s obligations?

If your job requires you to work outside, the recent bushfires and dust storms may put your and your staff at risk of exposure to air pollution. As an employer you need to be aware of your legal obligations.

Under the Work Health Safety Act 2011, employers have a duty to, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure health and safety by eliminating or minimising risks – this is not only for their employees but also for subcontractors.

Smoke from bushfires is made up of very small particles and gases. These particles in the air can irritate your eyes, nose and throat, causing itchy/burning eyes, runny nose, headaches, irritate the throat or sinuses and cause shortness of breath. The particles are so small they can also penetrate deep into the lungs. In healthy people these symptoms may be temporary, however those with a lung or heart condition may experience a worsening of their condition, leading to a more severe response such as an asthma attack or heart attack.

So how do you keep people safe and meet your obligations?

First you should check your local air quality index to determine the level of air quality and risk where you are working.

You can check your states environment protection authority website for the most up to date readings:

NSW

Victoria

Queensland

South Australia

Western Australia

Tasmania

Northern Territory

Australian Capital Territory


According to Safe Work Australia, dust and smoke may:

  • reduce air quality and impact visibility
  • settle onto equipment and impact the functioning of plant and grip of surfaces
  • irritate the airway, nose and eyes.

You must talk to your workers and their elected Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) and take their views into account when deciding on control measures to eliminate or minimise WHS risks at your workplace, including measures to eliminate or minimise risks from air pollution.

Your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to health and safety caused by working outdoors when air quality is reduced, including:

  • working indoors (where possible)
  • rescheduling outdoor work until conditions (e.g., visibility and air quality) improve​
  • ensuring plant is functioning correctly and has not been affected by dust or debris
  • cleaning any dust and debris off outdoor surfaces
  • providing personal protective equipment such as eye protection and correctly fitted P2 rated face masks.


Safe Work Australia has published guidance on ‘Managing the risks from air pollution: Advice for PCBUs’:

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/managing-risks-air-pollution-advice-pcbus

 

References:
Safe Work Australia https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
Health NSW https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/air/Pages/bushfire-illness.aspx

Ready to train your people in risk management, hazard identification and subcontractor management?

We have a range of programs to train your people in risk management, hazard identification  and subcontractor management which can be tailored specifically to your industry and organisational needs. Training can be delivered as individual modules or as part of one of our accredited programs.

You can see our full program suite here >> or see some relevant units below:

Risk Assessment & Hazard Identification

This program helps you identify and describe the difference between a hazard and a risk, and introduces a way of thinking about hazard identification and risk management as an everyday activity. 

It will also enhance the skills and capabilities of leaders in the areas of hazard identification, risk analysis and identification and how to implement appropriate risk controls.

Download the course outline>>

Subcontractor Management

Learn to effectively manage WHS site risks and performance by learning how to effectively select, manage and monitor the complex and difficult world of subcontractors.  It also covers the WHS obligations regarding subcontractors, stepping through the various stages of effective subcontractor management, including assessing, evaluating safety history, attitude and managing expectations of performance and reporting.

Download the course outline >>

BSB41415 Certificate IV in WHS

The BSB41415 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety is a nationally accredited program which will teach you how to identify hazards in the workplace, assist with responding to incidents, assess and control risk and consult on work health and safety issues. This program is most suited to those in a Safety Officer or Health and Safety Representatives role, or those currently in leadership roles wishing to shift their career into Health and Safety.

Read more about this program >>

Want to find out more about how we can customise our programs to your industry and organisation?
Let's talk!
Call us on 1300 453 555, email info@safetydimensions.com.au or use our contact form here.

More from our blog

Subscribe Now! >>

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

read more
What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

read more

How to nail your goals

How to nail your goals

Are you left with a bundle of New Year’s resolutions which sounded like a good idea at the time, but never made it past the idea stage?

Here are six hacks to revive those goals.

1. Know what you want and get SMART about it

Goals work best if they have broader purpose and a way to measure their success.

This works best in two parts. First establish the overarching WHY of your chosen goal. Ask, why is that goal important to you? Keep asking ‘why’ till you find a context that inspires you.  If you’re looking find a new job, perhaps your ‘why’ is to ‘do challenging work that uses my skills and expands my boundaries’.

Similarly a goal to lose 5kg might be more inspiring to have the ‘why’ of improved health, vitality and wellbeing.

Once you’ve got your overarching ‘why’, make sure your goals are SMART: SpecificMeasurableActionableReinforcingTrackable.

2. Find an ally

If you want to make your goal stick, share it with someone who’s willing to keep you in check. Tell them why the goal is important to you and ask them to remind you if you go off track. Tapping into groups that have like-minded people, or connecting with someone else who shares the same goal (or has already achieved it) can motivate you to stay on track.

3. Line your ducks up

Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, make sure you have your resources ready to deploy. Planning to run a marathon won’t turn out so well without a training plan and shoes that will go the distance. Ask, do you need to pace yourself, or is it a sprint? Know what you need to do (actions), have (resources) and be (personal attributes) to meet your goal.

4. Set micro-goals

Break down your overarching goals into bite sized micro-goals with milestones and diarise all the tasks you’ll need to complete to keep you on track.

5. Plan for a breakdown

It’s almost certain that something will come up that puts achieving your goal at risk. Life will get in your way, or maybe you’ll get in your own way. How you handle the obstacles and breakdowns will dictate your success or failure. Plan out what action you’re going to take when these breakdowns happen.

6. Celebrate the wins

Not all goals happen overnight, so it’s important to celebrate the small wins along the way to keep you motivated and to acknowledge how far you’ve come.

More from our blog

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Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Industrial manslaughter to become law in Victoria

Victoria has made Industrial Manslaughter a criminal offence and will now have the highest safety fine in the country with maximum penalties of $16.5m and 20 years jail. Victoria is the third state after ACT and Queensland to legislate to make Workplace Manslaughter a...

read more
What our learners say about our programs

What our learners say about our programs

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research surveyed graduates of our nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs. This report provides a summary of the outcomes of students who completed nationally recognised VET programs during...

read more
How to support your staff through traumatic events

How to support your staff through traumatic events

For many, 2020 has been a rough start to the year. With the horrific bushfires in Australia and fear of the spread of Coronavirus globally and locally, many workplaces are dealing with staff directly or indirectly impacted by trauma emanating from these events. Some...

read more