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LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Introduction Labor Council of NSW Workplace Safety Seminar.

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Presentation on theme: "LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Introduction Labor Council of NSW Workplace Safety Seminar."— Presentation transcript:


2 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Introduction Labor Council of NSW Workplace Safety Seminar

3 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW What are the OHS Issues in your workplace?

4 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Module 1 The Occupational Health & Safety Act, 2000

5 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW New Laws - 1 September 2001 The new OHS Act, 2000 has replaced the old 1983 Act. Essentially, there are two major changes to the law: 1.The new duty on employers to consult with their employees; and 2. The requirement for all employers to conduct a hazard identification, risk assessment & control

6 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW New Court Orders Restoration WCA Investigation Expenses Publicity OHS Projects >On top of any fine >Failure to comply - up to $165,000

7 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW The Main Offences Section 8(1) - Employers/Employees (previously s15) Section 8(2) - Employers/Non-employees (previously s16) Section 20 - Employees liability (previously s19) Section 26 - Directors and Managers (previously s53)

8 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 8(1) Ensure Safety of Employees Employers must ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. Including: Premises safe Plant or substance used is safe Safe systems of work Information, instruction, training Provide adequate facilities

9 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 8(2) - Ensure safety of non-employees Employers must ensure that persons not in their employment are not exposed to risks to their health or safety whilst at the employer place of work

10 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 20 - Employees liability Employees have 2 major responsibilities: To take reasonable care for the health and safety of people at their place of work who may be affected by their acts or omissions. Must co-operate with his/her employer re: any requirement imposed in the interests of health, safety and welfare.

11 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 10 - Control of Premises Persons who have (to any extent) control: of premises/plant/substance used by persons as a place of work or at work, must ensure that the premises/plant/substance is safe (Old s17 - OHS Act 1983)

12 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 11 Designers/Manufacturers/Suppliers Designers/Manufactures/Suppliers of plant or substances for use by people at work, must ensure it is safe, when properly used. (Previously Section 18 - OHS Act 1983)

13 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Defences Section 53 (Old Act) - Section 28 (New Act) It is a defence to any proceedings under the Act if: it was not reasonably practicable for the person to comply with the provision; or the commission of the offence was due to causes over which the person had no control and against the happening of which it was impracticable for the person to make provision.

14 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 26 Directors/Managers Liability Directors & persons concerned in the management are “deemed” to be guilty of the same offence as the corporation. Criminal Convictions 1st Offence: $55,000 - max. 2nd/Subsequent $82,500 &/or 2 yrs gaol

15 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Section 23 - Whistle Blowers Protection This section provides protection for employees who make a complaint regarding safety or because they are a member of the OHS Committee. In these cases, employers commit an offence if they dismiss or alter the employees position.

16 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Module 2 The Occupational Health & Safety Regulation, 2001

17 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW New Regulation The new Regulation has replaced 36 separate Regulations. In addition, it has replaced; The Construction Safety Act & Regulation Part 3 of the Factories Shops & Industries Act.

18 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW New Regulation The following are some of the headings under the new Regulation Systematic Risk Management (Chapter 2) Consultation (Chapter 3) Manual Handling Noise Control Confined Spaces Lighting Atmosphere Hazardous Substances/Processes (Chapter 6/7) Accident Notification (Chapter 12)

19 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Penalties There are 4 levels of penalties under the new Regulation. Per Offence Level 1 - $2200 Level 2 - $3300 Level 3 - $11000 Level 4 - $27500

20 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Some important points about the Regulation If there is an inconsistency between the Regulation and an Australian Standard, the Regulation prevails. The Regulation applies to all places of work (some exceptions for mines) If more than one person has responsibility under the Reg, each person retains responsibility for the matter

21 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Plant Chapter 5 of the Regulation is dedicated to plant. It includes: Design of plant Manufacture of plant Registration Supply of plant Working with plant (Clause 82 - 144)

22 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Hazardous Substances Chapter 6 deals with hazardous substances and includes: Duties on manufacturers and suppliers of hazardous substances. Duties on employers. (Clause 145 - 174)

23 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Induction Training Induction training is covered in several areas of the Regulation including: General induction (Clause 13) Specific induction including plant, hazardous substances & construction work Construction induction includes general, work activity based & site specific.

24 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Working with electricity Referred to 3 times in the Regulation: Clause 40-41 Clause 63-65 Clause 205-208 What do you need to know??

25 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Manual Handling What is it? “Any activity requiring the use of force to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or otherwise move, hold or restrain any animate or inanimate object” (Clause 79 -81)

26 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Noise Management The Regulation requires that employers must ensure that appropriate control measures are taken if a person is exposed to noise levels that exceed an 8-hour noise level equivalent of 85 dB(A) or peak at more than 140 dB(C).

27 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Australian Standards Codes of Practice Guidance Notes Workplace Policies

28 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Act Regulations Codes Industry Standard Guidance Notes Workplace Policies

29 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Australian Standards Generally, Australian Standards are not law. They represent best practice standards. However, some Standards are called up in the new Regulation and must be complied with as a matter of law (unless its not reasonably practicable to comply) egg. AS 3000 of 2000 (Wiring Rules) AS 1576.1 of 1995 (Erection/Dismantling of scaffolding)

30 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Codes of Practice Codes of practice provide practical guidance to employers and other who have duties under the workplace safety laws. Although non-compliance with a Code will not render a person automatically liable for an offence, the prosecuting authority may admit a persons failure to comply with a Code of Practice to assist it to prove an offence.

31 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Guidance Notes In addition to Codes of Practice, WorkCover often publish guidance material for industries to inform them of common hazards and control initiatives in the industry.

32 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Module 3 Risk Management

33 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Who is Responsible for Risk Management? Employers are responsible for identifying hazards, assessing risks and controlling risks. Employees have a role to play and should actively participate S 20 OHS Act - Responsibility of Employees Risk Management

34 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Hazard Identification What is a hazard? A hazard is anything that can cause harm –chemicals, –electricity, –working on ladders –etc Risk Management

35 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW How to do Hazard Identification Look at what accidents have happened in past Talk to workers doing the job Walk around the work area-inspect/observe Review information on substances (MSDS) or plant (manufacturers manual) Think about what could happen Risk Management

36 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW HAZARDS - WHERE? Where do you have to look? Premises (layout and condition) Plant Systems of work Hazardous Substances Manual Handling Workplace Violence

37 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW HAZARDS - WHEN? When do you have to identify hazards? Before using premises as a place of work Before installing or altering the plant Before changing work practices or systems Before hazardous substances are introduced While work is being carried out If new information becomes available

38 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Hazard Identification- Consider Who! Identifying hazards in your workplace don’t forget: Young workers and trainees Cleaners, visitors, contractors, maintenance workers Members of the public or others who may share you workplace Risk Management

39 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW What is a Risk Assessment? This is really about the likelihood and severity ie: how likely is it that someone will be harmed? and how serious could the injury be?

40 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW How to do a Risk Assessment Review available information such as: MSDS Manufacturer information OHS Regulation Guidance material and Codes of Practice Australian Standards Workplace experience

41 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Risk Assessment LikelihoodConsequences Risk


43 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW “Control” (of risks) Defined at Clause 5: Substitute Isolate Engineer Administrate Training PPE Eliminate if possible; otherwise a combination of these starting with substitution.

44 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Risk Controls PREFERRED CONTROL WORST CONTROL Remove the hazard Remove risk of electricity by using compressed air driven tools Separate people from the hazard Guards on power tools Enclose heavy machinery Engineer out hazard Earth leakage device Machine to lift heavy objects Scaffold instead of ladders Change work practices/ Training Training in lifting techniques Tagging procedures Provide personal protective equipment Hearing/eye protection

45 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Risk Management Process - Summary Identify hazards. Assess risk. Determine appropriate controls. Justify controls. Plan control activities. Implement control activities. Evaluate control activities.

46 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Risk assessment – What Next? Draw up an action list give priority to risks which are high and/or effect the most people Ask yourself can I get rid of the hazard if not how can I CONTROL the risks Risk Management

47 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Be Pro-active Operate on the assumption that someone will be injured

48 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Module 4 Consultation The new duty for employers to consult with their employees

49 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation - Legal Requirements Section 13 of the Act states; “An employer must consult in accordance with this Division, with the employees of the employer to enable employees to contribute to the making of decisions affecting their health, safety and welfare at work”

50 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Penalties Corporation First Offence: $55,000 Individual First Offence: $27,500

51 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation - What is it? Sharing relevant information Giving the opportunity for employees to express views and contribute Valuing and taking into account the views of employees (Section 14)

52 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation - When? If risks assessed/reviewed When decisions are made re risk elimination, control or monitoring Decisions re facilities Changes to premises, systems, methods, plant or substances Changes to consulting procedures (Section 15)

53 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation - How? OHS Committees OHS Representatives Other “agreed arrangements” (Section 16)

54 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Minimum requirements for OHS committees The legislation relating to OHS committees has not changed. Employee Reps must be elected by employees. Chair must be an employee Rep. Unions can conduct the election – maybe an OHS Rep from a workgroup.

55 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Minimum requirements for election of OHS representatives Must be elected by employees from workgroup. Election can be conducted by the relevant union. 2 year period.

56 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Other agreed arrangements (sections 16 (c) and 17 (3) of the Act) Some unions may wish to enter into consultative arrangements. NSW Fire Brigade Employees. 17(3) of the OHS Act provides unions may represent employees.

57 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Workgroups represented by OHS committees or OHS representatives Rep or Committee must be able to effectively represent the employees in each workgroup. What should be consider when determining workgroups (Clause 23(2)).

58 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation Arrangements Unions can represent workers in establishing Consultative Mechanisms Unions can represent workers in OHS consultation arrangements – turn to Clause 22(5) of your Regulation. Unions can conduct elections of representatives from workgroups

59 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Employer’s obligations with respect to duty to consult Record the arrangements Publicise those arrangements Provide reasonable facilities and access during working hours Pay costs reasonably necessary with participating and training Penalty Level 3 - $11,000

60 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Training to be undertaken by members of OHS committees and OHS representatives OHS Reps must be trained Employer must be consulted on the training provider

61 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Additional functions of OHS committees and OHS representatives (section 18 (d) of the Act) Investigate OHS issues. Attempt to resolve OHS issues. Keep under review, the measures taken to ensure health and safety of persons at the place of work.

62 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Procedure for resolving matter that may be risk to health and safety Must be formally referred to employer Employer must respond in a timely manner Call the union, who may request the assistance of WorkCover

63 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Consultation How do we get started?

64 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Employer Obligations Record and publicise arrangements Provide reasonable access to employees Provide facilities Ensure regular participation by employer rep. Pay them Facilitate sub-contractor consultation

65 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Module 5 Powers of “authorised representatives” of Unions & Associations

66 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Where do the powers come from? Since Secretaries of Unions & Associations have the power to prosecute for breaches of the legislation, authorised representatives of those Unions and Associations have certain powers to investigate suspected offences. Refer to Division 3, Sections 76 to 85 of the Act

67 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Who is an authorised representative? Not all Union/Association staff are authorised representatives. An authorised rep is one who is authorised under Part 7 of Chapter 5 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1996. Authorised reps have powers under the OHS Act, 2000.

68 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW What are their powers? Authorised reps have power to: enter any premises they believe is a place of work where you have members or persons who are eligible to be members of your Union for the purpose of investigating any suspected breach of the Act or Regulation. Note you cannot enter to conduct a general safety inspection - to exercise your powers, you must suspect a breach. No notice required

69 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Things you have to do before there is a lawful entry You must notify the occupier of your presence unless (2 exceptions) You must carry your identification saying you are an authorised rep and you must produce it if asked by the occupier.

70 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Powers available on lawful entry For the purpose of investigating any suspected breach, authorised reps may do any of the following: Make searches and inspections (includes taking photos, video and audio recording) Requiring the occupier to provide you with such assistance and facilities as is reasonable for you to exercise your functions Require production of and inspect any documents in the premises take copies of the documents

71 LABOR COUNCIL OF NSW Other important points Unlike a WorkCover Inspector, you have no power to require persons to answer your questions. You may request the assistance of a WorkCover Inspector if you believe you may be obstructed. It is an offence for a person who, without reasonable excuse, refused or fails to comply with a requirement made by an authorised rep in accordance with Division 3 of the Act

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