Safety man­age­ment sys­tem pre­vents WH&S pros­e­cu­tion

Australasian Timber - - ASSOCIATIONS - Brian Beecroft Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer TTIA

DO YOU have an ef­fec­tive safety man­age­ment sys­tem? Is this safety sys­tem be­ing im­ple­mented in your work­place?

A TTIA Mem­ber at­tended a TTIA sem­i­nar some time ago and heard from Ken Hock­ing (TTIA’s safety man­ager) that all com­pa­nies are re­quired to have an ef­fec­tive safety man­age­ment sys­tem.

Re­al­is­ing that his com­pany did not have such a sys­tem, this man­ager asked TTIA to de­velop a safety man­age­ment sys­tem for his com­pany and to visit and as­sist them to im­ple­ment this sys­tem on a 6 monthly ba­sis.

In this case, 14 months af­ter this event, a worker in the com­pany had a se­ri­ous in­jury in which a Work­Safe NSW in­spec­tor came to the work­place to in­ves­ti­gate. This in­spec­tor ex­am­ined the com­pany’s safety sys­tem and found it to be ad­e­quately im­ple­mented and de­cided not to pros­e­cute the com­pany for the in­jury.

This po­ten­tially saved the com­pany $100,000 from fines and le­gal costs as well as a lengthy court case.

Se­ri­ous crush in­jury in a NSW sawmill In an­other WH&S in­ci­dent, a twin edger op­er­a­tor no­ticed that the log car­riage had come off the track and left the cabin to in­ves­ti­gate.

The op­er­a­tor was trained to iso­late the ma­chine if any main­te­nance oc­curred on the ma­chine, how­ever, he was only in­ves­ti­gat­ing the prob­lem so switched off the saw but did not iso­late it.

When the op­er­a­tor was ex­am­in­ing the prob­lem, the main­te­nance per­son came over and de­cided to put the car­riage back on the track.

Once the car­riage was back on the track it moved for­ward as there were still hy­draulics to the ma­chine and the main­te­nance per­son’s leg was crushed un­der the log car­riage.

It took 2 hours to get the main­te­nance per­son free of the car­riage and he was in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion in hos­pi­tal.

Once again TTIA stresses the is­sue of ma­chine iso­la­tion. TTIA safety man­ager reg­u­larly comes across oper­a­tors main­tain­ing ma­chin­ery that has not been com­pletely iso­lated. This is a ma­jor risk that tim­ber com­pa­nies need to po­lice.

The com­pany now train their oper­a­tors to iso­late the ma­chine when­ever they exit the cabin.

The TTIA op­er­ates the tim­ber in­dus­try’s pre­mier in-house Work­place Health & Safety Unit. If you re­quire as­sis­tance in this area or if you would like a WH&S au­dit of your ex­ist­ing safety sys­tem, please con­tact Ken Hock­ing on 0418 280 335.

An­nual wage in­crease 2017

The Fair Work Com­mis­sion re­leased the 2017 An­nual Wage Re­view de­ci­sion un­der the Fair Work Act, 2009 on 6 June 2017.

This de­ci­sion in­creases the mod­ern award wage rates by 3.3% and the na­tional min­i­mum wage from $672.70 to $694.90 per week, be­ing $18.29 per hour, based on a 38 hour work­ing week. This con­sti­tutes an in­crease of $22.20 per week to the weekly rate or 59 cents per hour to the hourly rate.

The in­creased rates will take ef­fect from the first full pay pe­riod start­ing on or af­ter 1 July 2017. The in­crease is fully ab­sorbable into over award pay­ments.

Em­ploy­ers should check that their wage rates match the ap­pro­pri­ate clas­si­fi­ca­tion lev­els in the award.

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