Safety management system prevents WH&S prosecution
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.