Safety Alerts and Newsletters
Keep up with the latest safety alerts, news and information
20 December 2021
Fit testing for tight-fitting respirators
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the importance of fit testing for tight-fitting respirators for workers who need to use them, and to reinforce this requirement under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
7 November 2022
Work-related fatalities in 2021
Each year, Safe Work Australia produces national work health and safety statistics, providing important evidence on the state of work health and safety in Australia.
Our latest publication, the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia 2022, provides an overview of national work-related fatality data for 2021 and workers’ compensation claims data for 2020-21.
Understanding the causes and the industries most affected can help reduce work-related fatalities, injuries and disease which have a devastating impact on workers, their families and the community.
Tragically, 169 people were fatally injured at work in 2021.
Key findings include:
- The fatality rate of workers in Australia has decreased by 35% in the last 10 years.
- 96% of worker fatalities were male.
- Vehicle collisions accounted for 38% of all worker fatalities.
- Machinery operators and drivers had the highest number of fatalities by occupation (68 fatalities).
- The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest worker fatality rate (10.4 per 100,000).
Workers’ compensation claims 2020-21
- There were 130,195 serious workers’ compensation claims in Australia.
- Body stressing was the leading cause of serious workers’ compensation claims (37%).
- Mental health conditions account for a relatively small but increasing proportion of serious claims, rising from 6% of all serious claims in 2014-15 to 9% in 2019-20.
- In 2020-21p, there were 474 accepted workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19.
- The age group with the lowest frequency rate was workers aged 35-39 years, at 5.2 serious claims per million hours worked.
19 September 2021
MinEx – Human factors – water carts and cabin interfaces
This safety bulletin provides safety advice for the NSW mining industry.
The NSW Resources Regulator has recently received two notifications of dangerous incidents involving water carts. In each case, the operator has identified that they were distracted at the time of the incident.
28 July 2021
MinEx – Failure to correctly isolate plant
Verify the effectiveness of Isolation
Department: Lead Smelter Location: Filter Floor
While workers were conducting maintenance on the filter, the main isolator was observed to be locked in the ‘ON’ position, with the LCU switched to ‘Maintenance’. The lockout was found to be ineffective. The preliminary findings from the incident indicates that:
- multiple workgroups had locked onto the isolator, however the effectiveness of isolation was notverified
- the design of the isolator allows for it to be locked in ‘ON’ position
- there was no markings on the isolator to indicate ‘ON or OFF’ position.
23 July 2021
MinEx – Two near misses involving the delivery of concrete
There have been two near misses involving delivery of concrete to customer’s sites.
Incident 1 – A mixer driver filled a concrete skip on a customer’s site. A construction site operative attached a metal lifting chain to the concrete skip and then directed a plant operative to lift it with a loadall. When the skip was at a height of approximately 2m, the lifting chain snapped and the skip fell. It landed at the rear passenger side of the lorry. Fortunately, the driver had stepped away from the lifting zone. This had the potential to be very serious. The driver noted that after the incident, the site personnel then lifted the skip with a worn webbed sling.
15 July 2021
MinEx – Importance of wearing the correct eye PPE
Three separate incidents have recently occurred onboard UK marine aggregate dredgers where individuals undertaking routine tasks on board received debris in their eyes.Two of these incidents were the result of undertaking activities where the risk assessment should have flagged up the need to wear the correct eye PPE. One was grinding and the other washing down the deck. In both cases, safety glasses were being worn when more appropriately goggles should have been required.
WA Mine Safety Management System (MSMS) information sheets
The WA Dept of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety released two new information sheets in August following the information sessions they provided to the public in July.
The two information sheets relate to the WA requirements for a Mine Safety Management System. These information sheets should be read in conjunction with the WA Code of practice – Mine Safety Management System.
- Information sheet: Overview of the mine safety management system code of practice
- Information sheet: Content of mine safety management system
3 February 2020
First aid for heat-related illness
Workplaces have a duty to provide first aid equipment and facilities, and access to trained first aid officers, for sick or injured workers. Heat-related illness is progressive. If the worker is not treated or remains in a hot environment, it can be fatal.
The following website provides advice and guidance on providing first aid to someone experiencing a heat-related illness.
1 July 2022
Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS): Managing the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work
This Consultation Regulation Impact Statement: Managing the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work (CRIS) has been developed to seek feedback from stakeholders and the general public on the impact of regulatory and non-regulatory options to manage the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work. The options outlined in this paper have not received approval by WHS ministers and are not yet law.
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO HAVE INPUT.
22 January 2021
Safe Work Australia – Elevating Work Platforms
Did you know that elevating work platforms need to be inspected at least annually?
Safe Work Australia has published new guidance for inspecting and maintaining elevating work platforms.
Elevating work platforms are high risk equipment that have caused 9 worker fatalities in the past 5 years (2015-2019). An inspection, maintenance and testing program is crucial to assess their safe operation.
Employers are responsible for keeping workers safe and this includes ensuring that plant equipment is inspected and maintained. Elevating work platforms need to be inspected at least annually.
Employers must also ensure that workers are given the necessary information, training, instruction and supervision to use elevating work platforms safely.
Download the Guide to inspecting and maintaining elevating work platforms to assist you in making sure your workplace is safe for everyone.
20 January 2021
Workplace exposure standards – public feedback
Public feedback on the draft reports for airborne contaminants contained in releases 2-14 will close on 1 February 2021
Safe Work Australia is reviewing the workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants to ensure they continue to be based on high quality, contemporary evidence and supported by a rigorous scientific approach.
The review will result in the development of a list of health-based recommendations for the workplace exposure standards in Australia. This includes recommendations on the workplace exposure standards values, notations and the list of chemicals.
The final draft reports (release 15) will open for public comment soon. For more information see the Safe Work Australia website.
5 January 2021
Guidance to support the updated Mining Act 1971 and Mining Regulations 2020
2021 is now upon us. This email aims to support exploration and mining companies in South Australia as we transition to the new mining regulations. There will be some changes and new requirements relevant to companies or individuals seeking to undertake mining operations in accordance with the updated Mining Act.
The final approved determinations under the updated Mining Acts and regulations are now available:
To support the transition, the Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) is introducing new forms and templates, guidance materials and other relevant information on the department website in view of the updated Mining Act and mining regulations. Some of these are available now, and more will be published in 2021.
3 October 2022
National Safe Work Month
October is Safe Work Month and for the MAQOHSC the theme of Week 3 is on our minds when we think about preventing disease. Over the past two years the disease focus has been a worldwide pandemic, but this has not stopped exposure occurring and workers in some industries still being at risk of developing the progressive and debilitating disease silicosis. We know the levels of this disease can be reduced in Australia and we know how to put in place controls for exposure reduction. This safe work month we ask for a review of dust controls and worker health monitoring for those who have been exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust at work.
This National Safe Work Month, Safe Work Australia encourages businesses, employers and workers across Australia to know safety, work safely and make health and safety at work a priority. Being healthy and safe at work means being free from physical injury and from disease.
National Safe Work Month is an opportunity to build awareness of work health and safety, encourage discussion about safety at work, and ensure everyone is aware of health and safety hazards and how to manage risks to keep workers safe. This year’s campaign will focus on various work health and safety topics each week:
Week 1 – Injuries at work
Week 2 – Mental health
Week 3 – Managing WHS risks and preventing harm
Week 4 – Safe and healthy work for all
Week 3 Managing WHS risks and preventing harm
Managing WHS risks involves thinking about what could happen if someone is exposed to a hazard and how likely it is to happen. You should always aim to eliminate risks. If you can’t, you must minimise risks. During this week, we look at ways to manage WHS risks and prevent injuries and disease, including how and when to consult with workers on health and safety.
30 August 2022
Respirator Fit Testing – Training Course
Be able to fit test respirators for your workplace
RESP-FIT seeks to provide an easier way for workplaces and individuals to educate and demonstrate competence when it comes to respirator fit testing.
Legislation requires respiratory protective equipment issued to workers as a hazard control to be suitable for the nature of the work. It must also be a suitable size, fit and reasonably comfortable.
Fit testing for all tight fitting respirators (positive and negative pressure) is a mandatory part of AS/NZS 1715 Respiratory Protection Programs and mandated by all international respiratory protection programs (RESP-FIT website).
Next course 22 Nov 22
25 July 2022
Consolidated Report – Air quality, dust or other airborne contaminants
We’ve released a consolidated report on air quality, dust or other airborne contaminants at above surface coal mines, based on findings from our assessment of 36 mines between December 2020 and October 2021.
Airborne contaminants include fumes, mist, gas, vapour, dust or other microorganism that are potentially harmful to workers.
We commend the sites with best practice controls and monitoring equipment to ensure exposure to airborne contaminants is minimised, however workers at some sites had difficulty identifying the range of airborne contaminant hazards in their workplace.
Of the 36 sites assessed under the inspection program, 17 separate mines were given notices relating to the principal hazard of air quality or dust or other airborne contaminants.
The consolidated report includes key assessment findings as well as recommendations to industry.
23 June 2022
Update on Services
The Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee conducts its work for the Minister for Industrial Relations under Schedule 2 of the Work Health and Safety Act utilising the funds provided by the Mining and Quarries Industries Fund. This money is available for use under Schedule 9 of the Return to Work Act 2014.
The new Industrial Relations Minister to which MAQOHSC will report, is the Hon Kyam Maher. As Minister Maher is the Attorney General, MAQOHSC should soon move to be hosted in the Attorney General’s Department.
Introducing new staff, seconded to MAQOHSC from the Department of Treasury and Finance to provide services.
In this issue:
- Health Surveillance 2021
- Respiratory PPE – Selection and Use
- Clean Air Clean Lungs
- Safety Alerts
- Upcoming Events
In this issue:
- Health Surveillance Dust Monitoring 2020
- Skin Cancer Checks
- Respiratory PPE – Selection and Use
- Mental Health First Aid Officer Training
- 2020 Regional Safety Seminars
- Safety/Info Alerts and Safety Resources
- Workplace Health Management Manual
In this issue:
- Health Surveillance 2018 – 2019
- Accredited Mental Health First Aid Officer Training
- Guarding of Plant – Hoppers
- Regional Safety Seminar Topics
- Sleep Vital to Safety
- Committee Workplace Visits
- New MAQOHSC Website Calendar
In this issue:
- Health Surveillance Dust Monitoring 2017 – 2018
- MAQOHSC Funded Mental Health Training Program
- Access, Egress and Crushing Plant Guarding
In this issue:
- Fully funded health surveillance – dust monitoring program for South Australian Mines and Quarries
- Time to plan and prepare for working in the heat
- Fully funded Certificate IV Work Health and Safety training.
In this issue:
- Funded dust monitoring commencing
- Training targets keeping young workers safe
- Complacency to compliance looks at safety with explosives
- Depressed or totally Stressed? How to tell the difference!
- Fully funded health and wellbeing 60 day online health program.
In this issue:
- New program to help prevent suicide and promote wellbeing for workers
- MAQOHSC Committee undertakes site visit to Hillgrove Resources
- Guide to principal mining hazards.
Previous issues are available upon request to MAQOHSC. Please email us to request previous issues.