Industrial manslaughter – It’s coming

In line with increases in support for Worksafe WA, the bill for industrial manslaughter is in place and starting a few conversations. While it’s reserved for the more extreme cases, it’s not to be ignored if you’re working in a position of responsibility in a workplace with hazards significant enough to cause a fatality.

Media release: Industrial manslaughter

Criminal Code Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2017

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Lead is more harmful than dragons

While Game of Thrones has now ended and it showed how harmful a grumpy girl on a dragon can be, lead is a far bigger concern for us mere mortals. While we know lead is a hazardous substance, it is still not uncommon for organisations to struggle to understand what defines lead-risk work and how to manage this risk.

Our advice has generally been that if any of your team members work in contact with lead or products containing lead (even if it’s a model dragon like the picture), they’re quite likely working in a lead-risk job unless you can prove otherwise. If the contact is minimal and you’ve got no data confirming their blood is lead free,  you’ll likely be hard pressed to justify not treating them like they could currently be or may become exposed. If lead contact is incidental and you’ve got a system in place that shows workers have no lead in their blood over the range of work situations, it’s possible you may have the hazard effectively managed. Obviously each situation is unique so this blog post isn’t to be taken as advice from Dr Google – we’d need to dig a little deeper to do that!

There is further detail in the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 (WA), but one update recently has been the reduction in the threshold of levels found in the blood before escalated actions are needed for the protection of the health of the worker. Having worked in industries for a number of years where I lived with a baseline blood lead level in a range now deemed unacceptable, I cannot express enough the need to work hard at managing lead exposure at the source. It takes time to drop after it’s discovered in one of your workers, and for cost reasons if nothing else, it’s quite an expensive exercise while you’re waiting for them to come down. That goes without saying, the impact on being TOLD by Worksafe to fix certain things in the workplace is likely greater than doing them under your own direction at your own pace.

If you wish to chat to us for further clarification or ideas on translating this section of the legislation into human speak, give us a call or drop us message on the Contact Us tab of the website.

Or just click on the link below to their website to see the Worksafe publication on the topic.

Worksafe media release

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ISO Certification earns more than it costs

Do you want more work with bigger clients instead of all the effort of chasing lots of little invoices all the time?

The bigger clients such as large contractors, State Government departments or local shires often require their contracting partners to be ISO certified for 9001 Quality, 14001 Environmental and 45001 OHS management systems of they want to do project work of any scale.

We can help you gain pre-qualification for these agencies and can conduct certification audits for accreditation against these standards and are locally owned and run, based right here in Albany and work all across the Great Southern, and across the country. Our clients benefit from our expertise in gaining work with organisations such as the Water Corporation, Western Power, Main Roads, Main Roads and many others.

Contact us to discuss the value these processes can offer for your business.



ISO standards win contracts

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Line of fire

Another tragic event where a family operated business has suffered the loss of one of it’s team in a workplace incident.

Without knowing the details, and based only on the media reports, we are reluctant to draw conclusions from this event. In saying that, there is no point waiting for a formal report to use the event as a learning opportunity and reminder about line of fire. This does not mean that it was a large factor in this particular incident, but there are few injuries in workplaces that the worker is not in some way exposed and would be safer in a different position.

Having worked in the same industry in the same job in the same suburb seeing the same types of situations, it hits harder than most. article – Workplace death

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Special moves to stay safe

Sometimes we have trained out our logic or the OHS systems of our workplace override our common sense actions, but it doesn’t have to be like that….

At Safety Risk Solutions, we help our clients get back to basics with their HSEQ systems to make sure they’re going to work and are not complex beyond logic. If they’re not going to work, we aren’t going to ask for it to be done that way. After all, why are we doing anything at all if it won’t even work.

How to defend yourself from a knife attack.

This guy has got some skills!


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“Stupid questions” are a sign of weakness, but not in the way we often think

So, you think you have a good reporting culture & an open consultative workplace.

One test that will clarify this is, is to look at the reaction to the ubiquitous ‘stupid questions’.

If you have a work environment that belittles someone who asks a so called dumb question, or if they are left to bask in the embarrassment alone & unsupported then you probably don’t have a positive culture that is trying to continuously improve.

The team members who ask these questions are often the innovators & will think outside the box. They’re not weak, but actually quite brave. They’ll be the ones most likely to challenge the status quo & speak up when they see the emperor has no new clothes. When we are talking HSEQ, speaking up can be a matter of life or death! It can mean preventing catastrophic harm to the environment or the organisations bottom line. Failing to see these issues coming because of a culture that prevents those who see it from speaking up when others don’t is just plain bad for business.

So I challenge any workplace to be introspective next time someone is brave enough to ask a question. Look inside to see why they could interpret it that way, & nurture those who speak up about those challenging topics. Look for the related weakness of your systems.

Then you’ll be best positioned to prevent a disaster before getting run over by it. Fix the weakness the “stupid question” is highlighting because it’s a free lesson if you chose to use it.

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Information of mis-information?

Are you focussed on addressing the right risks?

Too often misinformation can redirect valuable finite resources from the right risks to other less critical places due to fear or distraction.

Use a professional to help you determine where your risk management efforts should be spent.

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