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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I should get to that stuff at some stage

I know I need to get around to that Safety stuff one day as it’s gotta be done.

Delaying fixing up some systems of your HSEQ systems or sending people on training can add stress to a busy business, but we all know it needs to be done. But you know what also adds stress? Worksafe or Resources Safety digging through your systems after you’ve had a serious incident or kicking yourself that this delay could be been the factor while one of your team is laid up injured in hospital from something at work.

In David Allen’s book Getting things done, he reminds us that having all of these things in our heads that we know. We need to get to as some stage will add a huge amount of background stress and anxiety u til we can lock them in to an action plan for resolution. It’s not that they all need to get finished to reduce our stress, but that we just need to have them locked in to an action plan that we can rely on is going to make sure we don’t forget.

The biggest barrier he says is often the lack of a clear visible defined Next Action. We know something needs to get done and roughly what it is, but can’t exactly and specifically lock it in to one thing we need to do. This is especially challenging regarding some HSEQ actions for smaller businesses.

HSEQ issues are often founded in seemingly complex systems of legislation that can easily overwhelm a business owner or manager. Also they are often based on more abstract concepts such as providing and maintaining a safe workplace where workers are not exposed to hazards.

By being confused on where to start in finding the information, let alone turning it into a clearly defined and visible physical action only adds to stress and promotes procrastination. That’s where using a trained professional can assist in helping focus you down the right path.

Whether it is just an hour conversation with one of our trained and competent HSEQ advisors and shown where to find the relevant section of legislation or code of practice through to fully operational plug and play solutions, we can help reduce stress and get things moving from when they’ve been stuck.

Drop us a line or give us a call and see if we can help. After all, what will be more stressful? Resolving your issue or tap dancing around it for another year?

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