WorkSafe Update

By on April 12, 2008

On 1 January 2008 WorkSafe Victoria took over the administration of OHS for quarries from DPI.

Since that date, WorkSafe’s designated quarry inspectors have been busy, visiting more than 120 quarries, doing inspections and issuing Improvement Notices as well as meeting with quarry managers and listening to their needs.

One inspector reported, “Quarry managers are co-operative and easy to get along with. All in all, they appear to be happy to do whatever is required to improve the safety of their workplaces, they just need some guidance on issues to focus on and the standards of control measures required. This is particularly so for smaller quarries that do not have the resources to engage a consultant or a part time safety person.”

The most common issue identified by inspectors is poor record keeping. Many quarries don’t maintain records of employee training, plant maintenance, risk assessments, Safe Work Method Statements (JSAs) and consultation.

Quarry managers on the other hand, want to learn more about incident notification, plant hazard identification, JSAs, consultation and establishing hazard management plans.

Inspectors provide as much help as they can during their visit, but some small quarries need more assistance, so the inspectors refer them to WorkSafe’s free safety consultation session program. Victorian businesses with up to 50 employees can register for a free 3 hour session with an independent health and safety consultant. The consultant will go to your workplace, help identify safety issues relevant to your business and provide useful advice on how to go about addressing the issues.

Overall, the transition from DPI to WorkSafe has been well received by the industry, so well that the CMPA and industry representatives advised WorkSafe that a series of WorkSafe roadshows would not be well supported at this stage. Based on this feedback, WorkSafe decided to communicate directly with the industry through delivering short presentations at several CMPA workshops.

WorkSafe has also added a quarries section to its website and has prepared an introductory booklet called, Your health and safety guide to Quarries.

For more information, contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service at 1800 136 089 or visit their website

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