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Wednesday 28 April is World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers' Memorial Day. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on how to prevent work-related occupational diseases, deaths, injuries and illnesses. It is also a day to remember those that have died from a work-related injury or illness. While the number of work-related fatalities in Australia has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, any workplace death is tragic and unacceptable. The latest finalised data shows that in 2019, 183 workers were fatally injured at work. By raising awareness of work health and safety (WHS) issues and taking action to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks at work, we can help prevent further work-related fatalities and injuries. The World Day for Safety and Health at Work theme for 2021, as set by the International Labour Organization, is anticipate, prepare and respond to crises and invest now in resilient OHS systems. The theme acknowledges the impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic has had on our working lives and the importance of building an effective, resilient and adaptable WHS framework. Workplaces can do this by undertaking risk management that is planned, systematic and covers all reasonably foreseeable hazards and associated risks. A risk assessment can be undertaken with varying degrees of detail depending on the type of hazard and the information, data and resources that you have available. WHS risk management can be as simple as a discussion with your workers or involve specific risk analysis tools and techniques developed for specific risks or recommended by safety professionals. For some complex situations, expert or specialist advice may be useful. See our risk mitigation webpage for a step-by-step guide to managing WHS risks. It is important to remember to also manage psychological and mental health risks. Under WHS laws, you must eliminate or minimise the risk to psychological health and safety arising from the work carried out by your business or undertaking as much as you reasonably can. See our mental health webpage for more information on what you can do at your workplace. The International Trade Union Confederation have set the theme for Workers’ Memorial Day 2021 as ‘Health and Safety is a fundamental workers' right’. We encourage everyone to raise awareness about health and safety in the workplace.
THIS NATIONAL SAFETY BULLETIN HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE OUR TEAM MEMBERS WITH GENERAL GUIDANCE ON HOW TO MANAGE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO DIESEL FUMES IN THE WORKPLACE.What is Diesel Exhaust? Diesel exhaust comes from engines burning diesel fuel. It is a complex mixture of gases, vapours, liquid aerosols and particulate substances. These substances are the products of combustion. The main chemical components of diesel exhaust emissions are:Gases and vapours–these are mostly the gases found in air like nitrogen, oxygen, water vapour and carbon dioxide. There are also hazardous chemicals like nitrous oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxideFine particles known as diesel particulate matter (DPM) including fine carbon particles. Hazardous chemicals known as poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) adhere to the surface of the carbon particles. DPM can act like a gas and stay airborne for long periods of time. DPM can penetrate deep into the lungs because of its small sizeWorkplace Exposure to Diesel Exhaust: The major source of workplace exposure to diesel exhaust on a mine site is from heavy vehicles that use diesel fuel like haul trucks, bulldozers and excavators. Diesel exhaust may also be generated from stationary power sources like generators and winch motors including those mounted to vehicles. Levels of exposure can be higher in enclosed, poorly ventilated areas where the concentration of exhaust can build up like in heavy vehicle repair workshops or underground. Workers who may be exposed to diesel exhaust include; operators, miners, truck drivers and vehicle maintenance workers.What are the Health Effects of Exposure to Diesel Exhaust Fumes? Exposure to diesel exhaust can cause both short- term (acute) and long term (chronic) health effects. Short-term (Acute) effects Short term exposure to high concentrations of diesel exhaust can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs and cause light-headedness, coughing, phlegm and nausea. Very high levels of diesel exhaust exposure can lead to asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. Long-term (Chronic) effects Long term exposure can worsen asthma and allergies and increase the risk of heart and lung disease. Diesel engine exhaust emissions contain many known carcinogenic substances, for example PAHs adhere to the surface of the DPM. DPM is easily inhaled into the respiratory tract and there is epidemiological evidence which indicates ongoing exposure to diesel exhaust emissions may result in an increase in the risk of lung cancer.How can Diesel Exhaust Exposure be Minimised? Use better air flow, increasing air flow is a safe way to minimise worker exposure. Diesel exhaust in enclosed areas including when engines are idling or under maintenance can be reduced using local exhaust ventilation (LEV), extraction or general ventilation including improved natural air flow. LEV systems remove diesel exhaust before it gets into the air you breathe. Tailpipe or stack exhaust hoses can be attached to a stationary vehicle running indoors and exhausted to outside with an exhaust extraction system where it will not re-enter the workplace or contaminate other areas. Operators must regularly monitor cabin odours/fumes and immediately report any concerns they have to their Supervisor. If during the course of work operators encounter odours/fumes entering the cabin of the equipment being used, they must immediately shut down the equipment, remove themselves from the hazardous environment and report the event to their Supervisor for immediate investigation.Use Safer Work Practices All diesel engines should: • have regular maintenance, frequent tune-ups and the exhaust system checked for leaks, • be turned off whenever possible rather than leaving them idling, and • be fitted with emission control devices (air cleaners) like collectors, scrubbers and ceramic particle traps—these should be checked often and replaced when dirty. Cracks or holes in cabins of plant with diesel engines and their doors and windows should be sealed to prevent diesel exhaust from seeping in. These should be checked regularly and repaired immediately if leaks are detected. The number of diesel-powered plant and workers in the exposure area should be reduced, where reasonably practicable. Workers should be provided with information on hazards associated with diesel exhaust and how to minimise exposure.Consider use of appropriate PPE: Respirators are the least effective method of minimising diesel exhaust exposure and should only be used when it is not possible to control diesel exhaust exposure in other ways. Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) may be appropriate in some situations however you should get advice from a competent person like an occupational hygienist if you are not sure. Specific types of respirators must be used to reduce diesel exhaust exposure. P2 disposable respirators may be suitable if the concentration of vapour in the diesel exhaust is low. Half or full-face respirators with a filter cartridge that protects against gases, organic vapours and particles are generally more suitable. Further information is available in the Australian Standards AS/NZS 1716:2012 Respiratory Protective Devices and AS/NZS 1715:2009 Selection, Use and Maintenance of Respiratory Protective Equipment.Some Additional Resources: Additional Information on managing risks of diesel exhaust exposure in the workplace is available at the following sites: Resources Safety & Health QueenslandSafe Work Australia – MiningDept Mines, Industry Regulation & SafetyThe WorkPac Group Safety and Risk Team will be providing regular updates on this important topic for you. For further information and assistance please contact your Regional Risk Manager on 1300 967 572 or ServiceCentre-OSH@Workpac.com
THE NATIONAL SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO PROVIDE OUR TEAM MEMBERS WITH A BETTER UNDERSTANDING ON THE GENERAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR DOZER OPERATIONS IN OPEN CUT MINING OPERATIONS.Prior to Dozer Operations:Prior to any dozer operations the site Supervisor and Operator should ensure that a task specific risk assessment such as a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is completed before commencing work. The JSA should also be reviewed if the work conditions change (e.g. wet conditions following heavy rainfall). Pre-start Equipment Checks:Dozer Operators must complete daily pre-start equipment checks using a comprehensive checklist to identify any visual and or mechanical hazards. Any hazards identified during the inspection must be reported, documented and rectified prior to an operator commencing work tasks. Safe Work Procedures:Dozer operators must always follow the site Safe Operating Procedures (SOPs) or Safe Work Instructions (SWIs) for the tasks being completed. Operators must also be aware of their surroundings and any hazards in the immediate work areas.Basic Safe Work Practices when working near edges include:Maintaining a full blade of material between the dozer blade and the edge when pushing material over a faceAlways work up and down a slope, never across the slopeOperators must regularly inspect working edges for signs of instability such as material movement or cracksAlways maintain a safe distance from the edge of a face – if working at an elevated edge or travelling along the top of the face, the safe distances from the edge should be determined through a risk assessment process and geotechnical assessmentConsider using remote control technology to perform the job if dozers are required to work near pit edges and there is a significant risk to the operator (e.g., High Dumps or Unstable Ground Conditions)Lighting & Environment: Mine management must ensure that adequate lighting of working areas is provided at night. It is not sufficient to rely on equipment running lights. Fixed lighting or trailer mounted lighting plants should be maintained at all working locations. Planned Maintenance: To ensure all equipment is maintained to a high standard the Mine must ensure that appropriate planned maintenance and fault repairs are completed, coupled with immediate, management-supported and mandated equipment shutdown in cases where problems cannot be fixed immediately.Site Layout & Pit Geography:All Operators must be familiar with the site layout and pit geography. This is essential where long distance commute systems of work are in place, as crews may need to be updated on changes to their workplaces during their time off sites. This should also be done after any other extended site absences such as annual leave.Planned Movements & Positive Communications: The Mine site must also have rigorously controlled procedures for movement of equipment from one location to another within the pit/working environment. Special emphasis should be placed on movement of slow-moving equipment, such as excavators and tracked dozers, with positive communication protocols prior to any planned equipment movements and confirmation when movements are complete. Event Reporting: It is essential that incidents or unusual and unexpected conditions are immediately reported to the site supervisor. In particular, it is important to be vigilant in examining areas near the edges of benches for cracking or slumping which may indicate potential failures of bench faces.The condition of the face of the bench above the working horizon should be regularly checked for signs of instability, both local, and more widespread. Signs may include cracking and small volume rock failures, as well as bulging or swelling of the face or toe of pit walls. Strong hand torches will be needed at night to spot any ground hazards. It is important that checks are made regularly, and always after blasting and after rainfall events. Also, any new water noticed from the ground or changes in existing ground water volume should be reported too.Mine Site Operating Practices: Operating practices established by the individual mine for bulldozers must be understood, adhered to and regularly monitored by the Dozer Operator. The specific practices and procedures are determined by the individual mine management in consultation with the equipment supplier and the plant operators. These practices will take account of the capacities and limitations of each unit type and include working grade limits and specific precautions, as well as safe use of all implements. All standard procedures need to be developed within an effective risk management framework by the Mine site.The Mine must ensure strict enforcement of the wearing of seatbelts by all operators of and passengers in mobile plant, at all times when the equipment is operating.Where adequate procedures are already in place, the requirements of the management and supervisory team should be emphasised and made plain to employees, and rigorous enforcement of clearly articulated policy and practice should be ensured at all levels of the organisation. At all times, the risks associated with these types of operations need to be properly assessed and appropriate controls put in place to ensure the safety of employees.Some Additional Resources: Additional Information on Dozer Safety in Mining is available at the following websites:Resources Safety & Health QueenslandSafe Work Australia – MiningDept Mines, Industry Regulation & SafetyThe WorkPac Group Safety and Risk Team will be providing regular updates on this important topic for you. For further information and assistance please contact your Regional Risk Manager on1300 967 572 or ServiceCentre-OSH@Workpac.com
Long weekends have traditionally been times of high risk, due to an increase of traffic on the road. With all the excitement of Easter time, it’s easy to become complacent or forget the importance of safe driving.The Safety & Risk Team at WorkPac Group wanted to remind you that if you’re travelling long distances to see family and friends, stay focused on the task at hand and make sure you follow these simple safety tips to ensure your safe arrival and return home. Check your tyre treadWhen was the last time you checked your tyres? They’re often overlooked (maybe because there’s no warning sign for them on the dashboard!).Your tyres must have 1.4mm or more tread depth to be legal. Tyre wear can increase through incorrect tyre pressure, so make sure you routinely check them – especially before a long journey. Get some polarised sunglassesIt’s good to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin but it’s not so good when the sun is creating a nasty glare that may inhibit your vision when driving. Invest in some good quality polarised sunglasses and keep them handy for the car rides ahead. Remember those drinks from the night beforeYou’re still labelled a drink driver if you drive under the influence the morning after a night out. It’s a common scenario: the morning after a gathering, you think you’re fine to drive. You’re stopped to be breathalysed to discover you’re over the limit.Up to 25% of fatal crashes are caused by drivers over the legal alcohol limit. Unsure if you’re OK to drive? You probably aren’t – use public transport or grab a cab. Keep a safe distanceWith busy roads come frustrated drivers, you won’t get there any quicker by tailgating. As soon as you start to feel annoyed about the traffic ahead, take a deep breath and slow down until you’re a safe distance away from the car in front. This should be roughly a two second gap, or four seconds if conditions are poor. Make sure you get some sleepIt’s a busy time of year, full of family gatherings and trips away. Have you ever fallen asleep for a split second behind the wheel? Sleep experts call this a ‘microsleep’ and it can be fatal.Signs of fatigue include yawning, squinting and blinking more than usual. You may also wander into a daze, forgetting the last few kilometres. Sound familiar?If you experience any of these signs it’s always better to avoid driving. Take another mode of transport or, if already driving, take a break and have a nap if needed. Use indicators properlyIndicators are designed to warn the car behind that you’ll be turning soon. Too often drivers will brake or start to turn before indicating, which is pointless.Not only is this frustrating for the car behind but it’s dangerous. Assume that every other car on the road isn’t paying attention and give them plenty of opportunity to react. Do not swerve to avoid animalsAnimals on the road can be a huge hazard. There are many videos on social media showing drivers stopping to let animals cross the freeway, or swerving dangerously only to miss them by inches. Although it’s nice to know an animal is saved, it could quite easily have turned out differently. Don’t risk your own and other road users lives by swerving. Put your phone out of sightOur phones are now integrated into most aspects of our lives – they travel with us to work, to school and out socialising on a weekend. One place they don’t belong is in direct line of sight while driving.According to the RAC, texting while driving at 100km/hr is the equivalent of driving the length of the MCG blindfolded.Replying to a message can always wait. If it can’t wait, pull over at a safe place. To avoid distraction entirely, just put the phone in the glove box until you arrive.On Behalf of the WorkPac Group we wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Easter 2021.
Week Commencing Monday 5th April 2021Due to the Easter Public Holidays, our employees pays will be delayed by 2 working days. Please ensure we have received your approved timesheet by 10am Tuesday 6th April 2021 to ensure it is processed on time. Public holidays may also impact your bank's processing days. Please contact your bank should you have any concerns. Any questions please contact your Recruitment Coordinator We wish you all a safe and happy holiday