HEALTH AND SAFETY

COVID-19 COMMUNICATION UPDATES

BY: Tracey Mesken 11/03/2020

​Please follow the link below for general updates on COVID-19 communications for WorkPac Group employees.workpac.com/covid19For site specific COVID-19 updates for WorkPac Group employees, please login to myworkpac and visit the following linkhttps://my.workpac.com/main/covid-19At the WorkPac Group, the health and wellbeing of our people remains our top priority. There is no cause for panic. We are monitoring and assessing the situation daily and we are taking a considered, risk-based approach to managing our response and actions.Please consult with your recruitment coordinator if you have questions relating to your personal circumstances.

How to stay safe this cyclone season

BY: Tracey Mesken12/11/2019

​Stay safe this cyclone season by making sure you’re well prepared and understand the processes to follow if a cyclone hits your area.  Keep reading for WorkPac’s full guide to cyclone season 2019/20.Where can I get information?The main sources of cyclone information are radio and television stations. During a cyclone threat, some stations keep local staff on duty 24 hours a day to broadcast cyclone information. Because of the high chance of the power supply being disrupted, it is important to have a battery-operated radio to listen for cyclone advice.The Bureau of Meteorology provides the latest watches, warnings and supporting information on this website and through its telephone service.Bureau of MeteorologyAutomated Telephone Messages: Cyclone Advice (Watch/Warning):QLD: 1300 659 212NT: 1300 659 211WA: 1300 659 210Emergency services agenciesEmergency Management Australia: Emergency Response AssistanceWestern Australia:Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) Cyclone action advicePhone: 132 500 (see local phone directory for regional offices)Northern Territory:Northern Territory Emergency Services ( NTES) Cyclone action advicePhone: 131 444Queensland:Emergency Management Queensland (EMQ) Phone: 132 500 (see local phone directory for regional offices)New South Wales:State Emergency Service (SES)Victoria:Vic EmergencyVictoria State Emergency Services: Be StormsafeTasmania:TasAlertTasmanian Fire ServicesTasmanian State Emergency Services  

Sarina Ute Muster Gathers to Raise Awareness of Suicide Prevention

BY: Tracey Mesken03/10/2019

​Over this long weekend from Saturday 5 to Monday 7 October the Sarina Showgrounds will host an action-packed event of driving, bull-riding, A Show and Shine, Aussie FMX displays, live country music concerts, great food, fireworks and activities for the whole family, and there are camping options on site.The idea was hatched by Peter Zigmantas and his wife Diane, combining their love of motorsport and events with Ziggy's drive to make a difference in his local community.The event’s nominated charity for 2019 is Grapevine Group.Some years ago, Ziggy trained with the Grapevine group in responding to suicide and supporting people impacted or at risk, after the loss of his brother.Ziggy is one of 5458 people trained by the Grapevine group to provide support to his various and extensive networks including Army veterans, in his role as WorkPac Regional Risk manager, and across family and friends.The major motoring event this weekend will bring people together from the local community to promote awareness and education for suicide prevention.Ziggy’s national company WorkPac has got behind sponsoring the event to help share its message widely.Managing Director, Mr. Praanesh Prasad said suicide prevention is a hugely important issue for every Australian community and WorkPac is committed to supporting mental health programs within the company and beyond it.“Ziggy is our Regional Risk Manager and he really walks the talk; he and his wife Di have supported the great work done by the Grapevine group in the Mackay community for years, raising money and awareness, and working tirelessly behind the scenes to pull together this impressive event – it is inspiring for us all,” he said.More information:https://sarinautemuster.com/https://www.facebook.com/SarinaUteMuster2019/http://www.grapevinegroup.org.au/

Mining Industry: Safety Reset

BY: Tracey Mesken25/07/2019

​At present WorkPac Group are supporting the Mining Industry Safety Reset Campaign being undertaken across all QLD Mines and Quarries.This campaign is seeking to ensure the safety of all mining industry employees following the sad passing of six workers in the past 12 months. This safety reset is the first step in refocusing the attention of the entire Industry to its number one priority - the heath and safety of all workers and everyone’s right to return home after work.WorkPac has developed a Safety Information Bulletin to support the Mining Safety Reset Campaign and this can be viewed here.Whether you work in mining or in another high-risk industry, we ask you to please remember these key safety points:Report all Safety Incidents and Hazards to your site supervisor and WorkPac Group Immediately;Don’t undertake work if the risk is not acceptable;Stop work if the risk is not acceptable;Be aware of your surroundings at all times;Be alert when working around machinery and other hazards;Call out and report poor safety practices and behaviours;Ensure you understand the Site Safety Management System, see your Supervisor if you need more information on site-specific safety procedures.Remember - the most important thing to come off the site each day is you.

How to keep the flu at bay this winter

BY: Tracey Mesken06/06/2019

​While a sick day here and there may not seem like a bad thing the flu is not the way to have break from the day to day grind.  The flu can be contracted through direct or indirect contact, meaning that it may not be enough just to avoid people who are sick. Transmission can occur through surfaces as well as through the air. On top of this a person who has the flu may be contagious a day before they show any symptoms!So, with the flu season upon us what can you do to minimise your chance of getting sick?Wash your hands often and well – This can help kill any germs on your hands before they make you sick, it will also help to prevent spread anything that you may have.Replace hand towels often Be careful when preparing food – if you are sick you may spread germs through food preparation areas. If you are feeling unwell, ask someone else if they can prepare food for the family and only serve yourself.Use hand sanitiser RestWithout enough sleep, our immune systems are not able to work to their full strength.Eat wellEating healthy foods can help our bodies and immune system to be better prepared to fight off any illnesses.Get the flu vaccineThe best and most effective way of keeping the flu away, this is an annual vaccine.

Mental Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace

BY: Tracey Mesken04/06/2019

​Mental health problems don’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any age, with 1 in 5 Australians aged 16-85 having a mental illness. That’s why it’s so important to care for your mental health by learning to recognise and manage stress and remembering to take time for yourself when you need it.Health and wellbeing at workMany of us spend a big part of our day at work, meaning that our workplaces can have a big impact on our mental health, both positively and negatively. While the connection between physical hazards such as noise, dust and chemical hazards and health are well recognised amongst employers and employees alike, the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing and the jobs we do is not. However, the connection between work and mental health cannot be ignored, with three in ten employees experiencing mental health problems each year.There will be a change in behaviour when someone is struggling with mental health issues, with them not seeming like their usual selves. However, these changes can be difficult to pick up unless you know what to look for. Some possible signs of mental illness in the workplace are:• they may be more irritable, restless, feel tired all the time, or experience a loss of energy• show little interest or pleasure in doing things• constantly feel down or hopeless• increase in sick days• excessive use of alcohol or drugs• rapid changes of emotional mood• poor performanceIf you notice a workmate exhibiting these behaviours, it’s important to check in with them and ask if they’re okay. Poor mental health can increase the likelihood of sleep disturbance and anxiety, leading to reduced ability to concentrate on work tasks and production and potential injury.StressOne of the biggest impacts work can have is on our stress levels, which is an important factor in overall mental wellbeing. While stress is an unavoidable part of life and certain levels of it are normal, excessive long-term stress can be damaging to your mental health.Stress can be defined as “the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them.”Stress has been associated with:• Anxiety and depression• Heart disease• Back pain• Gastrointestinal illnessesWorkPac as an employer always assesses and takes measures to control risks from work-related stress. Employees have responsibilities to talk to their managers about any factors outside the workplace which can turn the otherwise normal pressures of work into excessive ones. Stress and time pressures could also lead to you taking more risks with your long term health e.g. a two minute job which may release silica dust and therefore require you to wear a face mask, can easily turn into a 15 minute job if you have to go to the store to collect the necessary PPE.Managing stressIf you are beginning to feel that work-related stress and other factors are beginning to take an impact on your health, there are many small things that can make a real difference.Give a loved one a call or arrange to spend some time with friends and familyEat three healthy meals per dayExercise – even something small like going for a walk or doing some stretching exercises can make a differenceRead a book, listen to music, or watch your favourite show or movieDo something nice for someone elseSpend some time outdoorsWhile those can be great ways to improve your overall wellbeing, sometimes we need some extra support to get through a tough period. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to seek the advice and support of a professional.There are several free services you can reach out to, such as:• Lifeline have a 24-hour crisis line that you can call for support and many valuable resources on their website. You can call on 13 11 14 or visit their website here: https://www.lifeline.org.au/• Beyond Blue also have a 24-hour line you can reach on 1300 22 4636, and their website offers plenty of advice and information: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/homeAnd if you’re a WorkPac employee, you can access free psychology through our Employee Assistance Program. You can learn more hereRemember - it is not just a case of trying to be tough – if you don’t feel mentally well seek help

Reduce the Risk: Heat Stress

BY: Tracey Mesken01/11/2018

​With heat levels rising and summer approaching, it's time to get serious about heat stress. It’s always better to prevent health risks than to have to deal with the consequences of them when it’s too late. That’s why we’ve compiled some key tips for staying safe this summer, especially when working outdoors or in hot conditions. We have also included information on recognising the signs and symptoms of heat stress. Keep reading to find out more and to view our latest video from the WorkPac Group Safety & Risk team on understanding and managing heat stress.[responsive_vid]

Cyclone Season - Are you prepared?

BY: Tracey Mesken23/01/2018

​Cyclone season occurs from November through to April in Australia so it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit and household plan organised. Be prepared this season.Get cyclone smartAt work: Make sure you know and follow your workplace emergency evacuation procedure;At home: Trim treetops and ensure branches are clear of your home, clear your property of loose material that might cause damage during extreme weather and clear out your gutters;Create an emergency contact list;Organise an emergency management plan and clearly communicate this to all of your family;Prepare an emergency kit, check out some suggestions below;Here are some handy planning websites.The Queensland Government has a great website availableThe WA Department of Fire and Emergency services also offer resources Visit the QLD Government Alerts and warnings pageFor current alerts and warnings in WA click Don't forget your petsOur pets are so special, make sure you don’t forget to pack for them too! Ensure they have a collar, are clearly identifiable and have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness on hand. Include them in your emergency plan – if there’s a weather warning, keep your animals close.​​Handy emergency contactsLife threatening emergenciesTelephone Triple Zero (000). For life threatening, critical or serious situations only.State Emergency Service (SES) flood and storm assistanceTelephone:  132 500 for help with a damaged roof, rising flood water, trees fallen on buildings, or storm damage.Local CouncilVisit your local council website for information for your specific location, or look up your local council contact numbers.Here's the QLD list.Here's the WA ListHere's the NT ListWeather and warningsVisit the Bureau of Meteorology web site at www.bom.gov.auAlternatively, visit the Bureau's Telephone Weather Services Directory for Queensland.Additionally, tune to your local radio station for warnings and advice.  Details of your local ABC radio frequency and local web-page can be obtained from www.abc.net.au/local.Animal emergenciesWildlife Hotline: To report wildlife emergencies, marine strandings and pollution incidents, call the Wildlife Hotline on 1300 130 372.To report lost or missing animals during times of disaster and emergency events visit your state RSPCA lost/found web site:QueenslandNew South WalesVictoriaSouth Australia Western Australia Northern Territory TasmaniaAustralian Capital Territory Should you need to report an animal in distress, or you have concerns for the welfare of an animal, please contact one of the following options:RSPCA websiteEmergency Animal Disease and Biosecurity MattersSocial mediaFollow your state police service, SES, fire and rescue service and local council for real time information.