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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
Movember - making a difference in mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer!
Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent. This month all across WorkPac Group we are taking action and raising awareness on Men’s Health and some of the biggest health issues being faced by men, being; prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention. It’s as simple as seeing your GP and arranging a routine blood test! – We encourage you to ask about PSA testing and arrange an examination if you notice any changes as early detection can lead to better health outcomes. We are proud to promote the Movember charity and encourage all our employees to become involved with the various events being run throughout the month, such as; ‘Grow a Mo’, ‘Move for Movember’ or ‘Host a Mo-ment’ please visit the website here https://au.movember.com/about/foundationto find out more about these great fund raising and awareness programs you can become involved with.We also encourage all our employees to reach out to the professional services below if you need mental health support services; LifeLine 13 11 14 https://www.lifeline.org.au/Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-supportR U OK https://www.ruok.org.au/Gryphon Psychology 1800 056 076 https://gryphonpsych.com.au/portfolio-items/employee-assistance-program/FreeOn-line Risk Assessment: Please click on the link to access a free Men’s Health Prostate Risk Assessment via our partners at Maxwellplus+ - It only takes 3 minutes to complete andcould save your life https://maxwellplus.com/risk/Additional Resources: Please also take the time to view some informative Video Links for: MentalHealth & Wellbeing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjQBuowaDKY&feature=youtu.be True NorthProstate & Testicular Cancer Program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10u61DdJNaE&feature=youtu.be
Latryce Pearse a WorkPac Machine Operator at Rio Tinto Gove is the winner of the WorkPac’s inaugural National NAIDOC artwork competition. Her artwork ‘Arnhem Resilience’', illustrates how European contact challenged Indigenous people and tried to divide our communities.The competition was a chance for talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who are employed by the WorkPac Group to be recognised across Australia. JobTrail General Manager Julian Genn explained, “To help WorkPac & JobTrail celebrate NAIDOC week we invited our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to submit artworks for the inaugural 2020 WorkPac National NAIDOC Artwork Competition.”“The winning artist receives a $500 prize and the artwork has been used to create our 2020 WorkPac NAIDOC week shirt which will be worn by WorkPac staff across Australia.” “We are thrilled to congratulate our competition winner Latryce Pearse, a Machine Operator at Rio Tinto’s Gove Operations, said Mr Genn.Latryce’s father is Yolngu from Nhulunbuy and her mother is Tahitian (French Polynesian). The local language in Nhulunbuy in Yolngu Matha. Ms Pearce explains “My favourite part of NAIDOC is that it gives Indigenous people the opportunity to showcase their talent from all around the country.” “I decided I wanted each piece of artwork to represent both sides of my Aboriginal & Polynesian heritage. “So I started to incorporate bright colours and traditional Indigenous symbols and patterns.“I also love to use the acrylic pour method in some of my pieces to usually symbolise flowing rivers. “I get a lot of my inspiration from other Indigenous artists around Australia.”Ms Pearce’s NAIDOC art represents how European contact challenged Indigenous people and tried to divide our communities. It shows that mother earth provided the rivers and medicine leaves to the people to provide healing and protection. Indigenous people have held it's strong culture, spirit and connection to the land and seas. "Always was Always will be" the healer and protector of the people.Born in Nhulunbuy, Ms Pearce has also lived in Brisbane for 10 years, and Darwin for 3 years. “I came back home to Gove because it’s one of the best places in Australia in my opinion! ‘I love the easy going lifestyle, I love fishing and camping, exploring the crystal clear beaches and islands. ‘And I have a lot of family here from both sides, so I’m very lucky. Ms Pearce started working for WorkPac as a Machine Operator in July 2020.She said “I love that [this job is] a new industry to what my previous roles have typically been (Admin / Accounts based) and that I’m learning a new skill!”“I also love my roster, 4 days on 4 days off.”NAIDOC events will be held virtually by WorkPac this year. The company will hold a national online event with guest speakers and performers.The 2020 NADIOC theme: Always Was, Always Will Be. recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were Australia’s first explorers, first navigators, first engineers, first farmers, first botanists, first scientists, first diplomats, first astronomers and first artists.NAIDOC 2020 invites all Australians to embrace the true history of this country – a history which dates back thousands of generations.It’s about seeing, hearing, and learning the First Nations’ 65,000+ year history of this country - which is Australian history. We want all Australians to celebrate that we have the oldest continuing cultures on the planet and to recognise that our sovereignty was never ceded.Learn more about NAIDOC https://www.naidoc.org.au/get-involved/2020-theme
10th September 2020 is a day set aside from others to remind us all the importance of checking in with colleagues, friends and family to as the questions “R U OK?” At WorkPac we care about all our team members. We understand that life’s challenges can leave people feeling helpless, hopeless, afraid, disconnected and at genuine risk. We consistently encourage all our employees to have open communications with their Managers and access the dedicated Employee Assistance Program services if they need additional support. Visit https://www.workpac.com/employee-assistance-programWe understand that positive actions in an open safe environment encourages engagement and can assist with improving health and wellbeing in the workplace. A simple way to provide support is by genuinely asking “Are you OK?” and be prepared to have regular meaningful conversations to help someone who might be struggling to feel supported when confronted with challenges in life whether at home, work, school or in sport.This year, we encourage everyone to keep promoting the importance of Work Health and Safety in your workplaces, looking out for one another and As always, if you need any additional information or support please reach out to your WorkPac Representative, Supervisor, Direct Manager & Regional Risk Manager.
As National Reconciliation Week draws to a close our very own Financial Accountant Sam Roberts talks about why we need to reconcile, and not just in accounting! https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/news-and-analysis/news/why-we-need-to-reconcile-and-not-just-in-accounting
We’re told to find our ‘passion’, follow a dream, discover a vocation in life.If it comes to you, then it’s a calling.That’s what happened to Central Queensland coal miner and WorkPac employee Ivan Mardones. Ivan faced his depression and anxiety demons and founded a not for profit charity named ‘A Chance for Change’ which promotes mental health amongst men.The process towards positive mental health for Ivan included finding a different way to express his values like love, loyalty and hard work.It is summed up in the organisation’s motto, where ‘speaking up’, unlike hardening up, ‘is manning up’.A Chance for Change gives men the opportunity to talk by creating familiarity in delivering services both on and off site, Ivan said.The group has 33 ambassadors on sites around the country, and a barbershop in East Brisbane called Stigma Cutz. A Brisbane based coffee shop called Stigma Cutz will also be opening soon.As a coal miner, Ivan found that despite the efforts to promote men’s mental health on so many levels, there was something missing at the ground level.“I've got different stages I'm working on in the strategic plan, to get to where we want to be. One of the key elements is social connection,” he said.“So, I thought if we create places where mundane things such as getting a haircut can become an experience of social connection, then we're one step closer to breaking those barriers that have formed over the last 50-100 years in this country.“And one of the little twists is having the Mental Health First Aid-certified barber.“… the barber can assess when someone's in need, or they've got no idea where to go for help; or someone needs to help someone else, but they don't know where to start. They can get that information while they're getting the haircut.”WorkPac is also fortunate that one of its clients, Chris Doherty, is an Ambassador at A Chance for Change.Preventable death is the lasting impression Chris took from 12 years as a volunteer State Emergency Service member working on the Queensland-New South Wales border.Chris entered the mining industry in Queensland and has since taken on a pro-active role in promoting positive mental health through his work as an ambassador for A Chance for Change.It was a chance to continue to make a contribution, Chris said.“I joined up (to the SES) as soon as I could, straight out of school, and was in it up until about 2012 when I started doing fly-in, fly-out,” Chris said.“One of the things that we did fairly often was body recoveries from the bush, and quite a number of the body recoveries were suicide victims.“… it moved me to want to try to help that side of things as well, …, so I thought I'd volunteer my help somewhere else.”The group gave him the opportunity to help deliver services at the ground level, said Chris.“Oh man, a lot of the ones I've seen myself are just guys missing their children or missing out on family gatherings, family outings,” he said.“Guys just get lonely and bummed about it really and get down and withdraw into themselves a little bit, or get a little bit angrier than they usually are.“So yeah, it doesn't hurt to go, ‘hey man, you want to talk?’ and once someone's realised that you're willing to listen to them and listen to them without jumping in over the top of them and; that you're not judging them for who they are or anything like that.“You're just there as a set of ears for them and to try and help them. They're generally pretty open towards seeking help.”A Chance for Change had the full support of WorkPac in Townsville, said Townsville Business Centre Manager Elisabeth Kelemete.While WorkPachad processes in place for identifying and addressing mental health issues, there was always room for intervention said Lis.The business centre had donated $1000 through the WorkPac ‘GiveBack’ program to help A Chance for A Change set up the ‘Stigma Cutz’ barbershop in Brisbane.The ambassadors were welcomed at toolbox meetings and pre-starts to promote the service and had already made their presence felt among staff, she said.As a WorkPac employee, you can access free psychology through our Employee Assistance Program. To make an appointment, call the 24/7 number 1800 056 076. You can learn more here.Alternatively, there are other services you can reach out to:Lifeline has a 24-hour crisis line that you can call for support, and many valuable resources are available on their website. You can call on 13 11 14 or visit their website here: Beyond Blue also have a 24-hour line you can reach on 1300 22 4636, and their website offers plenty of advice and information:
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.