WORKPLACE SAFETY

Reduce The Risk: Falling

BY: Tracey Mesken25/07/2018

​At WorkPac, safety is our top priority. Falls are a common workplace injury and can be serious, so it's important to follow correct procedures to make sure you stay safe.​If you want to learn more about WorkPac's commitment to Safety, you can view our webpage, and to read through the latest industry codes from the Working at Heights Association (WAHA) head here.To understand the risks and check that you're following the right procedures to stay safe, check out our infographic below.

How to Report a Hazard in the Workplace

BY: Tracey Mesken18/07/2018

​Do you know the process of reporting a hazard in the workplace?The importance of reporting a hazard in a timely manner is a major component of the WorkPac accident prevention program.If you see a hazard, which can be identified from:observation;inspection;task observation; oras a result of an accident investigation.Please follow the chart below. Our Safety Incident/Hazard Report can be found here If you have a safety issue or concern, no matter how big or small,  let us know.All reports are treated with strict confidentiality and personally managed by one of our Risk Managers.Our Safety Incident/Hazard Report can be found here  

Innovative mechanical fitter redesigns mining skid lights

BY: Tracey Mesken04/04/2017

​Click this link to download the full article: Mechanical fitter redesigns mining skid lightsFor media enquiries please contact Penny Massey at penny.massey@workpac.comTranscript:Local “Iron Man” redesigns mining skid lights, creating potential game-changer in his family garageMeet our real-life Iron Man in the making, Dave.Dave Nicholls is a WorkPac mechanical fitter working at Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley Operations.Like Marvel’s character Tony Stark, Dave has a creative flair for building machines but he innovates on his off-swing, in the family garage while raising his three girls with his wife Kelly.Working on a mine site, Dave sees first-hand some of the challenges the mining industry faces with lighting plants.This inspired Dave to create a safer, greener, more cost-effective skid light.Building the skid light prototype in his garage for the last two years has been anall-consuming process for Dave and his family but his design has multinational giant Rio Tinto excited.“I built the prototype in my garage at home. It’s about six and a half tonnes all up, six metres long and three and a half metres wide,” says Dave.The early days were hard, Dave struggled to move steel around and turn parts over.Working on a large machine meant everything had to be welded into position.After finishing the base, and fabricating the smaller pieces, Dave transported the skid light to his brother-in-law’s farm where they painted it, installed the engine and started commissioning and trialling lights.“Rio has this unrelenting focus on everyone getting home safe and healthy every day,” Dave said.“Ultimately, my focus is safety. Working on a Rio site where there’s a strong safety culture, safety is the number one priority for everyone. Something I’m really proud of as a worker on the HVO [Hunter Valley Operations] site is a thing Riointroduced called Critical Risk Management”.CRM (Critical Risk Management) is implemented across all Rio Tinto operations and focuses on identifying critical risks and verifying critical controls. For each critical risk, there’s a series of controls that must be in place to prevent an incident.Dave designed his skid light with Rio Tinto’s CRM in mind and has eliminated the risk of lifting operations, entanglement and crushing, uncontrolled release of energy and electrical contact and has greatly reduced the risk of vehicle impact on a person.“That’s what got Rio’s attention and it’s why there’s been so much support for my design”.“The existing skid lights used on mine sites around the world are overcomplicated for what they have to do.“They just shine a light but there’s so much stuff going on and so many moving parts.“This increases the chances of crush injuries, pinch points, cylinders failing, suspended loads and uncontrollable releases of energy.“I thought, there should be something easier. There wasn’t. So I built it.“As well as increasing the safety of the lighting plant, my new design also increases productivity because you’re not stopping trucks and machines that cost $400 an hour while you move a light.“Getting out of the cab, making the machine fundamental, lowering it down, packing it up, isolating it and taking it to a new location holds up the fleet and when you have a reasonably sized fleet like we have at Rio, it adds up.“Something as simple as not having to get out of a cab to lower the mast will save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.“Rio have been working with me to time the difference between the current skid lights and my design.“It’s proving to be a big time saver”.Dave took an environmental approach to the new design, ensuring his skid light reduces greenhouse gas emissions.“Rio is a firm believer in minimising environmental impact so it’s great that we can take a collaborative approach to the impacts of climate change”.The skid light in use runs on a 415 generator which is fuelled 156 times a year.The new design is fuelled 10 times per year with the option of incorporating a battery pack to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to extend services and refuelling periods.The battery pack will see the new skid lights refuelled four times per year.While Dave might not get recruited for S.H.I.E.L.D any time soon, this Hunter Valley Tony Stark is enjoying a healthy, collaborative relationship with Rio Tinto as they explore the potential of Dave’s innovative skid light.For now, Dave continues to juggle his role as a WorkPac mechanical fitter, father and husband while working on his entrepreneurial project.“WorkPac has been really good to me. It’s great turning up to do your job and getting paid – you don’t have to worry about losing contracts.“If something happens, if a contract is lost, WorkPac has such a wide reach across the industry so you can just swap over to another site.“When you’re working for yourself you get a bit sick of chasing work and chasing money all the time.“The stability of income and employment is good for me and has empowered me to work on my skid light design.“My father-in-law and family have all been very supportive, helping me get the design to where it is now.“We’ve been working on it whenever I’m not at work but I’m confident it will all pay off.“There’s nothing out there like it”.Dave is determined to increase the safety and wellbeing of workers, cut costs and better manage atmospheric emissions through hisinnovative light design.Don’t be surprised if you start to see this new design onsite in the future. 

WorkPac named finalist in 2017 Hunter Safety Awards

BY: Tracey Mesken30/01/2017

​WorkPac has been named a finalist in the 2017 Hunter Safety Awards for the Most Innovative Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Idea category for large organisations.WorkPac won the 2016 Hunter Safety Award for best WHS Management System and has been recognised for its industry-leading safety in Hunter workplaces.Winners will be announced at the Hunter Safety Awards gala event on Friday 17th March 2017.National Safety and Risk Manager, Rachel Pearse says WorkPac wanted to support employees and facilitate discussion on fatigue and mental health while addressing the key challenges of engaging with a geographically diverse workforce.“Our initiative was to broaden our communication approach of safety messages across platforms like video and social media,” Ms Pearse said.“Our first message focused on fatigue management and our second message focused on mental health and wellbeing which are two really important issues in our line of work,” she said.Across the industries WorkPac services, the statistics speak for themselves. A construction worker is six times more likely to commit suicide than die as a result of a workplace incident. If the worker is under 24 years of age, the risk increases by 10 times.The Minerals Council of Australia’s blueprint for mental health and wellbeing estimates costs to the resources industry, including lowered productivity, is between $320 million to $450 million per year or around $300,000 to $400,000 for an average worksite of 170 people. Luke Tresidder, Business Centre Manager at WorkPac Hunter Valley says the WorkPac team wanted to do more than produce posters and flyers or transfer the responsibility over to an external Employee Assistance Program provider when dealing with mental health issues.“We engaged with our workforce and identified that traditional forms of communication were no longer the only way to reach our field team. We didn’t want to wait around for tragic statistics before we formulated an initiative to address fatigue and mental health,” Mr Tresidder said.“We knew we needed to implement new ways to reach our workforce and our research pointed to social media, video communication and real people communicating sincere messages,” he said.WorkPac’s Head of Marketing Tracey Mesken says Facebook now serves more than 8 billion video views per day.“That’s double the amount the video content users were consuming in early 2015,” Ms Mesken said.“LinkedIn and Facebook allowed us to elevate workplace challenges that have influencing factors external to the workplace, into social networks enabling a peer engagement forum.“The campaign drove greater awareness and acceptance by our employees to openly discuss these challenging topics.“To be a finalist again is a fantastic achievement and we are happy to be recognised two years running, this is a real credit to the Hunter Valley and Newcastle teams’ efforts.”WorkPac is proud to be finalists in what will be a hotly contended category.Regardless of the outcome, WorkPac congratulates all nominees for their contributions towards making workplaces in the Hunter Region safe. WorkPac will continue to explore video and social media amplification of messages using these platforms to further enhance safety education and communication.In its 20 years of operation, WorkPac has experienced no fatalities or prosecutions and has one of the lowest Lost Time Injury Frequency Rates in the contingent labour industry.

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WorkPac named runner up for Large Recruitment Agency of the Year at the Seek Annual Recruitment Awards

BY: Tracey Mesken30/11/2016

​The SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards celebrate innovation and excellence within the recruitment industry and the WorkPac Group is proud to place as runner up for Large Recruitment Agency of the Year, 2016.The WorkPac Group was judged on how our organisation fosters diversity and inclusion, drives innovation, supports growth, engages candidates and contributes to the recruitment industry.​CULTUREThe WorkPac Group implemented a number of unique service offerings aligning with our vision to:“Create and advance strong, inclusive communities involving all Australians through actively increasing Indigenous employment and training participation, heightening cultural awareness and building mutually respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.”JobTrail is the WorkPac Group’s specialist division for Indigenous Services. The ultimate aim of the business is to improve Indigenous life outcomes. Our holistic support for candidates focuses on positive identity construction (country and identity), ownership and responsibility, financial literacy, local knowledge and contributors, family elements and walk on country.JobTrail also breaks down common barriers employers face when sourcing, selecting, employing and training Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia.The WorkPac Group’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launches in January. Under the guidance and governance of Reconciliation Australia, we are creating a formal, documented commitment on a set of action items which will enhance cultural awareness, community participation and ultimately employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.INNOVATIONThe WorkPac Group owes its success to the innovative and dedicated people we work with. The innovative solutions and automated online platforms introduced by our Credit Collections Team to address credit collection challenges has expedited innovative thinking within the team and across the business as a whole.  We will benefit hugely from their work now and into the future.GROWTHIn line with the Group’s five year operational and strategic plan, we set key targets and the delivery of these goals was critical to achieving our number one business priority – the health and safety of our employees.WorkPac faces significant challenges as the majority of our operations are undertaken in Australia’s most hazardous working environments and we employ over 4,500 individuals in regional and remote locations.Our target achievements through 2015/16 included our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate target of  1.0 or less and exceeding our safety interactions per month target of 10% on total employees.Our reputation as a leading provider of safety management continues to drive increased client relationships and heightened candidate engagement levels. This increases our capacity to attract candidates who place explicit trust in our ability to protect them from harm.ENGAGEMENTWorkPac engages candidates at a pre-employment level right through to post-placement support. Our Local Access Policy has seen the Group establish operational presence in regional, rural and remote Australia to provide local support and accessibility to individuals who are more accustomed to long-range, telephone based relationships. The power and efficiency in local, face to face relationships continues to deliver strong candidate and employee engagement.WorkPac also provides Employee Benefits and Assistance Programs to empower our people to succeed at work and maintain healthy, happy lifestyles.CONTRIBUTION TO INDUSTRYWorkPac’s contribution to industry is varied and takes many forms, including:Regional and rural operations, promoting and ensuring recruitment services are available to clients that may otherwise be unaware of the industry’s valueNon-industry associations where our corporate memberships and participation in industry events increases awareness and fuels discussion on industry services and valueStudy papers including a recent commissioned white paper conducted with University of Queensland to promote the benefits of recruitment over in-house effortsSupport for industry events and promotions, such as the recent Recruitment Yarns roadshowWorkPac is proud to be recognised as one of Australia’s industry leaders for workplace culture and inclusion, industry advancement, candidate engagement, growth and innovation.

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Safety Alert

18/11/2016

​SIGNIFICANT INJURY INCIDENT INVOLVING LIGHT VEHICLE AND WORKERThis incident DID NOT involve a WorkPac employee however it serves as a reminder of the risks associated with unplanned vehicle movement.A Pump Operator was temporarily pinned between his own light vehicle and the pump he was operating after his vehicle rolled forward approximately 13m. The Operator self evacuated and was able to raise the emergency from the two-way radio in his own vehicle.INJURY: Although no serious injuries were identified, the Operator was required to remain in hospital overnight for observation in relation to the potential crush injury.EQUIPMENT: Toyota Landcruiser and site pump.HAZARD: In the line of fireCAUSE: The vehicle was not parked as per procedure and the vehicle handbrake was defective.CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:Unplanned movement due to vehicle not parked as per site procedureHandbrake was defectiveVehicle not fundamentally stablePrestart checks not forwarded for actionWORKPAC RECOMMENDATIONS:Follow all Site Policies and ProceduresEnsure vehicles are serviceable prior to useTag out and report all non serviceable Plant and EquipmentEnsure vehicles are fundamentally stable when parked and prior to exiting the vehicleForward all Plant and Equipment defect notices to Maintenance for actionEducation awareness relating to line of fireCONTACT: For any further information contact Peter Zigmantas, Regional Risk Manager, Central Queensland,  (07) 49694722.

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Fatigue Management: A Worker's Guide

BY: Tracey Mesken24/10/2016

​WHAT IS FATIGUE?Fatigue is more than feeling tired and drowsy. In a work context, fatigue is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion that reduces a person’s ability to perform work safely and effectively.It can occur because of prolonged or intense mental or physical activity, sleep loss and/or disruption of the internal body clock.Signs of fatigue include:Tiredness even after sleepReduced hand-eye coordination or slow reflexesShort term memory problems and an inability to concentrateBlurred vision or impaired visual perceptionA need for extended sleep during days off work WHAT CAUSES FATIGUE?Fatigue can be caused by work related or non-work related factors or a combination of both.Work related causes of fatigue include excessively long shifts, not enough time to recover between shifts and blocks of shifts, very strenuous jobs and long commuting times. An example of non-work related fatigue would be poor quality sleep due to street noise or family demands.THE BODY CLOCKMost people are day-orientated meaning they are most alert and productive in the daytime and sleep at night. The circadian rhythms (the body clock) cause regular variations in individual body and mental functions repeated approximately every 24 hours.These rhythms regulate sleeping patterns, body temperature, heart rate, hormone levels, digestion and many other functions.These rhythms influence job performance and quality of sleep. Most of the body’s basic functions show maximum activity by day and minimum activity by night.The body rhythms affect the behaviour, alertness, reaction times and mental capacity of people to varying degrees.WHY IS FATIGUE A PROBLEM IN THE WORKPLACE?Fatigue may increase the risk of incidents because of a lack of alertness. Fatigue may result in a slower reaction to signals or situations and affect the ability to make good decisions, particularly when:Operating fixed or mobile plant including driving vehiclesUndertaking critical tasks that require a high level of concentrationUndertaking night or shift work when a person would ordinarily be sleeping.A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers while they are at work.This means if fatigue is identified as causing a risk to work health and safety, then suitable control measures should be implemented in consultation with workers to eliminate or minimise the risks.YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS A WORKERWorkers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own safety and health and that their acts or omissions don’t adversely affect the health or safety of others.Workers must also comply with any reasonable instruction and cooperate with any reasonable policy or procedure relating to fatigue at the workplace, for example fitness for work policies and policies regarding second jobs.REDUCING THE RISK OF FATIGUETo reduce the risk of being involved in a work incident caused by fatigue, you should:Comply with your organisation’s policies and procedures relating to fatigueUnderstand your sleep, rest and recovery needs and obtain adequate rest and sleep away from workSeek medical advice and assistance if you have or are concerned about a healthcondition that affects your sleep and/or causes fatigueAssess your own fitness for work before commencing workMonitor your level of alertness and concentration while you are at workLook out for signs of fatigue in the people you work withIn consultation with your supervisor, take steps to manage fatigue, for example take a break or short nap (night shift), maintain hydration (drink water), do some stretching or physical exercise, adjust the work environment (lighting, temperature)Talk to your supervisor or manager if you foresee or experience being impaired by fatigue likely to create a health and safety risk e.g. because of a health condition, excessive work demands or personal circumstancesAssess your fatigue levels after work and take suitable commuting and accommodation options (e.g. avoiding driving if fatigued) HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE NEED?Sleep researchers believe there is no one magic number for ‘sleep need’ and there are a lot of individual differences in what children and adolescents need to sleep to be at their best. But below is a guide of the best evidence we have so far:Babies under 1: 14-18 hours throughout the day and nightToddlers: 12-14 hours per 24 hour periodPrimary school: 10-12 hours per dayHigh school: 8-10 hours per dayAdults: 7-9 hours per day GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE CAN HELP PROMOTE GOOD SLEEP"Sleep hygiene" - this can be defined as habits that can help us to sleep or stop us from sleeping. If you or someone you know is having trouble sleeping you can try to change or include some of the things on this list and see if it helps.No TV/computer games 1 hour before bed. No TV s in bedroomsMonitor mobile phone use in bedNo caffeine, high sugar or high spicy food 3-4 hours before bedEnsure relaxing and regular bed time routine - special time with children, relaxation techniques such as breathingNo vigorous exercise 1 hour before bed - it raises the body temperatureFinish eating 2-3 hours before bed - digestion competes with sleeping - hot milk is OKMake sure the bedroom is comfortable (temperature, light, noise)Set bedtimes and wake times - try and keep these regularLearn to relax - deal with worry and stressUse a sleep diary to check how many hours you are sleeping - Are you sleeping enoughConvince children that it is important to sleep well - reward them for complying with bedtime rules

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WorkPac asks R U OK?

BY: Tracey Mesken05/09/2016

​Hey, R U OK? September 8 WorkPac Staff will be taking the time to ask friends family and work mates one simple question… R U OK?​For those of you who do not know, R U OK? is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save livesSuicide prevention is a complex and sensitive issue, thankfully R U OK gives us some common language and a starting point. Quite simply the power of asking that one simple question may make a world of difference to that one person you ask. It may help them stay connected and show them they have support.For more information about R U OK? day or Queensland Mental health Week, please visit R U OK? and here.Our mental health and wellbeing is important to look after. Each one of us, lives a busy life and our everyday lives are exposed to and impacted by various pressures throughout each and every year.These pressures can have an effect on our mental health and potentially result in us feeling stressed.Click here to check out our video by, Rachel Pearse, WorkPac’s National Safety and Risk Manager, that addresses what mental health is and the various factors in our lives that can impact us and our capacity to cope with today’s busy environment.WorkPac offers an employee assistance program provided by Gryphon Psychology who offer professional counselling for all WorkPac employees. Alternatively, Lifeline provides 24/7 help and can be contacted on 13 11 14, or head to their website www.lifeline.org.au for further information.From all of us at WorkPac, remember to have fun, stay safe and continue to promote a healthy workplace.

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Managing workplace stress

BY: Tracey Mesken02/12/2015

​Emotions are contagious and workplace stress impacts your professional interactions, your family and your health. Managing work-related stress is critical to your wellbeing and to the people around you.​According to the Victorian State Government, workplace stress is the second most commonly compensated illness/injury in Australia, after musculoskeletal disorders.Share this Image On Your Site<p><a href="https://www.workpac.com/blog/managing-workplace-stress/"><img src="https://www.workpac.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/managing_workplace_stress_lg.jpg" alt="Managing Workplace Stress" width="540px" border="0" /></p><p></a>This infographic was provided by WorkPac: <a href="https://www.workpac.com/blog/managing-workplace-stress/">Managing Workplace Stress</a></p><br /><br />Quick stress relieving techniques you can do at your desk or onsiteTake a deep breath: Breathing counteracts stress by slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Sit up straight, close your eyes and focus on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.Have an avo! High potassium foods fight fatigue and stress.Stretch. Sit up tall in your chair, or stand up. Stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers. It's a great way to release tension instantly.Crank up the tunes. Music has a powerful effect on our physiological functions. 

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