OH&S Consulting News - Feb 2017
Call for Public Comment - Live Electrical Work & Work in Roof Spaces
WorkSafe Newsletter 12/01/2017 & EnergySafety Newsletter 11/01/2017
EnergySafety and WorkSafe are calling for public comment on proposals to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 to prohibit work on energised electrical installations.
Key features of the proposals include:
A prohibition on conducting electrical installing work on or near an energised electrical installation;
A general exception where a risk assessment determines there is no reasonable alternative to carrying out the work (e.g. testing the installation, or where there is no alternative means of providing power to life support equipment);
If work is to be carried out on or near an energised electrical installation, a requirement to complete a safe work method statement and use appropriate personal protective equipment; and
For any work to be conducted in a roof space of certain domestic dwellings, a requirement for the electrical installation to be de-energised and isolated before entering the roof space.
A draft Code of practice: Work on or near energised electrical Installations & In roof spaces of certain buildings has been prepared to assist people to comply with the proposed new regulations. Anyone with an interest in electrical safety is invited to comment on the proposed amendments to the regulations, or the draft code of practice.
Draft amendments to the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 and the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991 are now available for comment.
Accompanying the consultation draft are:
Explanatory notes providing specific information about the intent of each change and how the regulation might affect your business; and
A draft copy of the Code of Practice - Work on or near energised electrical installations.
The changes are consistent with best work practice and similar to regulations and provisions operating in New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania which adopted the Model Work, Safety and Health legislation.
The closing date for comments is 5pm on Friday 31 March 2017.
Comments should be addressed to:
Mr Saj Khan
Director, Policy and Electrical Engineering
EnergySafety, Department of Commerce
Locked Bag 14
Cloisters Square WA 6850
or by email to
Medications now Covered under PBS
WorkCover WA communicatons 05/12/2016
All injured workers with a Medicare card are entitled to receive medications under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It is WorkCover WA’s expectation that injured workers are prescribed medications under the PBS (where clinically appropriate and available). It is also expected that pharmacies will charge the applicable PBS rate for medications upon presentation of the injured worker’s Medicare card.
As an injured worker’s entitlement for medical expenses is capped, access to subsidised PBS medications will ensure the capped entitlement goes further.
WorkCover WA has prepared a policy position which outlines the key responsibilities for medical practitioners, pharmacists, injured workers, employers and insurers. Click here to access these documents.
Reporting to WorkSafe WA Now On-Line
Workplace issues that involve WorkSafe WA can now be reported online.
Employers and employees are now able to report hazards, incidents and injuries at any time. No longer is it necessary to ring WorkSafe during business hours.
Acting executive director Chris Kirin says hazards and incidents should initially continue to be reported to the employer or the elected health and safety representative. But where this doesn’t resolve the issue, an inspector’s intervention may be requested. Click here to read more about reporting and injury or disease.
Heat Stress (Basic) Calculator
Source:WorkSafe WA Newsletter 19/12/2016
WorkSafe QLD has developed a Heat Stress Calculator is a useful assessment tool that can be used as a basic guide and/or training tool to help identify and manage risks of heat related illness. It is based on the “Basic Thermal Risk Assessment” developed for the AIOH.
Note: Guidance on the determination of safe/unsafe working limits and the use of impermeable clothing is not provided by this tool, and should be sought from an appropriately qualified person such as an occupational hygienist. Click here to access the Calculator.
Learning the Art of Office Ergonomics
Source:WorkSafe QLD 24/01/2017
You might know the importance of ‘good posture’ and that too much sitting is unhealthy, but do you know how a computer workstation should be set up to limit the chance of sprain and strain injuries?
Office ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work, lower stress, and reduce injuries caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks.
Here are a few small changes you can make to reduce your risk of injury:
Position the computer monitor so that you do not tilt or arch your head or back or twist your neck.
Position your keyboard directly in front of you by pushing the keyboard back so that your forearms are supported on the front part of the desk when keying.
Give yourself space. You should be able to use both your keyboard and mouse comfortably on the same level of the desk surface.
Adjust your chair to suit you, including the lumbar support and backrest and the seat height and tilt.
Sit closely to the desk and remove fixed armrests if they stop you from doing this.
If you use a laptop for long periods of time, use a separate full-sized keyboard, mouse and monitor.
One of the key things to remember is to get up and move. You should stand up and walk around regularly to break up your sitting time. Walk to the printer, have a conversation with a colleague rather than phoning or emailing them, get another glass of water, or have a walking or standing meeting.
These are just a few things to consider to minimise risk of injury in an office environment.