HR Division’s Newsletter- Volume 1

HR Division’s New Year Message

Have a safe and prosperous 2013!

As we begin a brand new year HR Division wishes our clients, subscribers, friends and business partners all the best for the year to come.

HR Division will be available and always happy to assist you should you have any questions regarding your WorkCover or how to make savings to your premium costs.

We look forward to another great year working side-by-side with you to make savings in your WorkCover premium.

Regards,

Angelica Mistica

Director

HR Division

 

Health and Safety News Review

New car_WHS Act_Jan13

Owning the Work Health and Safety Act in your business.

The test drive is done. Now it’s up to you to own the Work Health and Safety Act in your business.

National harmonization of Work Health and Safety has been sitting on the horizon for a good many years. It has since been drafted and tested. You might even say that a few states have given the Act 2011 a test drive, ie. NSW, Queensland, ACT and the Commonwealth. Now it is finally up and running in all states and territories bar Western Australia and Victoria (refer to Q&A).

The questions that arise for businesses now centre on the implementation and application of the Work Health and Safety Act.

How do your workplace practices, skills, expertise align to the requirements of the new Act?

Your business knew how to respond and was familiar with functioning under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of your state. Will this same knowledge suffice for the national law?

It’s time for your business to test its mettle, to demonstrate compatibility with the national Work Health and Safety Act*.

* Victoria’s legislation remains the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, and Western Australia’s is the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984.

Q&A

New laws in a new year

Q: What new legislation will be enforced in 2013?

A: The national harmonization of the Model Work Health and Safety Act initially introduced in a draft in 2009 has made further progress in the national occupational health and safety landscape. From January 1st 2013 both South Australia and Tasmania will align with New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth.

Be aware that transitional provisions unique to each state for the Work Health and Safety Regulations may commence as of 1st January 2013.

The Work Health and Safety Act

Tasmania and South Australia have finally harmonized with Work Health and Safety. The Legislation is called the WHS Act 2012. The content of this Act is the same as the WHS Act 2011 that has been operational in all other States since 1 January 2012, with the exception of Victoria and Western Australia.

Having a new legislation to replace existing legislations is like upgrading to a new car.

When I upgraded from my car to a new model I went through a process of acquainting myself to the new aspects and improvements of the car. I could have just ignored this process, but this would mean making an assumption that the improvements and new aspects would have no affect to my driving experience.

Perhaps, I could ignore the new improvements as I would not be using all the new aspects of the car. After all the fundamental parts that I need, I am familiar with; I am positive that the light indicators will always be on the left side of the steering wheel.

Business owners and Companies in South Australia and Tasmania, you can also take this attitude to the WHS Act 2012. After all, both States have had safety Acts and these Acts had the same general intent as the new legislations, ie. to maintain safe work environments and safe work practices. Therefore why do we need to have a new Act?

This is where the analogy of having a new car and a new Legislation ends. A word of caution, it is important for business owners and companies alike to familiarise themselves with the new Law for getting caught unaware could be a costly experience.

Direct from the Authorities:

ACT: Part 20 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, and Section 2 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 contains a number of transitional provisions which will ease the move from the Work Safety Act 2008 to the new Act.

NSW: Various transitional arrangements have been put in place to support implementation of the work health and safety laws; and depending on the provision these have expired or are in the final stages.

N.T: A range of transitional arrangements for the Work Health and Safety Regulations which were due to expire on 1 January 2013 have been extended. NT WorkSafe will continue to work with businesses to understand the new regulatory requirements and put measures in place to ensure compliance.

QLD: To smooth the transition to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 transitional arrangements have been included that delay the commencement of certain parts of the regulation to give duty holders time to comply with the new arrangements.

S.A: Any significantly new regulation requirements will have transitional periods to provide businesses and workers with time to prepare for the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA).

TAS: The Tasmanian Government has adopted and commenced implementation of the Work Health and Safety (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2012 as of 1st January 2013 supporting the harmonization of a national model for Work Health and Safety as developed by Safe Work Australia.

W.A: The Western Australian Government is not intending to adopt the whole of the model WHS Bill. WA will likely adopt the vast majority of the proposed model laws.

VIC: The Victorian Government has confirmed that Victoria will not adopt the national model workplace health and safety laws in their current form.

Kicking those New Year health and safety resolutions!

Kicking goals_New year_Jan13

Put the health and safety of your workers first. Make it your resolution for 2013.

A Health and Safety resolution

The objective of a health and safety resolution is to be self-motivated and to behave safely, even when no one is there to see.

The benefits of a health and safety resolution are numerous to your workplace, you, your family, your clients and the public. Here are just three benefits:

1. Attention to the implications of your behavioural decisions. For example:

  • Will I get enough sleep to work safely tomorrow?
  • How will another beer affect my health and fitness for work?
  • Is it safe to leave the bucket on the stairs?

2. Ongoing education to expand your knowledge of health and safety practices.

For example:

  • Join your Health and Safety Committee.
    • Take a first aid course.
    • Attend and participate in all safety training programs offered at work

3. Leading by example to demonstrate your personal commitment to health and safety practices.

For example:

  • Wear all necessary personal protective equipment.
  • Follow safety procedures.
  • Report near miss incidents or hazards.

Prioritising health and safety encourages a safe workplace around you, your colleagues, suppliers, visitors, neighbours and the public.

With the benefits of a health and safety resolution in mind, make improving health and safety not only yours, but also your colleagues’ resolution for 2013.

Leading health and safety in your workplace

Demonstrate a proactive commitment to reducing the rate of injuries and illness in your workplace. Don’t wait until Safe Work Week 2013 to hold your own workplace event promoting a workplace culture of safety.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland advises that your organisation’s safe work week can be turned into a great opportunity to:

  • Encourage employees to express any safety concerns they may have
  • Provide an open forum for ideas to help reduce injuries
  • Talk with new employees and young workers about the importance of health and safety and workplace inductions
  • Get together with suppliers to consider how your organisations can work together to achieve a safer and healthier workplace for all.

The year that was

Source: Safe Work Australia, Notifiable fatalities monthly report, August 2012

Notifiable fatalities per month_Jan13

A workplace fatality has an unacceptably high cost to you your staff your workplace your business community and the wider community that you operate in.

According to the most recently published monthly report dated August 2012 the number of fatalities has been on the rise across Australia.

A rise in workplace fatalities has triggered union calls for greater action to prevent comparatively more deaths occurring in the line of work. According to Safe Work Australia the top three industries where most fatalities were reported were Transport & storage (34), Agriculture, forestry & fishing (30), and Construction (23).From January to August 2012, the jurisdictions that accounted for the most notifiable fatalities was New South Wales (41), followed by Queensland (25) and then Western Australia (12).

Industry of workplace_Jan13


Christmas Functions: Best Practice for Employers and Business Owners

A COUPLE OF TIPS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS PARTY

Business Functions are an important part of doing Good Business. 

The Functions can be for Clients or when Festive Seasons come around for Employees and Customers.

Business owners and Companies would like to make sure that all the Guests enjoy themselves.

So how can you give your Guests, whether employees or customers, a fun time without any disasters?!

Here are some simple tips to ensure Guests are having maximum fun without being put in any harm or danger. When your Guests are safe so are you from any fines or prosecution!!!

We all accept that Alcohol is one of the major beverages served at many Social Functions. 

Alcohol consumption is not an exception, but more a norm in our society.

At Social Functions alcohol can be an icebreaker to start a conversation, to make the event alive.  

This is fantastic, because people go to functions to have fun and it is a time to let their hair down. 

Drinking alcohol can give people a boost of confidence to say “hello” or start a small conversation.

Starting a small conversation can be nerve racking for some people, so a drink or two can help break the wall and loosen the lips. 

For many of us we have self control and discipline so we know our limits and stick to it.

For others, they know their limits but like alcohol so that when they start they want to have more.

There are also some individuals who know their limit, but as the alcohol is free flowing so is the tendency to keep drinking.

Alcohol consumption has varying effects to different individuals. 

Business owners and Companies do not know the tolerance or limits of their guests. 

So when serving Alcohol at any of your Social Functions just keep these in mind and you will ensure that you and your Guests will enjoy themselves.

  • Advertise that no employee should feel obliged to drink;
  • Always provide food if alcohol is being served;
  • Serve a variety of non alcoholic beverages
  • Consider the type and variety of alcohol  – low alcohol content drinks are recommended
  • Serve light beer as well as standard
  • Establish a start and finish time
  • Encourage people to eat with a drink
  • Serve more food
  • Serve food before serving alcohol – welcome your guests with food first  then serve them alcohol
  • If there are tables put food on the table and  non- alcoholic drinks- encourage guests to eat
  • Have  entertainment – have a video or TV screen

Food is very important when drinking alcohol.

Having food first puts a lining in the stomach to slow down the absorption in the stomach and intestines.

Generally, the higher the alcohol concentration the faster we become intoxicated.

This is the reason why light beer is recommended.

Also eating a well-balanced meal can lessen the cravings for alcohol.  

When the Social Function is finished and all your Guests have enjoyed themselves, there is one more thing to consider.

Make sure that your guests leave you safely so that they arrive at their next destination safely.

Business owners and companies’ obligations extend beyond working hours when they have Social Functions and employees are the main guests.

What you do not want to hear after a great and fantastic event is that one of the employees is in a hospital hurt after a car accident.

So here are a few tips to make sure that your employees arrive safely at their next destination from leaving you:

  • Ensure there is safe transport for employees who have consumed too much alcohol.
  • Encourage carpooling and designated drivers if employees intend to consume alcohol.
  • Give Employees taxi vouchers
  • Organise the taxi when providing taxi vouchers
  • Know the destination when providing taxi vouchers
  • Highlight the dangers of drink driving
  • Have a portable alcohol testing machine

Portable alcohol breath testing machines can save lives.

We do not have a preference of any product.

 Here are some examples:

  • Alcolizer, Series HH1, HH2 etc., and
  • AlcoQuant 6020,  among other brands that you could purchase for a low price

They are small and hand held. It is also not intrusive and the testing can be done discreetly, either in a room away from everyone or the hand held breathalyser could be given to a person without embarrassing them.

These are only tips that employers can use, enabling them in organising a workplace Christmas function hassle free.

Have a Safe, Happy and a Fun Holiday with your family and friends. 


Upcoming events

Boom! Workplace health and safety

 

As a leading organisation in occupational health and safety we are pleased to announce that we will be delivering workplace health and safety seminars in the future. The topic of the seminar will be OH&S Minefields in the Workplace. Hear from an experienced “minesweeper” how you can avoid the pitfalls of OH&S minefields lurking in your workplace.

The seminar represents an excellent opportunity to network with other industry leaders and to discuss some of the risks facing your business and employees.

The session is designed for decision makers within the company. This may include Managing Directors, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Human Resources Managers and Occupational Health & Safety Officers.

The seminar forms part of an information session series we are running throughout 2011.

I look forward to discussing with you occupational health and safety minefields in your workplace.

Angelica Mistica
Principal Consultant
HR Division


Letter from CEO

A Letter from the CEO

My name is Angelica Mistica.

The Company that I lead is singularly focused to support and serve companies across the Asia Pacific Region to deliver Human Resource solutions.

Our passion is:

  1. To ensure that companies are a safe place to work.
  2. To ensure that companies are fully compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety laws, Regulations and Standards.
  3. To ensure the alignment of company policies and procedures with both laws in Occupational Health and Safety and Workers Compensation Rehabilitation Laws.
  4. The training of staff in the complexities and implementation of the above laws.

Our Company has over twenty years experience in consulting and training Management and Staff in the areas of Occupational Heath, Safety, Workplace Rehabilitation and Workers compensation.

Our Team is fully informed and equipped to give companies across the Asia Pacific Region the highest standard of services. We have the expertise to create the policies, procedures and systems to manage your company’s human resource protocols, no matter where in the world you do business.

Contact me to discuss further how your company can be protected, and meet the standard of good practice when it comes to workplace safety and productivity staff recruitment.

Talk to us today.


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