Articles

Articles

SKM Recycling – The Real Story

On 24 October 2014 a worker lost his hand in an aluminium baler at SKM. I was the OHS Manager. How could this happen? The supplier was an expert engineer, they installed and commissioned the machine and trained operators. It was used exactly as intended and had all guarding in place. No incidents or near

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Fantastic! – COR Consultants and Lawyers – Lift Your Game!

The South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) has launched a broadside at an increasing incidence of overzealous clients in the supply chain, in what it deems an unintended consequence of last year’s chain of responsibility (COR) reforms. The growing COR compliance and consultancy space is leading to some clients becoming increasingly intrusive in the operations

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Labour Hire Licensing Act

Unintended Consequences Contractor Arrangements. The LHLA intends to protect workers from being exploited by Labour Hire Providers and hosts. Under the Act an LHP provides labour to perform work in and as part of a business or undertaking of the host. Work specifically includes (but is not limited to) cleaning, meat work and horticulture. Owner

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Defining Your Employment Relationships is Critical

A recent decision by the NSW Workers Compensation Commission in respect of a widows entitlement to workers compensation for her deceased husband has again considered the issue of when a worker will be considered a contractor vs an employee. However what is important about this case is not so much the indicia of when a

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When Is A Contractor a Contractor?

Here are key indices to consider when deciding if a person you employ is a contractor vs an employee. Thanks to Workplace Bulletin You do or can control and direct the way contracted work is performed. The worker can perform work for others. The worker has a separate place of work and can advertise their

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Issuing Permits to Work to Independent Contractors …. Are You Mad?!

Principle Contractors (lets call them PC group 1) often tell me (and I see when reviewing contractor management systems) that they issue independent contractors with permits to work to undertake work. To be clear permits to work under WOHS regulations are a risk management process to manage high risk tasks to confirm that prescribed risk

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Officers Duties – Is A Walk Around Really That Effective

Safety professionals and legal experts often exhort Officers to “do a walk around” to get familiar with safety hazards in their organisation and demonstrate due diligence. I have been present when these “walk arounds” occur. The workers shake hands with the boss, the boss diligently wears their PPE and asks interested questions about what is

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Workplace Heath and Safety Show 

The Workplace Health and Safety Show will be in Sydney soon (22 – 23 May 2019). I am presenting and will be covering clarification of liability for contractor safety and how to develop and structure a best practice contractor management process. See you there. Register at www.whsshow.com.au

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Linksafe

My relationship with LinkSafe means they provide the only software solution for contractor management that correctly reflects the legal requirements of the Heavy Vehicle National Law and will into the future as I closely monitor the reforms. Stop your the headaches and be totally reassured that you have both the IT and legal back up

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NHVR Consultation on HVNL Reforms- WHS Input Imperative

It is great to see the NHVR consulting with the transport industry on the proposed HVNL reforms but where is the WHS input, Safe Work Australia, Safety Institute of Australia and state regulators. Input from those who have worked under the WHS legal regime which is predicated on reasonable practicability is vital to get this

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COR Webinar- Get the Good Oil

I am running another webinar to help combat the ongoing misinformation around the National Heavy Vehicle Law and Chain of Responsibility. Please register if you really want to understand in the simplest terms how it all works. I will also be discussing the proposed overhaul of the HVNL to align it with the legal principles

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Tragic Crash will put COR Changes Under the Spotlight

The truck related crash on the Murray Valley Highway over the weekend which devastated a family, will no doubt see the changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Law (NHVL), which came into effect on 1 October 2018, put to the test. As a result of those changes, all parties in the chain of responsibility need

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A very dangerous precedent

In a recent Fair Work Commission decision a worker was reinstated after he was dismissed for failing to sign onto a confined space permit and entering the space. The reason for reinstatement was that the workers supervisor had previously waived the need to sign on and that his actions didn’t cause any actual harm. This

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Heavy Vehicle Law and Safety Management Systems – Here There Be Monsters

The promotion of the implementation of safety management systems (SMS) to ensure compliance with the upcoming amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law must be approached with caution, particularly in an industry with 80% very small operators. The experience in the WHS space indicates that SMS may well create as many problems as they solve.

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National Heavy Vehicle Regulator- Getting the Message Right

It is great to see the NHVR communicating accurately about the upcoming changes to the NHVL in October 2018. A recent newsletter (On The Road August 2018) issued by the NHVR confirmed that “Although the laws will change, they will still only apply to activities that a person or business has control over and could

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Theory X vs Theory Y and Contractor Safety Management 

In the 1960s, social psychologist Douglas McGregor developed two contrasting theories that explained how managers’ beliefs about what motivates their people can affect their management style, Theory X and Theory Y.  Theory X managers believe that team members dislike their work and have little motivation and use an authoritarian style of management. This approach is

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SWMS- God Help Us!

I am thoroughly thoroughly sick of government departments and the gate keepers of government tender processes who are not up to date with who must prepare SWMS and when they must be prepared.  You are costing the community billions in wasted effort with NO safety benefit. Do you really want/ need SWMS for contractors who

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Another Case Supporting Contractor vs Principal Liability

In 2006 in Sweeney v Boylan Nominees Pty Limited [2006] HCA 19,  the High Court held that Boylan (the employer) was not vicariously liable for the negligent act of the serviceman mechanic (contractor) when a fridge door the mechanic had serviced fell on an employee.  In respect of the argument that the contractor was acting

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Multiplex – Some observations

Recent charges of reckless conduct laid against Multiplex Directors, Site Managers and the Site Safety Officer in respect of a incident involving an independent contractor may have people ramping up their scrutiny of contractors and increasing the reams of paperwork required from them to demonstrate management of safety. Well STOP. This case, I suspect, will

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