Articles

Articles

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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NSW Court Confirms Dangers of Controlling Contractor Safety Arrangements

Two principle contractors who issued safe work method statements and directed safety activities for its contractors have been found guilty under WHS Act (NSW) 2011. The case also shows that by principles retaining control and allowing the contractor to be asleep at the wheel, safety outcomes were also made worse. Read the analysis here.

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Separation of Responsibility

I had a great time presenting at the Safety Institute of Australia’s Visions Conference last week on all matters to do with managing contractor safety. The position around managing contractor safety is now very clear. I have attached my presentation from the conference for you which outlines the key concepts relating to the extent to

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Owners Corporations and Obligations Owed for Safety

I often see advertisements offering WOHS (workplace/ occupational health and safety) inspections for strata title buildings. I also speak to Owners Corporations (OC) Committee’s, usually made up of residential owners, who are concerned about their obligations for WOHS for contractors and others. So, let’s clear it up. Strata title OC Committees of solely residential properties

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Q & A

With so many systems on the market place dealing with contracts and contractor management, particularly around safety, we thought it might be useful to answer some of the common questions up front.   What makes ContractorSAFE unique? ContractorSAFE focuses on assisting principle contractors efficiently demonstrate due diligence when engaging contractors by confirming contractors have adequate

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Is ContractorSAFE too simple?

As a safety professional, what we don’t want to do is use the law to avoid taking real action to ensure peoples safety including that of contractors. However, my experience is that the process of engaging contractors has become so burdensome and complex that employers end up doing nothing because it is too hard and

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The Problem with Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS)

When SWMS were first put into regulations they were meant to be an on the job tool to help workers and employers consider specific high risk tasks, develop risk controls to manage those risks and document them. In guidance material issued by WorkSafe Victoria in 2010 a SWMS is described as “a safety planning tool

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Employer Responsibilities

The responsibilities of employers to contractors is now very clear. The key concept is matters over which each party has control. In a recent WorkSafe Victoria Health and Safety Week presentation these concepts were clearly articulated by Karen Willis from Trusafety Solutions and endorsed by Worksafe Victoria. ContractorSAFE is reflects these principles and is the

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