ACT Work Safety Council - Communique

Meeting number 30

29 November 2017

The Work Safety Council is established under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to advise the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations on matters relating to work safety, workers’ compensation, bullying in the workplace and other workplace psychosocial issues. The Council meets quarterly and includes of representatives from government, industries, and unions.

Summary of discussions

The Chair welcomed Ms Sharron O’Neill (University of New South Wales) as a new Ministerial Appointee to the Council.

Members discussed the scope of injury data available to inform the Council’s strategic direction. Members considered an injury trend report prepared by the Secretariat and agreed that an aggregated version of the report should be publicly released and included with the communiqué – the trend report is provided at the following link below:

The Council was provided with an update on the first meeting of the Apprentice and Young Workers Safety Advisory Committee, which was formed in response to a request from the Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations following a number of serious injuries to young workers in the Territory. Terms of Reference have been agreed by the Committee which comprises employee representatives, training organisations and employer organisations. The focus will on considering the adequacy of existing regulatory frameworks and guidance materials; informing the Work Safety Council on the current state of workplace safety management and practices with regard to apprentices, trainees and young workers; and facilitating partnerships to drive industry safety improvements for this vulnerable group of workers through awareness, training and consultation. It is anticipated that this fixed-term Committee will meet monthly.

Members were provided with an update by the Occupational Violence Advisory Committee. Work is continuing on raising awareness that occupational violence in schools and hospitals is not acceptable.

The Council was provided with an update on the latest meeting of the Construction Safety Advisory Committee. The Council endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that the Council recommend to the Minister that the nationally accredited Working Safely with Asbestos course be mandated in legislation for certain occupations and workers who may undertake minor routine maintenance work involving asbestos containing material.

The ACT Work Safety Commissioner provided the Council with an update on the recent activities of WorkSafe ACT. Members were informed that there were 1427 workplace visits in the period July-October 2017. A major focus is currently on young workers, with audits of workplaces employing young workers scheduled for the coming weeks.

Additional matters discussed by the Council included:

Next Meeting scheduled for March 2018.

Contact

For information about the ACT Work Safety Council please email ACTWorkSafetyCouncil.Secretariat@act.gov.au