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                      Everything you need to know                        


Workplace Fatality leads to a Fine


Recently, a building material manufacturer in Queensland was fined $215,000 after pleading guilty after a worker was crushed to death.

The experienced plant operator was found crushed in a raised scissor hoist which was part of an interleaver phaser machine (IPM). The IPM includes hoists, loaders, a guillotine, a gluing machine and scrap bins to process and configure fibre cement building products. As a result, the company was also charged with having failed to meet its work health and safety duties.
 
In this case, the employer had taken a number of steps to manage the hoists safety, but the court decided they should have done more. The lesson is, you must take all practicable steps to manage the hazards.
 
Regardless of the cause, fatal accidents in the workplace cause significant stress on workers and business owners alike. These stresses include emotional, psychological, resource and financial pressures to name a few. Management Liability Insurance has made a significant difference for businesses with respect to legal costs for participating in investigations and we recommend that you maintaining an effective policy for this.
 
For more information, contact our ME Safety team on 1300 889 198
 

Fire


Avoid a Fair Work Christmas Party Hangover


The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has upheld the sacking of a BHP Coal mineworker (first employee) and reinstated another employee (second employee) for alleged misconduct at a company Christmas Party last year.

The employees were believed to have punched a supervisor in the face and one of the employees went on to ask a colleague inappropriate and personal questions. BHP dismissed both employees in January 2019 after an internal investigation found they had punched the supervisor several times, injuring his nose and forehead. BHP described the conduct as serious breaches of its code of conduct, finding they failed to meet its respect, harassment and bullying obligations.

In the FWC findings, the first employee was found to have punched the supervisor in the head and "in all circumstances" his dismissal was not unfair.

However the second employee contended that he did not punch the supervisor, which the FWC found to be true and found that BHP did not have a valid reason to dismiss the second operator. BHP was ordered to return the second operator to his role and confer with him to reach an amount for lost remuneration.
 
Duty of Care

With the upcoming festive season fast approaching and end-of-year celebrations in the diary. it's timely to remind employers than your duty of care applies to your employees at Christmas parties - the same as it would if they were at work.
 
Employers need to make sure employees understand what behaviour and conduct is acceptable, and what the repercussions could be if misconduct occurs. Employers may be liable for inappropriate behaviour, including discrimination, workplace harassment, bullying or even sexual harassment of employees at work Christmas parties. As shown in the BHP case, it is important that employers conduct workplace investigations to accurately determine what conduct has and has not occurred before making decisions to terminate workers.

For additional support or advice, contact our Workplace Relations team on 1300 889 198
 


Industry Benchmark Survey 2019

The purpose of our Industry Benchmark Survey is to gather industry data about a range of issues – including charge out rates. You will receive a copy of the results in the form of a report, providing information about charge out rates at both national and state levels. Our survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

All completed surveys will go into the draw to win one FLUKE Electrical Tester T5-600. The draw will take place two weeks after the survey closing date.

The Survey will close at midnight on 23 December 2019.


Privacy: Please note that your results will remain confidential. Only aggregated data will be provided in the results data and your name will NOT be linked to any responses.
 

NEWS & EVENTS
BY STATE

national

NATIONAL

EVENTS: **LAST CHANCE**16 Nov, National Excellence Awards 2019
TRAINING: Courses located Nationally

NSW/ACT

NSW/ACT

QLD

QLD

SA/NT

SA/NT

VIC/TAS

VIC/TAS

WA

WA



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 Master Electricians Australia
T: 1300 889 198

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