Under new regulations issued by WorkSafe Victoria under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware that a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis. The regulations will help reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace arising from COVID-19. Timely notification of potential workplace transmission of COVID-19 is critical to manage the related health and safety risks, and the prompt investigation of potential breaches of employer duties.
Today, the Workers Compensation Amendment (Consequential COVID-19 Matters) Regulation 2020 commenced to support recent legislation that introduced a presumption for some COVID-19 affected workers.
The presumption means that workers in prescribed employment who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are automatically presumed to have contracted the disease in the course of their employment. These workers have a presumptive right to workers compensation.
US research published in 2020 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has found that several behaviours that contribute to higher health risks — such as smoking and binge drinking — are more prevalent among construction workers than workers in other industries.
Construction work can be physically demanding, with workers exposed to many chemical and physical workplace hazards, such as falls, which account for about one-third of the total number of fatalities in this industry. Previous studies suggested that construction workers who exhibit certain health risk behaviours may be more likely to experience work-related injuries. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researchers investigated how common health risk behaviours are among this workforce.
The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has setup this webpage to assist our members with addressing the growing and looming issues of prolonged economic impacts, disruption to the construction industry, and health and wellbeing of the Australian population in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Planning, collaboration, and leadership for the industry is urgently needed to mitigate the very real possibilities that threaten the construction industry, a major driver of the Australian economy. Further, with the growing number of people infected or staying away from workplaces due to fear of infection or restrictions on trade, this is having a major impact on the construction industry and the Australian workforce as a whole.
The Australian Building and Construction Industry Blueprint for Better Mental Health and Suicide prevention
What is the Blueprint?
Following the 2016 Construction Industry Mental Health Roundtable initiated by MATES in Construction and Beyond Blue, The Blueprint was developed to address significantly higher rates of suicide and mental health issues amongst our workers when compared with the general population.
The roundtable group, comprised of mental health and industry representatives, adopted a shared vision of where the future industry should be positioned around mental health and suicide, with the strategy necessary to achieve changes including workplace cultures and legislation.
Safe Work Australia has provided new resources to reduce prolonged sitting when working from home.
The authority says that one of the most significant factors impacting work health and safety when working from home is prolonged sitting.
In a Bill passed by the NSW Parliament earlier this month, a number of reforms were enacted that will make the lives of workers and business owners healthier, safer and more productive.
All businesses and organisations in NSW need to protect staff, workers, customers and visitors from COVID-19. This applies whether your business has stayed open, or is reopening as restrictions are eased.
Having a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place can help you keep track of what you need to do in your business or organisation.
Spatial distancing and personal face mask use could help enable a safer lifting of coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced restrictions around the world, according to a comment published in The Lancet by Professor Raina MacIntyre from UNSW Sydney’s Kirby Institute. The comment addresses a World Health Organizaton (WHO) commissioned systematic review by Chu et al. which analysed all available studies on SARS, MERS CoV and SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), in order to understand more about the true impact of physical distancing, face masks and eye protection for the prevention of COVID-19.
As businesses across Australia prepare to reopen following coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdowns, New South Wales Health (NSW Health) and industry bodies and experts are reminding building owners and occupiers of their legal obligation to ensure air-conditioning cooling towers are properly maintained, to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease — caused by infection with the Legionella pneumophila bacteria.
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