SAFETY SOLUTIONS FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
ON THE COVER
Work safely at heights
height safety specialist, recently completed
Constructing a healthy work environment
highest external building walk - on the
Safety innovations at Safety In Action 2012
Safety harmonisation: finding your seat now that the music has stopped
Assessment, reporting and management system to improve height safety
Industrial relations in 2012
RIS has worked on many large projects in
challenging in the fabrication area. As the
In my opinion
Roofsafe Industrial Safety (RIS), an Australian the SkyPoint Climb project - Australia’s
Q1 building in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The SkyPoint Climb takes climbers on a guided journey reaching 270 m in the air atop the Q1 building. It overlooks the Gold Coast shoreline with views south to Cape Byron and north to Brisbane. the past but nothing as specialised and company was not able to load parts of the structure into place via crane or helicopter, every piece of the climb had to be manoeuvred into the goods lift and then out onto the roof area. The parts were then installed by the company’s level 2 and 3 IRATA rope technicians by rigged lines. RIS’s strong engineering and manufacturing capabilities ensured there were minimal problems connecting and bolting the 298 stair components and stainless steel handrail that surround the crown of the Q1 to the top. The RIS SafeRail system, the company’s latest proprietary system, was installed on this project. This patented system operates both in vertical and horizontal mode allowing free movement of users. It also keeps the users safe as fall prevention is provided in every direction. The project was challenging as the Q1 remained open for business through the entire build. The end result was a fully operational adventure climb with zero incidents in one of the most elevated and
NOW in DIGITAL! Your copy of Safety Solutions is now available as an online eMag.
exposed worksites. Roofsafe Industrial Safety www.rissafety.com
WORK SAFELY AT HEIGHTS
© iStockphoto.com/Joe Gough
Gordon Cadzow, Secretary, Working at Height Association
4 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
There currently exists much inconsistency and regulatory burden across state boundaries with regard to workplace health and safety legislation. While the federal government has proposed ‘harmonisation’ of the legislation, there is still some confusion around the timing of the full implementation of the proposal. The slipping timescale should not be used as an excuse to delay the implementation of the intent of the new legislation.
armonisation is based on a model Work Health and Safety Act (WHSA) supported by model Work Health and Safety Regulations (WHSR) with the expectation that these pieces of legislation will be adopted in each jurisdiction. Under the proposed scheme, the Regulations will be administered by each state’s regulatory authority and Comcare, with the Heads of Workplace Safety Authority (HWSA) in each jurisdiction charged with maintaining consistency across boundaries. This will be followed by a harmonisation of the workers compensation process. The Regulations will reference a large number of codes of practice which are recommendations on safety issues and are not mandated. However, if the codes are not followed, there will be a requirement to prove that the alternative method of operation adopted provides as good an - or a better - outcome. The codes of practice will reference Australian Standards, but only where the Australian Standards organisation commits to keeping the standards up to date. Overseas standards will also be accepted where they are considered to offer an equal or higher level of safety.
Codes of practice An approved code of practice is a practical guide aiming to achieve the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the WHS Regulations. A code of practice applies to anyone who has a duty of care in the circumstances described in the code. In most cases, following an approved code of practice would achieve compliance with the health and safety duties in the WHS Act, in relation to the subject matter of the code. Like Regulations, codes of practice deal with specific issues and do not cover all hazards or risks which may arise. The health and safety duties require duty holders to consider all risks associated with work, not only those for which regulations and codes of practice exist.
Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under the WHS Act and Regulations. Courts may regard a code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard, risk or control and may rely on the code in determining what is reasonably practicable in the circumstances to which the code relates. Compliance with the WHS Act and Regulations may be achieved by following another method, such as a technical or an industry standard, if it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety than the code. An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice. Codes of Practice have been developed by Safe Work Australia as model Codes of Practice under the Council of Australian Government’s Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety for adoption by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. In codes of practice, the word “should” is used to indicate a recommended course of action, while “may” is used to indicate an optional course of action. The words “must”, “requires” or “mandatory” indicate that a legal requirement exists and must be complied with. Codes also include various references to provisions of the WHS Act and Regulations which set out the legal requirements. These references are not exhaustive. The key changes regarding the legislation harmonisation can be summarised as follows:
Duty holder The primary duty of care for ensuring the health and safety of workers who are engaged by the person lies with the Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU). It also covers workers whose activities are influenced or directed by the person. The ‘person’ may be an organisation or an individual and the Act also states that a person conducts a business or an undertaking whether it is conducted alone
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 5
THE ACT PLACES A DUTY TO EXERCISE DUE DILIGENCE ON INDIVIDUALS DESCRIBED AS OFFICERS, AS DEFINED UNDER THE CORPORATIONS ACT 2001. THE KEY CHANGE HERE IS THE INCLUSION OF A PERSON WHO “MAKES, OR PARTICIPATES IN MAKING DECISIONS THAT AFFECT THE WHOLE OR A SUBSTANTIAL PART OF THE BUSINESS”.
or together with others - and whether or not it is conducted for profit or gain. This definition moves away from the traditional stricter employer/employee relationship and has a much wider scope by removing the need to prove an employment, or deemed employment, relationship.
indicate a five-day training schedule. HSRs will have the power to issue provisional improvement notices and, if necessary, direct the cessation of work. They also have responsibilities to investigate complaints from workers and make other enquiries in respect of worker safety.
To achieve a prosecution it would have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that the officer did not exercise due diligence in his duties and responsibilities for worker health and safety. To defend against prosecution the officer should be able to demonstrate the steps taken to exercise due diligence.
Having increased the range of the duty holder, the legislation also increases the responsibility on the worker by requiring the worker to take reasonable care of their own safety including complying with reasonable policies and procedures that they have been made aware of. The worker has also been empowered to be able to cease work if it is deemed unsafe by the worker.
The health and safety duty of officers requires them to take reasonable steps to exercise due diligence to ensure compliance by the PCBU with its health and safety obligations. This requires them to keep up to date with knowledge of work health and safety matters and an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking, and generally the hazards and risks associated with the operations.
Duty holders must consult with other duty holders that have a duty in respect of the same matter. This covers other workers, contractors and unrelated businesses on the same site. The process of consultation has been expanded to include the opportunity for workers to contribute to the decisionmaking processes around safe work.
Health and Safety Representative (HSR)
On request from any single worker, workers can be grouped into ‘work groups’ and can elect a member to represent them. In such cases, a proper election process must be followed with the representative being appointed for a period of three years. HSRs must undergo formal training and work is still underway to define the competencies to be covered. The most recent proposals
The Act places a duty to exercise due diligence on individuals described as officers, as defined under the Corporations Act 2001. The key change here is the inclusion of a person who “makes, or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of the business”. There is no need to prove liability by the company, and the officer has direct liability.
Right of entry Right of entry must be given to union officials holding a permit where a contravention is suspected. No notice is required prior to entry but must be given as soon as practicable after entry. The permit holders may inspect plant and systems, consult with workers, inspect records and take copies of documents that are directly relevant.
Penalties Level of protection
Reliability of control
Elimination of the height safety hazard through redesign. Eliminate the need to work at height.
Substitute the height safety hazard with something safer eg, use an EWP.
Isolate the height safety hazard from people eg. implement lock out systems.
Reduce the risk through engineering controls eg. use guard rails or walkway systems.
Use administration systems to control access eg. permit to work systems.
Use of personal protective equipment
Use of fall protection equipment (anchor systems, harnesses, shock absorbing lanyards etc) in conjunction with work method statements.
There are three categories of offences each carrying substantial penalties in a criminal jurisdiction:
6 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Offences causing or with high risk of causing death or serious injury involving recklessness: • Corporation - $3m • Officer - $600,000 or five years imprisonment • Individual/Worker - $300,000 or five years’ imprisonment
Category 2 Least
Offences causing or with high risk of causing death or serious injury not involving recklessness: • Corporation - $1.5 million • Officer - $300,000 • Individual/Worker - $150,000
because we all are different...
MSA AUSTRALIA - HEAD OFFICE MSA (Aust.) Pty. Limited 137 Gilba Road, GIRRAWEEN NSW 2145 AUSTRALIA Ph: 1300 728 672 Email: aus.customerservice@MSAnet.com Web: www.msa.net.au
MSA AUSTRALIA - PERTH OFFICE MSA (Aust.) Pty. Limited 4 Iron Road, MALAGA WA 6090 AUSTRALIA Ph: (08) 9247 8900 Email: perth.customerservice@MSAnet.com Web: www.msa.net.au
MSA NEW ZEALAND The Gate, Unit E 373 Neilson Street, Onehunga AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND Ph: 0800 441 335 Email: nzcusserv@MSAnet.com Web: www.msa.net.au
THE NEW LEGISLATION SHOULD NOT SIMPLY FORCE MORE DETAILED EXAMINATION OF NEW TASKS BUT SHOULD INCLUDE A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF EXISTING WORKING AT HEIGHT OPERATIONS TO ENSURE THE LATEST TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED UNDER THE
HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT HEIGHT
Category 3 Less serious offences - placing persons at risk of injury or illness: • Corporation - $500,000 • Officer - $100,000 • Individual/Worker - $50,000
Effect on height safety While much of the detail of the new legislation has changed, the legislation has retained the general duty that workplaces are, as far as reasonable, safe and without risk to the health of persons. The procedures to ensure a safe workplace are still risk based but require an increased level of consultation and risk management. Working at height has been formally classified as a high-risk activity in the legislation. All those involved in that activity need to consider their position relative to due diligence by keeping up to date with industry standards. The new prime code of practice for working at heights is ‘How to Prevent Falls at Workplaces’ supported by codes of practice on ‘Preventing Falls in Housing Construction’ and ‘Managing Risks in Construction Work’. The codes of practice make reference to Australian Standards in the provision of guidelines for more specific hazard risks. The codes of practice recommend that risk to safety is reviewed in accordance with the Hierarchy of Risk Control. Under this concept for each potential working at height issue, hazard identification should be completed to determine the likelihood and potential severity of injury, with solutions being determined using the hierarchy of control. All attempts should be made to secure the highest level of protection, which provides the most reliable level of control. Where those attempts fail and there appear to be no alternatives to working at height, the opportunity should be taken to seek some professional advice from a height safety specialist company. While the specialist advice may include alternative solutions that can prevent the need to work at height, advice on the correct approach and work
method when required can also be sought. Such advice can extend from the design of specialist equipment or the recommendation of standard equipment, the writing of work method statements, the provision of operator training and certification, and implementing procedures for ongoing equipment inspection and recording. The new legislation should not simply force more detailed examination of new tasks but should include a comprehensive review of existing working at height operations to ensure the latest techniques and equipment have been considered under the due diligence procedure. Taking specialist professional advice will not only demonstrate due diligence on the part of the officer but will also have the effect of sharing the risk.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) The Hierarchy of Control talks about the use of PPE. For foot, hand or eye protection this may be a single item. However, in working at height applications PPE comprises a number of critical components, including static lines, ladder systems, full body harnesses, lanyards, shock absorbers, anchor points and so on, that must all work in perfect harmony to provide the required level of safety. As well as the equipment itself, the method in which it is used as well as the skill and competence of the operator
8 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY
has also to be ensured. Again, specialist advice should be sought wherever possible. The new harmonised legislation is now rolling into the market and officers and employees should be working together with industry experts to ensure they comply. Such a review will not only re-enforce their duty of care and due diligence process but will also increase their protection both from the risks associated with working at height and from the risks of not complying with the new harmonised WHS legislation. The Working at Height Association (WAHA) has been formed on the back of the recently expanded Fall Protection Manufacturers Association (FPMA). WAHA aims to be considered the industry peak body on working at height issues. Height safety specialist member categories now include full- and part-line manufacturers, equipment designers and installers, height safety equipment distributors and height safety training organisations. All specialists in height safety remain members of WAHA, representing their ongoing commitment to developing, operating and promoting the use of the highest standards of safety where people are required to work at height. WAHA advocates proactive communication with its members for the best advice on working at height issues.
Working at Height Association http://www.fpma.com.au
© iStockphoto.com/Dwight Smith
DUE DILIGENCE PROCEDURE.
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Stereo earmuffs The Sync stereo earmuff from Stanley delivers both hearing protection and listening enjoyment in hazardous noise environments. It can be used with a user’s own MP3 player, mobile phone and other personal audio devices, making it suitable for use at work or at home. Featuring an SLC80 rating of 31 dB Class 5, the product provides consistent hearing protection and ensures appropriate attenuation in most industrial environments. The Volume Management Technology manages sound levels reaching the user’s ear to a safe level, well within Standards Australia’s recommended 85 dBA Action Level. The acoustical bass chamber enhances bass sounds that are typically sacrificed in industrial stereo earmuffs, and there are no volume knobs or power switches to coordinate or batteries to replace. With earcup designs inspired by professional DJ models, the sound quality is on par with that of other professional and high-end personal headphones, while the Air Flow Control Technology provides higher attenuation across all noise frequencies. The product has a stylish design, with comfort and fit ensured by the padded diamondpatterned headband and reinforced forkslides that keep it in place when worn. The telescoping height adjustment can be modified for individual settings and personalised comfort, and remains
fixed during use.
The Confidence Plus Germicidal
The earmuffs feature a comfortable contact surface which breathes easier in warm and humid
Cleaner germicidal formulation can
climates, while the robust construction withstands rough treatment in tough work environments.
be used for cleaning, sanitising
Honeywell Safety Products Australia Pty Ltd
and disinfecting hard, non-porous
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M604
surfaces of personal protective equipment (PPE). Users simply
Heavy-duty safety gumboots The Oliver WB 22-205 series gumboots are available in a distinctive green colour in sizes 5-13, with two trim heights. The boot is formed from heavy duty PVC/nitrile with an extra deep, open-tread sole pattern to ensure greater stability and less dirt retention within the sole. It contains METprotect metatarsal protection; a raised reinforced PVC band across the impact strike zone on the front face of the foot. A further reinforced PVC design provides greater ankle joint support and protection against impacts. Manufactured in compliance with AS/NZS 2210.3, the sole provides good stability and grip on uneven or loose surfaces. It has superior cut, slip and crack resistance and resistance to solvents, mild alkalis, some chemicals and oils and fats. The outsole is heat resistant to 130°C of surface contact and the STEELflex steel midsole provides protection against the risk of injuries resulting from penetration by sharp objects. The boot’s comfort system includes a NANOlite footbed where the gently raised surface of the footbed massages the foot when walking to increase blood flow and reduce fatigue. The boot’s Natureform Type 1 toe cap comes in a wider design so that toes are not compressed and to avoid contact with the toe cap, for greater comfort. A reflective hi-visibility heel, together with a kick-off spur, enables the gumboot to be easily removed. Internal to the boot, trouser grips prevent clothing from working out of the boot. Oliver Footwear Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M501
10 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
mix the cleaner with warm water for a clear, stable solution. The product includes a built-in measuring cup for easy mixing and is suitable for use on hard hats, face shields, goggles, spectacles, protective headgear, hearing protectors, gas masks and SCBA. The disinfectant is effective against a wide variety of gramnegative and gram-positive organisms. It kills: Salmonella choleraesuis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), Influenza virus, Herpes Simplex, and Vaccinia. The cleaner is registered with the Federal EPA and tested by independent laboratories using current AOAC use-dilution methods. MSA Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L412
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RANGE II HARNESS OFFERING GREAT NEW FEATURES, SAME DEPENDABLE RELIABILITY.
REPELTM Technology Webbing
Water repellent to reduce attraction of mould and dirt – up to 5 times more abrasion resistance.
Rip-stitch indicator allows the user to quickly and easily inspect the harness for impact loading.
Laminated PVC labels resistant to abrasion, UV, ambient heat, water and a wide range of chemicals. Features permanent indented print of critical product information ensuring it remains visable for the life of the harness.
Quick Connect Buckles Offers one-handed operation and smooth adjustment.
i-SafeTM Intelligent Safety System i-SafeTM enabled to track inspections, control inventory and manage information.
Contact Capital Safety for more information on DBI-SALA’s range of Delta II Harnesses or visit www.deltaII.capitalsafety.com.au. Alternatively scan the QR Code to the right with your smart phone’s QR scanner/reader. (QR readers are available for free from your mobiles app store).
www.capitalsafety.com.au Quality ISO 9001
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A CAPITAL SAFETY BRAND
Safety boots The Heroes collection of safety boots have been designed for comfort during long working days in tough environments. Dual-density soles, tri-density PU insoles and thick poron inserts provide cushioning under foot, even in harsh terrain. The boots have padded collars and tongues, breathable linings, spacious steel toe caps and a generous comfort fitting. Functionality is enhanced through flex grooves in the sole and preformed curving at the toe. The rubber nitrile outsoles are heat, oil and acid resistant and every pair features an external TPU bump cap to further protect and extend lifespan and durability. A torsion stabiliser provides good surety under foot and helps reduce the risk of ankle roll. Bata Shoe Company of Australia Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M503
Tool lanyards Klinch tool tethers are a fast and ef-
Travel restraint/fall arrest
ficient tool lanyard system allowing
The Tether Plate is a travel restraint and fall arrest device that can be used on
users to safely and securely carry
metal-clad roofs. It can be used as a stand-alone diversionary roof anchor or it can
and use tools at heights, in con-
be used in conjunction with the T-bar roof anchor. This device gives the operator
fined spaces and over/under water.
the advantage of a 360째 working area on the roof surface with continuous travel
It provides the flexibility of using multiple
tools and the ability to switch the tools
The tether plate is a diversionary anchor point used for travel restraint application.
between hands and dock them; all the
It can be used on metal-clad roofs fixing directly to the metal surface with a minimum
while ensuring the tools are safely con-
of four AS NZ1891.4 recommended roof screws. It can also be used on trim-deck roofs.
nected to the user or their work platform.
The device should only be used by those who have completed a roof safety train-
The system is suitable for scaffolding,
ing course that is RTO accredited. A full understanding of the Act, regulations and
rigging, and installation and maintenance
advisory standards is essential.
work at height. It is lightweight, durable
and available with stainless steel clips for
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L837
usage in corrosive environments. The system entails a short lanyard for each tool, a dock that the lanyard locks
onto and wrist mounts that the lanyard automatically switches to. The system
The UniSafe Windy Hill safety
does not rely on retractable cords or
spectacles provide medium-
magnets; it just uses a spring-loaded
impact protection in a functional
mechanical lock. Docks can be easily
wraparound style. Side arms in-
fitted onto standard 50 mm tool belts,
corporate integrated side shields
fitted to tool bags or work platforms.
and insert grip pads providing good
The system is for usage with tools up
coverage, product security and comfort. The spectacles provides 100% UV protection, making them suitable for outdoor applications, and they are available in clear, smoke, light brown, amber, blue mirror and silver mirror lenses.
to 3 kg and is designed to breakaway (at significant force) if tools become entrapped in structures or machinery. Klinch tool tethers were a recipient of
The spectacles are suitable for applications including cutting, non-
a 2011 Australian International Design
hazardous liquids, lathe work, sawing, chipping, riveting, glare and solar
Award in the Building and Housing
radiation. Features include: antifog lens (clear, light brown, amber and
smoke only); antiscratch lens; certified to AS/NZS 1337.1:2010. Scott Safety Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/P154
12 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Rocka Devices Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M647
CONSTRUCTING A HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT
2,000 people commit suicide every year and more than three out of four suicides are men. The suicide rate for young workers in the Queensland construction industry is more than two times higher than the national average for men - this means a construction worker is up to six times more likely to die from suicide than from an accident at work. To address this problem, Queensland's construction industry workers established a charity, MATES in Construction. The organisation works to improve the mental health and wellbeing of workers through a range of different training programs and initiatives.
t is estimated that up to 200,000 Australians attempt suicide every year. Studies have shown that 5 to 6% of the population (1 in 20 or over 1 million Australians) will consider suicide over a 12 month period1. A study conducted by the Queensland commercial building and construction industry found that mortality rates from suicide were significantly higher than the already very high mortality rate from suicide in Australia generally. In fact, a construction worker was 1.75 times more likely to die from suicide than an average Australian man. If the construction worker is between 15 and 24 years of age, the chances of dying from suicide was found to be more than two times higher than for other Australian men of a similar age2. To put these figures into context, a Queensland construction worker is six times more likely to die from suicide than a fatal accident on site, and for young workers, the likelihood is almost 10 times greater.
‘Mates helping mates’ The Queensland construction industry developed MATES in Construction. In essence, MATES in Construction is about ‘mates helping mates’ within an ‘industry helping industry' framework. Since its launch in October 2008, the program has spread like wildfire throughout the industry.
14 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Currently more than 160 sites are participating, involving more than 17,000 workers. In late 2011, the program was also established in Perth, Western Australia with 1,500 workers now trained in suicide awareness and prevention. The MATES in Construction program has been awarded the prestigious national LIFE Award (Business and Industry) three years in a row (2009, 2010 and 2011) as the nation’s best workplace-based suicide prevention program. The MIC Program is simple and easy to run in the workplace and has proven to be extremely effective in raising awareness, improving help seeking and assisting workers in need 3. MIC’s aim is for every Queensland construction site to be MIC accredited with the right mix of workers trained in suicide awareness and prevention. The three training sessions (explained below) that form the program are about helping workers to look after their mates and ensuring that they can easily connect to high-quality help.
General awareness training An initial general awareness training (GAT) session is held for all workers on a participating site. The site then conducts top-up sessions to ensure that 80% or more of all workers on site have done the GAT training. GAT takes about an hour and discusses
concerns them or if they are struggling themselves. Connectors are trained to keep the person safe and then connect them to a suicide first-aid resource.
© iStockphoto.com/MACIEJ NOSKOWSKI
ASIST suicide first-aid
the issue of suicide, the signs of emotional distress and how to get help. Workers can ask for help at this point. MIC has found that 3 to 5% do ask for help. During GAT, or at any time, workers can also nominate to become a 'Connector.' On a participating site, 5% of workers are trained as Connectors, a mate who can keep you safe while connecting the struggling worker to help. A study in Western Australia has shown that construction workers’ awareness of mental health issues, and suicide in particular, is fairly low and opinions are often based on popular myths 4. Once implemented, the program works by having all workers keep an eye out for each other. Through GAT, mental health issues are de-stigmatised and discussion is opened up.
Connector training Connector training is run on site and takes four hours. The site will ensure they have access to a suicide first-aid resource an ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) worker. This may be a safety officer or first aid officer on site, or the site may use MATES in Construction Field Officers as ASIST workers when required. Having Connectors clearly visible on sites makes it easy for workers to act if they see behaviour that
Suicide first-aid ASIST training can be compared to ordinary CPR. It is not treatment or aimed at fixing the problem, but part of the initial and often lifesaving first response. It involves an assessment of the situation and an appropriate response to keep the person safe. Once safe, the person is passed on to the MATES in Construction case manager who establishes a plan with the person at risk to deal with the underlying issues causing the crisis in the first place (social situations, loss, financial stress, mental illness). Of the 17,000 participating workers, 1,300 went on to become Connectors and 250 of these have become ASIST workers. As the network is decentralised, it is impossible to estimate exactly how many workers have been helped by the program or even how many lives has been saved by these volunteers. However, what MIC does know is that more than 1,200 workers have received case management following this process. MATES in Construction connects two to three workers to help every day and its field officers intervene in a workers suicide plans once or twice per week. Through the support of the industry, employers, workers, unions, industry funds and state government there are families who still have a father today. MATES in Construction is a registered charity available to the industry at no charge. For more information about MATES in Construction visit matesinconstruction.org.au Ramsay, R.F. & Bagley, C. (1985). The prevalence of suicidal behaviours, attitudes and associated social experiences in an urban population. The Journal of Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviours, 15 (3), 151-167. 1
Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (2006) Suicide in Queensland’s Commercial Building and Construction Industry - An investigation of factors associated with suicide and recommendations for the prevention of suicide. Griffith University. Brisbane. 2
Gullestrup J, Lequertier B & Martin G (2011) MATES in Construction: Impact of a Multimodal, Community-Based Program for Suicide Prevention in the Construction Industry. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2011, 8, 4180-4196. 3
Sellenger Centre for Research in Law, Justice and Social Change (2012). Construction site employees: Edit Cowan University 1 Life Suicide Prevention Strategy Research Report. Edith Cowan University, Perth. 4
MATES in Construction Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M679
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 15
Pouch first-aid kit Compact, lightweight and durable, Livingstone International’s Everyday First Aid Kit is sized to fit into most bags and compartments, making it suitable to efficiently manage everyday mishaps and emergencies.
Hard hat brim
Its strong nylon pouch contains 25 products, in-
Hard hats, designed to protect heads, do not always
cluding bandages, scissors, an emergency blanket,
provide sufficient shade from the sun and harmful UV rays
swabs, burn gel, latex gloves, sterile eye pads, safety
for those working outdoors. The Newcastle Hats hard hat
pins and a splinter probe.
brim provides outdoor workers with good sun protection
Livingstone International Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/P125
along with the safety afforded by hard hats. Fully manufactured in Australia to ensure good quality, the brim is lightweight, durable and can be washed. The fastening loops ensure that the brim stays in place
Large volume/high pressure gas cylinder The CAC Gas 10 L high-pressure cylinder with gas capacity of 1500 L is a suitable alternative for users who are currently consuming multiple 58 L cylinders per year. The cylinder replaces the need for purchasing 25 x 58 L cylinders and reduces the cost of calibration gas,
no matter what the work conditions. The standard brim is designed to fit traditional hard hats, however some new styles of hard hats require a larger head hole and differently positioned fasteners. These are available to suit the Protector HC600 and MSA Coolguard helmets. They are available with large legionnaire flaps that reach the shoulders to provide good sun protection. Newcastle Hats Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M290
improves efficiency, reduces the frequency and cost of purchasing cylinders and reduces waste. For mixtures such as H2S/CO/CH4/O2, the 1500 L cylinder has a two-year shelf life. It is said to be an economical choice for those using as few as 12 x 58 L cylinders. Capable of using on-demand flow regulators and pressure regulators, the 1500 L cylinder can be put to use with minor adjustments. The company charges no cylinder rental fees and users simply return the empty cylinder for a refund on their next gas purchase.
Earplugs The Umatta disposable earplugs are designed to combat noise-induced hearing loss and are certified to AS/NZS 1270 Class 5, SLC (80), 27 dB. Available as individual plugs or corded together, they are manufactured from high quality polyurethane foam which is hypoallergenic, smooth and soft.
CAC Gas & Instrumentation
The plugs are sealed on the sur-
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/P211
face to prevent foreign materials penetrating the ear, which adds to wearer comfort, even when worn for extended periods of time. The distinct blue colour also makes identification easier in production areas and limits risks of contamination in production processes. The plugs are coneshaped for easy insertion and a gentle rolling action creates a good seal.
BOC Limited Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M497
16 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
AT SAFETY IN ACTION 2012
The climate of workplace safety is a confusing one at the moment, with some States adopting OHS harmonisation and others failing to do so. No matter what your business situation, Safety In Action 2012 will provide you with the latest tips and innovations in safety technology.
afety In Action, to be held concurrently with Melbourne Materials Handling at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on 17-19 April, will give safety managers and supervisors a convenient and effective way to keep track of safety innovation. Companies across different industry sub-sectors, such as personal protective equipment, machine guarding, height safety, confined space equipment, health and safety management software, electrical safety, fire safety and evacuation, legislation advisory organisations, building safety, training providers, gas detection, spill control, hazardous goods handling and more will be exhibiting at the show. One interesting new development is ViSafe: wireless sensor technology that measures movements and muscle activity of the lower back, shoulder and upper and lower limbs for people performing work tasks. To be demonstrated at the dorsaVi stand, ViSafe uses small, low profile sensors, so workers can wear them unimpeded over a whole day while they perform their usual work tasks. The data is recorded and assessed to provide an objective picture of how people move at work so that organisations can then develop strategies to eliminate, reduce or better manage physical effort and injury risks. Health at Work is a firm that provides health and wellbeing services to corporations and industry Australia-wide, with programs designed to increase employee productivity, decrease absenteeism and reduce injury claims. The firm will showcase many of these
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services including health checks, massage and nutrition, sun awareness and skin checks and cutting-edge stress resilience. The aim is to empower a business’ most valuable resource - it's employees - to better look after their health and safety. Safety In Action will feature a range of work wear, including: Huski safety wear, outdoor workwear, reflective jackets and high visibility industrial workwear and uniforms; Wujiang Hangseng Knitting’s range of safety wear for hospital, medical, healthcare and other industries; Terry Safety Footwear; and Italian sports brand Diadora’s new range of Utility Safety Boots. The Victorian Government, through WorkSafe Victoria, will offer free, quick and confidential WorkHealth checks on all three days of Safety In Action. The checks test for risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two of the most common yet preventable chronic diseases, and take just 15 minutes. These are but a sample of a vast amount of products and services aimed at improving safety, which will be of interest to managers, including those in charge of offices, warehouses, logistics, despatch, OHS, risk, unions, plant, project management, emergency services, rehabilitation and occupational therapy. To register or for more information, go to safetyinaction.net.au or call 03 8672 1200.
Australian Exhibitions & Conferences Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M452
NEW White Papers
now available online!
Portable gas detection for safety in confined spaces In today’s working environment, confined spaces are ongoing areas of review. Nearly all workers can expect to come in contact with a gas detector during their working career but few have the opportunity to understand the basics. Are you safe?
Push-button regulator The PBR-100 push-button regulator is available in four different flow rates. The original flow rate of 0.5 L/min has now been extended to 1.0, 2.0 and 10 L/min rates. These fixed flow rates provide solutions for users that require high flow rates for specific applications. The easy-to-use regulator has a simple push-button on the top of the regulator allowing gas flow for the time the button is depressed. The fixed flow regulator can be used with all disposable cylinders with C10 valves. The regulator is suitable for bump/function test applications, fixed system sensor calibration or any application where temporary flow rates are required without the concern of leaving gas values running. Nickel-plated
Oxygen measurement on air separation plants Industry consumes vast quantities of oxygen and nitrogen annually, all of which is obtained from the air around us. There are two main techniques used to separate these two primary gases from air. These processes are cryogenic separation and pressure swing adsorption (PSA).
Machine safety directions in Australia ABB Australia Pty Limited, Jokab Safety business development manager, Ken Robertson addresses in this white paper the Australian OHS requirements for machine safety and discusses how these might be put into practice in developing appropriate machine safety solutions in industry. A critical part of this process involves identifying appropriate safety categories that are required in each situation.
brass construction makes it useable with all non-corrosive gases as well as H2S, SO2 and other corrosive gases. It can be used as a stand-alone regulator or as part of a complex gas distribution system (GDS-100). CAC Gas & Instrumentation Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/P153
Surface barrier The Spillblockerr surface barrier confines and diverts liquids without absorbing them. It creates a leak-proof seal on any surface so liquids can’t pass underneath. The barrier’s flexible polyurethane resists water, oil and most chemicals. It can create any shape or configuration, and users can even join barriers together with optional corners and connectors. It comes in two colours - yellow for high visibility and grime-hiding black. The barrier comes in two types: 6 cm high Spillblock-
Are water operators as safe as they could be? Are water operators as safe as they could be? A recent survey conducted with operators and engineers questions this. This paper summarises the findings of this survey and details explanations for them.
err Rough Surface Barrier to stop liquids on cement or tarmac, and PIGR Spillblockerr Barrier for smooth surfaces. It minimises the area of contamination and lowers clean-up costs. To view the catalogue online, visit: http://www.newpig.com.au/ebook/index.html. Matthews Intelligent Identification Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L816
Self-rescuer respirator A one-time-use device for escape purposes only, it provides respiratory protection against carbon monoxide in otherwise respirable air; it should not be used in atmospheres containing less than 19.5% oxygen or in atmospheres containing other toxic gases and vapours. Features include: can be worn on a belt; provides emergency protection against carbon monoxide gas resulting from underground fires or explosions; claimed total life of 15 years with an in-service life limited to 10 years; rugged stainless steel case; weighs 650 g
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(1050 g with container); NSW Coal Mines registered. MSA Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L416
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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 21
SAFETY HARMONISATION Angus Macinnis*
© iStockphoto.com/auke herrema
FINDING YOUR SEAT NOW THAT THE MUSIC HAS STOPPED
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With the harmonised occupational health and safety laws kicking off in five out of nine Australian jurisdictions, it's time businesses make sure they are familiar with the relevant new regulations. In the article below, Angus Macinnis, Senior Associate, DibbsBarker, Sydney, provides insights on some key issues that need to be considered in relation to the harmonised laws.
o much for safety harmonisation. As at the start of 2012, we can’t even agree on which acronym to use - it’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) for those in the harmonised system (the Commonwealth, the Territories, New South Wales and Queensland) and OHS for everyone else (except, perhaps, the Tasmanians, who have had a Workplace Health and Safety Act since 1995, and the West Australians, whose Act puts “safety” first, so that the acronym is OSH). If that wasn’t bad enough, Queensland (where the changes to safety laws resulting from harmonisation are arguably greater than anywhere else) faces the prospect of 'de-harmonisation - the LNP in Queensland have indicated that they will amend Queensland’s WH&S legislation if elected. So, it’s a mess - or if it’s not, it will do until the mess gets here. However, there is no “it was all too complex and it made my brain hurt” defence in the harmonised WHS legislation. Nor is there a “I didn’t comply with the law because I thought it was going to change” defence for those in Queensland. With that in mind, here are some key issues which you need to consider in relation to the harmonised WHS laws.
Does new language mean new obligations? Adapting to the language used in the harmonised legislation requires more than just crossing out 'OHS' and replacing it with 'WHS' in your policy manuals. There are also important changes in the language used to identify the people who owe duties and the people to whom duties are owed. Getting the labels right is essential to ensuring that all of those duties are correctly identified. Duties which previously fell principally upon employers now fall upon “persons conducting a business or undertaking,” or PCBUs. In most cases, this won’t make a lot of difference to the content of the duties - if you previously owed duties to employees as an employer, you will be in much the same position in relation to those employees, now that you are a PCBU. However, the new language does point out the importance of considering the safety of other people who are affected by the conduct of your business. Who are those other people? In broad terms, they are “workers” and people at “workplaces”. “Workers” is not limited to employees; it includes contractors, sub-contractors, labour hire employees, work experience students and volunteers. Equally, “workplace” is any place where work is carried out and can include vehicles and mobile structures. The fact that you read some work papers on the train on the way home probably doesn’t make the train a workplace, but if your employment requires (or permits) you to work from home, then your home is a workplace. If it is your job to ensure that safety obligations are met you need to know everything about how all the work in your business is performed, and in particular, where that work is
performed and who is performing it (with special attention being given to work which is being performed by “workers” who are not employees). A recent audit of the complete scope of the work in the business will be of great assistance in this regard.
The duties of a PCBU (and how to be duly diligent about them) The harmonised legislation designates a “primary duty of care,” which, in turn, has several facets. The first facet is a duty to ensure the health and safety of both workers engaged by the PCBU and workers whose work is influenced or directed by the PCBU. The second facet is a duty to ensure that the health and safety of other people is not put at risk by the performance of work. Without limiting either of those facets, the “primary duty of care” also picks up matters such as the provision of safe plant, safe systems of work, the provision of adequate facilities and the provision of adequate training. Where a PCBU has a duty, “officers” of PCBUs also have a duty to exercise due diligence to ensure that the PCBU complies with that duty. An officer is defined by reference to section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), which means that in the case of company, both directors and people who make or participate in decisions which affect a substantial part of the company (for example, senior executives). Exercising due diligence requires a number of elements - making sure that the business has appropriate process and resources for minimising risk, understanding the risks which arise in the business, and having up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters generally. Importantly, although the duty to exercise due diligence will usually be exercised (at least in part) by obtaining advice from internal or external safety professionals, the duty is not transferable. If due diligence is not exercised by an officer who, by so doing, recklessly exposes another person to the risk of death or serious injury, that officer will be facing the prospect of a fine of up to $600,000, or up to 5 years’ jail, or both. If it is your job to ensure that safety obligations are met you need to understand what due diligence is, because it is the work which you do which the officers of the business will need to rely on. Given the importance, as part of due diligence, of ensuring that appropriate safety resources are provided, you should also understand the diligence obligations because being able to explain them (and the penalties if they are breached) to officers of the business may provide you with a useful tool to overcome any resistance to the approval of whatever safety resources you have identified as being necessary.
The knock at the door (from inside or out) For safety systems to work well, they have to be constantly assessed - and that assessment may come not just from the PCBU but also from unions, safety regulators and from health
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 23
and safety representatives (HSRs) who work at a workplace. The fact that these assessments may occur in circumstances where there has been a safety incident can make them more tense than that they need to be. The key to avoiding tension is to be ready for the knock on the door long before you hear it. With unions and safety regulators, the first step is reviewing the harmonised legislation so that you understand the powers that each has and the circumstances in which they can be used. However, you may not be the first person at the workplace to see the inspector or the union official, so it is just as important to ensure that the receptionist in the office, or the security guard at the gate, is made aware of the procedure when the inspector calls. Within a workplace, HSRs elected under the harmonised legislation have significant new powers. Workplaces are not required to have HSRs, but where a request for the election of an HSR is made, PCBUs must facilitate the determination of appropriate workgroups and the election of HSRs from those workgroups. HSRs can play a very useful role in discharging the PCBU’s general duty to consult with workers, and accordingly, understanding the powers of an HSR will also be important in ensuring that the duty to consult is being discharged.
If it is your job to ensure that safety obligations are met you should already have an incident plan in place, which you will need to amend to take into account the changes in the harmonised legislation and to take into account the new role of HSRs. If you don’t have such a plan (or if you don’t know whether every worker who would be part of fulfilling the plan knows what they have to do) now would be a very good time to do that.
Conclusion There is obviously a great deal more to the harmonised legislation than can be set out in one article. However, by identifying the key obligations, you can start to bring some sense to the process of harmonisation and to fill in the detail from the legislation once the themes are understood. The effect of WHS harmonisation might not be to have the whole country singing from the same safety song sheet, but it does provide an excellent opportunity for safety professionals to ensure that the systems in the workplaces for which they are responsible are tuned-up and ready to perform. This material is in the nature of general comment only. Readers should not act on any matter set out in this material without taking appropriate advice of their own particular circumstances.
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*Angus Macinnis is a senior associate in DibbsBarker's Employee & Industrial Relations Group. His experience covers both litigious and non-litigious matters spanning the full spectrum of industrial relations, employment, anti-discrimination and occupational health and safety law. Macinnis has conducted hearings in the Federal and Supreme Courts, as well as at all specialist industrial and discrimination tribunals. He has involvement in litigation arising from large-scale industrial disputes and has extensive advocacy experience, having appeared as an advocate in State and Federal industrial relations tribunals. He has also acted in other jurisdictions, in interlocutory, trial and appellant matters. His commercial advisory experience ranges from the development of workplace policies to the implementation of significant restructuring and workplace change. DibbsBarker http://www.dibbsbarker.com/
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Scissor lifts Logic Lift scissor lifts are de-
Protective underglove The Picguard underglove eliminates the risk of needle stick and puncture injury, without compromising on comfort or dexterity. The interior of the Picguard features a unique double lining for extra protection; the first core layer is made from para-aramid fibres to resist cutting while the second inner layer includes a polyurethane and ceramic coating to defend against punctures and needle sticks. Picguard glove also includes an extra protective area at the palm and fingers to safeguard against operations in which an operator may come in contact with syringes, hypodermic or glass needles, broken glass, razor blades or metal wire. Honeywell Safety Products Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/K270
signed to overcome materials handling issues including lifting, bending, reaching and twisting. They have an automatic load height detection system, using an electric eye to scan the load height in view of automatically maintaining the optimum working height for the operator of the lifts. The photo eye is adjusted to a comfortable working height for each individual operator and then automatically controls the level of the scissor lift table so that the pallet layer being stacked is kept constant. The operator does not have to press any control buttons once he or she has started stacking the pallet. The photo eye sensor also works in the opposite direction when pallets are being unstacked. The scissor lift table is automatically elevated as each layer is taken off. Low-profile scissor lifts could be used to negate the need for forklifts, as the low-profile scissor lift can be unloaded by a pallet truck. The sensor allows for an increase in production as well as a decrease in fatigue by lessening the effort required by the operator. Optimum Handling Solutions Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M605
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Firefighting/ rescue gloves The TechTrade Pro-Tech 8 specialty structural firefighting and rescue gloves have been designed for high safety protection and hand dexterity. The Pro-Tech Boss glove is an all-round lightweight utility, extrication and rope glove that is available in high-vis yellow and general-use black. The glove can be used to provide good offensive protection for technical rescue, clean-up and many utility applications. The durable, hybrid extrication gloves are lightweight, flexible and comfortable, features which improve protection and reduce stress and fatigue. They feature a variety of silicone-coated Kevlar fabrics and other functional synthetics, ergonomically placed to maximise protection and performance. Features include: strategically reinforced in high wear areas with silicone-coated Level 3 cut-resistant Kevlar; construction maximises flexibility, dexterity, grip and comfort; extended wear life. Elliott Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L555
Protective coveralls The Protective Coveralls range from 3M provides protection for a variety of applications, ranging from light-duty industrial cleaning to asbestos removal, painting and coating, pesticide spraying and chemical spills, decontamination and tank cleaning. The disposable coveralls contain no components made from natural rubber latex or silicone and are designed with extra material in the arms and legs for enhanced mobility. Two-way zippers provide added on/ off convenience. Storm flaps help provide additional protection and seamless shoulders and sleeve tops translate to fewer entry points for contaminants and increased comfort. The coveralls are available in a variety of sizes. The range also includes accessories such as mob caps and disposable overshoe and overboot covers. 3M Australia Pty Ltd (Occupational Health & Safety) Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M677
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 27
Assessment, reporting and management system to improve height safety A multinational industrial, commercial and retail property owner engaged National Height Safety & Access Solutions (NHSAS) to audit 73 properties throughout Australia and New Zealand, to ascertain existing control measures. The audit involved a site review of existing administration processes through to the fall prevention and access systems. A number of minimum safety requirements along with Australian Standards AS1891, AS4488 AND AS1657 and industry codes of practice were used to set the safety benchmarks. NHSAS utilised CMO Complianceâ€™s (http://cmo-compliance. com/) global audit assessment reporting and management software system. The audit helped NHSAS record site details, non-compliance, identify safety risks and propose recommended control measures. With the help of the audit software, all the 73 sites were rated on the scale of 100. The sites were then risk-ranked using a simple colour-coded system of red, amber and green. The audit process took around four months to complete. It enabled the property company to review trouble areas and improve safety through planned outcomes. The audit process assessed the following areas for compliance: administration controls - contractor management and permit controls; access to roofs - compliance and signage; plant access - safe access and provisions for fall prevention; fall prevention systems - design criteria and compliance; industrial rope access systems - design and documentation such as rigging plans; mobile access equipment on site - compliance and record keeping; specific site areas requiring access such as telecommunications, lighting and water tanks. The overall summary of the 73 sites recorded the following: Scoring parameters
Number of sites
Risk ranking identification
0 < 49%
50% - 79%
80% > 100%
The overall score was 56% for all the 73 properties. Further breakdown of the areas of compliance from the audits were as follows: Audited detailed areas
Overall score ranking possible score of 100%
Access to roofs
Industrial rope access systems
Fall prevention systems
Mobile access equipment on site
Specific site areas requiring access such as telecommunications, lighting and water tanks
The analysis went further into the property type, which showed retail centres scored greater than commercial buildings with the industrial portfolio scoring the least, mainly as many were unmanned and had no permanent on-site management.
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Recommendations and learning The depth of the audit across such a diverse portfolio enabled the client and NHSAS to review a number of areas and put in place and number of planned outcomes. 1. Implement new procedures for permit controls consisting of contractor management, site inductions, working at heights, industrial rope access, elevated work platforms (EWP) and building maintenance units (BMUs).This involved a number of workshops and consultation with all levels of the business from risk management through to the clientâ€™s contractor base. Ensuring the contractor base is consulted and engaged with is a critical element of the process. 2. Train all levels of management in safe working at heights to enable a basic understanding of the dangers and parameters required for any persons working at heights under their control. Having site management trained provides another checkpoint in the process of the clientâ€™s fall prevention planning. 3. Propose fall prevention systems upgrades - design systems that, where practicable, removed the risks of working at heights; for instance, designing passive systems such as guard railing and walkway systems to areas of plant. 4. Generate roof safety plans - existing systems and colour code (red, amber and green) zoning to identify areas of risk visually for contractors and stakeholders. 5. Produce guidance and recommendations for internal and external contractors for emergency rescue and retrieval planning. Evidence from the audits identified this to be the weakest area of knowledge both internally and from the contractor base. NHSAS researched best practices worldwide from the fall prevention and working at heights industries and produced recommended guidance materials and a number of control forms for the client and contractor base which have already been rolled out. In summary, fall prevention is often looked at as the physical aspects of access and safety systems, but must go beyond that to achieve a process and outcome that engages all levels of stakeholders and their contractors. National Height Safety & Access Solutions Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M711
Protective glove for low-voltage applications The IsoArc protective glove is specifically developed for use in low-voltage applications where there is the risk of an arc flash. Thermal damage caused from an arc flash can cause first or higher degree burns which are often complicated by ignition, melting and burning of non-flame resistant materials and non-arc resistant personal protective equipment (PPE). The glove eliminates these risks by providing the highest quality PPE protection. IsoArc's design provides electrical insulation protection and arc flash protection combined in one glove, and does not compromise on usability. The glove, which measures only 1 mm in thickness, is made from latex with a polychloroprene layer. It is safe for use in low-tension electrical working environments, while remaining thin and mobile enough to use in applications where small equipment and parts manipulation requires unusually good finger dexterity. The IsoArc includes grip finishing to ensure a firm hold and to reduce hand fatigue, thereby increasing worker productivity and safety. At the same time, the chlorinated finishing enables easy fitting. Featuring a bicolour finish to allow for easy visual inspection, the flame-resistant exterior is finished in a work-safe vivid orange, while the natural latex beige interior provides high-quality electrical insulation. Each glove is available in a variety of sizes to suit every individual shape. The IsoArc carries an RC rating, ensuring it is resistant to acid, ozone and oil as well as very low temperatures, making it suitable for use in a variety of conditions. Honeywell Safety Products Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/K275
Long-range cordless phone The EnGenius Durafon cordless phone has a range of up to 10 km and can penetrate up to 12 floors of a multi-storey building. The product is suitable for use in sectors where large areas need to be covered and safety is a priority, such as mines, farms, schools, warehouses and factories. It is simple to use and comes with a range of safety features. The phone has a one-touch broadcast button for instant contact with all handsets (up to 90), should an emergency arise. The rubber-encased handset is shockproof, water resistant and comes with a 12 month warranty. Single line (SN 902) and 4 line (SP 9228) models can be connected to standard telephone lines or integrated with a business telephone system. The single line version can connect up to nine handsets and the 4 line model can expand to accommodate up to 32 handsets with eight base units. A two-way radio feature enables handsets to call other handsets without the need for a base unit. The conversation is encrypted, providing the total voice security needed for business calls. Aristel Networks Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M596
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 29
© iStockphoto.com/René Mansi
BARGAINING IN 2012
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Paul Burns and Rohan Doyle*
his article looks at the top seven developments to watch out for in 2012. Freehills will be analysing these particular issues and developments in the bargaining space generally, in further detail later in the year through seminars and newsletters on the key ‘issues and trends’ for bargaining in 2012 and Freehills’ anticipated third volume of Bargaining under the Fair Work Act, which will provide a comprehensive analysis of bargaining-related decisions over the past 12 months (scheduled for publication in July 2012).
February - The Fair Work Review Initial submissions for the the Fair Work (Act) Review close on 17 February 2012. The terms of reference, and a background paper, have been released. The Review presents both opportunity and risk for employers, as stakeholders are likely to pursue wide-ranging amendments to the Act as part of the review process. Whether the Review will ultimately result in any substantive changes remains to be seen.
February - Appointment of a new President The President of FWA, Justice Geoffrey Giudice, has announced his retirement, which will take effect by the end of February. As a result, there is much speculation as to who will be appointed as Justice Giudice’s successor. At the time of writing, no official announcements have been made, but they are no doubt imminent.
February and March - From the High Court and Full Court (Rio Tinto, JJ Richards, Barclay, and ADJ Contracting) In February, Rio Tinto will seek special leave to appeal to the High Court against a Federal Court decision that held an employee
30 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
collective agreement (ECA) was not validly made. The decision potentially calls into question the validity of some ECAs made under the Workplace Relations Act 1996 (Cth) by reference to their defined scope. Also in February, the Federal Court will hear an appeal against a Full Bench of FWA in the JJ Richards case. The court will be called to determine whether protected action ballot orders are able to be applied for and made before bargaining actually ‘commences’. In March, the High Court will hear the appeal of the Barclay decision, which will consider the Act’s general protections provisions. In Barclay, a majority of the Full Court of the Federal Court found that, despite evidence the decision-maker’s subjective reasons for taking disciplinary action against an employee did not involve any ‘prohibited’ reason, what was important was whether objectively it seemed that the action was taken because of a prohibited reason. This meant that the court could take into account ‘unconscious’ motivations of the decision-maker. As a result, there was some concern by employers that the bar had been substantially raised and that it would be difficult to successfully defend adverse action claims going forward (particularly in relation to conduct by union delegates in the workplace). This is likely to be the most anticipated decision of the year. Later in 2012, the Federal Court is likely to hear an appeal against a Full Bench of FWA in the ADJ Contracting case. The case relates to a number of clauses that are common in Fair Work Enterprise Agreements, including clauses that require contractors to be engaged on terms no less favourable than those that apply to employees under the agreement, as well as clauses relating to right of entry, and encouragement of union membership.
© iStockphoto.com/Abel Mitja Varela
2012 is shaping up to be a very big year in industrial relations. Employers are waiting in anticipation for a number of developments which will no doubt present various opportunities and challenges for their businesses.
March - Review of modern awards FWA will be conducting a review of all modern awards, including their transitional arrangements. This process presents an opportunity for employees to seek variations of modern awards if they do not achieve the modern awards objective, are not operating effectively or have anomalies or technical problems. Any application to vary a modern award as part of the review must be filed by 8 March 2012 and should contain: grounds in support of the application, a brief outline of the submissions to be made and statements of any evidence to be called. Employers wanting to take part in the review should commence preparation early - the timeline is tight, and FWA is unlikely to make any such variations lightly.
Throughout 2012 - Modernisation of enterprise awards Employers or relevant unions who were party to an existing enterprise-specific award have until 31 December 2013 to apply to FWA to have the enterprise award ‘modernised’ for continuation after that date. In the absence of such an application the enterprise award will terminate. Employers with enterprise awards will need to consider the timing of any application very carefully and ensure that if an application is to be made, there is sufficient evidence prepared that justifies modernisation rather than termination. For example, on 18 November 2011, the Federal Court handed down its decision in Yum! Restaurants, in which two employers had sought to challenge the decisions of FWA to terminate, rather than modernise, two enterprise awards. The decision reinforces the strict approach courts will take in reviewing decisions of FWA and highlights the hurdles for employers seeking to retain coverage under enterprise awards.
Throughout 2012 - Opting out of enterprise agreements Late in 2011, a Full Bench of Fair Work Australia (FWA) handed down its decision in Newlands Coal. This decision confirmed the legitimacy of ‘opt-out’ clauses in enterprise agreements provided that there are sufficient controls within the agreement to ensure that employees remain ‘better off overall’. There will no doubt be continued scrutiny of such arrangements, both from the perspective of employers and unions, throughout 2012.
Throughout 2012 - The legitimacy of the lock-out Late 2011 saw a renewed focus by employers on strategies to mitigate industrial action and increase bargaining leverage. There appears to have been an increased willingness on the part of employers to consider locking out employees as a legitimate and necessary response to damaging industrial action. This trend is likely to continue into 2012, together with an increased focus on good faith bargaining strategies, given their potential to significantly (and legitimately) advance an employer’s bargaining agenda (particularly given the demonstrated difficulty in achieving suspension/termination of industrial action in the event of harm).
*Paul Burns is a partner in Freehills’ Employee Relations practice and Rohan Doyle is a Solicitor at Freehills.
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 31
Half-mask respirator The Advantage 400 Respirator with one-piece UniBond over-mould face piece provides stability, comfort and good fit, and users can quickly adjust the mask according to their individual needs. The design eliminates multiple leak paths and has only three major components. The AnthroCurve II face-seal adapts to multiethnic head sizes and facial contours. The face piece is designed to comply with the proposed US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) fit test panel and provides users in many global regions with good fit and comfort. Its yoke and harness design enables quick and easy switching between lock-down and drop-down modes. Drop-down mode allows user to remove the face piece and rest it safely against the chest while maintaining use of head protection. Lock-down harness mode allows the user to lock in a personal fit; the respirator can be donned without further adjustments. The low-profile design integrates well with other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats, eyewear, goggles and face shields. The one-piece ComforTop headband and harness assembly eliminates pressure points when head protection is worn. The form-fitting neck buckles and wide straps reduce discomfort around the neck, and the adjustable crown strap adapts to different head sizes. MSA Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L415
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Eyewash station Honeywell The Sperian Fendall Pure Flow 1000 emergency eyewash station delivers a contaminant-free and physiologically correct saline solution from factory-sealed cartridges. The system is selfcontained and does not require any plumbing. The cartridges remain sealed until activated and take less than 5 min to replace. They also claim to last at least four times longer than other primary, self-contained eye washers. The eyewash station features a nozzle design that delivers a soft 'ribbon' of eyesaline and also features a fluid pressure balancing system that provides a constant fluid flow rate and stream height for the entire 15 min flushing period, as required by ANSI Z358.1-2004. Honeywell Safety Products Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/K953
Job management software The simPRO Job Management Software allows users to estimate large and small service jobs quickly and accurately. The software integrates with supplier pricing catalogues and material lists, allowing contractors to easily compare components and
INNOVATION EVERY STEP OF THE WAY!
daily charge rates. Users can import these accurate rates directly into the estimate in order to make every proposal as competitive and as profitable as possible. Contractors working from plans are able to import drawings and do an on-screen take-off using the add-on feature; then simply send the take-off list directly to the wholesaler for project prices. Users can present all estimates professionally using the companyâ€™s design templates and, once complete, email the proposal directly out of simPRO. simPRO Software Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/P212
Triple-hazard protective clothing The Tychem ThermoPro single-layer suit can be used as triple-hazard protective clothing by emergency responders and industrial workers. The suit provides multiple types of protection for applications including responding to traffic accidents or containing an industrial emergency. The suit provides protection from chemicals, flash fire and electric arc by combining the chemical protection of DuPont Tychem with the flame and arc flash protection of DuPont Nomex. It is claimed to provide comfort, durability, cost effectiveness and safety. From industrial chemical handling and remediation to first responder and secondary emergency response in industrial settings, DuPont has a range of chemical protective fabrics and garments. The ThermoPro fabric provides permeation protection against a broad range of toxic industrial chemicals. DuPont (Aust) Limited Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L263
Specified & inStalled auStralia wide
Welding helmets 3M Speedglas has added six more products to its range of welding helmets. The 9100XX safety helmet combines all the benefits of the
Sayfa Systems is the market leader in height safety, fall protection, access and ground protection systems.
9100 series with an Australian standards compliant safety helmet. The helmet assembly features the 9100XX (73 x 107 mm viewing area) auto-darkening welding lens with a type 2 industrial safety helmet, for overhead protection. The series meets the performance requirements of Australian standard AS/NZS1337 for high impact protection. Five styles have also been added into the 3M Speedglas 100 Graphic Series range. The distinctive graphic designs include the Xterminator, Boneyard, Razor Dragon, Ice Hot and Raging Skull. The auto-darkening welding helmet allows welders to benefit from good
CALL \ 1300 301 755
optical quality and reliable light-to-dark.
WEB \ sayfa.com.au
3M Australia Pty Ltd (Occupational Health & Safety) Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M506
FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012 - SAFETY SOLUTIONS 33
Safety relay Phoenix Contact has extended its range
Portable modular arm The SmartArm-mk2 portable modular arm can be used by those managing and wishing to comply with safe work practices when conducting work or repairs in confined spaces. The simple modular device allows workers to quickly set up for entry into or exit from a confined space with flanged horizontal or vertical access points. The device is a portable modular arm, easy to use, transport and install and has been specifically designed for horizontal or vertical vessel flange use in confined spaces. Compliant, as an anchorage connector, with AS/NZS 1891.4: 2009, the device provides a safe option for entry and emergency extraction by eliminating the need for rescuers to enter the confined space. It provides a speedy single-action recovery that reduces the potential for injury. It is suitable for the off-shore oil and gas industry, emergency management organisations and owners and occupiers of any business that has a confined space.
of safety relays with units for various supply voltages. The relays are suitable for a range of applications. In addition to the 24 V AC/DC model, Phoenix now also has available 48, 60, 110 and 230 V AC/DC units. The relay, which has three safety switching paths and a signalling output, is used for two-channel monitoring of emergency stop control devices or safety door switches in machines and systems. It meets safety requirements in accordance with the standards for functional safety up to PL e as per EN ISO 13849-1 and SIL 3 as per EN 62061 and IEC 61508. The device can be configured for both automatic and manually monitored start. Phoenix Contact Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M749
MSA Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L157
Lead Safe Stand™ Quality polyethylene » Two piece lightweight non-conductive lead stand » Height: 2100 mm » Highly visible colour » Coiling hooks for extra lead » Easily moved by rolling » Holds 45kg of water/sand » Thread inserts in cable holding prongs for mounting floodlights » Custom company embossed labelling plates available POA
100% Australian Made Call 1300 All Poly for your nearest distributor. T 1300 255 765 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.allpoly.com.au
34 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Chemical-splash safety clothing
The Chem-Tech Chemical Splash Protective Clothing range, made from five-layer breathable fabric, can be
used for chemical-splash protection. The fabric allows vapour to transfer through
The Radium Collection from ProChoice Safety
the fabric while preventing liquid penetration
Gear is a series of certified (AS/NZS 1337.1:2010)
by a variety of chemicals and allows the body
medium-impact safety sunglasses designed
to 'breathe' so perspiration can evaporate,
specifically for eye protection in Australian
reducing the possibility of heat stress and
conditions, with 99.9% UV protection. Suitable
improving wear comfort. The clothing can
for most outdoor work, the collection features a
provide the wearer with valuable time to ac-
selection of nine fashion-forward styles to choose
cess an emergency shower in the case of an
from (which includes polarised lens options)
accidental chemical splash. The fabric has
that can be worn at all hours of the day. Each pair has antiscratch and antifog lens coatings, and
been tested to ISO-11092 for water vapour
frames and lenses made from durable polycarbonate material. The glasses feature antislip pads
for a secure fit, as well as wrapped frames for maximum ocular coverage.
Features of the clothing include: resists
penetration of many liquid chemicals includ-
Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M595
ing aviation fuel and sulfuric acid (>3 h hold out); anti-static, flame-resistant option avail-
Intelligent safety system The i-Safe 3.0 Intelligent Safety System is an upgrade to Capital Safety’s existing i-Safe 2.0 system. The i-Safe was the first radio frequency identification (RFID) system dedicated to fall protection equipment and inspection tracking. The upgraded system is customisable, offering the speed and benefits of prepackaged systems along with the advantages of tailoring features to specific user needs. It provides for the flexibility to use high-frequency RFID tags and readers or barcode information capture. It also has multiple software offerings, allowing users to decide if they want the company to host their data or use their own corporate computers or network server. The system provides consistent inspection tracking: an extensive list of standard and customised end user-prompted inspection checklists with detailed notations, photos and inspection status. Through the system’s filtering mechanism, a company can identify, track and reassign the location, status and history of its valuable safety assets. The system’s inspection scheduling and trigger alerts share information throughout the organisation by advising site managers of upcoming or overdue inspections. A wide range of management reports can be generated including inspection reports, summary of hazards, top 10 hazards, inspector statistics and more. Capital Safety Group (Australia) Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/M684
36 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
able; conforms to AS/NZS 1906.4 1997 and AS/NZS 4602:1999; multipurpose garments for protection against chemical hazards and wet weather garment, with waterproof and water-repellent properties; soft lightweight fabric; PTFE barrier technology; durable, washable, reusable and easy to maintain; all seams sewn and seam sealed for protection. Features of the fabric include: chemical-, oil-, soil-repellent treatment on the outer fabric; 300D Oxford outer fabric; moisture vapour permeable PU hydrophilic coating; moisture vapour permeable microporous PTFE film membrane; Tricot nylon knit liner. Elliott Australia Pty Ltd Contact info and more items like this at wf.net.au/L033
from the editor
Machine and automation safety training machineSAFE is a comprehensive machinery safety course running during 2012 in Australia and New Zealand. It offers a range of workshops which provide details on how to comprehend and apply the machine safety standard AS4024.1-2006 as well as the Acts and Regulations businesses must follow to ensure compliance. These practical workshops are suitable for anyone who needs an in-depth understanding of machine and automation safety, especially those who are involved in the process of specifying or upgrading the safety aspects of machinery in the workplace. This could include: project engineers, machinery importers and designers, OHS professionals, production managers, electricians, maintenance engineers and managers. This year’s Advanced Two-Day Training Course has been upgraded with even more enhancements. It will address the following subjects: how the newly introduced work health and safety legislation impacts on machinery safety; mechanical guarding concepts; protective devices such as emergency stops, interlock switches, presence sensing devices, safety logic devices, safety contactors and valves; electrical safety circuit design; validation of safety control systems; and more.
9-10 May - Hobart 23-24 May - Albury/Wodonga 20-21 August - Melbourne
safety laws have finally been implemented in five out of nine jurisdictions. While the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have implemented the new laws, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania have delayed implementation. The nationally harmonised laws would eventually enable businesses to lower costs and achieve consistent policies. It would also benefit workers as they would be given the same rights and standards across Australia.
The course will feature at the following dates and locations: 5-6 March - Sydney 8-9 March - Brisbane 22-23 March - Adelaide
The harmonised workplace health and
23-24 August - Sydney 23-24 October - Auckland 3-4 December - Perth
To enrol or for more information, visit http://www.machinesafe.com.au/.
The government expects the new laws to deliver up to $2bn a year in productivity improvements in addition to a national benefit of $250m a year by cutting red tape for businesses. The benefits, however, could take a little while to kick in - potentially after we achieve national harmonisation. And as
Free machine process and electrical safety forum
with every new law, there will be teething
The upcoming Safety Automation Forum, part of the Rockwell Automation on the Move industry event, will showcase machine process and electrical safety techniques from leading industry safety experts. The two-day event will be held at Melbourne Park Function Centre on 6-7 March 2012. Admission is free and lunch will be provided for registered attendees. The event will then progress to Sydney (2-3 May), Brisbane (22-23 May) and Perth (6-7 June). For further information on the program and venues, please visit http://au.rockwellautomation.com/. “Those in the manufacturing industry interested in learning how to help further protect personnel and equipment - all while still improving productivity - can gain valuable insight from industry specialists and peers,” said Gary Milburn, Product Manager - Safety, Rockwell Automation. Key benefits of this forum will be to share best practices to help increase worker safety, improve business performance, foster a company-wide safety-orientated culture and meet compliance with global standards. Visitors will hear from industry experts on why implementing and deploying a safety solution is important. The audience will be challenged to look at safety in a different way.
we have changed the look and content of the
problems. If you are unsure about anything to do with the new laws, seek external advice. Remember there is no ‘grace period’. Lastly, as you must have noticed, this year magazine to improve your reading experience and to cover more diverse and latest safetyrelated topics in each issue of the magazine. We also aim to include more case studies and opinion pieces in the magazine from you - the industry gurus. So if you have an exciting case study to share, have an interesting workplace safety story to tell, want to share your opinion on a hot industry topic, or would like to give some safety advice to your peers, feel free to drop me an email at email@example.com. As we embrace change, we continue to maintain our product focus - so keep sending those product editorials. If you have any other ideas or suggestions about topics you would want us to cover, you know where to find me.
Mansi Gandhi - Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
In my opinion By its very nature, elevated work is hazardous with the degree of risk often exacerbated by the lack of proper preworks planning as well as the conditions under which the work is carried out. Falls from heights and roofs are the prime cause of death or injury in Australian workplaces and construction sites. All employers have a legal duty to ensure that any worker required to work at heights can do so safely and without risk to their life or health. Every fall is preventable through commitment to following specific controls and the use of innovative and compliant height access and fall prevention systems. Sayfa Systems, an Australian height safety, access and fall protection manufacturer and distributor, is dedicated to adhering to stringent Australian requirements. The company also promotes the application of the five levels of the well-known â€˜Hierarchy of Controlsâ€™ that sets out the order to follow in the controlling safety measures. The five-level hierarchy includes: Level 1: Undertake work on ground or solid construction; Level 2: Undertake work using passive fall protection device; Level 3: Undertake work using work positioning system; Level 4: Undertake work using fall injury prevention system; Level 5: Undertake work from ladders or implement administrative controls. Beyond adhering to the five levels, Sayfa supports and promotes a set of guidelines and procedures for designing and determining safety requirements based on specific applications for all access and fall protection systems.
A.B.N. 22 152 305 336 www.westwick-farrow.com.au
Head Office: Cnr. Fox Valley Road & Kiogle Street, (Locked Bag 1289) Wahroonga NSW 2076 Australia Ph: +61 2 9487 2700 Fax: +61 2 9489 1265 Editor: Mansi Gandhi email@example.com Editorial Assistant: Lauren Davis firstname.lastname@example.org Chief Editor: Janette Woodhouse Publisher: Geoff Hird Art Director/Production Manager: Julie Wright Art/Production: Tanya Scarselletti, Katie Dean, Colleen Sam Circulation Manager: Sue Lavery email@example.com Copy Control: Mitchie Mullins Advertising Sales:
Passive solutions offer continuous safety
NSW, QLD - Kerrie Robinson Ph: 0400 886 311 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aside from meeting your obligations, it is good business to install the higher level controls. Passive systems (handrails, guardrails, platforms and walkways) should be used wherever possible rather than relying on fall prevention and arrest systems.
VIC, SA, WA - Sandra Romanin Ph: 0414 558 464 email@example.com
Standards-compliant, easily installed, low-maintenance systems like guardrails and walkways offer a lower cost over their lifetimes rather than the use of personal protection equipment (PPE), harnesses and lanyards. Additionally, these permanently installed systems require minimal training to use and allow a broader spectrum of workers to do the job safely, creating designated safe access routes from ground level upwards to service roofs, plant and equipment and towers.
New Zealand - Simon Skerman Ph: 0800 44 2529 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ease of use is key in ensuring workmen use a system correctly and efficiently. Equally important is the ease of installation of the systems. Innovative, modular, no-weld systems offer rapid and safer installation as no hot works are required, which also results in no disruption to work sites.
UK - Huson International Media Ph: +44 1932 56 4999 email@example.com
Investment in an appropriate, easy-to-use, height safety and access system results in a safer work environment and significant long-term cost savings. Workmen undertake their tasks with confidence and efficiency in the knowledge that they are fully protected. Sayfa dedicates over 15% of its expense budget to research and development in the pursuit of better and safer systems focused on modular design and rapid installation. Time pressures are a major cause of poor safety procedures and making it easier to install fall prevention solutions contributes to greater safety for those working at heights. For more information, go to www.sayfa.com.au or call 1300 301 755.
USA - Huson International Media East Coast Ph: +1 212 268 3344 West Coast Ph: +1 408 879 6666 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept 2011 total CAB audited circulation (Aust + New Zealand) 7402 readers (91% personally requested)
Subscriptions: For unregistered readers - price on application ISSN 1447-8277 PP255003/06523
Anton Voss is one of the founders and the General Manager of Sayfa Systems. Prior to founding Sayfa 10 years ago, Voss was involved in the building industry where he worked in the manufacture and supply of roofing panels. His experience and expertise in this area led Voss to understand the critical need for greater safety and simpler installation systems for roof access and fall protection.
38 SAFETY SOLUTIONS - FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012
Printed and bound by Pegasus Print Group Co. Pty. Ltd. Ph: +61 2 8822 0600 NOTICE: All material published in this magazine is published in good faith and every care is taken to accurately relay information provided to us. Readers are advised by the publishers to ensure that all necessary safety devices and precautions are installed and safe working procedures adopted before the use of any equipment found or purchased through the information we provide. Further, all performance criteria was provided by the representative company concerned and any dispute should be referred to them. Information indicating that products are made in Australia or New Zealand is supplied by the source company. Westwick Farrow P/L does not quantify the amount of local content or the accuracy of the statement made by the source.
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Published on Feb 23, 2012
Launched in April 2003, this bi-monthly magazine provides vital information on safety products and services in the industrial, construction,...