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Industry News, Latest News, New South Wales

Labour hire safety toolkit launched

A united group of nine industry bodies have come together to tell those working in the construction industry to treat the current COVID-19 situation with the highest importance and adhere to all recommended safety procedures.

SafeWork NSW has launched a new toolkit to improve safety for labour hire workers, including a worker guide and a self-assessment checklist for businesses.

The labour hire toolkit launch is part of SafeWork NSW’s Protecting Workers At Risk month.

SafeWork NSW Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said the toolkit would help reduce the rates of serious injuries and incidents by providing businesses with a baseline of WHS expectations relating to the use of labour hire workers.

“Workers in labour hire are estimated to represent more than three per cent of the NSW workforce and while it is critical business have the opportunity for flexibility, it is imperative all precautions are taken on safety,” Williams said.

“Labour hire workers can find themselves working in different businesses where known hazards are variable. They are also are likely to be more reluctant to speak out due to fear of not securing further work.

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“These workers are typically found in construction, agriculture, manufacturing and health and aged care, and we have translated this kit into four languages, ensuring workers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have access to the information.

The kit is made up a number of resources, including a self-assessment checklist for labour hire businesses, a checklist to ensure the suitability of the host business, and an induction checklist for aged-care agency workers.

SafeWork NSW is undertaking a number of programs throughout SafeWork month which will include a Mentally Healthy Workplaces Ambassador forum, and inspectors in regional NSW visiting manufacturers and suppliers of agriculture equipment and machinery.

“When we undertake a site visit this month, we are focusing on improving safety around forklifts as well as falls risks and COVID compliance. While dangerous practices will be specifically addressed, the conversation is largely around safer ways of working,” Williams said.

“Our Mentally Healthy Workplaces (MHW) program is also offering free one-on-one practical coaching for businesses, as well as interactive workshops for managers and employees.

“The Centre for Work Health and Safety is supporting workplaces by focusing on the future of workplace risk. It is undertaking studies focusing on interacting with artificial intelligence, as well as the future health risks associated with welding fumes and the prevention of silicosis.”

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