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Message from the Executive Director

VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 19

  • pg 1
									                                                                                  July 2008

    The Office of Regulatory Services monthly electronic news bulletin

Keeping the Community Up-to-Date                                      www.ors.act.gov.au

This Issue:
                                                            • Use of Non-Potable Water in the Workplace
Office of Regulatory Services                                • How to Minimise Injuries to Real Estate Agents
• Message from the Executive Director                       • Death of Employee Leads to Convictions
• Find Out What Your Rights Are as a Consumer               • Draft Revised OHS Laws
• Fireworks Complaints up in 2008                           • New Asbestos Laws Affecting Non-Residential
                                                              Buildings
• Legislative Amendments to Provide Clarity for Business
                                                            • Accident Information Management System
  and Consumers
                                                            • Recent Hazard Alerts
• Proposed Legislative Changes
                                                            • Working Safely in the Sun
• ORS Has Moved all Payment Facilities
• Mini Complaints Expo                                      Fair Trading
                                                            • Changes to Fitness Industry Code of Practice
Office of the Occupational Health and
                                                            • Caribbean Holiday Scam Warning
Safety Commissioner
                                                            • Fire Footbags Banned in the ACT
• Safe Work ACT Awards Nominations 2008 Open
• October is Safe Work ACT Month
                                                            Business and Industry Licensing
• NSCA Safety Connect Invitation                            • Government Supports Local Business by
                                                              Extending the Registration of Business
WorkCover                                                     Names
• ACT Commences National Campaign to Reduce Hospital
  Worker Injuries                                           Births Deaths and Marriages
• Less Than Two Weeks to Have Your Say on Future OHS Laws   • Fees




                                   Message from the Executive Director

                          The Nominations for the 2008 Safe Work ACT awards have opened. The awards
                          publicly celebrate and acknowledge significant achievements in effective
                          workplace health and safety.

                          Nominations close on 11 July. All those willing to share innovations in health
Executive Director
Brett Phillips            and safety, and injury management are encouraged to apply.


     The ORS community relations team has been actively out and about sharing its knowledge with the
     public. We recently participated in a ‘mini complaints expo’ at the Woden Plaza. The ‘expo’ was
     arranged by the Commonwealth Ombudsman and brought together four ACT complaints handling
     agencies to provide information and advice to the ACT public. My thanks to the Ombudsman’s
     office for arranging the event. It was a very successful exercise. We look forward to participating
     in similar events in the future.

     Regards
     Brett Phillips
                                                                              cont....

          Find Out What Your Rights Are
                  as a Consumer
  Do you know when you are entitled to a refund?
  Did you know there is a cooling-off period for a door-to-door sale?
  Have you been the victim of a scam?

  These are just some of the issues that face all consumers.
  Did you know the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) can assist you in these and other
  consumer issues? ORS is part of the ACT Government.
  Come along to Woden Library to find out more about the services provided by ORS.
  Staff from the Fair Trading area of ORS will be available to answer general consumer
  questions and hand out useful information resources.



                       Woden Library - Tuesday 15 July
                                       Drop in between 10am-4pm



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                             Fireworks Complaints up in 2008

More fireworks related complaints were made over the 2008 Queen’s Birthday long weekend compared to
last year according to an interim report by the Office of Regulatory Services.
Attorney General Simon Corbell says the number of complaints received this year was nearly 20 per cent
higher compared to the same period last year.
“510 complaints were received by ACT Policing and the Office of Regulatory Services during and following
the sale period for 2008, compared with approximately 430 in 2007,” Mr Corbell said.
“Complaints mostly related to discharge of fireworks outside the permitted times, noise, and damage
caused by fireworks.
The ACT Fire Brigade received 80 fireworks related call-outs.
Fortunately, the ACT Ambulance Service reported no calls for fireworks related injuries.
“Over the coming weeks the Office of Regulatory Services will undertake further analysis and prepare a
final report on the 2008 fireworks season,” Mr Corbell said.
“The analysis will provide us with additional information on the number of sales and the amount of fireworks sold.
“Further information should also be available in the near future in relation to whether any infringement
notices are to be issued or any cases referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

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                                                                          cont....

 Legislative Amendments to Provide Clarity for Business and Consumers

On 1 July 2008 a series of legislative amendments commenced affecting the operations of the Office
of Regulatory Services (ORS) and the industries it regulates.
The amendments will make improvements to the legislation governing the operations of ORS, increase
the efficiency of the Office, provide benefits to business and better protection for consumers. The
amendments are as follows:

Amendments to the Agents Act 2003 permit disciplinary action to be taken against a licensee for a
contravention of the Act, clarify the Act in regard to disqualifying agents and provide for appointment
of an administrator where an agent dies, their licence is not renewed or if they disappear without
there being grounds for disciplinary action.

Amendments to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997 provides that a change
of name must be linked to a birth registration. This will address the current disconnect between a
person’s name that was registered at birth and a subsequent change of name.

Amendments to the Business Names Act 1963 provide business with the choice of registering their
business name for five years, or the current period set out in the Act, which is three years.

Amendments to the Liquor Act 1975 include offences under the ACT and Commonwealth Criminal
Codes as defined offences for considering whether a person is fit and proper to hold a licence.

Amendments to the Security Industry Act 2003, Agents Act 2003 and the Sale of Motor Vehicles
Act 1975 remove the requirement for the ORS to obtain criminal record checks. The obligation is
instead on the applicant for a licence to seek their own criminal record check and provide this to
the ORS with their application. This will enable ORS to serve customers more quickly and will enable
applicants to liaise directly with the police if there are any delays or concerns about the content of a
criminal record check.

Amendments to the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1975 remove the requirement to produce leasing
information for a licence renewal, change the requirements regarding publishing a list of licensees,
and modernise the powers of Inspectors, to ensure that the powers are compliant with the Human
Rights Act 2004.




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                                                                            cont....
                               Proposed Legislative Changes

On 26 June 2008 the Minister for Industrial Relations introduced three Bills into the Legislative Assembly.
They are the:

• Workers Compensation Amendment Bill which clarifies that, should an injured worker have to
  modify their home to make their lives more comfortable, including making changes that would
  provide improved access or greater usability, it is reasonable that their employer (or their
  employer’s insurer) should be required to cover those costs.

• Parental Leave Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 which makes it clear that it is unlawful to
  discriminate against same-sex parents in relation to their employment entitlements. The Bill also
  repeals the Parental Leave (Private Sector Employees) Act 1992 as it is no longer operational due
  the current provisions of the Workplace Relations Act 2006.

• Long Service Leave Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 which will improve access to long service
  leave (LSL) in the private sector under the Long Service Leave Act 1976 (1976 Act) and correct an
  anomaly created by the 2007 amendments to the Long Service Leave (Building and Construction
  Industry) Act 1981 concerning employer reimbursements in the building and construction industry
  portable LSL scheme.

All of these Bills can be accessed on the ACT Legislation Register at www.legislation.act.gov.au



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                                              We have Moved
                                               all Payment Facilities for the
                                               Office of Regulatory Services


                         FROM Block B, Level 3, Callam Offices, Easty St
                              Woden (opposite bus interchange)

                         TO 255 Canberra Avenue, Fyshwick

                         Please note that all counter payments have ceased at the
                         Woden ORS premises as of 30 June.
                         This applies to payments such as:
                         •   certification for high risk plant users
                         •   dangerous substances licenses

                         For any enquiries please phone: 6207 3000

                             We apologise for any inconvenience.
                                                                          cont....

                                   Mini Complaints Expo

The Office of Regulatory Services promoted its
services at a “Mini Complaints Expo” at the Woden
Plaza on 13 June.
The expo was arranged by the Commonwealth
Ombudsman and also included the Legal Aid Office
and the Human Rights Commission.
The expo allowed members of the public to gather
information and ask questions from four complaints
agencies.
Staff from ORS provided visitors with material
relating to consumer issues and scams. The stall
was timely for the office as it was held the day after
Canberrans had been warned about a Caribbean
holiday scam. A Media Release about this particular
scam appears in this edition of E-News. A number of visitors to the stall told staff they had received a
call - not from a real person but a voice recording with an American accent - that described the offer
and asked people to press 9 then give their credit card details to secure the deal.
Fortunately, the Office’s messages about scams appear to be reaching the community as all visitors
knew to hang up the phone immediately. One of the messages is - “NEVER respond to out of the blue
requests for personal details”.
Due to the success of the joint venture, future expos may be arranged at other shopping centres.
Details will be provided in later editions of E-News.

To find out more about scams, or to report a scam, visit:
www.scamwatch.gov.au

The Ombudsman investigates complaints about the administrative actions of ACT and Australian
Government departments and agencies.
www.ombudsman.gov.au
Enquiries: 1300 362 072

Legal Aid aims to ensure that people are able to obtain the legal services they need to assert or defend
their rights.

The Office offers free legal information and advice.
www.legalaid.canberra.net.au
Enquiries: 6242 3411.

The Human Rights Commission promotes the human rights and welfare of people living in the ACT. It
can deal with complaints about discrimination, health services, community services, services for older
people, services for people with a disability and services for children and young people.
www.hrc.act.gov.au
Enquiries: 6205 2222.



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                                      Safe Work ACT Awards Nominations 2008 Open

Nominations for the Safe Work ACT Awards are open. The awards are held annually and have three major
aims:

• to encourage public and private sector workplaces to develop and implement initiatives that will
  result in safer and healthier workplaces in the ACT.

• to share learning and ideas, and help the award winning initiatives gain widespread practical
  application in workplaces throughout the ACT.

• to publicly acknowledge significant achievements in effective workplace health and safety.

There are 7 categories in the Safe Work ACT Awards 2008:
1. Best Workplace Health and Safety Management System

2. Best Solution to an Identified Workplace Health and Safety Issue

3. Best Workplace Health and Safety Practices in Small Business

4. Public Sector Leadership in Injury Prevention
   and Management

5. Best Individual Contribution to Workplace Health and Safety

6. Most Successful Promotion of OH&S in Workplaces

7. Best Workplace Health and Wellbeing Program.




Nominations close
11 July
If you have implemented an innovative
health and safety or injury management
initiative, solution or system in your
workplace, please share your ideas and
successes, and nominate for the Safe
Work ACT Awards.
Conditions of entry, category criteria
and nomination forms can be found at:        2007 CFMEU Excellence Award Winners Construction Control. From L-R Attorney
www.actsafeawards.com.au                     General Simon Corbell, Mark Southwell and Peter Wright from Construction Control




                                                                                                       Return to contents
                                 October is Safe Work ACT Month

cont....
                                          proudly sponsored by




In line with a move to harmonise annual safety month promotion at the national level, from this
year the ACT will be referring to health and safety month as Safe Work ACT Month.
The OHS Commissioner will be writing out to organisations shortly, encouraging them to conduct
health and safety events in their businesses in October in support of this annual focus on health
and safety.
The opportunity for a focus on health and safety in workplaces across the Territory is an important
aspect of Safe Work ACT Month and all workplaces are encouraged to participate. Start planning
now and make this year’s event a worthwhile one for your organisation.
As October approaches, you can expect to see an increased focus by the OHS Commissioner on
promotion of the key events for the month. Proposed events at this stage include:

 • The formal launch of Safe Work ACT Month
 • The launch of new television commercials being developed by the ACT OHS Commissioner
 • The Safe Work ACT Awards 2008 presentations – a daytime event to be held at the National
   Convention Centre on Thursday 16 October 2008 celebrating OHS successes in the ACT over the
   past year
 • A Safety Expo to be held in conjunction with the annual awards presentation at the National
   Convention Centre on 16 October 2008
 • A half-day Safety Seminar with 3 prominent national speakers discussing the importance of
   management commitment and what OHS professionals and staff can do to secure it
 • Serious About Safe Business Workshops for small businesses
 • Manual Handling Workshops for small retail businesses
 • Various stakeholder events.
For further details on Safe Work ACT Month contact the OHS Commissioner’s office on 6205 0333
or watch for further information in future editions of this newsletter.




                                                “Supported by Safe
                                                Work Australia Week”




                                                                                 Return to contents
                                                                      A series of FREE networking and
                                                                      professional development events for the
                                                                      OHS industry, hosted by the NSCA.


 Come and have a sticky                                               Event Details
                                                                      Date: Thursday 24 July, 2008
 beak at our new premises!                                            Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm
                                                                      Venue: National Safety Council of Australia
                                                                                  Level 4, 39 London Circuit
                                                                                  Canberra ACT
                                                                      RSVP:       Tuesday 22 July, 2008


                                                                      Join us to hear Mark McCabe discuss the difficulties and
                                                                      challenges associated with engaging small business owners
                                                                      on the topic of OHS, and how we need to pitch our
                                                                      messages in a way that acknowledges the competing
                   Presenter: Mr Mark McCabe,                         demands placed on these businesses.
                   OHS Commissioner
                                                                      Mark McCabe, along with Colin Seery, will also officially
                   Topic: How to Make OHS a                           open the new Canberra office. This new facility is
                   Business Priority                                  representative of a range of initiatives the NSCA is
                                                                      introducing to provide our clients and members with an ever
                                                                      increasing quality of service. We would be delighted to have
                                                                      you come along and be one of the first people to experience
                                                                      the new NSCA.

                                                                      Speaker Profile: Mark McCabe is the current ACT OHS
                   Presenter: Mr Colin Seery,                         Commissioner. With over 20 years experience in injury
                   Managing Director & CEO (NSCA)                     management and prevention, he has worked with Comcare
                   Topic: NSCA Update                                 at an Executive level and the ACT Government.

                                                                      Mark has provided strategic leadership within the Chief
                                                                      Minister's Department to the ACT public sector across both
                                                                      workers' compensation and OHS, oversighting a whole-of-
                                                                      Government strategic approach and advising Government
                                                                      on outcomes and future directions.



Proudly supported by:




Please return this form to the NSCA by 22 July via: Email: eventregistration@nsca.org.au Fax: 02 9213 6222 Phone: 02 9213 6212
          WorkCover

ACT Commences National Campaign to Reduce Hospital Worker Injuries

                                A national campaign aimed at reducing the number of slips, trips and
                                manual task injuries sustained by non clinical hospital workers will run
                                throughout July. Non clinical hospital workers include those performing
                                kitchen, laundrette and clinical sterilisation duties.
                                The health and community services industry is a key contributor to the
                                high levels of slips, trips and manual task injuries in Australia.
                                Nationally, 17,400 compensation claims were made by workers in the
                                health and community services industry during 2004–2005.
                                The majority of injuries sustained by these workers were caused by
                                muscular stress due to manual tasks or repetitive movement and falls
                                and trips.

This campaign focuses on helping non clinical workplaces in the health and community services industry
to increase awareness of, and manage the associated risks.
The campaign has been developed by occupational health and safety authorities throughout Australia
and will involve Office of Regulatory Services Inspectors auditing hospitals and hospices across the ACT,
focusing on the control of manual task and slips and trips risks.
In the ACT slips, trips and manual task injuries cost the health and community services industry over
$3 million each year but what is not reflected in these figures are the emotional and physical costs of
the pain and suffering faced by those injured at work.
The Office of Regulatory Services has conducted industry briefings to key stakeholders including:
• the Canberra Hospital
• Calvary John James Hospital
• QE II Mothercraft Centre
• National Capital Private Hospital
• Canberra Eye Hospital
• ACT health sterilising and
• Capital Linen.
The briefings included information on the Heads of Workplace Safety Authority, the Office of Regulatory
Services and workplace safety. Further information on the national project objectives, what will
be covered in the workplace visits and how to prepare for the Inspector’s visits was also provided.
Stakeholders were also presented with a number of resource materials including manual handling
references.
Office of Regulatory Services Inspectors will provide practical OHS guidance and information during
the hospital audits.




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           WorkCover cont....

        Less Than Two Weeks to Have Your Say on Future OHS Laws
There are only two weeks left to make written submissions to the National Review into Model OHS Laws.
An issues paper on the harmonisation of OHS laws in Australia was released on 30 May 2008 with an
invitation to anyone with an interest to make a submission by 11 July 2008.
The public comment period allows everyone to express views that can be considered in the preparation
of reports to the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council in October and January.
Relevant information about the review and the submissions process,including a copy of the issues paper,
is available at: www.nationalohsreview.gov.au.
All submissions to the review must be accompanied by the Public Submission Cover Sheet.
The Chair of the review panel, Robin Stewart-Crompton, said, ‘The issues paper is a guide to those making
a submission and should not be seen as restrictive.
‘Any matters within the review’s terms of reference can be raised in a submission. It might respond to all
or some of the questions that are included in the issues paper. If they are not relevant to a person making
a submission, only matters that are important to that person need be covered.
‘All submissions will be published on the review’s website unless clearly marked “Confidential” or found
to contain content unsuitable for publication.’
For more information about the review or making a submission, please visit the review website at
http://nationalohsreview.gov.au.
Enquiries to the National OHS Review Secretariat can be made by email at:
enquiries@nationalohsreview.gov.au or by phoning 1300 131 798.
Background
• Various bodies, including the Council of Australian Governments and the Productivity Commission,
  recognise the importance ofharmonising these OHS laws to remove inconsistency, complexity and
  duplication.
• The Australian Government has initiated a national review of current OHS laws in each jurisdiction, which
  will inform the development of a model OHS Act that can be readily adopted by all jurisdictions.
• The Australian Government has committed to work cooperatively with State and Territory governments
  to harmonise OHS legislation within four years: by 2011.
• All State and Territory Workplace Relations Ministers have agreed the use of model legislation is the
  most effective way to achieve harmonisation of OHS laws.
• On 4 April 2008, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Julia Gillard MP,
  announced the appointment of an expert panel to conduct the national review.
• In conducting its review the panel has met with business, governments, unions and other interested
  parties. The panel began initial consultations in April 2008. Input from meetings with key stakeholders
  has helped shape the content of an issues paper that was released at the end of May.
• The panel will report to the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council in October 2008 and January 2009
  with recommendations on the optimal structure and content of a model OHS Act that is able to be
  adopted in all jurisdictions.
• The review will focus only on those issues contained inprincipal OHS acts that need to be harmonised
  to increase certainty for duty holders, reduce compliance costs for business and provide greater clarity
  for regulators, without compromising safety outcomes.
• The specific areas covered by the review are detailed in the Terms of Reference. It is available from
  the review website at http://www.nationalohsreview.gov.au.
• Profiles of the review panel members are available from thereview website.

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          WorkCover cont....

                   Use of Non-Potable Water in the Workplace

Water in both a potable and non-potable state is used at workplaces for various processes. Special
measures need to be taken for the use of water to ensure the health and safety of workers and
members of the public.
Non-potable water is water that is not of drinking quality. The quality will depend on its source and
the level of treatment applied. It therefore may contain biological hazards such as bacteria, viruses,
protozoa, helminths (e.g. worms), or chemical and metal residues, but if adequately treated, can
still be used for many purposes. Some examples of non-potable water include:
• Effluent – water from a sewage treatment plant such as the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control
  Centre.
• Greywater – waste water from a basin, bath, kitchen sink, washing machine, laundry tub or
  dishwasher.
• Surface water eg lakes, rivers, dams
• Rainwater
• Groundwater.
Non-potable water can be used for a variety of purposes, depending on its source and treatment and
workplaces may also use water from non-potable water sources with approval from the ACT Department
of Health, Health Protection Services.
One example is the treated effluent from the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre.
This can be used where the public cannot contact the water or the water is further treated such as
water features with disinfection, commercial landscaping, concrete batching, dust suppression,
vehicle wash down at construction sites, drip irrigation of non-food crops, irrigation of access
controlled public sites, commercial turf and golf courses and toilet flushing. For further
information on using treated effluent from the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre please
refer to the ACT Department of Health information brochure titled “Use of treated effluent from
the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre”.
Appropriate signage should be provided for non-potable water, stating it is not potable water in
accordance with the Australian Standard 1319-1994, Safety Signs for the Occupational Environment.
Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 (the Act) employers, persons in control of a
workplace, employees, self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers, and repairers and installers have
duties and responsibilities to provide safe workplaces, to ensure the health, safety and welfare of
people at workplaces and to minimise the risk of injuries to those people at or near workplaces.
In regard to the use of non-potable water, employers and persons in control of a workplace should
ensure that there are arrangements for the safe use, handling, storage and transport of any water
that is potentially hazardous. Employers and persons in control of a workplace should also ensure that
workers have adequate information, instruction, training and supervision to work with the water in a
safe and healthy manner.
The Office of Regulatory Services has recently developed an information Bulletin on the Use of
Non-Potable Water in the Workplace which can be found at:
www.workcover.act.gov.au/pdfs/infobulletins/IB1004-Non-Potable_Water.pdf




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          WorkCover cont....

                  How to Minimise Injuries to Real Estate Agents

                                 When people think of workplace injuries, images of construction
                                 sites tend to spring to mind. But workplace injuries can occur in any
                                 profession at any time, particularly when appropriate care is not taken,
                                 and the impact of these accidents can be severe and long term.
                                 One such profession that has experienced a recent increase in the
                                 amount of workplace injuries is real estate agents. In the 2006/2007
                                 financial year over $350,000 was paid out to compensate real estate
                                 agents injured while working.
                                 Of these injuries the most common type was ‘body stressing’. Body
                                 stressing refers to injuries caused by lifting, carrying or putting down
                                 objects and also includes injuries caused by long term repetitive
                                 movement. The most common location for these injuries was the back
                                 and many of these injuries could have been prevented with training in
                                 lifting techniques that minimise lower back stress.

The ACT Code of Practice for Manual Handling indicates that the risk of injury increases when lifting
weights in excess of 4.5 kilograms while sitting or 16-20 kilograms while standing.
As much of real estate agents work is out of the office they are subject to a variety of hazards uncommon
to most occupations. These hazards can range from fall and trip hazards to vehicle accidents and
verbal or physical harassment.
To minimise these risks real estate agents are advised to keep the following in mind:
Injuries can be prevented if agents are mindful of unsafe flooring, unsafe structures, exposed wiring
and aggressive animals. Agents should also be mindful of hazardous chemicals and any dangerous
machinery.
As agents rely heavily on their vehicles it is recommended that work vehicles be regularly serviced to
keep the vehicle operational, safe and unlikely to break down. Agents or their employers should keep
a record of vehicle maintenance and ideally vehicles should have remote locking and alarms to assist
agents if there is ever an incident or accident.
Agents are also commonly at clients’ properties alone or with prospective buyers or renters. This
leaves agents potentially vulnerable to injury as a result of harassment or aggressive behaviour. As part
of the agent’s overall management of OH&S within the workplace, and when visiting clients, a risk
assessment should be carried out that identifies any hazards associated with the work of the agents.
Agents can minimise these risks when meeting new clients or viewing properties in potentially unsafe
locations by taking a colleague or conducting meetings in an open office setting. Other strategies for
personal security include carrying a personal alarm, scheduling appointments during daylight hours,
noting avenues for leaving a property quickly and having strategies if a client starts to get aggressive.
It is also advisable to have a procedure in place in order to make regular contact with the agency.
Wherever possible, real estate agents should limit the amount of personal information they make
public. For example, if you are providing contact details provide a mobile number or office number
rather than a home number and an office address as opposed to a home address.
Agents should be aware that their employers are responsible for providing a safe working environment
for them. This is best achieved when agents communicate their concerns and perceived risks. So report
all incidents, near misses and concerns as soon as they occur.



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          WorkCover cont....

                       Death of Employee Leads to Convictions

The ACT Magistrates Court has convicted both the person in control of a workplace, and a company,
of offences under the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989 in the prosecution relating to the
death of an employee in March 2003. Patrick Neville Skeers and Territory Commercial Roofing Pty Ltd
were issued fines of $12,000 and $30,000 respectively in relation to the charge.
The legislation requires an organisation to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that its employees
and contractors, and any employees of a contractor, carry out their work in safe premises, use proper
and safe plant and substances, employ systems of work that are safe, and provide adequate instruction,
training and supervision.
A number of employees were fixing cladding to a wall with 25mm screws when one penetrated an
electrical cable resulting in the metal cladding and the roof becoming live.
When one of the employees touched the steel frame of the building he was electrocuted resulting in
his tragic death.
The worst part of both offences was that neither defendant checked the course of the electric cabling
running along the wooden battens of the wall to which the employee was affixing metal sheeting.
Furthermore they had not ensured that the power to the area was disconnected so there would be no
risk of electrocution.
The maximum penalty at the time of the offence was $25,000 for an individual and $125,000 for a company.
Amendments to the legislation have resulted in significant changes to the penalties.
The maximum penalty for the most serious offence of causing harm to people now carries a $1m fine
for corporations, $250,000 for individuals and up to 7 years jail.



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                                  Draft Revised OHS Laws

On 6 June 2008 the Minister for Industrial Relations released an Exposure Draft of the Work
Safety Bill 2008 for public comment. The Bill proposes an optimal framework for today’s work
and employment arrangements. The Exposure Draft is available for viewing and the consultation
arrangements invite comments from interested parties.
Information on the Exposure Draft, and consultaton arrangements and how you can make a
submission can be viewed at: www.legislation.act.gov.au/ca/db_32566/default.asp




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                            WorkCover cont....

                                New Asbestos Laws Affecting Non-Residential Buildings




             ��������������                                                        From 7 September, 2007, new laws have been
                                                                                   introduced for non-residential buildings. The
                                                                                   laws affect anyone who owns a building or who

             �����������������                                                     makes decisions about its management, for
                                                                                   example as an occupier or property manager.


             ����������                                                            The date by which you must comply with
                                                                                   the new laws varies depending on the
                                                                                   type of building - the first deadline being
                                                                                   September 2008.
                                                                                   The new laws require you to obtain a report
                                                                                   from a Licensed Asbestos Assessor, identifying
                                                                                   the location and condition of any asbestos in
                                                                                   your building.

                                                                                   You must then prepare and put into action a
                                                                                   written Asbestos Management Plan. This must
                                                                                   include an Asbestos Register that can be made
                                                                                   available to tenants, workers, contractors or any
                                                                                   other relevant people. It also needs to include
                                                                                   an action timetable for control measures and a
                                                                                   procedure for review.

                                                                                   The review must take place at least every
                                                                                   five years.
                                                                                   More information on the new laws is available
                                                                                   at: www.asbestos.act.gov.au/new_laws.html




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          WorkCover cont....


                     Accident Information Management System

The Accident Information Management System (AIMS) is a database that collects workers compensation
data for the ACT private sector workforce. Since June 1999, all approved insurers and self-insurers
in the Territory have been required to provide WorkCover with monthly data submissions. This data
includes comprehensive details of workers compensation insurance policies, claims and payment details
for injured workers, and wages and premium amounts.

Based on the data loaded into AIMS, a broad range of reports can be extracted. These reports are
produced for internal use, external government agencies and associated stakeholders. Among the
available reports are the Statistical Bulletins. The Statistical Bulletins have been created for each of
the 17 Australia and New Zealand Standards Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) categories and provide a
breakdown to show the positions held, the number and costs of accepted claims and the most common
mechanism of injury for each business within all 17 industries over the course of a financial year.

The Statistical Bulletins on the workers compensation scheme are now available online at:
www.workcover.act.gov.au/docs/aims.htm


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                                   Recent Hazard Alerts


Suspended Scaffold Failure
A number of serious incidents have occurred in Queensland and other parts of Australia when
workers have fallen from swingstage cradles. On 21 June 2008, two workers were fatally injured at
a Gold Coast construction site when the support system to the suspended scaffold appeared
to have failed.
http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/workplace/publications/alerts/suspendedscaffold/index.htm

Chemical Safety - tank decontamination Crucial
http://www.wst.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/95163/SA065.pdf

Suspended Scaffolding
http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/AD966B71-640E-48ED-BB8E-B084B278D344/0/
suspended_scaffolding_safety_alert_5616.pdf


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Working safely in the sun
An online training course for outdoor workers
SunSmart, the skin cancer prevention program of
The Cancer Council Australia, and iCourses, online
safety training specialists, are pleased to announce
‘Working safely in the sun’, a flexible training option
for learning about the hazards of sun exposure in the
workplace.
‘Working safely in the sun’ is ideal for employee safety training,
staff induction, refresher training programs or professional
development for H&S representatives.
The course allows organisations to train workers individually,
in small groups or have their own workplace trainer facilitate
the course. Workers can learn at their own pace, in their own
workplace and at a time that best fits a busy work schedule.
The course covers:
R ‘UV’ radiation – why it is harmful and when it is strong
  enough to damage the skin?
R Skin cancer – who is at risk?
R Five simple steps to protect your skin when working
  outdoors
R Looking out for skin cancer and how to check your skin
Make a start and register today.
Go to sunsmartelearning.com.au
For further information on SunSmart support services and
resources call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 or visit the
Cancer Council website in your state or territory and follow the
links to SunSmart or skin cancer prevention.
         Fair Trading cont....

                      Changes to Fitness Industry Code of Practice

                           The Fair Trading Fitness Industry Code of Practice (the Code) is a mandatory
                           code of practice for the business conduct of fitness centres and fitness industry
                           professionals in the ACT.
                           The first Code was introduced in July 1999 and was last updated in June 2005.
                           As with all industries, the environment the fitness industry operates in and consumer
                           expectations have evolved and changed since the 2005 Code was introduced.
As such, the Office of Regulatory Services is currently considering amendments to the current Code. The
Fair Trading Fitness Industry Code of Practice 2005 can be accessed at:
www.legislation.act.gov.au/ni/2005-474/current/pdf/2005-474.pdf
The Code’s three main objectives are:
• to promote consumer confidence in the fitness industry
• set standards that protect consumers financially and promote their health and well-being and
• establish procedures to resolveconsumer complaints.
Following consultation with the fitness industry, a number of amendments have been recommended for
the Code to help it better reflect its objectives and meet the changing needs of the ACT community.
The Draft Code, reflecting these amendments is available here at:
www.fairtrading.act.gov.au/pdfs/OtherInds/Fit_CoP-draft.pdf
An explanatory statement of the proposed amendments is available at:
www.fairtrading.act.gov.au/pdfs/OtherInds/Amendments-Fit_CoP.pdf
All members of the community are invited to provide comments and feed back on the proposed Draft
Code, and any aspect of the operation of the Code to fitnesscode@act.gov.au
Closing date for submissions is Friday 4 July 2008.
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                               Caribbean Holiday Scam Warning

Attorney General Simon Corbell today warned ACT residents to be wary of a telephone scam offering a
discounted Caribbean holiday which has resurfaced in Canberra.
“The calls are not from a real person – they are a voice recording with an American accent that describes the
offer and asks people to press 9 then give their credit card details to secure the deal,” Mr Corbell said.
“There is no deal. People who provide their credit card details will lose their money. The best advice I
can give to Canberrans is not to respond to offers, deals or requests for their personal details. Only give
out these details if you have initiated the contact.”
In September 2005 the Commissioner for Fair Trading warned Canberrans about a scam that gets people
to divulge their credit card details in order to take advantage of a ‘special’ holiday deal.
“Scams are designed to trick you into giving away your money or personal details,” Mr Corbell said.
“Scammers are criminals. They act illegally and can contact you from anywhere in the world as the
Caribbean scam proves.
“Think before you act on any offer that sounds too good to be true because it probably is.”

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         Fair Trading

                            Fire Footbags Banned in the ACT

Fire footbags are to be banned in the ACT following concerns they
could cause serious burns and start bush fires, Attorney General Simon
Corbell said today.
“I am placing an interim Product Safety Order on the supply of the Fire
Footbags, which are designed to be doused in flammable liquid and
ignited, then used by kicking or throwing them around like a hacky
sack,” Mr Corbell said.
“The Footbags are the shape of a small ball and manufactured from fire
resistant material.”
Mr Corbell says the ban has been issued because of concerns the
product has the potential to burn consumers and also poses a serious
risk of starting bush fires.
“There was a recent case in Western Australia where a 16 year
old boy burnt his hands while attempting to use the Fire Footbag,” Mr Corbell said.
“The interim order will prevent the serious risks that could arise out of the possession, handling or use
of this product, including the potential to cause personal injury and damage to property.
“This order does not prohibit the supply of this product for use by professional entertainers or for
theatrical use, provided the purchaser is able to demonstrate such qualifications or intended use.

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         Business and Industry Licensing

                Government Supports Local Business by Extending the
                         Registration of Business Names

The Attorney General, Simon Corbell MLA, today announced the commencement of reforms to the law
regarding registration of business names.
Business names are required to be registered in the ACT under the Business Names Act 1963. The Act
provides an accurate and secure register of business names that can be searched by members of the
public.
Prior to today, ACT businesses could only register their business name for three years. Reforms to the
law provide business with the choice of registering their business name for three or five years.
“The ability to register a business name for five years will assist the 3000 ACT businesses who register a
business name per year by reducing the frequency of registrations. This reform simplifies the regulatory
framework for business and supports local business.
In the last financial year the ACT Office of Regulatory Services processed 3,093 applications for registration
of a new business name and 3,614 renewals of a business name.
This reform is part of a package of amendments contained in the Regulatory Services Legislation
Amendment Act 2008. This Act also includes amendments which commence today in the Agents Act
2003, Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1997, Liquor Act 1975, Security Industry Act 2003
and the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977.

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         Births Deaths and Marriages

                                                Fees

Please make all cheques payable to the ‘Office of Regulatory Services’.

Services provided where a personal cheque is used will not be processed until the cheque has cleared.


                                                          Current               From 1 July 2008
Certificates
Birth, death, marriage or change of name                  $35                   $36

Commemorative birth or marriage certificate                $35                   $36
Commemorative birth or marriage package                   $49                   $51


Application for shortening of time                        $37                   $38


Application to register a change of Name                  $86                   $89


Civil partnerships
Application for endorsement and registration              $192.50*              $192.50*
Endorsement at commitment ceremony not
conducted by Deputy Registrar-General                     $165* (+$192.50)      $165* (+$192.50)
Endorsement at commitment ceremony
conducted by Deputy Registrar-General                     $275* (+$192.50)      $275* (+$192.50)


Application to alter register to record change of sex     $35                   $36


Instruments
Application to register an instrument                     $39                   $40
Application to search an instrument                       $12                   $13
Application to copy an instrument                         $12                   $20

Deeds
Application to register a deed                            $86                   $89
Application to search and copy a deed                     $19 Per page          $20
                                                          maximum fee $62


* Fees are GST applicable and include GST amount




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