Reminder OH&S Reps Conference

4 October 2010

Comrades,

Reminder; Reminder; Reminder; Reminder; Reminder

Health and Safety Representatives Conference
Melbourne Conference Centre
27 October 2010

The topics to be covered at the conference include asbestos, bullying and manual handling risks. 

All elected Health and Safety Representatives are entitled to attend on paid time. This is a WorkSafe Victoria approved course of training under s69 of the OHS Act 2004.

Notify your employer that you wish to attend in the next week.
Fill in the form that was attached to your September newsletter. If you can’t find that call me and I’ll get one to you by return mail or you can register through Trades Hall on http://www.ohsrep.org.au .

Goats

In July I told you that WorkSafe Victoria is producing guidance on the safe handling of goats. I asked for your help to respond to their draft. Some of you told us about the risks and suggested controls. We made a submission which you can find in Resources.  As a result WorkSafe Victoria has provided useful guidance material. You can find WorkSafe Victoria's Guidance Note on the Safe Handling of Goats.

Rights of Health and Safety Reps

For 25 years we have had the right to elect Health and Safety Reps who have Rights and Powers to make the employers provide work that is safe and without risk to health. Many of us can’t remember or imagine what it was like before unions won these rights.

When our rights look like being watered down (by proposals such as Harmonisation) some workers can’t see that it really matters.

One way to see the way things were is to look at other places around the world where workers don’t have the right to elect reps with rights. Given that the Commonwealth Games has just started it is a good time to look at India.

You can do this by looking at stories in International Stories one on the Delhi Games and another on Death from Pesticides and Bullets.

We need our elected Health and Safety Reps who have Rights and Powers; we must defend them.

40th Anniversary of the West Gate Bridge Collapse

At 11.50am on 15th October 1970 the partially completed West Gate Bridge collapsed killing 35 workers. Many workers were also injured. It was one of the worst industrial accidents in Australia’s history.

Forty years on the union movement and working people will never forget what happened on that day. Every October occupational health and safety should be given a special emphasis in all of our workplaces.

ILO re-iterates position on asbestos

A statement from a United Nations body confirming its desire to see the end of asbestos use worldwide is the ‘death knoll’ for a substance which claims one life every five minutes around the clock, the global union confederation ITUC has said.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) warned in an official position statement that industry lobbyists pushing asbestos around the world must not claim to have ILO support. 

ITUC General Secretary, and previous President of the ACTU, Sharan Burrow said the ILO statement provides welcome support for the global union campaign to see a ban on asbestos worldwide and a just transition to safer, better jobs for displaced asbestos workers. 

‘ILO has confirmed that it wants to see the elimination of asbestos use worldwide, full stop,’ she said. ‘Coming on the heels of calls for a global ban on asbestos use from major scientific, medical and occupational health groups, this sounds the death knoll for the deadly fibre and a fatal blow for the asbestos pushers.’

Gwynnyth Evans
Health & Safety/WorkCover Officer
Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union
Phone: 03 9662 3766
Fax: 03 9662 9549
Email: amieuvic@bigpond.com