General

Q. My company wants to introduce 12 hour shifts? I’m worried about the effects of this on breaks, rosters and time off.

Answer

The ACTU has developed a code of conduct for 12 hour shifts.

Q. My wife works for DHL Mascott (Freight forwarding Co. She is a data processor and is required to work most of the time on a computer terminal which was moved from the office at the Company site to out in the wharehouse with two large roller doors which are left open for extended period. The Company representative has stated that it is to allow parcel contents searches to be more streamline. Unfortunately the wharehouse is subject to climatic conditions cold wind dust etc. I feel her health is at risk. Because she is not in a union she is reluctant to complain to management who have promised a separate office by April. The cold winter will soon be upon us and she can’t type with gloves.

Answer

Under clause 48 of the new OHS regulation 2001, employers are required by law to ensure that, and I quote directly from the Legislation, “Employees exposed to cold have adequate access to heated or sheltered work areas and warm clothing or other personal protective equipment”.

The penalty for failing to comply is $27,500. The employer in the circumstances you raise is definitely in breach of the regulation and should not expose their employees to cold and, in particular, wind chill. The Regulation specifies shelterd areas and the employer is not providing this.

Q. OHS is a broad term, do you have a more distinct definition of what OHS is and the services it aims to provide in construction?

Answer

Occupational Health and Safety covers all safety in the Workplace and the OHS Legislation, particarly the OHS Regualtion 2001, specifically chapter 8 covers a whole range of issues such as induction, training, evacuation, demolition, etc.

There are also other parts which are relevant to construction and covers

  1. falls from heights,
  2. electricity,
  3. confined spaces,
  4. amenties,
  5. first aid

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