HSR News - November 2022 | Welcome Scott!
A special welcome to Scott Zackeresen who we are excited to announce has joined the QCU health and safety team. Scott’s principal role will be as the WHS Training Coordinator taking responsibility for delivery of Health and Safety Representatives’ (HSRs) training and working with Kylie Muscat in the HSR Support Service primarily around training needs for HSRs.
Scott first started working in the 1990s as a union organiser and has never lost his passion for workers rights. He is also an experienced union educator and trainer from the United Workers Union.
This is what Scott had to say about his new role.
“I’m genuinely excited to get this opportunity, and equally humbled by it. I’ve long had a strong interest in WHS - from working as a union organiser with members from prisons, cleaners, early childhood educators, casinos, funerals and crematoria, teacher aides, warehousing, dolphin trainers…you get the picture.
"And a common view by a range of stakeholders that WHS was only for blokey blue-collar sectors had me baffled. Although, it does seem to shifting for the better.
"The opportunity to add WHS to my union training kitbag is one I’m enormously enthusiastic about.
Looking forward to meeting and working with you all”.
Scott can be contacted on 07 3010 2555 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psychosocial Code of Practice Approved
It’s been a long time coming and now it is finally here. We have great news and can confirm that on Wednesday 9th November 2022 Minister Grace announced the approval of the ‘Managing the risk of psychosocial hazards at work’ Code of Practice in Parliament.
This follows the publication of the Work Health and Safety (Psychosocial Risks) Amendment Regulation 2022 on 14 October 2022, which notifies amendments the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 to include psychosocial hazard regulations.
The code and regulations commence on 1 April 2023.
Why is this code so important?
Research has shown that Psychosocial hazards in workplaces are real and growing every day.
Workers exposed to adverse workplace culture are at greater risk of developing a psychological injury caused by mental stress.
Any workplace hazard that creates a risk of harm to a workers psychological (mental) health are know as psychosocial hazards. These hazards can cause both psychological and physical harm.
The new code will ensure the PCBU treats the hazard in the same way as they would a physical hazard. Meaning they will be obligated to conduct the same risks assessments and apply the same control measures on psychosocial hazards as on the physical. The hazard becomes acknowledged instead of ignored.
Things you can do now to start to address this WHS issue in your workplaces.
1. The PCBU has a ‘Duty to Consult’ and has a ‘Duty to Identify’ psychosocial hazards’ within the workplace.
2. Complete or ensure a risk assessment has been done. A Psychosocial risk assessment is done the same as a physical risk assessment.
3. Follow the ‘Hierarchy of Controls’ – Eliminate, Substitute, Isolate/Engineering controls, Administrative and PPE.
Some examples of Psychosocial hazards are:
- High or low job demands
- Violence and aggression
- Harassment, this includes sexual harassment
- Poor support
- Conflict or poor workplace relationships and interactions
- Traumatic events
- Remote or isolated work.
Psychosocial Hazard Training
Queensland Unions and Health and Safety Representatives Support Service will be offering training on the new code of practice and how to apply it to the workplace. For more information contact Jan Clarke on (07) 3010 2555 or at email@example.com
(Dates for 2023 will be available middle of December)
We recently conducted a survey to inform our submission for the Workplace Health & Safety Act Review and another survey to inform the development of the new HSR Support Service Web Page.
Health & Safety Representatives WHS Act Review Survey
HSR Support Service Web Page
This survey covered which additional FAQ’s HSR’s would like to see added to the page.
All of these questions have been added to the FAQs on the Health & Safety Representatives Support Service Web Page.
Thank you to all the Health and Safety Representatives that took part in both Surveys.
Your participation assists in the continuing improvement of our service and the improvement of health and safety in workplaces across Queensland.