Discussion:
Workchoices and Occupational Health and Safety
(too old to reply)
John - Melb
2007-10-30 13:38:49 UTC
Permalink
AWAs an unsafe break for workers
April 17, 2007

Figures on Australian Workplace Agreements have revealed widespread
breaches of occupational health and safety law. 30% of all AWAs that
have been examined reveal that workers get no rest breaks during their
scheduled hours of work.
"This is not only harsh and unfair - it is criminal," said Brian Boyd,
Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council.

"Workers are protected by occupational health and safety law. Our
Victorian law says that the employer has to provide a safe system of
work - and that includes decent rest breaks. It's not good for us to
work without any break. We aren't machines and employers shouldn't
treat us as such," said Mr Boyd.

"This is just another example of how harsh and unjust John Howard's
workplace laws are. Howard isn't content with helping employers slash
the family pay packet and time with our families. Now he is
encouraging employers to break health and safety law. Employers think
they can do what they want under Howard's laws, but they are
forgetting that State based OHS laws still call them to account,"
added Mr Boyd.

The VTHC was commenting after The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
obtained statistics collected by the OEA from a sample of 5250
Australian workplace agreements lodged between April and September
last year.

Mr Boyd called on WorkSafe Victoria to prosecute any employer found to
have taken away this safety condition under the Occupational Health
and Safety Act.
John - Melb
2007-10-30 13:46:30 UTC
Permalink
Howard Govt IR laws will hurt workplace health and safety
02 May 2006



The ACTU has called on the Howard Government to repeal the sections of
its new industrial relations laws that ban workplace agreements from
giving workers leave to attend union-provided health and safety
training or meetings.



ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said today:


"Employment Minister Kevin Andrews is wrong to say that health and
safety regulation is wholly a matter for State and Territory
governments.


The Howard Government's new WorkChoices IR laws ban workplace
agreements from mandating that health and safety training can be
provided by a trade union.


Section 8.5 of the WorkChoices IR regulations lists various matters
that are banned or deemed 'prohibited content' in a Collective
Agreement or individual contract (AWA), stating:


A term of a workplace agreement is prohibited content to the extent
that it deals with the following:


(c) employees bound by the agreement receiving leave to attend
training (however described) provided by a trade union;


(d) employees bound by the agreement receiving paid leave to attend
meetings (however described) conducted by or made up of trade union
members;


WorkChoices Regulations: Division 7.1, Subdivision B, Section 8.5


And Section 365 of the WorkChoices law provides that a person who
seeks to include prohibited content in a workplace agreement can be
subject to Government fines and penalties of up to $6,000 for
individuals and $33,000 for unions.


Thousands of Australian workers in almost every industry receive
health and safety training by unions every year.


It is a fact that in the last two years alone, NSW unions have trained
20,000 workers in occupational health and safety with access to the
training specifically provided under the trade union training leave
clauses that are in awards and agreements.


It is essential that Australian workers continue to have access to
health and safety and other training that unions provide.


I call on the Prime Minister to intervene and repeal the ban in the
new WorkChoices legislation on union training in workplace agreements
on union training in workplace agreements," said Mr Combet.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

that's 10,000 workers a year, in NSW alone, who wont receive
Occupational Health and Safety Training because of Workchoices.
Xerxes Berkus
2007-10-30 13:47:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by John - Melb
AWAs an unsafe break for workers
April 17, 2007
Figures on Australian Workplace Agreements have revealed widespread
breaches of occupational health and safety law. 30% of all AWAs that
have been examined reveal that workers get no rest breaks during their
scheduled hours of work.
"This is not only harsh and unfair - it is criminal," said Brian Boyd,
Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council.
"Workers are protected by occupational health and safety law. Our
Victorian law says that the employer has to provide a safe system of
work - and that includes decent rest breaks. It's not good for us to
work without any break. We aren't machines and employers shouldn't
treat us as such," said Mr Boyd.
"This is just another example of how harsh and unjust John Howard's
workplace laws are. Howard isn't content with helping employers slash
the family pay packet and time with our families. Now he is
encouraging employers to break health and safety law. Employers think
they can do what they want under Howard's laws, but they are
forgetting that State based OHS laws still call them to account,"
added Mr Boyd.
The VTHC was commenting after The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age
obtained statistics collected by the OEA from a sample of 5250
Australian workplace agreements lodged between April and September
last year.
Mr Boyd called on WorkSafe Victoria to prosecute any employer found to
have taken away this safety condition under the Occupational Health
and Safety Act.
430,000 more NESB migrants forced to work in dangerous conditions for a
pittance in our own version of the Mexican cheap labour river crossing the
border .. but who wants to look at the detail when "430,000 jobs" sounds so
much better?

XB
John - Melb
2007-10-30 13:50:39 UTC
Permalink
The Guardian 10 May, 2006

WORKPLACE SAFETY:
Gone under WorkChoices

Anna Pha



The tragic accident at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania is a
grim reminder to many workers of the serious nature and potential
consequences of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation as to
how it affects Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews is ducking and dodging
questions about the outlawing of trade union training of any sort
being included in Workplace Agreements.

Instead he points to the states suggesting that health and safety
regulations are wholly a matter for state and territory governments.

What he does not add is that his government is about to introduce a
national system of Occupational Health and Safety in the place of the
existing health and safety legislation and regulations in states and
territories.

Provisions for leave to attend training - including health and safety
training - provided by a trade union are prohibited content in
enterprise agreements.

So too are any provisions for receiving paid leave to attend meetings
conducted by or made up of trade union members.

A person who seeks to have included prohibited content such as paid
training leave for occupational health and safety could face fines of
up to $6000 dollars and $33,000 for unions.

Thousands of Australian workers in almost every industry receive
health and safety training by unions every year.

Occupational health and safety was removed from awards previously by
the Government as a non-allowable matter.

When Labor leader Kim Beazley linked the fight to save the two
surviving miners at Beaconsfield to the Government's industrial
relations changes, saying that the new laws will not protect the right
to proper workplace training which has been crucial in the rescue
operation, Kevin Andrews reacted strongly: "He knows that occupational
health and safety is a matter in this case of the legislation in
Tasmania and yet he tries to link this to this tragic accident in a
way that I find quite appalling", he said.

Andrews called on Beazley to offer an abject apology to the people of
Australia.

But it is Andrews who owes the people of Australia an apology and he
also owes it to the people to repeal the legislation which will put at
risk many, many more lives.

The hypocrisy of the Minister knows no bounds. He diverts questions
about whether the WorkChoices legislation to the issue of workers
being protected by the states, yet his Government is preparing to
introduce legislation that will in effect remove the very protection
that states and territories offer workers who are not covered by other
legislation or enterprise agreements under the federal system.

Our lives in Andrews' hands

Andrews has no intention of doing anything to strengthen or protect
workers in the workplace.

His government has already abolished the National Occupational and
Safety Commission.

The new body which has taken over the assets of the old commission had
its first meeting on October 20, 2005.

The Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC), as it is
called, is chaired by Bill Scales who has been the secretary of the
Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the chairman and chief
executive officer of the Productivity and Industry Commissions and
chairman and chief executive officer of the Automotive Industry
Association.

Scales is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company
Directors, giving him impeccable credentials as an appointee of the
Howard Government to "protect" workers' occupational health and
safety.

The former National Occu�pational Health and Safety Commission was a
statutory body, an independent commission accountable to parliament
with considerable powers to hold inquiries, issue summonses and carry
out its other duties.

The new body is no longer accountable to parliament but is the child
of the Minister.

The Government set in train last year a review on "Reducing regulatory
burdens on business". The taskforce reported on its recommendations
regarding regulations, in January 2006.

In this review they said: "While employers and their representatives
confirmed their support for the policy objectives underlining OH&S
regulation, they were concerned that inconsistency across
jurisdictions add significantly to compliance costs for businesses
operating nationally; that liability is not reasonably shared between
employers and employees; that OH&S training is not embedded in
industry training packages; and that regulators are reluctant to
provide advice and support on compliance and changes to the rules."

Just as we were told there were too many awards and it was too complex
and expensive for employers to deal with these, we are now being told
there are far too many occupational health and safety regulations and
agreements.

And in a fashion similar to the Government's treatment of the award
system and the contents of agreements the plan now is to gut the
content of occupational health and safety provisions, and thus give
employers a highly deregulated environment.

The consequence of this will be many more accidents, deaths, injuries
and disease for workers.

Proof before payment

The task force has raised the question of liability. There is a battle
on now by employers against provisions that hold employers responsible
for workplace accidents and could even see them jailed in cases of
fatalities.

At present workers have some protection from a "no-fault" system which
means that an injured worker can access benefits without first having
to prove negligence by the employer for a claim to be successful.

"Liability therefore, given a no-fault system, rests with the employer
or any person who is in control of a workplace that is not the
employer, such as a building or a property owner or a manager", says a
taskforce statement.

"The taskforce is calling on the Council of Australian Governments
(COAG) to request the Australian Safety and Compensation Council to
examine the duty of care provisions in principal Occupation Health and
Safety Acts as a priority area for harmonisation. The Council is
calling on COAG to implement nationally consistent standards for
occupational health and safety and to apply a test whereby
jurisdictions must demonstrate a net public benefit if they want to
vary a National OH&S standard or code to suit local conditions."

Contained in all of these recommendations is the potential, and no
doubt the aim, of watering down the regulations, watering down the
liability and responsibility of employers and replacing them with a
system where it will be on the head of the workers to demonstrate that
they were not the cause of the accident or were not in any way
negligent.

There is another aspect to all of this. When Kevin Andrews ducks
questions about WorkChoices legislation and the impact it will have on
occupational health and safety he leaves the impression that the
protection remains.

The fact is that it is not possible under the legislation to legally
continue the training of thousands and thousands of workers in a way
they've been trained before by the trade union movement.

The taskforce is looking for industry training which means that
various corporations will be in control of the training workers
receive - a real conflict of interests if ever there was one.

Companies are notorious when it comes to cutting costs and avoiding
occupational health and safety provisions.
gonesailing_gonefishing
2007-10-31 07:49:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by John - Melb
The Guardian 10 May, 2006
Gone under WorkChoices
Anna Pha
The tragic accident at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania is a
grim reminder to many workers of the serious nature and potential
consequences of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation as to
how it affects Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Roger
2007-10-31 09:37:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by gonesailing_gonefishing
Post by John - Melb
The Guardian 10 May, 2006
Gone under WorkChoices
Anna Pha
The tragic accident at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania is a
grim reminder to many workers of the serious nature and potential
consequences of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation as to
how it affects Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Do the legwwork yourself and look at reported accidents to the variuos State
workercover authorities - you'll see an alarming increase since slavechoices
came into effect. When piece rates are so much a part of slavechoices you
always
see jumps in industrial accidents.
gonesailing_gonefishing
2007-10-31 11:50:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger
Post by gonesailing_gonefishing
Post by John - Melb
The Guardian 10 May, 2006
Gone under WorkChoices
Anna Pha
The tragic accident at the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania is a
grim reminder to many workers of the serious nature and potential
consequences of the Howard Government's WorkChoices legislation as to
how it affects Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace.
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Do the legwwork yourself
Take a flying fuck up your boyfriend's arse. The maggot makes the
claim, the maggot can prove his rant.

and look at reported accidents to the variuos State
Post by Roger
workercover authorities - you'll see an alarming increase since slavechoices
came into effect.
You feel brave enough to prove the two are related? Try foreign non-
English speaking "tradesman" who come a from a "fuck the safety, let's
just do the job." Try bosses who were cunts to his Australian workers,
and who have pissed off to greener pastures, ry bosses who treat their
foreign labour even worse than they did the locals, and there's just
one or two things that are the realities, and have nothing to do with
the current government in Canberra.

When piece rates are so much a part of slavechoices you
Post by Roger
always
"Always?" You want to post some proof on that one?

see jumps in industrial accidents.

And while you do, check on who is involved in the "accidents."

Further, remember this - workplace safety is an issue that rests on
EVERYBODIES shoulders, not just those of the boss.
John - Melb
2007-10-31 21:50:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by gonesailing_gonefishing
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Read the fucking posts again

"Figures on Australian Workplace Agreements have revealed widespread
breaches of occupational health and safety law. 30% of all AWAs that
have been examined reveal that workers get no rest breaks during
their
scheduled hours of work."

OK, PROVED.

You can fuck off now you obnoxious arsehole
gonesailing_gonefishing
2007-11-01 07:44:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by John - Melb
Post by gonesailing_gonefishing
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Read the fucking posts again
"Figures on Australian Workplace Agreements have revealed widespread
breaches of occupational health and safety law. 30% of all AWAs that
have been examined reveal that workers get no rest breaks during their
scheduled hours of work."
OK, PROVED.
Nope, you have proved sweet fuck all, you mindless union suckhole.
John - Melb
2007-11-01 16:26:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John - Melb
Post by gonesailing_gonefishing
Prove it. No bullshit, no pissant whinging and whining, no ducking and
dodging, simply post the proof.
Read the fucking posts again
"Figures on Australian Workplace Agreements have revealed widespread
breaches of occupational health and safety law. 30% of all AWAs that
have been examined reveal that workers get no rest breaks during their
scheduled hours of work."
OK, PROVED.
Nope, you have proved sweet fuck all, you mindless union suckhole.-
30% of AWAs checked contained unsafe working conditions, I'd
personally like to see any employer who causes injury or death through
negligence charged with criminal offences.
gonesailing_gonefishing
2007-11-03 05:02:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by John - Melb
30% of AWAs checked contained unsafe working conditions, I'd
personally like to see any employer who causes injury or death through
negligence charged with criminal offences.
Already happens, you one-eyed union suckarse.

Just because comrade union head arse fucker doesn't know and doesn't
tell you is no evidence that it doesn't happen.

It's a big wide brown world we live in and, not that you would ever
know, but Melbourne trades hall is NOT the centre of the universe.
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