Vietnamese workers to benefit from new safety initiative
The manufacturing industry and Vietnamese community will benefit from a new safety initiative developed after a workplace incident in which a man’s hand was crushed while folding sheet metal.
Premier Ducts (Qld) Pty Ltd and company director Sau Van Tran have entered an enforceable undertaking with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland which provides safety benefits worth more than $330,000.
The EU agreement follows an incident in August 2019 in which a Premier Ducts employee who was folding sheet metal noticed the blocks of the plant were not aligned. The worker put his left hand under the press to align the blocks and then accidently placed a foot on the pedal which activated the folding blocks in a downwards stroke. As result, he sustained a laceration and crush injuries to his left hand.
It is alleged the company and its director failed to meet their work safety duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
In the event of an alleged contravention of WHS laws, the Regulator may, as an alternative to prosecution, accept an EU by those alleged to have committed the contravention. An accepted EU aims to deliver tangible WHS benefits to workers and the workplace, industry and the community, which would not be achieved through a prosecution.
The Premier Ducts EU implements important WHS improvements across its operations and funds research into work safety issues in the industry and the Vietnamese community. A combined undertaking by the company and Mr Tran will see dedicated toolbox safety sessions and staff employed to develop an occupational health and safety management system.
An external occupational health and safety consultant will develop and implement an online bilingual OHSMS with information in both English and Vietnamese. It will address the varying literacy levels in the workforce, as well as delivering WHS induction and training for workers in English and Vietnamese and provide a monthly director OHS coaching session.
An ergonomics consultant will do a hazardous manual tasks assessment and deliver a hazardous manual tasks training course. There will also be three independent audits of Premier Duct’s OHSMS over the life of the undertaking, including verification that any recommendations identified within the audits are recorded as actioned and implemented.
Industry and the community will also benefit with the business participating in industry occupational hygiene research projects conducted by the University of Queensland. Funds will be provided for UQ students to visit the worksite and plan, execute, interpret, and report on the collection of occupational hygiene data, including designing a control strategy for chemical, physical, or biological hazards.
The company also will stage a supply chain forum highlighting lessons learnt and initiatives arising from this undertaking, as well as hosting a Vietnamese Brisbane business forum with a focus on managing health and safety, lessons learned and specified initiatives arising from this undertaking. The forum will also include a notable Vietnamese guest speaker from the broader Australian Vietnamese community who will also talk about business management mindset and safe working environments.
Read more about this and other enforceable undertakings in Queensland.