Chairman of the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) Bill Scales said that several important decisions in the ASCC’s work to lead and coordinate national efforts to prevent workplace death, injury and disease were made at the Council’s eighth meeting, held recently in Canberra. Key outcomes of the meeting included:
- Declaration of the ‘National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls in General Construction’ (General Falls Code) with an implementation time frame of two years to allow consistent and timely adoption of the national code;
- Release for public comment of a package of documents for the draft ‘National Code of Practice for the Prevention of Falls in Housing Construction’ (Housing Falls Code). The draft Housing Code provides practical guidance to the residential construction sector on how to comply with the requirements of the National Standard;
- Endorsement of the ‘Work-related traumatic injury fatalities, Australia, 2004–05’ report. This report contains the most valid and applicable data collection on the number of workers and bystanders who died each year from work-related injury.
- Endorsement of the ‘Notified Fatalities Statistical Report July 2007 to December 2007’ report. This report summarises notifications of fatalities that have occurred during the first part of the financial year from 1 July to 31 December 2007.
- Endorsement of the ‘Occupational Disease Indicators, April 2008’ report. This report is the second in a series of biennial reports, providing information about the movement in the incidence of occupational disease;
- Decision to undertake a nationally consistent approach to jurisdictional OHS responsibility in ports. The council agreed to the establishment of a technical group to further develop the national material arising from the Victorian waterfront project; and
- Endorsement of the 2008–09 ASCC Business Plan with agreement that it be forwarded to the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council for consideration.
The data-related reports were endorsed by the council to continue the compilation of the most accurate and credible data on work-related fatalities.
The panel of the national review into model OHS laws provided the council with an update on the progress of the national review.
Panel chair Robin Stewart-Crompton provided members with an outline of the consultation his panel intends to undertake in reaching its findings on the optimal structure of model OHS legislation.
Members of all states and territories, the Commonwealth, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) were in attendance at the meeting.
Australian Safety and Compensation Council