Workplace Health and Safety

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Don’t Get Caught

When was the last time you caught your hand or finger on a Silky Saw blade while cutting a branch?

Trust me, I’ve seen a few gnarly photos, it happens too often. Why does this happen?

Many people think bigger is better and for somethings that is true! But when you are talking saw teeth, this is not the case. If you are cutting a small or thin branch and try to use a saw that has big teeth you may end up with an injury.

Poor Adam found out the hard way that using a large tooth saw for small branches can result in the saw catching on the branch… and eventually your thumb.

When was the last time this happened to you? Do you want to know how to stop your saw from slicing through skin? A fine tooth saw can be the helping hand you need. Why? Fine tooth saws are designed for small branches and cutting dry / hard branches, bamboo, carpentry / woodworking, bonsai… even bone! Fine tooth saws are available in different blade lengths, and come in both a folding saw and hand saw.

If you’re an arborist or an avid gardener and spend all day pruning, or if you have small branches at home, it is necessary to have the right tools for that particular job.

So having a fine tooth saw attached to your belt or harness or in close proximity to slice through thin or dead branches will make the task seem effortless.

Call Arborlab Tree Care and chat with Jannita on (07) 3823 1599

For more information http://www.arborlab.com.au

August 16, 2019 / by / in , ,
WHS Laws

Independent review finds model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws are operating as intended.

Safe Work Australia has announced that the review of the model WHS laws is complete and the report is currently available on the Safe Work Australia website.

“I commend the review report to WHS ministers for their consideration. On behalf of Safe Work Australia, I extend my thanks to Marie Boland for undertaking this important work and engaging widely with the community to understand how the model WHS laws are working in practice,” said Safe Work Australia Chair Ms Diane Smith-Gander.

“Safe Work Australia is committed to ensuring the model WHS laws are as effective as possible to keep Australian workers healthy and safe and will continue to conduct regular reviews,” said Ms Smith-Gander.

The report includes 34 recommendations to enhance the WHS framework. Key recommendations relate to the model WHS Regulations and Codes of Practice, including making regulations on psychological health, higher penalties and other measures to strengthen the compliance and enforcement framework and enhance deterrence, and clarifying requirements for meaningful WHS consultation, representation and participation to improve safety outcomes.

The review report is with WHS ministers for consideration at http://www. safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/review-model-whs-laws-final-report

More information can be found at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/law-and-regulation/model-whs-laws/review-model-whs-laws

August 12, 2019 / by / in , ,
Mobile Hazards

The distractions of mobile phones and social media are turning out to be a significant cost to modern businesses.

As we become more connected via social media, and more entertained by the readily accessible sea of apps, games and the accompanying notifications, we are losing some vital skills as well as the reliance on our basic awareness of our surroundings. It would seem that the more we connect via our devices, the less connected we become in reality.

As we lose the ability to communicate one to one, we not only lose the ability to construct a compelling conversation, but also the ability to listen and understand instruction. This is a real problem in our industry as we have a lot of young people entering our workforce who have no idea what life was like without mobile phones, iPods, and the ability to send or receive an SMS or email. They want instant gratification, they have more rights than previous generations and therefore generally are more inclined to do what they want without fear of retribution. It is difficult to measure the exact impact this has had on workplace health and safety. However, I suspect it has played more of a part than we know.

The most obvious distraction is the use of a mobile phone while either operating or in the immediate vicinity of heavy machinery. Not only for phone calls but to access social media, sending SMS messages and even listening to music. All of these distract the employee from the task at hand. You’ve probably seen it done on your site. Everybody knows it’s dumb, so what I’ve noticed is that often those wearing the ear buds, talking to their girlfriend or listening to their music, will wear a hoodie to make it less obvious. What does that do? Just make everyone around you assume that you heard them coming, or you heard the reverse alarm or the horn. You might as well paint a target on your back.

Some worksites are treating this potentially deadly, hazardous practise as exactly that by introducing strict rules about the use of mobile phones and the authority to even carry one. Designated areas are being established where a phone call may be made and the caller must remain inside the designated zone for the duration of the call. Walking and talking is not allowed as this gives rise to slips, trips, falls and/or the potential to walk into the path of mobile equipment. This may seem extreme, but if so, that’s just a result of your conditioning due to what you’ve been exposed to. If you think about it, taking into account the motivation for such a policy, it actually makes perfect sense.

The Hidden Toll

How’s this for putting it in perspective for you? An online source reports that by the end of 2016, as many as 12 people had died as a direct result of being distracted by the Pokemon Go App. The reported number of hospitalisations was much higher. Bear in mind what it was that the deceased were doing at the time. Chasing fictitious characters on a game they’d downloaded onto their so called “smart” phone. The costs to productivity initially being absorbed by businesses, are then being passed on to the consumer in order to maintain their profit margin.

Do the math in your head, if for example a large multinational essential service provider employs 5000 staff, each of whom spend on average 15 minutes per day checking their social media feed, that equates to 1250 wasted hours per day. Divide that into standard 7.6-hour shifts and they’re essentially employing an additional 164.4 people each day that they could do without if everyone stayed on task. These costs creep into the product or service you consume.

So, even if you’re not on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Snapchat, Viber or even LinkedIn, guess what? Not only are you paying for it anyway, you may also be injured at work by someone who is. The smart move is to leave the smart phone off while you’re at work.

July 26, 2019 / by / in , ,
Winter Is Coming

Prepare yourself for the winter months.

Winter is coming and this is commonly when people suffer from colds and flus. We can’t afford time off work, we have to continue to look after the kids and we don’t want to give up our exercise regime and social activities. So the bottom line is we don’t have time to get sick! Prevention is the answer and there are things you can be doing this season to prepare your immune system.

Chiropractic care has been proven to help boost your immune function. In fact, one study suggested that chiropractic patients have 200 per cent greater immune competence than those who do not receive chiropractic care. The nervous system and the immune system work together to create optimal responses for the body to adapt and heal appropriately. Studies have demonstrated that neck and mid-back adjustments by a chiropractor may elicit a response that activates certain immune cells within the body to help fight these germs.

We can’t afford time off work, we have to continue to look after the kids and we don’t want to give up our exercise regime and social activities.

Use These Five Tips To Boost Your Immune System This Season:

  • A probiotic works to balance your good bacteria in your digestive tract where up to 80 per cent of your immune system is held. Making sure this is properly balanced allows your immune system to work at optimal
  • Keep well hydrated – especially in the colder weather we are less likely to drink water. Keeping hydrated decreases stress and allows your body to be functioning more optimally
  • Reduce your dairy, carbohydrate and refined sugar intake. These can be inflammatory in your body and possibly put stress on your immune system
  • Regular exercise is important for balancing the immune system. Even incorporating a 30-minute walk four to five times a week has a massive impact on your health
  • Utilise natural strategies to support your immune system rather than just blocking the symptoms. Use things like lemon and garlic and olive leaf extract versus going straight to a decongestant or cough suppressant

If you would like more information on how to boost your immune system or if you have any questions contact us at Chiropractic Central and you can speak to a professional on our team at (02) 9418 9031 or [email protected]

July 15, 2019 / by / in ,
Fueling Your Body

Are you sick and tired of being tired and sick?

Energy. Why does it seem like some people have so much of it and others can barely get out of bed in the morning?

We need to start treating our bodies like the amazing things they are, rather than just taking them for granted and only thinking about them when something starts to ‘break down’. If you take your car to be serviced, get the oil changed, have the wheels aligned and you proactively keep it tuned-up you know it’s going to last longer, have fewer problems and perform to the best of its ability! Don’t you think you should start looking at your body the same way? So how do we change the oil and align the tires in our bodies?

Below are some tips to start implementing today.

  1. Drink More Water! So many of us are walking around like shrivelled-up, old prunes because we’re NOT hydrated. Next time your energy is feeling low, grab a litre of water and drink up. It’s also a great idea to start your day with a litre of water before you have anything else – make a commitment to drink more water.
  2. Get Moving. If your energy is low it can sometimes deter you from moving but trust me, even the biggest sleepy heads have found mega energy by moving their bodies. Even just 15 minutes will give you a brilliant energy boost.
  3. Be Happy. No-one likes a ‘Sad Harry’ so when someone asks you how you are, tell enormous. Next time you find your internal dialogue saying, “I feel tired” or “I don’t have any energy” try replacing it with, “I feel fantastic and I have loads of energy” – watch the power these simple phrases can have on your life.
  4. Despite what we’re told by the media the sun is NOT out to get us. It’s the greatest source of energy and I encourage you to get outside in it! Don’t be stupid and fry yourself to a crisp though – try putting some cold-pressed coconut oil on your skin and get out for mins or so, instant energy!
  5. Have you ever eaten a meal and then slipped into a ‘food coma’?
    You know the one where you’re laying on the couch and don’t want to move? It feels gross doesn’t it? When you eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds this doesn’t happen. Wholefoods give you masses of energy and the fuel your body needs to be at full potential!
  1. Find out your spinal age. You are only as old as your spine and this is why you can see two 60-year olds walking down the street who may have completely different postures, activity levels, levels of happiness and levels of arthritis and decay. One has a much older spinal age than the other. Have your spine checked by a wellness chiropractor to be getting the most performance and energy out of your body.

For more information contact the Chiropractic Central in Lane Cove via email at [email protected] or call (02) 9418 9031.

June 10, 2019 / by / in , ,
Adding Movement

Inspired by the best athletic wear, protective clothing by Husqvarna comes with built-in agility and a host of features to enhance comfort and performance – all without ever compromising safety.

To get to your workplace, you often have to tackle any number of obstacles where you may climb, jump, stretch and twist – that’s where your protective wear needs to provide you with more than just safety. It needs to follow your every move and be as light as possible, adjust to the cold, the heat and your own body temperature. And it needs to be comfortable, whatever you’re doing – and wherever you’re going.

The materials used in Husqvarna protective clothes have either been developed by them, or handpicked and put through numerous tests in their lab and in the forest to make sure they make the cut.

Husqvarna Technical Extreme is their ultimate range of protective clothing where style, fit and performance is taken to the extreme. It’s built for people who need lightweight comfort, breathability and protection in extreme conditions. With pre-bent knees and sleeves, slim fit, durable stretch fabrics, protection and smart, task-specific design, it’s designed to enable total performance all day. Every day. The range includes jacket and trousers.

Technical Extreme Jacket

Modern design with slim fit and advanced stretch material for excellent comfort. Strong reinforcement material is used on critical areas, including the unique pre-bent arms, to provide added protection. Two-way ventilation zippers under the arms. Reflective fabric on the arms, reflective band.

Technical Extreme Trousers

Trousers with the same slim fit, stretch, and reinforced material as the jacket, plus chainsaw protection. Unique pre-bent knees and ventilation zippers at the backs of the legs. Velcro adjustments around the waist ensures a perfect fit for both men and women.

Key Features for Technical Extreme Adjust for perfect fit.

The clothes come with hook and loop wrist and ankle strap as well as elastic drawstrings at the waist and at the lower bottom of the jacket, allowing you to adjust your gear for perfect fit.

Keep Your Trousers in Place.

Attach the boot hook on the inside of the cuff to your laces, to keep them tightly secured.

Braces Included.

The trousers come with quality braces, so they stay safely and comfortably in place all day.

Well Ventilated.

Openings at the yoke and the lower back make for good ventilation. Zippers in the armpits and at the back of the legs let you adjust the airflow to your liking.

Easy-Access Pockets.

The jacket has two pockets on the chest, one on the sleeve, and a dedicated first-aid pocket. The trousers feature two front pockets, two back pockets, a leg pocket and a double ruler pocket.

Pockets for Your Mobile Phone.

The chest pockets have a padded lining for your mobile phone, keeping it well protected and within easy reach at all times.

For more information, go online to http://www.husqvarna.com.auand instore at your local authorised Husqvarna Dealer.

April 15, 2019 / by / in
Don’t Put Your Life On The Line

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is reminding all arborists of the need to take extra care when working in the vicinity of powerlines.

ESV’s Line Clearance Assurance Manager, Gary Wright, said trees and branches can conduct electricity and cause electric shock or death if they contact powerlines. This can happen whether you are working from a bucket of an elevated work platform, from the ground or in a tree.

“It is crucial for all arborists and vegetation workers to always maintain control of vegetation when cutting near powerlines and to know where the arc of a branch will fall,” he said. “You need to take special care when working near overhead powerlines because a simple mistake or a shortcut can be fatal.”

ESV has been running a safety campaign for arborists since 2014 when a young vegetation worker died when a branch he was cutting fell into high-voltage powerlines.

The Don’t Put Your Life On The Line campaign is designed to raise awareness about the additional dangers faced by arborists and vegetation workers when working close to powerlines.

“In addition to knowing the No Go Zone guidelines and other worker clearance requirements, this incident highlighted the need for vegetation workers to take extra precautions and carefully assess each situation to anticipate all possible safety risks,” Mr Wright said.

There are a few simple steps you can take to help keep you safe.

  1. Know the No Go Zone

If you are using large vehicles, plant or equipment to clear trees the first step is to know the No Go Zone framework. The minimum clearance guidelines are shown on these pages.

In addition to this there are three different requirements that vegetation workers may need to comply with. These depend on whether you are working for or contracted to a private company or person, a council, or a Victorian Electricity Supply Industry (VESI) company.

It is important to know what skills and training you require to perform certain tasks. This will vary depending on who you are working for and the type of electric lines you are working near.

  1. Before You Start Work

In addition to the No Go Zone and other clearance and training requirements, it’s important to anticipate all risks and think outside the square. If you’re working in a tree near powerlines and particularly if you’re holding a long branch you are potentially in a very dangerous situation.

ESV recommends those working for a private company or person should always maintain the 3m No Go Zone clearance from powerlines when climbing trees to remain safe. At a minimum, private contractors must comply with the requirements contained in Regulation 318 of Victoria’s Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009.

Other things to consider when working on trees near powerlines include:

Always check that the foliage is far enough away from powerlines for safe work to commence

Always maintain control of vegetation when cutting near powerlines, know where the arc of a branch will fall or cut in small sections to maintain a safe clearance Ensure that all workers are properly trained and qualified for the job you are doing

Only cut branches or sections of branches that are of a size that can be safely managed

  1. Only Proceed If It’s Safe

If there is any concern regarding safety when clearing trees in the vicinity of powerlines, don’t proceed. Discuss job safety with the local electricity distributor before starting work. You are required to notify them when working near their powerlines. Always remember that you have the right to refuse work if the job is unsafe.

  1. Do the job properly

All workers on a site should constantly monitor the location of machinery and equipment that could come into contact with powerlines, including EWPs, ladders, ropes, polesaws and power pruners. They should also continuously watch movements of climbers aloft in trees to warn them if they are getting too close to powerlines.

Every worker should know the No Go Zone guidelines for working near powerlines and also:

  • Shall be suitably trained, qualified, authorised and experienced
  • Always complete a hazard analysis before starting work
  • Discuss identified hazards within your workgroup so everyone is aware
  • Never cut corners or start a job unless it is safe to proceed
  • Repeatedly check the location of powerlines while work is underway as their position can change significantly due to wind and temperature.

Warn Other Workers

Tradespeople, vegetation workers and arborists who are working near powerlines and electrical infrastructure need to be extremely careful that they or the equipment they are using doesn’t touch live wires. Anyone entering the work site needs to be aware of these risks. Actions should be taken to ensure that people who don’t understand these hazards, or are not appropriately trained and authorised, are kept well away.

Guidelines For Minimum Clearances For Vegetation Workers

These guidelines provide vegetation workers with guidance on the safe working distance from overhead electrical assets. There are three different requirements that vegetation workers may need to comply with depending upon who they are working for, or engaged by, and their qualifications and training.

Private Work

ESV recommends private tree contractors maintain the No Go Zone 3m exclusion zone. However, at a minimum, private contractors must comply with the requirements contained in Regulation 318 of Victoria’s Electricity Safety (Installations) Regulations 2009. The latest version of the No Go Zone rules can be found online at www.worksafe.vic.gov.au.

Council Work

Vegetation management work in the vicinity of, or near live overhead powerlines performed by persons on behalf of a council that has electric line clearance responsibilities defined by the Electricity Safety Act 1998 is to be undertaken in compliance with:

  • the Code of Practice on electrical safety for work on or near high voltage electrical apparatus; the Blue Book, and
  • ESV Electrical Safety Rules for Vegetation Management Work Near Overhead Powerlines by Non-Electrical Workers.

Victorian Electricity Supply Industry (VESI) Work

Vegetation management work in the vicinity of or near live overhead powerlines by persons working for an electricity asset owner is to be undertaken in compliance with the VESI Vegetation Management Guideline. Information on the training requirements for persons working for, or under the control of an electricity asset owner is also contained within the guideline that can be found online at www.vesi.com.au

If you are ever unsure about what the requirements are remembered you can always call and ask the relevant distribution business for advice.

The contact details for the Victoria electricity distribution businesses are:

  • AusNet Services 1300 360 795
  • CitiPower 13 12 80
  • Jemena 13 16 26
  • Powercor 13 12 80
  • United Energy 13 20 99

If the tree you plan to do work on services a train or tram network you will need to contact Metro Trains on (03) 9610 3392 or Yarra Trams on (03) 9610 2400.

You can download a copy of ESV’s Don’t put your life on the line brochure on the website www.esv.vic.gov.au

April 5, 2019 / by / in
Work Athletes

At Citywide, we take a holistic approach to arboriculture that ensures all our staff takes care of themselves and their teammates.

Whether it involves climbing and rigging, using one of our specialised elevated work platforms (EWPs) or constantly feeding wood chippers with heavy, cumbersome logs, the importance of maintaining good health and fitness through proper nutrition and staying well hydrated is paramount.

Observe a climber who is hungry or thirsty and wants to get out of the tree. The timber he or she cuts grows bigger and more unwieldy. They won’t climb as high and they refuse to limb walk. Decision-making gets worse, frustration builds and an incident occurs.

As Arborists and Ground Crew, we work long hours often in extreme temperatures, doing heavy manual labor and often in awkward positions. We climb out on long branches and contort ourselves into weird positions, wielding heavy chainsaws at weird angles, always striving to get a perfect cut.

We spur-climb with a heavy chainsaw hanging from our harness. We flex every abdominal muscle while holding the tools of our trade to ‘block down’ large timbers. And we drag heavy branches through narrow areas, to a chipper truck that always seems to move further away each time.

Indeed, the life and work of an arborist is akin to being a high-performance athlete. A ‘work athlete’.

So, just as hydration and nutrition are key elements to an athlete’s wellbeing and ultimately helping keep them on track, so too do we ensure our people are in the best possible physical and mental shape.

It’s a duty of care that’s in our DNA and central to our mission and purpose of safely shaping liveable cities.

About our company and values send an email to [email protected]

For more information visit http://citywide.com.au

March 27, 2019 / by / in
The 21-Day Challenge

Think right now about what you put into your body today.

Maybe you started with a pie for breakfast at the local servo, a coffee or a V to get you going, some Panadol at morning tea with a coke, a burger and chips for lunch, a donut and chocolate milk in the afternoon and finished with Macca’s for dinner.

Now I’m not going to sit here and shake my finger at you like your mum and tell you those things are bad for you and that you should never have them again. That’s a negative goal and working from a negative goal will not create any kind of permanent, positive change in your life. In fact, I don’t want you to give up anything – unless of course you willingly want to! What I want to suggest is that if you want to increase your energy levels, improve your quality of sleep, increase your body’s ability to function and cope with stress, decrease inflammatory processes in your body and be playing at your best in life, you’ve got to start adding sufficiency.

Sufficiency involves providing your cells with what they need to express health which may also help to negate many of the less healthy choices you are making.

If you want to be stronger, faster and more efficient, then give this a go. I’m inspiring you to a 21-day challenge. Get your workmates and friends involved and start adding sufficiency where deficiency and toxicity exist to counteract the negative effects of things like that high sugar, full-of-chemicals donut, or the stressful or poor postural position you’ve worked in for the last eight hours.

So to add sufficiency, I’d suggest having a bottle of water before and after your coffee. Walk instead of sitting when talking on your mobile. Have an apple before or after your pie. An apple eaten with a pie is so much healthier than just eating your pie. Your cravings will naturally start to change and your body will start to change the way it operates and you will see what giving your body the fuel it deserves actually feels like. If you’re still having challenges with a food that you’re wanting to shift away from, however it’s one of your favorites, then sit in front of a mirror naked eating that food and it will change the way you think about it!

It comes down to how seriously you take your health. Without your health you have nothing. Without health, work stops, play stops, enjoying your family stops. So now is the time! You have control over what level of health you are expressing and why would you want anything less for yourself, your coworkers and your family? It comes down to what are you willing to do and below are three suggestions for your 21 day challenge:

  1. Fresh fiber first: before every meal or snack ADD something fresh where possible so, a piece of fruit or stick of vegetable would be ideal. Pick your favourite, seasonal ones
  2. Fresh water first: before and after every drink, have a large glass of water and aim to look at getting two litres per day
  3. Get your golden hours of sleep: your body does all its healing and repair during your REM sleep which is between 10pm and 2am. If you are missing out on any of these hours then you are robbing your body of repair time and will likely feel in a constant state of jet lag.

I’m challenging you to do these three things for the next 21 days and at the end of those three weeks, I guarantee you will notice a huge change in what you are feeling, how you’re performing and how much more you want to play in this game of life.

If you want more information on how to get the most out of life contact the Chiropractic Central at (02) 9418 9031 or on [email protected]

February 6, 2019 / by / in
Be Sun Smart

Encouraging Australians to protect their skin is an ongoing challenge.

Australians could be unknowingly increasing their skin cancer risk, with new data released by Cancer Council earlier this year showing that 40 per cent of Australians are still confused about which weather factors cause sunburn. The study also shows that fewer than one in 10 Australians understand that sun protection is required when UV levels are three or above.

The Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Centre gathers every year to discusss trategies to improve Australians’ use of sun protection.

Heather Walker, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s National Skin Cancer Committee said the latest National Sun Protection Survey results showed a clear gap in Australians’ knowledge.

In summer 2016-17, 24 per cent of Australian adults surveyed incorrectly believed that sunburn risk was related to temperature, while 23 per cent incorrectly cited conditions such as cloud cover, wind or humidity.

“It’s important for us to reinforce the message that it’s Ultraviolet Radiation that is the major cause of skin cancer – and that UV can’t be seen or felt. It’s a particularly important message this time of year as we head into Christmas break. In Autumn, temperatures in some parts of the country are cooling, but UV levels right across Australia are still high enough to cause serious sunburn and the skin damage that leads to cancer.”

Professor David Whiteman, convenor of the Sunscreen Summit and head of the Cancer Control group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, said that despite years of public education, encouraging Australians to protect their skin was an ongoing challenge.

“These findings show that very few Australians know when to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays,” he said.

“This is clearly a concern as it’s likely that Australians are relying on other factors, like the temperature or clouds, to determine when they need to slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses.

“There is overwhelming evidence that, if used correctly, sunscreen prevents skin cancer – yet at the moment many Australians don’t even really understand when it’s required, and many are neglecting to use it altogether. We also know from previous research that 85 per cent of Australians don’t apply it correctly.”

Cancer Council’s SunSmart app provides local UV alerts and sun protection times and can be downloaded free on the App Store or Google Play.

When UV levels are three or above, Cancer Council recommends:

  • Slip on protective clothing
  • Slop on SPF30 or higher, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
  • Slap on a broadbrim hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses

The Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Research Centre is a joint collaboration of The University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

For more information visit http://www.cancer.org.auor call 13 11 20

January 30, 2019 / by / in