WHS Broadens Duty To Consult For Employers

Under current Work Health Safety (WHS) legislation safety guidelines that replaced the former Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) legislation, the onus of ‘duty to consult” has broadened to now encompass all workers in decisions regarding health and safety within the workplace.

To reflect modern workplace arrangements, the WHS legislation has broadened the definition of ‘worker,’ and the term ‘employer’. Those terms now include a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBUs), which encompasses sole traders, principle contractors, unincorporated associations, partnerships, franchisees, self-employed people and volunteer organizations that employ people.

According to PerformHR, the WHS act imposes the onus of duty of care on PCBUs to consult with workers and engage their input on workplace health and safety matters.

Workplace health and safety consultations can be an informal process that involves obtaining the views and ideas of employees, and can include more formal consultation involving Health & Safety Representatives, a Health & Safety Committee or other relevant face to face arrangement.

Complaints About Removalists On the Increase

Recent figures released by NSW Fair Trading reveal that complaints about removalists are on the rise.

From 252 complaints received in 2009, the level had risen to 375 in 2012 and is already at 213 for this year, which would seem to indicate a growing level of dissatisfaction.

The most frequent complaints involved items lost during the move, damage caused to personal property and dissatisfaction with the level of service provided and prices being charged.

NSW Fair Trading advises consumers to do the following before employing a furniture removalist:

  • Check their customer reviews on an independent web site
  • Seek a recommendation from friends or family
  • Have adequate insurance to cover any problems.

Above all else, you should check to see if they are accredited. If a removalist is accredited with the Australian Furniture Removers Association, they must adhere to certain standards which apply to their removal vehicles, the equipment they use and the professionalism and expertise of their staff.

Conroy Leaves NBN Project

June was a volatile month for the NBN with revelations of asbestos problems and the resignation of communications minister, Stephen Conroy.

Conroy resigned after Kevin Rudd returned as prime minister. He was lauded by many as the country’s finest ever communications minister, with his resignation seen as a great loss to the Labor front bench.

However, the recent emergence of asbestos on some NBN work sites has thrown a political cloud over the program.

The opposition is demanding a full review of the the situation, while Telstra has pulled some of its workers and taken responsibility for the problem The company has also promised to review its pay rates to ensure subcontractors don’t shirk their safety responsibilities.

According to the ABC, many analysts expect there to be a series of lawsuits from members of the public exposed to asbestos due to negligence by NBN contractors.

Union officials are also looking into the issue and may issue stop-work edicts that could further disable the roll-out.

Building a Team for Your Start-Up

Entrepreneurs are usually driven and focused people who will do anything to achieve their goals, but often they need a strong team to help them on their journey. Building a team for your start-up can be a difficult process because they may not have the passion that you have.

Here are some tips from Smart Start-Up on creating a team for your new business:

  • Use your vision and passion to focus the team. When recruiting you should look for individuals who can get excited about trying something new.
  • Take your time when hiring people because a bad hire can be devastating for a start-up. You will need starter-finishers on your team, but you will also need a willingness to work together for a common goal.
  • Do not celebrate all-nighters. Whilst they may occasionally be necessary in a start-up, all-nighters are not healthy business practice. Do all you can to end this process of staying up all night working.
  • Encourage staff to take breaks during long working periods so that they do not burn out.

Getting Pest Management Right

Pest management is a topic that is kept quiet among those in the food industry, but it is crucial to have a plan in place to manage the issue.

Proactive businesses have a system in place for preventing disease-carrying pests from accessing their food, explained Food Mag.

The Australian Environment Pest Managers Association (APEMA) recently developed a guide to help firms understand what good pest management entails. The guide sets KPIs that food manufacturers can use to measure the effectiveness of their processes.

Suppliers to food manufacturers such as packaging companies are also included in the guide, to help shore up standards throughout the supply chain.

It’s hoped that the guide will also prevent disputes between food manufacturers and pest controllers by setting clear standards that firms should operate with and explaining why.

Food manufacturers are also encouraged to be more proactive as it is cheaper to prevent a pest problem than it is to treat one.

How to Make Your Creative Dreams a Reality

If you are creatively minded you will no doubt know how exciting that moment is when you get a spark of inspiration and your creative juices start to flow . But getting to that moment is not an exact science.

Fast Company provided the examples below to help you reach the jumping of point:

Follow your heart

People need to affirm the voice in their head that says they can do it. It’s important to ignore excuses and procrastination and just begin.

Turn big goals into baby steps

A project will progress better if you set yourself deadlines. It’s best to just think about the next milestone ahead rather than the end-goal.

Use creative rituals

Everyone has their creativity stoked by different factors. Some people work best late at night, others during the day. Some need a glass of wine, others a block of chocolate. It’s important to find out what works and make it a part of the process.

Say no

Following a passion means saying no to many other things, including some work and personal pursuits.

Best Interest Rates on Mortgages

When looking for the best deal on home loan interest, it’s always necessary to do a bit of research. A new study of the Australian home loan market has found that the current best option in loans is available through mortgage brokers, reported Property Observer.

The Australian Lenders’ Index is a report that compares the performance of Australia’s major lenders of home loans and their respective interest rates.

Since the advent of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), one lender has been consistent with interest rate performance. HomeSide is a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank (NAB), and is ranked as number one in position. NAB ranked second, with ANZ coming in at third. They were followed by the Commonwealth Bank, St George (a subsidiary of Westpac) and Westpac.