|Wednesday, March 20, 2013|
|Safety managers from Australian venues recently gathered in Melbourne to discuss streamlining processes for events that rotate around the country.
The Safety Managers Forum organised by the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) gave representatives the opportunity to share safety initiatives, discuss OH&S legislation and initiatives to standardise processes nationally.
Forum topics included issues relating to safety vests and footwear, children on site, event risk management, floor plans, construction and rigging activities, WHS Legislation and the EEAA Safety Program.
Law firm HR Legal provided an overview of OH&S law which included a background on new legislation, legal issues and how this affects each state of Australia.
Attendee and host of the inaugural forum in 2011, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre’s risk and safety manager Llyris Young said: “These forums give us the opportunity to share experiences, ideas and knowledge to positively influence safety within our own businesses and throughout industry.
“The discussions are proving invaluable for maintaining a focus on common goals and driving consistency across the venues.”
Exhibition Park Corporation general manager Liz Clarke said: “At a time when all venues large and small, and with an incredibly diverse range of business, face an environment of increased scrutiny and regulatory demands it was valuable to be able to share ideas and learn from the experience of others. “Standardisation of safety processes is an important initiative and can be better progressed, to the benefit of us all, through the continued work of the safety forums.”
Venues represented at the forum included MCEC, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre, Sydney Showground and Exhibition Park in Canberra.
The next forum will be held in August/September and aims to rotate venues nationally every six months for attendees to share information and ensure all are across relevant safety practices and legislation.
Archive | Racking & Safety Updates
The UK’s safety record appears to be getting worse amid a “hostile” political climate to health and safety issues, the TUC has warned.
The union organisation said fewer visits were being made to workplaces by health and safety inspectors to make sure staff were not being put at risk.
Fire safety is an important responsibility for anyone managing a business or facility of any size. To ensure the safety of building or site occupants, it is vital that an adequate fire protection solution is in place and that sufficient fire safety training is provided to building occupants. It is also important that any fire protection equipment on site is routinely serviced so that it is kept in proper working order and ready when needed.
Over the past eighteen months, a number of amendments have been introduced to legislation and to Australian Standards relating to fire safety and fire protection systems and equipment. Business and property managers have a responsibility to keep up to date with these changes to ensure compliance and a high level of protection against fire.
Routine maintenance and servicing
There are various state-based fire safety regulations throughout Australia. For example, in New South Wales (NSW), property owners and managers must be aware of the NSW Environmental Planning & Assessment Regulations (2000). The regulation stipulates that all essential fire safety measures must be maintained and demands that an Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) be prepared by a building’s owner or their agent and submitted to the respective governing authority. An AFSS certifies that a building’s fire safety measures have been assessed by a qualified person and were found capable of performing as intended to their original design standard.
November 2012 saw the release of the newly revised edition of the Australian Standard AS1851 with a title change to AS1851-2012 ‘Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment’. Australian Standard AS1851-2012 provides prescribed routine servicing activities for the majority of fire protection systems and equipment. This includes inspection, testing, preventative maintenance and survey activities and helps to ensure that the systems and equipment are in proper working order.
The latest revision to AS1851-2012 is the result of extensive consultation between industry experts, regulators, government and fire service providers. While many of the core elements of AS1851 remain the same, there have been some clarifications, updates and improvements. For example, the standard introduces the requirement for ‘baseline data’ to be provided for any fire protection systems and equipment installed. This provides a benchmark for subsequent periodic servicing activities so results can be compared. There is now greater emphasis on the records and evidence required by the building owner to demonstrate regulatory compliance.
Fire protection in aged care facilities
2012 also saw a significant change to fire safety legislation relating to nursing homes and aged care facilities. As of 1 January 2013, the retrofitting of automatic sprinkler systems has become a mandatory requirement in existing facilities throughout NSW. This is a change that will be welcomed by many, as it significantly enhances the safety of these living environments for the state’s older and most vulnerable citizens.
Similar requirements already exist in Victoria and Queensland and these changes to the legislation in NSW are consistent with the Building Code of Australia’s national standard for sprinklers in newly built aged care buildings which has applied since 2002. Given the tragic consequences of a fire at a Quakers Hill nursing home in November 2011, it is not surprising that many groups, including Council of the Ageing, are calling for this legislation to be extended to all nursing homes throughout the country.
Under the new regulation, operators of Commonwealth-accredited aged care facilities have just 18 months to retrofit sprinklers. Operators who are unable to meet that time frame will be given until January 2016 to complete the installation and will be required to submit six-monthly progress reports to the government’s implementation committee. Many operators are already well advanced in their preparations.
While the cost to retrofit an aged care facility can be significant, automatic sprinkler systems are widely recognised as one of the most effective defences a building can have against fire. When used in conjunction with a fire detection system, these sprinkler systems can automatically detect a fire, transmit an alarm to warn occupants and alert the fire brigade, while at the same time acting to control the fire. They have the ability to limit fire damage to the property and reduce interruption to facility operations.
Under the new regulation, operators will need to inform residents, prospective residents and families about whether sprinklers are installed and make progress reports publicly available.
Fire safety in any building, regardless of size or purpose, requires careful consideration and expert assessment to determine the most appropriate fire protection solution. Retrofitting a sprinkler system in an older building can be a complex project and will take time. Aged care providers and nursing home facility managers should allow themselves plenty of time to meet the prescribed deadlines.
Once installed, automatic sprinkler systems need to be maintained in accordance with relevant legislation, codes and standards to ensure they are in proper working order if and when they are required to operate in the event of a fire.
Fire safety training
While having an appropriate fire protection solution is essential, its impact will be limited if building occupants don’t know how to respond in the event of an emergency. Facility managers must ensure that staff members are also trained. For example, staff should be aware of how to use the portable fire protection equipment on site and how to effectively evacuate in the event of an emergency.
Facility and business managers should develop an effective fire prevention plan in accordance with the Australian Standard, AS 3745 – 2010 ‘Planning for Emergencies in Facilities’. Emergency-related training is a vital element of this fire prevention plan. The Standard outlines the minimum requirements for the development of the emergency plan and also provides direction for the planning and implementation of an effective emergency planning committee, emergency control organisation (ECO) and emergency response procedures.
The purpose of the ECO is to provide guidance to management and staff that places them in the best position to quickly and adequately respond to an actual or potential emergency on their premises or nearby. Those appointed to the ECO have the responsibility of ensuring that all relevant personnel are trained for their role in an emergency and could manage the situation until appropriate emergency services arrive.
It’s important to note amendments to AS 3745 which came in to effect in late 2011. These changes make it mandatory for training to be completed by at least one member of the emergency planning committee, for the ECO and for the facility occupants. Furthermore, ECO members must attend skills retention training every six months.
Wormald offers a wide range of fire safety training courses such as warden training, emergency awareness training, evacuation training and fire extinguisher training.
Keeping up to date
Fire safety is an important responsibility and it can be daunting to keep up to date with frequent changes to legislation, codes and standards and understand exactly what the responsibilities are. Working with a fire protection specialist can help building managers and EHS officers to stay on top of things – ensuring all of the necessary servicing procedures are undertaken so that the risk of the fire protection equipment failing is minimised. Having well-maintained fire protection equipment and systems on site could mean the difference between a minor fire and a devastating blaze.
Wormald offers maintenance and servicing to all types and size of business and can also maintain other manufacturers’ systems.
David Hughes of Milton died after 2,000-pounds steel landed on top of him
Company fined $85,000 for fatal workplace accident. David Hughes, 63, was struck and killed at a workplace accident in Oakville in 2010. A local company has been ordered to pay an $85,000 fine for the workplace accident.
Island Steel Erectors has been ordered to pay an $85,000 fine for a workplace accident that caused the death of a Milton man.
David Hughes, 63, was struck by a 2,000-pound load of steel that was on a flatbed truck he had driven to a job site at 430 Wyecroft Rd. in Oakville on Dec. 21, 2010.
After an investigation by the provincial Ministry of Labour, Island Steel Erectors was charged under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.
At a court hearing in Milton this morning, the company, represented by Lance Arsenault, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to ensure a safe workplace.
Four other charges involving alleged workplace infractions were withdrawn following pre-trial hearings last year that formed a joint submission to Justice of the Peace Debra Huston today by Crown Attorney Judy Chan and defence lawyer Ryan Conlin.
“Your loss is unimaginable and the fine to be paid is in no way intended to put a dollar value on David’s death,” Chan said in an opening statement. “The fine is for allowing the circumstances and to be a measure of deterrence to others.”
A large turnout of friends and family were in court to hear the details surrounding Hughes’ death — details the victim’s wife of nearly 20 years, Laurie MacNab, had been anxiously awaiting.
MacNab, who read a victim impact statement, told court: “I am haunted and very distressed about not knowing his last moments. I am entitled to know what way he was facing, if he saw the accident about to happen, if he died instantly and if not, was there anyone to comfort him and help him and did he say anything?”
Hughes’ family members, including his brother John and his wife Laura Hughes, owners of Springridge Farm, listened as MacNab shared how heartbreaking it is for her to come home knowing her “gentle giant” is not there and “excited to see me.”
Several people sobbed as MacNab painted a picture of Hughes as a devoted family man “who always made every gathering fun. Family was so important to David.”
Chan told court Hughes, working for Vincent MacMillan Trucking, delivered a flatbed trailer containing steel hose reel assemblies around 3 p.m. on that fateful day. Four bundles of steel frames for the project — an Oakville Transit bus storage and repair facility — were chained together in a row, front to back, on the flatbed.
Court heard that Hughes unchained the five loads at the side of the flatbed where he was no longer visible by Arsenault, who was operating a forklift that would be used to unload the steel.
The Crown told court that Arsenault was attempting to remove the steel assemblies from the flatbed when one of the loads of steel fell over the side of the truck directly on top of Hughes.
Ministry of Labour inspector John Dennison investigated the accident. Court heard through his report that Arsenault rushed to the side of the truck where he found Hughes facing the ground underneath the steel frames.
Workers at the scene tried to remove the five pieces of steel from Hughes to perform first aid before emergency crews arrived. Arsenault used the forklift to move the steel.
Hughes was transported to Oakville Trafalgar Hospital where he died of his injuries.
Chan told court that the usual procedure for removing the steel would have been to use an overhead crane, but that wasn’t available on site that day, so a forklift was used instead.
Among the investigator’s findings, Chan said the load of steel being moved extended 10 inches beyond the forks of the forklift, more than the centre of gravity. Further, she told court, the company, a small business employing fewer than five employees at the time, didn’t take reasonable safety measures by not using an overhead crane to remove the steel.
Conlin said he client, Arsenault, is remorseful about the incident and showed this by pleading guilty and not forcing a trial that could have lasted several days.
He said the company ceased operations in September 2011.
“What happened is a tragedy and ordinarily (the steel) would have been removed with a crane,” he told court. “Unfortunately, (he) used a forklift in a momentary lapse of judgment.
“He has to live with that mistake for the rest of his life.”
Chan said the fine, based on case law presented in court, took into account the size of the business, the fact there had been no previous charges against it and the outcome in the case was death.
Chan said the fine is one that is intended to ensure other companies adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
“There are more David Hughes across this province and it is important it serves as a message that the health and safety act be adhered to.”
On top of the fine, Justice Huston imposed a 25-per-cent surcharge that goes into a special provincial fund that compensates victims of crime, bringing the total penalty to $106,250, payable within a year.
“David’s life is incalculable,” Huston said. “No amount of money can be compared to the loss…this fine is a message to people in industry that safety measures are taken seriously and fines are a deterrent.
“I definitely hope this is a lesson learned,” she told the defendant.
Now that the case has been settled in court, a coroner’s inquest will commence in three to six months, said MacNab. It’s there she expects to get more answers to her questions about Hughes’ last moments.
“I feel so much better today knowing that he was facing away (from the steel),” she told The Champion after court. “He didn’t see it coming.”
By plotting their populations’ educational and age profiles, as well as per capita GDP,
analysts can see how prepared their national labor forces are to meet future demand,
how easily they can grow their labor forces, and how productive their labor is.
As noted in today’s news section, The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) recently looked
at the 70 countries that account for 96 percent of global GDP and are home to 87
percent of the world’s population.
By plotting their populations’ educational and age profiles, as well as per capita GDP,
analysts can see how prepared their national labor forces are to meet future demand,
how easily they can grow their labor forces, and how productive their labor is. This yields
eight clusters of countries: four in developing economies, three in advanced economies,
and one group comprising Russia and Central and Eastern European states.
While market forces will move to eliminate projected imbalances before their full impact
is felt, they cannot be avoided entirely without a concerted, global effort by governments
and businesses to raise educational attainment and provide job-specific training.
Advanced economies will need to double the pace at which the number of young people
earning college degrees is rising—and find ways to graduate more students in science,
engineering, and other technical fields; these workers will be in high demand, and their
contributions will be critical for meeting the rising productivity imperative.
Secondary and vocational training must be revamped to retrain mid-career workers and
to provide job-specific skills to students who will not continue on to college.
Even then, in the next two decades, the world is likely to have too many workers without
the skills to land full-time employment. In both developing and advanced economies,
policy makers will need to find ways not only to produce high-skilled workers but also to
create more jobs for those who aren’t as highly educated.
Solutions include moving up the value chain in developing economies (food processing
creates more employment than growing export crops, for example) and finding
opportunities for workers without a college education to participate in fast-growing
fields—such as health care and home-based personal services—in advanced economies.
Businesses operating in this skills-scarce world must know how to find talent pools with
the skills they need and to build strategies for hiring, retaining, and training the workers
who will give them competitive advantage. This will include finding ways to retain more
highly skilled women and older workers. Businesses will also need to significantly step up
their activities in shaping public education and training systems in order to build
pipelines of workers with the right skills for the 21st-century global economy.
About the Author – Patrick Burnson (Executive Editor)
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain
Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and
editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and
supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a
Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at
These predictions will affect most logistics organizations, however the impact will depend
on how prepared they are to adapt to these events, analysts said.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
June 04, 2012
Gartner, Inc. has published four predictions expected to affect global logistics
organizations over the next four years, covering environmental issues, risk and
compliance, international flow optimization and supply chain execution convergence.
These predictions will affect most logistics organizations, however the impact will depend
on how prepared they are to adapt to these events, analysts said.
Curiously, more than 60 percent of surveyed companies view logistics as “nonstrategic.”
At the same time, however, expectations for near-perfect performance are placing
increasing stress on global logistics organizations.
“While logistics operations might be out of sight, out of mind, logistics is under
significant pressure to deliver near-perfect performance, while business conditions
continue to become more complex, risky and difficult,” said C. Dwight Klappich, research
vice president at Gartner.
Klappich made a similar observation at Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference
held earlier late last month in Palm Desert, California.
Gartner’s top predictions for global logistics organizations include:
1) By 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 logistics organizations will be required
to systematically report verified emissions and environmental data
The shift from aspirations and feel-good platitudes about sustainable logistics to verified
requests for accurate environmental and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions information
and actual performance outcomes is being catalyzed by industry groups, market
expectations and regulations.
Recognizing this as a significant driver of behavior change, Gartner predicts that by 2016
more than 50 percent of Global 1000 logistics companies will be required to increase
focus on sustainable logistics services and report verified environmental data.
“Governments are set to continue to enact environmental legislation that has a profound
impact on logistics operations,” said Klappich. “In Asia Pacific, Australia will soon
introduce a carbon tax; China is moving to pilot an emissions trading scheme; and New
Zealand and India have schemes in place. Over time, regulations will become
2) By 2016, less than 10 percent of logistics organizations will have a chief compliance
and risk management officer
As supply chain complexity and risk grow, only 14 percent of companies are positioned
to effectively exploit risk, and few, if any, have yet seen fit to elevate compliance and
risk management to an executive-level position in the supply chain management (SCM)
organization. While compliance, risk management and security are all issues SCM
organizations deal with today, few have formalized even one of these. While government
mandates have an increasing impact on SCM organizations, responsibility for
understanding and managing these is scattered across their business.
3) By 2016, 20 percent of SCM organizations will adopt a supply chain execution
convergence application strategy.
Thirty-five percent of businesses recently surveyed by Gartner identified the inability to
synchronize end-to-end business processes as an issue, which will increase demand for
SCM application convergence. Most SCM organizations struggle with functional and
application silos that make orchestrating and synchronizing business processes across
their organizations nearly impossible. Application portfolio fragmentation is caused by
many factors, such as buying stand-alone applications over time, as well as how
companies have been structured, mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing. This is
where supply chain execution convergence will play a role in helping SCM organizations
adopt a platform that allows them to model, orchestrate and synchronize end-to-end
4) By 2016, slower global trade growth will force shippers to adjust from proliferation to
optimization of international flows.
After peaking late in the last decade, global trade as a percentage of global GDP will
continue trending downward. As cross-border trade growth slows, supply chain
organizations will be forced to adjust from proliferation to optimization of international
flows. Shippers will evaluate global sourcing options more carefully and more
comprehensively manage the risks involved. Gartner estimates that 60 percent of
current multinational manufacturers will organize to manage logistics globally in order to
gain economies of scale, visibility and manage risks associated with volatility in currency
exchange rates, taxes and margins. By managing logistics globally, companies can gain
economies of scale through centrally negotiated and managed contracts for sea and
airfreight, a sharper focus on the efficiency of the global network, switching transport
mode and using postponement strategies and near-shoring. To improve efficiency and
lower costs, companies will focus attention on the execution elements of the supply
Network and inventory optimization
Warehouse and inventory management systems
Transport management systems (TMSs)
Additional information is available in the report: “Predicts 2012: Global Logistics,” which
is available on Gartner’s website.
The Fair Work Australia ruling in the Endeavour Energy v CEPU, ASU, APESMA
case has again sparked a debate on drugs and alcohol testing in the workplace.
Most of us agree that drug testing is vital in maintaining a safe and drug-free
workplace; however, there still remains much-debated controversy about the
most appropriate method for drug testing.
Earlier this year, Australian energy company Endeavour Energy looked to introduce a
new drug testing policy that involved urine drug testing. In March 2012, Fair Work
Australia (FWA) ruled against the proposal. The FWA decision found that the use of urine
testing was unjust and unreasonable, according to Endeavour Energy. FWA determined
Endeavour Energy could introduce its drug and alcohol testing program by using oral
swabs, rather than testing urine samples, according to the company.
“We’re appealing one part of that decision while accepting the rest,” said the
spokesperson for Endeavour Energy. “The appeal only relates to the method of testing
for drugs. We believe we have an overriding legal and social responsibility to protect the
safety of our staff at work from foreseeable risks associated with chronic drug use. It is
urine testing, not oral swab testing that best mitigates those foreseeable risks,” claims
the company. “When working with electricity, there is no margin for error as even the
smallest mistake can be fatal or cause severe and permanent injury.”
It’s the duty of employers to provide a safe work environment and safe work systems to
all its employees and it’s the duty of employees to take reasonable care for their safety
at work and avoid harming others. In the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD),
there were 26,339 work-related injury cases in 2001-02, of which 1965 (7.5%) were
estimated to be alcohol-related, according to Safe Work Australia’s work-related alcohol
and drug use report released in 2007. The report further states that workers in the
hospitality (15% frequently) and mining (22% occasionally, 22% infrequently) industries
were more likely to drink alcohol at risky and high-risk levels for short-term harm (Roche
& Pidd 2006a). It should be noted that workplace drug testing is now mandatory for the
mining, aviation and transport industries.
The report further states that hospitality (13%) workers were more likely to drink at
risky [levels] and agricultural (6%) industry workers were more likely to dink at highrisk
level for long-term harm respectively (Roche & Pidd 2006a). Tradespersons are
more likely to drink at risky and high risk levels for short-term harm (20% infrequently
and 13% frequently), it adds.
The two most common methods of drug testing are – saliva or oral-fluid based drug
testing, and urine drug testing. Both the methods have advantages as well as
limitations. The advocates of urine testing argue that it is a more cost-effective and
accurate method, while those against it say it’s an intrusive method. Oral drug testing,
says the proponents, is a less intrusive method and has fewer privacy issues.
The method of drug testing should be determined based on the requirements and
objectives of the company, said Steve Korkoneas, National Operations and Technical
Manager, Medvet. “There is no one size fits all solution for workplace drug testing.”
On-site oral fluid drug testing, says Korkoneas, could be more convenient and deemed
less invasive. However, the two key limitations of on-site oral fluid drug testing are: the
existing on-site oral fluid drug testing devices have a significantly lower chance of
detecting benzodiazepines (ie, Valium) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, marijuana), and
there is no known or established correlation between blood THC levels and oral fluid THC
levels, he adds. THC is the key mind-altering ingredient in cannabis.
While on-site oral fluid drug testing can detect drugs consumed less than 24 hours prior
to testing (cannabis ingested less than four to six hours prior to testing), on-site urine
testing can detect drugs ingested more than 24 hours prior to testing, adds Korkoneas.
It should be noted, however, whichever method is used neither oral fluid nor urine can
be used to measure if a donor is impaired. Drug testing can only determine the presence
of a drug above a certain cut-off level. Cut-off levels should be described in a company’s
Alcohol and other Drug Policy and Procedure, he adds.
John Walsh from Path Tech says that urine drug testing has a longer detection window,
but oral drug testing can detect recent drug use and is a better measure for determining
whether an employee is unfit for work. An employee’s personal life shouldn’t be of
concern to an employer, he argues.
The case in question
In the Endeavour Energy v CEPU, ASU, APESMA case (currently under appeal), Fair Work
Australia’s senior deputy president, JM Hamberger, noted: “It is clear from all the
evidence presented during the hearings that neither oral fluid nor urine testing devices
are perfect. Seen from one perspective, urine testing can be seen as more ‘accurate’ in
that it is more likely to pick up whether an employee has at some stage taken certain
substances. However, that is not necessarily the goal of a workplace drug testing
Hamberger repeated what he said in the Shell Refining v CFMEU case: “… The employer
has a legitimate right (and indeed obligation) to try and eliminate the risk that
employees might come to work impaired by drugs or alcohol such that they could pose a
risk to health or safety. Beyond that the employer has no right to dictate what drugs or
alcohol its employees take in their own time. Indeed, it would be unjust and
unreasonable to do so.” Hamberger concluded: “Both methods are susceptible to
cheating. For example, cleaning one’s mouth thoroughly after smoking cannabis would
minimise the risk of being caught by an oral fluids test. Urine can also be adulterated.
There is some evidence that saliva/oral fluid screening is less susceptible to specimen
adulteration or substitution compared to urinalysis. In practice, however, the likelihood
of someone being in a position to cheat effectively when a test is conducted at random
and with no prior warning is in my opinion relatively low.
“Neither method tests directly for impairment. However, a method which tests for recent
consumption (only) is more likely to identify someone who is impaired. While some
witnesses regard this as a weakness, it is precisely because it only detects for recent use
that oral fluid testing is a better indicator of likely impairment as a result of smoking
cannabis (the most widely used drug apart from alcohol) than a urine test. Indeed, urine
testing may be unable to identify that someone has smoked cannabis in the previous
four hours – precisely the time frame which is most relevant for identifying likely
“Not only is urine testing potentially less capable of identifying someone who is under
the influence of cannabis, but it also has the disadvantage that it may show a positive
result even though it is several days since the person has smoked the substance. This
means that a person may be found to have breached the policy even though their
actions were taken in their own time and in no way affect their capacity to do their job
safely. In the circumstances where oral fluid testing – which does not have this
disadvantage – is readily available, I find that the introduction of urine testing by the
applicant would be unjust and unreasonable. Accordingly, I find that the system of drug
testing that should be used by the applicant for on-site drug testing should be that
involving oral fluids. This should be done on the basis of AS4760 -2006: the Australian Standard governing procedures for specimen collection and the detection and
quantitation of drugs in oral fluid.”
The national resource industry employer group AMMA argues that FWA’s recent
Endeavour ruling appears contradictory to an earlier decision involving HWE Mining,
where the tribunal ruled that urine testing was more accurate and less likely to produce
Endeavour Energy is also seeking clarity on the status of urine testing considering two
different rulings by FWA in the recent past – one concerning HWE Mining and the other
relating to Endeavour Energy. The HWE decision found that urine testing was not unjust
or unreasonable while the most recent decision found that urine testing at Endeavour
Energy was unjust and unreasonable, says the company.
“Based on the findings in the HWE Mining case, there is a strong argument to be made
that mining industry employers are obligated to adopt urine testing as the most accurate
method of on-site screening in order to meet their stringent obligations under OHS
laws,” said Steve Knott, CEO, AMMA, in a media statement.
The ongoing debate about the appropriate method for drug testing, conflicting decisions
from FWA and contradictory views from industry experts make it hard for businesses to
design the appropriate drug testing policy.
There are three types of testing: random drug testing where employees are randomly
selected for drug testing, incident-driven testing system and ‘for cause’ testing, informs
Walsh. A lot of companies have “wishy-washy” drug testing policies, adds Walsh, noting
that it is important to have a tight policy which is communicated clearly from the top to
the bottom of the organisation.
Having an alcohol and other drug policy and procedure demonstrates commitment to a
safe and healthy workplace, for all employees, says Korkoneas, noting that organisations
should consider the following points when implementing an alcohol and other drug
- Consultation with unions and staff – consult early and consult often; form a
working party with a variety of key stakeholders. This will ensure a smooth
implementation down the track.
- Consider workplace risk factors and goals of the alcohol and other drug program,
eg, preventing harm through education; management of risk factors associated
with alcohol and other drug use.
- Based on your goals, identify whether oral fluid or urine testing will best suit your
- Include procedures in how to manage affected staff eg, identification of an
affected person, use of an employee assistance provider, strategy for a return to
Posted: Jun 27, 2012 | By: Mansi Gandhi
SuccessFactors has released a white paper titled ‘Workforce Planning Pitfalls’.
The paper provides six tips on how to deliver the workforce of the future, and
discusses how this workforce can help achieve consistent business success.
With ageing workforces and a shortage of talent being amongst the biggest challenges
facing today’s businesses, strategic workforce planning has become one of human
resources’ most important responsibilities. The ability to execute talent management
activities before they’re needed is the mark of a successful organisation.
The white paper ‘Workforce Planning Pitfalls’, from SuccessFactors, is part of a campaign
focused on business transformation which concentrates on how workplaces are changing
shape rapidly and how organisations are having to change their approach to recruitment.
It is intended to help HR executives gather insight into strategic workforce planning
while avoiding some of the costly pitfalls, such as:
1. Who owns workforce planning
The foundation for workforce planning is the business strategy; therefore, workforce
planning should be owned by the business units – not HR. HR should play a role of
stewardship as the content experts and consultants in the workforce planning process,
articulating the value, providing the necessary tools and processes, and driving
Success requires the expertise of both business leaders and workforce planners – which
may mean that new competencies should be developed within the team (see Pitfall
2. Connecting with the bigger picture
Workforce planning is a strategic exercise, not a short-term budgeting endeavour. The
goal is not to slot employees onto project teams or into schedules, but to ensure talent
managers prepare a future workforce to execute company objectives. As a rule of
thumb, the time frame of the forecast should be equal to the time required to source and
fully train an employee – usually somewhere between two and five years.
It is also critical for the workforce plan to estimate the impact of business and
technology changes that are expected to occur beyond the forecast time frame.
3. Trying to run before you can walk
Attempting workforce planning for an entire organisation in the first iteration will almost
certainly become overwhelming and limit program success. Starting small – with five to
10 critical job roles, for example – is recommended, allowing time to refine the process
before expanding company-wide.
Additionally, starting small will help build internal credibility and solidify support. As
organisations expand workforce planning to include more job roles, workforce planning
software can help make the overall process easier, resulting in a better partnership and
the ability to deliver on the desired outcomes.
4. Talking in a different language to the board
HR managers must be able to translate the impact of the workforce plans into financial
value and business success. This enables business leaders to make workforce decisions
based on the same criteria used in other areas of strategic planning. It also
demonstrates the value of the workforce planning function, building credibility and
support for the process going forward.
However, the majority of organisations struggle to quantify this impact, making it
impossible for senior management to understand the value of workforce planning to the
business. HR managers should be able to answer questions about the plan’s return on
5. Falling at the last hurdle: implementation
Too often, the workforce plan never gets actioned. Organisations that start too big
exhaust themselves (see Pitfall No.3) and often do not even get as far as developing the
right strategies. In other instances, HR develops strategies without input from the
business (see Pitfall No.1), and the necessary managerial buy-in does not exist.
To avoid this pitfall, each business unit should have an owner accountable for seeing the
plan implemented. The original workforce planning team should be briefed periodically to
evaluate the success of the strategies and to make adjustments where necessary.
6. Planning without the right skills
Workforce planning requires a unique blend of skills and capabilities. Finding people with
these attributes can be difficult, and finding people who have these skills and previous
workforce planning experience can be even harder.
This is the primary reason why companies get started with outside consultants, who
train HR and the business in workforce planning, provide technology and support the
first few planning iterations. Once the process is in motion, the expertise will develop
internally, and companies usually find they can successfully manage the process
With these tips in mind, businesses can begin to build data to identify gaps in the skills
of a workforce that are required to deliver strategic goals. Once the weaknesses are
identified, the gaps can be filled through smart recruitment, targeted training and the
use of innovative collaboration technologies. Only then can an organisation begin to
transform the performance and delivery of a strategy.
To download the Workforce Planning Pitfalls white paper, visit www.successfactorsbusinesstransformation.com
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