There have been some positive developments in the ongoing campaign to achieve a new code of practice for the stevedoring safety.
In many industries, codes of practice are a vital tool for HSRs and delegates. They provide practical information about how comply with health and safety legislation.
But in Stevedoring there has never been a code of practice. This leads to confusion and inconsistency in the way risks are handled, and ultimately to a lower standard of safety than would otherwise be the case.
Finally, following an ongoing MUA campaign and intensive research, work has commenced on the draft code of practice for stevedoring.
New code to boost safety
The new code will expand on existing guidance material and elevate it to the status of a code. This means that many important safety standards will be given greater regulatory force.
The work is being done thorough a TAG, or Temporary Advisory Group, set up by Safe Work Australia. It includes representatives from each of the state and commonwealth regulators, the MUA and major employers.
National meeting of HSRs to be held in Sydney on 14 May
To get the best outcome possible we need ideas and input from HSRs on the ground.
The union is pulling together a team of stevedoring HSRs from around the country to help develop content for the new code.
The HSRs will meet in Sydney later this month to review existing guidance material on stevedoring safety, and identify key issues inclusion in the new code.
The process is being facilitated by MUA, with representatives of Safe Work Australia, WorkCover NSW and WorkSafe Victoria in attendance.
The MUA branches in each state are working with local safety committees to nominate HSRs to attend. It is expected that each state will send a delegation of 1-2 representatives to participate in the review.
Authorised by Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith, Maritime Union of Australia