Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith attended a meeting of Safe Work Australia’s Stevedoring TAG (Temporary Advisory Group) this week. The TAG is currently developing a new code of practice for stevedoring. This process has come about as a result of intensive campaign and research work by the union over a long period of time.
“Employers had been pushing the position that the TAG should only produce guidance material, not a formal code.” Said Mr Smith.
“Good progress is being made.
“Work has now commenced on content for the draft code. It is based almost entirely on the huge volume of materials supplied by MUA. It has been agreed that new code will expand on the existing guidance material and elevate it to the status of a code. Once the code is in effect, many safety standards that the union has campaigned for will be given significant regulatory force.”
At previous meetings MUA representatives were able to overcome that position. It has now been agreed that a formal code of practice will be developed.” Said Assistant National Secretary Smith.
Later this week, a leaflet explaining these developments will be distributed to delegates, HSRs and members.
“The TAG has resolved that a 1 day national meeting of stevedoring HSRs will be held next month, as part of the consultation process. It was agreed with support from employers who were left with little choice.” Added Smith.
The event will be facilitated by MUA and held at the office in Sydney, with representatives of SWA, WorkCover NSW and SafeWork Victoria in attendance.
“The purpose of the meeting is to review our existing guidance material and identify key topics for inclusion in the new code. More than anything else, we want to raise awareness and get buy-on from HSRs on the ground.”
“We are writing to all major stevedoring employers to seek release representatives from worksites to attend.” Said Smith.