Working Safe On The Wharves

The MUA is continuing its work to improve safety on the nation's waterfronts. Wharves are dangerous worksites, and the union is committed to seeing real change to improve occupational health and safety regulation

The union's latest edition of 'Working Safe' is available for distribution in worksites around Australia.

It gives members an update on where we are at in our push for a National Stevedoring Code of Practice. 

The Safe Work Australia Stevedoring Temporary Advisory Group (TAG) meeting was held on 27th September in Melbourne.

After over 12 months of work on the TAG, the latest meeting concluded with a recommendation to go to the Government Department for a Stevedoring Code of Practice (SCOP) to be inserted into the OHS Harmonised Act.

Below are some points relating to this recommendation:

  • The current SWA Stevedoring Guidance material will form the basis of a SCOP;
  • The current SWA Stevedoring Guidance material will be reviewed over the same period to ensure provisions are suitable to be applied as a SCOP;
  • The agreed Gaps report adopted at the TAG Working Group will be included in the SCOP; and
  • The interpretation in the Act/Regulations for Enclosed /Confined spaces don't reflect areas such as ships holds/crane cabins etc. These areas will be referred to in the SCOP by their relevant name and not Enclosed /Confined spaces.

The identification of the safety gaps in stevedoring came about as a result of the MUA intensive study into OHS provisions that for the basis of the new Workplace Health and Safety Act.