26 September 2023

New Practice Codes to protect workers

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Worksafe has developed two new Codes of Practice aimed at keeping workers safe from psychological damage and the dangers surrounding the lung disease of silicosis.

Minister for Industrial Relations, Grace Grace said the Codes would ensure even more Queenslanders had access to good, safe jobs.

“Queensland has led the nation when it comes to protecting workers, and these two new Codes follow in that proud tradition,” Ms Grace said.

“The legally-enforceable Psychosocial Code of Practice and regulations will directly address psychological health risks at work, which can be anything from exposure to traumatic events to remote or isolated working.”

She said the Code would also provide a practical guide to assist employers and workers to understand their rights and responsibilities, after a national review found many employers were unsure of their duties in managing psychological health and safety risks at work.

“Research has shown that workers benefit from psychologically healthy workplaces through better individual health, increased job satisfaction, commitment, positive attitudes toward self-development, and lower rates of work-related physical injuries,” Ms Grace said.

She said the Silica Dust Exposure Code of Practice, aimed at the construction industry, was also an Australian first.

“The need to protect workers from silicosis in other industries, particularly construction, became clear while Queensland’s nation-leading Stone Benchtop Code was being developed in 2019,” Ms Grace said.

“That is why this Code will apply to all construction work in Queensland, as well as the manufacturing of materials such as bricks, blocks, tiles, mortar, and concrete.”

She said the Code set out effective dust controls to prevent or minimise exposure in the first place.

“This will protect workers from dangerous levels of silica dust and will save lives,” the Minister said.

The Psychosocial Code of Practice will come into force on 1 April 2023, with the Silica Dust Exposure Code of Practice beginning on 1 May that year.

The Code of Practice can be accessed at this PS News link.

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