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  • 17 Dec 2018 4:49 PM | Anonymous

    Following from the recommendations of the Best Practice Work Health and Safety Review, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) recently released a new Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Policy (the Policy). The Policy is framed to provide a detailed and systematic statement of how the Regulator will deliver increased Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) compliance measures. The Policy aims to enable WHSQ to use ‘credible deterrents’ to stop duty holders contravening work health and safety legislation.

    The implementation of the new policy will involve the Regulator identifying priority safety risks, looking at the duty holder’s history of non-compliance, the degree of safety risk and the availability of safety guidance material. The Regulator’s priority list will be available on the Worksafe website soon we understand. Inspectors will have a greater focus on these priority areas when conducting safety visits. 

    The Policy has a major focus on ensuring duty holders comply with ‘Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP)’, also published on the Worksafe website.

    The Policy highlights the deterrent effect of increased WHS sanctions such as infringement notices, prosecution and licence suspensions, cancellations or amendments. There are currently 240 infringement notice offences, but the Regulator will periodically identify priority areas of enforcement within these, reflecting prevalent and emerging health and safety risks.

    Duty holders should expect increased:-

    • o    ‘hard compliance’ enforcement measures such as prohibition notices, improvement notices and electrical safety protection notices; and
    • o    without prior notice workplace visits by WHSQ inspectors at the initiative of WHSQ compliance campaigns or state-wide ‘safety blitzes’.

    In respect of WHSQ safety blitz visits, Inspectors will only give prior notice of these visits where advance entry notice would not compromise the purpose of the visit.   

    The Policy urges duty holders to develop ‘sustainable systematic management’ systems which place higher safety control on the management of workplaces. The Policy states that Inspectors can use these systems to assess workplace risks, and where the systems are not complied with, can use enforcement options to secure compliance. Improvement notices will now be given for ‘systematic management failure’ of a workplace.

    We expect the Policy to create a practice by Inspectors tilted towards the issuance of significantly more enforcement notices rather than so called soft regulatory practices like education and warnings. We expect improvement and prohibition notices to play an increased evidentiary role in any subsequent prosecution litigation. In other words, the notices will be used as evidence of the duty holder being aware about the particular safety issue and allegedly failing to take action in time to prevent a serious incident (click here to see an example).

    If you have any questions in relation to this alert, please contact Matthew Smith or Damian Hegarty.

    DWF (Australia)

    Level 36, 123 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD 4000

    T +61 7 3013 2700 F +61 7 3003 0788

  • 09 Nov 2018 10:39 AM | Anonymous

    SmartCap Fatigue device saves lives

    This device has been selected as the technology to be used in the fatigue trial in the Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports Project. 

    Article by Janelle Miles, The Courier-Mail (November 2, 2017)

    It used to be the stuff of science fiction – workers having their brains monitored on the job. But a Brisbane businessman has made it science fact with the invention of a wearable device that analyses a person’s brain waves in real time – and he reckons it’s preventing accidents and saving lives.

    Engineer Dr Daniel Bongers admits he knew next to nothing about brain waves when he spent a weekend more than a decade ago trying to come up with a solution to a deadly problem in the mining industry – driving while fatigued.

    But by analysing data from electroencephalograms (EEGs) available on the internet, he developed a mathematical formula for measuring fatigue based on changes in the electrical activity of the brain.

    Bongers, who has a PhD in artificial intelligence, then spent the next four years designing wearable technology that could take continuous EEG measurements and alert the user before fatigue reaches risky levels. “It will give an alarm if they get to a point of risk, but before they get there – when they’re at risk of becoming at risk – that’s when they will get an early warning alert, which is a gentle beeping,” Bongers says. “It will beep three times to let them know they’re heading towards risk, now is the best time to do something.”

    After successful field trials, the device went on the market in 2011. Since then, more than 10,000 have been sold and the most up-to-date evolution is exported to 14 countries. It can be worn as a head band or as part of a hard hat, baseball cap, beanie or visor, connecting via Bluetooth to an app on a smart device or an in-vehicle display.

    “What gets us up every single day is the thought that the harder we work, the better we make our product, the better we communicate what it does to people in need, the more chance we have of getting people home safe,” Bongers says.

    “Way too many people die falling asleep at the wheel. We want to be part of what makes that zero.”

    Bongers developed the technology while working for the Brisbane-based Co-operative Research Centre for Mining, an industry research body that has changed its name to Mining3.

    The device enables companies to download individual EEG data, allowing it to be analysed as a workplace health and safety tool.

    “In any country we sell the technology, somewhere between 4 and 8 per cent of the workforce is what we would refer to as high risk,” he says. “These are individuals who have an ongoing pattern of elevated fatigue and in most cases, they were entirely unaware of it.

    “Health and safety systems will typically get involved and they will work with each employee to find out what’s going on. It could be poor lifestyle choices, it could be something as serious as sleep apnoea and it’s sometimes quite trivial things. For example, the clock radio beside the bed, the glow from that can impact the quality of your sleep.”

    In 2009, Bongers’ design resulted in the establishment of a spin-off company, SmartCap Technologies, with offices at Milton, in Brisbane’s west, where he works as the chief technology officer.

    Although most of the company’s income has been in mining, demand is increasing in the trucking industry.

    The technology has also been used by crane operators, people loading and unloading shipping containers, and by marine captains piloting large vessels through coral reefs.

    Within the next 12 months, the business hopes to expand to include regular drivers as customers.

    Cost of the device depends on whether an organisation or individual buys the product outright, or opts for a yearly subscription.

    “A subscription works out as cheaper than a cup of coffee a day,” Bongers says.

    Even though the business’s primary focus is on preventing fatigue, the 39-year-old has identified other potential markets.

    “We’ve shown a world-class competence in making algorithms based on EEG,” Bongers says. “That lends itself to doing things outside of the fatigue space. Wearable EEG hasn’t been something available to the world until we came along and so people are looking to us to say: ‘What else could you do?’ ”

    Bongers expects all-day EEG monitoring will become more common place in medical settings, including as a warning of pending seizures for people with epilepsy.
    He says it may also be used to assist anaesthetists in preventing rare cases of patients being aware during surgery and to optimise pain management, potentially allowing patients to be discharged from hospital sooner.

    Applications in military and elite sports training are possibilities. “There’s a thing called readiness for action and it’s a person’s ability to respond to something happening around them,” Bongers explains.

    “Readiness for action is an important measure for an elite sports person in terms of their ability to make sharp decisions. There are also military applications. The possibilities are endless.”

  • 10 Oct 2018 9:09 AM | Administration (Administrator)

    Labourhealth have a clear understanding of what is required to operate in Road Transport and Distribution with the required due consideration to efficiencies and safety.

    Our leadership team has over 20 years of experience managing, working within, and providing services to this industry. We put legislation into perspective and then safety into practice through knowledge and experience of practice and operational requirements.

    We build ongoing relationships with our customers to provide holistic safety solutions, including the following services:

    • Drug & Alcohol testing (mobile and in clinic).
    • Pre-Employment Medical assessments with emphasis on the specific work functions.
    • Audiometric assessments (mobile and in clinic).
    • Workplace health and safety consulting including assistance with CoR compliance.
    • Injury management, return to work and workers compensation assistance.
    • Physiotherapy (On site and in clinic, workers comp or personal ailment).

    We conduct over 8000 drug and alcohol screenings and over 7000 medicals per year, this is experience you can count on.

    Services are available from our strategically located offices within major industrial hubs across ANZ capital cities (plus mobile services), let us know if you have requirements outside of these capitals as we are continually looking to meet customer needs nationally and rurally.

    Labourhealth are extremely passionate about enhancing road transport and distribution safety at any and every opportunity therefore we offer fellow QTA Members an ongoing 15% discount for all services.

    Call or email Labourhealth to discuss your needs and feel free to reach out if you are simply seeking some advice.
    Telephone: 07 3305 9520   OR   0497 792 556
    Email: Jim O’Connell on

  • 05 Oct 2018 2:33 PM | Administration (Administrator)

    The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) would like to advise from 1 October 2018, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to identify heavy vehicles using the Brisbane Urban Corridor as a short cut between Rocklea and Wishart without a local destination.

    The Brisbane Urban Corridor (BUC) runs from Granard Road, Rocklea to Mount Gravatt- Capalaba Road, Wishart. Heavy vehicles without a local destination along this corridor should travel along the Logan Motorway and Gateway Motorway to reach their destination.

    A three month trial period is proposed until end 2018 in which warning letters will be issued while the electronic process and use of new technology is monitored and any necessary adjustments are made.

    At the conclusion of the trial period, infringement notices will be issued to heavy vehicle operators who break the rules.

    Local residents and businesses will benefit from reduced heavy vehicle traffic volumes along this corridor.

    For more information on this work, please contact the Project Team by emailing or calling 3066 4338 during business hours

    For up-to-date information on road closures and traffic conditions across Queensland, go to or call 13 19 40.

  • 03 Oct 2018 2:12 PM | Administration (Administrator)

    The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is investigating ways to reduce the number of mail items that are sent out as individual correspondence items and to improve customer experience. Registration certificates, currently posted by TMR at a significant cost, have been identified as an opportunity to accomplish those objectives. TMR has developed an online service to provide certificates in electronic format where customers can elect to print or email themselves a PDF copy and an online service to check registration information. 

    The automatic print and post of registration certificates will stop in November 2018 in favour of the documents being available from our online services. This is expected to have minimal impact on customers. While there is a perception that a customer might require a registration certificate as proof of current registration, this is not a requirement. 
    Online Services

    For more information, customers can contact the TMR call centre on 13 23 80.  Please refer to the TMR Q&A document for additional information regarding this change.

  • 15 Sep 2018 6:00 PM | Anonymous
    The QTA celebrated industry excellence at the 2018 QTA Industry Awards in style on Pat Rafter Arena at the Brisbane Tennis Centre on Saturday 15th September. Read the full list of Award winners here. 

    2018 QTA Industry Award Winners- Media Release.pdf

  • 20 Aug 2018 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    It is 21 years since Queensland further developed the concept of Performance Based Standards (PBS).  At the time, this was a significant development and lead to innovative changes to vehicle combinations and major improvements to road freight transport productivity.  

    The ICON – which is an acronym of ‘Innovative Combination of the North’ was borne out of the PBS concept.  This vehicle was a long combination, purpose designed and built for the transportation of mineral concentrate and had a GCM of 166.7 tonnes, a tare weight of approximately 48 tonnes, and an overall length of 53.5m (the same as a Type 2 Road Train).

    The original development work was done in 1997-1998 with the permit being granted by Queensland Transport to BHP in mid-1997.  The ICON comprised a prime mover with a tri-axle drive group, towing two sets of B-triple trailers that were connected by a tri-axle converter dolly and a drawbar.

    Road User Research (RUR), lead by Dr Peter Sweatman, was initially commissioned by BHP to develop and evaluate a range of innovative configurations for the Cannington haul.  RUR was further commissioned by BHP to provide appropriate vehicle specifications for use in the tender process and vehicle testing (dynamics and stability).

    Following on-road testing and assessment by Queensland Transport, the operation got underway in late 1997 (October-November) to haul mineral concentrate from the Cannington Mine to the Yurbi railhead.

    Since the inception of the PBS concept in 1997, Australia has continued as a leading innovator in road freight transport productivity.

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