Respect at Work campaign to interrogate 40,000 businesses
An initiative called Respect at Work is to involve visits to 40,000 Victorian workplaces, to conduct workplace inspections, educate people and undertake interviews with employees. Questions you and your employees should be thinking about are:
• Do you have appropriate policies and procedures in relation to bullying, discrimination, harassment and diversity?
• Do you have effective consultation and communication processes?
• How do you go about managing organisational change and its effects on employees?
• What management style operates in the business?
• How does your business deal with conflict/grievances/complaints?
• Are managers properly trained in how to lead people, communicate and resolve issues?
• Is the business adequately resourced (people, equipment, materials, facilities, systems, time, etc) to meet business needs?
• Do employees have clearly defined roles and performance standards?
• Is performance measured in behavioural as well as in output terms? and
• Does the business have an effective strategy for helping employees with work/life balance?
Ridgeline HR can help you implement a respectful workplace program. More information: Peter Maguire, 0438 533 311, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earth Awards now open
The Earth Awards have the specific aim of recognising environmental and construction excellence, which reflects development and use of the best technologies and practices by Australian civil contractors.
The Earth Awards are the most prestigious awards in civil infrastructure including; roads, bridges, railways, marine structures and utilities that are the economic veins and arteries that flow around Australia.
Are you or have you been involved in a project which has excelled in construction technique, environmental and project management.
This is an ideal opportunity to present your company’s capabilities to the industry, your clients and prospective clients. It doesn’t matter how big or small the value of your project is. Now is the time to begin to be recognised for your company’s innovation and excellence.
Address dust now
EPA Victoria CEO John Merritt, is demanding industry take immediate action on dust following evidence that shows exceedingly high levels of dust in Melbourne’s west. At a community meeting in March, EPA advised that monitoring in the last three months, has shown levels had spiked excessively on 13 out of 100 days in a Brooklyn primary school.
High dust levels may also aggravate health issues in the elderly or those with pre-existing respiratory conditions.
EPA has identified potential industry sources and put them on notice. Any other local sources identified through surveillance work, will be treated in a similar manner.
On one hand the EPA expects a quick response from industry and is escalating its compliance effort. On the other it acknowledges the fix won’t be easy and that it might take some time. “But industry and others will be held accountable,” it says.
Let's stop robbing Peter
We have welcomed the National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce discussion paper, Resourcing the Future, as a vital step in ensuring that Australia develops world-class infrastructure by ensuring the sector has enough skilled workers. “Members are already reporting skills shortages in key areas such as grader and dozer operators, as well as in areas such as bridge and road construction and pipe-laying. We expect this situation to exacerbate considerably as major mining projects come on line,” said national CCF CEO Chris White.
At the same time, all governments are concentrating heavily on building roads and freeways as well as port and rail infrastructure outside of the resources sector. There will be competing demands for skilled labour as civil and resource employers often draw their employees from the same skills pool.
“Our previous experience has seen civil construction workers leave civil occupations for the resources sector. The discussion paper is very forward thinking in that it has a clear view that in assisting the resources sector, the interests of other industries must be taken into account”.
The discussion paper also asks a number of important questions about the way in which training is available and provided to the resources sector. Civil skills aren’t taught solely in a classroom and indeed we know our members highly rate on the job experience as one of the most important parts of a person being competent to do their job. Civil Skills also miss out on a range of incentives available on the National Skills Needs List.
We commend Mr Gray and the Taskforce for such a comprehensive and strategic approach and look forward to working further on such important issues.
Short term student placements
The CCF in partnership with Monash University’s Civil Engineering Department, is asking member organisations to help place final year civil engineering students.
The graduate students are placed with companies for a minimum of 27 hours over a period of 4 weeks. This year the placements will begin the week commencing Monday, 17th May 2010. All students will have completed construction OH&S induction training.
Urgent advice from South East Water
In March 2008, contractors were initially placed on an Accredited Contractors List (Probationary) on the basis that any outstanding requirements of the invitation to apply would be addressed within a 12 month period. The probationary period was subsequently extended to 28 February 2010 at the request of contractors.
But less than 50% of contractors have responded to our request for additional information. The impact of the low response rate will result in a large number of contractors not being accredited. Consequently, those contractors will be unable to undertake any construction works, on projects where application for conditions is received after February 28.
$12.6m for rural roads
The Victorian Government announced last month, a $12.6m package which allocates funding across regional and rural Victoria, to improve links between farms with processing centres and markets.
The Local Roads to Market Program, will go toward 54 infrastructure projects worth more than $26m in 32 regional and rural councils. Councils in regional and rural Victoria were invited to submit proposals for the third round of Local Roads to Market Program funding, which closed on 30 October 2009.