COVID sent us all into lockdown (after lockdown), and even within the State, travel outside of ones own local LGA was problematic for quite some time. As a result many of the activities of many Inspectorates across a variety of regulators was pushed, like so many meetings and interactions, online. Desktop audits, zoom inspections and innovative solutions were born to ensure the continued safe operation of the States businesses, but it is back to normal for SafeWork NSW with the Inspectorate hitting the road to visit sites again…so what should fuel retail and wholesale businesses be addressing now?
At a recent Fuel Industry Safety Forum, that brings together regulators like SafeWork NSW, EPA, Fire and Rescue and Police, it was made clear that, now the Omicron wave has past it is back to business as usual, and the SafeWork NSW (and other regulatory) Inspectors were getting on the road and heading to sites to engage them again, face to face.
ACAPMA participated in this meeting and notes that there are some focus areas that fuel site operators can turn their minds to now, in advance of their visit from SafeWork NSW.
“Sites will know that SafeWork NSW is committed to improving safety outcomes and really does focus on assisting businesses when minor, often paper based, issues are identified. The COVID period has seen SafeWork NSW doing more desktop and virtual audits of sites, and this has highlighted some common paper areas that sites can get to work on reviewing and updating now, so that the time with the inspectors can be best spent exploring skills and facilities to deliver better outcomes” explains ACAPMAs Elisha Radwanowski.
“A couple of simple areas are worth reviewing now. Sites should ensure that they have their Notification complete, up to date and a copy of the acknowledgment onsite. Sites should also review their site plan and update if necessary” adds Elisha.
All DG Sites are required to Notify SafeWork NSW, including Service Stations – see; [link to the notification article] for more on this element.
“Site plans are particularly something to start considering and reviewing now. While many plans are updated regularly by an architect or consultant, some older plans may be simpler in nature, and while they would have been appropriate for when they were submitted, it is time to get them updated to ensure that external agencies, like Fire and Rescue and SafeWork NSW can quickly and easily identify needed information” continues Elisha.
“There is such a diversity of approaches to Site Plans ACAPMA will be holding a webinar in the coming weeks to provide sites with guidance from SafeWork NSW and experienced DG consultants on the steps to update old plans” notes Elisha.
The Fuel Industry Safety Forums will continue throughout the year and will, for 2022 be complimented by a National Safety and Compliance Townhall Webinar series that will allow ACAPMA Members to hear about the latest priorities, learnings and concerns of regulators and ask them questions directly…more on the Townhall soon.
Here to Help
Safety Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice. You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor. ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via firstname.lastname@example.org , it is free for members. ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/ for more information.
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)