FRNSW’s inadequate mananagment of Workplace Health & Safety has today escalated after the refusal of the FRNSW Director of Health & Safety to observe a PIN (Provisional Improvement Notice) issued by a HSR.
Among other WHS matters, the PIN relates to FRNSW ignoring requests to consult on a lack of appropriate protections from diesel particulate matter including a lack of diesel extraction systems, and a lack of appropriate clean/dirty areas to minimise carcinogen exposure and PPC contamination.
FRNSW are obligated to consult with the FBEU and Members. This is non-negotiable.
While FRNSW work in the background on a Carcinogen Working Group, consultation requested by the FBEU has been rejected, and terms of reference for the project appear to greatly underestimate the severity of the matter and the extent to which fire stations across NSW are failing to adhere to safe and modern designs.
The FBEU is able to inform Members that other stations across the state are also in dispute regarding these matters and continue to confront FRNSW’s relentless stubbornness in meeting and resolving disputes.
As Members will recall, FRNSW have recently engaged KPMG at significant cost to prioritise station remediation based on what FRNSW state as a ‘significant funding gap for an extended period of time’. Not only are FRNSW refusing to share the contents of the KPMG findings, they also remain unable to articulate to the FBEU whether a business case was put forward to the NSW State Government to increase funding for your safety and wellbeing.
Across the border, Victorian firefighters removed PPC from engine bays some twenty years ago, and have ensured appropriate capital to address the very real Health & Safety risks in our industry.
NSW firefighters are being left behind by an organisation which is failing to advocate for its workers.
The FBEU will continue to dispute these failures and ensure FRNSW adhere to their legislative obligations.
Safety is Union Business, and we take this opportunity to remind Members about the importance of speaking up for you and your crew’s safety.