Sitrep 47: Transition to Health Screening; Health & Safety issues; HSR elections
September 8, 2023
Health Screening Transition Process
The FBEU met with FRNSW on Tuesday at a Joint Consultative Committee meeting where we discussed the transition from the current Health Checks to the new Health Screening process.
Through the JCC process we have established a Health Screening Transition Working Party, which will have equal Union and Department representatives, to work through the transition to the new process. This working party will also continue the work to fully implement the Health Screening process and conduct the 12-month review as stipulated in the new Award.
A full transition plan will be published shortly. In the meantime, the FBEU advises all members as follows:
If you are due to commence a health check but have not yet begun the process, do not take any action, and await further instruction from the Working Party as to what the new process will be.
If you are currently in the process of completing a hHealth Check, await the transition plan which will outline how we will transition from the current system to the new system.
Both the EPA and Safe Work NSW have been contacted this week regarding escalating concerns around safety in FRNSW worksites and the Department’s seeming inability to minimise risks for FBEU members. The issues this week included but were not limited to further discovery in stations of banned historic PFAS firefighting foam, an issue the FBEU has warned the Department about over considerable time, and the temporary closure of one station due to unacceptable levels of lead dust. While the dust exposure was notified to FRNSW Health & Safety more than a month prior, those impacted are yet to receive any contact from FRNSW concerning the exposure.
It goes without saying that circumstances such as these are unacceptable. However, the transition into health screening and our new Awards provides an important opportunity for FBEU members to regroup and reset the agenda. Many of you will have been notified about the election of Health & Safety Reps across the job with the three-year term of approximately 100 HSRs coming to a close. State Committee encourage all members, particularly Delegates, to nominate for a HSR position.
As discussed in previous Sitreps, proposed changes to NSW presumptive legislation for firefighter cancer will be of particular importance. I will have more to say on this in the coming weeks.