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February 14, 2013
OVER the past 12 months, there have
been 125 occupational health and safe-
ty incidents involving contractors.
While Navy personnel abide by
standard operating procedures and are
trained in every aspect of safety, con-
tractors do not have the same insight.
Therefore, a contractor, without the
same background and level of expe-
rience, working in unfamiliar and
unforgiving surroundings brings an
increased potential for danger.
LSMW Chris Newbury, of
Directorate of Navy Safety Systems,
said it was imperative sailors made
every effort to ensure their safety and
the safety of others while they were
"While contractors have their own
systems of work and procedures, they
do not inherently know to follow
ours," LSMW Newbury said.
Under the Work Health and Safety
Act, Navy has a responsibility to
ensure the safety of everyone who con-
tributes in any way to the operation of
"This includes workers, contrac-
tors, sub-contractors, out-workers,
cadets, trainees and volunteers,"
LSMW Newbury said.
The induction process is a vital
component in ensuring the safety of
contractors and uniformed members
alike, designed to provide everyone
with the necessary information to safe-
ly conduct their business.
"Induction training addresses
health and safety matters and may
cover a range of topics including secu-
rity, administration and local support
arrangements," LSMW Newbury said.
"It must be specific to the work-
place, identify hazards and risks asso-
ciated with the immediate work envi-
ronment and detail applicable safe
work procedures and controls.
"These briefs are particularly
important during maintenance peri-
ods, where the risk of personal injury
or damage to plant and equipment is
While the causes are varied, inci-
dents often represent a breakdown in
communication, poorly defined or con-
fused responsibilities, complacency
and a disregard for safe work proce-
"We must appreciate the shipborne
environment is often foreign to con-
tractors and ensure that they really
understand and adhere to Navy's poli-
cies, procedures and safe systems of
work, LSMW Newbury said.
"We may know where a pipe or
cable-run goes, what is on the other
side of a bulkhead, or why RADHAZ
and man-aloft procedures are in place,
but a contractor may not.
"Remember, safety is everyone's
responsibility, so make sure you know
your responsibilities when it comes to
working with contractors.
"If you see something that doesn't
look right, raise it respectfully with the
contractor, your supervisor or officer
of the day.
"If you are asked a question that
you do not have the knowledge, expe-
rience or authority to answer, don't try
and bluff your way through. Take the
time to find the right answer and get
the job done safely."
Project has been granted
deductible gift recipient
status by the Australian
Tax Office, which means
donations towards the
construction of the
memorial will be tax
More than 66,000
Australians have served
as peacekeepers in more
than 50 UN peace opera-
tions and this year marks
65 years since Australia's
contribution to the first
UN peacekeeping mis-
sion to the Netherlands
East Indies, now
Indonesia, in 1947.
For more information go to
SBLT Katherine Mulheron
HMAS Cerberus has challenged its
ship's company and trainees to be
active in a Year of Participation.
Around 1800 staff and trainees
gathered as XO Cerberus CMDR
Mike Oborn encouraged everyone
regardless of age, rank or capability
to join a sports club or special interest
With more than 20 clubs on offer,
club representatives were given just
45 seconds to convince the crowd
their club was the one to join.
Competition was fierce and the
referees ruthless when sticking to
time limits, not hesitating to give a
sharp whistle blow to cut speakers
Choices varied from the traditional
Australian rules, rugby and hockey,
through to open water swimming, the
Navy Steam Club, motorcycling and
CMDR Oborn said there were no
"If you can't find something to
suit you, then you're just not trying,"
"This isn't about having an after-
noon 'sporty', that's not what's
important at Cerberus.
"It's about the positive interaction
that makes better sailors.
"For the trainees that means getting
involved, being part of something, and
for the staff, it's about leadership.
"It's not about you the individual,
but all of us as a team."
In spectacular fashion, a Mustang
fighter aircraft from the Peninsula
Aero Club conducted a flypast to start
the sign-ups for the new Cerberus
Clubs vied for favour with poten-
WO Robert Bohm pressed his case
for 'old man's marbles', aka lawn
bowls, listing national competitions,
comfortable uniforms and camara-
derie as some of the reasons to get
Key points in all activities offered
included being competitive, social,
challenging, serious or fun. Not sur-
prisingly, many of these are the same
reasons sailors join the Navy.
POMUSN Simon Potter was
pleased to sign up 28 people to the
"It's great to see everyone getting
involved," POMUSN Potter said.
"It gets you out of the workplace
to meet others on the base."
SWO Simon Habens signed up for
lawn bowls and volunteered to help
other clubs short on numbers in sup-
"Everyone should participate," he
"You don't get this sort of oppor-
tunity in the Fleet, so you should grab
it while you can."
Cerberus, known as the 'Cradle of
the Navy', is one of Defence's largest
training establishments. With 1500-
3000 people passing through each
year, it's a challenge to engage with
Keep an eye out
SAFETY FIRST: While Navy personnel abide by SOPs and are trained
in every aspect of safety, contractors don't always have the same insight.
Join the team
GET INVOLVED: ABCK Iain Marino checks out the lawn bowls stand at HMAS Cerberus.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
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