Melbourne Health and Safety Month conference 

This event is presented by WorkSafe Victoria.


9:00am to 10:00am: WorkSafe of the future

Take a glimpse into the future of health and safety and workers' compensation in Victoria. Chief Executive Clare Amies will share Strategy 2030, which highlights the challenges we face and how WorkSafe will transform into a prevention-led, customer-focused, digitally-enabled service organisation.

One of these challenges is the projected rise in mental injuries. WorkSafe Health and Safety Month Ambassador Catherine McClements will share her experience with the Arts Centre Melbourne's The Wellbeing Collective – a collaborative program to address mental health in the entertainment industry.

10:20am to 11:20am: Leadership in mental health

How healthy are the relationships within your organisation? This is probably the most telling indicator of an organisation's current position and future success. Essendon Football Club Chairman Lindsay Tanner will share his experience about how leaders can support healthy relationships at work, ensuring people are recognised for their contribution and can work safely together to achieve their shared purpose.

11:40am to 12:40pm (select one)

Note: There are five sessions running at the same time. You can only attend one.

Option 1: WorkHealth

Mental health and wellbeing at work – a 'how-to' for employers

More employers understand their role to protect mental health in the workplace and appreciate the benefits of a positive work environment. But with so much information available, it can be difficult to know where to start. That's why WorkSafe, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, will soon launch a state-wide program to support Victorian employers.

Hear how one employer's focus on mental health has improved wellbeing in their workplace, learn more about the new program and register your interest.

Option 2: Return to Work wellbeing

Mental illness and health in the workplace

Hear from a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist about how mental illness commonly presents in the workplace. You'll learn which workplace factors affect mental health, best practice treatment options and the role employers, workers and treating health professionals play in facilitating a return to work.

Option 3: Return to Work

How mobile case managers are improving return to work

Learn how a new service is making WorkSafe Agent case managers mobile, enabling them to visit injured workers in their own workplace and support their return to work following an illness or injury.

Option 4: Hazards

New OHS Regulations – Changes, and what you need to know

Do you work in the manufacture, import and labelling of hazardous substances; mines or major hazard facilities; construction; or with asbestos or plant?

Learn how recent changes to Victoria's Occupational Health and Safety Regulations and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations affect your workplace, and how to comply.

Option 5: Case study

Understanding young workers

What drives a young person to work hard? What are they looking for in an employer? Learn about the diverse motivations that compel young people to work and contribute to their workplace. You'll better understand the potential setbacks and challenges that may adversely affect young people at work, and the contribution they can make in a workplace where they are safe, valued and understood.

12.40pm to 1.30pm: Lunch break

Please note: lunch is not provided.

1:30pm to 2:30pm (select one)

Note: There are five sessions running at the same time. You can only attend one.

Option 1: WorkHealth

An international perspective – an integrated approach to health, safety and wellbeing

Why should workplaces take a holistic approach to health, safety and wellbeing in the workplace? Gregory Wagner, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, joins us all the way from the USA to explain.

Professor Helen De Cieri from Monash University will then share findings from the WorkHealth Improvement Network, in which Victorian workplaces trialled a holistic approach to improve employees' mental wellbeing, musculoskeletal disorders and safety culture.

Option 2: Return to Work wellbeing

Is the work safe? Do I feel safe? A psychosocial journey

Learn what psychosocial factors are, and the role they play in the development of injuries and the return to work process. In this choose your own adventure session, we'll use a 'stick person' role play to explore different workplace scenarios and show how psychosocial factors can impact health and work outcomes.

Option 3: Return to Work

WorkCover Insurance and contractors

Do you employ contractors? Learn whether you have WorkCover insurance obligations to ensure you're covered if there is a workplace injury.

Option 4: Hazards

Manual handling – What's new, what's reviewed and what you need to do

Learn what's changed in Victoria's Manual Handling Regulations and how to ensure your workplace complies. We'll cover the requirement for review and revision following an injury report, and show you a practical tool to conduct a basic manual handling risk assessment.

Option 5: Case study

Downer EDI and Vic Roads

On 30 November 2011, traffic controller Harry Zagaretos was struck and killed by a road sweeper that reversed over him while he was aligning bollards to separate live traffic from resurfacing works in Bayswater.

In this case study, you'll learn about the series of events that followed, from WorkSafe's investigation to the recent prosecution of several duty holders for failing to maintain a safe system of work.

Due to legal reason this case study will not be presented this year. Instead WorkSafe will discuss two cases that highlight the need for safe work practices.

You'll learn about WorkSafe's investigation and the subsequent prosecutions in these two cases:

  • CK Crouch Pty Ltd (in liquidation) - the company was contracted by a major poultry producer to catch and load live chickens. During the process, an employee was struck and killed by a forklift.
  • Jacbe Builders Pty Ltd and David Fergusson – three packs of floor sheeting were being unloaded on the second floor trusses of a partially constructed apartment building in Caulfield. The trusses collapsed onto the first floor and both floors collapsed to the ground, killing a young apprentice who landed under the debris.

2:50pm to 3:50pm (select one)

Note: There are five sessions running at the same time. You can only attend one.

Option 1: WorkHealth

Workplace bullying and return to work

Hear from a WorkSafe Inspector about their experiences responding to cases of workplace bullying. Understand what workplace bullying is, the long-lasting effect it can have on health and wellbeing, and strategies to support someone with a mental injury return to safe work.

Option 2: Return to Work wellbeing

How to engage GPs in return to work

Hear Dr Michael Aufgang's experiences treating injured workers, plus tips to communicate effectively with general practitioners (GPs). Discover resources for GPs to facilitate early, open communication between workers, their employer and treating health professionals to better support recovery and return to work. Hear a RTW Inspector explain how communication with GPs can assist employers meet their obligations and ensure more sustainable return to work outcomes.

Option 3: Return to Work

Workplace bullying – prevention and response

Did you know that last year in Victoria, almost half of all mental injury claims mentioned workplace bullying? A WorkSafe Inspector will talk about how to control the risks and prevent bullying in your workplace, including how to respond to unacceptable behaviour before it escalates into bullying and a worker's compensation claim.

Option 4: Hazards

The future and pitfalls of Automated Control Systems

The rapid pace of technology means that increasingly, more workplaces are using automated systems to deliver their products and services. So what are the benefits and risks of using machines on the health and safety of the humans working alongside them?

Option 5: Case study

Learnings from incidents of occupational violence and aggression in healthcare

Did you know that up to 95% of our healthcare workers have experienced verbal or physical assault? Occupational violence and aggression (OVA) in healthcare is a major risk to health and wellbeing, and it's never ok. Our panel of experts from aged care, Ambulance Victoria and the medical and nursing professions will share real life experiences of OVA, and how their employers have taken steps to prevent further incidents.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017 from 9:00AM to 4:00PM (AEDT) 


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre - 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf, VIC 3006 - View Map