Safety starts with YOU

We have no idea what potentially lies ahead but we can choose how we show up and look after ourselves and those around us.

We can all make a difference at home and work to improve the emotional and physical safety of our teams, family, and friends.

The first step is looking after ourselves when we take care of ourselves filling our cup with what gives us energy and joy, we can help others do the same.

Working in the building industry I often see and hear of leaders and teams getting into conflict, neglecting important tasks, and putting themselves and those around them at risk of physical and emotional harm.

Whether it’s having that extra drink, lack of sleep, not enough exercise, too much junk food, or a mix of all those things they can all impact our performance and ability to look out for each other.

These seemingly insignificant actions DO impact our ability to perform at our best.

Alcohol

I confess I used to often partake in a few drinks to reward myself for getting through the day. Having that 2nd or 3rd drink might feel good at the time but does it pay off in the long run?  It’s well known that alcohol is a depressant that affects our brain’s level of serotonin and dopamine the happy hormones. We might feel good whilst we drinking but the next day these happy hormones will be reduced, which can leave us feeling depressed or anxious.

I’m still often tempted to have that after work drink but I’m slowly breaking the habit and replacing my whisky with something non alcoholic and wow what a difference it’s made to my sleep, motivation, and mood… yes, I could get pretty moody.

Even more than how you feel it’s the impact on your safety and the safety of those around you. Alcohol slows our system down, it affects both our physical and our mental function, causing cognitive impairment, which can affect our judgment, memory, and reaction time. The big issue is when we drink excessively, we might think we’re fine but still have alcohol in our system that can affect our work and driving ability the following day. Slowing down our reaction time, clouding our thinking, and reducing our ability to focus.

Lack of sleep

Staying up to finish that Netflix series or our favourite sport can leave us sleep-deprived affecting our alertness, impairing our memory, decreasing our ability to process information, and having us feel irritable increasing the possibility of conflicts and increasing our likely hood of an accident.

Lack of exercise and junk food

We’ve all heard before how important nutrition and exercise are for our health and wellbeing yet many of us still skip a morning walk and a healthy breakfast in favour of an extra 30 minutes in bed or skip the gym to scroll social media and grab some takeaway.

In the short-term depriving our bodies of nutrition and exercise will have us feeling sluggish and tired affecting our focus and speed to respond if an incident occurred.

Add to our responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe is the impact all of these things have on our long-term health and wellbeing. Increased blood pressure, potential heart attack, strokes, weight gain, mental health problems, relationship issues, increased potential for accidents, and moodiness

We are all responsible for investing in education and our own health and wellbeing to protect the health and safety of the people around us.


EOFY and NFY tips

EOFY and NFY tips

Some key changes to take note of as we head into the new financial year

  • the $450 monthly income threshold for employers to be eligible to receive super will be removed as of 1st July.
  • superannuation guarantee rate (the minimum percentage an employer needs to pay into their employee super fund) is increasing from 10% to 10.5%.​

Some things to consider

  • Have your costs increased over the last 6- 12 months? I can say with certainty the answer will be a very loud and clear YES. Have you adjusted your pricing to reflect these cost increases? If the answer is no this is the perfect time to review your pricing and advise your customers/clients your new prices will be effective as of the 1st of July.
  • If you are looking to reduce your tax bill check that you have claimed everything you can. Check for any personal spending that you haven’t been reimbursed for.
  • Things to claim
    • motor vehicle expenses.
    • home-based business.
    • business travel expenses.
    • workers' salaries, wages, and super contributions.
    • repairs, maintenance, and replacement expenses.
    • other operating expenses, don’t forget things like Zoom, Canva, Calendar/Booking subscriptions, business books, and training courses.
    • depreciating assets and other capital expenses.

For more info check out the ATO website

  • Recovering Bad debts - before writing off bad debts check with a debt collector to see if there is a possibility of recovering the debt. Financial Rights Legal Centre fact sheets says… In most cases a creditor or a debt collector must recover the debt, or commence court action to recover the debt, within 6 years of: the date on which the debt first arose or. the date you last made a payment or. the date you acknowledged the debt in writing. Connect with one of our trusted experts Jeanine Purdie at Repaid Collections to see where you stand with recovering your outstanding debts
  • Make sure you have invoiced all work completed to date
  • If you carry stock this is the time to do a stock take and write off any damaged items to start the new financial year with an accurate account of your holdings. To reduce your tax bill, it may be a good time to purchase or update equipment remember to check your cash flow before rushing in and spending big!
  • Update your Worksafe certificate of currency and send it to any of your customers that require it.
  • Ask your accountant for advice on anything you should address before 30th June.

Prepare for the new financial year

  • Reflect on what worked well this year and what could have gone better. Meet with your team and gather the different perspectives making sure you minute what is uncovered and assign actions where needed and who will be responsible.
  • What systems can you put in place now to be even more prepared for the end of the next financial year? Perhaps it's diarising key dates into your google or outlook calendar for paying super, reviewing costs, reviewing licensing requirements, team performance reviews, team member’s work anniversary, and birthdays.
  • Create a budget
  • Update your cash flow spreadsheet considering potential price increases or project delays.
  • Celebrate what you have achieved in the last 12 months the most important thing is to acknowledge your own and the team’s achievements whether it’s a personal showing of gratitude or a team celebration.

A few ideas to show your gratitude…

  • A thank you card with a personal message acknowledging performance or achievement.
  • Acknowledgment in your company newsletter
  • Spotlights on team achievements in your social feeds
  • Shout the team smoko or lunch
  • If you are office-based decorate the desks and scatter chocolates before the team arrives
  • Have a social night playing mini-golf, xgolf, or ten-pin bowling

 


Everything you need to know about PPSR

Everything you need to know about PPSR

The PPSR is a national register of claims to security interests in personal property.  It is vital to know your rights and obligations in relation to PPSR registrations to ensure your interests are registered against personal property you hold interests in, as well as being aware when others can (and can’t) register their interests in your personal property.

  • National Register

PPSR (Personal Property Securities Register) is a national register governed by the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) of claims to security interests.

  • Personal Property

Personal property is essentially any property, whether tangible or intangible including intellectual property but excluding land or fixtures to land.  Some examples of personal property include:

    • goods;
    • motor vehicles;
    • industrial machinery or equipment;
    • intellectual property (such as copyright, patents and designs);
    • debts;
    • shares and other financial property.
  • Security Interests

Importantly, a registration on the PPSR itself does not create a security interest.  An interest in personal property provided for by a transaction that, in substance, secures payment or performance of an obligation.

A security interest can only arise when there is agreement between the grantor and the secured party.  Note, this ‘agreement’ can often be found in small print in supply agreements and commercial leases.

Once personal property has a security interest attached to it as a result of this agreement, it is known as collateral and, depending on the agreement, can be taken by the secured party.  For example, machinery may be repossessed by the grantor should payment due dates not be met.

  • Registrations

Registrations of security interests can be lodged on the PPSR website but don’t need to be lodged by the secured party.  An accountant or lawyer can lodge your interest on your behalf.

The lodger must believe on reasonable grounds that the person is or will become a secured party in relation to collateral.  There are significant penalties that apply to false and fraudulent lodgements.

  • Checking the PPSR Register

It is cheap and easy to check the PPSR register for any registrations against assets and is prudent to do so to ensure a third party doesn’t claim to have an interest in an asset you may be looking to purchase.

  • Removal of PPSR Registrations

Should you no longer hold an interest you have an obligation to remove the PPSR registration you previously lodged.  For example, a finance provider needs to remove a PPSR registration over a car once the loan has been repaid and they no longer hold an interest.

More importantly, if you have a PPSR registration registered against you that is no longer valid, it is in your best interests to have it removed.  PPSR registrations against your assets can frustrate, delay or prevent the sale of a business or the sale of individual assets and can potentially impact your access to credit.

There are also administrative and legal avenues (including court proceedings) one can pursue if the other party does not agree to the removal of the registration.

If you would like assistance with the PPSR, registering your interests, or removing other’s registrations of interests from your business’ assets, get in touch for some practical, commercial legal guidance.

Stacey Brennan

Lawyer

Rankin Business Lawyers

 

Phone: 0477 004 437

Email: stacey.brennan@rankinandco.com

LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/3pmwYxf

Website: www.rankinbusinesslawyers.com

Image via: Link Australia Group


Building Connections - What a year!

What a year it has been! We’re a resilient bunch that’s for sure. As we close off 2021 it’s time to take a deep breath, acknowledge, and celebrate all we have achieved, accept what we cannot change, and relax and enjoy the festive season. For those of us that will be missing loved ones, we hope you too find joy and comfort in your memories.

We’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our community who have provided articles, spoken at events, and provided enormous value to the Building Connections community. Your passion for supporting small businesses is amazing and we are extremely grateful for the knowledge you have shared with us.

The year that was 2021

We kicked off the year with a long-awaited face to face event enjoying a few drinks and lots of laughs at Barefoot bowling.

We Laughed and learned about…

Digital Marketing with Allan Cook from Conversion Digital

HR with Peter Maguire from Ridgeline HR followed by Pub Trivia at the Croydon Brewery

Untapped a gold mine of opportunities in our businesses with MBC co-founder Phil Sinclair from Meccano Solutions

Created a Roadmap to Success with MBC co-founder and Coach Colleen Sinclair

Put strategies in place to get paid on time with MBC co-founder and Coach Colleen Sinclair

Know your numbers with Gavin Knight from True North Business Advisory

Track your numbers to increase your profit with MBC co-founder and Coach Colleen Sinclair

Make every quote count with Christine Sharkey from Quote Convert

How to protect your business from hackers with Paul Hankin from Kaesim Cyber Security

Your safety questions answered with Cameron Walker from Walker Safety Services

To all our incredible members thank you for your friendship, contributions, and commitment to supporting each other.

Looking ahead to 2022

The new year will see us expanding to support the wider small business community through our monthly online laugh and learn events, face to face workshops, training, and social events.

We know it can be difficult to find time and funds to undertake training and provide social connection with your team. This is where Building Connections is the partner you didn’t know you needed.

When small business team together we can achieve more, reach goals faster, and have more fun along the way.

Want to know more? Book in a time for a chat


How to set up your Director ID

Directors are now required to register for a unique identification number that they will keep for life.

What is a director ID?

A director ID is a 15 digit identification number that, once issued, will remain with that director for life regardless of whether they stop being a director, change companies, change their name, or move overseas.

The introduction of the Director Identification Number (DIN) is part of the Government’s Modernisation of Business Registers (MBR) Program creating greater transparency, and preventing the potential for fraud and phoenix company activity. The MBR will unify the Australian Business Register and 31 ASIC business registers, including the register of companies. In effect, the system will create one source of truth across Government agencies for individuals and entities and will be managed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

For those concerned about their privacy, the director ID will not be searchable by the public and will not be disclosed without the consent of the Director.

Who needs a director ID?

All directors of a company, registered Australian body, registered foreign company or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporation will need a director ID. This includes directors of a corporate trustee of self-managed super funds (SMSF).

You do not need a director ID if you are running a business as a sole trader or partnership, or you are a director in your job title but have not been appointed as a director under the Corporations Act or Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act (CATSI).

The company secretary or officeholder should keep a register of the IDs of their directors in a secure place - director IDs are governed by the same privacy rules that apply to Tax File Numbers (TFNs) and should not be disclosed unless required.

Timeframes for registration

For Corporation Act directors:

Date you become a director Date you must apply
On or before 31 October 2021 By 30 November 2022
Between 1 November 2021 and 4 April 2022 Within 28 days of appointment
From 5 April 2022 Before appointment

For CATSI directors:

Date you become a director Date you must apply
On or before 31 October 2022 By 30 November 2023
From 1 November 2022 Before appointment

If the company intends to appoint new directors, it will be important to ensure that they are aware of the requirements and timeframes to establish their director ID if they do not already have one.

How to set up a director ID

If you are an Australian resident director, you will need to complete a number of steps and have a number of identification documents available and ready (for non-resident directors see Foreign directors and the director ID system below).

1 - Verify your identify
If you establish your director ID online, and you have not already set up myGovID, you will need to download the app onto your phone or device and create an account.

The myGovID does not create your director ID - the app’s only purpose is to validate your identity, and once validated, issue a code that can be used to identify you on government online services without going through the same verification process.

myGovID uses your phone/device’s camera to scan your forms of ID such as your passport, driver’s license and/ or VISA (check the documentation requirements here), to validate who you say you are. Be careful when you are scanning your documentation as the system does not always read the scan correctly.

2 - Apply for your director ID through Australian Business Registry Services
Once you have set up your myGovID, you need to apply to the Australian Business Registry Services (ABRS) for your director ID. Use the email you used to create your myGovID to start the process.

In addition to your myGovID, you will need to have on hand documentation that matches the information held by the ATO. If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, you can find the details on your profile. You will need:

  • Your tax file number
  • The residential address held on file by the ATO; and
  • Two documents that verify your identify such as:
    • Your bank account details held by the ATO (on your myGov ATO account, see ‘my profile/financial institution details’).
    • Dividend statement investment reference number
    • Notice of assessment (NOA) – date of issue and the reference number (on your myGov ATO account, see Tax/lodgements/income tax/history).
    • The gross amount from your PAYG payment summary
    • Superannuation details including your super fund’s ABN and your member account number

The final stage requests your personal contact details (not the company’s).

Once complete, your director ID will be issued immediately on screen. This information should be provided to your company secretary or office holder.

If any of your details change, for example a change of residential address or phone number, you will need to update your details through the ABR. You will also need to notify your company within seven days (14 days for CATSI Act directors) and the company will then need to notify the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) within 28 days.

Applying by phone or using paper forms
You can choose to verify your identify and apply for your director ID by phone (13 62 50) or on paper. You will need to have your identification documents available. If you are applying using the paper form, your identify documentation will need to be certified by an authorised certifier such as a Barrister, Justice of the Peace etc.

Foreign directors and the director ID system

Foreign directors of Australian companies have the same requirements and deadlines as Australian resident directors, however, the verification process is only accessible in paper form.

One primary and two secondary forms of identification are required to accompany the application that have been certified by a notary publics or by staff at the nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate, including consulates headed by Austrade honorary consuls. Primary forms of identification include a birth certificate or passport, and secondary include driver’s licence, foreign government identifier, or national photo identification card.

In the presence of the applicant, the authorised certifier must certify that each copy is a true and correct copy of the original document by sighting the original document, stamping, signing and annotating the copy of the identity document to state, ‘I have sighted the original document and certify this to be a true and correct copy of the original document sighted'. initialling each page listing their name, date of certification, phone number and position.

The form and the accompanying documents will need to be sent by mail to Australian Business Registry Services using the details provided.

Directors in name only

It’s important that anyone agreeing to be a director understands the implications. Being a director is not just a title; it is a responsibility. At a financial level, directors are responsible for ensuring that the company does not trade while insolvent. The by-product of this is that the directors may be held personally liable for the debt incurred. The director penalty regime has also tightened up in recent years to ensure that directors are personally liable for PAYG withholding, net GST, and superannuation guarantee charge liabilities if the company fails to meet its obligations by the due date. For many small businesses, the directors are also often personally responsible for company loans secured against property such as the family home.

Failing to perform your duties as a director is a criminal offence with fines of up to $200,000 and five years in prison.

Ignorance is not a legal defence. Don’t sign anything unless you understand the consequences.


9 tips to a successful Christmas shutdown

This time of the year can be filled with chaos, drama, and uncertainty… it doesn’t have to be that way!  Here are our favourite tips to help you through the silly season and prepare for a successful Christmas shutdown.

1. Safety first – in the rush to meet deadlines this time of year is renowned for increased workplace injuries. Slow down, avoid mistakes and stay safe.

2. Be clear on how much you can physically achieve - set boundaries, be super clear on the workload you can manage, and avoid trying to keep everyone happy because at the end of the day someone is likely to lose out. Don’t forget to put the kid's school concert or drinks with friends into your schedule these may not be urgent but they are important long term.

3. Priorities the workload using “Eisenhower box”

4. Cash flow – invoice as the job is completed and follow up on payments as they fall due. Get on the phone and have a conversation with slow payers. Dedicating a set time each week to simply call and follow up gives you an opportunity to resolve any issues quickly and get money in your bank. 

5. Send a reminder to your customers and suppliers with your closure dates – we all know how much we have on our plates this time of year so make sure you send out a text or email reminding customers and suppliers of your closure dates. Sample message: We will be closed from 3pm on Wednesday 22nd December and reopening at 7am on 10th January. We wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season.

6. Focus time on specific tasks – This time of the year is hectic we get it, lots of things that must get done and so many people want your attention. Choose how you use your time wisely to avoid getting caught up in other people’s chaos.

7. Set up auto-reply email messages – Not everyone will be taking a break and chances are you’ll have emails arriving throughout the holiday period. There are a couple of options you could consider…

  • Auto-reply sample message – This email address is unmonitored whilst we take a break. We will be recharged and back on deck from 10th January please contact us again after the 10th. Wishing you a safe and happy festive season.
  • Auto-reply sample message – We are currently closed for the Christmas New Year period we will be reopening on Monday 3rd If you need to contact us during this period, please call (enter the phone number of the person on call)
  • To avoid returning to a mass of emails consider setting up auto-delete rules for all messages received while you are closed… just make sure your auto-reply message is clear that you are not monitoring emails.

8. Email on return - When you return to the office send an email to welcome everyone back and let them know you're ready to take calls.

9. Turn off your phone and relax – embrace the stillness and calm of not being connected to technology

  • You will enjoy more quality time with those around you
  • Your employees will get better at decision making
  • You'll learn the difference between an emergency and an "emergency"
  • Your brain will work better

 


3 Mindset Shifts to improve Cashflow

More than 80% of Small businesses fail in Australia due to cashflow issues. Frightening stats!

I want to share with you 3 mindset shifts to increase your ability to keep your business moving, save a load of stress and anxiety, improve your cash flow and increase your profits.

Our mindset is the most important part of our business and ultimately our ability to manage our cash flow and create profits.

Have you ever heard of the money thermostat? We all have one! Our thermostat was created by the beliefs we took on from our parents, carers, teachers basically anyone we’ve ever spent time with. We heard them say things like “money doesn’t grow on tree’s”, “you have to work hard”, “if you don’t have an education you will never get anywhere”, “people with money are crooks” are just a few of the beliefs many of us have taken on. These beliefs show up subconsciously and impact us in many ways. They can impact our ability to make money, to save money, to spend money.

Our thermostat is the dollar value you think you are worth, what you believe to be your earning capacity. It dictates how big we dream, what we think is and isn’t possible.

Have you ever given any thought to what your money story is? The story that created your belief around how big you dream and how much you achieve?

I want to share with you 3 mindset shifts to inspire you to improve your cash flow and increase profits.

  1. Change your money story
  • What do you tell yourself about money?
  • Do you tell yourself you’re not good with money?
  • Do you avoid dealing with money issues or avoid investing time in managing your finances?
  • Do you avoid chasing money for fear of upsetting the customer?

Continue with these money stories and nothing will ever change!

Create a new money story –

  • I am an exceptional money manager
  • I seek help when needed to manage any money issues
  • I provide excellent service and deserve to be paid well for my efforts
  • My customers appreciate my efforts and pay me on time every time
  • I make time weekly to review my finance
  • I have plenty of money
  • I can help more people when I have money

 

  1. Change your identity

Unfortunately, a lot of small business owners have a misguided mindset about the role they play in their business. They get trapped being the worker instead of developing strengths as the CEO (Chief Entrepreneurial Officer).

By changing and improving your mindset about the role you really need to play you will also activate a powerful worthiness principle – you deserve to be paid well as a CEO! Conditioning yourself to think, act and lead your business as a CEO, you also make much better decisions for the overall health of your business.

  1. Take responsibility

This mindset shift isn’t just relevant to money - it’s an essential mindset shift to create change and achieve the results and success that you deserve. When shit happens, when failures occur take 100% responsibility. It can be tempting to blame someone else but do you really want to become the victim?

When you play the role of victim you are choosing to give away your control. You are living at the effect of others. In order to change and improve your money mindset, you absolutely must take 100% responsibility for your actions. Be in control, choose how you live your life. Take time every day to reflect and see what you can learn from each experience and interaction, what can you improve what did you do well that you could implement in other areas of your work and life.

Be the hero of your own story by overcoming the setbacks, learning from your failures, and creating an unstoppable money mindset.

“To make mistakes or be wrong is human. To admit those mistakes shows you have the ability to learn, and are growing wiser.”
― Donald L. Hicks


The Building Industry and Your Tax Debt

The building and construction industry has really taken a hit with these recent lockdowns.

Here at Tax Assure, we get it.

At the moment a number of factors are limiting your business’s potential; you haven’t been able to trade normally, access to worksites is restricted, there’s limited materials available, plus access to skilled labour is difficult, money is drying up fast, and there are too many unknowns at the moment.

What’s been the price tag so far?

In July, the ABC reported an estimate of a $1billion-per-week price tag on the Sydney lockdown. Estimates have also put the cost of Melbourne's lockdown around $700 million a week, which would also rise dramatically if it had to follow Sydney's lead and stop building work.

That was July… one can only imagine what the cost to our Australian economy will be at the end of these lockdowns.

And then there’s your business and the ATO. It’s almost impossible to stay on top of your statutory obligations when you’re faced with so many obstacles in your way.

What’s the ATO doing when it comes to your Tax Debt?

Recently, we have seen an uplift on collection and enforcement activity within the ATO’s firmer action team.

Accountants Daily has quoted the ATO stating, “we have not halted our debt and lodgement activities,” …. “The ATO’s decision not to pause all debt collection activities comes after it failed to hit its compliance revenue target by $1.3 billion last year, with collectable debt rising by 28 per cent to $34.1 billion.”

 

However, that said, the ATO has seen the importance of helping where it can through this pandemic and is willing to work with business.  This assistance however is only for businesses that engage with the ATO and ensure they remain in a position of compliance.  Even in these COVID times, the ATO insists on engagement.

Unfortunately, your debt won’t just disappear if you continue to ignore it.  It will still be there on the other side of this.

Top Tips

Our 3 major top tips for businesses with any tax debt at the moment are:

  • Don’t ignore your debt;
  • Engagement with the ATO is key; and
  • There are a variety of solutions and help available other than paying the debt in full or ignoring it.

The ATO have specifically stated engagement is the key and without this, the ATO will have no other alternative than to start legal recovery action.

The good news is engagement doesn’t mean the debt must be paid in full immediately.

With the right help, there are a variety of solutions available.  These including long term payment plans that match your current cash flow position and the possibility of reducing your overall debt with the remission of interest and penalties that may have incurred on your accounts.

If you continue to ignore the debt, this will not only severely affect your position of compliance with the ATO, and your future ongoing position with the ATO, but there are additional ramifications you may not be aware of.

Do you have more than $100,000 in Tax Debt?

The ATO can report a business with over $100,000 owing in Tax debt to credit reporting agencies.  This will immediately affect a business’s credit rating. The ATO has begun sending warning letters of their intent to disclose tax debt information to credit reporting bureaus if you do not make an effort to manage your debts within 28 days of receiving this warning letter.

This is in line with the ATO’s resumption of its collections work. Even though on the surface it may seem as if the ATO is quiet, they are still very much actively moving forward with their collections plan and work.

If a business is actively working with the ATO to manage their tax debt, including entering into a payment plan and engagement with the ATO, their tax debt will not be reported to credit reporting bureaus.

Ignoring the ATO can mean that it will be harder for you in many ways. Have a quick think:

  • Do you want to obtain a credit card in the future?
  • Do you want to obtain a loan from a bank, or finance provider in the future?
  • Maybe you want to buy a house but can’t pay cash? or
  • Will you need to perhaps rent?

This is one example of why it is vital that you continue to engage with the ATO during this difficult time.

 

The Tax Debt landscape has changed, and is continuing to change during this pandemic… these are for sure very difficult times. Here at Tax Assure, our aim is to support each and every business owner who needs assistance getting back on track, or have any concern, during these difficult times.

For more information or if you want to chat through any difficulties you are currently experiencing please call us: we are here to help.

 

Olga Koskie | Principal

T: 1300 952 295 | M: 0418 260 027

olga.koskie@taxassure.com.au

www.taxassure.com.au


What is required for a tool box talk?

Toolbox Talks

What is a Toolbox Talk?

A Toolbox Talk or Pre-Start is an informal health and safety meeting that focuses on topics related to the workplace, job, or project. These informal meetings are usually conducted at the start of a shift or after an incident has occurred. Examples of topics that can be discussed are hazards, safe work practices, any new plant or equipment, changes to the worksite, and how the organisation is controlling its risks. Topics can be used to pass on important safety information but also work as a prompt for employees to discuss safety and identify potential hazards.

The key to an effective Toolbox Talk is to keep it short and straight to the point. It is usually a two-way discussion and is a good chance to engage the team.

What is required for a Toolbox Talk?

Have a Toolbox Talk template ready to go. These templates usually have:

  • Name of person conducting the Toolbox Talk
  • Date
  • Work area/Name of worksite
  • Topic
  • Summary of items discussed
  • Attendance field / a table where individuals who have attended the meeting, can write their name, company represented, and signature.

Make sure you have a team or group that you will be conducting the Toolbox Talk with. An example of what to ask yourself is, who will be affected by the:

  • Hazard/risk
  • New plant
  • Change of condition to the site
  • New procedure

These questions (but not limited to) can help you determine who to include in the Toolbox Talk.

Who should run the Toolbox Talk meeting

Anyone can run the Toolbox Talk although it’s common that Supervisors, Team Leaders, OHS Officers, or HSRs run it. The key aspect is that the person running it has a clear idea of what the discussion topic is and is able to communicate it effectively and initiate a discussion between the team.

Some tips on a successful Toolbox Talk

Have some key points ready to discuss for the Toolbox Talk and record it into the Toolbox Talk template beforehand. Usually, before you start your Toolbox Talk, you already have an idea of what you want to discuss.

Keep Toolbox Talks short, simple and straight to the point. These meetings are informal and are designed to be 5-10 minutes long.

Toolbox Talks or pre-starts are commonly conducted at the start of the shift where the team discusses what hazards/risks may be expected during the shift (common topics listed in the next section). They are also conducted post-incident, to discuss any Lessons Learned.

Engage the team in the discussion by asking them for their thoughts on the situation or asking them for their feedback. Some team members may provide feedback based on past experience, which can prove to be valuable information.

 

By Hazel Smirlis - Compliance Lab

www.compliancelab.com.au


New Worksafe Infringement Notice as of 31st July 2021

New Worksafe Infringement notices as of 31st July 2021

As of 31st July 2021, Worksafe Victoria implemented a new tool for safer workplaces.

Worksafe inspectors will be able to issue infringement notices with penalties of up to 10 penalty units, or $1,817.40. The nature of the offense will determine the fine issued ranging from 0.5 penalty units to 10 penalty units for companies and up to 2 penalty units for an individual.

A penalty unit is set annually by the Victorian Treasurer and is updated on the 1st July every year and determine the amount a person is fined.

Worksafe inspectors can issue infringement notices on offenses including:

  • Working without a necessary license, registration, qualification, experience, or supervision
  • the use of tools, equipment, or products that are not licensed or registered as required
  • not meeting duties relating to the removal and storage of asbestos
  • not keeping various required records

What does this new infringement notice mean for you?

When assigning a person to a task you need to ensure they hold the appropriate license or qualification to perform that task. If they, don’t you must provide a suitably qualified person to directly oversee the task.

An example of this, if you have a qualified trades person and 2 apprentices working together only one of the apprentices can be carrying out a task that requires a qualification under the direct supervision of the fully qualified person.

We recently witnessed the process in action with our own team when a Worksafe officer called the qualified over for a conversation and the qualified team member did as they were asked but in doing so left a labourer continuing to work unsupervised.

By Colleen Sinclair

Masta Scaffold Melbourne

www.mastascaffoldmelbourne.com.au