Peter J Ramsay and Associates takes an interest in the changes and developments within our industry and the wider community. Below we store our articles for public browsing and information. If you have any questions about any of our news items please or us.
New National Guidance For PFAS Contamination
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been used in a range of consumer products, stain repellants, pesticides and firefighting foams. This group of chemicals is persistent and highly resistant to physical, chemical and biological degradation. PFAS are found in humans, animals and the environment in Australia and globally.
In May 2020, new and updated guidance on the environmental management of PFAS contaminated materials was released. The PFAS National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP) Version 2.0 was developed by the Heads of EPAs Australia and New Zealand (HEPA) and represents best practice across Australia and New Zealand. It provides a framework for the investigation and management of PFAS contamination.
The Federal and State Governments are encouraging employers to commence planning the transition back to the workplace. Therefore, it is essential that you start planning for the return of your employees with a view to making your workplace “COVID-safe”.
Employers and employees must work together to adapt and promote safe work practices consistent with advice from relevant health authorities in order to make your workplace “COVID-safe”. Employers must ensure their workplaces are ready for the social distancing and hygiene requirements that will remain in place to limit the spread. Employers are obliged under health and safety legislation to provide a safe workplace.
The respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to significant changes to the way work is done. The Australian Government encourages workers to work from home where possible to reduce the risk of exposure through reduced use of public transport and face to face contact. This is consistent with the Australian Government’s guidance regarding social distancing.
As an Australian employer, you have a legal obligation to ensure the health safety of your employees while at work, including when working from home.
Australia is continuing to closely monitor and react to the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).
While the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Australia resulting from COVID-19 are relatively low compared to many countries across the world, the numbers have been increasing rapidly. This virus is more contagious and deadly than seasonal influenza. Older age groups and people with a compromised immunity are most at risk.
Simple precautions and planning can make a big difference. Action now will help protect you, your workers and your business.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Craig Marsh as a Senior Health and Safety Consultant in our Sydney office.
Craig is an occupational health and safety specialist with over 8 years’ experience in both Australia and the United Kingdom. His experience and capabilities are welcome additions to the firm.
Craig has experience managing health and safety across a range of industries including healthcare, mining, warehousing, logistics, engineering, maintenance and administrative environments. He has been responsible for the development and implementation of a range of key health and safety initiatives.
Contamination can present a significant obstacle to development of land. Commercial lenders, property owners and developers can mitigate risk by undertaking environmental due diligence.
Site contamination and cleaning up and/or managing the contamination can involve significant unforeseen costs and result in delays in development. Effective environmental due diligence is essential to manage this business risk.
Get Ready for Mandatory Environmental Reporting in Victoria
New mandatory reporting requirements related to contamination are set to be introduced in Victoria as part of the Victorian Government’s first major overhaul of the Environment Protection Act since the landmark legislation was ratified in 1970. This overhaul follows the independent inquiry into the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) , which was completed in mid-2016. The reformed Act is scheduled to be introduced to Parliament this year.
Sustainability talk is flying high today, but customers are increasingly looking at how well businesses are walking the talk. This conference will focus on two important key areas in sustainable business, securing sustainable supply chains and shifting to circular business models. These are both great opportunities for Scandinavian businesses, and many are already leading the way! DGE wishes to inspire more by showing incentives and business examples.
Occupational Health and Safety Compliance in Australia
Providing a safe workplace in Australia is a primary focus of employers. Where an employer has identified a potential health risk the use of occupational hygiene monitoring is an essential tool in understanding worker exposure. A monitoring program should be implemented to assist you to determine the effectiveness of the controls that are in place to protect your workforce, and to demonstrate legislative compliance. A Certified Occupational Hygienist should design your program and interpret the results to see that your workplace complies.
The environmental footprint of real estate is globally very significant with buildings consuming around 40% of the world’s energy and contributing up to 30% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. In view of this, the real estate sector is focussing on sustainability, with leading institutional investors incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of their assets into their investment processes. Peter J Ramsay & Associates are well placed to assist the property sector to manage ESG data and improve ESG performance.
Asbestos is still an emotive topic, and employers will often have a potential reputational risk from unfavourable media attention. Peter J Ramsay & Associates can provide assistance in further understanding your obligations and responsibilities in managing asbestos in the workplace.
VIC EPA Recommendations for Incoming Water Quality Guidelines for Aquatic Ecosystem Protection
In August 2016 the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (VIC EPA) released an information bulletin which outlines the proposed Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (ANZECC) for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and provides recommendations for the immediate adoption of these values.
Emerging Contaminants of Concern: Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances
Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of man-made chemicals which do not occur naturally in the environment. Recently the media has highlighted the concerns of regulatory agencies and property owners surrounding PFAS contaminated sites in a number of states across Australia (including at Fiskville (Victoria), Oakey (Queensland) and Williamtown (New South Wales)). This highlights the need to understand and thoroughly assess the potential for PFAS contamination to have occurred.
The Duty to Report Contamination Guidelines - How Might the Updated Guidelines Affect You?
The duty to report contamination to the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) arises when land (which includes soil, groundwater and soil vapour) is contaminated by a substance present at levels in exceedance of those dictated by the EPA for a particular land use. The duty to report is specified under the EPA Guidelines, Guidelines on the Duty to Report Contamination under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (July 2015).