Do you know your employer PPE responsibilities? Have you engaged a worker who leaves after 3 months or so? Can you make them pay for the PPE you have provided?

It is the the employer’s responsibility under WHS laws to provide workers with personal protection equipment (PPE), such as boots, hard hats and gloves. But if a worker leaves the company within 3 months of employment, can they be back-charged if it’s written into their employment contract that they pay the cost of PPE if they leave within this time? The answer is No.

You are not able to charge or deduct from a worker’s wages the cost of any PPE the worker is required to wear to reduce a health and safety risk. This is because providing PPE to your workers is part of your general obligations under work health and safety (WHS) legislation to provide a safe work environment and a safe system of work.

It is also an offence to fail to provide PPE if it is required to minimise risk. Any term in an employment contract stating that the worker will be back-charged for the cost of PPE has no effect under section 326 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Only reasonable deductions from workers, e.g. private expenses incurred, can be deducted. Want to know more? Get in touch.


Matt Holmes (Area Manager QLD / WA) recently attended the Queensland Golf Industry Awards night, where epar were the proud sponsor of the GCSAQ (Golf Course Superintendents Association of QLD) Environmental Award. This year’s award was presented to Jason Lavender from Riverlakes Golf Club.

It was very clear to the award judging panel that Jason has a great passion for the industry and strives to make improvements to his course wherever possible. Even in the face of great adversary, such as the SE QLD floods in 2017, Jason was able to not only reinstate the course in an amazingly short time, but made environmental improvements during the cleanup that will help mitigate against future weather events.

The following quote coming from a member at Riverlakes Golf Club who assisted Jason in the course recovery;

“This task was of monumental proportions. Jasons ability to organise and set priorities on clean up in the early stages minimised the damage to greens tees and fairways and allowed the course to recover more quickly from this disaster.”

As part of his award Jason received an epar education bursary and epar environmental management services for the club. Congratulations Jason!


SafeWork Inspectors are undertaking a forklift safety blitz this week to ensure compliance, raise awareness and help control the risks associated with forklifts. Inspectors will be targeting employers who cut safety corners and risk their workers’ lives when it comes to working with and around forklifts. The regulator says it may issue on-the-spot-fines for offenders.

Every year at Australian workplaces, forklifts continue to cause workplace deaths and injuries resulting in substantial financial and human costs for workers, industry and the community. But it’s not actually the machinery that initiates these incidents – it’s the operators.

SafeWork says the main reasons why people are killed or seriously injured by a forklift include:

  • Being hit by a forklift because of driver error, working too close to the forklift or inadequate traffic management.
  • Being hit by a load a forklift was moving because the driver did not use an attachment when one was needed, or assisting to adjust or steady the load.
  • Not wearing a seat belt in a tip-over. The forklifts mostly tipped because operators were turning on uneven or sloping ground.

SafeWork says forklift incidents can be prevented, especially when workers and businesses work together to improve health and safety at work. epar is developing a Forklift Use Protocol and if you would like a copy simply send us an email. There are some steps you can take to improve safety:

  1. Do the epar Take 3 Risk Assessment
  2. Display the epar Take 3 Hazard Awareness stickers
  3. Assess your workplace to identify areas where pedestrians are at risk of being struck by mobile plant or vehicles.
  4. Develop a site plan displaying safe routes for vehicles and pedestrians. This must be kept in a clearly visible area.
  5. Ensure that there is either separation or safe interaction between mobile plant, vehicles and pedestrians.
  6. Ensure that all drivers and operators of mobile plant are licensed and/or hold an appropriate certificate of competence to operate the vehicle.
  7. Ensure that your traffic management systems and plans are kept up-to-date and regularly reviewed for effectiveness.

Image Source and related information – SafeWork Forklift Safety


In recent audits, the epar team have been seeing instances of overloaded and/or damaged storage racking and shelving.

The Hazards:

  • They are repeatedly used without intervening maintenance or inspection, or are poorly maintained;
  • The structural strength is unknown;
  • Products and shelves or racks are stacked too high; or
  • Heavy weights and high stacking making rack unstable.

The Risks:

Serious injury or death due to:

  • structural collapse of the frame;
  • shearing of pallet base causing collapse; or
  • instability of load causing toppling.

A recent Court case has handed down its finding and penalty in relation to the death of a worker who died when a rusted storage rack collapsed.

This Court decision confirms that organisations must be vigilant when it comes to inspecting and detecting plant or fixtures that are exposed to corrosion. An employee of Broadspectrum (Australia) Pty Ltd (Broadspectrum) was gathering materials from a rack on a worksite that had been exposed to corrosion. This resulted in the rack collapsing and the employee suffering a fatal head injury.

Why it failed – The cause of the collapse was corrosion to the base support. The rack did not meet the specified Australian Standards mainly due to insufficient drainage holes, a failure to proactively proof from corrosion by painting or galvanising the rack and a failure to recognise and act on the corroded condition of the rack. It was found that Broadspectrum should have conducted a risk assessment of the rack and regularly inspected the rack. For this reason it was foreseeable that injury or death could result from the failure of the rack. There were readily available measures that would have removed the risk and this was supported by the corrective action taken by Broadspectrum directly after the incident. Broadspectrum was fined $240,000 and ordered to pay the prosecutor’s costs of $51,000.

Lessons from this case – This case demonstrates that extra care needs to be taken when conditions are present that may lead to significant safety risks to arise incrementally over a long period. Organisations need to ensure that fixtures and equipment undergo regular safety examinations to ensure that they do not pose a risk to health and safety.

Image Source – SafeWork NSW – Pallet racking guide


NSW Contaminated Land Management Update

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) will continue as the appropriate regulatory authority for underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS) matters up to 31 August 2019.

The amending regulation, the Protection of the Environment Operations (General) Amendment (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2017, is published on the NSW Legislation website

The EPA will continue to work with local government to improve its capacity to regulate the petroleum handling and storage industry.

A thorough review of the Protection of the Environment Operations (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2014 will begin in 2018. The EPA will consult with local councils and other stakeholders as part of that process.

More information is available on the EPA webpage

Please contact us if you need further clarification of your requirements.


Nudgee Golf Club has been confirmed as the host for epar’s Brisbane Certificate IV in Leadership and Management Workshop series for 2017.

“It is exciting to have Nudgee confirmed as our host for our Brisbane workshops as we have had significant student interest after our Sydney and Melbourne series in 2016.” epar General Manager Ben Gibson.

Nudgee will host the epar Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, epar Professional Certification and the ‘Leadership in Agronomy’ session with US PGA Tour Director of International & TPC Agronomy Mark Johnson.


Another great partnership with a long standing Member, epar is happy to announce it will be holding its Melbourne Certificate IV in Leadership and Management in 2017 at Yarra Yarra Golf Club.

epar General Manager, Ben Gibson states “It is particularly important to epar as a business that we support our Members wherever possible, this includes booking their facilities and catering to host our Member training and education. We are happy to confirm that our entire Melbourne based training series for 2017 will be hosted at Yarra Yarra Golf Club.”

This year includes epar Professional Certification (no charge for epar Members) and our Leadership In Turf Series with PGA Tour Director of International Agronomy Mark Johnson.

epar has worked closely with Yarra Yarra Golf Club to help improve compliance across the facility.

“We are excited to be able to host the epar Certificate IV in Leadership workshop series as it is a great fit for our facility. We value our staff and invest in their development, and having epar onsite to improve leadership, planning and the use of technology in the golf industry is a great thing to be a part of.” 

Peter Vlahandreas, General Manager Yarra Yarra Golf  Club.


epar is excited to announce Moore Park Golf as the venue for its Sydney Certificate IV in Leadership & Management for 2017!

Having held a long standing relationship with the facility, the Certificate IV presents a great opportunity to support Member facilities and showcase a fantastic conference and training venue.

In between key leadership sessions (including US PGA Tour Agronomist, Moore Park Golf General Manager and Superintendent input) we are sure that Moore Park’s driving range and putting facilities will get put to test by the students at some stage during the workshop series.


We have just launched our 2017 BSB42015 epar Cert IV in Leadership and Management workshop series to the turf industry.

With classes running in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane concurrently, students from the golf industry, local government, horticulture, sports turf, landscaping and project management are invited to further their knowledge and understanding of leadership concepts, technology and team development.

The workshops run over July, August and September in 2017 and culminate with a final day of environment, safety and risk management training that includes epar Professional Certification.

Exciting additions to the epar Leadership curriculum in 2017 include guest keynote leadership speakers; US PGA Tour (and 2016 Rio Olympic) Senior Agronomist Mark Johnson and leading General Managers and Superintendents.

The workshops are being hosted at leading industry facilities Moore Park Golf, Yarra Yarra Golf Club & Nudgee Golf Club.

Early enrolments get the opportunity to have an intimate breakfast with US PGA Tour Mark Johnson before the workshop.

Sydney Workshops

Melbourne Workshops

Brisbane Workshops

Enrolment information is available here


To better their understanding of the risks and challenges faced by the turf maintenance industry, epar General Manager Ben Gibson volunteered with the Course Maintenance team at this year’s 2016 Australian Open.

Working different shifts with a range of Royal Sydney staff and other volunteer turf professionals from around the globe, the tournament provided hurdles unlike any other in terms of logistics and planning.

“It was impressive to see how seriously the team at Royal Sydney take their risk and safety management obligations. Team welfare was paramount, even with the incredible pressure and demands that were put on the facility. Many talk the talk, but the team at Royal Sydney walk the walk”Ben Gibson

 All staff and volunteers were inducted to the event and site and a complex network of rolling theoretical and practical equipment and machinery competencies were completed on the Sunday prior to the event. Not one team member used a piece of equipment they had not been trained on.

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