Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 10 July 2018

Last Updated: 12 July 2018
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, May 2019

In the media

Queensland Government to take proactive steps to reduce diesel exposure
The Queensland Mines Inspectorate is working with underground coal mines to proactively reduce personal diesel particulate matter exposure (02 July 2018). More...

Construction industry safety blitz underway
An ongoing construction industry safety blitz has revealed widespread safety failures when working from heights, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. SafeWork inspectors have so far visited more than 460 construction sites in NSW, and issued $115,000 in fines over breaches to safety laws (29 June 2018). More...

Comcare: Prosecution after army recruits injured in training
he Department of Defence has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws after two army recruits suffered severe electric shocks during a training exercise in Victoria (28 June 2018). More...

Health and safety warning for gas heater users
NSW Health and Fair Trading are urging people who use gas heaters to warm their homes and workplaces this winter to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rose Webb said the tragic loss of life in Melbourne has highlighted the need for consumers to be made aware of the dangers (26 June 2018). More...

For their pain, I am sorry': NSW Ambulance boss admits failure to protect paramedics
The head of the NSW Ambulance Service admits the organisation has "completely failed" paramedics suffering trauma and mental health problems (26 June 2018). More...

Further funding for nation-leading quad bike safety program
Farmers will be safer at work on their properties thanks to a further investment in the NSW Government's Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said (26 June 2018). More...

Resources industry leaders prioritise wellbeing in the workplace
Wellbeing has been rated as the most important priority by the global energy and resources (E&R) industry in the latest Deloitte Human Capital Trends report (26 June 2018). More...

Deloitte's top resources industry human capital trends
Deloitte's 2018 Human Capital Trends report is the most extensive to date, with input from more than 11,000 businesses and HR leaders around the world, including 952 from the global energy and resources (E&R) industry (26 June 2018). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Industry Snapshots
Find out more about WHSissues and statistics in priority industries. A set of updated WHS snapshots are now available providing an insight into the key national data and WHS issues of seven industries.

The snapshots contribute to the overall awareness and improvement of WHS in Australia by offering insights into the industries identified as national priorities in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy. Read the priority industry snapshots to learn more (29 June 2018).

In practice and courts

New South Wales

SafeWork NSW: Fire hazards & containment netting Safety Alert 25/06/2018
This safety alert reminds people of the fire hazards associated with containment netting or equivalent used in the construction industry, and the measures that should be implemented to control the associated risks. Safety Alert


WorkCover Queensland Alert: Falling objects from personnel and material hoists
The purpose of this alert is to highlight the risk of falling objects when zip ties (cable ties) are used to attach weights to the outside of personnel and material hoist cars. The same principles apply wherever zip ties are being used to secure parts where there is a risk to people from falling objects (03 July 2018). More...

Electrical Safety Office: New Wiring Rules edition released
The new edition of the Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2018) has been released. You can purchase the new standard on the SAI Global's website (26 June 2018). More...

Electrical Safety Office: New eligibility requirements for electrical contractor licences from 1 July
From 1 July, new requirements commence for Queensland electrical contractor licences, including additional training for qualified technical persons (QTP) and qualified business persons (QBP). Transitional provisions for exceptional circumstances will be in place until 31 December. More...

Queensland industrial manslaughter laws – countdown to 1 July
The Queensland Parliament introduced industrial manslaughter provisions into the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, Electrical Safety Act 2002, and Safety in Recreational Water Activities Act 2011 in October 2017. The new offence captures a person conducting a business or undertaking, or a senior officer, who is found to have negligently caused the death of a worker in Queensland. More...

Queensland mining safety conference 2018
The 2018 Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference is set to take place from August 19–22 in Gold Coast. Embracing the theme, 'Recognising opportunities together'. More...


Reported incidents – Read the list of reported incidents from 25 May - 21 June 2018


SafeWork NSW v Cosentino Australia Pty Ltd (No. 2) [2018] NSWDC 182
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury SENTENCE – objective seriousness – general deterrence – specific deterrence – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – fine – capacity to pay – appropriate penalty WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY – safe loading system – employee training OTHER – unsafe loading of stone slabs.

SafeWork NSW v Investa Asset Management Pty Ltd [2018] NSWDC 173
(1) The hearing date of 6 August 2018 is vacated.
Criminal Procedure Act 1986; Criminal Procedure Regulation 2017; District Court Rules 1970; Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Investa Asset Management Pty Ltd (the defendant) has pleaded not guilty to a charge that as a person who had a health and safety duty under section 19(1) Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the Act), it failed to comply with that duty and thereby exposed David Wilson and Edwin Castellanos, workers at work in its business or undertaking, to a risk of death or serious injury contrary to section 32 of the Act.

Wilmar Sugar Pty Ltd v Blackwood [2018] QCA 138
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the appellant operated a sugar mill – where an employee at the mill died of crush injuries after veering into the path of a cane bin travelling along a downward sloping track – where the track along which the cane bins travelled was only separated from a walkway by a painted yellow line – where the appellant allegedly contravened the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the health and safety of the deceased employee while he was at work – where the appellant offered to give a written undertaking – where an undertaking, while in effect, precludes the bringing of a prosecution in relation to the relevant incident – where the respondent refused the undertaking – whether the learned primary judge erred by failing to find that the respondent had not taken into account the appellant's past performance.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the appellant submits that the respondent treated the facts to which the respondent referred in coming to a decision to refuse a written undertaking as precluding the acceptance of the undertaking – whether the respondent exercised his power to make the decision so unreasonably that no reasonable person could have exercised it in that way.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the appellant's proposed written undertaking was considered by a three member panel that had been appointed to assist the respondent in making a decision about whether to accept the undertaking – where the panel recommended acceptance of the written undertaking – whether the respondent failed to give adequate reasons for his rejection of the panel's recommendation.

Aurora Construction Materials Pty Ltd v Victorian WorkCover Authority [2018] VSCA 165
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – Investigations – Statutory notices – Validity – Notices requiring giving of information and production of documents – Notices issued for purpose of investigating suspected contravention – Whether notices adequately stated nature of suspected contravention – Whether recipients able to assess validity of notices – Function of notices – State of investigators' knowledge – Notices valid – Leave to appeal granted – Appeal dismissed – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 ss.9, 100, 104, 111, 131, 132.

Metricon Homes Pty Ltd v O'Grady (VWA) [2018] VSC 351
CRIMINAL LAW – Appeal – Whether Magistrate's finding of guilt was on a different basis to that charged and particularised – Occupational health and safety – Employer's obligation to provide safe workplace – Tiles being laid on roof of residence before permanent roof supports installed – Whether it was open for Magistrate to conclude employees were at risk of roof collapse – Whether it was reasonably practicable for Metricon to take measures to eliminate or reduce risk – Whether Magistrate failed to give adequate reasons – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 ss.20 and 21 – DPP v Vibro-Pile [2016] VSCA 55 (26 March 2016) – Holmes v RE Spence & Co Pty Ltd (1992) 5 VIR 119 – DPP v Kypri [2011] VSCA 257; (2011) 33 VR 157 – R v Australian Char [1995] VSC 168 (30 June 1995) – Hunter v TAC & Avalanche [2005] VSCA 1 (10 February 2005).

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

Ackdale Pty Ltd
Melbourne Magistrates' Court. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 21(1)&(2)(a); 21, Outcome 04 Jul 2018.

Grampians Free Range Poultry Ltd
County Court. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 26(1). Outcome 04 Jul 2018.

Transplumb Maintenance Pty Ltd
Sunshine Magistrates' Court. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 21(1). Outcome 29 Jun 2018.

Aurora Construction Materials Pty Ltd
Melbourne Court of Appeal. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 9(2). Outcome 29 Jun 2018.

Epping Transport Pty Ltd
Melbourne Court of Appeal. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 9(2). Outcome 29 Jun 2018.

Campbellfield Bin Hire Pty Ltd
Sunshine Magistrates' Court. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Section 21(1)&(2)(a); 21(1)&(2)(e). Outcome 28 Jun 2018.



Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018
Date of assent: 26 June 2018 - Act Number: 25/2018.

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Industrial Relations (General) Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2018 (2018-350) — published LW 29 June 2018.
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2018 (2018-338) — published LW 29 June 2018.

Bills assented to
Modern Slavery Act 2018 No 30 — Assented to 27 June 2018
For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.


Subordinate legislation as made – 29 June 2018
No 93 Electrical Safety and Other Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation 2018
No 94 Work Health and Safety (Certificates of Authority) Amendment Regulation 2018
No 99 Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Amendment Notice (No. 1) 2018
This Notice is made under Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). The Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recommended that the status of codes of practice be clarified by restoring provisions that existed in the repealed Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995. From 1 July 2018 the WHS Act will require duty holders to either comply with an approved code of practice under the WHS Act or manage hazards and risks in a different way as long as it provides an equivalent or higher standard of work health and safety to the standard required under the code. Thirty eight approved codes of practice under the WHS Act have been the subject of a limited internal review to support their status as the minimum standard from 1 July 2018.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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