Australia: Inside track: Work Health and Safety - In the media, reports and cases

Last Updated: 11 July 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

Man killed in accident at Central Queensland coal mine
A worker has died at a coal mine west of Gladstone - the fourth mining fatality in six months - prompting the Queensland mining union to declare a "safety crisis" (07 July 2019). More...

DHHS charged for alleged health and safety discrimination
WorkSafe has charged the Department of Health and Human Services for alleged discrimination against an employee who raised health and safety concerns (05 July 2019). More...

Call for more life-saving defibrillators in the workplace in Victoria
WorkSafe is urging employers to consider installing a life-saving defibrillator at their workplace. New guidance on the use of automated external defibrillators in the workplace has been published on the WorkSafe website to help promote safer workplaces (04 July 2019). More...

Consultation on proposal to update the GHS under the model WHS laws is now open
Safe Work Australia is conducting a public consultation on the proposal to adopt an updated edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals for workplace hazardous chemicals (03 July 2019). More...

Young worker injured by exploding tyre rim in Queensland
For reasons yet to be established, it appears the tyre exploded while the workers were removing a tyre from a split rim on an earthmover. Investigations are continuing. Under no circumstances should any work be carried out on a wheel while it has a pressurised tyre mounted on it, particularly any welding or wheel repair work (03 July 2019). More...

New ideas to improve workplace Mental Health in Victoria
Big ideas for improving workplace mental health are being sought for the Andrews Labor Government's WorkSafe WorkWell program. Grants of between $250,000 and $1.2 million are available for new and innovative programs that will promote the mental health and wellbeing of workers (01 July 2019). More...

Worker injured by falling piling rig component
Investigations into both incidents are continuing. The risk of serious injury is increased when mobile plant, such as a piling rig is operated close to workers. PBCUs must manage the risks associated with the setup, operation, inspection and maintenance of piling rigs and associated equipment (28 June 2019). More...

Miner dies after wall collapse in third fatal mining accident in central Queensland in six months
Work is suspended at a central Queensland coal mine after a man died when a wall collapsed and trapped him inside the digger he was using. The incident is the third fatal accident in six months (27 June 2019). More...

Federal Court penalty on CFMMEU Victorian official backs up rulings on right of entry laws
A Federal Court penalty judgment has reaffirmed earlier High Court and Full Federal Court rulings that union officials must hold valid federal entry permits when exercising rights of entry under state or territory OHS laws (25 June 2019). More...

Commissioner to convene roundtable on solar farm safety
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has asked the Electrical Safety Commissioner to convene an urgent industry roundtable to discuss safety in large-scale solar farms. The Minister made the request after the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by the State Government to overturn a recent ruling which invalidated solar farm safety regulations which came into effect last month (25 June 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 6 June, there have been 64 Australian workers killed at work in 2019. The numbers and industries may vary from one report to the next, as Safe Work receives more detailed information. To check for updates and more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage.

In practice and courts

FWC: Changes to right of entry permits
From Monday July 1, right of entry permits will need to include a photo and signature of the permit holder. The Fair Work entry permit allows the official to enter premises for the purpose of exercising rights under occupational health and safety laws. More...

FWC: Fee hike for dismissal, bullying applications
Application fees for dismissals, general protections and anti-bullying applications are set to rise from July 1, as will the high income threshold for unfair dismissal cases. More...

SafeWork Australia: consultation regulation impact statement: Recommendations of the 2018 Review of the Model WHS Laws
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is calling on stakeholders to provide feedback on recommendations for improving the model work health and safety laws. Before implementing the recommendations, SWA is calling for anyone who may be affected by them to provide feedback via their Engage page. Written submissions are due by 5 August 2019. More...

NSCA Safety Bulletin: Fall fails: the need for an industry code
Ongoing accidents caused by workers falling from heights exemplify the need for an industry code for height safety installations. Working At Heights Association CEO Richard Millar outlines the most common injuries and issues associated with failed height safety installations, and the case for industry adapting its industry code (24 June 2019). More...

OFSC: Want to have your say? Update your contact details with the OFSC
The OFSC will be conducting its annual survey of accredited companies in August 2019. The OFSC will use the feedback provided in the survey to improve its operations and make sure that the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme is improving safety in the construction industry (25 June 2019). More...

OFSC: Changes to Accredited Contractor reporting requirements
The first Scheme Biannual Report, for the January to June 2019 reporting period, is due by 31 July 2019. There is no additional information required in the Scheme Biannual Report that was not previously collected in the Biannual Activity Report or Scheme Project Report, with all data fields remaining the same. More...


SafeWork NSW Incident Report: Rolling truck crush fatality 24 June 2019
SafeWork NSW has commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident. Businesses must consider 'reasonably practicable' control measures to manage the risk of uncontrolled movements (roll away) of vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, vans, forklifts, tractors, mobile cranes etc. More...


HPW: Plumbing and Drainage reforms
To further protect the health and safety of Queenslanders, a new mechanical services licence, which includes medical gas work, will make sure that critical building services such as heating and cooling systems are delivered in a way that will protect the public from the dangers of legionella and other diseases. New plumbing laws and regulations are coming into on 1 July 2019. More....

eSAFE - June 2019
Published on 27 June 2019. More...


WorkSafe Victoria Alert: Farmer killed when tractor attachment point fails
This safety alert highlights the danger of farmers being killed or seriously injured if a tractor attachment point or linkage fails when it is supporting heavy farming equipment (01 July 2019). More...


Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
David McNeill Moorabbin Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section24(1) Outcome 02 Jul 2019
Ser Brothers & Co Pty Ltd Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section26(1) Outcome 01 Jul 2019
Hussein Abd Al Maijed Al Mosawi Melbourne Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section26(1) Outcome01 Jul 2019
Rubbertough Industries Pty Ltd Heidelberg Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(2)(a) Outcome 28 Jun 2019
Glenn Fraser Melbourne County Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 27 Jun 2019
Armand Von Benecke Melbourne County Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 27 Jun 2019

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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