Australia: Inside Track: Work Health and Safety - In the media, In practice and courts, Cases and Legislation

Last Updated: 25 July 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2019

In the media

Training organisation fined $200,000 for fraud
An occupational health and safety training organisation has been convicted and fined $200,000 for falsifying scaffolding and forklift training records. An assessor employed by the company has also been fined $25,000 without conviction (19 July 2019). More...

Construction site supervisor who set fire to apprentice pleads guilty in tribunal
An Adelaide construction site supervisor who doused an apprentice in flammable liquid and set his clothes on fire has pleaded guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act (17 July 2019). More...

Queensland takes action following string of mining accidents
The resources industry responded by calling for a safety reset at mines and quarries across Queensland by the end of August. Queensland's Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee now includes a district workers' representative and Queensland Mines Inspectorate. (16 July 2019). More...

Champion month for workplace safety
Safe Work Australia has announced that the theme for this year's National Safe Work Month, to be held in October, is for every worker to Be a Safety Champion (16 July 2019). More...

New resource to protect outdoor workers
ARPANSA has contributed to the Cancer Council's new resource for people who work outdoors and their employers. Skin cancer and outdoor work— A work health and safety guide provides workers with information and strategies on identifying and managing UV radiation as a workplace hazard (15 July 2019). More...

Taskforce to clean up additional dangerous goods site
The WorkSafe-led taskforce overseeing the removal of waste chemicals in the northern suburbs will clear another site in Campbellfield. Under Victoria's Dangerous Goods Act, duty holders who breach regulations in relation to the storage and handling of dangerous goods are required to take action to ensure their sites comply with the law (13 July 2019). More...

World update recognises emotional key to healthy workplaces
In its recent 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, The World Health Organisation recognised the serious effects of burnout, defining it as a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed (12 July 2019). More...

Foundry fined $650,000 after worker's death
Bradken Resources Limited was fined in the Melbourne County Court after being found guilty by a Wangaratta County Court jury of failing to provide and maintain safe plant following a 10 day trial. A WorkSafe investigation into the 22 July 2014 death led to the company being charged with a single breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (10 July 2019). More...

Tradesman convicted in relation to bullying young workers
SafeWork NSW is encouraging businesses to remember mental health at work after a Hunter tradesman was convicted of failing to take reasonable care that his actions did not adversely affect the health and safety of two young workers (09 July 2019). More...

$150,000 fines imposed after deadly duck farm fall
The trustee of a duck farm operator and a maintenance contractor have each been fined $75,000 following the death of a worker at a property near Nhill. Friosal Enterprises trustee Glenn Fraser pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risks to health (09 July 2019). More...

Fine imposed for high-pressure clean of asbestos roof
A ruling in the Southport Magistrates Court has again highlighted the dangers of cleaning asbestos roofs and that codes of practice must be followed. A company which operates childcare centres was fined $3,500 for a breach of section 446 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (08 July 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 8 July, there have been 77 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. More...

In practice and courts

New Guide Helps to Reduce Injury & Fatality in the Mining Sector
The Minerals Industry Safety & Health Centre and Australian Mines & Metals Association has released their latest edition of the Augmented Reality Mining & Quarry Industry Guide to Workplace Safety 2019/20, distributed free of charge Australia wide (11 July 2019). More...

OFSC: Changes to Accredited Contractor reporting requirements 2019
Scheme Project information, including End of Project information has been reported on the new Scheme Biannual Report from 1 July 2019 and the first Scheme Biannual Report, for the January to June 2019 reporting period, is due by 31 July 2019. 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...

NSW

SafeWork NSW Incident Report: Roofer fall from height
SafeWork NSW commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.
You should consider 'reasonably practicable' control measures to manage the risk of falls (9 July 2019). More...

Queensland

Fatal incident when excavator engulfed after pit wall failure | Business Queensland
Mines safety alert 364
On Wednesday 26 June 2019 at approximately 12.20pm, a 55 year old coal mine worker was fatally injured while he was operating an excavator at an open cut coal mine in Queensland's Bowen Basin (09 July 2019). More...

Victoria

Safety Soapbox
Feature: A reasonable risk control for hazards constantly changes over time as new ways to eliminate the hazard or reduce the risk become available or suitable in the industry (17 July 2019). More...

Cases

SafeWork NSW v E G Knight & Sons Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 336
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY – plea of guilty – general principles – foreseeability – objective seriousness of the offence – safety management system – objective knowledge of defendant CRIME – prosecution – work health & safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – plea of guilty – general and specific deterrence – unguarded farm machinery

Mark Rolph v SafeWork NSW and Anor [2019] NSWIRComm 1043
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY – application for external review – determination of work groups – whether work groups should be subject to geographical restriction – mobility of workforce – uniqueness of risks across network – balance of considerations

SafeWork NSW v Millwell Cush Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 302
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work, health & safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – plea of guilty – general deterrence – specific deterrence – appropriate penalty COSTS – prosecution costs

R v Truslan Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 321
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – Work, Health & Safety – duty of person undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – aggravating and mitigating factors – specific deterrence – general deterrence

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Spence Building and Joinery Pty Ltd Colac Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004,Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 Section 21(1) & 327 Outcome 15 July 2019
Mohammed Aktifan Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court
Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 Section 585(1) Outcome 12 July 2019

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 19 July 2019
No 139 Electrical Safety Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2019
Omission of s 73A (Work involving PV modules at solar farms)
No 140 Mining Legislation (Classification of Chemicals) Amendment Regulation 2019
Amendment of Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017 and Hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods

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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