Australia: Workplace Health & Safety - What's News - 20 November 2012

Last Updated: 25 November 2012
Article by Charles Power

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Ex-inspector's safety warning: ACT
A former WorkCover inspector claims safety inspectors under too much pressure and that they are working without adequate training or expertise. Formerly, inspectors could issue an instant $5000 fine on a builder found not complying with safety regulations, but now have to use the courts to prosecute cases, further increasing their workload (16 November 2012) More...

Safety standards in offshore industry inadequate: report
Safety standards in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry lag behind international standards, according to a new report released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Australian Workers Union (AWU) (14 November 2012) More...

$50,000 fine for fall injuries
A Construction company has been fined $50,000 in the NSW Industrial Court after a labourer was seriously injured in a fall through a floor opening, and was also ordered to pay WorkCover's legal costs. WorkCover found a lack of safety procedures, such as covering or barricading the exhaust hole, led to the fall (14 November 2012) More...

Councils unite over sale yards safety
Two councils in south-east South Australia will join forces in an effort to make sale yards in the region safer, and will jointly apply for Commonwealth funding to address infrastructure concerns where trucks operate in sale yards (13 November 2012) More...

Company fined $140,000 after worker death
An agricultural manufacturing company has been convicted and fined $140,000 over an incident which killed a worker who was struck on the head by a metal rod. The company pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide or maintain a safe system of work and one count of failing to provide information, instruction or training to its employees (09 November 2012) More...

Warning issued over filling scuba dive cylinders
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recently issued a safety alert highlighting the risks associated with the filling of scuba diving cylinders using a flexible fill hose following an incident in which a worker was seriously injured at a recreational dive business (08 November 2012) More...

NZ mine owners lashed on safety
After almost two years gathering evidence, a royal commission found the 2010 tragedy was "preventable" and lashed Pike River Coal for taking unacceptable safety risks to chase an "illusory" aim of producing one-sixth of New Zealand's coal output (06 November 2012) More...

Refrigerant substitution 'puts lives at risk'
The Government has been warned lives could be at risk from companies substituting expensive non-flammable refrigerants with cheaper, but potentially explosive, hydrocarbons that are exempt from its carbon tax by the executive director of Refrigerants Australia (05 November 2012) More...

Leaders need to improve workplace safety
A new report examines 16 detailed case studies from companies across the EU highlighting good practice, the type of activities that deliver achievements, innovative approaches, success factors and the role of stakeholders. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has outlined six "leadership factors" that case studies show can improve the safety behaviour of employees More...

In practice and courts

NSW: Managing noise in the food and beverage industry
This guide has been produced by WorkCover Authority of NSW it provides employers in the food and beverage manufacturing industry with a tool to manage noise in the workplace. (November 2012) More...

NSW: Work Health and Safety Regulation (NSW) amended (Sch 18B)
A number of transitional provisions under NSW's Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 have been amended, affecting the design of structures, licensed asbestos work, mines and coal work places, high risk work and demolition work. Various amendments have been made , including Criteria relating to prohibited and restricted carcinogens and hazardous chemicals (06 November 2012). The Work Health and Safety Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2012. More... The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. More...

NSW: Workers reminded to renew high-risk work licences
WorkCover NSW is again reminding workers qualified to operate high-risk plant and equipment to review, and if necessary renew, their licences before the end of this year, 31 December 2012
High-risk work licences are needed to operate a range of machinery including forklifts and cranes, and pressure equipment such as boilers and turbines. They are also required in order to carry out scaffolding, rigging and dogging work (06 November 2012) More...

QLD: Tree felling and forest harvesting
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks associated with tree felling.
Background. A self-employed timber cutter died on a property near Calliope from head injuries sustained after a branch fell on him. The Forest Harvest Code of Practice 2007 provides advice and guidance to achieve worker health and safety required by legislation. (November 2012) More...

VIC: Risk of fire in engine compartment of Mercedes Benz bus
Operators of this model bus should consider inspecting their buses and updating their inspection checklist to include these two areas. The wiring loom discussed in point 2 above can be viewed by opening the internal rear floor cover to the engine compartment (15 November 2012) More...


Inspector Nicholson v Gallagher [2012] NSWIRComm 121
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY - prosecution under s 8(1) by virtue of s 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 - defendant a director of a corporation - corporation went into voluntary liquidation after incident - risk of injury by coming into contact with dangerous moving parts of conveyor machine at waste recycling and disposal plant - employees required to transit in close proximity to conveyors - conveyor unguarded on day of incident - young and inexperienced worker exposed to risk - inadequate supervision - worker became entangled in conveyor - serious injury suffered - plea of guilty - sentencing - objective factors - maximum penalty - risk was foreseeable - systems in place prior to incident inadequate - simple remedial measures available - general and specific deterrence - culpability of defendant - defendant "hands on" manager - no aggravating factors - mitigating factors - offence serious - subjective factors - remorse and contrition - assistance to injured worker - impact on defendant - co-operation with prosecutor - discount for plea - first offence - consideration of s 6 of the Fines Act 1996 and the defendant's capacity to pay - discretion exercised to reduce penalty under Fines Act - strength of financial evidence before the Court affected by absence financial material - some reduction in penalty by virtue of mitigating and subjective factors - penalty imposed - moiety - costs reserved. More...



Regulations and other statutory instruments

Work Health and Safety Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2012 SLI No. 544, 2012
The objects of this Regulation are to: (a) prescribe an Act as a corresponding WHS law for the purposes of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, (b) extend provisions of the WHS Act relating to confidentiality of information to information obtained under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, (c) to prescribe Acts for the purposes of the administration or enforcement of which certain information obtained under the WHS Act or the OHS Act may be disclosed, (d) revise the time frames applying to internal reviews of decisions under the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 in line with those under the Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997, and (e) update certain criteria relating to prohibited and restricted carcinogens and hazardous chemicals – made 09 November 2012.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.