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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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  NSWIRComm
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.