Australia: Workplace Health & Safety - What's News - 12 March 2013

Last Updated: 15 March 2013
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Spiros Pandelakis of Academic Systems fined $650,000 and given suspended jail term for fire safety infringements
A budget accommodation operator has copped a $650,000 fine and suspended jail term for not following fire safety regulations. Queensland Fire and Rescue Commissioner said QFRS makes no apologies for enforcing regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of all Queenslanders, as well as interstate and overseas visitors (08 March 2013). More...

Construction blitz finds safety shortfalls
Dangerous scaffolding, unsafe work at height and inadequate temporary fencing were just some of the 90 safety breaches WorkSafe inspectors found on housing construction sites across western Victoria under Operation Safesite. Inspectors will conduct follow-up visits in the coming weeks to ensure all health and safety breaches had been rectified (07 March 2013). More...

Builder fined over fall
A builder was fined and also recently ordered to pay costs on top of the fine, pleading guilty to breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a fall on the Gould Bros construction site in September 2008. Gould Bros were previously fined $300,000 for the accident and entered voluntary administration last year (03 March 2013). More...

The cost of poor work safety
Building companies doing the right thing won't be penalised under recommendations of the safety inquiry, according to the ACT Work Safety Commissioner. The inquiry report recommends improvement of the capacity of the regulator to catch and impose sanctions on those who are not complying with laws (01 March 2013). More...

Govt crackdown on worksite safety The ACT Government has agreed to all of the recommendations from a damning report into Canberra's construction industry. The report found the ACT has a distressing safety record with the serious injury rate 31 per cent higher than the national average (26 February 2013). More...

Company fined $60,000 over lifter incident
A company has been fined $60,000 (plus $7673 in costs) over an incident in which a female worker was injured when a lifting device fell onto her from the rear of a truck. National Fleet Administrative Services Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment for a person not being an employee of National Fleet Administrative Services (26 February 2013). More...

In practice and courts

QLD: Feedback on workplace health and safety laws
The Newman Government is seeking feedback from small business on the impact of national workplace health and safety laws. The online survey can be completed anonymously at (27 February 2013). More...

New Australian Safety Standards

AS IEC 61800.5.1-2013
Adjustable speed electrical power drive systems - Safety requirements - Electrical, thermal and energy. More...

AS IEC 61800.5.2-2013
Adjustable speed electrical power drive systems - Safety requirements—Functional. More...


Inspector McGrath v Cooper [2013] NSWIRComm 14
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (the Act) - plea of guilty to amended charge under s 9 of the Act - store manager injured after falling 2.9 metres from the unprotected edge of a mezzanine floor under construction - defendant contracted to build the mezzanine floor - defendant's responsibility to ensure fall protection measures were in place - conduct of injured person taken into account in mitigation of objective seriousness of the offence - offence objectively serious - deterrence principles considered - specific deterrence not applied - subjective factors - costs - whether costs order should be proportionate to fine imposed – orders. More...

InterCoast Refrigerated Transport Pty Ltd (in Liquidation) v Inspector Batty (WorkCover Authority of New South Wales) [2013] NSWIRComm 12
APPEAL - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT 2000 - s 8(1) - a first instance finding made of unsafe system of work - repairs being made to prime mover and trailers with assistance of driver - prime mover rolls over inadequate wheel chocks - driver killed in attempting to stop prime mover - failure to direct drivers not to participate in repairs and to stay clear of vehicle - appeal raised matters not raised at first instance and focuses on accident not the particularised risk - directions capable of being understood - driver participating in repair work when performing work normally undertaken by contracted service provider - appeals dismissed. More...

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