Australia: Workplace Relations & Safety - What's News - 7 May 2013

Last Updated: 10 May 2013

In the media

National plan for action on asbestos safety and eradication
The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has been working with all jurisdictions and stakeholders to develop the plan for asbestos awareness, management and eradication by 30 June 2013, with seven out of the eight state and territory representatives are supporting the development of the National Plan (03 May 2013). More...

Winners announced for national Safe Work Australia Awards
Twenty-nine finalists from across Australia were honoured at the annual Safe Work Australia Awards held in Canberra on Monday 29 April. These awards showcase the best in workplace safety solutions, innovations and systems across our nation (02 May 2013). More...

ACT WorkSafe notices after blitz on site
WorkSafe inspectors will issue more than two dozen notices after a safety blitz at a city building site, a total of 27 notices to be issued, primarily on sub-contractors, noting ''room for improvement'' in terms of safety (02 May 2013). More...

NSW businesses urged to manage workplace noise
With hazardous noise a major cause of hearing loss in NSW workplaces, WorkCover NSW is reminding NSW business of the importance of managing hazardous noise in the workplace. A code of practice outlines what is required to manage noise and control the risks associated with exposure to noise (02 May 2013). More...

Adelaide company fined for finger loss
The SA Industrial Court has fined Adelaide Mushrooms Pty Ltd $26,250 plus legal fees after a worker's finger was caught in a machine that had no guard in place (02 May 2013). More...

Safework call to stop more quad bike deaths
Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rex Hoy has called for quad bike manufacturers to immediately reconsider their position on fitting crush protection devices to quad bikes to help prevent more quad bike deaths or life-changing injuries (26 April 2013). More...

Breaking the 'culture of safety silence'
The ACT construction industry is attempting to break its culture of silence when it comes to unsafe work practices on building sites (24 April 2013). More...

Fatality fine highlights risk of drum explosions
Diamond Powder Coaters (WA) has been fined $85,000 over the death of a worker when a drum he was cutting into with an angle grinder exploded in 2010. The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide a safe work environment and, by that failure, causing the death of the worker (22 April 2013). More...

New standard for electricity network safety management systems
Standards Australia has published a new Australian Standard for electricity network safety management systems. The standard, AS 5577: 2013 Electricity Network Safety Management Systems, was developed by Technical Committee EN-004 consisting of companies, industry associations, regulatory authorities and government representatives (22 April 2013). More...

RailCorp fined $150,000, takes blame for track death
Sydney's train operator has pleaded guilty in its first prosecution by the rail safety authority over a 2010 death in which a track cleaner was struck and killed by a train while he was working at Kogarah (21 April 2013). More...

In practice and courts

QLD DEIR: Truck and trailer ramps
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks associated with powered ramps on trucks and trailers (18 April 2013). More...

AS/NZS 60079.11:2011/Amdt 1:2013
Explosive atmospheres - Equipment protection by intrinsic safety 'i'. More...


Inspector Cobbin v Transfield Services Engineering Group [2013] NSWIRComm 33
The defendant is fined an amount of $100,000 with a moiety thereof to the prosecutor. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY - prosecution under s 10(2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 - maintenance services industry - collapse of steel frame - worker seriously injured - general and specific deterrence - subjective factors - plea of guilty to amended application for order- penalty imposed – costs. Corporations Act 2001; Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999; Occupational Heath and Safety Act 2000; Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001. More...

Independent Transport Safety Regulator v Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd. [2013] NSWIRComm 31
The defendant is fined the sum of $160,000 with half that amount of be paid to the prosecutor by way of moiety. RAIL SAFETY ACT 2008 - s 8(1) - work team performing duties in rail corridor - fatal injuries received by team member when train unexpectedly appears at fixed work site - guilty plea entered - numerous failures in otherwise detailed safety system - failure to close line to be worked upon - failure to comply with system for closing line - failure to adequately audit and monitor safety communications - failure to use secondary safety system of flags and detonators near work site - safety rules capable of being read separately when required to be read together - failure of supervision at work site when Protection Officer required to implement secondary safety system - unsafe practices evolve whereby work performed on a line when train traffic operating - risks foreseeable - serious breach established - general and specific deterrence considered - many subjective factors mitigate level of penalty - early plea - first offender - established safety system - contrition demonstrated - steps taken to address deficiency in safety system - co-operation with investigating authorities - penalty imposed. CRIMES (SENTENCING PROCEDURE) ACT 1999 - s 22A - availability of discount for assistance to administration of justice - whether additional discount available where guilty plea entered and discount separately granted for utilitarian value of plea. More...

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.

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