Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 9 October 2013

Last Updated: 11 October 2013

In the media

WorkSafe on-the-spot fines having biggest impact
The ACT Work Safety inspectorate more than doubled its prohibition, infringement and improvement notices across the construction industry this year and increased site visits and blitzes by almost 15 per cent (03 October 2013). More...

Fires lead to $1.4m fix for Perth buses
The potential safety risks to drivers and passengers forced urgent action from the Public Transit Authority, although it stopped short of taking gas buses off the road because they represented about 40 per cent of the total fleet (03 October 2013). More...

Beware of too much vehicle data
Online risk management tools are an effective way of reducing accidents and gathering data to identify problem areas around company cars. Risk management tools help organisations assess risk, but under Australia's occupational health and safety regulations, the responsibility remains with the employer (03 October 2013). More...

Big River Timbers fined for worst accident in their history
Big River Timbers has been fined $120,000 for a factory accident which resulted in the partial amputation of a long-term employee's foot. In what the NSW Industrial Relations Commission heard was the worst accident in the company's history, failure to maintain a regular maintenance schedule was found to be a contributing factor (01 October 2013). More...

Fireball crash truck company issued with 104 defect notices
The trucking company involved in Tuesday's fatal fuel tanker crash on Sydney's northern beaches has since been issued with 100 defect notices, about half of them for major faults, during a crackdown on the safety of the company's trucks (03 October 2013). More...

May 2013 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report now available
There were 13 work-related notifiable fatalities reported during May — 11 male workers and two male bystanders, according to the latest Notified Fatalities Monthly Report May 2013 released by Safework Australia (02 October 2013). More...

Safety on site: Asset and People management - Stopping silicosis
Silicosis is a major danger to all workers in industrial sectors. It is one of the three most important occupationally-related dust diseases in Australia (03 October 2013). More...

Business showcase workplace safety achievements
WorkCover received 141 entries - the second highest number of entrants since the program began ten years ago. This year's awards introduce a new category which recognises individuals and businesses who are helping injured workers return to safe and sustainable work (02 October 2013). More...

Working with small business to improve safety outcomes
Minister for Finance and Services and Minister for Small Business have today announced a strategy designed to make it easier for small businesses to comply with their work health and safety obligations. "The strategy, WorkCover: Making It Easier, is a direct result of a collaboration between industry, business and the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to allow WorkCover to provide tailored support to small businesses (30 September 2013). More...

Airservices supports international runway safety initiative
Developed in conjunction with the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) and industry workgroups, the initiative aims to reduce 'unstable' approaches, which can result in runway excursions or aircraft veering off or overrunning the runway during take-off or landing (01 October 2013). More...

Beware the risks when using concrete precast panels
Precast concrete panels have become popular for many types of building projects but the risks associated with their use should not be underestimated. That's the message from WorkSafe Victoria which has begun a 10-week campaign to visit construction sites across the state to alert builders to their dangers (26 September 2013). More...

Admission of guilt on workplace drowning
Melbourne Water Corporation has pleaded guilty over the workplace death of a technician who drowned in a sewerage channel at the Eastern Treatment Plant near Dandenong on December 1, 2011. The corporation will later appear before the County Court (26 September 2013). More...

WorkCover securing safety in wood industry
WorkCover NSW will visit 200 NSW wood manufacturing businesses over the next two months as part of a program to improve safety in one of the state's highest risk industries (23 September 2013). More...

The Australian Mesothelioma Registry 2nd Data Report
The Australian Mesothelioma Registry (AMR) has released its second data report. The report focuses on mesothelioma cases diagnosed during 2012, notified to the Registry up to 30 June 2013 (23 September 2013). More...

In practice and courts

2013 Work Health and Safety Month promotion pack available
National Safe Work Australia Month encourages workplaces across Australia to promote safety at work during October. Comcare has created a promotion pack to assist organisations raise awareness of work health and safety — download the creative resources to use in your own workplace. (01 October 2013). More...

Safety alert: Stability of buildings and structures
This alert is to advise of the importance of ensuring wall stability of buildings and structures, including during construction, demolition or refurbishment works (01 October 2013). More...

QLD: Reminder: Consultation RIS Queensland's Mine Safety Framework consultation regulatory impact statement
Submissions are invited from mining communities and industry, particularly those regulated under either the coal mining or mining and quarrying, safety and health acts and regulations. Submissions close 11 November 2013. More...

QLD: Explosives Safety Alert 75: Light vehicle carrying explosives hit by underground loader
While reversing an underground loader hit a light vehicle carrying explosives. Recommendation includes Safety management systems include suitable and appropriate procedures and controls that minimize the risk of interaction between explosives transport vehicles and other site mobile equipment (01 October 2013). More...

QLD: Explosives Safety Alert 73: Explosives loads unfit for transport
Three road consignments of reject boosters (Class 1.1D explosives) for destruction from mine sites were consolidated into two consignments for onforwarding when reserve staff noticed the load was neither safe nor suitable to be offered for consignment. Recommendations include: Explosives be correctly packaged and palletised suitably for their intended journey in accordance with the Australian Explosives Code (AEC) (01 October 2013). More...


Inspector Gregory v Big River Timbers (Veneer) Pty Ltd [2013] NSWIRComm 85
The defendant is fined the sum of $120,000. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT - s 8(1) - crush injury received in working at timber and plywood factory - injury results in partial amputation of employee's foot - early pleas of not guilty entered - delays experienced in light of "Kirk" decision in High Court and various challenges in the Court of Appeal - prosecution successful in amending particulars - defendant enters plea of guilty to amended application for order - serious breach established - risk foreseeable and obvious - general and specific deterrence considered - prior offences involve crush type injury - numerous subjective factors considered - long running operation in inherently dangerous industry - overall safety record considered - numerous steps taken to address risk identified - defendant undertakes costly modifications to plant and guarding - new log cutting system introduced at cost of $1.4 M - co-operation with WorkCover investigation - remorse and contrition demonstrated - relatively early plea entered - penalty imposed - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000. More...

Inspector Rand v Corcoran [2013] NSWIRComm 88
The personal defendant is fined an amount of $3250 with a moiety thereof to the prosecutor. The corporate defendant is fined an amount of $32,500 with a moiety thereof to the prosecutor. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY - prosecutions under s 11(1)(a) and s 11(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 - metal fabrication industry - hoist cage disengaged - persons seriously injured - general and specific deterrence - capacity to pay - Fines Act 1996 - totality - penalty imposed – costs. More...



Subordinate legislation as made

No 195 Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2013 – 04-10-13 Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004.



Road Safety (General) Amendment Regulations (No. 118/ 2013)
Operational: R. 6: 01/11/2013 (r. 3(2)) Remainder: 24/09/2013 (r. 3(1)).

The Victorian Commencement Book is available on the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel website.

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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