Australia: What's news in work health & safety? - 6 November 2013

Last Updated: 16 November 2013
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger, Alistair Salmon and Paul Hardman

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Farmsafe says quad bike research backs roll bars

Farm safety advocates say the science is in, and now is the time to start encouraging people to use quad bikes with roll bars. Work Safe Australia statistics show that 54 Australians died using quad bikes between the beginning of 2011 and October 16, 2013 (01 November 2013).  More...

Agricultural plane crash statistics improve

An aviation safety report has revealed aerial agriculture accidents almost halved in Australia between 2011 and 2012. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau report recorded 10 agricultural plane crashes during 2012, down from 18 the previous year (01 October 2013).  More...

Victory for Common Sense

"Today's decision by the High Court to allow ComCare's appeal in the infamous 'sex case' is welcome," Senator Abetz said today, and protects the currency of work place safety which was in serious danger of being trivialised by this claim (30 October 2013).  More...

Lowest compensated fatality rate in a decade

Work-related compensated injury fatalities are at the lowest level since 2002, the 15th Edition of the Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) report has revealed. The Safe Work Australia report  coincides with the final week of Safe Work Australia Month provides trend analysis on the work health and safety and workers' compensation schemes operating in Australia (30 October 2013).  More...

Government takes hard line on work safety with new ACT Industrial Court

Legislation has been passed establishing a new ACT Industrial Court with its own industrial magistrate, and to create for the first time, a new industrial court to hear and decide industrial work safety matters including workers compensation claims (29 October 2013).  More...

Providing certainty for NSW mine safety appointments

Resources Minister Chris Hartcher said the Coal Mine Health and Safety Amendment (Validation) Bill 2013, which passed through the Legislative Assembly today, removes any uncertainty over the appointment of mine inspectors, safety officers and investigators (30 October 2013).  More...

June 2013 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report now available

There were 16 work-related notifiable fatalities reported during June — 11 male and 2 female workers plus 1 male and 2 female bystanders. For further details see the Notified Fatalities Monthly Report June 2013 (28 October 2013).  More...

$200,000 fine over WA worker death

Mining giant BHP Billiton Iron Ore and subcontractor HWE Newman Services have been fined more than $200,000 in total over a fatal workplace accident in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The Perth Magistrates Court heard BHP and HWE failed to provide the necessary equipment for safe tyre assembly, and Mr Sparkes did not receive sufficient training (24 October 2013) (25 October 2013).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2012

Author: Safe Work Australia
Two thirds of the work-related fatalities in 2012 involved vehicles. Half of these incidents occurred on a public road while the other half occurred at a worksite. The Transport, postal and warehousing industry had the highest number of fatalities with 65 deaths in 2012,  followed by the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry with 53 deaths and the Construction industry with 30 (31 October 2013).  More...

Work-related injuries and fatalities involving a fall from height, Australia

Author: Safe Work Australia
21 workers lodge a workers' compensation claim each day for a falls-related injury and required one or more weeks off work. A typical claim saw the worker off work for over six weeks. Nearly one in ten of the workers who were hospitalised in the 2006 to 2009 period were admitted with injuries due to a fall from height  (31 October 2013).  More...

Mesothelioma in Australia Incidence 1982 to 2009 Mortality 1997 to 2011

Author: Safe Work Australia
Data on the number of new cases of mesothelioma are collected nationally by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in the National Cancer Statistics Clearing House. In 2009 there were 666 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in Australia. In 2011, 606 deaths were attributed to mesothelioma (28 October 2013).  More...

Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report

Author: Safe Work Australia
A national summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian work health and safety jurisdictions. There were 16 work-related notifiable fatalities during June 2013 — 11 male and 2 female workers and 1 male and 2 female bystanders. Of these fatalities, 2 workers and 3 bystanders died as a result of incidents in the air or on public roads (28 October 2013).  More...

In practice and courts

Draft model Work Health and Safety Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring: public comment

To support the model Work Health and Safety Act, Safe Work Australia has released a draft model Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring for public comment. A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on the model Code will be released for comment once it is approved by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Public comment has been extended to 29 November 2013.  More...

QLD: esafe October 2013 edition available

Latest edition of eNEWS keeping you informed on a range of topics and health and safety issues that affect workplaces in Queensland (30 October 2013).  More...

QLD: Department of Natural Resources and Mines alerts

Regulatory and security assessment fees (2013-14)

This bulletin lists the fees for a licence (authority), security assessment or authorisation of an explosive as prescribed in section 14 of the Explosives Act 1999 and Schedule 2 of the Explosives Regulation 2003 (28 October 201).  Explosives Information Bulletin 37 v15 - Regulatory and security assessment fees (2013-14) (PDF, 144 kB)

Explosives Safety Alert 76 - Accidental initiation of distress signal in collection bin (PDF, 146 kB) – 28 October 2013

Explosives Safety Alert 77 - Explosives found in shotfirers vehicle returned from workshop (PDF, 108 kB) - 30 October 2013


Inspector Ankucic v Chalhoub [2013] NSWIRComm 93

John Milad Chalhoub is fined an amount of $2,600 in respect of the intimidation charge under s 136(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and $900 in respect of the hinder and obstruct charge under s 136(1)(a) of that Act.  Bakhos Youssef Khalil is fined an amount of $1,600 in respect of the intimidation charge under s 136(1)(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and $750 in respect of the hinder and obstruct charge under s 136(1)(a) of that Act.  APPEAL - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY - Respondents pleaded guilty and were convicted and fined in Chief Industrial Magistrate's Court of contravention of s 136(1) (a) and 136(1)(b) of Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 - Application for leave to appeal and appeal by prosecutor from decision of Chief Industrial Magistrate - Manifest inadequacy of fines imposed - Application by one respondent to withdraw plea of guilty - Principles to be applied to withdrawal of plea application - Application refused - Consideration of first instance decision - Errors found - Fines manifestly inadequate - Re-sentencing. More...



Coal Mine Health and Safety Amendment (Validation) Bill 2013 - the Bill amends the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act 2002 to retrospectively validate appointments to statutory mine safety positions since 2006.

Combat Sports Bill 2013 - Under the new Act industry participants will be registered for three years.  Promoters will also face fines of up to $55,000 and 12 months jail for allowing a combatant to compete who they know is unfit or lacks blood test clearance.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Coal Mine Health and Safety Amendment (Validation) Bill 2013

Explosives Amendment Bill 2013

Acts assented to

Explosives Amendment Act 2013 No 81 — Assented to 29 October 2013


Statutory Rules made

No. 131: Electricity Safety (Management) Amendment Regulations 2013
Date of Making: 29/10/2013 Commencement: 01/11/2013: reg. 3Not yet in operation:
N/A Sunset Date: 29/10/2023

No. 133: Road Safety (Vehicles) Amendment (Electronic Stability Control) Regulations 2013
Date of Making: 29/10/2013 Commencement: 01/11/2013: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: N/A
Sunset Date: 29/10/2023

No. 134: Road Safety Road Rules Amendment (Mobile Phones and Other Devices) Rules 2013
Date of Making: 29/10/2013 Commencement: 25/11/2013: rule 3
Not yet in operation: Rules 1-5: on 25/11/2013: rule 3 Sunset Date: 29/10/2023

No. 135: Road Safety (Drivers) and (General) Amendment (Mobile Phones and Other Devices) Regulations 2013
Date of Making: 29/10/2013 Commencement: 25/11/2013: reg. 3
Not yet in operation: Regs 1-5: on 25/11/2013: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 29/10/2023

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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Michael Selinger
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