Australia: Work, Health & Safety - What's News - 18 March 2014

Last Updated: 24 March 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Hefty fine upheld for Damday over blast which killed tradesman
The company fined $120,000 over the explosion that killed an Irish tradie has lost a fight to have its penalty reduced. Damday Pty Ltd, which owns Australian Airconditioning and Mechanical Services lodged the appeal on the grounds the fine was "manifestly excessive" (14 March 2014). More...

WorkCover rolls out construction site safety blitz
WorkCover NSW has launched a six-week work health and safety blitz of commercial construction sites across Sydney and hot spots in regional NSW. This blitz will target the commercial building sector, specifically those sites involved in the construction of multi-level buildings (14 March 2014). More...

Asbestos scare closes Origin CSG operation in southern Qld
Origin Energy says it is still trying to determine the full extent of an asbestos scare that has shut down its southern Queensland coal seam gas (CSG) operation. Origin spokesman Phil Craig says the product came from an overseas supplier and is used as an additive as part of a process to prepare for CSG gas production (14 March 2014). More...

Barangaroo investigation commences
WorkCover NSW has commenced its investigation following the fire at the Barangaroo construction site in the Sydney CBD. NSW WorkCover is now working closely with the other emergency services and the principal contractor to ensure any work carried out into relation to this incident is carried out safely (13 March 2014). More...

NSW to force old fuel tankers to be retrofitted with electronic stability control

Industry leaders call for improved mine safety
It's widely accepted that Australia has one of the safest mining industries in the world, but some suggest standards could be slipping (12 March 2014). More...

Reducing musculoskeletal problems in office workers: new study
What is the best way to reduce musculoskeletal problems in office workers? That's the focus of a new University of Queensland (UQ) study. Researchers will aim to identify what's more successful – an ergonomic assessment plus health promotion, or an ergonomic assessment plus exercise training (10 March 2014). More...

Coalition accused of meddling in Victorian WorkCover safety campaign
Safety campaigns to protect workers have been scrapped in what some say is a politically motivated attempt to make the state government's key workplace authority less hostile to employers (09 March 2014). More...

WA scrapyard J & P Metals fined $80,000 after death
J & P Group, trading as J & P Metals, pleaded guilty in the Bunbury Magistrates Court to failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment. The yard employed some Chinese nationals with varying levels of understanding of English (04 March 2014). More...

Court action over Perth City Link Rail Project death
Comcare has filed legal proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against three John Holland entities that arise from a fatal workplace incident which was part of the Perth City Link Rail Project. John Holland Pty Ltd and John Holland Rail Pty Ltd have previously had civil penalties imposed by the Federal Court for breaching Commonwealth work health and safety laws (05 March 2014). More...

In practice and courts

Comcare Alert 14 - Safety Recall: Polaris Ranger 500
This Alert concerns the risk of injury due to an engineering characteristic of specific plant that may be in use (03 March 2014). More...

ARPANSA Technical Report No. 164, 14 March 2014
Review of Radiofrequency Health Effects Research - Scientific Literature 2000-2012. Report by the ARPANSA Radiofrequency Expert Panel. More...

Office of the Commissioner Qld: Commissioner Safety Alert 5 - dangerous year for mining contractors 2013-2014
Even though Queensland is not represented in these recent statistics, contractors are vastly over-represented in Queensland mining fatal accidents. Ensuring contractors are being managed under a single SHMS is a key focus this year for the Queensland Mines Inspectorate. More...

QLD: Department of Mines: Guideline for Operating Plant under the Petroleum and Gas Production and Safety Act 2004 and interaction with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
This document provides a guide of what is operating plant as defined under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and how the safety provisions under that Act and safety-related provisions under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the regulatory agencies interact at the various stages of the operating plant's life (04 March 2014). More...

QLD: Workcover funding available for worker health and wellbeing programs
From March, Queensland workplaces can apply for up to $1.4 million in grant funding to create a healthy workplace where workers are encouraged to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours (03 February 2014). More...

NSW: Workcover Work-related stress: Fact sheets
Work-related stress is recognised globally as a major challenge for workers and organisations and increased stress levels can lead to poor performance. New fact sheets provide more information (06 March 2014). More...

NSW Reminder: Workcover Farmer Safety Rebate
The rebate is available until April 30, 2014. The $2,000 rebate is payable to businesses which spend money on initiatives to make working with tractors or livestock safer, or reduce employee exposure to sun and noise. More...


DPP v Melbourne Water Corporation [2014] VCC 184
Sentence – breach by a corporation of s21(1) and s21(2)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 – death of worker falling through a displaced grate upon a walkway – previous instances of grate being displaced. Legislation Cited: Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004; Sentencing Act 1991. Sentence: Conviction and fine of $400,000. More...

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