Australia: Work, Health & Safety - What's News - 30 April 2014

Last Updated: 5 May 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the Media

Safety of Victoria's commercial diving industry questioned
Victoria's work safety authority, Worksafe, has been criticised over a decision not to prosecute a diving accident on a Melbourne Water job. A diver, who is now paraplegic as a result of the accident, says fines should have been issued for breaches to duty of care by the project contractors (24 April 2014). More...

Truckie found guilty of dangerous driving causing death after fourth trial
A truck driver faced four juries before he was found guilty of dangerous driving causing death. In a case that highlights the strain that aborted trials put on the judicial system, three juries were discharged in February and March in the case of David James Ross, before a fourth jury found him guilty (24 April 2014). More...

Commitment to safety during highway upgrade
WorkCover NSW and THIESS Pty Ltd have formally committed to ensuring the safety of workers during the construction of the Frederickton to Eungai (F2E) Pacific Highway Upgrade Project with the signing of an action plan (23 April 2014). More...

Teacher awarded almost $700,000 after being pulled backwards by eight year old
Education authorities failed to take steps to protect staff and students from the violent, aggressive and anti-social behaviour of an eight-year-old at a western Sydney primary school, a court has found. Judge Levy dismissed the Department's claim that Ms Sticker must take significant responsibility for her own injury (23 April 2014). More...

Fair Work Commission releases first Anti-bullying Quarterly Report The Fair Work Commission has today published the first Quarterly Report in relation to the new anti-bullying jurisdiction. The report shows that from 1 January 2014 to 31 March 2014 the Commission received 151 anti-bullying applications. All applications had processes to deal with the matters undertaken within the required 14-day time period (23 April 2014). More...

Police union raises concerns about fire rating of officer's uniforms
Victoria's police union has raised concerns about the safety of new police uniforms as a result of January's Middle Park explosion that left three officers badly injured (21 April 2014). More...

Fortescue Metals Group takes over ore processing at its Pilbara mines amid safety concerns
Fortescue Metals (FMG) will take over iron ore processing at its operations in Western Australia's Pilbara region amid a review of safety at its mines (16 April 2014). More...

Court places CFMEU exclusion zone around Bald Hills Wind Farm site
The Federal Court of Australia has banned the CFMEU from placing or leaving vehicles or any other equipment within 200 metres of any entrance to the Bald Hills Wind Farm construction site in Victoria. The expanded Federal Court orders also prevent the CFMEU from threatening, abusing or harassing any person trying to enter or exit the Bald Hills Site (16 April 2014). More...

Uniform safety standards urged for oil-gas onshore processing
The head of a Pilbara-based ammonia producer is calling for the oil and gas sector to unite to establish common safety standards for onshore processing facilities (15 April 2014). More...

GM's Plan to prevent another Recall Debacle
General Motors has announced a new "global product integrity" unit to prevent future problems, though hasn't yet detailed how the group would operate, as the car giant faces criticism for its bungled handling of a massive recall for a defect linked to 13 deaths (15 April 2014). More...

ACCC advertises danger of quad bikes
The ACCC is launching a video campaign to highlight the dangers of quad bikes after 21 Australians died in accidents in 2013, many of them young (15 April 2014). More...

Workplace drug testing tipped to increase despite misgivings
Workplace drug testing is likely to become increasingly common as employers attempt to cut ''presenteeism'' and ensure safety, one of Australia's leading workplace drug experts says. But unions say the tests, which are backed by little evidence proving they lead to safer workplaces, are an unfair invasion of privacy, particularly when they come in the form of a urine test (14 April 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

On the Joint Use of Safety Regulation and Civil Liability to Promote Safe Management of Hazardous Operations: A French Case Study
Author: Pierre Bentata CRED; Journal of Risk Research, 2014
Judges heavily rely on prior regulation, especially in cases of causal uncertainty, particularly in those cases where liability would traditionally be weak, but can hold regulators liable when regulators did not monitor a regulated plant and this threat provides regulators with incentives to design and to apply stringent standards over risky activities. More...

In practice and courts

Comcare National Conference 2014
The 2014 Comcare National Conference returns to Melbourne from 9–11 September 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Visit the 2014 Comcare National Conference website to register your interest to attend or be involved as a sponsor/exhibitor. More information will be available soon with registrations opening in March 2014.

Commission releases first Anti-bullying Quarterly Report
The Fair Work Commission has published the first Quarterly Report in relation to the new anti-bullying jurisdiction. The report covers the period from 1 January to 31 March 2014 (23 April 2014).

Building and Construction Industry (Fair and Lawful Building Sites) Code 2014 released
The new code will come into effect when the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2014 commences as an Act. More... More...

New Safety Standards

Occupational noise management - Auditory assessment. Published 24 April 2014. Supersedes DR AS/NZS 1269.4 and AS/NZS 1269.4:2005. AS/NZS 1269.4:2014


Watts v Australian Postal Corporation [2014] FCA 370
HUMAN RIGHTS – Disability discrimination in employment – proper construction of "reasonable adjustment" – characteristics of appropriate comparator – whether respondent failed to make reasonable adjustments for employee following work-related psychological injury – whether failure to make reasonable adjustments had the effect that the applicant was treated less favourably – whether the respondent's discriminatory conduct caused the applicant's loss – applications allowed in part. More...

Clavel v Savage (No 2) [2014] NSWSC 463
Judgment for the first and second defendants. TORT – intentional infliction of emotion distress - liability and quantum against first and second defendant – application of principles to facts found in earlier judgment. COSTS – Offer of Compromise – insufficient actual compromise – later Calderbank letter – indemnity costs on basis of Calderbank letter. More...

Western Freight Management Pty Ltd v Roads and Maritime Services, New South Wales [2014] NSWCA 132
APPEAL - whether applicant identified ground of appeal involving a question of law - s 52 Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 (NSW). CRIMINAL LAW - substantial risk breach of mass requirement - reasonable steps defence - where loading of vehicle by third party not done in accordance with instructions - where driver failed to inspect after loading - where overloading of axles - - s 56, s 87 Road Transport (General) Act 2005. PROCEDURE - criminal law - whether prosecution obliged to particularise reasonable steps defendant should have taken - applicability of Kirk v Industrial Court (NSW). More...

Sticker v NSW Department of Education & Communities [2014] NSWDC 37
Verdict and judgment for the plaintiff in the sum of $689,294; TORTS - workplace injury - primary school teacher sustained serious back injury in course of seeking to discipline misbehaving 8 year old traumatised refugee child with long history of behavioural problems including violence - whether employer negligent - whether contributory negligence of plaintiff; DAMAGES - assessment of claimed heads of damages. More...

Campbell v Hay [2014] NSWCA 129
Appeal dismissed with costs TORTS - negligence - duty of care - whether primary judge erred in finding that flying instructor breached duty of care to trainee pilot by not causing aircraft to be diverted immediately upon the occurrence of a second set of faint vibrations, after a first set of vibrations had been corrected five minutes earlier, or by relying on an innate sense of luck - whether appellant had established that any breach of the duty of care was a cause of the harm suffered. TORTS - negligence - defences - whether flying in a light aircraft under supervision of experienced flying instructor was a dangerous recreational activity. TORTS - negligence - defences - whether harm that occurred was the materialisation of an obvious risk of a dangerous recreational activity. More...

Byrne v TAC [2014] VCC 399
TRANSPORT ACCIDENT – Limitation period - Transport Accident Act – s93 Transport Accident Act 1986 – Serious injury – Aggravation of underlying spinal degeneration. Limitation of action – Limitation of Actions Act 1958 – s23A – Delay in excess of ten years between transport accident and commencement of proceedings – Factors to be considered in relation to leave – Knowledge and conduct of plaintiff – Prejudice to defendant. Judgment: Leave granted to the plaintiff to claim damages at common law in respect of injuries sustained in a transport accident. More...

O'Halloran v TAC [2014] VCC 397
TRANSPORT ACCIDENT - Transport Accident Act 1986 – s93 – Serious injury – Pre-existing condition. Judgment: Leave granted to the plaintiff to claim damages at common law in respect of injuries sustained in a transport accident. More...

Workcover Victoria prosecution summaries April 2014
Parwan Valley Mushrooms Pty Ltd (ACN: 147 565 759)
David Steer (VWA) v Blue Lion Moving and Storage Pty Ltd (ACN 118169636)
Gregory Theodos



Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 3, 2014
This instrument amends the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.4.2 - Maximum Residue Limits (Australia Only) to include or change maximum residue limits pertaining to agricultural and veterinary chemical products (16 April 2014). More...


Subordinate legislation as made

No 43 Proclamation commencing remaining provisions of the Penalties and Sentences (Indexation) Amendment Act 2014 – 17 April 2014.

No 44 Penalties and Sentences Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 amends the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992- Replacement of s 2A (Value of penalty unit for particular purposes—Act, s 5(1)(b)) and Amendment of sch 2 (Makers of local laws—$75 as value of penalty unit) - 7 April 2014.

No 50: Industrial Relations Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2014 – 23 April 2014.



No. 13: Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation and Processing) Amendment Act 2014
Assent: 18/03/2014 SG (No. 80) 18/03/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-8 on 16/04/2014: SG (No. 122) 15/4/2014 p. 1 Not yet in operation: N/A.

No. 21: Gambling and Liquor Legislation Amendment (Reduction of Red Tape) Act 2014
Assent: 1/04/2014 SG (No. 104) 1/4/2014 p. 1 Commencement: Pt 2 (s. 3) on 16/04/2014: SG (No. 122) 15/4/2014 p. 1 Not yet in operation: Ss 1, 2, 4–18.

Statutory Rules

No. 15: Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances (Poppy Cultivation and Processing) Regulations 2014
Date of Making: 15/04/2014 Commencement: 16/04/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: N/A.
Sunset Date: 15/04/2024.

Victorian Legislation can be viewed at

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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