Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 11 June 2014

Last Updated: 16 June 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

The Australian Government's Aviation Safety Regulation Review
The Report confirms that Australia has an excellent safety record and an advanced aviation regulatory system. The review makes 37 recommendations for the Government to consider which collectively would represent the biggest reform in aviation regulation in decades (05 June 2014) More...

Harassment and bullying cost you plenty
Work pressure, harassment and bullying are still costing workers and employers many weeks off work and thousands of dollars for individual compensations claims. Workers under the pump who lodged mental stress claims took off a median 9.6 weeks with the median cost of each claim being $19,700, says the latest data from Safe Work Australia (05 June 2014) For more details, please see here data. More...

Workers are sick and tired of it
Forty-five per cent of workers left their jobs because their workplaces had poor mental health environments, says a new survey from Instinct and Reason. Significant proportions of all age groups said they left their jobs because of their workplaces' poor mental health support, but it was a greater motivator for younger workers to leave. For more detail, visit the survey. (05 June 2014)

Kenoss Contractors, senior manager charged over 2012 worker fatality
WorkSafe ACT has charged construction company Kenoss Contractors, and one of its senior managers, over the death of a worker two years ago. His was one of three construction site deaths which led to the Getting Home Safely report, which delivered a scathing assessment of safety awareness in the sector (03 June 2014) More...

Examples of best practice in rehabilitation and return to work
Comcare encourages continued investment in rehabilitation systems and return to work practices to help get people back to work, faster. Getting team members back into work – at some capacity - quickly after illness or injury has positive impacts on their quality of life and reduces claim costs (02 June 2014) More...

Scott's Transport and two senior staff have incurred record fines of $1.25m over speeding
A spokesman for the NSW Roads and Maritime Services said it was the highest total fine imposed by a court in that state since 'chain of responsibility' laws were introduced in 2005 to make company owners more accountable for the safety of their fleets (02 June 2014) More...

Safety code rejection angers dock union
Dock workers have launched a fierce attack on industry bosses for trashing a proposed safety code just eight days after an employee was crushed to death on Melbourne's wharves. A stevedoring code of practice is being developed by Safe Work Australia through a working group of regulators, stevedoring companies and the union (02 June 2014) More... MUA Media Release

ACT workplace death case the first to charge manager
The ACT will be the first jurisdiction to charge a senior company manager over the death of a worker in a workplace accident. The company and a senior manager were charged last month but the case has been weighed down in legal argument about whether Kenoss can respond to the charges, having gone into involuntary liquidation last year (02 June 2014) More...

SITA, Adecco fined $5000 for worker's death at Evatt shops
A national corporation says it has tightened its safety regime after one of its employees was fatally pinned to a hopper. A Canberra court convicted two companies – the employer SITA Australia and labour hire company Adecco Industrial Pty Ltd – of negligence for failing to comply with safety duties (29 May 2014) More...

Report reveals raft of safety failings led to 2012 mining accident
An accident that cost a Broken Hill man his leg happened because of a raft of safety oversights, a report's revealed. The NSW Mine Safety Investigation Unit's final report found there was no supervisory oversight of Mr Pollard's task, and that parts of the fall safety equipment was not fit-for-purpose (29 May 2014) More...

Mine safety in spotlight as industry tightens belt - ABC Rural
Western Australia's Chamber of Minerals and Energy is urging mining companies to reassess their occupational health and safety plans in the wake of industry belt tightening (28 May 2014) More...

Staff who gamble on company devices could pose a risk for employers
Employers may find themselves responsible for staff who gamble at work. People punting on their work computer or company-issued smartphone are a danger for employers at risk of breaching work safety rules if staff become problem gamblers (26 May 2014) More...

Hairdressing salon owners fined for using unsafe products
The former owners of a Sydney hairdressing business have been fined $25,000 each for not ensuring keratin products in their salon were safe for use. George and Marie Karam pleaded guilty in the Local Court of NSW last month to two offences under Section 33 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to comply with work health and safety obligations (23 May 2014) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Preventing psychological injury under work health and safety laws fact sheet
Author: SafeWork Australia: 26 May 2014
This Fact Sheet provides information to persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) and workers on how to address psychological health risks under the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all persons at work. Preventing psychological injury under work health and safety laws fact sheet

Guide to managing risks when new and inexperienced persons interact with horses
Author: SafeWork Australia: 06 June 2014
This Guide provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage risks that may be faced by new or inexperienced workers when interacting with horses. This Guide may also assist other people who interact with horses at a workplace, for example teachers, volunteers or visitors More...

Psychosocial Health and Safety and Bullying in Australian Workplaces
Author: SafeWork Australia: 30 May 2014
The data presented in this statement are accepted workers' compensation claims caused by mental stress. This mechanism of injury or disease is assigned to claims when an employee has been exposed to one of a range of stressors e.g. harassment or bullying, traumatic events or unreasonable work pressure, that has caused an injury or disease. Mental stress claims provide a source of information on the psychosocial health abd safety status of Australian workplaces Psychosocial Health and Safety and Bullying in Australian

In practice and courts

Comcare: Best Practice June 2014
Comcare is providing best practice examples of how employers are reaping the productivity and cost benefits of investing in rehabilitation and return to work (02 June 2014)

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.

Origin Alliance Case Study
A new case study examining the award winning safety management system used by the Origin Alliance on their Ipswich Motorway Upgrade: Dinmore to Goodna (D2G) project has been published on (28 May 2014) More...

QLD DEIR: Interstate licences
All current photographic high risk work (HRW) licences, regardless of which state or territory they were issued in, are recognised nationally. If your current interstate photographic HRW licence is due to expire, it can be converted to a Queensland licence. After 30 June conversion of interstate licences will not be managed through Australia Post (05 June 2014) More...

QLD DEIR: Changes to codes of practice
On 30 May 2014, the new First Aid in the Workplace Code of Practice 2014 was approved under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (PDF, 1.42 MB). This replaces the First Aid Code of Practice 2004 which was revoked on 29 May 2014. The following codes of practice have been varied under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and take effect on 30 May 2014: Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work Code of Practice 2011; Foundry Code of Practice 2004; How to Manage and Control Asbestos in the Workplace Code of Practice 2011 and How to Safely Remove Asbestos Code of Practice 2011 (30 May 2014) More...

QLD DEIR: Electrical safety in ceiling spaces campaign
Homeowners and tradespeople are urged to turn off all the main power switches at the switchboard before heading up into the ceiling space. Brochures will be distributed throughout major metropolitan newspapers, handed to homeowners by electricians and on display at home hardware stores (06 June 2014) More...

DEIR: Workplace Health and safety Queensland: Plate clamps and dropping loads
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks associated with plate clamps used to lift loads, and to provide guidance on ways to use plate clamps safely (22 May 2014) More...

Explosives Safety Alert 83 - Explosives exposed to extreme risk on loaded benches
The lead lines of non-electric detonators are being snagged, and boosters and loaded blast holes are being driven over by vehicles. In addition, there have been incidents of blast vehicle impacts involving vehicles not authorised to be on the shot bench. In some cases, spotters, mandated under the safety management system, were not used. Recommendations: Establish, maintain and control exclusion zones under the blast management plan (27 May 2014). More...

Explosives Safety Alert 84 - Detonator box crushed by pallet while handling
A box on a pallet of detonators being moved by fork lift from the magazine fell from the top of the Pallet and was crushed under the pallet when placed on the ground. On this occasion, one of the detonator leads was damaged. Recommendations: Secure the contents of pallets to prevent the movement and loss of packages when handling (28 May 2014) More...


Kay v Sydney Airport Corporation Limited [2014] NSWSC 744
TORTS - Negligence - Causation - two immediate causes of injury - additional force on plaintiff's shoulder due to her working overhead which ought to have been mitigated by provision of a ladder by employer -additional force required to be exerted to obtain a connection between aircraft and ground power unit due to third defendant's incorrect orientation of bulge -presumptive inference of causation from sequence of events open - fact that plaintiff had inserted incorrectly configured connectors in the past or the fact that other workers would not have been injured when inserting connectors not determinative - No contributory negligence - Second defendant discharged duty to plaintiff by engaging a reputable and well-qualified contractor (the third defendant) to perform work and maintenance on airport ground power units CIVIL PROCEDURE - Limitations - plaintiff's cause of action not time-barred - Whether the plaintiff knew or ought to have known that the injury was caused by the fault of the third defendant - Plaintiff's solicitor's constructive knowledge not to be imputed to plaintiff- Plaintiff's engagement of reputable solicitors sufficient to show that plaintiff had not failed to take reasonable steps - Plaintiff's lack of knowledge that third defendant was at fault not a result of any failure on her part to take reasonable steps – judgment for the defendants More...

Kemp Meats Pty Ltd v Tompkins [2014] QCA 125
TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE – PARTICULAR CASES – OTHER CASES – where the respondent slaughterman sustained a workplace injury while employed at the appellant's abattoir – where the respondent was awarded judgment in the sum of $337,113.55 – where the appellant accepted liability for the respondent's injury but alleged that his negligence in failing to wear cut-resistant gloves provided to him contributed to the injury – whether the appellant had "properly instructed" its employees to use the gloves for the purposes of s 305H(1)(b) of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 – whether the respondent was "provided" the gloves for the purposes of s 305H(1)(b) or s 305H(1)(c) of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act – whether the trial judge erred in finding that the respondent had not contributed to his injury DAMAGES – MEASURE AND REMOTENESS OF DAMAGES IN ACTIONS FOR TORT – MEASURE OF DAMAGES – PERSONAL INJURIES – METHOD OF ASSESSMENT – GENERALLY – where the respondent suffered personal injury in the course of his employment – where the respondent was awarded judgment in the sum of $337,113.55 – whether the respondent's pre-existing shoulder injury was properly taken into account in the award of damages for past and future economic loss – whether there was evidence justifying a finding of loss of income by virtue of his loss of the opportunity to carry out more highly-paid employment – whether there was error as to the period over which any such opportunity was lost – whether there was error as to the period over which the respondent was entitled to compensation for increased expenses More...

Fisher v Qantas Airways Ltd [2014] QDC 117
DAMAGES – MEASURE OF DAMAGES – PERSONAL INJURIES – where the plaintiff injured himself working as a baggage handler – where aggravation of pre-existing cervical spine degeneration More...

Thomas Borthwick & Sons (Australia) Pty Ltd v Ataera [2014] QCA 123
APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL – APPEAL – GENERAL PRINCIPLES – INTERFERENCE WITH JUDGE'S FINDINGS OF FACT – FUNCTIONS OF APPELLATE COURT – FINDINGS ON ISSUE OF NEGLIGENCE – GENERALLY – where the respondent was employed by the applicant in its meatworks as a "print term operator" – where the respondent packed product of the meatworks into boxes for shipment – where the respondent developed carpal tunnel syndrome first in her right hand and then later in her left hand – where the respondent alleged that her work as a print term operator exposed her to a risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and that her injury was caused by the negligence of the applicant – whether the primary judge's finding that the respondent would probably not have developed the condition had an adequate rotation system been in place lacks sufficient evidentiary support – whether the primary judge's finding that the respondent's work as print term operator caused the development of the condition in her left wrist lacks sufficient evidentiary support More...

Hall v WorkCover Queensland [2014] QCA 135
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – LIMITATION OF PARTICULAR ACTIONS – SIMPLE CONTRACTS, QUASI-CONTRACTS AND TORTS – TORT ACTIONS INVOLVING PERSONAL INJURIES – where the appellant is the widow of the deceased – where the deceased had been employed by the respondents – where the deceased was exposed to asbestos dust during his employment – where the deceased died of mesothelioma – where at the date of the deceased's death the three year limitation period for the commencement of actions for damages for negligence or breach of duty prescribed by s 11 of the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld) had expired – whether the primary judge erred in finding that the appellant's claim for damages was statute barred More...

Thiess Pty Ltd v Industrial Magistrate Elizabeth Hall & Ors [2014] QCA 129
MAGISTRATES – GENERALLY – POWERS AND DUTIES – GENERALLY – where the third respondent filed a complaint alleging that the appellant had breached obligations imposed by the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 – where the complaint contained charges expressed in the alternative – where the third respondent had not appealed a trial division judge's earlier decision in the same proceedings that summary charges could not be brought in the alternative so that the complaint was not in a form authorised by s 43 of the Justices Act – whether the principle of finality of judgment should preclude this court from revisiting that conclusion MAGISTRATES – GENERALLY – POWERS AND DUTIES – GENERALLY – where the third respondent filed a complaint alleging that the appellant had breached obligations imposed by the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 – where the complaint contained charges expressed in the alternative – where the primary judge held that an industrial magistrate had an implied power to strike out part of the complaint where it was necessary to enable the court to act effectively within its jurisdiction, such a power not being inconsistent with the express powers of election and amendment contained respectively in s 43 and s 48 of the Justices Act 1886 – whether the case was one of incorrect joinder under s 43 of the Justices Act so as to enliven the express power to require election contained in s 43(3)(a), with an implied power to strike out the count not proceeded on – where the appellant had conceded below that s 43(3)(a) was not applicable – whether the point should nonetheless be decided More...

OCCUPATIONAL DISCIPLINE – CONSTRUCTION OCCUPATION – eligibility to apply for Class A Builder's licence – whether applicant's work activities are activities involving the actual carrying out of building work – relevant practical building work experience – interpretation of exception in definition of building work experience – whether there is verification of the extent, quality, relevance and recency of applicant's building work experience Building Act 2004, ss 6, 9, 10, 11 and 37; Construction Occupations (Licensing) Act 2004, ss 7, 8, 18 and 19 More...

Worksafe Victoria Debco Pty Ltd (ACN 125 781 633)
An employee suffered a serious injury hen his arm was dragged into an area between the conveyor belt and the conveyor rollers on a feed hopper. Debco pleaded guilty to one charge against sections 21(1) & (2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.The company
was without conviction fined $45,000 with costs in the amount off $3,245 Debco Pty Ltd (ACN 125 781 633)

Southern Cross Vans Pty Ltd (ACN: 087 152 663)
The accused pleaded guilty to one charge pursuant to sections 21(1) and 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 in that it failed to provide and maintain plant and a system of work that was, so far as was reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health for a first year apprentice The accused was convicted and fined $20,000, with costs of $3,245 Southern Cross Vans Pty Ltd (ACN: 087 152 663)

Mandalay Resources Costerfield Operations Pty Ltd (ACN: 006 711 119)
An employee suffered injuries to her arm as a result of it being caught in an unguarded item of plant. The accused pleaded guilty to one charge pursuant to sections 21(1) and 21(2)(a) of the OHS Act 2004 for failing to provide safe plant. On 21 May 2014, the accused was convicted and fined $60,000 and ordered to pay costs of $4,052 Mandalay Resources Costerfield Operations Pty Ltd ACN: 006 711 119

Hezem Pty Ltd (ACN: 007 175 939)
Hezem Pty Ltd ('Hezem') Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge pursuant to section 21(1) & 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 in that it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable to provide employees a working environment that was safe and without risks to health.The Warrnambool Magistrates Court convicted and fined Hezem $30,000.00 and ordered to pay costs in the amount of $3,245.00 Hezem Pty Ltd (ACN: 007 175 939)



CASA 98/14 - Direction — flight time limitations for helicopter mustering operations
This instrument sets out a direction adapted to the particular operational requirements of helicopter mustering operations. It mentions the number of hours that a person may fly in any period, the rest periods that must be taken and the circumstances in which a person must not fly or undertake other duties associated with his or her employment. It only applies to operators who wish to regulate operations in its terms (06 June 2014) More...

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment (Regulatory Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2014
The effect of the amendments will be to commence amendments to the OPGGS Act that are made by the Compliance Measures No. 1 Act and the Compliance Measures No. 2 Act. The amendments made by the Compliance Measures Acts aim to strengthen the offshore petroleum regulatory regime in respect of compliance, safety, integrity and environmental management objectives, in the wake of incidents that have highlighted the importance of effective offshore petroleum industry regulations (29 May 2014) More...

Marine Order 15 (Construction — fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction) 2014
AMSA MO 2014/7 Orders/Marine as made
This order gives effect to Chapter II-2 of SOLAS and prescribes standards for fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction for vessels (26 May 2014) More...


Proclamations commencing Acts
Marine Safety Act 1998 No 121 (2014-283) — published LW 30 May 2014

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Marine Safety (General) Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2014
(2014-330) — published LW 6 June 2014
Rural Fires Amendment (Bush Fire Safety Authorities) Regulation 2014 (2014-288) — published LW 30 May 2014


No 78 Natural Resources and Mines Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 - 30 May 2014
Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999; Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 and Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 – new fees schedules released for safety compliance licencing

No 80 Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Amendment Notice (No. 2) 2014 – 30 May 2014 - Amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Commencement 28/05/2014 The notice achieves its objectives by revoking the Queensland code of practice for first aid and approving the national model first aid code of practice and varying four current codes of practice to support the amendment regulation

No 81 Health Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2014 – 06 June 2014
Health Act 1937; Radiation Safety Act 1999


No 29 Land and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014

Assent 28/05/2014 Commencement 28/05/2014 Remainder
The policy objectives of the Act include: Validate decisions made regarding later work programs and later development plans under the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act and Petroleum Act 1923 (Petroleum Act) and decisions made regarding later development plans under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Mineral Resources Act).

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