Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 24 June 2014

Last Updated: 1 July 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Nine AFL clubs reported to WorkCover
A formal request has been made to the VWA under Section 131 of the OHS Act to 'bring a prosecution' against nine AFL clubs: Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs over the supplements program (22 June 2014). More...

Drug and alcohol screening to be enforced on construction sites
New requirements for tighter screening of drug and alcohol use at construction workplaces across Victoria will commence from 1 July, helping to ensure a safer and more secure environment for workers, Minister for Finance Robert Clark announced today (20 June 2014). More...

Calls for new aviation rules to be deferred as fallout from major review continues
A major agricultural aviation association says the introduction of new regulations for the aviation industry should be deferred until the outcomes of a review into air safety are finalised. The new regulations for the industry are due to be implemented in September, and among other things, focus on pilot licensing (19 June 2014). More...

Colour blind pilots will not be grounded in Australia following study: CASA
Australia's flight regulator has rejected suggestions that it is planning to ground pilots with colour vision deficiency, commonly referred to as colour blindness, after advising pilots and licence holders that the authority would be reviewing new research into colour vision deficiency (18 June 2014). More...

Trucking fines show threat from 'heavy-handed' regulation
Although the Scott's fine is the largest we've seen under this legislation, it is by no means the only one. Chain of responsibility laws make all parties in the consignment and delivery chain liable for breaches, including drivers and their employers, packers, consignors, consignees, loaders and company directors. However, most liability cover excludes criminal acts, dishonesty and negligence (16 June 2014). More...

Push to expand Comcare
An application by DHL Supply Chain in Australia — part of the giant Deutsche Post DHL group — to register as a self-insurer with Comcare will be considered by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, along with the consideration of licence extensions for 10 companies including Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and TNT Australia (11 June 2014). More...

Crackdown on rogue truck drivers boosts road safety
Queensland roads are now even safer after the completion of Operation Austrans, an annual initiative in Australia and New Zealand targeting heavy vehicle road-safety issues, including fatigue, speed and drug use (10 June 2014) Crackdown on rogue truck drivers boosts road safety. More...

Nurse feared AIDS after patient incident
A Brisbane nurse who feared she had contracted HIV/AIDS after being dribbled on by a patient will be allowed to claim compensation. The QIRC has ruled that the compensation application can go ahead because the underlying reason for Ms Calder's claim was the psychological disorder she developed, not the actions of management after the incident (17 June 2014). More...

Defence force abuse: millions of dollars in compensation paid to 117 victims
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has paid more than $4.6m to more than 100 teenage victims of abuse at a training school for recruits, a major inquiry has revealed, with violent and serious abuse taking place over decades at training school in Western Australia (18 June 2014). More...

Hazelwood mine operator GDF Suez denies breaching fire safety regulations
Hazelwood coal mine operator GDF Suez has denied it breached Victorian regulations by not doing more to improve fire safety at the site (18 June 2014). More...

Companies to pay less in Work Cover premiums under budget changes
Work Cover premiums will fall by an average of 5 per cent for 200,000 employers as a result of state government changes to the workers compensation scheme, its own forecasts show. Treasurer Andrew Constance said NSW businesses would save more than $113 million a year as a result of changes to the scheme introduced in 2012 that slashed benefits to injured workers, including amputees and people with industrial deafness in need of hearing aids (17 June 2014). More...

Update on investigation into fatalities on Stena Clyde drilling rig, Bass Strait, August 2012
The complex investigation by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) into the double fatality on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit in the Bass Strait on 27 August 2012 has reached its final stage. NOPSEMA is committed to supporting the CDPP should the CDPP decide a prosecution is warranted (16 June 2014). To read the announcement click here.

Hadgkiss warns employers and workers to obey workplace laws when attending rally
Workers are reminded they must get permission from their employer before leaving work to attend rallies, or they risk breaking workplace laws and could be brought before the courts. FWBC is also warning employers and unions they could face penalties if they are involved in paying or demanding strike pay (11 June 2014). More...

Campaigning against workplace violence in our hospitals pays off
The introduction of a standardised Code Grey emergency response to violent incidents in Victorian public hospitals is a significant outcome in ANMF (Vic Branch)'s bid to improve the safety of the workplaces of nurses and midwives and its members (11 June 2014). More...

Construction company director to fight charges over worker's Canberra death
The director of a Canberra construction company has indicated he will fight charges over the death of a worker on a north Canberra building site two years ago (10 June 2014). More...

Companies to face court over mining contractor death
Glencore's Mount Isa Mines is one of four companies facing alleged safety breaches over the death of a contractor last year (10 June 2014). More...


Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report March 2014 SafeWork Australia
There were 26 work-related notifiable fatalities during March 2014 — 20 male workers and 1 female worker, and 3 male and 2 female bystanders. For further details see the Notified Fatalities Monthly Report March 2014(19 June 2014). More...

Australia Work-related fatalities, to June 12 2014
SafeWork Australia
78 Australian workers have been killed while at work and reported to Safe Work Australia.
The fatalities: 34 in Transport, postal and warehousing; 17 in Agriculture, forestry and fishing; nine in Mining; five in Construction; three each in Manufacturing; Electricity, Gas & Water Services; and Arts & recreation services; two in Accommodation & food services and one each in Health care/social assistance; and Rental, hiring & real estate services. More...

In practice

NSW Workcover: FAQ: Grouping of related entities for workers compensation premium purposes
June 2013 - Do I have to register for grouping?
Related employers with combined wages greater than $750,000 are required to be grouped
Where there is common ownership and/or a controlling interest of more than 50 per cent directorship and/or shareholding. Related entities who share common employees are also required to be grouped. The Workers Compensation Act 1987 (the WC Act) requires related employers to register for grouping for workers compensation purposes and is similar to that for pay-roll tax. More detail about related entities under the WC Act is available from (June 2014). Grouping of related entities for workers compensation purposes: FAQs

QLD WorkCover: Queensland industry classifications for 2014 released
WorkCover Queensland's industry classifications (WIC) and rates have been released ( Gazette). The Gazette also details the new premium model for employers with wages of $1.5 million or less. The table below provides an overview of the WIC rate reductions. More detailed information on specific WIC rates is available in the Gazette. (06 June 2014). More...

QLD WorkCover: Understanding disclosure of pre-existing conditions
Queensland legislative changes passed in October 2013 include the ability for employers to request information about pre-existing injuries or medical conditions from potential workers are outlined in a webinar presented on 5 June 2014. Download the presentation. (10 June 2014)


Comcare v Nicolas [2014] FCA 638
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application to stay decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal pending the hearing and determination of an appeal to this Court – s 44A(2) Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) – whether special circumstances exists to justify departure from rule that a successful litigant is entitled to the fruits of judgment – application refused. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 114(1). More...

Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer v Australian Coin and Bullion Exchange [2014] FCA 646
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – application for review of a decision of a Registrar pursuant to s 35A(5) of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 – application for winding up dismissed – costs order made in favour of plaintiff – whether service effected upon defendant – change of address – whether plaintiff had notice of change of address – obligations on defendant regarding change of address. More...

Summers v Repatriation Commission [2014] FCA 608
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Veteran's entitlements – appeal from decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal to refuse an increase in rate of pension – cross-appeal from decision of Tribunal that applicant suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder – whether Tribunal erred in its conclusion that applicant's alcohol dependence was not "war-caused" – whether there was no evidence on which Tribunal's conclusions on alcohol dependence could be based – whether the Tribunal complied with the requirement to give reasons under s 43 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) – whether the Tribunal correctly construed the meaning of "loss" in the provisions of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (Cth) pertaining to increased rates of pension –whether the Tribunal took into account irrelevant considerations – no error on part of Tribunal identified on appeal or cross-appeal – appeal and cross-appeal dismissed. More...

Repatriation Commission v Holden [2014] FCA 605
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – veteran's entitlements – widow's pension claim – appeal from decision of Administrative Appeals Tribunal – whether Tribunal erred in construction of phrase "sufficient to warrant ongoing management" – whether there was no evidence on which the Tribunal's conclusions could be based – whether the Tribunal complied with the requirement to give reasons under s 43 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) – nature of appropriate relief –decision set aside – direction given to Tribunal to provide further reasons and reissue its decision. More...

Sandford and Linfox Australia Pty Ltd [2014] AATA 375
The Tribunal sets aside the decision under review and substitutes the following decision:
WORKERS COMPENSATION – back injury – whether continues to suffer the effects of the injury – whether frank injury or aggravation of a pre-existing degenerative condition WORKERS COMPENSATION – treatment reasonable for an employee to obtain in the circumstances- spinal fusion – need for further investigations and assessments. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) ss 5A, 14, 16, 19. More...

Carbone and Comcare [2014] AATA 376
COMPENSATION – Commonwealth employee – accepted back condition - whether suffered psychiatric injury secondary to accepted injury - whether suffered aggravation of injury in March 2013 – whether hours of work under return to work program were reasonable – whether reasonable excuse not to undertake return to work program – whether continues to suffer the effects of compensable injury – whether suffered aggravation of her psychiatric disorder. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) sections 4, 5A, 5B, 14, 36, 37 and Part II, Div 3. More...

Dafallah v Fair Work Commission (No 2) [2014] FCA 600
By failing to follow the process set out in cl 38 of the Health Services Union of Australia — Health and Allied Services, Administrative Officers — Victorian Public Sector — Multi Employer Certified Agreement 2006-2009 in respect of the sequence of verbal and written warnings to be given to the applicant prior to any decision to terminate the applicant's employment, the second respondent has contravened that Agreement. More...

McCarron and Comcare [2014] AATA 360
COMPENSATION – Commonwealth employees – applicant suffered knee injury in workplace in February 2010 – applicant claimed compensation – respondent accepted liability to pay compensation for knee injury – respondent ceased payment of compensation for knee injury in February 2013 – respondent continues to be liable to pay compensation for medical treatment for knee injury – respondent continues to be liable to pay compensation for incapacity for work resulting from knee injury – decision under review set aside. Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth), s 4(1), s 4(9), s 5A, s 5B, s 14, s 16 and s 19. More...

Walsh v Walgett Shire Council [2014] NSWSC 812
Tender rejected EVIDENCE - documentary evidence - statutory provisions relating to business records - whether document of WorkCover a 'business record' - whether representations in document are made in connection with an investigation - whether investigation must in fact lead to proceedings for exception to apply - application of s 69(3)(b) of the Evidence Act 1995 (NSW)
EVIDENCE - admissibility - whether discretionary reasons for refusing to admit evidence - where evidence in the form of answers to specific questions - where witness not called - application of s 135 Evidence Act 1995 (NSW); Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000 (NSW); Work Health & Safety Act 2011 (NSW). More...

Inghams Enterprises Pty Ltd v Lakovska [2014] NSWCA 194
Dismiss the summons seeking leave to appeal. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW - judicial review of specialist medical body - alleged error in identifying injury to be assessed - alleged failure to consider request for oral hearing - whether procedural unfairness in finding as to nature of injury
WORKERS COMPENSATION - determination of claim - medical examination - appeal - whether claim for frank injury or injury resulting from gradual process - whether medical Appeal Panel misapprehended nature and extent of injury alleged - whether oral hearing should have been convened - whether reasons for decision inadequate. More...

University of New South Wales v AAI Limited [2014] NSWCA 153
Application for leave to appeal refused with costs APPEAL - decision in point of law - interlocutory decision of Dust Diseases Tribunal - whether leave to appeal should be granted
WORKERS COMPENSATION - operation of s 151AC Workers Compensation Act 1987 (NSW) where one or more insurers insolvent. More...

Caulfield v Whelan Kartaway Pty Ltd [2014] NSWWCCPD 34
Second claim for lump sum compensation where the first claim for such compensation was "specifically sought" prior to 19 June 2012; whether amendments introduced by the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012 apply to such a claim; cl 15 of Pt 19H of Sch 6 to the Workers Compensation Act 1987; cl 1 1 of Sch 8 to the Workers Compensation Regulation 2010; ADCO Constructions Pty Ltd v Goudappel [2014] HCA 18 discussed and applied; whether any need to establish deterioration since initial claim for lump sum compensation; estoppel; no estoppel in a changing situation; effect of initial assessment by an Approved Medical Specialist; power of Arbitrator in claim for lump sum compensation where liability is not in issue; application of principles in Abou-Haidar v Consolidated Wire Pty Ltd [2010] NSWWCCPD 128 – order revoked. More...

Ware v NSW Rural Fire Service [2014] NSWWCCPD 33
Meaning of firefighter in cl 25 of Pt 19H of Sch 6 to the Workers Compensation Act 1987; boilermaker's deafness; deemed date of injury; s 17 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987
The respondent pay the applicant lump sum compensation in the sum of $9,625 under s 66 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987 in respect of a seven per cent permanent impairment resulting from a loss of hearing deemed to have happened on 20 June 2012. More...

Fairfield City Council v Arduca [2014] NSWWCCPD 31
Procedural fairness; s 354 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998; Commission informing itself; notice of injury; s 254 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998; weekly payments; former s 40 of the Workers Compensation Act 1987; onus of proof of unreasonable failure to comply with requirements of Ch 3 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998; former s 57 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998; challenge to factual findings. More...

Chivers v State of Queensland (Queensland Health) [2014] QCA 141
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION – DISABILITY OR IMPAIRMENT – EMPLOYMENT – where in 2004 the appellant sustained a head injury from a horse riding accident – where in 2008 the appellant commenced a Graduate Nurses Program with the respondent – where a condition of the program was that the appellant would be on a six month probation period, with a possible extension of three months in the event of under achievement – where the appellant was required to work night shifts – where the appellant was unable to complete night shifts due to headaches and nausea resulting from her 2004 head injury – where the respondent initially catered for the appellant's request not to do night shifts. More...

Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group Pty Ltd v Simon Blackwood (Workers' Compensation Regulator) & Campbell [2014] QIRC 105
WORKERS' COMPENSATION - "INJURY" - MEANING OF - WHETHER AROSE OUT OF, OR IN THE COURSE OF, EMPLOYMENT - WHETHER EMPLOYMENT A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTING FACTOR - Where appellant was an employer aggrieved by a decision of the Regulator - Where the second respondent was a person claiming an entitlement to compensation as a dependant of the deceased worker - Where the deceased worker died as a result of injuries sustained when she dived into shallow water whilst in attendance at what was described as a "staff social event"/"Christmas party" - Whether the deceased worker was induced or encouraged to attend at the place where the injury occurred - Whether the injury was "referable to the place" - Whether the injury was suffered whilst the deceased worker was engaged in an activity in which she was induced or encouraged to engage. More...

Queensland Industrial Relations Commission QIRC 100
WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW - APPEAL AGAINST DECISION - Termination of entitlement to compensation in accordance with ss 144A and 144B of Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 - Notice of Appeal dismissed pursuant to s 331(b) of Industrial Relations Act 1999 and r 45 of the Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011
INDUSTRIAL LAW - APPLICATION TO DISMISS APPEAL - Application pursuant to s 331(b) of the Act and r 45 of the Rules - Appellant failed to comply with directions - Appellant failed to attend Mention and Hearing of the Appeal - Application to dismiss granted. More...

Hamey v Mac Services Group Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] QDC 137
EMPLOYMENT LAW - Injury of employee – pre-litigation procedures – leave to commence proceeding because of urgent need – condition as to application for extension of limitation period imposed. More...

Multari v Amaca Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 277
NEGLIGENCE – Asbestos-related illness –Non-pecuniary loss claim against suppliers of asbestos products – Operation of Part VBA Wrongs Act 1958 – Whether existence of 'significant injury' to be established before trial. More...

Ebejer v Hobsons Bay City Council & Anor [2014] VCC 795
Serious injury – plaintiff injured in specific incident – fracture of left tibia and fibula – youthful plaintiff with extensive sporting and recreational background – return to full time restricted employment including second job – extent of consequences – leave sought in respect of pain and suffering only – leave granted. Accident Compensation Act 1985 Judgment: Leave granted to bring proceedings for pain and suffering damages only. More...



CASA EX43/14 - Exemption — hang-gliding and paragliding operations at Hooley Dooley launch site within active restricted airspace at Williamtown, NSW
This instrument exempts pilots (being members or guest members) of Newcastle Paragliding Club, who are also members of the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia, from the requirements of paragraph 7.6 of Civil Aviation Order 95.8 when operating a hang-glider or paraglider within military restricted airspace at Williamtown, NSW (19 June 2014). More...

CASA EX37/14 - Exemption — initial NVG pilot flight training prerequisites
This instrument permits members of the Saudi Arabian National Guard and the United Arab Emirates Joint Air Command, who are registered with Becker Helicopter Services Pty Ltd as trainee night vision goggles (NVG) pilots, to undertake NVG training for an initial NVG pilot qualification without meeting the standard requirements (17 June 2014). More...

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2014 SLI 2014 No. 77
This regulation amends the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Regulations 2000 to increase the annual licence charges by 2.6% and also increases the licence charges for certain source licences by varying amounts determined from a cost recovery review (16 June 2014). More...

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2014 SLI 2014 No. 78
This regulation amends the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Regulations 1999 to increase the licence application fees for a facility or source licence (16 June 2014). More...

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 6, 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. More...


Proclamations commencing Acts

Crimes Amendment (Provocation) Act 2014 No 13 (2014-354) — published LW 13 June 2014

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Civil Liability Regulation 2014 (2014-355) — published LW 13 June 2014


Subordinate legislation as made

No 104: Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 – 20 June 2014 - Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

No 109: Fire and Rescue Service Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 – 20 June 2014 - Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990


Statutory Rules

No. 54: Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 17/06/2014 Commencement: 01/07/2014: reg. 3

Not yet in operation: Regs 1-53: on 01/07/2014: reg. 3

Sunset Date: 17/06/2024

No. 55: Equipment (Public Safety) Amendment Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 17/06/2014 Commencement: 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation:

Regs 1-6: on 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 17/06/2024

No. 56: Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Amendment Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 17/06/2014 Commencement: 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation:

Regs 1-6: on 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 17/06/2024


No. 67: Road Safety (General) Amendment (Corporate Penalties) Regulations 2014

Date of Making: 17/06/2014 Commencement: 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-6: on 01/07/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 17/06/2024

No. 68: Road Safety Road Rules Amendment (Corporate Penalties) Rules 2014

Date of Making: 17/06/2014 Commencement: 01/07/2014: rule 3 Not yet in operation:

Rules 1-7: on 01/07/2014: rule 3 Sunset Date: 17/06/2024

Victorian legislation can be accessed from

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