Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 8 July 2014

Last Updated: 10 July 2014
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Workers slow to take advantage of anti-bullying measures
A report from the commission showed that only about 150 applications were made in the first quarter of the year, but legal firms say would gather momentum as more employees became aware of their rights under the legislation (02 July 2014). More...

Disturbing trend in mining deaths
Deaths in the mining industry have spiked alarmingly over the past financial year. Injury figures published by Safe Work Australia have shown a downward trend in the number of deaths in the mining industry over ten years, with one exception (01 July 2014). More...

Thousands of workers illegally operating heavy equipment on sites after failing to apply for new photographic licence
Thousands of blue-collar workers could be illegally operating heavy equipment on sites across Queensland from Tuesday after failing to apply for a new photographic licence. Crane operators, forklift drivers, riggers and scaffolders are required to convert old paper-based certificates to the new $70 "high-risk work" licences by tomorrow (29 June 2014). More...

OHS figures don't lie
Safe Work Australia's recent publication "Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Booklet 2014" reveals that Australia's manufacturing industry was the second most hazardous industry in Australia, with an overall incidence rate of 20.9 serious workers compensation claims per 1000 employees (30 June 2014). More...

Does medical clearance mean fit for work?
If an employee has been off work with a serious injury, getting medical clearance to return to work may not mean they're really ready to resume a physically demanding role (30 June 2014). More...

ACT government releases asbestos guidelines for real estate agents
The ACT government has released new asbestos guidelines for the real estate sector clarifying what needs to be disclosed when homes containing residual Mr Fluffy loose-fill insulation are sold or leased. The Real Estate Institute (ACT) alerted agents last week that they could face fines of $1.1 million if they did not fully disclose the status of homes that had had the dangerous Mr Fluffy asbestos (26 June 2014). More...

Owner-drivers shouldn't be paid for fatigue breaks, commission rules
Owner-drivers in NSW should not be paid for taking mandatory fatigue management rest breaks, the state's Industrial Relations Commission has ruled. Commissioner Peter Newall found that owner-drivers working under the Transport Industry, General Carriers Contract Determination were not entitled to receive payment for fatigue breaks (25 June 2014). More...

Cootes facing VicRoads charges alleging unsafe vehicles
Cootes Transport is facing fines that could total almost $97,000 in Victoria after the state's roads authority, VicRoads, laid charges. The 67 charges, relating to operating unsafe heavy vehicles, surfaced following mechanical inspections with the assistance of the Heavy Vehicle Unit at Victoria Police last October (23 June 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin - 03 July 2014
The issue looks back at topical work health and safety news and updates during the year. More...

Recreational maritime safety
Author: Victorian Auditor-General's Office
Transport Safety Victoria cannot demonstrate that it is effectively and efficiently regulating marine safety, according to this audit (25 June 2014). More...

In practice and courts

Xchanging releases new injured worker module to its Xoom mobile application
New module provides injured workers with increased visibility and access to claims information. More...

Mine rescue manual 2014
Mines Rescue has released a new manual dubbed Mines Rescue, Gas Detection and Emergency Preparedness (02 July 2014). More...

New Australian Safety Standards

AS 1418.11:2014
Cranes, hoists and winches - Vehicle-loading cranes (EN 12999:2011, MOD)

AS/NZS 1336:2014
Eye and face protection - Guidelines

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.

QLD: Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011 amended
The Industrial Relations (Tribunals) Rules 2011 [IR Rules] were amended (commencing 1 July 2014. The amendments change the processes at the Registry to remove the need for issuing of Attendance Notices to Produce and disclosure of documents by non-parties. In addition, revised forms have been approved for: Notice - ss 548A(1) & 549 of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2004. Form 9 - WCR Notice of Appeal.

QLD: Explosives Information Bulletin 37 - Regulatory / security assessment fees (2014–15)
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. For the 2014–15 financial year, the licence (authority) fees have increased by 3.5% and take effect on 1 July 2014. More...

QLD: Explosives Information Bulletin 63 - magazine fees for services provided 2014–15
This bulletin lists the fees relating to the storage of explosives and related activities at a government magazine. Fee increases for 2014–15 have been adjusted by 3.5%. Note: The full range of services listed here may not be available at all government magazines. More...


Ekinci and Ors and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2014] AATA 424
CIVIL AVIATION – Cancellation and suspension of licences, certificates, approvals and permits - Certification of maintenance - Recording of flight times - Conducting flights in aircraft with outstanding maintenance - Flights over built-up areas - Effect of transitional provisions - Whether fit and proper person - Allegations of bribery – Responsibilities of supernumerary positions - Whether component required to be retired - Whether a failure to perform maintenance - Dual signatures upon certifications – Flight time and time in service – Classification of operations - Procedural fairness and natural justice - Conducting training flights under expired instructor rating - Mercy flight – Hire or reward – Commercial flights - Low level aerobatic flights upon expired approval - Applicant not a fit and proper person - Decision under review set aside and substituted. Civil Aviation Act 1988 (Cth), ss 3A, 9, 9A, 27, 28(1)(a). More...

Howard Smith & Patrick Travel Pty Ltd v Comcare [2014] NSWCA 215
EVIDENCE - admissibility - opinion evidence - worker exposed to asbestos dust during employment - admissibility of statements of workers alleging exposure to asbestos dust - whether identification of dust as asbestos inadmissible as opinion - whether evidence admissible as perception of a fact - whether evidence admissible as opinion based on specialised knowledge - Evidence Act 1995 (NSW), ss 76(1), 78, 79 TORT - joint tortfeasors - contribution between tortfeasors - worker sued statutory authority in negligence - statutory authority settled without admitting liability - statutory authority sought contribution from worker's employer - whether statutory authority liable to worker - whether erroneous apportionment of liability - whether failure to consider relative culpability of parties - Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1946 (NSW), s 5(2) TORT - negligence - duty of care - statutory authority regulating stevedoring industry - worker exposed to asbestos dust when employed by a stevedore - worker not a registered waterside worker - whether statutory authority owed a duty of care to persons other than registered waterside workers - functions and powers of the statutory authority- breach of duty - whether evidence established breach - Stevedoring Industry Act 1956 (Cth), ss 7, 8, 17, 18, 28, 29, 33, 39, 41. More...

Rail Corporation New South Wales v King [2014] NSWCA 207
TORT - negligence - railway accident - plaintiff fell onto railway tracks at night - driver perceived an object on tracks - applied emergency brakes after realising object was a person - plaintiff struck by train - duty of driver - vicarious liability of railway authority - whether driver failed to keep a proper lookout - whether driver failed to apply emergency brakes in due time - whether breach caused collision - whether railway authority directly liable for failure to provide instructions on applying emergency brakes – appeal allowed. More...

Goldsborough v Bentley [2014] QSC 141
MAGISTRATES – CORONERS – INQUESTS AND INQUIRIES – PROCEEDINGS AT INQUEST OR INQUIRY – FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND COMMENTS – where the Northern Coroner was conducting an inquest into a death – where the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland (OFSWQ) had investigated the death and made a decision not to prosecute – where the coroner directed an employee of OFSWQ to answer a question relating to the decision not to prosecute – whether the coroner can investigate the reasoning of the decision not to prosecute – whether the coroner can comment upon the decision not to prosecute. ADMINSTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GROUNDS OF REVIEW – JURISDICTIONAL MATTERS – where the Northern Coroner was conducting an inquest into a death – where the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland (OFSWQ) had investigated the death and made a decision not to prosecute – where the coroner directed an employee of OFSWQ to answer a question relating to the decision not to prosecute - whether, in directing the question to be answered, the coroner was acting outside the scope of her powers under the Coroners Act 2003 (Qld). More...

Humphris v ConnectEast Nominee Company Pty Ltd [2014] VSC 174
APPEAL – Associate Justice – Order for summary judgment for defendants – Concession by unrepresented plaintiffs that claim based on rights under Deed – Whether concession should have been sought – Whether adjournment and opportunity to replead should have been granted - Civil Procedure Act 2010 (Vic) ss 63, 64, Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005 (Vic) O 23.01. APPEAL – Natural justice – Self-represented litigants – Court's obligations to self-represented litigants. More...



Work Health and Safety Amendment (Licences) Regulation 2014 SLI 2014 No. 96
This regulation amends the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 to prescribe fees in relation to high risk work licences and extend the transitional period for obtaining a high risk work licence for the operation of a reach stacker. Registered 27 Jun 2014 To be ceased 02 Jul 2014. More...


Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Dust Diseases Tribunal Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2014 (2014-415) — published LW 4 July 2014.

Civil and Administrative Tribunal Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2014 (2014-404) — published LW 27 June 2014.

Civil Procedure Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2014 (2014-405) — published LW 27 June 2014.

Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014 (2014-398) — published LW 27 June 2014.

Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment (Penalties) Regulation 2014 (2014-407) — published LW 27 June 2014.

Industrial Relations (Public Sector Conditions of Employment) Regulation 2014 (2014-384) — published Schedule 5.2 to the State Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment (Budget Measures) Act 2014 No 37.


Current reprints

Fire and Rescue Service Regulation 2011 20 June 2014
Liquor Regulation 2002 20 June 2014
Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2003 20 June 2014

Subordinate legislation as made

No 129: Civil Liability Regulation 2014 – 27 June 2014 - Civil Liability Act 2003 - new fees charges and scale of damages costs effective from 01 July.

No 132: Personal Injuries Proceedings Regulation 2014 - 27 June 2014 - Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 - notice of claims, offer of settlement amended.

No 136: Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 – 27 June 2014 - Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 – new requirements for pipeline licence incidental activities; requirement for decommissioning pipelines; labelling and causing existing gas system to not comply with safety requirements; gas work authorisation; safety and health costs; mandatory and preferred standards for safety requirements).

No 150: Heavy Vehicle National Law (Postponement) Regulation 2014 – 04 July 2014 - Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012 - the period before automatic commencement, under the Acts Interpretation Act 1954, section 15DA(2), of the postponed law is extended to the end of 29 August 2015.


Statutory Rules, effective 01 July 2014

Sex Work (Fees) Regulations (No. 72/ 2014)
Road Safety (Drivers) and (Vehicles) Amendment (Fees) Regulations (No. 85/ 2014)

Statutory Rules, effective 26 June 2914

Road Safety (Drivers) Amendment (Renewal Fees) Interim Regulations (No. 84/ 2014)
Operational: R. 5: 26/06/2015 (r. 3(2)) Remainder: 28/06/2014 (r. 3(1))

The Victorian Commencement Book is available on the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel website.
Victorian legislation can be accessed from

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