Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 29 October 2014

Last Updated: 5 November 2014
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Tough new Queensland laws for assaults on nurses, doctors and paramedics
People who assault nurses, doctors and paramedics will face up to 14 years in prison under tough new Queensland laws (24 October 2014). More...

FWBC takes action against employer, union and workers
FWBC has filed proceedings against 51 employees of various contractors for unlawful industrial action and two CFMEU organisers and the CFMEU for organising the industrial action and compromising safety(23 October 2014). More...

Important improvements to the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme
The Australian Government has announced improvements to modernise and streamline the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner and the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme (22 October 2014). More...

Better safety and less red tape under streamlined building scheme
Changes announced to safety accreditation arrangements for builders working on Australian Government-funded construction projects will cut red tape, boost competition and ensure safety standards are enhanced from 1 January next year by the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (22 October 2014). More...

Streamlined safety and compensation service for Queenslanders
On 3 November, WorkCover Queensland and the Office of Fair and Safe Work Queensland will launch a new one-stop shop website and call centre for all work safety and workers compensation services and information (22 October 2014). More...

Fly-in, fly-out worker suicides inquiry in WA hears no mining roster '100 per cent safe'
A WA parliamentary inquiry examining a spate of suicides among fly-in, fly-out workers has heard no roster for mining workers could be considered "100 per cent safe" (22 October 2014). More...

Workplace bullying: What keeps victims silent
Many victims of workplace bullying suffer silently out of fear of retribution and because it's often hard for them to fully explain what is happening and how it started, according to new research recently published in the Management Communication Quarterly (21 October 2014). More...

Quad bike fatalities
As of 20 October 2014, twelve people have been killed this year in quad bike related incidents. Six of these deaths were the result of a roll over. There were 21 quad bike related fatalities in 2013, 19 in 2012 and 20 fatalities in 2011 (20 October 2014). More...

10 deadliest jobs in Australia
Truckies, posties and warehouse workers top the list of Australia's deadliest jobs, according to new research. The transport and storage industry recorded the highest number of deaths, with 65 workers killed on the job in 2012, comparison website Life Insurance Finder found (20 October 2014). More...

Crushing Services International, contractor of FMG, fined $115,000 over death of electrician Kurt Williams at Pilbara mine
Crushing Services International was charged with failing to provide a safe working environment and initially fined $225,000, reduced for an early guilty plea, the company's remorse, previous clean record, and assistance and cooperation in the investigation (20 October 2014). More...

Mental health staff in Canberra feel unsafe and afraid: FOI docs
Staff working at Canberra's Adult Mental Health Unit feel unsafe about their working conditions and fear violent outbursts from patients, according to documents obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws (17 October 2014). More...

July 2014 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report now available
There were 19 work-related notifiable fatalities during July 2014 — 13 male workers, 4 male bystanders and 2 female bystanders. Of these fatalities, 4 workers and 1 bystander died as a result of incidents in the air or on public roads. For further details see the Notified Fatalities Monthly Report July 2014 (16 October 2014). More...

Commitment to safety during interchange project
WorkCover NSW and Ferrovial Agroman Australia have formally committed to ensuring the safety of workers during the construction of the Sancrox Road Interchange Project with the signing of an action plan (16 October 2014). More...

Public servant's boss asked her to send him topless photos
Sexual interaction between consenting adults in public service workplaces will be punished if they fail to observe the APS code of conduct while they are doing it, the bureaucracy's workplace umpire has warned (16 October 2014). More...

WorkCover finds loose-fill asbestos in Sydney homes for first time; more positive tests in city likely
Deadly loose-fill asbestos has been discovered in houses in Sydney's western and northern suburbs, the ABC has learned, the first positive tests for the carcinogen in the city (16 October 2014). More...

Farmers urged to find safer transport after quad bikes dubbed the industry's biggest killer
New figures on farm deaths are in and it is no surprise four wheeled motorbikes continue to top the list as the leading cause of fatalities in the agriculture sector (14 October 2014). More...

Tabro Meat gets reduced fine over worker injury
A Gippsland meat processor, charged over the serious injury of a subcontractor, has successfully appealed against a fine. After pleading guilty to breaching workplace safety laws and fined $75,000, the successful appeal against the fine yesterday, the County Court reduced it to $35,000 (16 October 2014). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

SafeWork Australia - July 2014 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report
There were 19 work-related notifiable fatalities during July 2014 — 13 male workers, 4 male bystanders and 2 female bystanders. Of these fatalities, 4 workers and 1 bystander died as a result of incidents in the air or on public roads. For further details see the Notified Fatalities Monthly Report July 2014 (16 October 2014). More...

In practice and courts

New SRCC website
The new site features a fresh design, content structure and navigation system, all geared toward enhancing the usability of the site. The new, user centric design, now presents key information on the homepage about how to become a licensee, as well as links to information about how to comply with license conditions (13 October 2014). More...

Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) and the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme reform
The Australian Government has announced improvements to modernise and streamline the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner (OFSC) and the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme). These improvements follow a major review undertaken by the Department of Employment earlier this year. The improvements will commence from 1 January 2015. More... More...

AS/NZS 4067:2012/Amdt 1:2014
Protective helmets for structural firefighting, Standards Australia. More...

Safety alert: Airmaxx 360 show ride: interstate authorities warned against use
A showride at the centre of an investigation into the death of a tourist at the Royal Adelaide Show has been removed, and interstate authorities warned it cannot be used while SafeWork SA continues its investigation. A number of interstate regulators will issue their own Prohibition Notice over the Airmaxx 360 (18 October 2014). More...

QLD: New Worksafe website
On 3 November, the new website and call centre for all your work safety and workers compensation services and information,, will be online. This unites the websites of WorkCover Queensland, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Electrical Safety Office and the Workers' Compensation Regulator (22 October 2014). More...

VWA:Safety Soapbox (October 15)
The edition features an article on the WorkCover Awards, more on Health and Safety Week, and a warning that recalled ladders are still being used in some workplaces. There's a link to the recall notice. The newsletter also has news from around the country, the 'Absolute Shocker' and information on construction/mining prosecutions. More...

VIC: Asbestos deaths revealed in Sunshine North,'Devil in the Dust'
The investigation has revealed that Crown land behind where the factory had been located is still contaminated by asbestos – placing children in the suburb today at risk. An EPA order – made 15 years after the factory closed - meant that contamination on the site was controlled by being capped by asphalt, the order did not extend to the Crown land. More...

Safe Work Australia Virtual Seminar Series, October 2014
The Australian Strategy Virtual Seminar Series (VSS) is a free online event run throughout Australia. More...

Reminder: ASEA Conference: November 16 – 18, 2014
Anyone who is interested in what's happening with asbestos in Australia should try to attend ASEA's 1st International Conference on Asbestos Awareness and Management: "Working towards an asbestos free Australia" (Crown Casino November 16-18). More...


Work Cover (Inspector Battye) v Patrick Container Ports Pty Ltd [2014] NSWDC 171
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000. Principal judgment if, contrary to these findings, the defendant should have prepared a formal documented risk assessment, should have formally instructed Mr May to consult the operating manual, should have documented his training or even inadequately trained him, such failures, in the light of Mr May's knowledge of the risk and the vastly more immediate cause of risk to health and safety constituted by his intoxication, would not justify the serious findings that those failures had any substantial or significant effect on the cause of the event, or that the defendant was morally culpable. More...

Arnold v Compass Group (Australia) Pty Ltd & Anor [2014] FCCA 1999
HUMAN RIGHTS – Application in a case for dismissal or strike out – claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation – whether jurisdiction to hear sex discrimination claim – whether sex discrimination and victimisation claims to be dismissed or struck out on basis of no reasonable prospect of success, lack of particularity or failure to comply with earlier orders – whether orders for compliance with earlier orders requiring points of claim with sufficient particularity. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application in a case for dismissal or strike out on basis of no reasonable prospect of success, lack of particularity or failure to comply with earlier orders – whether alternative orders for points of claim with sufficient particularity. More...

Grima v RFI (Aust) Pty Ltd [2014] NSWCA 345
Appeal allowed in part. TORTS - negligence - workplace injury - worker employed by second respondent injured when unloading pantechnicon after arrival at place of employment - vehicle packed by first respondent before departure - two of three bars used to restrain load were not installed before departure - finding of negligence by first respondent not challenged on appeal - worker challenges finding of negligence by second respondent employer - CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN TORTFEASORS - where primary judge held respondents equally responsible - failure to recognise that predominant responsibility rested with the first respondent - CONTRIBUTION BETWEEN TORTFEASORS - whether burden of costs ordered against first respondent in favour of worker should have been regarded as subject to contribution to be made by second respondent employer - relevance of legislative provisions precluding costs orders as between employer and employee - whether first respondent should be affected indirectly by such provisions. More...

Matton Developments Pty Ltd v CGU Insurance Limited [2014] QSC 256
EVIDENCE – GENERAL – INSPECTION – where the plaintiff was the lessee/owner of a crane – where the boom of the crane collapsed – where the plaintiff and the defendant had entered into a policy of insurance – where the plaintiff claimed, but was denied, indemnity under the insurance policy – where there exists a factual dispute between the parties as to how and where the crane was being operated when the boom collapsed – where the plaintiff applies for an inspection of a similar crane and its load – where the plaintiff applies for a demonstration of a similar crane's manoeuvring capabilities and also the operation of a similar crane in manner alleged by the plaintiff – where the plaintiff applies for anything observed by the court during any inspection and/or demonstration to be received as evidence – whether any inspection and/or demonstration ought to be granted – whether any inspection and/or demonstration ought to be received as evidence – whether the demonstration ought to occur in circumstances where there is a factual dispute over how the incident occurred. More...



Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Definition of Employee – G20 Volunteers) Notice 2014
This notice declares that volunteers of the G20 Leaders' Summit 2014 are taken to be employed by the Commonwealth for the purposes of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. Registered 16 Oct 2014; To be ceased 01 Apr 2025. More...

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 9, 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 chemicals products. Registered 16 Oct 2014; To be ceased 22 Oct 2014. More...

CASA EX131/14 - Exemption — Cessna 500 series aeroplanes single-pilot private operation
This instrument permits pilots and operators of Cessna 500 series aeroplanes to operate those aeroplanes without meeting the normal requirement for a pilot and co-pilot. The exemption is subject to conditions imposed by CASA in the interest of aviation safety, including that the pilot must undergo an annual instrument proficiency check for the aircraft type - Registered 20 Oct 2014 Date of Ceasing To be ceased 28 Feb 2017. More...


Bills introduced Government

Pesticides Amendment Bill 2014.

Surveillance Devices Amendment (Police Body-Worn Video) Bill 2014.

Electricity Supply Amendment (Bush Fire Hazard Reduction) Bill 2014.

Liquor Legislation Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014.

Mental Health Amendment (Statutory Review) Bill 2014.

Work Health and Safety (Mines) Amendment Bill 2014.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Mine Subsidence Compensation Amendment Bill 2014.


Bills Updated

Major Events Bill 2014
Introduced on 26/08/2014 Report from Committee on 20/10/2014
The policy objective of the Bill is to provide a generic legislative framework that can be used for the conduct of major events across Queensland. This includes the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2015 Asian Cup, V8 Supercars motor racing events, and other major events Queensland may decide to host in the future. The Bill provides for: Crowd and safety powers – including control of entry into and prohibiting certain items from major event areas, and police and authorised person powers to control anti-social behaviour and ensure the safety of patrons

Subordinate legislation as made

No 238 Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014– 24 October 2014. Work Health and Safety Act 2011.


Statutory Rules

No. 165: Country Fire Authority Regulations 2014
Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 01/11/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-122: on 01/11/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 14/10/2024.


No. 75: Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Further Amendment Act 2014
Assent: 21/10/2014 SG (No. 377) 21/10/2014 p. 1.
Commencement: NYP Not yet in operation: Ss 1-25.

Statutory Rules

No. 165: Country Fire Authority Regulations 2014
Date of Making: 14/10/2014 Commencement: 01/11/2014: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-122: on 01/11/2014: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 14/10/2024.

No. 175: Accident Towing Services Amendment Regulations 2014
Date of Making: 21/10/2014 Commencement: 21/10/2014 Not yet in operation: N/A. Sunset Date 21/10/2024.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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Michael Selinger
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