Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 17 February 2015

Last Updated: 9 March 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Landmark study into firefighters' mental health
The University of Adelaide is conducting the first study of its kind into the mental health of professional firefighters at South Australia's Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS). This project will provide valuable information about the current fitness of firefighters and assist in developing strategies to maintain longevity of service, as well as assisting those with any emerging impairment (12 February 2015). More...

'No consistent evidence' of wind farm health effects: NHMRC
The council has concluded there is no direct evidence that exposure to noise from wind farms affects physical or mental health. However, there was consistent, but poor quality direct evidence, that noise was associated with annoyance and even less linking it to sleep disturbance (12 February 2015). More...

Veteran health and wellbeing projects get funding boost
Forty projects that benefit the veteran and defence communities have received a $681,368 funding boost under the Australian Government's Veteran and Community Grants program (12 February 2015). More...

Busy grape harvest season prompts call for caution
Farms and vineyards are being advised to review their safety systems and machine guarding as the busy grape harvesting season throughout regional Victoria intensifies (12 February 2015). More...

Bulga Coal face fines for 2010 employee injury
Bulga Coal has been found guilty of safety breaches for the 2010 injury of an underground worker (12 February 2015). More...

Fall Prevention Techniques: Most states in Australia are governed by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
The Act gives a Primary Duty of Care to a PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) to ensure the health, safety and welfare of workers and others. This duty can be held by more than one person at the same time. It also states that if you have a Primary Duty of Care under that Act that you cannot transfer that duty to anyone else (12 February 2015). More...

Wharf and port sector to face RSRT scrutiny
Australia's major ports will soon come under scrutiny, after the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) announced an inquiry into the wharf and port sector of the trucking industry. The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will investigate the container operations at Australia's five main ports (11 February 2015). More...

Employers warned to be vigilant for workmate bullying online
Tasmanian Businesses are being warned to look out for a disturbing trend — workmate bullying on social media. Under Commonwealth legislation introduced in 2014, the Fair Work Commission has a range of measures to deal with the workplace bullying (11 February 2015). More...

Victorian roads minister seeks innovative proposals for funding business case
New roads minister Luke Donnellan calls on the heavy vehicle, freight and intelligent transport systems (ITS) industries to provide "innovative approaches" to using ITS and associated technology to improve road freight productivity and safety (10 February 2015). More...

Australian workplaces world leaders in addressing domestic violence
More than two million people are covered by workplace provisions on domestic violence, with advocates saying Australian employers are world leaders in recognising that abuse in the home is no longer a private matter (10 February 2015). More...

Ambulance officers under attack
Despite tougher prison penalties introduced by the NSW government to improve protection of paramedics, a Fairfax Media investigation has found that serious attacks leapt by almost a quarter last year to 174, resulting in a record 87 criminal charges being laid by police (08 February 2015). More...

Cancer Council of Victoria: Carcinogen exposure stalks our workplaces
There is an urgent need for a fairer and evidence-based compensation system for those who have developed a work-related cancer (06 February 2015). More...

Victorian Government to review WorkSafe and TAC
The Victorian Labor Government announces a review into WorkSafe and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) in order to identify opportunities to optimise the effectiveness, efficiency and value of these organisations to the Victorian community (02 February 2015). More... More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: Australia-wide fatalities
As of February 3, there had been 11 fatalities notified to Safe Work Australia. The fatalities so far this year have been in the following industries: three in Agriculture, forestry and fishing; two in Transport, postal and warehousing; one each in Construction, Mining, Arts & Recreation services, and Manufacturing; and two in 'other services'. More...

Exposure to multiple hazards among Australian workers report
SafeWork Australia: 10 February 2015
A total of 4500 workers participated in the NHEWS survey. The report focuses on the prevalence of self-reported exposure to multiple hazards and examines different types of multiple exposures such as the average number of hazards workers reported exposure to and co-exposure to noise and vibration. More...

In practice and courts

2015 quad bike fatalities as at 9 February
See updated statistics from SafeWork Australia. More...

Product recalls

GM Holden Ltd—EM Malibu Sedan - 11th February 2015.

Chrysler Australia Pty Ltd—2002-2003 Jeep Liberty & 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee - 10th February 2015.

Toyota- FJ Cruiser - Steering Intermediate Shaft Assembly - 9th February 2015.

Chrysler Australia Pty Ltd trading as Fiat Chrysler Group—Chrysler LE 300 MY2005-2007 - 6th February 2015.

Myer Pty Ltd—Sprout Dungaree & Top Set and Sprout Stripe Tee & Overall Set - 6th February 2015.

GM Holden Ltd—MJ Barina Spark with manual transmission - 5th February 2015.

Renault Australia—Kangoo II - 4th February 2015.

Kmart Australia Limited—Richmond Airbag Compatible Car Seat Cover - 4th February 2015.

SafeWork Australia: Engineered Nanomaterials - an update on the Toxicology and Work Health Hazards
This updates the previous review of the toxicology and health hazards and provides specific information about the health hazards of: Carbon nanotubes; Titanium dioxide; Zinc oxide; Cerium oxide; and Silver. It provides suggestions for workplace exposure standards for carbon nanotubes and nanoscale silver and titanium dioxide (30 January 2015). More....

NSW: BPB Complying development: fire safety resources
New resources are available to help certifiers meet their obligations in relation to fire safety requirements for complying development to existing buildings (11 February 2915). More...

VIC: VicRoads and Transport Certification Australia: e proposals to trial ITS
The Victorian Government is asking the heavy vehicle, freight and ITS industries to come forward with innovative proposals to trial ITS and technologies that can make the freight and logistics sector safer and more reliable, Interested parties are encouraged to submit their proposal before April 8. More...

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox - 04 February 2015
Attached to the newsletter is the list of incidents notified to WorkSafe since the last edition – a huge list with many serious or serious "near misses" This edition of Safety Soapbox also lists relevant Victorian prosecutions, as well as a large number of news items from other jurisdictions and from around the world. More...

Queensland Mines Safety Alert 313 - Fatal accident following rib failure in an underground coal mine
A fatal accident occurred in an underground coal mine when a worker was struck by a large piece of rib material. Mine site senior executives should" ensure mine roadways are supported as a minimum in accordance with the support rules determined by the underground mine manager (03 February 2015). More...

Queensland Explosives Safety Alert 87 – Catch point hazards on equipment working around loaded blast holes
04 February 2015. More...

VWA Prosecutions

Freeney Fabrications Pty Ltd
142 642 180 29/01/2015 - Crush injuries; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. More...

FSANZ: Consultation on proposed approach to next stage of a review on micro limits
FSANZ has released a consultation paper on the proposed approach to the next phase of a review of microbiological limits in the Food Standards Code. The aim of the review was to ensure the limits are practical and clear for both industry and enforcement agencies and consistent with contemporary practices. The closing date for submissions is 27 February 2015 (January 2015). More...

Weekly Update - Independent Investigation into Loose-Fill Asbestos
A licensed asbestos assessor can advise on whether living spaces are well sealed and asbestos hazards are appropriately controlled. More... More...


Comcare v Linfox Australia Pty Ltd [2015] FCA 61
INDUSTRIAL LAW – failure to take reasonably practicable steps to ensure safety of employee – quantification of penalty to be imposed. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – agreed statement of facts – power to make a declaration – power to quantify penalty - Respondent is to pay the Commonwealth a pecuniary penalty of $90,000. Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (Cth). More...

Di Paolo v Salta Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors [2015] VSC 31
CHOICE OF LAW – Worker injured in Western Australia – Victoria was the worker's home State – Worker sued employer and non-employers in Victoria – Applicable limitation period – Questions for determination on agreed or assumed facts – Uniform cross-border compensation legislation – Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) ss 80, 129MA, 129MB – Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (WA) ss 20, 93AA, 93AB. More...



Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) Amendment Instrument 2015 (No. 1)
06/02/2015 - This instrument amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) 2012 to set new and varied MRL's and make other changes to the Tables with respect to certain residue definitions, commodities and substances. More...

Poisons Standard 2015

10/02/2015 - This standard substitutes the Poisons Standard 2014, and consists of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons No.6 (THE SUSMP 6), as set out in Schedule 1 of this standard. More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Liquor Amendment (RSA) Regulation 2015 (2015-60) — published LW 13 February 2015.

Work Health and Safety Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2015 (2015-61) — published LW 13 February 2015.


Wrongs Amendment (Asbestos Related Claims) Bill 2014
A Bill for an Act to amend part VBA of the Wrongs Act 1958 in relation to claims for the recovery of damages for non-economic loss in respect of asbestos-related conditions. 11/02/2015 Assembly: Second reading moved.

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