Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 4 March 2015

Last Updated: 15 March 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Mansfield manufacturer fined over drum explosion
A Mansfield manufacturer was convicted and fined $35,000 in Melbourne Magistrates' Court this week over an incident in which a welder was seriously injured when a 44-gallon drum exploded. Crawford Containers pleaded guilty to one charge under section 21 of the OHS Act for failing to provide a safe system of work (27 February 2015). More...

Victorian Government Disqualifies Unfit Employers from Hiring Automotive Apprentices
A number of employers in the automotive industry have been disqualified from hiring apprentices, following a Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) investigation into low quality training (25 February 2015). More...

FIFO workers reluctant to seek help for mental health problems after industry downturn, committee hears
Job losses in Western Australia's mining industry have created a climate of fear that makes fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers reluctant to seek help about mental health problems, according to a support service (25 February 2015). More...

Chris Manning appointed ATSB Commissioner
The Australian Government has appointed Mr Chris Manning as Commissioner with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). "Mr Chris Manning's appointment to the ATSB—Australia's independent national transport safety investigation agency—will commence on Monday 9 March 2015 (24 February 2015). More...

Work Health and Safety Perceptions: Construction Industry report now available
The construction industry is designated as a priority industry for work health and safety as per the 2012-22 Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy due to the high number and rate of work-related injuries and illnesses and inherent risks associated with working in the industry (24 February 2015). More...

Canberra foreman denies lying over company report into truck driver Michael Booth's death
A foreman in charge of a Canberra worksite where a truck driver died in 2012 has denied lying about his involvement in a company report which seems to blame the victim (24 February 2015). More...

Safety officer in Canberra workplace death had no formal qualifications, court told
The safety officer for the first Canberra company to be prosecuted over a workplace death under new national laws had no formal safety qualifications, the ACT Industrial Court has heard (24 February 2015). More...

History of negligence in fatal electrocution case
A litany of basic safety failures allegedly led to the fatal electrocution of a driver whose tip truck hit live power lines, despite the company responsible for the site being disciplined for the exact same breaches four years earlier (23 February 2015). More...

Mushroom farm blast ends in $50,000 fine
The owner of a mushroom growing operation was fined $50,000 in Bendigo Magistrates court last month over a gas explosion that left a worker with serious burns. The court heard that Mr Robertson had failed to implement a number of safety measures which were reasonably practicable (20 February 2015). More...

New codes drive safety in mining workplaces
The Minister for Resources and Energy has approved five mining codes of practice, which are now published on the NSW Mine Safety website. The codes were developed through consultative processes under the National Mine Safety Framework and the Tri-state Legislation Working Group as well as direct consultation with employer and union representatives in NSW (17 February 2015). More...

TNT dockhand loses unfair dismissal case
A TNT dockhand who repeatedly made complaints about the company's integrity, including allegations of internal corruption, has lost his unfair dismissal bid in an important ruling for Australian employers. The Fair Work Commission found that Kaskol was lawfully dismissed after he made a series of unsubstantiated complaints relating to his role as an occupational health and safety representative at TNT (17 February 2015). More...

New Worksafe plan for WA agriculture to reduce farm fatalities and injuries
Western Australia's safe work watchdog has released a new action plan designed to reduce the number of farm fatalities and injuries (17 February 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Coal and health in the Hunter: lessons from one valley for the world
Climate and Health Alliance: 23 February 2015. Fiona Armstrong. Evidence in this report suggests that coal is becoming an unwelcome social and economic burden, and a risk to community wellbeing, the economy and a safe climate. More...

Martin Place siege: joint Commonwealth-New South Wales review
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia): 22 February 2015. This review analysed the events that led up to the Martin Place siege and the range of interactions the gunman had with agencies including the criminal justice system, beginning with his arrival in Australia. More...

ATSB Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin - Issue 39 – 26 February 2015
The Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin covers a range of the ATSB's short investigations and highlights valuable safety lessons for pilots, operators and safety managers. More...

Work Health and Safety Perceptions: Construction Industry
WorkSafe Australia: 24 February 2015. This report focuses on: work-related injuries, exposure to disease-causing hazards and provision of control measures, work health and safety practices and work health and safety attitudes and perceptions. More...

Work-related injuries
The most common work-related injuries experienced by workers in the construction industry were cuts and open wounds (31 per cent), sprains and strains (21 per cent) and chronic joint or muscle conditions (16 per cent). Work-related injuries experienced in the industry were mainly due to hitting or being hit by an object (31 per cent), lifting, pushing or pulling objects (30 per cent) and falls from height (15 per cent).

Disease-causing hazard exposure
Construction workers were most commonly exposed to airborne dust and fumes (69 per cent), vibration (55 per cent) and loud noise (53 per cent) in their workplace. Those exposed to loud noise reported the highest levels of control measures (e.g. personal protective equipment), while almost one quarter of workers exposed to vibration were not provided with any control measures. More...

Prosecutorial discretion and the decision to grant an occupational health and safety enforceable undertaking
Dr Kristy Richardson; Australian Journal of Administrative Law (Volume 22 Part 2). This article considers the characterisation of the decision to accept or reject an enforceable undertaking in the occupational health and safety jurisdiction. The characterisation of the decision as prosecutorial because of its impact upon the prosecution for a breach of an occupational health and safety obligation has been rejected by the Queensland Court of Appeal. Whilst the decision of the court was made under repealed legislation the enforceable undertaking has been retained under a now harmonised legislative framework for occupational health and safety laws. It is suggested that under this framework the decision whether to reject or accept an enforceable undertaking remains administrative and capable of review.

In practice and courts

July to December 2013 Biannual Data Analysis Report Available
The latest OFSC Biannual Data Analysis Report is now available online. The report provides an overview and analysis of data collected from companies accredited under the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme (19 February 2015), July to December 2013 Biannual Data Analysis Report Available The latest OFSC Biannual Data Analysis Report provides an overview and analysis of data collected from companies accredited under the Australian Government Building and Construction WHS Accreditation Scheme, for the period July to December 2013. This period saw no fatalities on Scheme projects along with the lowest number of notices issued since this data has been requested from accredited contractors. Along with the report, the OFSC has also updated the Performance Comparison Tool with this latest biannual data. The Tool enables users to compare their WHS performance with other accredited contractors during the period.


Chrysler Australia Pty Ltd trading as Fiat Chrysler Group—2014 Jeep Cherokee - 27th February 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover Australia—2015MY Range Rover, Range Rover Sport & Discovery - 25th February 2015.

Allpower Industries—Country Clipper Ride-On Mower - 24th February 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover Australia—Range Rover and Range Rover Sport 2013 & 2014 MY Vehicles - 23rd February 2015.

Sherwood Valve, LLC—PVE2035AT-11.2 Multi-valve Propane cylinder - 20th February 2015.

BRP—Can-Am® Spyder® Roadster RT 2013 - 20th February 2015.

Mahindra Automotive Australia—Mahindra XUV500 7-Seater SUV - 19th February 2015.

Ford Motor Company of Australia Limited—Ford Fiesta ST - Rear Seat Belt Buckles - 19th February 2015.

Tyregate provides checklist to prevent mining accidents
The University of Queensland provides a website called Tyregate which is an online tool providing a checklist for the mining industry to prevent accidents related to tyres. 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

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 18 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...

WorkSafe Victoria prosecutions - Crawford Containers Pty Ltd 118 558 2 23/02/2015
Burns; Explosion; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1); 21(2)(a) ; Magistrates' Court Fine: $35,000.00 Costs: $3,577.00. More...

NSW: New codes published on website
Approved codes are a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under work, health and safety laws in NSW. Codes of practice are admissible in court proceedings under WHS legislation. An inspector may refer to an approved code of practice when issuing an improvement or prohibition notice (17 February 2015). The published codes are:

Safety management systems in mines

Emergency planning for mines

Inundation and inrush hazard management

Strata control in underground coal mines

Roadway dust analysis in underground coal mines


BlueScope Steel Ltd v Cartwright [2015] NSWCA 25
TORTS – negligence – scope and breach of duty – motor vehicle accident – the first respondent was driving a prime mover with trailer attached, on which was a container loaded with heavy coils – the appellant manufactured the coils and produced guidelines for their secure loading by the second respondent – the appellant began manufacturing coils with an extra timber runner, which affected their method of secure loading, without informing the second respondent – whether the appellant breached its duty to the first respondent TORTS – negligence – causation – whether the accident was caused by the excessive speed of the first respondent – whether the primary judge erred in failing to make a finding as to the speed at which the vehicle was travelling at the time of the accident. More...

Baillie v Jackson & Victoria Point Sharks Sporting Club Inc [2015] QDC 031
EMPLOYMENT LAW – Injury to employee – liability of employee – security officer punched at work - whether breach of duty – causation – employer not liable. NEGLIGENCE – Breach of duty – occupier of licensed premises – whether duty to provide more security officers – causation – occupier not liable. More...

Rockhampton Regional Council v Cosgrove & Ors [2015] QSC 022
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – JUDICIAL REVIEW – GENERALLY – where applicant is continuing local government following de-amalgamation – where third respondent is new local government re-established following de-amalgamation – where complaint made of offence under Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) against applicant by second respondent prior to de-amalgamation – where applicant asserts that proper defendant is third respondent following de-amalgamation – where first respondent found that complaint should continue against applicant rather than third respondent – where applicant seeks order of certiorari quashing decision of first respondent – where applicant applied for judicial review – where applicant seeks declaration that the proper defendant against the complaint is third respondent – whether criminal liability transferred to new local government by transitional provisions in enactments. INTERPRETATION – GENERAL RULES OF CONSTRUCTION OF INSTRUMENTS – GENERAL MATTERS. More...

Scott v Jackson Garden Landscape Supplies Pty Ltd [2015] QDC 018
TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – CAUSATION – whether breach of duty – whether injury caused by breach. More...

Joseph Ciampa v Master Home Improvements (WorkCover) [2015] VMC 3
Psychiatric injury alleged to have arisen out of or in course of employment as a result of being; "overworked, bullied and harassed by management" – causation - employer conducted investigations and suspended worker as a consequence of two incidents on 10 September 2013 and 9 January 2014 – "management action" - s 82 (2A) relied on – management action taken on reasonable grounds and in a reasonable manner. Claim dismissed. More...




Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 2, 2015
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 (20 February 2015). More...


Statutory Rules
No. 9: Road Safety (General) Amendment (Prescribed Offences) Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 17/02/2015 Commencement: 17/02/2015. Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 17/02/2025. More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments:

Liquor Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2015 (2015-84) — published LW 27 February 2015.

Smoke-free Environment Amendment (Signage Requirements) Regulation 2015 (2015-88) — published LW 27 February 2015.

Insurance Premiums Order 2014–2015 Amendment Order 2015 (2015-81) — published Gazette No 13.

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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