Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 13 April 2015

Last Updated: 19 April 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

In the media

Australia's biggest companies hand out colouring books to staff to foster mental health
Some of Australia's biggest companies are buying colouring books for adults in bulk to help staff handle the stress of the modern workplace (09 April 2015). More...

Sacked Canberra public servant's medical advice fail
A Canberra public servant sacked for refusing to front up to her "injurious" workplace on the advice of her doctor has lost an unfair dismissal appeal. The Fair Work Commission has backed the Defence Department after it took the advice of its own medical specialist over that of the employee's psychiatrist and ordered its EL1 employee to return to her desk (09 April 2015). More...

Cost on inefficiency prescribed to help better manage fleets and human resources
The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has offered a series of strategies that aim to improve port safety through reducing waiting times and stress for truck drivers, in its submission to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal's (RSRT's) inquiry into the wharf and port transport sector (08 April 2015). More...

Criminal charges possible in mine deaths
Tasmania's Acting Director of Public Prosecutions is examining the findings of an investigation into the death of three miners at the Mt Lyell copper mine to decide if any criminal charges will be laid over the workplace tragedies (09 April 2015). More...

Jump in number of truck drivers testing positive for ice concerns police
More truck drivers are being caught driving under the influence of drugs, including ice, prompting a warning from police that a rogue element is threatening public safety on the state's roads (07 April 2015). More...

Safe Work Australia update incorrect fall arrest diagram
Safe Work Australia have amended the code of practice for Managing the Risk of Falls in the Workplace after a diagram illustrating example calculations for a fall arrest system was found to be incorrect (07 April 2015). More...

The trouble with quad bikes: background briefing
They're called the farmer's friend, but research indicates that 15 to 20 people are killed and more than 1,000 are seriously injured each year in quad bike accidents. The industry blames rider behaviour, while safety experts say the bikes are inherently unstable and want increased safety measures (05 April 2015). More...

High Risk Licences reassessed in Gladstone
High risk workers in Gladstone have been caught out with invalid licenses after taking course assessments that did not meet workplace health and safety accreditation standards (02 April 2015). More...

Former ride attendant sues Dreamworld for $290K over wrist injury
Ms Prince says she now suffers from intersection syndrome and De Quervain's tenosynovitis in her right wrist, after her role as a ride attendant she was required to perform approximately 1500 safety harness checks per shift (01 April 2015). More...

New Asbestos Guidelines to Protect Workers
The Andrews Labor Government welcomes WorkSafe's release of new guidelines to assist workers who are removing or replacing asbestos-cement pipes. The new guidelines are clear – any asbestos waste created by pipeline removal or replacement must be disposed of in accordance with occupational health and safety regulations (01 April 2015). More...

Feedback sought from operators of heavy vehicle braking systems
As part of the National Heavy Vehicle Braking Strategy (NHVBS), the Department is seeking feedback from heavy vehicle operators on the effectiveness of heavy vehicle braking systems (01 April 2015). More...

Minister launches Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Under its new name, Phoenix Australia will continue working to improve mental health services for veterans and currently serving members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as the broader community. In particular, ongoing work will focus on advancing knowledge about posttraumatic mental health (31 March 2015). More...

Increase in bus attacks leaves drivers fearful, leaving their jobs
Assaults on buses are on the rise and more often than not the victim is the driver, the Transport Workers' Union has warned (30 March 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

December 2014 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report: SafeWork Australia
There were 24 work-related notifiable fatalities during December 2013 — 19 male workers and 1 female worker and 2 male and 2 female bystanders. Of these fatalities, 11 workers and 4 bystanders died as a result of incidents in the air or on public roads (31 March 2015). More...

NSW: Loose-fill asbestos weekly update
As of 2 April, 2015, 2,293 premises in the 26 local government areas have registered for the free sampling service. Four samples have returned positive results. Testing is ongoing with licensed asbestos assessors currently undertaking inspections of properties. More...

In practice and courts

RSRT: Submissions to the wharf and port sector inquiry available online
Written submissions to the inquiry into a wharf and port sector are available on this website (01 April 2015). More... More...


LANplus Australia Pty Ltd—Ultipower Automatic Desulfation Battery Charger - 9th April 2015

Party Bestbuy Pty Ltd—LED light up Flying Arrow/Helicopter - 8th April 2015

Chens Bros Trading Pty Ltd—Butane Gas Cooker - 8th April 2015

BMW Australia Ltd.—BMW Motorcycles K25, K26, K27, K28, K29, K40, K43, K44 series. - 8th April 2015

Austcrown Pty Ltd—Auscrown AD90 Handy Range - 8th April 2015

Ohlins Racing AB—TTX36 Shock Absorber - 2nd April 2015

Kmart Australia Limited—Hammock on Metal Stand - 1st April 2015

Sitro Group Australia—Twin Portable Butane Cooker - 1st April 2015

Hino Motor Sales Australia—RN8J and RK8J Hino Buses - 1st April 2015

Yamaha Motor Australia Pty Ltd—MT09AF/F/TRAF Motorcycles - 1st April 2015

Australian Safety Standards released this month

DR AS 1668.1:2015
The use of ventilation and air conditioning in buildings - Fire and smoke control in buildings Standards Australia. More...

AS 1735.5:2015
Lifts, escalators and moving walks - Escalators and moving walks - Standards Australia. More...

kNOw Cancer Risks at Work Forum , 18 May 2015
The national forum will be highlighting prevention and elimination of occupational cancer risks in Australia, and is open to occupational health and safety professionals, industry representatives and unions, researchers, public health professionals and anyone with an interest in occupational cancers. More...

NSW WorkCover: Risks of drowning around drainage pipes safety alert
This safety alert warns people about the risks of becoming trapped and drowning at drainage or pipe inlets (02 April 2015). More...

Workcover Qld: Sun safety for outdoor workers
Solar injury workers' compensation claims cost nearly $3 million in 2013–2014, according to data from WorkCover Queensland (08 April 2015). More...

QLD: Damaged cable results in feeder breaker fire, Mines safety alert no. 315
A substantial fire occurred on a feeder breaker at an underground coal mine. The investigation has identified the following recommendations - all guards are correctly installed, and electrical circuits are adequately protected and secured to prevent damage and maintenance strategies are in place to prevent the build-up of contamination such as oils, grease, coal or other flammable materials (07 April 2015). More...

QLD: Mine Safety Bulletin, No 149, 27 March 2015
In line with their strategic priorities in the Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health Annual Performance Report 2014–15, the Mines Inspectorate recently conducted Emergency Response audits at 10 Bowen Basin mines. More...

VBA: Regulation change allows for new provisions for slip resistance standards
An amendment has been made to the Building Regulations 2006 to reflect changes in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) (02 April 2015). More...

VIC: Worksafe Safety Soapbox –Safety Soapbox - April 1 2015
Includes safety alerts, safety industry round up for all states. More...

New Asbestos Guidelines to Protect Workers
The Andrews Labor Government welcomes WorkSafe's release of new guidelines to assist workers who are removing or replacing asbestos-cement pipes. The new guidelines are clear – any asbestos waste created by pipeline removal or replacement must be disposed of in accordance with occupational health and safety regulations (01 April 2015). More...


Papalii v IKEA Distribution Services Australia P/L [2015] NSWDC 36
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – motor vehicle accident involving use of forklift in the workplace – injury to employee driving forklift – proceedings commenced out of time – whether full and satisfactory explanation for delay in commencing proceedings – whether extension of time warranted in the circumstances. More...

Athanasiadis v WorkSafe Victoria [2015] VCC 348
Industrial accident – specific incident involving non-dominant elbow – plaintiff employed as motor mechanic – identification and prognosis of injury – capacity for suitable employment – assessment of medical and lay evidence – leave granted. More...



Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Licence Eligibility—Wilson Security) Declaration 2015
This declaration provides that Wilson Security Ptd Ltd is eligible to be granted a licence under Part VIII of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (09 April 2015). More...

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Schedule 9 – Mandatory advisory statements
This instrument includes new Schedule 9 in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (02 April 2015). More...


No. 65: Tobacco Amendment Act 2014
Assent 9/09/2014 Gazette S 306, 9 September 2014, p 2. Commenced by Proclamation: see Gazette S 66, 31 March 2015, p 1. Commencement: Ss 1-15 on 13/04/2015: SG (No. 66) 31/3/2015 p. 1. An Act to amend the Tobacco Act 1987 to prohibit smoking in specified outdoor areas and in the vicinity of pedestrian access points to certain places, to increase the penalty for possessing certain tobacco products and to amend inspectors' powers and for other purposes. More...


Dangerous Substances (loose—fill Asbestos Eradication) Legislation Amendment Act 2015
Assent: 31/3/2015This Act is to amend the Dangerous Substances Act 2004 so that the Minister is required to maintain a register of residential premises that contain or have contained loose-fill asbestos insulation (the affected residential premises. More...

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Michael Selinger
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