Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 23 June 2015

In the media

One Worker Injured Every Day In Latrobe Valley
Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, urged local businesses to increase their focus on workplace safety, particularly in high risk industries such as manufacturing and health (19 June 2015). More...

FIFO work can increase risk of mental health issues, committee finds
A West Australian parliamentary committee investigating the mental health impact of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work has found FIFO operations can lead to a "heightened risk of mental health issues" (18 June 2015). More...

Retailers urged not to discount safety during sales rush
Workers and employers in Victoria's retail sector are being urged to focus more closely on workplace safety during the busy end of financial year sales period. WorkSafe inspectors are visiting retail stores paying particular attention to poor manual handling practices, which account for around half of the injuries in the retail sector (18 June 2015). More...

Canberra Hospital bullying allegations subject of independent review
An independent review of the Canberra Hospital's training culture is commissioned by the ACT Government to examine allegations of bullying (17 June 2015). More...

Ice epidemic hits construction, manufacturing and transport
In a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement's inquiry into crystal methamphetamine (Ice) the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has highlighted the particular dangers of the ice epidemic for the manufacturing, construction and transport industries (16 June 2015). More...

AMA urges men to get up, stand up, and get moving to improve their health
AMA Vice President, Dr Stephen Parnis, today urged Australian men to get serious about looking after their own health. Dr Parnis said that Men's Health Week is an ideal time for men of all ages to make simple but important lifestyle decisions to extend their lives and improve their quality of life (16 June 2015). More...

Harrington v Coates Hire Operations case decision in favour of employee
In this case, the court found in favour of the driver and ordered that his employer reinstate him after he was fired in 2014 for a breach of safety regulations, following an incident where a Portaloo got too close to live tram wires. He had worked for the company for a period of 12 years (16 June 2015). More...

NSW WorkCover watchdog calls for simpler system
Amendments made to WorkCover NSW in 2012 have left the program "overly complex and a source of confusion and frustration for all scheme participants", according to the WorkCover Independent Review Office (WIRO). The paper recommends two pieces of legislation that govern the scheme – the Workers' Compensation Acts 1987 and 1998 – should be merged into one (15 June 2015). More...

Palaszczuk 'righting the wrongs' of Newman WorkCover changes
The Queensland Government is to wind back "harsh and unfair" changes to WorkCover legislation made under former premier Campbell Newman (15 June 2015). More...

Stand up desks in the workplace
Standing desks are increasingly being adopted by businesses that wish to meet their duty of care to provide healthy workspaces for their staff (15 June 2015). More...

Public servants and Defence personnel run risk of electrocution: union
Thousands of public servants and ADF personnel risk electrocution when they show up for work at the Defence Department's Canberra offices. The danger comes from desk-mounted power boards that are secured to the furniture by a set of pins which can come loose, allowing the plugs to come into contact with the desk (08 June 2015). More...

West End warehouse party shut down amid fire safety breaches
Fire authorities are likely to prosecute the organisers of a large unregistered party that was shut down in inner Brisbane over fire safety breaches (14 June 2015). More...

The average Australian worker: unfit, overweight, stressed and at risk
Doctors say study of more than 30,000 workers shows that health problems are a pressing issue for governments if they want to boost productivity. The average Australian worker is stressed, overweight, unfit and has a cholesterol or blood pressure problem, new findings show (12 June 2015). More...

Trucking company boss Peter Colbert ignored warnings that led to driver's death
A trucking company boss accused of the manslaughter of a driver killed in one of the firm's trucks ignored repeated warnings about the vehicle's brakes, a court has heard (11 June 2015). More...

Rising temperatures could lead to more Aussie disasters
Rising temperatures both at home and abroad could lead to an increased risk of storms and flash flooding, according to a new study. The report comes as a leading international consulting firms warned the business community of the impact climate change is likely to have on investments (11 June 2015). More...

New CQ mine project approved with FIFO conditions
A new Central Queensland mine project will need to make hundreds of jobs available for locals as well as fly-in, fly-out workers under a new independent approval (11 June 2015). More...

No jab, no job for future ambos
Victorian paramedics do not have to be vaccinated, despite concerns that unprotected health care workers could transmit diseases to patients (08 June 2015). More...

Coroner should probe cladding blaze, firefighters say
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Melbourne has asked a coroner to investigate a high-rise fire that spread rapidly due to the use of flammable cladding. The flammable cladding, Alucobest, was imported from China and was not tested to Australian standards (09 June 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safety Standards Published

DR AS/NZS 4399:2015
Sun protective clothing - Evaluation and classification. More...

AS 1418.11:2014/Amdt 2:2015
Cranes, hoists and winches - Vehicle-loading cranes (EN 12999:2011, MOD). More...

In practice and courts

Industrial Relations (Restoring Fairness) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Practitioners should be aware that the Bill passed through the Queensland Parliament on 4 June. It amends the Industrial Relations Act 1999. Particular note should be taken of s25 of the amending Act, which has a significant impact on access to legal representation in matters under the Act, and practitioners operating in that area should familiarise themselves with the amendment. More...

NSW: Parliament Government responses due
Review of the inquiry into allegations of bullying in WorkCover NSW (response due) (Thu 11).
Loose fill asbestos insulation (response due) (Wed 17).

NSW: Loose-fill asbestos weekly update
As of 5 June, 2015, 1,949 properties had been tested with 1,941 samples determined to not contain asbestos. Samples for properties in Berrigan Shire, Yass Valley, Greater Hume and Queanbeyan City (five) local government areas have returned positive results. Testing is ongoing with licensed asbestos assessors currently undertaking inspections of properties. More...

Alertness Summit 2015: A New Framework Driving Heavy Vehicle Safety
The event will be held on, 30 June 2015, Canberra, ACT. National summit on improving the evidence base for heavy vehicle driver fatigue regulation, hosted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity in collaboration with the National Transport Commission. More...

HazMat Conference, 16-17 June 2015, Australian Technology Park NSW
The HazMat Conference focuses on creating a safer world through ensuring required information is accurate, appropriate and available for anyone who interacts with dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals. It will address the need for information sources such as chemical registers, emergency procedure guides, labels and safety data sheets (SDS). More...

Cases

Maarbani v WorkCover Authority of NSW [2015] NSWCATAD 122
Explosives licensing – Security clearance – Fit and proper person – Offences under explosives legislation - Consideration of circumstances underlying criminal convictions. More...

Forestry Corporation of New South Wales v Mawson [2015] NSWWCCPD 34
Challenge to finding of fact where concessions made by a party are disregarded by Arbitrator; Arbitrator's duty to do justice to the issues posed by the parties; Approved Medical Specialist to have access to decision made on appeal. More...

Boon v Summs of Qld Pty Ltd t/a Big Bill's Bobcats [2015] QSC 162
TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – ESSENTIALS OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE – STANDARD OF CARE – GENERALLY – where the plaintiff was stabbed with a Leatherman knife in his left hand during a lunch break at a construction site by an employee of the defendant company – where the plaintiff suffered physical and psychiatric injuries – whether the employee of the defendant company was negligent – whether the defendant company is vicariously liable for the negligent act of its employee – whether the defendant company is personally liable for breaching its duty to take reasonable care not to expose the plaintiff to a foreseeable risk of injury. More...

Moynes v Heilbronn & Anor [2015] QDC 143
DAMAGES – PERSONAL INJURIES – QUANTUM – Where dispute as to extent and consequences of whiplash injury suffered in motor vehicle accident – Whether subsequent symptoms, including headaches, causally related to the accident – Dispute as to various heads of damages, including past loss of earnings and future loss of earning capacity. More...

Srbinovski v Americold Logistics Ltd [2015] VSCA 139
TORT – Negligence – Jury trial – Award of damages – Jury verdict in favour of appellant for $50,000 – Whether assessment of damages open to jury on evidence most favourable to the respondent – Whether comments by counsel for the respondent at trial was likely to mislead the jury – Whether attack on appellant's credit at trial was likely to mislead the jury – Jury's assessment of damages was open to jury on evidence adduced – Appeal dismissed – No point of principle. More...

Mutch v BHP Billiton Ltd & Ors [2015] VSC 253
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application to transfer proceeding to Supreme Court of South Australia – Claim in tort for personal injury through exposure to asbestos in South Australia from 1969 to 1979 – Plaintiff long since residing in Victoria – Mesothelioma – Short life expectancy – Whether proposed transfer in the interests of justice – Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-Vesting) Act 1987, s 5(2) – Dust Diseases Act 2005 (SA). More...

Victoria OHS Enforcements

Denpak Pty Ltd 007 149 046 16/06/2015
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Guarding; Failure to provide and maintain plant. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1); 21(2)(a) ; Magistrates' Court. On 16 June 2015, the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court fined the Accused $23,000, without conviction, and ordered it pay costs in the amount of $3,317.00. More...

Legislation

Commonwealth

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Amendment Bill 2015
Registered 19 Jun 2015 Introduced HR 18 Jun 2015. A Bill for an Act to amend the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998. More...

Poisons Standard July 2015
This standard substitutes the Poisons Standard June 2015, and consists of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons No. 8 (SUSMP) as set out in Schedule 1 of this standard Made 12 Jun 2015 Registered 18 Jun 2015. More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Electricity (Consumer Safety) Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2015 (2015-288) — published LW 12 June 2015.

Mental Health Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2015 (2015-304) — published LW 19 June 2015.

Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2015 (2015-305) — published LW 19 June 2015.

Rail Safety National Law National Regulations (Fees) Variation Regulations 2015 (2015-317) — published LW 19 June 2015.

Rail Safety National Law National Regulations Variation Regulations 2015 (2015-318) — published LW 19 June 2015.

Victoria

Proclamations

No. 12: Veterans and Other Acts Amendment Act 2015
Assent: 21/04/2015 SG (No. 88) 21/4/2015 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-9, 11, 14-17, 21, 22 on 22/04/2015: s. 2(1) Pt 5 (s. 10), ss 12, 13, Pt 7 (s. 18), Pt 8 (ss 19, 20) on 15/06/2015: SG (No. 144) 9/6/2015 p. 1

The following Victorian bills received assent 16 June 2015:
- 20/2015 Justice Legislation Amendment Act 2015
- 21/2015 Statute Law Revision Act 2015
- 22/2015 Wrongs Amendment (Prisoner Related
Compensation) Act 2015
. More...

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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Authors
Michael Selinger
 
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