Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 8 July 2015

Last Updated: 14 July 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Paul Hardman

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

EPA issues G & N Costello Freight Lines, Trojan Fibreglass and driver with penalty notices totalling $32,000
Following a compliance inspection of a vehicle at Sandpiper Close, Kooragang in Newcastle on 25 February 2015, the NSW EPA)has issued penalty notices and official cautions to G & N Costello Freight Lines Pty Ltd, Trojan Fibreglass Pty Ltd and a G & N Costello Freight Lines driver for various dangerous goods transport offences (02 July 2015).  More...

New inquiry expected on loose-fill asbestos insulation response
A board of inquiry will be announced on Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos to examine how multiple governments have dealt with the problem (01 July 2015).  More...

NSW Government to further assist loose-fill asbestos insulation property owners
The NSW Government has today announced a voluntary purchase and demolition program for all NSW residential property owners with positive results for loose-fill asbestos insulation (29 June 2015).  More...

Defence personnel demand inquiry over exposure to toxic jet fuel
Current and former Defence Force personnel call for a wide-ranging inquiry into whether thousands of servicemen and women have suffered serious illnesses due to exposure to toxic jet fuel (30 June 2015).    More...

Victorian Government launches crackdown on 'dodgy' training providers to lift standards
The Victorian Government is launching a major blitz to crackdown on 'dodgy' training providers and lift standards in sector. Initially the crackdown will target any area of training where students need to have high quality skills to guarantee safety, such as civil engineering (29 June 2015).  More...

Mr Fluffy: NSW sets aside up to $250 million to buy back houses contaminated with asbestos
New South Wales has finally thrown a lifeline to grief-stricken families caught up in the Mr Fluffy asbestos crisis, ending decades of uncertainty (29 June 2015).  More...

Female Major sacked for 'adverse thoughts and beliefs'
Army Major and cancer survivor Bernadine O'Shaughnessy who raised concerns about a potential cancer cluster at a defence building is being sacked from the military for alleged "adverse thoughts and beliefs (27 June 2015).  More...

NSW government fails to fix concerns over injured workers scheme after 18 months
The NSW government has failed to act on an independent report raising serious concerns about the plight of injured workers following its controversial changes to WorkCover laws for almost 18 months, says the report's author, WorkCover Independent Review Officer Kim Garling (26 June 2015).  More...

List of Mr Fluffy asbestos addresses in ACT to be made public
The ACT Government will ignore the advice of its own expert reference group by publicly releasing a list of the 1,021 Mr Fluffy asbestos contaminated homes next week (25 June 2015).   More...

Mental health: Employees speak of difficulty re-entering workforce
Mental illness is the leading cause of long-term work incapacity in the developed world, with the cost to Australian employers more than $10.9 billion a year (25 June 2015).  More...

'Bullying and harassment' at Canberra Hospital sees urology training accreditation withdrawn
Concerns about "bullying and harassment" among staff at Canberra Hospital have led to the board of urology of the Australasian College of Surgeons withdrawing accreditation for training there. (24 June 2015).  More...

Fiskville report: Dangerous toxins testing required around CFA training base
Thorough chemical testing of soil and water at properties neighbouring the Country Fire Authority's (CFA) Fiskville training college is needed to ensure people are not being exposed to dangerous toxins, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has recommended (24 June 2015).  More...

Interim report presented on Fiskville inquiry
An interim report on the CFA training college at Fiskville has been presented to the Victorian Parliament, with the Committee making three key recommendations for action. The report has found that at least some of the chemicals used in training exercises are undeniably carcinogenic and toxic now (24 June 2015).  More...

New Laws Take Aim at Killer Drug Drivers
A legal loophole that lets some drug drivers who kill or cause serious injury evade the full force of the law will be closed under legislation introduced to Parliament by the Andrews Labor Government. The amendment to the Road Safety Act will give police the power to compel all drivers involved in crashes where someone is seriously injured or killed to have their blood tested for drugs. (24 June 2015).  More...

ACTU: Tougher laws needed to enforce asbestos importation ban
Despite being banned, asbestos has recently been found in car parts, boilers, construction materials, trains, tugboats and children's toys imported into Australia. Many of these products are making their way to Australia via internet sites, such as eBay, from Russia and China where there is no ban on asbestos (23 June 2015).  More...

CFMEU official banned for 1.5 years after bullying Government investigator
Following an application made by Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC), the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has revoked CFMEU Victorian official John Perkovic's federal right of entry permit and banned him from getting another one until 2017 (23 June 2015).  More...

Master Builders Welcomes Strategic Plan For Asbestos Removal
Master Builders has long recognised the importance of a strategic approach for the removal of asbestos from existing buildings and therefore welcomes the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency's (ASEA) release of its National Strategic Plan for Asbestos Management and Awareness 2014-18 (19 June 2015).  More...

Free farm assessments to help Gayndah/Mundubbera growers work safer
Fruit and vegetable growers in the Gayndah/Mundubbera region will receive free practical advice on managing work health and safety during a series of on-farm assessments by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (22 June 2015).   More...

'Bullying and harassment' at Canberra Hospital sees urology training halted
Concerns about "bullying and harassment" among staff at Canberra Hospital lead to the board of urology of the Australasian College of Surgeons withdrawing accreditation for training there (24 June 2015).   More...

Sexual harassment in medical work environment 'endemic', surgeons main perpetrators, research finds
Discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment are "endemic" in the medical work environment and surgeons are commonly named as perpetrators, a new study has found. The Expert Advisory Group (EAG), appointed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), has released its preliminary research into the prevalence of such behaviour in medical work environments (24 June 2015).   More...  More...

ACT company Kenoss found guilty of breaching work safety laws after truck driver's electrocution
A Canberra contracting firm has been found guilty of breaching new nationally consistent work safety laws, over the electrocution of a truck driver on one of its sites in 2012 (23 June 2015).   More...

Frontline paramedics facing violence from ice users say they fear for their safety
Ambulance officers fear it could only be a matter of time before someone is badly hurt or even killed during a callout to help people high on ice (22 June 2015).   More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

ARPANSA Quarterly Report 2015
Quarterly Report of the CEO of ARPANSA for the period 1 January to 31 March 2015 (25 June 2015).   More...

Safety Standards Published

AS 5144.5:2015
Industrial trucks - Safety requirements and verification - Pedestrian-propelled trucks. Standards Australia.  More...

AS ISO 22559.1:2015
Safety requirements for lifts (elevators) - Global essential safety requirements (GESRs). Standards Australia. More...

Safe Work Australia:   Australia-wide fatalities
As at June 19th, 73 fatalities had been reported to Safe Work.The fatalities have been in the following industries: 23 in the Transport, postal and warehouse sector; Agriculture, forestry and fishing (15).  More...

March 2015 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report now available
There were 15 work-related notifiable fatalities during March 2015 — 12 male workers and 1 female workers, 1 male bystander and 1 female bystander. Of these fatalities, 6 workers died as a result of incidents on public roads or air.   More...

Safe Work Australia:  Quad Watch
2015 quad bike fatalities as at 29 June 2015.  More...

In practice and courts

NSW Parliament - Government responses due
Loose fill asbestos insulation (response due) (Wed 17).  More...

NSW: Loose-fill asbestos weekly update
As of 18 June, 2015, 2,031 properties had been tested with 2,022 samples determined to not contain asbestos. Fifty-seven properties were identified as containing loose fill asbestos following a search of historical records. Testing is ongoing with licensed asbestos assessors currently undertaking inspections of properties.   More...  More...  More...

WorkCover Queensland: 2015 Prevention and Performance Initiative
In July 2015, WorkCover is launching the inaugural Prevention and Performance Initiative. The aim is to improve safety within Queensland workplaces, reduce workplace injury claims and associated costs and improve return to work opportunities and outcomes for injured workers (29 June 2015).  More...

Ionising radiation and risk of death from leukaemia and lymphoma in radiation-monitored workers (INWORKS): an international cohort study
Klervi Leuraud discusses a study reporting on the risk of developing leukaemia and lymphoma in workers monitored for radiation exposure. There is much uncertainty about the risks of leukaemia and lymphoma after repeated or protracted low-dose radiation exposure typical of occupational, environmental, and diagnostic medical settings.  More...


Mani v WorkCover Authority of NSW [2015] NSWCATAD 128
EXPLOSIVES - security clearance – cancellation of security clearance – fit and proper person – commission of offences by applicant – history of apprehended violence orders against applicant - whether applicant rehabilitated.  More...

Byrnes v Hawkesbury City Council [2015] NSWCA 173
TORTS – negligence – findings of fact – whether the primary judge erred in concluding that the Council did not perform work at the location of the appellant's fall and was therefore not responsible for the appellant's injury – whether the primary judge erred in, alternatively, accepting and declining to accept certain evidence and in not giving sufficient weight to other evidence.  More...

Victoria OHS Enforcements
Brooklands Motel Mornington Pty Ltd 106 095 970  25/06/2015
Failure to notify VWA of a notifiable incident; Failure to preserve incident site Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 38(1); 38(3); Magistrates' Court Brooklands Motel Mornington Pty. Ltd was fined $500.00, without conviction

Star Track Express Pty Limited 001 227 8  24/06/2015
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Fatality Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a);  Magistrates' Court The failure to have an adequate written defect reporting procedure exposed employees to the risk of serious injury or death. Star Track was convicted and fined $70,000.00 with an order for costs in the amount of $6,489.00.  More...



Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.4.2 - Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 5, 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 (03 July 2015). More...

Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Amendment (Fees and Charges) Regulation 2015  SLI 2015 No. 101
This regulation gives effect to increases in NICNAS fees and charges for 2015-16, allows the Director, NICNAS (or delegate) to waive or remit certain registration charges and pecuniary late payment penalties, as well as fees in relation to applications to vary data requirements for new industrial chemical assessment applications (29 June 2015).  More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment (Penalties) Regulation 2015 (2015-326) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Legal Profession Uniform Admission Amendment (Board) Rule 2015 (2015-328) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Legal Profession Uniform General Amendment (Trust Account Statement and Examiners) Rule 2015 (2015-329) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Regulation 2015 (2015-330) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Legal Profession Uniform Regulations 2015 (2015-354) — published LW 26 June 2015.

NSW Admission Board Rules 2015 (2015-353) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Victims Rights and Support (Victims Support Levy) Amendment Notice 2015 (2015-356) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Work Health and Safety Amendment (Transitional Provisions) Regulation 2015 (2015-338) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Workers Compensation (Weekly Payments Indexation) Amendment (Current Weekly Earnings) Order 2015 (2015-339) — published LW 26 June 2015.

Bills revised following amendment in Committee

Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Bill 2015

Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament

Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Bill 2015

Bills assented to
Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Act 2015 No 16 — Assented to 30 June 2015.


Subordinate legislation as made
No 46  Electrical Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015 – 26/06/2015 - Electrical Safety Act 2002; Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

No 56 Public Safety Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015 – 26/06/2015 - Building Act 1975.

Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990;Weapons Act 1990; Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000.


Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House week ending 26 June 2015
Road Safety Amendment Bill.

Statutory Rules made

No. 67: Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 23/06/2015 Commencement: 28/06/2015: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-18: on 28/06/2015: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 28/06/2020: reg. 16.

No. 68: Electricity Safety (Bushfire Mitigation) Amendment Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 23/06/2015 Commencement: 29/06/2015: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-7: on 29/06/2015: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 23/06/2025.

No. 69: Subordinate Legislation (Dangerous Goods (HCDG) Regulations 2005) Extension Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 23/06/2015 Commencement: 23/06/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A. Sunset Date 02/08/2016: reg. 4.

No. 76: Transport (Safety Schemes Compliance and Enforcement) (Infringements) Amendment Regulations 2015
Date of Making: 23/06/2015 Commencement: 27/06/2015: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-4: on 27/06/2015: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 23/06/2025.

Road Safety Amendment Bill 2015 (Vic)
24/06/15 175S3815 - Statement of compatibility - Second Reading moved.  More...

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