Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 21 July 2015

Last Updated: 25 July 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Australia's workers are safer, but still not safe enough
When BHP Billiton's plans for what became South32 leaked months ahead of the scheduled confirmation, one of the most serious concerns of the global miner's executive and line management was workplace safety (17 July 2015). More...

Lawsuit alleging CFMEU construction site blockade goes into mediation
A lawsuit that alleges CFMEU ACT officials blockaded a northside work site last year has been sent to mediation. The FWBC claims the blockade was done to try and force the builder to sign a CFMEU enterprise agreement, with the union stating the incident was a safety protest that took place after WorkSafe ACT issued prohibition notices at the site (17 July 2015). More...

Workers' compensation bill will hurt economy, says CCIQ
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says the Workers' Compensation Amendment Bill tabled in Queensland Parliament yesterday is flawed (16 July 2015). More...

Wi-fi: is it harming our health?
With the increasing use of wi-fi and mobile phones in our homes, schools and workplaces, there are people who believe they are suffering serious health effects – and some countries, such as Sweden and France, are taking steps to minimise exposures (10 July 2015). More...

Treasurer commits extra $400,000 a year for asbestos clean up
The Palaszczuk Government has created a new asbestos repair fund worth $400,000 a year to carry out urgent rectification works at hazardous properties (16 July 2015). More...

Farm Safety in Australia: Infographic
The Australian agriculture sector has been ranked as one of high-risk, due to the high number of work-related injuries and fatalities in the industry. Currently, for 2015 the fatalities reported by Safe Work Australia stands at six (6) for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (13 July 2015). More...

Roy Hill safety breaches: DMP issues two improvement notices
The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has issued two improvement notices in relation to safety concerns at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine last week (08 July 2015). More...

Aerosol paint product used by Victorian firefighting personnel withdrawn due to safety concerns
An aerosol fluorescent paint used by Victorian firefighting personnel to mark potentially hazardous trees in fuel reduction burns has been recalled due to safety concerns (08 July 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: Australia-wide fatalities
As at July 14, 83 fatalities had been reported to Safe Work – seven more people lost their lives in work-related incidents. The main fatalities have been in the following industries: 26 in the Transport, postal and warehouse sector; 19 in Agriculture, forestry and fishing; 9 in Construction; 8 in Mining; 4 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services. See the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities page. The latest monthly fatality report remains that for March of this year, when fifteen work-related deaths were reported to state and territory OHS regulators. More...

New Safe Work Australia reports, July 2015

Work health and safety in structural metal product manufacturing
The report describes the findings of a qualitative research study on the structural metal product manufacturing industry - an industry with a high rate of work-related injury and illness. It provides valuable insights into attitudes towards work health and safety, risk management practices and factors influencing work health and safety in the industry Publication at: Work health and safety in structural metal product manufacturing.

Mindfulness of work health and safety in the workplace. Published Date: July 2015.

Sources of work health and safety information in Australian workplaces. Published Date: July 2015.

Transport industry: Synthesis of research findings. Published Date: July 2015.

Research brief - Transport industry: Synthesis of research findings. Published Date: July 2015.

Research brief - Sources of work health and safety information in Australian workplaces. Published Date: July 2015.

Research brief - Mindfulness of work health and safety in the workplace. Published Date: July 2015.

Research brief - Work productivity loss in young workers. Published Date: July 2015.

Work productivity loss in young workers. Published Date: July 2015.

In practice and courts

SafeWork Australia: Guide to handling isocyanates
Isocyanates are hazardous chemicals used to manufacture polyurethane foams, rubbers, plastics, varnishes, adhesives and paints. You should use this Guide if you manage health and safety risks associated with the manufacture, storage, handling, generation and use of isocyanates in the workplace (09 July 2015). More...

Comcare: Sedentary work practices
Sedentary work practices are a known risk factor for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and premature death—what can be done to minimise your risk at work? (Updated 09 July 2015). More...

Home Insulation Programme Industry Payment Scheme deadline extended
Eligible businesses adversely impacted by the closure of the Home Insulation Program in 2010 will now have until 31 July 2015 to lodge an application for a payment under the Home Insulation Program Industry Payment Scheme (HIP IPS). More... More...

QLD Worksafe: Proposed new workers' compensation law 2015
The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 was introduced into Parliament on 15 July 2015. If passed by Parliament, the Bill will achieve the Government's commitments for workers' compensation matters by amending the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (15 July 2015). More...

VIC: Safety Soapbox
The latest edition covers extension of the Dangerous Goods regulations, incidents in Victoria and in other states. There were at total of 57 incidents reported, including 20 near misses, 11 lacerations, six electric shocks, five fractures, three crushes, two burns and one each of: sprain, exposure, break, leg injury, ruptured tendon, dislocation, fire and puncture (09 July 2015). More...

VIC: Dangerous Goods (HCDG) Regulations 2005 (HCDG Regulations) extended
The regulations which are due to sunset on 2 August 2015 have been extended for 12 months until 1 August 2016. These regulations relate to high consequence dangerous goods (HCDG) and provide for the management of security concerns associated with explosives and high consequence dangerous goods. Security sensitive ammonium nitrate (SSAN) is the only substance which has been declared as an HCDG for the purposes of the HCDG Regulations.


Brisbane City Council v Gillow and Simon Blackwood (Workers' Compensation Regulator) [2015] QIRC 124
WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW - INDUSTRIAL LAW - Applications by self-insurer for leave to be heard - Delay in filing of applications for leave to be heard - Applications deficient - Whether the Commission has power to grant a self-insurer leave to be heard in an appeal by a Worker - Applications dismissed on merit grounds and on ground that a self-insurer does not have standing to make such an application. More...

Victoria OHS Enforcements

Diversion 1 of 2015-16 01/07/2015
Failure to notify VWA of a notifiable incident; Failure to preserve incident site Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 38(1); 38(3); 39(1); Magistrates' Court. More... More...



Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) Amendment Instrument 2015 (No. 6)
This instrument amends the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Instrument No. 4 (MRL Standard) 2012 to set new and varied maximum residue limits and make other changes to the tables with respect to certain residue definitions, commodities and substances (13 July 2015). More...


Bills introduced
Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. Introduced on 15/07/2015, Referred to Committee on 15/07/2015. More...

Bills Updated in the last week
Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. Introduced on 7/05/2015 Report from Committee on 6/07/2015.

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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