Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 14 September 2015

In the media

Union Movement Takes Abbott to United Nations
Australia's largest building and construction union is spearheading an international legal challenge against the Federal Government's building industry watchdog, claiming up to 500 workers across various states are being targeted for prosecution for standing up for safety, jobs, wages and conditions (11 September 2015).   More...

Federal Court fines CFMEU $225,000 for "abusive and misleading" conduct
The Court found the CFMEU and officials Chad Anthony Bragdon and Anthony Kong broke right of entry laws at a construction site at Sydney Domestic Airport in June 2013 (10 September 2015).   More...

AMSA detains ship for Maritime Labour Convention breaches
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has detained the Panama flagged bulk carrier MV Apellis after an inspection revealed a number of deficiencies relating to the working conditions of the crew. The MV Apellis is operated by Pyrsos Shipping Co Ltd and chartered by Hudson Shipping Lines (10 September 2015).   More...

Concerned drivers call NHVR over fatigue management issues
A recent spate of calls from truck drivers to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) about fatigue management has prompted a reminder about how to comply with the law (09 September 2015).   More...

Golden City Support cops fine
Bendigo disability services provider Golden City Support Services is seeking further legal advice after a decision by Bendigo Magistrates' Court to fine the organisation $15,000 for a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (08 September 2015).  More...

Monash surgeon accused of bullying sues Monash Health
A neurosurgeon accused of bullying has lodged an unfair dismissal claim with Fair Work Australia, in which she alleges she was bullied and denied a deputy director role in the neurosurgery unit at Victoria's largest public hospital because of her sex (07 September 2015).  More...

Security company fined $150,000 over guard's death
A Sydney security company has been fined $150,000 following the death of a security guard in 2011. MSS Security Pty Ltd (MSS) was found guilty of a breach of section 8(2) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (07 September 2015).  More...

Comboyne New South Wales cherry picker death the 29th recorded farm fatality this year
A fatality on a New South Wales avocado farm last week is the 29th death on farm in Australia this year. The Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety's Dr Tony Lower said it had been another traumatic year on farms; with quads and tractors again the leading causes of fatalities (07 September 2015).  More...

Work safety agency updates 'deemed" disease list
Safe Work Australia has updated its list of work-related diseases and health dangers, to guide people involved in prevention work or compensation. Diseases on the "deemed" list fit into eight categories: infectious, malignancy, diseases of the nervous system, respiratory, hepatic, skin, musculoskeletal, and acute poisoning and toxicity (07 September 2015).  More...

Asbestos danger for home renovators highlighted, as 'third wave' of deaths appears
Home renovators are being warned of asbestos dangers as medical experts see a long-predicted "third wave" of disease sufferers. Medical authorities conservatively estimated about 2,000 Australians were dying from asbestos-related cancers each year (07 September 2015).  More...

WA safety watchdog warns of vehicle fatalities at workplaces
WorkSafe director Joe Attard says it is evident by the number of recent incidents that insufficient attention was being paid to spaces where vehicles and people interact. The watchdog points to seven recent mostly fatal incident types, five of which involved commercial vehicles (03 September 2015).  More...

Department of Defence and NSW Government investigating chemicals around RAAF Base
The NSW Government has been made aware that legacy fire-fighting chemicals have been found in some surface water, ground waters around the Williamtown RAAF Base and Newcastle Airport. Whether PFOS or PFOA cause adverse health effects in humans is currently unknown, but on current evidence, the potential for adverse health effects cannot be excluded (03 September 2015).  More...

NSW EPA and Newcastle Police target dangerous goods transporters
The NSW EPA and NSW Police are currently undertaking a joint campaign to inspect vehicles transporting dangerous goods in and around Newcastle to ensure compliance with the road and rail transport regulation (002 September 2015).  More...

NSW bans sale of e-cigarettes to people aged under 18
The NSW Government passed laws in June to address concerns that e-cigarettes could act as a gateway to tobacco smoking in children. Police have also been given the power to confiscate the vapour devices from anyone aged under 18 (01 September 2015).   More...

Mr Fluffy: Demolition schedule released by ACT Asbestos Response Taskforce
The schedule of 671 Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos contaminated homes to be demolished over the next three years has been released by the Asbestos Response Taskforce (31 August 2015).  More...

FWBC takes construction company to Court for alleged discrimination, adverse action and coercion
A Tier 2 Queensland Construction company, its General Manager and two of its employees are facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly discriminating against a steel fabrication company because it did not have a CFMEU-friendly enterprise agreement (02 September 2015).   More...

Blood Test Crack Down On Drug Drivers Becomes Law in Victoria
New laws introduced by the Government making it mandatory for all drivers involved in serious crashes to submit to blood testing for drugs have been passed by Parliament today. From October 30, police will have the power to compel all drivers involved in crashes where someone is seriously hurt or killed to have their blood tested for drugs (03 September 2015).  More...

School of Rural Health targets quad bike accidents
Death and injury from quad bike accidents remains one of the biggest health threats on-farm and safety advocates say they are frustrated that tighter regulation seems impossible to achieve (02 September 2015).   More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Queensland Workcover - Part two—How Metcash is role modelling desired safety behaviours
As reported in part one of the Metcash journey, Tony McGill, Occupational Health and Safety and Injury Management Manager for Queensland is keen to develop a safety culture where workers value rules and instructions and participate in safety decisions that impact their workplace.  More...

Model Codes of Practice - Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work
SafeWork Australia; 09 September 2015. This model Code of Practice applies to all types of work and all workplaces covered by the WHS Act and Regulations applying in a jurisdiction where there is the potential for exposure to noise that can contribute to hearing loss.  More...

Model Code of Practice - Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals
SafeWork Australia; 09 September 2015. This model Code of Practice has been developed to provide practical guidance to persons conducting a business or undertaking involved in the manufacture, import, supply or use of hazardous chemicals on how to correctly label hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.  More...

In practice and courts

Updated injury tool a hot spot for information
One of the most popular interactive tools for gaining practical information about workplace health and safety has been updated (31 August 2015).  More...

New Safety Standards

AS/NZS 3845.1:2015
Road safety barrier systems and devices - Road safety barrier systems Standards Australia.  More...

National Transport Commission discussion paper on fatigue
The NTC is looking to develop its knowledge of fatigue issues in the Australian heavy vehicle industry, and is calling for public submissions on ways to collect new data. The commission released a discussion paper on Friday, and is hoping to build a comprehensive framework for fatigue data. Submissions based on the discussion paper will be accepted up until October 16.

Draft RSRO on minimum payments for contractor drivers
The issuing of the  draft Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (draft Payments RSRO) follows a period of extensive consultation with interested parties. Review the draft Payments RSRO submissions by 23 September 2015. Written comments in reply to those initial submissions will close 7 October 2015.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Consultation: Safe Food Australia review
Safe Food Australia is an explanatory guide to the food safety standards in Chapter 3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. This key document is used by food businesses to help them produce safe food. Closing date: 18 September 2015.  More...

Workplace Relations Framework: Draft report consultation
The draft report is a broad-ranging assessment of Australia's workplace relations (WR) framework, considering current laws, institutions and practices. Closing date: 18 September 2015.  More...

QLD: Non-compliant butane gas cookers
Equipment failure or modifications; Governance or compliance; Pressure storage or release (05 September 2015).   More...

NSW: Pesticide Warning for Canola Crops
Although pesticides are an important part of agriculture, the misuse or mishandling of these chemicals can pose a real danger to the community and to the environment. EPA NSW guides are listed here (07 September 2015).  More...

NSWInquiries receiving submissions
Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety in NSW, closes 9 September.

New Proclamation - State Insurance and Care Governance Act
Provisions of the State Insurance and Care Governance Act 2015 No. 19 (NSW) have been proclaimed by Statutory Rule No. 524 (28 August 2015), to have commenced on 1 September 2015. This affects the District Court Act 1973 No. 9 (NSW) and the Motor Accidents Act 1988 No. 102 (NSW).

ASEA: 2nd International Asbestos Conference 2015
The conference will this year be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in South Brisbane, 22-24 November 2015.  More...

Cases

Anthony Taggart and Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2015] AICmr 57
Freedom of Information — Whether documents are subject to legal professional privilege— (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 42.  More...

Perisher Blue Pty Ltd v Nair-Smith (No 2) [2015] NSWCA 268
COSTS – indemnity costs – at first instance – Calderbank offers – whether genuine – reasonableness of rejection – first Calderbank offer open for 2 days – second Calderbank offer inclusive of costs – offer of compromise – compliance with UCPR – whether covering letter inconsistent with UCPR – appeal costs – whether offers at first instance may be relied on in relation to indemnity costs on appeal   COSTS – interest on costs – whether interest to be awarded on costs as paid by successful appellant – appellant succeeded on single issue of causation of injury – no identification of costs relating to causation issue – appeal costs incurred relatively recently – no order as to interest on costs.  More...

Boyle v WorkCover Authority of New South Wales [2015] NSWCATAP 183
Explosives Act 2003 – cancellation of licences to manufacture and to import/export explosives – cancellation of security clearance – whether licence holder fit and proper person – meaning of 'storing' – whether licence holder responsible for 'handling' of explosives that it had sold – procedural fairness – standard of proof.  More...

Sonja Mulder v NSW Department of Trade & Investment [2015] NSWIRComm 1014
Unfair Dismissal-Medical retirement pursuant to s 25 of PSEM Act-Opted to seek reinstatement as dismissed employee rather than as injured worker-medical reports imposed restrictions which prevented the Applicant from fulfilling the inherent requirements and demands of her substantive position since 2012-unsuccessful attempts to return the Applicant to her substantive position-unavailability of any suitable alternative positions-Applicant required duties which would not, in future, exacerbate her injury-Voice activated technology did not work for the Applicant-Applicant's very high grading caused difficulty in obtaining suitable alternative employment-dismissal not harsh, unjust or unreasonable-claim dismissed.  More...

Victoria OHS Enforcements

Golden City Support Services Inc.  A009388D  01/09/2015
Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1);  Magistrates' Court - failure by GCSS to provide a safe working environment for carers when transporting a particular client, who had previously assaulted her carer. GCSS was fined $15,000, without conviction, and ordered to pay WorkSafe's costs . Peter Matthews of Counsel prosecuted the matter. (Bendigo Magistrates' Court).

Seahaven Services Pty Ltd 135 309 474  31/08/2015
Failure to conduct a risk/hazard assessment; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard identification; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Falls/work at height offences  Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a);  Magistrates' Court.  More...

Legislation

Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 
Introduced HR 09/09/2015 - A Bill for an Act to amend maritime legislation, and for related purposes   
The Maritime Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) amends maritime legislation and enacts a number of minor provisions relating to maritime safety and environment. The Bill will amend the definition of 'dangerous goods' in the Navigation Act 2012, to ensure the current definition includes dangerous goods which are characterised in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and corrects a range of drafting errors and omissions in the Navigation Act 2012, which are more than purely technical in nature.   More...

Fair Work (State Declarations — employer not to be national system employer) Endorsement 2015 (No. 1)
09/09/2015 - This instrument endorses a declaration by the New South Wales government that Insurance and Care NSW is not a national system employer for the purposes of subsection 14(2) of the Fair Work Act 2009More...

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 7, 2015
04/09/2015 - 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.  More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Transport Administration (General) Amendment (Light Rail) Regulation 2015 (2015-546) — published LW 11 September 2015.

Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—Amendment No 3) Order 2015 (2015-528) — published LW 2 September 2015.

Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Miscellaneous) Order 2015 (2015-529) — published LW 2 September 2015.

State Insurance and Care Governance Regulation 2015 (2015-530) — published LW 2 September 2015.

Alcoholic Beverages Advertising Prohibition Bill 2015

Firearms Amendment (Lever Action Shotguns—Community Safety) Bill 2015

Bills revised following amendment in Committee – 11 September 2015
Biosecurity Bill 2015

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament – 11 September 2015
Biosecurity Bill 2015

Bills assented to
Health Services Amendment (Paramedics) Act 2015 No 21 — Assented to 31 August 2015.  More...

Non-Government

Queensland

Bills Updated in the last week
Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015
Report from Committee on 1/09/2015 - This Part amends the Heavy Vehicle National Law set out in the schedule to the Heavy Vehicle National Law Act 2012, including definitions and penalties.

Subordinate Legislation
No 119: Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015  - 11 September 2015 - Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994.

Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015 : Report No. 5, 55th Parliament : Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee | 2015 | Qld
1/09/2015 - This report presents a summary of the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee's examination of the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015.  More...

Victoria

Acts

Courts Legislation Miscellaneous Amendments Act 2014
Commencement: 1/9/2015 (Part*)

Acts assented to

No. 40: Road Safety Amendment Act 2015
Assent: 8/09/2015 SG (No. 258) 8/9/2015 p. 1 Commencement: Pt 1 (ss 1, 2), Pt 3 (ss 10-12), Pt 4 (s. 13) on 09/09/2015: s. 2(1) Pt 2 (ss 3-9) on 30/10/2015: s. 2(2) Not yet in operation:  Pt 2 (ss 3-9): on 30/10/2015: s. 2(2).

Statutory Rules

No 101: Infringements (General) Further Amendment Regulations 2015
Made: 1/9/2015 - The objective of these Regulations is to amend the Infringements (General) Regulations 2006 (a) to prescribe certain infringement offences under the Electricity Safety Act 1998, the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998, the Marine Safety Act 2010, the Plant Biosecurity Act 2010, the Port Management Act 1995, the Road Safety Act 1986, the Tobacco Act 1987, and the Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Act 1983 as lodgeable infringement offences for the purpose of enforcement under the Infringements Act 2006; and (b) to revoke certain infringement offences.

Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail ) Amendment Regulations 2015
Commencement: 1/9/2015 (Whole).  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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