Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 25 November 2015

Last Updated: 1 December 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Paul Venus

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Worksafe defends decision not to prosecute CFA over Fiskville handling
Victoria's workplace safety watchdog tells a parliamentary inquiry there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the Country Fire Authority for safety breaches at its Fiskville training base (21 November 2015). More...

CFMEU found guilty of unlawfully entering Adelaide building sites
The Federal Court found the construction union and 12 organisers guilty of 31 violations of the Fair Work Act at Adelaide building sites (21 November 2015). More...

State Insurance Regulatory Authority Board members appointed
The inaugural Board of the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has been appointed by NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello (20 November 2015). More...

Lawyers have lowest health and wellbeing of all professionals, study finds
Lawyers working in firms, from top-tier to sole practice, have the lowest health and wellbeing of all white-collar workers; not only that, they are the highest users and abusers of alcohol and nicotine, a study has found (19 November 2015). More...

Improvements to Australia's chain of responsibility laws to make roads safer for all
Details of new chain of responsibility reforms have been published by the NTC (18 November 2015). More...

Study finds on-farm deaths could be halved through simple safety measures
A study has found on-farm deaths could be almost halved if producers took simple safety measures like wearing seatbelts and helmets. James Cook University canvassed about 120 farmers and fishers from Cairns to Hobart to find out what is stopping them from improving their safety practices (18 November 2015). More...

Ministers approve next step to reduce the number of un-roadworthy heavy vehicles on Australia's roads
Details of Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness reforms have been published by the NTC (18 November 2015). More...

Trucking boss jailed for manslaughter appeals, claiming judge's comments lacked balance
A trucking company boss jailed over a driver's death caused by faulty brakes missed out on a fair trial because the judge's comments to the jury lacked balance, South Australia's appeals court has been told (18 November 2015). More...

Changes to split Mr Fluffy housing blocks in two to be tabled in ACT
Controversial planning rules that allow the ACT Government to subdivide Mr Fluffy blocks and sell each unit separately, increasing the land's value, are to be tabled today by Planning Minister (17 November 2015). More...

Jobs at home stir workplace safety discussions
A campaign that aims to encourage discussions about workplace safety by recognising the important jobs we do at home was launched today by WorkSafe Victoria. Available from the 17th November, further details can be accessed form the website (17 November 2015). More...

Injured veteran fights and wins court case against invalidity payment splitting
In a major victory for injured defence veterans, a Family Court judge has ruled that invalidity payments are immune from divorce settlements. The judgement means that thousands of veterans have been wrongly advised by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation that the payment was "splittable" (14 November 2015). More...

Victorian Workers Urged To Take Extra Care On The Job
The Andrews Labor Government is urging all workplaces to make safety a priority and take extra care on the job, following the tragic deaths of five workers in just nine days (13 November 2015). More... More...

Consultation on new return to work assistance benefits
An open public consultation for proposed changes to better support NSW's injured workers to return to work has been opened this week. The NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) released a discussion paper, Return to Work Assistance to seek feedback from industry (13 November 2015).

More fines for CFMEU after Emporium Blockade
The Federal Court today imposed significant penalties of $151,000 on the CFMEU and a number of its senior officials for blockading parts of Melbourne's CBD during August and September 2012 in its bitter industrial dispute with Grocon Pty Ltd. The penalties follow court proceedings brought by Fair Work Building & Construction (11 November 2015). More...

Drug taking IT workers threaten Australian public service, says corruption watchdog
Australia's corruption watchdog is targeting drug-taking public servants working in IT because they threaten the security of the federal bureaucracy and susceptible to bribes or pressure from criminals (10 November 2015). More...

WADA Independent Commission report: ASADA
Acting CEO of ASADA, Trevor Burgess, has welcomed the findings of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission released today. More...

Queensland to introduce no-fault CTP liability in line with other Australian states
The Queensland Government is moving to a no-fault scheme for vehicle liability insurance, ending a longstanding national divide on compulsory third party (CTP) coverage (11 November 2015). More... More...

Queensland to protect people catastrophically injured in traffic crashes
The Queensland Government is considering options to implement the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) to provide reasonable and necessary care and support for people catastrophically injured in road traffic crashes, irrespective of fault (11 November 2015). More...

Capsized barge disaster ends in fines of $600,000
A company that overloaded a barge which capsized on the Patterson River, throwing three workers into the water and seriously injuring one of them, was convicted and fined a total of $600,000 in the County Court last week (10 November 2015). More...

Essendon Football Club charged
Following a comprehensive investigation, WorkSafe has charged the Essendon Football Club with two breaches of the OHS Act 2004 in relation to its 2011-2012 supplements program (10 November 2015). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: July 2015 Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report July 2015
There were 16 work-related notifiable fatalities during July 2015 — 11 male workers, 1 female worker, 3 male bystanders and 1 female bystander. Of these fatalities, 3 workers died as a result of an incident on a public road and 1 worker died in an air crash (16 November 2015). More.... More...

Support frameworks for the use of social media by emergency management organisations: Policy report
Digital Media Research Centre (QUT)
This policy seeks to improve knowledge sharing across Australian emergency management organisations about the effective uses of social media for crisis (11 November 2015). More...

Exploring the Barriers and Facilitators to Adoption of Improved Work Practices for Safety in the Primary Industries
Richard Franklin of James Cook University
In 2013, the 48 deaths in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries represented a quarter of all workplace fatalities. It was equal to 15.11 fatalities per 100,000 workers, which was nine times the national rate of 1.64. More...

In practice and courts

NTC seeks further input on proposed changes to Assessing Fitness to Drive
Have your say about the proposed changes to the Assessing Fitness to Drive medical standards and guidelines (13 November 2015). More...

SafeWork Australia consultation: workplace chemical exposure standards
Safe Work Australia is holding a public consultation process about exposure standards for hazardous chemicals used in workplaces and how they could be reviewed and maintained. The public consultation closes on 18 December 2015. Read The Role of Chemical Exposure Standards in Work Health and Safety Laws: Discussion Paper and submit your views on the Safe Work Australia public submissions website. More...

Directions issued regarding the draft RSRO on minimum payments for contractor drivers
The Full Bench of the Tribunal has issued Directions regarding further submissions on the draft Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (draft Payments RSRO). Submissions closed 13 November 2015.

NSW WorkCover Consultation: Issues Paper, Review of self-insurance licensing framework
The Paper addresses a range of issues including the structure of compliance activities and licence duration. The Issues Paper is available from Submissions close on Monday 14 December 2015.

NSW WorkCover Consultation: Regulation of Legal Costs for Work Capacity Decision Reviews
The Discussion paper - Regulation of legal costs for work capacity decision reviews (October 2015) has been released for public comment. The discussion paper, which was prepared by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), examines the three options for regulating the payment of legal costs that are directly connected with a work capacity decision review. Comments on the discussion paper should be sent to SIRA by 23 November 2015. More... More...

Consultation: Proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard - ACMS meeting, March 2016
The TGA is seeking comments from interested parties on proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard. The closing date is 10 December 2015. More...


Nash v Glennies Creek Coal Management Pty Ltd; Nash v Integra Coal Operations Pty Ltd (No 9) [2015] NSWIC 15
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – prosecution under s 8 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 (NSW) – mining accident – the nature and seriousness of the offences – moral culpability – aggravating factors – mitigating factors - pleas – deterrence – comparable cases – victim impact statement – parity – sentencing related companies – conviction entered – penalties imposed – costs. More...



Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House – 13 November
Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment Bill. More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Tattoo Parlours Amendment (Permits) Regulation 2015 (2015-688) — published LW 13 November 2015.

Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament - 23 November 2015

Crimes Amendment (Off-road Fatal Accidents) Bill 2015.

Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.

Security Industry Amendment (Regulation of Training Organisations) Bill 2015.

Queensland - Bills Updated

Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Bill 2015
Introduced on 10/11/2015 Referred to Committee on 10/11/2015.

Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill 2015
Introduced on 12/11/2015: Referred to Committee on 12/11/2015
The objective of the Bill are to tackle alcohol-fuelled violence, particularly late at night, through an evidence-based, multi-faceted approach by way of amendments to the Liquor Act 1992 and other related Acts; and ensure consistency across Queensland statutes dealing with directors' liability through amendments to the Fair Trading Act 1989.

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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