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

Last Updated: 21 December 2015
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Grasstree coal mine employees stop work after Queensland miners diagnosed with black lung, union says
Queensland Mines Minister has conceded that potentially hundreds of thousands of X-rays taken to detect black lung had not been assessed due to a lack of doctors qualified to read them. Dr Lynham said Monash University's Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health would conduct a study of current medical assessment methodologies (03 December 2015).  More...

Angry parents, students threatening principals
The Education Department has already employed 46 security guards this financial year. A national survey of school principals reveals they are increasingly attacked by aggressive parents and students in WA, with 38 per cent saying they had been physically assaulted (03 December 2015).  More...

Public service departments that rack up the most sick leave
Hundreds of public servants at two small agencies are averaging a month a year in sick leave and other types of unscheduled absences while large departments are resorting to "positive attendance training" to get staff to work (03 December 2015).  More...

Fair Work Commission backs employer that sacked worker for being too fat
The Fair Work Commission has ruled an obese forklift driver was fairly dismissed because his weight created a workplace safety issue. An occupational therapist found Parahi was of "medium to high risk" (01 December 2015).  More...

What dictates how much pain you feel after injury?
Numerous studies show that pain following trauma persists in many: one in four have moderate to severe pain 12 months following trauma, and up to one in three have significant pain and disability three years later (30 November 2015).  More...

Construction company and director fined after crane collapses at Prestons school
Southern Cross Rigging & Constructions Pty Ltd and one of its project managers have been fined more than $55,000 following an incident where a crane rolled over during the construction of a hall at a Prestons Catholic school (30 November 2015).   More...

Essendon admits WorkSafe drug fail
Essendon Football Club admits it failed to provide its players with a safe workplace during the ill-fated supplements program. Representatives for the Bombers in the Melbourne Magistrates Court indicated the club would plead guilty to two offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (30 November 2015).  More...  More...

Make quad bikes safer, but regulations and bans on young users will not work says farmer
NSW Deputy State Coroner, Sharon Freund, has made a number of recommendations resulting from an inquest into nine deaths while using quad bikes or side-by-side vehicles (30 November 2015).  More...

Safework NSW to continue work to reduce quad bike deaths
Executive Director of SafeWork NSW has reaffirmed the agency's commitment to work to reduce quad bike deaths across the State. SafeWork NSW is currently reviewing the findings of the NSW Coronial Inquiry into quad bike deaths alongside the University of NSW Transport and Road Safety quad bike crash performance project recommendations (27 November 2015).   More...

Officials find risks not managed before truck crushed ute
Mine safety officials have found several protocols were ignored, before a massive dump truck rolled onto a utility at a Hunter mine earlier this year (27 November 2015).   More...

Wool processor convicted over truckie injury
A Laverton-based wool processing business was this week convicted and fined $75,000 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court over an incident in which a truck driver suffered significant spinal injuries (27 November 2015).  More...

Calls for greater on-site safety scrutiny after East Perth construction deaths
The deaths of two construction workers at a site in East Perth yesterday highlights the need for greater on-site safety scrutiny, the Master Builders Association says (26 November 2015).   More...

Haul truck fatality leads to seatbelt warnings
Haul truck operators have been reminded to always wear their seatbelts while driving, in the latest significant incident report from the Department of Mines and Petroleum (26 November 2015).  More...

Sweeping changes to mental health provision aim to foster personalised care
People who are identified by healthcare professionals as having complex needs will be able to access a range of services to manage their illness, including psychiatric care, drug and alcohol rehabilitation services and community and peer support systems (26 November 2015).  More...

24 November 2015 – Government statement: Mental health moves towards individualised care packages.

AMA: Mental health framework well-intentioned but lacks detail on new funding and service delivery.

Renewed call for extra care following 7th death in three weeks
The death of a farmer on a property near Cobden last night brings to seven the number of people killed in a horrifying three-week period in Victorian workplaces (23 November 2015).   More...

New Powerline Bushfire Safety Standards To Protect Victorians
The Andrews Labor Government has announced new regulations requiring power companies to introduce cutting edge technology across the state to better protect Victorians from bushfires started by powerline faults. Under the proposed Electricity Safety (Bushfire Mitigation) Regulations 2015 (23 November 2015).   More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Comcare e-Newsletter Safety Essentials
Safety Essentials – is designed to give you a snapshot of industry-related news, legislative changes, publication or project updates, and upcoming events (01 December 2015).  More...

Scaffolding safety patent doesn't stack up
The Commercial Bar Association of Victoria.
The owner of an innovation patent (Pro 3) for an invention relating to a system and components for safely enclosing handrails, stairways, walkways.  More...

In practice and courts

Safe work Australia: Incident Notification Fact Sheet
In December 2015 the Incident Notification information sheet was revised to include further clarification and examples about the types of incidents to be notified (02 December 2015).  More...

Product Safety Australia: Mandatory standard for motorcycle helmets revoked
The Commonwealth Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer has revoked the mandatory standard for the supply of motorcycle helmets on 27 November 2015 (01 December 2015).   More...

Leadership key to aviation safety reforms
A year on from the Aviation Safety Regulation Review, the Australian Government has acted to implement the report's recommendations—improving aviation safety regulations with government agencies and industry working together to drive reform in key areas (02 December 2015).  More...

Progress report: implementing the Australian Government's Response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report
The Government has appointed a completely new CASA Board and reviewed and updated the terms of reference and reporting arrangements for its Industry Complaints Commissioner, including reporting arrangements to improve its independence and effectiveness. The Department will be releasing this week a draft revised State Safety Programme for industry and public consultation (02 December 2015).   More...

Contamination of Australian Defence Force facilities and other Commonwealth, state and territory sites in Australia
On 30 November 2015, the Senate referred the following matter to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee for inquiry and report: Contamination of Australian Defence Force facilities (Part A) reporting by 4 February 2016, and contamination of other sites using firefighting foams (Part B) reporting by 30 April 2016. The closing date for submissions is 14 December 2015 for Part A and 5 February 2016 for Part B.  More...

ARPANSA: New publication in the Radiation Protection Series
Fri, 27 Nov 2015 - Guide for Radiation Protection of the Environment (RPS G-1).  More...

CASA: More time for fatigue rule transition
Air operators are being given an extra year to make the transition to the new fatigue rules.
This follows consultation with the aviation community that found both CASA and air operators needed more time to make a smooth and safe transition to Civil Aviation Order 48.1 (25 November 2015).  More...


Jaguar Land Rover Australia—Range Rover and Range Rover Sport 2015-2016 MY - 4th December 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover—Range Rover Evoque 2016MY - 4th December 2015.

Garmin Australasia Pty Ltd—GHP Reactor Marine Autopilot - 4th December 2015.

MaxiPARTS Pty Ltd—Maxus brake shoe - 3rd December 2015.

Chery Motor Vehicles—J11 models - 1st December 2015.

Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd—Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio - 26th November 2015.

Stihl Pty Ltd—KM 56 RC-E Kombi Engine - 26th November 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific Pty Ltd—Mercedes-Benz S63 Sedans and Coupes - 24th November 2015.

Scania Australia—Scania Truck - 23rd November 2015.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited—16MY MQ Triton fitted with Genuine Accessory Tow Bar - 23rd November 2015.

Scania Australia—Scania Truck - 23rd November 2015.

Scania Australia—Scania Truck - 23rd November 2015.

Tesla Motors Australia—Tesla Model S Sedan - 23rd November 2015.

BRP—Some Evinrude® ETEC ® G2 74° V6 (3.4 L) Outboard engines - 23rd November 2015.

QLD: Alert No 320: 320 Rock from loading shovel smashes rear window of a dozer
Dropped objects; Falling material or objects; Flying material or objects; Working positions Coal mines; Metalliferous mines; Quarry operations Mines safety alert 30 November 2015.  More...

Consumer Affairs Victoria: Enforcing portable pool warnings as summer nears
Consumer Affairs Victoria is ramping up product inspections of portable pools and pool toys in the lead-up to summer, to ensure they clearly display safety warnings (30 November 2015).  More...

Consultation Reminder

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.  More...   More...

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.  More...


Milling v Fraser Coast Regional Council [2015] QDC 291
LIMITATION OF ACTIONS – Extension of period – identity of material fact of decisive character – whether within means of knowledge of applicant at relevant time – whether evidence to establish right of action - applicant gave notices of claim under the  Workers'  Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 on 22 December 2014; it is not now disputed by the respondent that the notices of claim were compliant.  More...

Worksafe Victoria decisions

Alcibiade Lanza 02/12/2015
Employees - offences by; Forklifts; Licensing Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a) ; Magistrates' Court.

Total Beauty Network Pty Limited 107 354 718 02/12/2015
Elevated work platform; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Falls/work at height offences; Forklifts; Licensing; Traffic management; High risk work without a licence; Failure to provide and maintain plant; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 25(1)(b); 40(4) ; Magistrates' Court.

Wyncity Enterprises Pty Ltd 154 141 894 30/11/2015
Failure to notify VWA of a notifiable incident; Failure to preserve incident site; Guarding; Failure to provide and maintain plant; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); 38(1); 38(3); 39(1) ; Magistrates' Court.

Wodonga Rendering Pty Ltd 074 885 457 26/11/2015
Guarding; Failure to provide and maintain plant Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a) ; Magistrates' Court.  More...



Medicare Levy Amendment (Attribution Managed Investment Trusts) Bill 2015
03/12/2015 - A Bill for an Act to amend the Medicare Levy Act 1986More...

ASIC Corporations (Effect of Licensing Exemptions) Instrument 2015/1115
03/12/2015 - This instrument modifies the Corporations Act 2001 to ensure that subsection 911B(1) of the Act operates in the same way for any licensing exemption granted by ASIC, irrespective of the source of power used by ASIC to grant the exemption.  More...

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Licence Eligibility–Virgin Australia Airlines) Declaration 2015
03/12/2015 - This declaration provides that Virgin Australia Airlines is eligible to be granted a licence under Part VIII of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.  More...

Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Standard 1.4.2 — Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 10, 2015
02/12/2015 - 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 chemicals products.  More...

CASA EX186/15 - Exemption — side-facing seats on aircraft not occupied for take-off or landing
02/12/2015 - This instrument exempts registered operators of aircraft from the requirement for any side-facing seats on the aircraft to be equipped with an approved lap belt and an energy absorbing rest that would support the arms, shoulders, head and spine of the occupant during an emergency landing, or an approved safety harness that would prevent the occupant's head being injured by striking an object during an emergency landing. The instrument is subject to conditions in the interests of aviation safety, including that the registered operator requires side-facing seats to be unoccupied during take off and landing, and seats must have prominent placards prohibiting occupancy during take-off and landing.  More...

Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Amendment Regulations 2015 (No. 1) SLI 2015 No. 208
01/12/2015 - This regulation amends the amount of charge payable by a producer of uranium ore concentrates from 10.3077 cents per kilogram of uranium in the uranium ore concentrates produced in the previous financial year to 14.1775 cents per kilogram.  More...

Australian Consumer Law Safety Standard (Protective Helmets for Motor Cyclists) Revocation Notice 2015
26/11/205 - This Notice revokes Trade Practices Act 1974 - Consumer Protection Notice No. 9 of 1990 - Consumer Product Safety Standard: Protective Helmets for Motor Cyclists.  More...



No. 15: Mental Health Amendment Act 2015
Assent: 12/05/2015 SG (No. 107) 12/5/2015 p. 1 Commencement: Pt 1 (ss 1-3), ss 25(2), 28, 29 on 13/05/2015: s. 2(1) Ss 4-25(1), 25(3)-27, 30-39 on 25/11/2015: SG (No. 363) 24/11/2015 p. 1.  Not yet in operation: N/A.

Statutory Rules made

No. 141: Mental Health Amendment Regulations 2015
Date of Making:  24/11/2015  Commencement:  25/11/2015: reg. 3.  Not yet in operation:  N/A  Sunset Date:  24/11/2025.

Acts Assented to

No. 66: Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Safe Access Zones) Act 2015
Assent: 1/12/2015 SG (No. 373) 1/12/2015 p. 1 Commencement: NYP.  Not yet in operation: Ss 1-6.  More...

New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Court Security Amendment Act 2011 No 15 (2015-716) — published LW 27 November 2015.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Liquor Amendment (Special Licence Conditions) Regulation (No 2) 2015 (2015-718) — published LW 27 November 2015.

Public Health (Tobacco) Amendment (E-cigarettes) Regulation 2015 (2015-719) — published LW 27 November 2015.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Amendment No 3) Rule 2015 (2015-735) — published LW 4 December 2015.

Rail Safety (Adoption of National Law) Amendment (Drug Testing of Oral Fluid Samples) Regulation 2015 (2015-737) — published LW 4 December 2015.

Bills assented to

Crimes Amendment (Off-road Fatal Accidents) Act 2015 No 61 — Assented to 24 November 2015.

Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Act 2015 No 63 — Assented to 24 November 2015.

Security Industry Amendment (Regulation of Training Organisations) Act 2015 No 64 — Assented to 24 November 2015.

Courts and Other Justice Portfolio Legislation Amendment Act 2015 No 67 — Assented to 24 November 2015.  More...


Bills Updated

Mental Health Bill 2015
Introduced on 17/09/2015 Report from Committee on 24/11/2015.

Subordinate legislation as made

No 160: Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015 - 27 November 2015 - Amends the Tow Truck Act 1973, Transport Infrastructure Act 1994, Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994; Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 with transport safety provisions.

No 162: Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2015 - 27 November 2015 - Adult Proof of Age Card Act 2008; Tow Truck Act 1973; Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994; Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994; Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995; Transport Planning and Coordination Act 1994 with licensing, verification and notifiable events under other acts.

No 169:Work Health and Safety Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2015 – 03 December 2015
Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

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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