Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 15 February 2016

Last Updated: 26 February 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Spate of falls incidents prompts SafeWork warning
SafeWork NSW is urging businesses and workers across the State to take extreme care after two workers were killed and eight others seriously injured in falls from heights since the beginning of the year (11 February 2016).   More...

Safe Work Australia calls for comment on lead in the workplace
Safe Work Australia is seeking public comment on options for the setting of blood lead levels and airborne lead concentrations. New scientific evidence suggests current legislated blood lead levels, and workplace exposure standards for lead may not adequately protect all workers. Submissions will be accepted until 26 February 2016 (11 February 2016).  More...

Safe Work Australia welcomes new Chair
Safe Work Australia's Chief Executive Officer Michelle Baxter today welcomed the appointment of Ms Diane Smith-Gander as Chair of Safe Work Australia (10 February 2016).  More...

AFLPA confirms past and present Essendon players to appeal CAS judgement
The AFL Players Association confirms all 34 past and present Essendon players will appeal the Court of Arbitration of Sport's (CAS) judgement over the 2012 supplements program (11 February 2016).  More...

Qld action plan requires joint responsibility says Garske
Queensland Trucking Association CEO Peter Garske, who chairs the Heavy Vehicle Safety Working Group (HVSWG) behind the recently-launched Heavy Vehicle Safety Action Plan 2016-18, says the report is "about accepting a very clear responsibility" to reduce heavy vehicle fatalities (10 February 2016).   More...

AMSA prohibits vessel from using Australian ports for second time
The safety management system detentions resulted from repeated failings related to navigation safety, compliance with pollution prevention requirements and fire safety (07 February 2016).  More...

Mental health in the workplace
The health of workers is not just about physical health, but psychological health too. When managing mental health in the workplace, it is important to consider workplace hazards such as workplace bullying, work-related stress, work-related violence and work-related fatigue (04 February 2016).   More...

Wall collapse sentence a reminder to keep public safe
The decision today by the County Court to convict and fine a Melbourne sign writing company $250,000 over its role in the collapse of a wall that killed three pedestrians reflects the serious nature of the charge. Aussie Signs Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching Section 23 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (04 February 2016).  More...  More...

Hazelwood Power Corporation charged
WorkSafe has charged the Hazelwood Power Corporation Pty Ltd with 10 breaches of the OHS Act 2004 in relation to preparedness for the fire which took hold in the Hazelwood open cut coal mine on 9 February 2014 (04 February 2016).  More...

Former CFMEU QLD President David Hanna in court for giving building site managers a spray
Former Queensland CFMEU President David Hanna is facing court action for breaching right-of-entry laws and getting into an altercation with site managers at a Fortitude Valley construction site (04 February 2016).  More...

Airservices thanks industry as ADS-B mandate approaches
Airservices has thanked aircraft operators who have fitted their aircraft with satellite technology that improves safety and efficiency ahead of mandates set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) (04 February 2016).  More...

Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill Reintroduced
‎The bill has been reintroduced into the House of Representative on 2 February 2016 without any amendments. The bill will, like its predecessor, re-establish the ABCC, described as a genuinely strong watchdog that will maintain the rule of law to protect workers and constructors and improve productivity on building sites (03 February 2016).  More...

Hospital fined $50,000 after elderly woman was injured by overloaded bin
A hospital in Victoria was fined $50,000 without conviction in relation to a 2014 incident in which an elderly woman was injured when she was struck by an overfilled waste bin. The Malvern hospital was charged with one count of breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (01 February 2016).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Fatality statistics
As at February 3, 11 fatalities had been reported to Safe Work. The final terrible statistic for fatalities reported to Safe Work in 2015 was 190.  More...

The latest monthly fatality report released was for August 2015 during which there were 14 work-related notifiable fatalities: 10 male workers, one female worker, two male bystanders and one female bystander. Of these fatalities, four workers died as a result of an incident on a public road.  More...

In practice and courts

Safe Work Australia: Labelling requirements for agricultural and veterinary (AgVet) chemicals
From 1 January 2017 most Australian states and territories will require workplace hazardous chemicals to be labelled in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS).  To assist duty holders in understanding and complying with work health and safety legislative requirements, Safe Work Australia has prepared a policy statement and information sheets on labelling of Agricultural and Veterinary (AgVet) chemicals.  More... 

Information sheet for manufacturers and importers of agricultural and veterinary (AgVet) chemicals

Policy Statement: Changes to labelling for agricultural and veterinary (AgVet) chemicals

AIC/ITF: Guidance on Eliminating Shipboard Harassment and Bullying 2016
New guidance to combat bullying and harassment at sea has been developed by the industry body the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the global union the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The ITF/ICS guidance provides advice on company policies on reporting, complaints and grievance procedures. This includes any instances of cyber-bullying.  More...

IAEA Drafts for Member State Comment
Drafts currently under review are: NST048 - Security of Radioactive Material In Use and Storage and of Associated Facilities; and NST044 - Security of Radioactive Material In Transport (02 February 2016).   More...

ATSB:  Aerobatics warning to pilots
An aerobatics accident involving a Chipmunk aircraft shows why pilots must only attempt manoeuvres for which they are endorsed (04 February 2016).   More...

NTC Australia: Preparing for more automated road and rail vehicles consultation
Governments and industry need to work together to make sure Australians get the best laws for these new vehicles. Submissions to the issues paper are due by, 8 March 2016. These submissions will help the NTC develop a discussion paper with detailed options analysis to be published in mid-2016 (04 February 2016).  More...

Qld Workcover: Experienced technician critically injured by mismatching scuba cylinder tank valve fitting
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the potential risks associated with inadequate support under outrigger feet on mobile plant – particularly on poor ground, including filling a SCUBA (dive) cylinder  (01 February 2016).  More...

QLD: DERM No 321: High pressure water jet injection injury
Equipment failure or modifications; Pressure storage or release; Water Metalliferous mines; Quarry operations Mines safety alert (08 February 2016).  More...

QLD: Building and Plumbing Newsflash No 550: Changes to pool safety laws for existing and outdoor pools associated with regulated pools
As of 28 January 2016, changes to the pool safety laws for existing regulated outdoor associated with (class 1, 2, 3 and 4 buildings under the National Construction Code) have commenced (05 February 2016).   More...

WorkSafe Victoria Safety Alert: Working with submersible pumps on farms
This alert highlights the risk of electric shock when using or accessing submersible pumps and provides information on how to reduce the risk of electric shock (02 February 2016).  More...

VIC WorkSafe:Safety Soapbox 4 February 2016
The list of Reported Incidents in the construction, utility, quarrying and mining industries from 10 December 2015 - 21 January 2016 is attached to the bulletin. There were 121 Reported Incidents including: one fatality, 37 near misses, 36 lacerations, 12 fractures, six electric shocks and four punctures. It was a tragic start to the year.  More...

SafeWork Australia: Proposed amendments to work health and safety requirements for inorganic lead
Safe Work Australia is seeking comments on the best way to reduce the potential for adverse health outcomes caused by exposure to lead in the workplace. The closing date is 26 February 2016.  More...


Salera v Buuna Pty Ltd [2016] NSWCATAP 32
Appeal – proper approach to construction of contract - extension of time to appeal - incorrect construction of contract - appeal allowed - consequential orders made - appellant, Daniel Salera, engaged the respondent, Buuna Pty Ltd, to develop a web application for use as an "injury report" form, as part of occupational health and safety protocols used in industry.  More...

Worksafe Victoria decisions

LA Precast Group Pty Ltd  151 431 319  08/02/2016
Non complied notice; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 111(4);  Magistrates' Court.

Mainline Developments Pty Ltd 120 540 258 05/02/2016
Falls/work at height offences; Labour hire Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.   26(1); Magistrates' Court.  More...



Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.4.2 - Maximum Residue Limits Amendment Instrument No. APVMA 2, 2016
09/02/2016 - 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...

Queensland Heavy Vehicle Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle (Zone 1) Dimension Exemption Notice 2016 (No. 1)
Gazette - C2016G00127 - 01 Feb 2016 - This Notice replaces the Queensland Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle (Zone 1) Dimension Exemption (Notice) 2015 (No. 1). This notice incorporates the amendments to Schedule 1 made by the Queensland Heavy Vehicle Class 1 Agricultural Vehicle (Zone 1) Dimension Exemption Amendment Notice 2015 (No. 1).  More...


Food Standards Australia New Zealand Amendment (Forum on Food Regulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015
04/02/2016 - Amends the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 to replace references to the former Australia and New Zealand Regulation Ministerial Council with references to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation; make changes to the compositional requirements and appointment process for the Board; and make technical amendments.   More...

New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Public Health Amendment (Blood Lead Notification Level) Order 2016 (2016-67) — published LW 12 February 2016.

Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment (Penalties) Regulation 2016 (2016-56) — published LW 5 February 2016.

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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