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

Last Updated: 22 March 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

Victorian police officers accused of misconduct lose High Court appeal
Two Victorian police officers accused of misconduct over the treatment of a detainee lose their bid to avoid giving evidence at a public anti-corruption watchdog hearing (10 March 2016).  More...  More...

Victorian union organiser facing multiple claims in Federal Court
Victorian CFMEU official Joseph Myles has been put before the courts over allegations he repeatedly breached workplace laws at the Springvale Level Crossing Removal between 19 June 2013 and 1 April 2014 (10 March 2016).   More...

WorkSafe rules out charging Woolworths over Latrobe Valley bullying
WorkSafe Victoria says there is not enough evidence to prosecute a Latrobe Valley Woolworths store after two of its employees were prosecuted for workplace bullying (09 March 2016).  More...

St John Ambulance report: Bullying claims not addressed, WA Opposition says
A report on the suicides of five St John Ambulance staff has offered no comfort to the families of the deceased, the WA Opposition says, amid concerns a separate report commissioned by the service may never be made public (09 March 2016).  More...

Formwork code helps form safer workplaces for Queensland construction workers
Workers dealing with formwork on Queensland construction sites will now work in safer environments following the release of a remade Formwork Code of Practice (08 March 2016).  More...

Women appointed to mine safety board in Queensland first
A key Queensland mining health and safety body has welcomed its first female members: two highly-qualified mining engineers (08 March 2016).  More... 

New approach designed to make quad bike use safer
WorkSafe Victoria has revised its approach to quad bike use in order to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries in Victorian workplaces (01 March 2016).   More...

Queensland State Government moves to improve quad bike safety
The Palaszczuk Government today unveiled its plan to cut quad bike related injuries and fatalities in the state (03 February 2016).   More...

Proposal could increase payload of some heavy vehicle combinations by up to 16 per cent
Heavy vehicle operators could increase the payload of certain heavy vehicle combinations by up to 16 per cent on some routes under reforms proposed today by the National Transport Commission (NTC) (09 March 2016).  More...

"Sheer thuggery": CFMEU and official fined after intimidating workers
The CFMEU and official Scott Vink have been dealt near maximum penalties of $48,000 and $9,000 respectively by the Federal Circuit Court for an incident that occurred at the Pacific Fair shopping centre redevelopment in Queensland in March 2014 (09 March 2016).  More...

FWBC challenges CFMEU attempts to meet unwilling workers
The CFMEU and five of its officials are facing court following allegations they acted improperly by repeatedly refusing to respect the wishes of Perth workers who did not want to speak with union officials (07 March 2016).   More...

Landscaping firm, CFMEU alleged to have discriminated against subcontractor
Allegations that a waterproofing company was kicked off a Fortitude Valley construction site because it did not have a union EBA has landed landscaping firm Dig-It and the CFMEU in court (07 Mach 2016). More...

McDonald's franchisee fined $65k after worker hurt slipping on hot oil
A McDonald's franchise owner is ordered to pay fines and costs of $65,000 over an accident that left an employee with third-degree burns (04 March 2016).  More...

WorkSafe announces new safety record in half-year results
The rate of injuries in Victorian workplaces has reached a new record low, according to the half-yearly results released yesterday by WorkSafe Victoria (04 March 2016).   More...

New tactics in war on toxins to prevent food poisoning
Australia is not blameless on food poisoning, with dozens of E.coli, salmonella and norovirus incidents in the past 10 years caused by food produced on home soil through untreated water, ineffective use of disinfectants and a lack of adherence to food safety programs (02 March 2016).   More...

Queensland IR Review paves way for modern, updated industrial relations laws
The State Government will continue consulting with stakeholders and the public on potential changes to Queensland's industrial relations laws (04 March 2016).   More...

Feedback sought on further reforms to executive officer liability
The NTC today released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) which has identified several options designed to improve current HVNL requirements on executive officers. Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said executive officers of corporations play a key role in ensuring that their companies operate safely. The National Transport Commission is seeking feedback on options to reform obligations on executive officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) (02 March 2016).   More...

Top tips to manage on-farm safety
Managing health and safety in farm work is not only a good way to avoid incidents - it's also a way to contribute to higher income and profit according to RIRDC (01 March 2016).    More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics  
As at March 7, 22 fatalities had been reported to Safe Work, this is seven more deaths since February 17, when the latest update had been provided. The fatalities this year have been in the following industries, including:  7 in the Transport, postal and warehouse sector; 5 in Agriculture, forestry and fishing; and 5 in Construction.  More...

NSCA Safety Bulletin
Issue released on 10 March.  More...

In practice and courts

ACCC: Tradespeople and homeowners warned of immediate risks from Infinity electrical cables
The Infinity cables taskforce is distributing a bulletin to licensed electricians and builders throughout the country reminding them of their obligations under industry laws, and advising them about their potential liability if they fail to notify home owners and regulators (02 February 2016).   More...

NTC consultation: Feedback sought on Australian Light vehicle Standards Rules 1st Amendment Package
The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to the Australian Light vehicle Standards Rules 2015 (ALVSRs) (08 March 2016).  More...

NTC consultation: Feedback sought on further reforms to executive officer liability
The National Transport Commission is seeking feedback on options to reform obligations on executive officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) (02 March 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.  More...

NSW Parliament: Inquiries receiving submissions
Inquiry into Driverless Vehicles and Road Safety, closes 11 April.

CASA: new Medical Records System (MRS)
From 21 March 2016, all aviation medicals will need to be completed online by pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCs).  More...

RSRT Payments Calculator available online
The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has published an online payments calculator to assist parties to determine the correct minimum payments under the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 (2016 RSRO). The 2016 RSRO takes effect from 4 April 2016.  More...

WorkCover Queensland: Formwork Code of Practice 2016 commences 31 March 2016
The Queensland Formwork Code of Practice 2016 was approved by the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and commences on 31 March 2016. A comparison table outlines the updates made to the Formwork Code of Practice 2016 which are mostly minor and technical in nature and reflect current best practice.   More...

WorkCover Queensland:  Electrical Safety Switches
View Nine News' story on safety switches on 2 March 2016. Find out more on The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough. Campaign (07 March 2016).

WorkCover Queensland:  Safety alert - Guards and discs on angle grinders
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks associated with removing guards and using incorrect discs on angle grinders (04 March 2016).   More...

Safety Standards

AS IEC 62477.1:2016
Safety requirements for power electronic converter systems and equipment - General - Standards Australia.  More...


Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v Vink & Anor [2016] FCCA 488
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Penalty hearing – unlawful industrial action under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – accessorial liability of Union organiser – CFMEU taken to have committed contravention – imposition of appropriate penalty – relevant factors.  Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), ss.12, 512, 500,546, 793; Work Place Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), s.131.  More...

Worksafe Victoria decisions

Melbourne Chef (Aust) Pty Ltd 050 131 827  07/03/2016
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Guarding; Unguarded plant; Failure to provide and maintain plant;  Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); County Court.

Wilbridge Securities Pty Ltd 069 519 562  04/03/2016
Burns; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Failure to provide a safe working environment;  Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(e);  Magistrates' Court.  More...



Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code — Schedule 20 — Maximum residue limits Variation Instrument No. APVMA 2, 2016
Registered 08/03/2016 - This instrument makes variations to Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code – Schedule 20 – Maximum residue limits to include or change maximum residue limits pertaining to agricultural and veterinary chemical products.  More...

Regulatory Powers (Standardisation Reform) Bill 2016
Registered  03/03/2016; Introduced Senate  02/03/2016 - The Bill makes amendments to 15 Commonwealth Acts in order to implement the Regulatory Powers Act (Standard Provisions) Act 2014.  The Regulatory Powers Act provides for a standard suite of provisions in relation to monitoring and investigation powers, as well as enforcement provisions through the use of civil penalties, infringement notices, enforceable undertakings and injunctions.  More...

New South Wales

Bills assented to
Government Sector Employment Legislation Amendment Act 2016 No 2 — Assented to 02 March 2016.


Acts as passed – 04 March 2016

No 2 Transport Operations (Marine Safety—Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Act 2016
The objective of this Act is to ensure that the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law (schedule 1 of the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012 (Cth)) regulates all domestic commercial vessels that operate in Queensland. More...

No 3Transport Operations (Marine Safety) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2016
The policy objective of the Act is to ensure that there is a seamless interaction between Commonwealth and Queensland legislation for the regulation of domestic commercial vessels.  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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Michael Selinger
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