Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 27 April 2016

Last Updated: 2 May 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media – National

Work for the Dole programs are putting workers' safety at risk, says the AUWU
The national Work for the Dole program is facing criticism for failing to protect the safety of volunteer workers and not helping many find work suited to their skills (24 April 2016).  More...

Fire truck operator ordered to pay $160k over 2011 Darwin crash that killed three
The operator of an airport fire engine that ran a red light and killed three people in a crash has been ordered to pay $160,000 to the Commonwealth for breaching the Occupational Health and Safety Act (22 April 2016).  More...

Coroner calls for code for working in extreme heat
A coronial inquiry into a death caused by heatstroke on the Roma 2 GLNG project has highlighted a number of potentially fatal safety deficiencies (21 April 2016).  More...

Scott Vink added to no permit list
CFMEU official Scott Vink has had his Right of Entry Permits suspended for two years following an incident at the Pacific Fair shopping centre redevelopment which resulted in Mr Vink and the CFMEU being dealt near maximum fines of $9,000 and $48,000 respectively (21 April 2016).  More...

Wall collapse: How the system failed
The best system Victoria has to protect the public from dangerous city construction sites failed spectacularly on Wednesday, just three years after the Swanston Street wall collapse killed three people (20 April 2016).  More...  More...

Safety switch could have saved man electrocuted on Top End prawn trawler, inquest hears
An inquest into the death of a man electrocuted on a Top End prawn trawler has heard a safety switch could have saved his life (18 April 2016).  More...

Coal dust reforms a priority job, says Minister
Coal dust reforms were underway as a government priority to protect the health and safety of coal workers, Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said today (20 April 2016).   More...

No plans to compete for work from licensed electrical contractors
The Palaszczuk Government has no plans for a merged power distribution company to compete for work from existing licensed electrical contractors who do solar or electrical work at the household level (20 April 2016). More...

High lift jacks suppliers pay penalties following ACCC infringement notices
The ACCC issued the infringement notices because it had reasonable grounds to believe that each of Autoplus, Outbax and Sun Yee had supplied a high lift jack that did not comply with the mandatory safety standard (18 April 2016).  More...

CFMEU and official fined $52,000: Judge described union record as 'woeful'
Penalties of $52,000 have been ordered against the CFMEU and one of its officials, Michael 'Mick' Myles for instigating unlawful industrial action at the $60 million Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Kelvin Grove project (18 April 2016).   More...

Construction company fined $30,000 over 8m fall
A construction company was fined $30,000 over an incident in which an employee was seriously injured after falling eight metres through unsecured metal sheeting (15 April 2016).  More...

Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal abolition
The Government will move to immediately abolish the independent tribunal that sets minimum pay rates for the trucking industry when Parliament resumes next week for a special sitting (13 April 2016).  More...  More...

New mine safety research project launches in Victoria
A new high-tech research project focused on open cut mine safety has launched in Victoria's LaTrobe Valley (12 April 2016).   More...   More...

Presenteeism costs economy $34 billion a year through lost productivity, report shows
Sick workers dragging themselves into the office are costing the Australian economy more than $34 billion a year, indicates a new report commissioned from the Centre for International Economics (12 April 2016).   More...

Minister acts on coal worker health findings
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said doctors who undertake the regular official health assessments of miners', known as nominated medical advisers, would be given standard introductory training and require minimum training and experience (11 April 2016).  More...

Parkinson's 'cluster' prompts calls for further pesticide research
The discovery of a Parkinson's disease cluster in a barley, chickpea and lentil farming region of north-west Victoria has prompted calls for further research into a potential link between pesticides and the disease (12 April 2016).   More...

Prevalence of Parkinson's in Victoria Summary - Parkinson's Victoria has released the key findings of a joint report uncovering the prevalence of Parkinson's in a cluster of rural Victorian areas. (16 April 2016).   More...

NSW junior rugby league referees to be fitted with cameras to combat abusive players, spectators
Junior rugby league referees will be fitted with cameras in New South Wales as the sport's local governing tries to combat abuse from players and parents (10 April 2016).  More... 

Drug screening takes a hit as accuracy drops
Drug screening tests in the workplace can have accuracy rates below 85 per cent, medical research shows. This credibility gap is putting workers at risk of a false "positive'' test result which puts them at risk of losing their job and the stigma of being branded a druggie (10 April 2016).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Occupation and Risk of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Its Subtypes: A Pooled Analysis from the InterLymph Consortium
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 124, No 4, April 2016.
Conclusions: Our pooled analysis of 10 international studies adds to evidence suggesting that farming, hairdressing, and textile industry–related exposures may contribute to NHL risk. Associations with women's hairdresser and textile occupations may be specific for certain NHL subtypes.  More...

SafeWork Australia: Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report
The monthly notifiable fatality report provides a national summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian work health and safety jurisdictions. Publication Date: 18 April 2016.  More...

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics  
As at 14 April, 38 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2016. More information on which industries the fatalities occurred in is accessible on the Safe Work Australia.  More...

In practice and courts

Australian Safety Standards

AS 1670.5:2016
Fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems - System design, installation and commissioning - Special hazards systems - Standards Australia.  More...

NSW: Review of the Public Health Act 2010
Health Protection NSW is calling for submissions from local government on the Public Health Act 2010 review. Local government has an important role in the Act, regulating the environmental health of premises such as cooling towers, public swimming pools, spa pools, and premises carrying out skin penetration procedures. Submissions close 20 May 2016.  More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox, 14 April 2016
Panel Safety" and WorkSafe's recently published information sheet 'Precast and tilt-up concrete construction'. There were 54 Reported Incidents from 23 March – 7 April 2016; these included 19 near misses, 10 each of lacerations and "unknowns", six electric shocks, four fractures, two burns and punctures.  More...

Cases – Victoria

Worksafe Victoria decisions

Tabloid Holdings Pty Ltd 107 261 352  19/04/2016
Failure to conduct a risk/hazard assessment; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard identification; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Guarding; Unguarded plant; Failure to provide and maintain plant; Failure to provide a safe working environment -  Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004  21(1)&(2)(a); HH Magistrate Bolster.

Melbourne Accident Repair Centre Pty Ltd 081 989 353 14/04/2016
Non complied notice Dangerous Goods Act 1985 17C(4) ; Frankston Magistrates' Court.

Active Event Entertainment Pty Ltd 119 494 192 14/04/2016
Failure to notify VWA of a notifiable incident; Failure to preserve incident site Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 38(1); 38(3); 39(1) ; Moorabbin Magistrates' Court.

Caelli Constructions (Vic) Pty Ltd 080 995 204 13/04/2016
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Falls/work at height offences; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a) ; Moorabbin Magistrates' Court.

Triestina Nominees Pty Ltd 005 318 409 12/04/2016
Failure to notify VWA of a notifiable incident; Failure to preserve incident site; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Guarding; Failure to provide and maintain plant; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 38(1); 38(3); 39(1); Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

AMPD Group Pty Ltd 155 544 335 12/04/2016
Non complied notice Dangerous Goods Act 1985; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 17C(4) ; 111(4) ; Melbourne Magistrates' Court (Heidelberg Division).

See cases here: More...

Cases – New South Wales

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (o/b Lenard) v Wesley Community Services Ltd [2016] NSWIRComm 1013
INJURED WORKER – application for reinstatement – whether dismissed for 'injury' – rebuttable presumption – test subjective, not objective – inquiry into reasons of decisionmaker – decisionmaker in fact relied in part on compensable injury – presumption not rebutted  
JURISDICTION – preliminary determination of jurisdictional questions – 'appropriate time' – circumstances not confined to questions of law alone, but can include questions of mixed fact and law  
STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION – interpretation of s.244(2) of Workers Compensation Act 1987 – plain words of statute to be considered  
WORDS AND PHRASES – 'substantial and operative cause' – phrase means no more than causative effect - does not carry meaning of 'predominant' or 'chief' – Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (New South Wales Branch) (on behalf of Daryl John Bates) v G. James Safety Glass Pty Ltd [2007] NSWIRComm 129 and Fox v The Spastic Centre [2010] NSWIRComm 1065 held to be wrongly decided.  More...

Cases – Queensland

Adlington v Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited [2016] QDC 084
EMPLOYMENT LAW – LIABILITY AT COMMON LAW FOR INJURY AT WORK – CAUSATION AND FORESEEABILITY – where the plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a pizza delivery driver – where the plaintiff was assaulted at the rear of store upon completion of shift – where the plaintiff suffered personal injuries including a psychiatric injury – whether the risk of injury was foreseeable – whether the defendant failed to take measures reasonably open to it – whether any breach of duty was the cause of the plaintiff's injuries
TORTS – NEGLIGENCE – ESSENTIALS OF ACTION FOR NEGLIGENCE – SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS AND DUTIES – EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE – where the plaintiff was employed by the defendant as a pizza delivery driver – where the plaintiff was assaulted at the rear of store upon completion of shift – where the plaintiff suffered personal injuries including a psychiatric injury –where employer owes a duty of care to employee to provide a safe system of work – where employer owes a duty of care to take reasonable care to protect employee from the criminal behaviour of third parties – whether employer breached their duty of care – whether any breach was the cause of the employee's injuries.  More...

Payne v APN News & Media [2015] QCAT 514
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION – where complaint raises contentions of direct and indirect discrimination – where complaint raises contention of victimisation – where alleged discrimination on the basis of attribute of lawful sexual activity – where alleged discrimination in the provision of services – where services are supply of advertising – where claim of higher advertising charges due to attribute - where claim of unlawful publication of advertisements – where claim of unlawful internet advertising – where claim of significant errors in supply of advertising - whether less favourable treatment – whether term imposed – whether victimisation.  More...

Legislation - National

Road Safety Remuneration Repeal Act 2016
Act No. 35 of 2016 as made - repeal the Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 and allow the Minister to make rules dealing with transitional matters. Any savings arising from the abolition of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (20 April 2016).  More...  More...

Road Safety Remuneration Amendment (Protecting Owner Drivers) Bill 2016
A Bill for an Act to suspend the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016 - The Bill will suspend the operation of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Order 2016, and any subsequent orders that may be made by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal until 1 January 2017 and allow the Minister to make rules dealing with transitional and other matters (18 April 2016).  More...

Marine Order 33 (Cargo and cargo handling — grain) 2016
AMSA MO 2016/4  - This Order gives effect to the general requirements for the carriage of grain in vessels set out in Part C of Chapter VI of SOLAS and the detailed requirements for its carriage that are set out in the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk (the International Grain Code). The Order also gives effect to the Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carries (the BLU Code) and provides for the loading, unloading, stowage and carriage of grain in vessels (22 April 2016).  More...

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 [No. 3]
The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) will amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 (RO Act) and the Fair Work Act 2009 to ensure better governance of registered organisations (18 April 2016).  More...

Legislation - Queensland

National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Bill 2016
Introduced on 19/04/2016. Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 19/04/2016.

Legislation - Victoria

Statutory Rules made

No. 22: Marine (Drug, Alcohol and Pollution Control) Amendment Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 12/04/2016; Commencement: 15/04/2016: reg. 3. Not yet in operation: N/A.  Sunset Date: 12/04/2026.

No. 23: Rail Safety (Local Operations) Amendment Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 12/04/2016; Commencement: 15/04/2016: reg. 3. Not yet in operation:  N/A; Sunset Date: 12/04/2026.

No. 24: Road Safety (Drivers) and (General) Amendment Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 12/04/2016; Commencement: 15/04/2016: reg. 3. Not yet in operation:  N/A; Sunset Date: 12/04/2026.

No 25:  Heavy Vehicle National Law Application (Infringements) Amendment Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 12/04/2016; Commencement: 12/04/2016. Not yet in operation:  N/A; Sunset Date: 12/04/2026.

Access Victorian legislation here

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Michael Selinger
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