Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 14 June 2016

Last Updated: 21 June 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media – National

NTC: Views sought on options to improve the heavy vehicle charges methodology
The National Transport Commission (NTC) today released a discussion paper outlining possible options to improve the current method of setting heavy vehicle charges (01 June 2016). More...

New program to help Victorian paramedics deal with trauma
The Victorian Government commits $1 million towards mental health training to address the high suicide rate among paramedics (01 June 2016) More (ABC News)... More (Office of the Premier)...

Lack of awareness and limited disposal options contributing to national illegally dumped asbestos problem
A report commissioned by the national Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency has shone a light on the cost to the community of illegal dumping of asbestos (31 May 2016). More...

Industrial Court imposes hefty fine on another labour hire company
For the second time in a month, the Industrial Court has convicted a labour hire company and handed down a hefty fine for failing to provide and maintain a safe work environment. The Industrial Court convicted Queensland based labour hire company Fix Force (Qld) Pty Ltd and imposed a penalty of $150,000 plus court costs (28 May 2016). More (SafeWork SA)... More (Safety at Work Blog)...

Fix Force fined after worker's head crushed during Adelaide Superway construction
A labour-hire company has been fined $150,000 after a worker on the South Road Superway project in Adelaide nearly died when his head was crushed. The Industrial Court convicted and fined Queensland-based company Fix Force for failing to maintain a safe workplace (28 May 2016). More...

Temptation grows to use drugs to stay awake in the workplace
The US military's drug of choice for helping people stay awake while working long hours is finding its way into the 24/7 workplace, researchers warn. Billable hours and the pressure to perform is tempting workers to risk their own health to gain a competitive edge (26 May 2016). More...

More Support for Firefighters Experiencing PTSD
The Andrews Labor Government is supporting firefighters suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with a new pilot program for one-on-one support services (26 May 2016). More...

Star Aviation to fight charges over Canberra Airport cleaner injury
An aviation company accused of safety breaches after a worker fell and injured his back while mopping a plane at Canberra Airport will fight charges in the ACT Industrial Court (25 May 2016). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As of 31 May 2016, 63 fatalities had been reported to Safe Work Australia - this is thirteen more workers killed at work since the previously reported update on May 12. The fatalities this year have been in the following industries: 18 in the Transport, postal and warehouse sector; 19 in Agriculture, forestry and fishing; 7 in Construction. More (Safe Work - YTD Fatalities)... More (Safe Work - Monthly Fatalities Report)...

NHVR Quarterly Snapshot - Q3 2015-16
The Q3 snapshot features some highlights of the NHVR during the first quarter of this year. It provides a summary of our activity on key national projects, including Chain of Responsibility, National Camera Network, Codes of Practice, National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual and Electronic Work Diaries. More...

In practice and courts

SafeWork Australia: Carcinogens in the workplace - Australian Workplace Exposure Study reports
Many of us are aware that the type of work we do might also increase the risk. Common, well-known workplace carcinogens include solar UV radiation, asbestos, silica dust, environmental (or second-hand) tobacco smoke, diesel engine exhaust and wood dust in the workplace are outlined here (02 June 2016). More...

SafeWork Australia: Working safely in Australia information sheet
The Working safely in Australia Information sheet provides migrant workers and others with information on work health and safety and workers' compensation in Australia (30 May 2016). More...

Transport and logistics industry guide to workplace safety 2016-17
The latest edition of Transport and logistics industry guide to workplace safety 2016-17 includes augmented reality features, and covers a number of topics including fatigue management, loading and unloading flatbed trucks and trailers, chain of responsibility, and vehicle loading crane safety (23 May 2016).

New Safety Standards

AS/NZS 2161.1:2016
Occupational protective gloves - Selection, use and maintenance.
Standards Australia AS/NZS 2161.1:2016

Worksafe Victoria safety alerts

Escalator and travelator void in-fills
This Alert warns persons with management or control of workplaces, employers, and designers of buildings and structures, of the dangers associated with in-fill areas around escalators and travelators (26 May 2016). More...

Pressure testing of pipes
This Alert highlights the potential for explosions when pressure testing water or sewer pipes with high pressure air and provides advice to prevent explosions (24 May 2016). More...

Working outdoors
This Safety Alert highlights some of the hazards associated with working outdoors and follows recent incidents including the death of an employee from a snake bite (24 May 2016). More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electric shock risk - unterminated live cables
Of the more than 300 electrical shocks reported to the Electrical Safety Office in Queensland over the past 12 months, around ten per cent relate to unterminated cables. For more information refer to these Australian Standards outlined here (25 May 2016). More...

WorkCover Queensland: Wiring rules changes released for public comment
Standards Australia has released a proposed revision of the Australian and New Zealand Wiring Rules, AS/NZS 3000:2007 Electrical installations. You can comment on this draft at the Standards Australia's website until 20 June 2016. More...

Cases – National

Taggart and Civil Aviation Safety Authority (Freedom of information) [2016] AATA 327
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION – exemption – legal professional privilege – in-house agency legal services division – whether appropriately independent of remainder of agency – whether communications between legal services division and another division within the agency – made for the dominant purpose of giving or obtaining legal advice – whether waiver of privilege – decision varied.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 ss 26(1)(b), 33(1)(c), 33(1AA), 34E, 40(5), 43(2), 43(2A), 43(2B) Civil Aviation Act 1988 ss 8, 9, 73, 74; Evidence Act 1995 ss 3, 4, 119; Div 1 of Part 3.10
Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 3(1)(b), 3A(2)(b), 4(1), 8(2)(j), 8A(1), 8A(2), 11, 11A, 11A(5), 11B, 22, 22(1)(b), 22(1)(c), 22(1)(d), 31B, 42, 42(1), 42(2), 42(3), 58(2), 61(1)(b), 93A
Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1988 rr 6.410, 61.415

Worksafe Victoria decisions

Chassis Pty Ltd 100 293 516 27/05/2016
Non complied notice - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 111(4)X; Melbourne Magistrates' Court Chassis Pty Ltd (the offender) is an automotive panel repair shop in South Melbourne (the workplace). On 8 May 2015, WorkSafe Inspectors attended the workplace as part of WorkSafe's Victoria's Automotive Repair and Maintenance Project. The inspector issued three improvement notices in relation to unguarded plant, a lathe and a pedestal drill, each with a compliance date of 19 June 2015. On 22 June 2015, the inspectors returned to the workplace to follow up on compliance and the notices had not been complied with. After multiple follow up inspections, the notices remained non-complied. The offender pleaded guilty and was with conviction sentenced to pay a fine of $2,000.00 and to pay costs of $1,366.00. More...

Legislation - National

Poisons Standard June 2016
30/05/2016 -Poisons Standard March 2016, and consists of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons No. 12 (the SUSMP 12) as set out in Schedule 1 of this Standard.

National Transport Commission Regulations as amended, taking into account amendments up to Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) (Consequential Amendments) Regulation 2016.

Legislation – New South Wales

Heavy Vehicle National Law New South Wales Class 1 - Special Purpose Vehicles Notice Amendment Notice 2016 (No. 1)
Government Gazette: published on 02/06/2016

Legislation - Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made

No 64 Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016
Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 – 27 May 2016 - to enable recovery of Queensland's portion of the cost of funding the AEMC national gas-related work program for 2016-17, through adjustment of the prescribed annual fee for calculating a levy on gas pipeline licence holders that are regulated under the national energy laws.

No 68: Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Vehicle Registration) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016 - Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 – 27 May 2016.


Public Safety Business Agency and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Introduced on 24/05/2016 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 24/05/2016.

Hospital and Health Boards (Safe Nurse-to-Patient and Midwife-to-Patient Ratios) Amendment Bill 2015
Introduced on 1/12/2015 Stage reached: PASSED with amendment on 12/05/2016
Assent Date: 25/05/2016 Act No: Act No. 29 of 2016 Commences: see Act for details.

No 29 Hospital and Health Boards (Safe Nurse-to-Patient and Midwife-to-Patient Ratios) Amendment Act 2016

Fire and Emergency Services (Smoke Alarms) Amendment Bill 2015
Introduced on 2/12/2015 Stage reached: Report from Committee on 23/05/2016.

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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