Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 22 June 2016

Last Updated: 1 July 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media – National

Company accused of delaying fatal construction case
A company being prosecuted over the death of worker Jorge Castillo-Riffo at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site is accused of trying to delay the case (16 June 2016). More...

First female mine safety commissioner appointed in QLD
Kate du Preez has been appointed as the new commissioner for Mine Safety and Health in Queensland (15 June 2016). More...

NHVR brings permit applications online
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commenced the rollout of a new customer portal for access permits. Already it claims to have hundreds of heavy vehicle operators currently trialling the system (15 June 2016). More...

Transport Commission seeks feedback on rail safety worker standards
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a consultation report with proposed changes to the National Standard for Health Assessment of rail safety workers (15 June 2016). More...

What is good work design?
Good work protects workers from harm, improves their health and wellbeing, and increases business productivity. Safe Work Australia's Good Work Design handbook provides a handy framework to achieve effective injury prevention including musculoskeletal disorders (otherwise known as 'sprains and strains') (15 June 2016). More...

Four simple steps to prevent fall injuries WorkCover Queensland data shows that
musculoskeletal injuries from falls accounted for 7,919 claims in the 2014-2015 financial year at a cost of over $51 million. WorkCover Industry Manager Laurent Cazier says fall injuries in the workplace are easily preventable if employers and workers work together on four simple steps – identify hazards, assess their risk, fix the problem and monitor performance (15 June 2016). More...

2,300km of dangerous Infinity electrical cable remains in homes
Thousands of homes across Australia still have faulty Infinity electrical cabling installed, despite recalls of all Infinity cables announced almost two years ago. Home owners that have had any electrical work done since 2010 should contact the electrician or builder responsible for the work and ask them if they used Infinity cable or to inspect their work if they are not sure (14 June 2016). More...

Builder fined $300,000 after wall collapse kills carpenter
A builder was yesterday convicted and fined $300,000 in the County Court over an incident in which a carpenter died after being crushed by a brick wall on a construction site at Brighton East (15 June 2016). More...

Feedback sought on new heavy vehicle notices
NHVR says the oversize and over mass vehicle notices will reduce red tape across the industry. Feedback sought on new heavy vehicle notices. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is seeking industry feedback on its upcoming Oversize and Over Mass (OSOM) notices that are set to replace the existing annual permits for Class 1 load carrying oversize and over mass vehicles in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Queensland (10 June 2016). More...

CFMEU allegedly disrupt $200 million project with repeated work stoppages
The CFMEU and five of its officials are facing penalties in the Federal Court for allegedly organising unlawful work stoppages and breaching right of entry provisions on six separate occasions at the '180 Brisbane' office tower construction site. Despite the WHS inspectors finding the access to be adequate, workers who participated in the stop-work action failed to return to work (10 June 2016). More...

Seafood industry responds to workplace safety concerns
The NT Seafood Council says the fishing industry is constantly improving its workplace safety standards and has denied suggestions the safety on fishing vessels is 'shameful' (09 June 2016). More...

FMG fined after worker loses both legs
An infrastructure company owned by Andrew Forrest's Fortescue Metals Group is fined $50,000 after a contractor had both his legs amputated after a workplace accident in Western Australia's Pilbara (09 June 2016). More...

NSW Budget: $2 Million Quad Bike Safety Package
The upcoming NSW Budget will include a $2 million package to reduce quad bike tragedies and injuries on farms. The NSW Government will be offering rebates of up to $500 towards the purchase of compliant helmets, Operator Protective Devices, the purchase of a safer vehicle, such as a side-by-side vehicle, and undertaking training courses tailored to farmers (11 June 2016). More...

Adelaide superway: Construction firm John Holland fined over safety mishap
Construction company John Holland has been fined $130,000 for putting the lives of two motorists at risk during the building of Adelaide's South Road "superway" (09 June 2016). More...

How healthy is your workplace?
New data released by Ipsos shows that Australia is ranked 8th out of a list of 25 countries when it comes to providing a healthy working environment where employees also feel psychologically safe (09 June 2016). More...

Safety finally gets personal at Glencore
The data in the 2015 sustainability report that Glencore published on Tuesday revealed this fatal trend had endured longer than we had noted but that the company's embrace of a new approach to safety and its management has had a profound effect on the business (08 June 2016). More...

High Risk Work licensing and the Work Health and Safety Regulations
Under the model WHS Regulations high risk work activities require a HRW licence. Some of these activities include the erection of scaffolding, the operation of certain types of cranes, forklifts, reach stackers and boom-type elevating work platforms, and performing dogging and rigging work. High risk work training requirements are found in Schedule 4 of the model WHS Regulations (08 June 2016). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safety Soapbox 09 June 2016
Safety Alerts: Pressure testing of pipes; Working outdoors; Escalator and travelator void in-fills Read the list of Reported Incidents from 19 May – 2 June 2016. The 52 Reported Incidents include: 2 fatalities, 12 near misses, 15 lacerations, 1 Asbestos related injury, 4 electric shocks, 3 punctures, 7 fractures, 7 unknowns and 1 rock fall.

SafeWork Australia: Return to Work Survey 2016 - Headline Measure Report, Australia
The National Return to Work Survey was undertaken in April 2016. New Zealand and all Australian jurisdictions (except for the Australian Capital Territory) took part in the 2016 survey (15 June 2016)

In practice and courts

NTC: feedback on Australia's rail safety workers standard
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a consultation report with proposed changes to the National Standard for Health Assessment of Rail Safety Workers (14 June 2016). More...

NTC: Proposed options to improve heavy vehicle charges
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a discussion paper outlining possible options to improve the current method of setting heavy vehicle charges. A copy of the NTC's discussion paper is available here and submissions can be lodged before Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

WorkCover Queensland: Causes of slips, trips and falls
There are plenty of easy to use tools and resources from trusted global injury prevention authorities, including Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, available for employers and workers to prevent fall injuries:
Causes of slips, trips and falls and ways to prevent them
Slips and trips eLearning tools for food manufacturers, education, healthcare and catering and hospitality
Slip, trip and fall prevention for healthcare workers

QLD: Mine Safety Alert: No 357: Uncontrolled engine shutdown on a dump truck
Vehicle collision or failure: Coal mines; Metalliferous (10 June 2016). More...

QLD DNMR alert No 51: Transport providers authorised to transport low risk loads of explosives
Explosives storage or transport (13 June 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...


McDonald v Commissioner of Police [2016] NSWIRComm 1023
UNFAIR DISMISSAL – application for a non-disclosure order – police officer – whistle blower – fears about the implications of being named in the proceedings – fear of a death threat – matters raised in the proceedings could attract significant media or public attention – potential complaint of misuse of public resources and maladministration – fear of reprisals – psychological injury which was work related – "interests of justice" test not met – application dismissed.

Worksafe Victoria decisions

Bilic Homes Pty Ltd 005 916 585 14/06/2016
Fatality; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(c); Melbourne County.

Gippsland Premium Quarries Pty Ltd 126 268 782 09/06/2016
Electric shock; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard assessment; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard identification; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Labour hire Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 26(1); La Trobe Valley Magistrates' Court.

See cases here

Legislation – Commonwealth

Marine Order 75 (Seafarer certification amendment) 2016
09/06/2016 - AMSA MO 2016/5 - This order amends Marine Orders 70, 71, 73 and 74 which deal with seafarer certification. This package of Marine Orders gives effect to Australia's obligations under the STCW Convention.

Marine Order 42 (Carriage, stowage and securing of cargoes and containers) 2016
09/06/2016 - AMSA MO 2016/6 - This order gives effect to Part A of Chapter VI of SOLAS. Chapter VI of SOLAS relates to the carriage of cargoes and oil fuels on vessels. Part A sets out the general SOLAS requirements for these matters.

Legislation – Victoria

Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House – 09 June 2016

Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Public Safety) Bill


No. 33: Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Public Safety) Act 2016
Assent: 15/06/2016 SG (No. 183) 15/6/2016 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-4 on 16/06/2016: s. 2. Not yet in operation: N/A.


No. 33: Transport (Compliance and Miscellaneous) Amendment (Public Safety) Act 2016
Assent: 15/06/2016 SG (No. 183) 15/6/2016 p. 1 Commencement: Ss 1-4 on 16/06/2016: s. 2. Not yet in operation: N/A.

Statutory Rules

No 50: Road Safety (Drivers) and (Vehicles) Amendment (Fees) Regulations 2016
Commencement: 01/07/2016: reg. 3. Not yet in operation: Regs 1-8: on 01/07/2016: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 24/05/2026.

No. 58: Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Registered Premises) Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 15/06/2016 Commencement: 16/06/2016: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: N/A. Sunset Date: 15/06/2026

Access Victorian legislation here

Legislation – New South Wales

Proclamations commencing Acts

Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Act 2013 No 42 (2016-322) — published LW 17 June 2016

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Government Sector Employment Amendment (Transfers to Non-Government Sector) Regulation 2016 (2016-324) — published LW 17 June 2016

Heavy Vehicle (Adoption of National Law) Amendment (Penalties) Regulation (No 2) 2016 (2016-325) — published LW 17 June 2016

Weapons Prohibition Amendment (Exemptions) Regulation 2016 (2016-326) — published LW 17 June 2016

Liquor Amendment (RSA Courses and Certification) Regulation 2016(2016-306) — published LW 10 June 2016

Marine Safety Regulation 2016 (2016-308) — published LW 10 June 2016

Order regarding volunteers taking part in emergency operations under the State Emergency and Rescue Management Act 1989 (2016-299) — published LW 7 June 2016

Bills assented to

Emergency Services Levy Insurance Monitor Act 2016 No 23 — Assented to 07 June 2016

For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bill

Legislation – Queensland

Subordinate Legislation as made – 17 June 2016

No 72: Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016
State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999
Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995

No 73: Public Safety Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016
Building Act 1975
Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990
Weapons Act 1990
Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000

No 80: Electrical Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016
Electrical Safety Act 2002
Work Health and Safety Act 2011


Electricity and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
PASSED with amendment on 15/06/2016

National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Bill 2016
PASSED with amendment on 26/05/2016 Assent Date: 14/06/2016
Act No: Act No. 34 of 2016 Commences: see Act for details

Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation (National Injury Insurance Scheme) Amendment Bill 2016
Introduced on 14/06/2016 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 14/06/2016

Acts as passed 16 June 2016

No 34 National Injury Insurance Scheme (Queensland) Act 2016

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Michael Selinger
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