Australia: Work Health & Safety - Whats News - 2 August 2016

Last Updated: 8 August 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Sydney builder fined after worker falls 12 metres
A Sydney construction company has been fined $87,500 after a labourer fell 12 metres from a scaffold at a Lane Cove construction site. The labourer had been employed by sub-contractor, Ultra Wall Pty Ltd who was charged with a breach of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 but later went into liquidation (29 July 2016). More...

Working in an office poses same health risks as smoking
Research published in The Lancet has revealed that sitting for at least eight hours a day could increase the risk of a premature death by up to 60 per cent (28 July 2016). More...

Are rural workplaces being made more dangerous by drugs and alcohol?
Safe Work Australia's report on deaths at work has found that farming, fishing and forestry accounted for 23% of all workplace deaths in 2014. Three main things found in the study that encouraged drug and alcohol use: an expectation of regular drinking, long and irregular work hours and a lack of information and support to address substance problems (26 July 2016). More...

$90,000 fine over farm worker's death
The death of farm worker in Moree leads to a $90,000 fine after inadequate training and proper safety procedure (26 July 2016). More... More...

Supermarket recycling business liquidated to escape $800,000 worker death fine
The operators of a prominent recycling company have sought to escape massive penalties for the death of an employee after shutting down the business and resurrecting it under another name (23 July 2016). More...

Quad bike rebate scheme 'will save lives'
Victorian farmers are being encouraged to take part in a $6 million rebate scheme to help reduce quad bike deaths in Victoria (22 July 2016). More...

Contractor fined for arc flash incident
Contractor Crushing Services International has been fined after a worker was seriously burned in an arc flash incident (22 July 2016). More...

Cape York communities to receive electrical safety advice
Electrical safety inspectors are set to visit Cape York as part of the Queensland Government's effort to provide safety support and guidance to electricians, electrical contractors and Council workers in Indigenous communities (22 July 2016). More...

Falls a focus after Serious Injury Study
The Victorian State Trauma System & Registry annual report 2014/15 found that 459 people died from falls from a height of less than a metre over the year, compared with 301 in transport-related accidents. A national working party is now looking into how to prevent ladder falls and a review of the Australian & New Zealand Ladder Standard (21 July 2016). More...

National Farm Safety Week tackles safety in agriculture industry
National Farm Safety Week has begun this week to raise awareness of farm safety issues and improve worker health and safety. The main causes of injuries on farms are falls from height, manual handling incidents, from working with animals, as well as single vehicle accidents (20 July 2016). More...

CFMEU official in Court over allegations of abusive behaviour
FWBC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against the CFMEU and its official, Richard Hassett, for allegedly acting in an abusive and intimidating manner towards site management at a Hobart construction site (20 July 2016). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: Fatality statistics July 2016
As at July 26, there had been 86 fatalities reported - this is five more workers killed at work since the previously reported number at July 7. Four of these fatalities were in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, the fifth one was in the Retail trade. The numbers and industries may vary as Safe Work receives more detailed information (to check for updates, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities page).

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox July 22
This edition's editorial focusses on the proposed draft OHS and EPS regulations, now open for public comment. The newsletter also includes items of interest from other jurisdictions. More...

In practice and courts

SafeWork Australia: New guide to help workers with cattle handling
Safe Work Australia has released a Guide to managing risks in cattle handling, which was developed in collaboration with industry experts and provides information on natural cattle handling techniques that use cattle behaviour and livestock handler position to achieve the desired goal (21 July 2016). More...

SafeWork Australia: National Farm Safety Week: agriculture industry To assist people working on farms, Safe Work Australia has partnered with the National Farmers' Federation to produce two short farm safety videos on machinery guarding and stockyard handling. More information including tips and links to guides on farm safety will be published on the Safe Work Australia website and social media. More...

CASA: New fatigue rules improved
Changes to improve the fatigue management rules have been finalised. To transition to the new fatigue rules air operators must submit draft operations manual amendments or a fatigue risk management application to CASA by 31 October 2016. Operators must complete their transition to the new rules by 1 May 2017. More....

NTC Reminder: ADG Code 7.5 Draft. Public Comment closes 9 August
The proposed Code and an overview of the changes, including how to make a submission, are on the National Transport Commission website. This links to the overview of the changes document, within this document are the links to the sections of the Code.

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. More...

SafeWork NSW: 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 (27 July 2016). More...

SafeWork NSW: new ladder safety warning
SafeWork NSW has issued a reminder to NSW businesses to work safely with ladders after one worker was killed and four were seriously injured in falls over the past two months (27 July 2016). More...

SafeWork NSW reminder: Consultation period for horse industry code of practice extended
The consultation period for the draft horse industry Code of Practice has been extended to 28 August. The Code of Practice aims to reduce work-related injuries and fatalities involving horses. More...

WorkCover Queensland: Three myths about workplace injuries
With over 40,000 musculoskeletal workplace injury claims registered with WorkCover Queensland in 2014-15, three myths are targeted which offer some practical solutions and alternative ways of thinking which can help to shift safety attitudes and improve outcomes (19 July 2016). More...

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Alert - Ceiling hoists and track systems
This alert highlights the risk of using ceiling tracks systems with incompatible fixed or portable ceiling hoists (27 July 2016). More...

Victoria: HSR Submission Portal experiences of WorkSafe
The VTHC wants to hear from health and safety reps about their views on WorkSafe's Compliance and Enforcement activities. Go to the HSR Submission Portal and tell us about your experiences. The closing date for submissions is 1 August 2016. The discussion paper is available from the review website.

WorkSafe Victoria: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2007 (EPS Regulations) Review WorkSafe Victoria (WorkSafe) is required to review and remake these regulations by June 2017. Public comment on the OHS Regulations, EPS Regulations and required Regulatory Impact Statement will commence for a period of two months from 18 July 2016 until 9 September 2016. More...

Cases

McDonald v Commissioner of Police (No 2) [2016] NSWIRComm 1032
POLICE – Senior Constable – application pursuant to section 84 for relief in relation to unfair dismissal – application by the respondent that application be struck out on the ground that the Commission does not have jurisdiction – bullying and harassment at work – discrimination in the course of employment – unwarranted investigation into conduct outside of work hours – diagnosed with depression/anxiety and deemed unfit for work – no option other than to resign from employment – constructively dismissed – rights of appeal for police officers – comparison of rights conferred by Part 9 of the Police Act with rights conferred by Chapter 2 Part 6 of the Act – Part 9 of the Police Act 1990 establishes exclusive scheme whereby dismissed police officers are able seek relief – no jurisdiction under Chapter 2 Part 6 of the Act to hear and determine the applicant's unfair dismissal claim – application dismissed.

Dominello and Linfox Australia Pty Ltd [2016] AATA 483
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - extension of time - delay on part of solicitor - whether applicant rested on his rights - whether prejudice to respondent - whether application has prospects of success - extension of time granted - Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth) s 29; Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) s 65.

WorkSafe Victoria decisions

Australian Box Recycling Pty Ltd 081 095 472 22/07/2016 Crush injuries; Fatality; Failure to provide and maintain plant Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a) ; Melbourne County. More...

Legislation – Victoria

Statutory Rules made

No. 88: Subordinate Legislation (Rail Safety (Local Operations) Regulations 2006) Extension Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 19/07/2016 Commencement: 19/07/2016. Not yet in operation: N/A. Sunset Date: 24/07/2017: reg. 4.

No 90: Dangerous Goods (HCDG) Regulations 2016
Date of Making: 26/07/2016. Commencement: 31/07/2016: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-35: on 31/07/2016: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 26/07/2026. Access Victorian legislation here www.legislation.vic.gov.au.

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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