Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 30 August 2016

Last Updated: 13 September 2016
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew and Michael Selinger

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2017

In the media

New risks for disability care workers under the NDIS
While the number of care jobs is growing, cash-for-care systems such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are changing the organisation and nature of care and support jobs, with significant risks for workers (26 August 2016). More...

ATSB: No risk assessment done before worker struck by train
An accident where a rail worker was struck by a passenger train near Laverton station in Victoria shows why it's essential workers follow safe working rules and procedures when working on or near railway tracks (24 August 2016). More...

NHVR technical forum to improve safety
The NHVR will establish a high level technical forum to deliver safety outcomes for Australia's heavy vehicle industry. Mr Petroccitto said the group will be working with industry to develop partnerships that will achieve a number of joint safety initiatives. This includes an increase in industry capability through the delivery of consistent and quality safety management systems, performance standards and effective risk management processes (24 August 2016). More...

Roadmap to guide the way to workplace safety
SafeWork NSW has launched a new work health and safety roadmap for NSW outlining a number of targets to reduce the rate of injury, illness and fatalities in workplaces throughout the state (22 August 2016). More...

Blenners being sued by former employee for damages
Blenners Transport will face court again after Stephen James Gleeson (a former whistle-blower), 43, filed for nearly $690,000 in damages, alleging that Mr Blennerhassett has directed drivers to keep driving and breach fatigue management regulations (22 August 2016). More...

Universities partner on sexual assault survey: Australian Human Rights Commission
The Respect. Now. Always. national university student survey on sexual assault and sexual harassment will assess the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual assault and sexual harassment among university students with a representative sample of students from Australia's 39 universities (23 August 2016). More...

Macmahon Mining Services ordered to pay $75,000 and costs for WHS failures
The NSW Resources Regulator has successfully prosecuted Macmahon Mining Services Pty Limited (Macmahon Mining) for a breach of sections 32 and 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (22 August 2016). More...

Commonwealth Games building sites under Federal IR law
Queensland industrial inspectors have no jurisdiction over Commonwealth Games building sites, with the exception of workplace health and safety issues, Minister for Industrial Relations Grace said (19 August 2016). More...

Powerline electrocution deaths prompt safety warning
A spate of incidents involving overhead powerlines has left two people dead and seven others seriously injured - and the state's safety regulator claims all could easily have been avoided (19 August 2016). More...

NHVR's blueprint for heavy vehicle reform
The NHVR today released its five-year blueprint for a safer, productive and more compliant heavy vehicle industry (18 August 2016). More...

Construction safety project hailed a success, extended 3 more years
A construction safety project that aims to improve safety and reduce red tape on Border construction sites has been hailed a success by NSW's and Victoria's safety regulators (18 August 2016). More...

Alarming rates of injuries, hazards at Barangaroo worksite revealed
The highly publicised Barangaroo worksite on Sydney's CBD waterfront has one of the highest rates of injuries, hazards and near misses of any worksite in New South Wales, a freedom of information request reveals (16 August 2016). More...

Silver City Drilling pleads guilty to work health and safety charges
The NSW Department of Industry's Resources Regulator has successfully prosecuted Silver City Drilling for a breach of sections of the Work Health and Safety Act (15 August 2016) More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NHVR Industry Update 23 - 19 August 2016
The NHVR Industry Update includes setting the Agenda 2016-2020, Bundaberg heavy vehicle demonstration day, Local government in focus - Blacktown City Council, National supply chain online survey, PBS Vehicle Approval transfer application form, NHVR Quarterly Snapshot - Q4 2015-16 and Local government road manager processing timeframes - April-June 2016 heat maps. More...

A Comparison of Work-Related Injuries Among Shiftworkers and Non-Shiftworkers
SafeWork Australia: 24 August 2016. Research has shown that the injury rate for shiftworkers is higher than the injury rate for non-shiftworkers. The aim of this report is to determine whether the elevated risk of shiftwork affects all groups of shiftworkers or only particular groups of shiftworkers. More...

Work Health and Safety in the Agriculture Industry
SafeWork Australia: 24 August 2016. This report provides work health and safety statistics for agricultural workers. More...

SafeWork Australia

A number of codes have been republished on 15 August 2016. These include amendments made up to July 2016:

  • Workplace amusement devices guidance material - The General Guide for Amusement Devices provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage the risks associated with amusement devices and passenger ropeways at a workplace.
  • Model Code of Practice - Managing Risks of Plant in the Workplace - To provide practical guidance for persons who conduct a business or undertaking and have management or control of plant in the workplace, as well as to persons who install, construct and commission plant. It also includes information about specific control measures required under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations.
  • Worker Representation and Participation Guide - This Guide provides information on the representation and participation of workers in health and safety matters at the workplace, as well as guidance on resolving health and safety issues.
  • Cranes guidance material - This guidance provides information for PCBUs on how to manage the risks at a workplace associated with the inspection, maintenance and operation of cranes and other plant types, including quick hitches for earthmoving machinery.

Safe Work Australia: Fatality statistics
The SWA site has been updated and as at August 23, 112 fatalities had been reported - this is twelve more workers killed since the last update. 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 19 August 2016
This edition provides an update on the asbestos import situation in Victoria (good news), as well as the usual list of notifiable incidents from 28 July to 10 August 2016. There were 50 reported, and include 16 near misses, 11 lacerations, seven electric shocks, two each of fractures, punctures, and dislocations and one amputation. More...

In practice and courts

CASA: New fatigue rules
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...

Consultation now open – review of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations for diving work
Workers and businesses who are involved with diving work, regulators, work health and safety professionals and other interested stakeholders are invited to comment on three options put forward in the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on review of the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations for Diving Work. Make your submission through the Safe Work Australia public submissions website before 30 September 2016. More...

IAEA Drafts for Member State Comment (NST011, NST027, NST042)
Three additional IAEA drafts have been released for comment: NST011 - Preventive Measures for Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control; NST027 - Enhancing Nuclear Security Culture in Organizations associated with Nuclear and/or Radioactive Material; and NST042 - Planning and Organization of Nuclear Security Systems and Measures for Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control. Closing date for comments is 21 November 2016 More...

IAEA Draft for Member State Comment (DS495)
IAEA draft for review: DS495 - Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 20xx Edition of SSR-6. Closing date for comments is 7 November 2016. More...

SafeWork NSW: Roadmap for NSW
This Roadmap sets ambitious targets to reduce the rate of injury, illness and fatalities in NSW workplaces. The Work Health and Safety Roadmap for NSW 2022 is a six year plan to make the lives of NSW workers and business owners healthier, safer and more productive. More...

WorkCover Queensland: Comment on proposed changes to diving work regulations
(24 August 2016) More...

WorkCover Queensland: Existing wiring dangers at construction and demolition sites
(25 August 2016) More...

Queensland DNRM Safety Alert No 81: Drill rig rollover
This safety alert covers equipment failure or modifications, coal mines, and metalliferous mines, also containing a significant incident report (26 August 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 until 28 August. The Code of Practice aims to reduce work-related injuries and fatalities involving horses. More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2007 (EPS Regulations) Review
Changes to the OHS Regulations 2007 have been designed to modernise and streamline the existing regulations, which automatically expire in June 2017. The Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2007 are also being updated. Public comments will be accepted until 9 September 2016. More...

AMSA: Seafarers urged to renew international STCW certificates
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is urging seafarers with international qualifications to check the validity of their STCW certificates. This is in recognition that many qualifications are set to expire on December 31, 2016, including previously perpetual certificates. In line with amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers 1978 (STCW), for certificates to be valid past December 31 seafarers are required to demonstrate continued competencies for a range of certificates. (17 August 2016) More...

Product Warning - Laser Hazards and Safety
ARPANSA has published a product warning on laser hazards and safety. (19 August 2016). More...

New Safety Standard - AS ISO 7240.27:2016
The new safety standards include: fire detection and alarm systems, point-type fire detectors using a scattered-light, transmitted-light or ionization smoke sensor, an electrochemical-cell carbon-monoxide sensor and a heat sensor. More...


Casenote: Deal v Father Pius Kodakkathanath [2016] HCA 31: Hazardous Manual Handling OHS
In Deal v Father Pius Kodakkathanath [2016] HCA 31 the High Court, in a unanimous decision, has allowed an appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria (see Deal v Kodakkathanath [2015] VSCA 191 (24 July 2015)). In reaching its decision, the High Court has held that the majority of the Victorian Court of Appeal erred in finding that the primary judge was correct in removing from the jury's consideration allegations that: ". . . the respondent had breached its statutory duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 (Vic)" (the OHS Regulations) (24 August 2016). More...



Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Amendment (Cost Recovery) Regulation 2016
This regulation amends the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Regulation 2013 to prescribe fees for activities carried out by AMSA under the Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012. This commences on 1 September 2016. More...


Proclamations commencing Acts

Courts Legislation Amendment (Disrespectful Behaviour) Act 2016 No 26 (2016-535) — published LW 26 August 2016.

Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Amendment Act 2014 No 31 (2016-536) — published LW 26 August 2016.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Smoke-free Environment Regulation 2016 (2016-558) — published LW 26 August 2016.

Workers Compensation Regulation 2016 (2016-559) — published LW 26 August 2016.

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Terrorism (Police Powers) Regulation 2016 (2016-520) — published LW 19 August 2016.


Bills Updated in the last week

Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation (National Injury Insurance Scheme) Amendment Bill 2016

Assembly: Report from Committee 19/08/2016

Subordinate legislation as made

No 141: Traffic Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2016 - Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 – 19 August 2016 - The amendments are consistent with the objectives of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 and, in particular, with the objective of providing a scheme for managing the use of the State's roads that will improve road safety (speed cameras).

No 144: Proclamation commencing remaining provisions - Tobacco and Other Smoking Products (Smoke-free Places) Amendment Act 2016 – 26 August 2016 - fixes date of 1 September 2016 for the commencement of the Amendment Act.

No 145: Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016 - Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 – 26 August 2016 - prescribe 1 William Street as a smoke-free government precinct.

No 152: Transport Operations (Marine Safety—Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Regulation 2016 - Transport Operations (Marine Safety— 26 August 2016 - Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Act 2016 - outlines fees available.

No 153: Transport Operations (Marine Safety—Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Regulation 2016 - Transport Operations (Marine Safety— 26 August 2016 - Domestic Commercial Vessel National Law Application) Act 2016 - outlines fees available.


Bills Introduced and Second Read in the first House – 19 August

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Bill.

Police and Justice Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill.

Statutory Rules

No. 100: Road Safety (General) Amendment (Portable Weighing Devices) Regulations 2016

Commencement: 01/09/2016: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-7: on 01/09/2016: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 16/08/2026.

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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