Australia: Work Health & Safety - What's News - 13 September 2016

In the media

Mental health at work a challenge for managers
Reported mental health issues in the workplace have risen 56 per cent in the past year, and almost half of companies in a major survey say at least one employee has committed suicide or been at risk of doing so, according to a new report. More...

Safe work initiatives in Queensland recognised
Close to 40 Queensland businesses and staff have been recognised for making a real difference to their workplace by being named as finalists for this year's Safe Work and Return to Work Awards (08 September 2016). More...

Coal miner gets million-dollar payout from Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto has been ordered to pay a former coal miner more than a million dollars in damages after illegally standing him down (05 September 2016). More...

Farmer 'death' spearheads new quad bike safety campaign
A confronting public awareness campaign that highlights the risks associated with quad bike use has been launched by WorkSafe Victoria (04 September 2016). More...

Qld implements heavy vehicle exemption notice
Queensland transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the initiative strikes a balance between cutting industry red tape to improve efficiently and ensuring public safety. The measure applies to oversized agricultural vehicles travelling on regional roads (02 September 2016). More...

NTC and Austroads update driver medical standards
The National Transport Commission (NTC) and Austroads have updated their joint driver health guide, Assessing Fitness to Drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers. Some changes to licensing criteria take account of medical development NTC and Austroads update driver medical standards (01 September 2016). More...

Workers warned of the danger of overhead power lines
Queensland Energy minister Mark Bailey has highlighted the dangers of overhead power lines following recent deaths in the state (02 September 2016). More...</P>

Queensland becomes national leader in smoke alarm legislation
Queensland households will be the safest in the country after new smoke alarm legislation was passed in Parliament today (31 August 2016). More...

Finally, the proof why you really shouldn't come to work sick
When people bring their infectious illness to work, it spreads - and when sick people don't have a financial incentive to show up to work, fewer people get sick, according to a new working paper by the non-profit US National Bureau of Economic Research (31 August 2016). More...

Cudal Lime faces legal action after nearby resident's death
The NSW Department of Industry's Resources Regulator will begin prosecution proceedings against Cudal Lime Products and two of its employees following the death of a local resident (31 August 2016). More...

RM Williams convicted after worker's fingers crushed and burnt while using machinery
Australian boot and clothing company RM Williams has been convicted after a worker was burnt while operating a machine without an interlocked guard (31 August 2016). More...

SA construction company fined after worker death
South Australian construction company Bissen, has been fined and ordered to pay compensation to the family after a worker died from electrocution in 2014 (31 August 2016). More...

Building approvals reaffirm need for strong construction cop on the beat
The Government remains committed to re-establishing the ABCC and building code. The ABCC laws will ensure that Australia's building and construction industry is not hampered by unnecessary and costly industrial action, as well as bullying, intimidation and unlawful behaviour that promotes inefficiency and pushes up costs (30 August 2016). More...

Macmahon fined for worker death
Macmahon has been fined $75,000 for the death of a worker at Glencore's CSA copper mine (30 August 2016). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: Quad bikes in rural workplaces information sheet
This information sheet provides advice on managing the risks of using quad bikes in rural workplaces. This includes guidance on determining farm vehicle needs and identifying alternative options for the most suitable farm vehicles (07 September 2016).

Safe Work Australia: Guide for managing the risks of machinery in rural workplaces
This Guide provides information on how to manage the risks of machinery, vehicles and other types of plant used in rural workplaces (07 September 2016).

International road safety comparisons 2014: statistical report
Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development (Australia): 6 September 2016
This report presents tabulations of road deaths and road death rates for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations and Australian states and territories.

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 02 September 2016
This edition provides an update on Mobile concrete placing booms (boom pumps), as well as the usual list of notifiable incidents: 34 near misses, 15 lacerations, 5 electric shocks, 5 factures, 3 punctures, 7 other and 10 unknown.

In practice and courts

Safe Work Australia updates bullying guides
Workplace bullying is a risk to health and safety, and can occur in all types of workplaces. Safe Work Australia has updated two publications on workplace bullying to provide greater guidance for managers and workers:

Assessing fitness to drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers (2016 Edition)
Austroads: 1 September 2016
This joint publication of Austroads and the National Transport Commission (NTC), details the medical standards for driver licensing for use by health professionals and driver licensing authorities.

Safety Alert: hydraulic equipment and systems hazards
The NSW Government has issued a safety alert for operators on the hazards and safe practices around the operation and maintenance of hydraulic equipment (30 August 2016).

WorkSafe Queensland: Four steps to manage hazardous manual task risks in the work
Risk management is a four-step process for controlling exposure to health and safety risks associated with hazards in the workplace, which are outlined here (02 September 2016).

SafeWork Queensland: Risks for new workers
Using a checklist is a simple way to make sure you've remembered to show your new worker where facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom are, and where necessary equipment is kept (01 September 2016).

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Alert - Overturning of pick and carry cranes
This Alert highlights the risks of overturning pick and carry cranes while traveling with a suspended load. It also provides guidance to duty holders (such as employers and self-employed persons) on managing these risks (03 September 2016).

WorkSafe Victoria: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007 and Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2007 (EPS Regulations) Review
The changes have been designed to modernise and streamline the existing OHS Regulations 2007, 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.

Cases

Golden City Support Services Inc. A009388D 26/08/2016
Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1) ; Bendigo County.

Legislation – Commonwealth

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Country of Origin) Bill 2016
Registered 05/09/2016 HR 01/09/2016 - A Bill for an Act to amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, and for related purposes.

Food Standards (Proposal P1041 – Removal of Country of Origin Labelling Requirements) Variation
30/08/2016 - This instrument varies standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Information requirements – country of origin labelling.

Food Standards (Application A1118 – Food derived from Herbicide-tolerant Corn Line MON87419) Variation
30/08/2016 - This instrument varies standards in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Schedule 26 is varied by inserting in the table to subsection S26—3(4) in alphabetical order under item 2 (za) herbicide-tolerant corn line MON87419.

High Court (2017 Sittings) Rules 2016
This Rule of Court appoints the High Court's days of sittings for 2017. Listed 29 August 2016.

Bills Updated

Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Bill 2016
Introduced on 23/02/2016 Stage reached: Passed with amendment on 31/08/2016.
Assent Date: 8/09/2016 Act No: Act No. 45 of 2016. The objective of the Bill is to improve personal safety in domestic dwellings by requiring the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all dwellings thereby reducing the loss of life or injury.

Public Safety Business Agency and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Introduced on 24/05/2016 Stage reached: Passed on 30/08/2016.
This Bill amends various legislation within the public safety portfolio in order to implement the key recommendations made by the Public Service Commission review.

Legislation – Victoria

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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Authors
Michael Selinger
 
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