Australia: Work Health & Safety - Whats News - 1 February 2017

Last Updated: 8 February 2017
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger, Rachel Drew and Justine Ansell (formerly with Holding Redlich)

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Government commits to 'never' re-establish RSRT
The federal government has promised to "never" re-establish the tribunal or a similar body that sets up mandatory pay rates that only apply to owner-drivers and small businesses. The government says that the Transport and Infrastructure Council and the NHVR are working to "develop smarter roadside compliance systems, more flexible codes of practice arrangements, and education materials to help the road transport industry better understand their safety obligations" (24 January 2017). More...

Is your workplace as safe as you think?
As employers, it's normal to assume your workplace is safe if you've ticked all the boxes and regularly perform checks. But a recent study by Safe Work Australia shows we might not be managing health and safety as well as we should (24 January 2017). More...

Bliss n Eso actor death a 'wake-up call' for film and TV industry safety, union says
Australia's film and television union says it will take a fresh look at safety for the entire industry after a man was shot dead during the filming of a music video for Australian hip hop group Bliss n Eso in Brisbane's CBD (24 January 2017). More...

Queensland bus drivers, union call for tougher penalties as attacks continue
Bus drivers want assaults on them to be treated as seriously as those on health and emergency workers, with the union representing them claiming dozens of attacks have already been recorded in the first few weeks of the year (22 January 2017). More...

CASA: First step in fatigue rules review
Work to set up an independent review of the new fatigue rules has begun. CASA has finalised the Terms of Reference for the review and issued a tender to engage the services of a suitably qualified independent specialist, or team of specialists, to undertake a review of the latest fatigue rules for air operators and pilots. Learn more about the independent review of the fatigue rules (20 January 2017). More...

$57,500 penalty for CFMEU's 'Armageddon' threat at Royal Adelaide Hospital
The Federal Court has handed down penalties totalling $57,500 to the CFMEU and two of its bosses who threatened "Armageddon" and national industrial action in a dispute at the Royal Adelaide Hospital site (20 January 2017). More...

Dowdell family disgusted by truckie Kenneth Pillar's 'attempts to avoid prosecution'
The family of a South Australian woman killed in a head-on collision feels disgusted and insulted by the truck driver convicted over the crash and "his attempts" to avoid prosecution, the District Court has heard (18 January 2017). More...

Motorists chase compensation for damage caused by Bruce Highway potholes
Motorists who had their cars damaged by a large pothole on the Bruce Highway near Mount Sheridan are seeking compensation from the contractor (18 January 2017). More...

Engineering business fined $225,000 over worker's death
A mechanical and engineering business has been fined $225,000 over the death of a worker at its Cobar workshop in 2014. SafeWork NSW charged PJL Pty Ltd with a breach of section 19(1)/32 of the Work Health and Safety Act (NSW) for failing to manage the risk of serious injury or death from the load frame moving or falling (18 January 2017). More...

Unions face Industrial Relations Commission after telling paramedics to shed heavy jacket in heatwave
The Australian Paramedics Association (APA) and the Health Services Union NSW (HSU) were in court this week by NSW Ambulance for advising paramedics not to wear long-sleeved over-shirts during the recent weeks of soaring temperatures across NSW (17 January 2017). More...

UNSW creates 'smart' fabric to aid safety, medical sectors
University of New South Wales (UNSW) biomedical engineers have developed a 'smart' fabric, similar to bone tissue, that is hoped to transform the safety, medical and transport and industries (17 January 2017). More...

Decision Regulation Impact Statement - Managing risks associated with lead in the workplace
Safe Work Australia has published a Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) on Managing risks associated with lead in the workplace: blood lead removal levels and workplace exposure standard (17 January 2017).

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 13 January, 7 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2017. 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).

In practice and courts

WorkCover Queensland: Learning the art of office ergonomics
Office ergonomics can help you be more comfortable at work, lower stress, and reduce injuries caused by awkward positions and repetitive tasks (24 January 2017). More...

NHVR: Further extension to NSW brake testing transition period
The NHVR and Road and Maritime Services will further extend the current brake testing transition arrangements in NSW until June 2017. More...

Office of Federal Safety Commissioner: July to December 2015 Biannual Data Analysis Report
The report was released on 17 January 2017. More...

NTC: Edition 7.5 of the Australian Dangerous Goods
Visit the NTC website to view all of the changes outlined in Edition 7.5 of the Australian Dangerous Goods, before it takes effect on 1 March 2017.

NTC proposes hydrogen, electric vehicle identifiers
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has invited industry parties to share their thoughts on the latest proposed amendments to the light and heavy vehicle standards. Submissions on the amendments can be made until 3 February 2017.

Senate Inquiry Update
Non-conforming building products
Date Referred: 11 October 2016; Submissions Closed: 01 December 2016; Reporting Date: 25 May 2017.

NSW SafeWork: Chemical spills
Safety Alert 10/01/2017 - This safety alert highlights the severe skin burns that can be caused to workers from caustic chemicals used in restaurants and cafés. More...

NSW SafeWork: Audiometric testing exemption
SafeWork NSW has issued a further one year exemption for the audiometric testing requirements of clause 58(2) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011. The exemption is in force until 1 January 2018. More...

QLD: DNRM Safety Alert 335: Driver thrown from cab in articulated truck roll over
Industry: Metalliferous mines; Subject Transporting materials; Vehicle collision or failure (23 January 2017). More...

Dangerous Goods Operations conference 2017
The Marcus Evans Dangerous Goods Operations (DGO) conference will take place in Melbourne on 16 – 17 March 2017, exploring the best safety management and DGO practices across a range of industries. More...


Green v State of Queensland, Brooker and Keating [2017] QCAT 008
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION - SEX DISCRIMINATION – SEXUAL HARASSMENT – where co-workers set up a sexually explicit prank – whether intention or effect was to humiliate the Applicant – whether events were within section 119 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (sexual harassment).
HUMAN RIGHTS – DISCRIMINATION – GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION - SEX DISCRIMINATION – OTHER MATTERS – where there were alleged detrimental acts after the complaint – whether they were acts of victimisation.
DAMAGES – MEASURE AND REMOTENESS OF DAMAGES IN ACTIONS FOR TORT – REMOTENESS AND CAUSATION – NEW INTERVENING FORCE – whether Applicant feigned his reaction to the prank or grossly exaggerated the effect of the events upon him.
DAMAGES – MEASURE AND REMOTENESS OF DAMAGES IN ACTIONS FOR TORT – MEASURE OF DAMAGES – PERSONAL INJURIES – NON-PECUNIARY DAMAGE – whether the Tribunal should award compensation at a higher level because of Richardson v Oracle Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 82 – whether the Tribunal should be influenced by the award in that case – whether interest should be added to the award for non-financial loss.
PROCEDURE – PERSONAL INJURY OR FATAL ACCIDENTS PROCEEDINGS -STATEMENT OF LOSS AND DAMAGES – where the Tribunal ordered the Respondents to file a Counter Schedule of Loss - where a number of issues of dispute were raised for the first time in final submissions – whether they should have been identified in the Counter Schedule of Loss.

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (The Abseal Case) [2017] FCA 11
INDUSTRIAL LAW – where subcontractor employees not inducted to undertake construction work – consideration of evidence explaining refusal for varying reasons including failure to pay union fees and lack of relevant enterprise agreement – allegations of adverse action and discrimination by union toward subcontractor and employees – whether subcontractor and employees engaged in industrial activity – whether subcontractor exercising workplace right – whether induction staff acting on behalf of union – application dismissed. Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ss 340, 341, 342, 346, 347, 354, 363, 793; Fair Work (Building Industry) Act 2012 (Cth) s 45.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (New South Wales Branch) v Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd and Ferrovial Agroman (Australia) Pty Ltd t/as the Pacifico Acciona Ferrovial Joint Venture [2017] NSWIRComm 1000
RIGHT OF ENTRY DISPUTE – major road construction project – CFMEU in competition with AWU for members and representative rights – bullying and harassment of workers by employee of Pacifico – negative impact on workers mental health – hassling workers about joining the CFMEU – bullying, threatening and standing over workers – making workers nervous and uncomfortable being at work – implications for workers if they joined the CFMEU – workers would lose their bonus – suspected contravention of the WHS Act – failure to ensure the mental health of workers – bullying and harassment policy – workers presented as being extremely stressed and anxious – right of entry under section 117 of WHS Act for the purpose of inquiring into a suspected contravention – right to inspect documents – requirement to give notice under section 120 – requirement to allow the person conducting the business or undertaking to conduct its own investigation first – application granted in part.

Legislation - Commonwealth


Transport Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2016
Bills Digest No. 53, 2016-17 18 January 2017 - strengthening airside security— The proposed amendments would authorise the making of regulations imposing screening and clearance requirements for persons, vehicles and goods while they are within secure airside areas.

Legislative Instruments

Poisons Standard February 2017
23/01/2017 - This standard substitutes the Poisons Standard November 2016 and consists of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons No. 16 (the SUSMP 16).

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Licence Eligibility—Ron Finemore Transport Services Pty Ltd) Declaration 2017
19/01/2017 - This declaration provides that Ron Finemore Transport Services Pty Ltd is eligible to be granted a licence under Part VIII of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Legislation - Victoria

Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2016
The Victorian Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2016 was assented in December of 2016. The Act which will primarily commence in July 2017 and will improve the benefits payable under existing Victorian Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe Victoria schemes (18 January 2017).

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Michael Selinger
Justine Ansell (formerly with Holding Redlich)
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions