Australia: Whats news in work health & safety? - 1 March 2017

Last Updated: 5 March 2017
Article by Charles Power, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger, Rachel Drew, Justine Ansell and Benjamin Marshall

Most Read Contributor in Australia, February 2017

In the media

Bakery fined after worker's fingers amputated
A bakery in Altona North was fined $40,000 for breaching the 2004 OHS Act after a worker's fingertips were amputated by a machine filling pastries with custard. Pinnacle Bakery & Integrated Ingredients Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court for failing to provide and maintain safe plant and failing to provide appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision (23 February 2017). More...

Essendon plane crash aircraft recently underwent maintenance check
A plane that crashed near Essendon Airport, killing five people, had been through a maintenance check only last month, it has been revealed, as investigators continue to gather evidence at the scene (23 February 2017). More...

Earthworks business fined $90,000 over worker injuries
A Bathurst earthworks business has been fined $90,000 for failing to comply with safety standards that led to two workers being injured in January 2015. SafeWork NSW charged Bustin' Free Earthworks Pty Ltd with a breach of section 19(1)/32 of the Work Health and Safety Act (NSW), for exposing workers to the risk of serious injury or death as a result of being engulfed in a trench that was not properly secured from collapsing (21 February 2017). More...

Government to hold reef safety roundtable in Cairns
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace will convene the roundtable, bringing together tourism operators, Surf Life Saving Queensland, Northern Coroner Magistrate Kevin Priestly and other industry stakeholders, to consider international best practice standards and assess possible increased safety measures to protect visitors (21 February 2017). More...

Warnings ignored: forklift driver fined $11K for death
An employee has been fined $11,000 and ordered to pay $1,745 in costs after his forklift struck and killed a co-worker at a hay bailing workplace. He had twice been warned not to drive with the forks raised.

Funding Boost to put the safety of Health Workers First in Victoria
Frontline workers and patients will benefit from additional safety measures to reduce and prevent violence in hospitals and mental health services through the second round of the Andrews Labor Government's $20 million Health Service Violence Prevention Fund (23 February 2017). More...

Health Check for Racing Industry Participants
The new $32,600 project will examine the health of those involved in the racing industry and engage racing participants to adopt more healthy behaviours. Racing Victoria will use the data from the project to better understand health issues in the racing industry and to tailor future health and wellbeing engagement programs to racing participants (21 February 2017). More...

Two dead and one injured in horror weekend
Two men were killed and another suffered critical head injuries in three separate incidents at the weekend. WorkSafe's Executive Director of Health and Safety, Marnie Williams said agriculture and construction were high-risk industries so safety had to be a priority (20 February 2017). More...

Bega Cheese fined for dangerous goods breach
The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Bega Cheese Limited, Bobbins Transport and an employee of the transport company for not carrying the appropriate dangerous goods transport documentation (15 February 2017). More...

Former CFA chiefs avoid charges over Fiskville Training College due to sluggish Worksafe response
Former CFA chiefs have dodged prosecution on serious safety breaches at the shutdown Fiskville Training College because Worksafe took too long to investigate it (11 February 2017). More...

Steel company fined after semi-trailer driver falls while unloading
A steel company has been fined $40,000 for failing to ensure safety after a truck driver fell from his trailer while unloading steel at Pinkenba in 2014 (09 February 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 22 February, 25 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).

The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey: 2016 data
Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (ACU), Principal Health & Wellbeing Survey; Philip Riley: 15 February 2017.
The aim of this research project is to conduct a longitudinal study annually monitoring school principals and deputy/assistant principals' health and wellbeing.

In practice and courts

NHVR Consultation: draft of the Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB) 6: National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications
The NHVR seeks feedback from the transport industry on today's updated draft of the Vehicle Standards Bulletin (VSB) 6: National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications. The draft VSB6 will be available for review until 17 March. The public consultation draft is available at www.nhvr.gov.au/VSB6.

NHVR Notices: The National Livestock Welfare Work and Rest Exemption Notice 2017 (No. 1)
Provides additional work time to drivers transporting livestock. Commences 10 February 2017.

NHVR Notices: NSW Fatigue Record-Keeping Exemption Notice 2017 (No. 1)
Extends current record keeping arrangements for non-reward for hire drivers. Commences 10 February 2017.

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.

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

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.

WorkCover Queensland: Allied health update
WorkCover Queensland held its quarterly meeting with allied health associations on 22 February 2017. The meeting covered WorkCover's education campaigns, return to work panel performance measures and upcoming events (22 February 2017).

DNRM Queensland: Transport providers authorised to transport low risk loads of explosives
13 February 2017 - Transport providers authorised to transport low risk loads of explosives. Consignment notes must clearly identify the explosives being carried and their classification.

WorkSafe Victoria: Building regulators heading to Geelong and Surf Coast
Builders will have access to a range of construction industry experts when regulators visit Geelong and the Surf Coast next week to examine safety and building compliance. A week of site inspections will be undertaken by representatives from the Victorian Building Authority (VBA), WorkSafe Victoria, Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV), Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) (14 February 2017).

Queensland Fair Trading

Ethanol burner safety warning
20 February 2017 - An interim ban on unsafe ethanol burners has been extended by 30 days.

New safety standards

AS ISO 10377:2017
Consumer product safety - Guidelines for suppliers - Standards Australia.

AS ISO 10393:2017
Consumer product recall - Guidelines for suppliers - Standards Australia.

AS/NZS 3845.2:2017
Road safety barrier systems and devices - Road safety devices - Standards Australia.

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.

Cases

Schobbe v ANZ Banking Group Limited [2017] NSWIRComm 1005
APPLICATION FOR REINSTATEMENT OF DISMISSED INJURED WORKER – application opposed on basis that applicant was not dismissed because she was not fit for employment as a result of an injury arising out of or in the course of employment – applicant dismissed for failing to follow directions relating to the taking of sick leave and for failing to act with honesty and integrity – taking of excessive amounts of sick leave – counselling meetings – applicant claimed she felt bullied – Final Warning letter – applicant dismissed – workers compensation claim – consent orders in Workers Compensation Commission – application for reinstatement order dismissed.

SafeWork NSW v United Roof Tiling Pty Ltd [2017] NSWDC 14
CRIME – WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY – roof tiler employed by the defendant – worker fell two storeys to the ground and sustained serious injury – other workers fell without sustaining injury – awning not properly supported – no safety rails, harnesses or nets – defendant had SWMS but did not follow it – risk identified by defendant's director shortly before incident – general and specific deterrence – plea of guilty delayed – parity of sentence inapplicable as to other person charged – s 10 inappropriate as offence not trivial with potential fatal consequences and several persons at risk and defendant's director aware of the risk, left worksite without risk being addressed – whether costs payable by defendant to prosecutor may be taken into account - discount of 20%.

WorkSafe Victoria Decisions

Seymour Rural Equipment Pty Ltd 005 689 814 10/02/2017
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Guarding; Unguarded plant. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); Seymour Magistrates' Court.

Goldsmith Civil & Environmental Pty Ltd 127 510 472 08/02/2017
Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Traffic management; Failure to provide a safe working environment Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(e); Sunshine Magistrates' Court.

Legislation – Commonwealth

Legislation (Deferral of Sunsetting—Approved Occupational Clothing Guidelines) Certificate 2017
14/02/2017; Tabled HR 16/02/2017 - This instrument defers the sunsetting of the Approved Occupational Clothing Guidelines 2006 to 1 October 2017.

Legislation – New South Wales

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments

Liquor Amendment Regulation 2017 (2017-29) — published LW 17 February 2017.

Order regarding volunteers taking part in emergency operations (2017-28) — published LW 13 February 2017.

Bills introduced - Government

Sporting Venues Authorities Amendment Bill 2017

Transport Administration Amendment (Independent Transport Safety Regulator) Bill 2017

Legislation – Queensland

Bills updated

Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017
Introduced on 14/02/2017 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 14/02/2017.

Police Powers and Responsibilities (Commonwealth Games) Amendment Bill 2017 Introduced on 14/02/2017 Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 14/02/2017.

Water Legislation (Dam Safety) Amendment Bill 2016 Stage reached: Report from Committee on 21/02/2017.

Subordinate legislation as made

No 18 Uniform Civil Procedure (Representative Proceedings) Amendment Rule 2017 – 24 February 2017. Supreme Court of Queensland Act 1991

No 20 Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2017 – 24 February 2017. Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act 1994; Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995.

Legislation – Victoria

Bills Legislative Council - Second Reading, Date Moved: 23/02/2017

Electricity Safety Amendment (Bushfire Mitigation Civil Penalties Scheme) Bill 2017 The main purpose of the Bill, is to amend the Electricity Safety Act 1998 to impose additional bushfire mitigation requirements on major electricity companies, to enable the enforcement of those requirements through a civil penalty enforcement regime, and to provide for information notices and other matters

Statutory Rules made

No. 2 Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail) and (Explosives) Amendment Regulations 2017
Date of Making: 21/02/2017 Commencement: 01/03/2017: reg. 3. Not yet in operation: Regs 1-21: on 01/03/2017: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 21/02/2027.

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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