Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 9 May 2017

Last Updated: 12 May 2017
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger, Rachel Drew and Justine Ansell

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2017

In the media

WorkSafe and EPA strengthen ties as Hazelwood project nears
WorkSafe Victoria and the Environment Protection Authority have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding which further strengthens collaboration between both regulators (05 May 2017). More...

Airtasker agrees to minimum working conditions for 'gig economy' contractors
Airtasker, the online facilitator of odd jobs, has agreed to minimum working conditions for its service providers in what is being described as a world first in the so-called gig economy (01 May 2017). More...

Mandatory licensing to crack down on rogue labour hire operators
Mandatory licensing of labour hire companies will be introduced in Queensland in a bid to crack-down on rogue operators who are exploiting and mistreating vulnerable workers. Under the proposed mandatory licensing scheme, all labour hire providers operating in Queensland would need to pass a fit-and-proper person test and comply with strict workplace laws, including workers' compensation, wages and superannuation (01 May 2017). More...

Quad bike safety training free for farmers
Farmers will now receive free quad bike training in a major boost to the safety improvement program aimed at significantly reducing the number of deaths on rural properties across NSW (30 April 2017). More...

Mental illness workers' compo claims cost 'toxic' businesses double
Workers' compensation payouts for mental illnesses cost more than double those for physical illnesses, with workers off the job almost three times as long, new data from Safe Work Australia shows. These figures highlight the huge financial toll to businesses for ignoring risks to workers' mental health (28 April 2017). More...

Rinehart company to admit guilt in relation to death of worker
After two years of fighting claims it failed in its duty of care to a worker who died at a Northern Territory cattle station, S. Kidman and Co is set to admit guilt, a court hears (28 April 2017). More...

New chapters published in Occupational Health and Safety Body of Knowledge
The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Safety Centre and the Safety Institute of Australia will publish two new chapters in the Occupational Health and Safety Body of Knowledge this week, aiming to close the gap between health and safety professionals and process safety engineers (24 April 2017). More...

Supreme Court throws out Colbert appeal
The South Australian Supreme Court has rejected trucking company owner Peter Colbert's endangering life and manslaughter sentencing appeal. The three judges sitting as the Court of Criminal Appeal, in findings released recently, rejected unanimously the Colbert Transport boss' contentions (24 April 2017). More...

RMS confirms block to halting incompetent truck drivers
The New South Wales road authority has told a Senate committee that there are no powers in the state to suspend the licences of wrongly accredited truck drivers (20 April 2017). More...

Cleanaway fined over Adelaide chemical fire
Waste management company Cleanaway has been convicted and fined $650,000 over a chemical fire in Adelaide that injured an employee (20 April 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Returning to work after armed robbery in the workplace
Georgina Fuller and Simon Ng, (2017) Australian Institute of Criminology, Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice no. 529
Armed robbery exposes workers to serious harm in an environment where day-to-day safety is not normally a concern, and can have a wide range of negative consequences for employees. This research examined a sample of 93 victims of armed robbery in the workplace to determine what helped or hindered their return to work. The results are discussed in the context of enhancing how small businesses respond to and support victims of armed robbery in the workplace.

Worker participation in the management of occupational safety and health: qualitative evidence from ESENER-2
According to the report, the survey identified an increase in the "management systems approach" to OHS across Europe, and a decline in worker representation. In many cases, OHS representatives' roles and functions are being steered by safety managers or other specialists, it found (April 2017).

Safe Work Australia: Fatality statistics
The SWA website has not been updated since last week: as of 26 April, 51 fatalities had been reported. The numbers and industries may vary as Safe Work receives more detailed information (to check for updates and full figures for 2016, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities page).

In practice and courts

NTC Discussion Paper - Clarifying control of automated vehicles
This paper outlines the rationale for national enforcement guidelines to clarify how regulatory concepts of control and proper control in the Australian Road Rules should apply to automated vehicles. The paper explores options in relation to vehicles operating with partial, conditional, high or full automation. Submissions will be accepted until 2 June 2017 online at More...

NHVR: Chain of Responsibility information sessions, from May 2017
The NHVR, in conjunction with a number of industry associations, is delivering information sessions across the country to discuss the changes to CoR and ensure you have the information you need to be prepared. For further details and to register for an information session, please use the table listed under the link here. More...

Senate Inquiry Update

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

Workcover Queensland: eSAFE – 28 April 2017
See the latest issue here eSAFE - April 2017.

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 5 May 2017
See the latest issue here Safety Soapbox 5 May 2017.

Victorian Legislation
The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations 2017) and the Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2017 (EPS Regulations 2017) take effect on 18 June 2017. These are available to download from the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents page of the Victorian Legislation website.


Southern Generators & Electrical Pty Ltd 081 870 895 02/05/2017
Burns; Electric shock; Failure to provide a safe system of work, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); Melbourne County Court.

Stadelmann Enterprises Pty Ltd 006 250 228 24/04/2017
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(b); 21(1)&(2)(e); 23(1); Wangaratta Magistrates' Court. More...



Statutory Rules

No. 22: Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
Date of Making: 26/04/2017. Commencement: Regs 1-376(b), 377-Sch. 3 cl. 18, Sch. 3 cl. 20-Sch. 16 cl. 1.6(f), Sch. 16 cl. 1.7-Sch. 17 cl. 10(a), Schs 18, 19 on 18/06/2017: reg. 3(1) Reg. 376(c), Sch. 3 cl. 19, Sch. 16 cl. 1.6(g), Sch. 17 cl. 10(b) on 18/06/2018: reg. 3(2) Not yet in operation: Regs 1-376(b), 377-Sch. 3 cl. 18, Sch. 3 cl. 20-Sch. 16 cl. 1.6(f), Sch. 16 cl. 1.7-Sch. 17 cl. 10(a), Schs 18, 19: on 18/06/2017: reg. 3(1) Reg. 376(c), Sch. 3 cl. 19, Sch. 16 cl. 1.6(g), Sch. 17 cl. 10(b): on 18/06/2018: reg. 3(2) 3 Sunset Date: 26/04/2027.

No. 23: Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2017
Date of Making: 26/04/2017 Commencement: 18/06/2017: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-49: on 18/06/2017: reg. 3 Sunset Date: 26/04/2027.

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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Michael Selinger
Justine Ansell
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