Australia: Work Health & Safety News - 24 May 2017

In the media

New offence to be created to target deadly workplace practices
The Queensland Government will introduce the new offence of "negligence causing death" following an interim recommendation from the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety. The Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety was established following the Eagle Farm and Dreamworld tragedies in 2016 and is due to report to the Government by 30 June 2017 (19 May 2017). More...

Resources Regulator welcomes appeals court ruling
The NSW Department of Planning and Environment's Resources Regulator has welcomed the successful appeal against the inadequate conviction of a company whose employee was left a quadriplegic in a workplace accident at a Hunter Valley (17 May 2017). More...

Arborist fined after worker suffers severe injuries
A Sydney arborist has been fined $80,000 after a worker sustained serious and permanent injuries while felling a tree (17 May 2017). More...

S. Kidman and Co employee's death 'swept under the carpet'
The family of a young man killed while working for one of Australia's largest beef producers has accused the company of trying to "sweep his death under the carpet" (15 May 2017). More...

Driver fatigue issues found during audit of truck company involved in double fatality
An audit of Redstar Transport finds issues with loads and driver fatigue, after the company was involved in a crash that killed two boys near Dubbo (12 May 2017). More...

LGA SA and NHVR to collaborate on implementation of National Heavy Vehicle Law
The NHVR has signed an agreement with South Australia's peak local government body to improve productivity and safety across the (12 May 2017). More...

Court penalises CFMEU leaders in $277,000 Perth Children's Hospital decision
The CFMEU and seven of its officials, including senior union leaders Dave Noonan (National Secretary), Mick Buchan (WA State Secretary) and Joe McDonald (then WA Assistant State Secretary), have been penalised for unlawful conduct which halted work at the $1.2 billion Perth Children's Hospital project (11 May 2017). More...

Safety blitz targets mobile plant on building sites
Over the past decade, 16 people have died working with or around machinery such cranes, front end loaders, elevated work platforms, forklifts, skid steer loaders, concrete trucks and other types of powered mobile plant (10 May 2017). More...

KFC fined $100K after worker accidentally steps into tank of hot oil
A 16-year-old fast-food worker suffered severe burns to 9 per cent of his body after stepping backwards into a tank of hot oil that had been placed on the floor behind him without warning by another worker, Safework SA says (09 May 2017). More...

Window glass company fined $1 million for WHS breach
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean has welcomed a District Court decision to fine a window glass company $1 million – the highest ever fine imposed in NSW under the Work Health and Safety Act (09 May 2017). More...

Supply chain support for new laws
Up to 165,000 companies that make up Australia's heavy vehicle supply chain will be required to take steps to deliver (05 May 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Year-to-date 2017: Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplace
As at 11 May, 57 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2017. The number of worker deaths listed in this table is based on initial media reports and is a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. More...

In practice and courts

Public Comment on WorkSafe Victoria Compliance Codes
With the Minister's approval, eight draft Compliance Codes have now been issued for public comment. These are:

  • Hazardous Manual Handling Compliance Code
  • Hazardous Substances Compliance Code
  • Plant Compliance Code
  • Confined Spaces Compliance Code
  • Demolition Compliance Code
  • Facilities in Construction Compliance Code
  • Excavation Compliance Code
  • Noise Compliance Code

The links to these proposed codes are here. Summaries of proposed changes to the codes can be found here. Public comment, which closes on Friday 9 June, can be submitted online or by using a submission form.

HHVR On the Road, Issue 9, 8 May 2017
NHVR factsheets - The NHVR has released 10 fact sheets for the 165,000 companies that make up Australia's heavy vehicle supply chain. The new fact sheets and videos are available at www.nhvr.gov.au/cor. 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...

Queensland DNRM: Applicability of texts, standards, guidelines and codes to safety and health management systems
08 May 2017: Document number: 161
Clarification and guidance on the use of relevant texts, standards, codes, guidelines and similar reference material in development of mines' safety and health management systems and associated procedures. More...

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.

Cases

SafeWork NSW v Grant [2017] NSWDC 99
CRIME – work health and safety – Category 2 offence – guilty plea – no prior conviction – arborist services – dead tree – tree felling – worker attached to falling tree; others working on the ground – serious injury including severe brain injury – foreseeability – aggravating factors – specific deterrence – general deterrence – mitigating factors – remorse – discount.

Legislation

Victoria

Statutory Rules

No. 22 : Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 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
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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Authors
Michael Selinger
 
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