Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 2 August 2017

Last Updated: 4 August 2017
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2017

In the media

New helmets could save lives, reduce quad bike injuries
A newly developed helmet specially designed for farm workers could stem the rising death toll from tragic accidents involving quad bikes, experts say (28 July 2017). More...

Bullying 'prevalent in emergency services' and NSW Parliament wants answers
The NSW Parliament is investigating why police officers, paramedics and firefighters are continually being bullied and harassed in the workplace. NSW Ambulance released a statement saying they did not accept bullying and harassment in the workplace and were supportive of the inquiry (27 July 2017). More...

Harnessing the power of technology to support safety
Drones, apps, computer simulations and the power of social media are supporting safety in construction by providing new ways to investigate incidents and share safety best practice. Work health and safety regulators and technology leaders joined a range of government and private sector organisations to discuss the introduction and embedding of these technologies to enhance work health and safety (27 July 2017). More...

New heavy vehicle cameras boost Queensland's road safety
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the new cameras would monitor heavy vehicles, boosting heavy vehicle safety and providing another step towards a national heavy vehicle compliance network (25 July 2017). More...

Recycler convicted and fined $150,000 after worker loses hand
A recycling company has been convicted and fined a total of $150,000 following an incident in Coolaroo in 2014 in which a worker lost his right hand in an aluminium bailer. SKM Services Pty Ltd was found guilty in the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court on two charges of failing to provide or maintain plant that was safe and without risk to health, and one charge of failing to provide a safe system of work (21 July 2017). More...

Manufacturer commits $1.5 million to safety improvements after worker injured
Borg has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with SafeWork NSW after the worker suffered a serious hand injury due to a poorly guarded metal guillotine at the site. It is NSW's first million dollar ruling since EUs became part of NSW's work health and safety laws in 2012 (20 July 2017). More...

Education program targets workplace bullies
WorkSafe will conduct a series of workshops across Victoria over the next three years to give business owners information about how to recognise, prevent and manage workplace bullying. The workshops will also be accompanied by a program of targeted inspections in the local area (20 July 2017). More...

Inspections to focus on scaffold safety
Builders and contractors are being urged to make scaffolding safety a priority on Victorian construction sites after a string of serious injuries and near misses in recent months. WorkSafe inspectors will be visiting construction sites throughout July and August to ensure sites are managing the hazards and risks associated with the use of scaffolds (19 July 2017). More...

New on the spot fines for safety breaches around powerlines in Queensland
As part of its response to tackling electrical incident statistics, the state government has amended the State Penalties and Enforcement Regulation 2014 to include two new infringement notices for working near overhead or underground powerlines. Government inspectors can now issue on the spot fines of up to $3,000 to businesses which fail to identify risks and implement appropriate control measures (18 July 2017). More...

New national heavy vehicle modification standards released
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has launched a new edition of the vehicle standards bulletin today. The sixth edition, Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6: National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications (VSB6), covers key changes including, updated checklists, compliance procedures, new codes for installation of roll over systems and falling object protection systems (18 July 2017). More...

Manufacturer fined more than $22,000 after ignoring WorkSafe notices
A Moorabbin furniture manufacturer who failed to address WorkSafe notices to fix serious safety breaches has been convicted and fined more than $22,000. Leeming Furniture Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges under the 2004 OHS Act for failing to ensure its workplace was safe and without risks to health (18 July 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Worksafe Victoria Newsletter
Safety Soapbox 28 July 2017

On the Road, Issue 14, 18 July 2017 - NHVR newsletter
The industry updates provide important information for subscribers on the heavy vehicle industry, including the latest NHVR news and events, relevant law and policy changes, and resources to help industry members comply with the law.

In practice and courts

WorkCover Queensland: Serious falls from height at the Gold Coast
There have been several recent falls from height at the Gold Coast which are being investigated by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ). How to Prevent a similar incident, statistics and Prosecutions are outlined here (25 July 2017). More...

New Safety Standards

AS 4024.2802:2017
Safety of machinery - Application of protective equipment to detect the presence of persons. Standards Australia.

AS 2252.5:2017
Controlled environments - Cytotoxic drug safety cabinets (CDSC) - Design, construction, installation, testing and use. Standards Australia.

Proposed national road rules affect heavy vehicle sector
The National Transport Commission is calling for submissions (by 11 August) on proposed amendments to the Australian Road Rules and an accompanying consultation paper. The changes outline work-related tasks, like fatigue and safety management, that drivers can use visual display units and mobile phones for in vehicles. To make a submissions go to this page. Comments are due by 05 August 2017. More...

Cases

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union [2017] FCA 802
INDUSTRIAL LAW – right of entry – Part 3–4 Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) – whether s 500 of the FW Act, which requires that a permit holder exercising or seeking to exercise rights in accordance with Part 3–4, contravened – s 500 only engaged where a permit holder is or is seeking to exercise a right conferred by Part 3–4 of the FW Act and not where entry is made in another capacity – where the permitholders did not provide notice of entry in accordance with s 487 – where the permit-holders did not produce their entry permits on request in accordance with s 489 – consideration of the meaning of "exercising ... rights in accordance with this Part" – the giving of notice under s 487 is a condition of the conferral of a right of entry under Part 3–4 – having not given notice, the permit-holders did not have and could not exercise a Part 3–4 right – whether the permitholders were seeking to exercise a right of entry conferred by s 484 – (see below in relation to proper construction of "seeking to exercise rights in accordance with this Part") – the permit holders were not seeking to exercise a Part 3–4 right – whether entry in disregard of the requirements of ss 487 and 489 amounted to acting in an improper manner – consideration of "otherwise act in an improper manner".
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION –– consideration of the proper construction of "seeking to exercise rights in accordance with this Part" under s 500 of the FW Act – distinction between "seeking" and "purporting" – "in accordance with" means "in conformity with" – the word "seeking" in s 500 connotes a subjective intention to exercise rights and includes the intended but flawed exercise of the right. INDUSTRIAL LAW – right of entry – FW Act, s 503 – where union permit-holders, in the course of entering premises without any right of entry, made certain statements – whether the act of entering and the statements made amounted to taking action, intentionally or recklessly, to give the impression that the permit–holders were authorised to enter – none of the permit-holders' conduct evinced an intention to give the impression that they were authorised to enter, nor was it reckless as to whether that intention was given.
INDUSTRIAL LAW – adverse action – FW Act, s 340 – where union official, in the course of entering premises without any right of entry, made threats to a site manager to take action to disrupt work – threat capable of constituting adverse action under s 341 – allegation that adverse action taken in response to the site manager's request under s 489 for the official to produce his permit – whether a request to see a permit constitutes the exercise of a workplace right – any obligation to produce a permit under s 489 is limited to entries made under subdivision B of Part 3–4 and the section is not engaged where a permit-holder enters in any other capacity – in any event, s 489 does not confer any workplace right upon an occupier. Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904 (Cth) s 42A.

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

The JMAL Group Pty Ltd 165 661 414 25/07/2017
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Fatality; Traffic management Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); 23(1); Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

SKM Services Pty Ltd 130 867 220 19/07/2017
Failure to provide a safe system of work; Unguarded plant; Failure to provide and maintain plant Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court.

Legislation

Commonwealth

New South Wales Fatigue Record-Keeping Exemption Notice 2017 (No. 2)
13 July 2017 - The purpose of this Notice is to exempt record keepers for drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles carrying out specified classes of work in New South Wales from the requirement to keep records of driver work and rest time imposed under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

Victoria

Statutory Rules made

No. 68 Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) Regulations 2017
Commencement: 23/07/2017: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: Regs 1-18: on 23/07/2017: reg. 3. Sunset Date: 11/07/2027.

No. 69 Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Control of Use) (Infringement Notices) Amendment Regulations 2017
Commencement: 23/07/2017: reg. 3 Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 11/07/2027.

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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