Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 12 September 2017

Last Updated: 15 September 2017
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2017

In the media

ALC outlines 10-point work program at Summit
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has identified key priority areas that will form the basis of its efforts to improve supply chain safety in the coming year. One of the core agendas of the event was to discuss the upcoming changes to Chain of Responsibility (COR) obligations under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and the development of a registered industry code of practice (Master Code) to assist COR compliance (07 September 2017). More...

Builder convicted and fined $880,000 over death of apprentice
A Moorabbin building company and its director were yesterday convicted and fined a total of $880,000 over the death of a 21-year-old apprentice at a Caulfield South construction site in August 2013 (06 September 2017). More...

Safety Bureau's reform agenda no accident
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will become more selective in allocating resources and investigating accidents and serious incidents that offer the greatest potential for learning safety lessons (05 September 2017). More...

Cross-border safety program to focus on young workers
WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW will focus on young workers when they team up in Yarrawonga – Mulwala this week as part of this year's Cross Border Construction Program (04 September 2017). More...

Electricity Safety Week shines spotlight on electrical safety in Queensland
Electricity Safety Week (4-8 September) will shine the spotlight firmly on electrical safety with a host of events tailored specifically for electrical contractors and workers. Minister for Industrial Relations Grace Grace said "Recent changes to regulations mean we can now review the competency of those seeking a license or looking to renew one," (04 September 2017). More...

Alarming statistics on drug and alcohol use in mining and agriculture
Research shows a disturbing trend towards alcohol and drug consumption before work for people in mining and agriculture (01 September 2017). More...

Workplace the focus of new mental health plan
The serious impact of mental health issues in the workplace will be addressed in a new strategy, being launched today in front of businesses, academics and non-government organisations (NGOs) (29 August 2017). More...

Queensland passes building product safety laws
The Queensland Government has passed laws to increase accountability for dangerous building products, including flammable building cladding. These powers will assist the Government's Audit Taskforce in its work responding to potentially dangerous building cladding in Queensland (28 August 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

SafeWork Australia Fatality statistics
There has not been an update on the workplace fatalities reported to the national body since our last edition. As at August 28, 115 had been reported. To check for updates and full figures for 2017, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage. The latest monthly fatality report published remains that for April 2017, during which there were 13 work-related notifiable fatalities. To download the latest report, go to the Notifiable Fatalities Monthly Report webpage.

In practice and courts

NHVR: New vehicle modification standards come into effect 1 Sept
Version 3 of the new Vehicle Standards Bulletin 6: National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modifications (VSB6) will become the new national standard for the most common modifications made to heavy vehicles, effective on 1 September 2017. From 1 October, all modifications certified by an AVE must be done in accordance with VSB6 Version 3. More... More...

NTC: PBS marketplace review seeks to build on safety and productivity gains as Australia's freight task grows
The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a discussion paper which presents preliminary findings of an evaluation of the PBS scheme and possible actions for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme. Submissions in response to this discussion paper will be accepted until 9 October 2017. More... More...

NSW

Consultation @ Work Conference
Event | 25/10/2017 - If you are a Health and Safety Representative (HSR), HSR training provider, an employer or a worker, you are invited to attend our free Consultation @ Work Conference. This is the first time SafeWork NSW has held this conference. Places are limited, so secure your spot now.

Work Health and Safety Legislation
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 was repealed on 1 September and replaced by the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017, which comes into effect on the same day. The changes are outlined here.

Queensland

WorkCover Queensland: Billboard workers overhead powerlines electric shock
On 7 August 2017, two workers in an uninsulated elevating work platform contacted an 11 kV powerline with the six metre aluminium sail track they were reinstalling on a billboard. Billboard company operators must ensure that nothing and no-one comes within an unsafe distance of an overhead powerline. The billboard company involved in the 2012 fatality was fined $125,000 with costs totalling nearly $50,000 (05 September 2017). More...

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). Protection must be provided if there is a risk of falling through the roof and work is being done on the top of the roof. Control measures to prevent injury from work on fragile roofs are similar to methods used for roof work more generally, are outlined here (04 September 2017).

WorkCover Queensland: Wiring Rules update: new requirements for sleeving of conductors and segregation of different services
The Australian Standard AS/NZS3000 (the Wiring Rules) is being updated and due to be published later this year. It will include some changes to the requirements of sleeving of conductors and clarification on the segregation of different electrical installations outlined here (05 September 2017). More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox
The Safety Soapbox issue was released on 08 September 2017. Read the list of reported incidents from 18 August to 31 August 2017. Since the last edition of Safety Soapbox, there have been 49 incidents, serious enough to be reported to WorkSafe, from the construction, utility, quarrying and mining industries. Access the latest edition of Safety Soapbox here.

Fine increased on appeal
A Victorian earthmoving company has been convicted, and the original magistrate's fine more than quadrupled by a County Court Judge, in a strong message for other businesses that risk the safety of employees. More...

Cases

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Dig It Landscapes Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 2128
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Penalty hearing – unlawful industrial action under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Respondent admitted contravention – imposition of appropriate penalty – worst category – s.354 discrimination.

Lorelle Hillman v NSW Trains [2017] NSWIRComm 1056
REINSTATEMENT OF INJURED WORKER – rail worker - applicant terminated on basis that she was unsuitable for the inherent physical requirements of her former role - medical assessment found her fit - reinstatement and lost remuneration orders made.

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

Phil McDonald Plumbing Pty Ltd 159 325 265 25/08/2017
Falls/work at height offences. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1); Ballarat.

Industrial Lining Pty Limited 065 225 096 25/08/2017
Confined spaces; Exposure to chemicals; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard assessment; Failure to conduct a risk/hazard identification; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; Failure to provide a safe workplace. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(e); 21(1); Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court.

Legislation

Commonwealth

Regulation

Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Amendment (Incident Notification and Reporting) Regulations 2017
No longer in force - Tabled HR 04 September 2017, Tabled Senate 04 September 2017.
These regulations amend the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Regulations 1995 to enable the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to streamline the incident notification and reporting obligations of maritime operators. AMSA will be able to specify one form for incident notification and one form for incident reporting, regardless of the jurisdiction the incident occurred in.

Queensland

Bills assented

Building and Construction Legislation (Non-conforming Building Products - Chain of Responsibility and Other Matters) Amendment Bill 2017
Assent Date: 31/08/2017 Act No: Act No. 29 of 2017 Commences: by Proclamation. The objective of the Act, assented to on 31 August 2017, is to promote the safety of Queensland's buildings by introducing duties on supply chain participants for building products to ensure building products are safe and enabling the Government, through the administering Minister and Queensland's building regulator, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, to investigate and effectively respond to incidents of non conforming building products.

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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