Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 22 November 2017

Last Updated: 23 November 2017
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, August 2018

In the media

Don't rush or you risk becoming a workplace statistic
WorkSafe is pleading with employers and workers to take a step back and focus on safety as Victoria enters a traditionally dangerous time of year. According to WorkSafe statistics, almost 25 per cent of all workplace fatalities occurred in November and December (16 November 2017). More...

Transport ministers approve greater access to the road network for high volume vehicles
Australian transport ministers have approved amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to allow greater access to the network for high volume vehicles. Vehicles approved to level 1 of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) will be allowed general access to the road network if their gross mass is below 42.5 tonnes once the amendments are passed by the Queensland Parliament (16 November 2017). More...

Government bans use of dangerous cladding
Fire safety in high-rise buildings will be enhanced by new powers to crack down on the dangerous use of building products, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean announced today. Breaches of the new bans will render offenders liable to fines of more than $1 million for companies, and more than $200,000 for individuals (16 November 2017). More...

Construction company fined over worker's spinal injuries
A Sydney construction company has been fined $300,000 for failing to properly manage a faulty gate which fell on a worker, fracturing her lower spine and pelvis, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. In handing down the penalty, Judge Andrew Scotting took into consideration that this is the third SafeWork NSW prosecution against the company (15 November 2017). More...

CFMEU penalised $54,500 after demanding Qld workers join the union
The CFMEU and two of its officials have been penalised $54,500 after attempting to force workers to join the union at a major Central Queensland construction site (10 November 2017). More...

Lidcombe business fined $300,000 over worker's death
A Lidcombe business has been fined $300,000 – and its director fined a further $60,000 – after a worker was killed in an excavator incident, the Minister responsible for SafeWork NSW, Matt Kean said today. Mr Kean said SafeWork took Harris Holdings and its director Harry Zizikas, 47, to court for breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) by exposing the worker to a risk of death or serious injury (09 November 2017). More...

Business leaders pledge support for mentally healthy workplaces
The leaders of some of NSW's biggest businesses will today commit to significantly improving mental health in their workplaces (09 November 2017). More...

Build aware inspections taking place in Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington
Five Victorian building regulators from the joint initiative 'Build Aware' will inspect building, construction and demolition sites across the cities of Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington, to check whether operators are complying with the law (08 November 2017). More...

Canberra company fined $60k for breaches during Mr Fluffy demolition
Samarkos Earthmoving has been fined after it began demolition of an asbestos-affected house in Torrens without mandatory water spray, causing the building to emit a large cloud of dust (07 November 2017). More...

Queensland gets tough with new industrial manslaughter laws
Tough new industrial manslaughter laws have been passed by Queensland's Parliament despite strong opposition from business groups and concerns about how these could affect the national harmonisation of Workplace Health and Safety laws (07 November 2017). More...

Investigation into Falls Festival crowd crush concludes
Following a comprehensive investigation, WorkSafe has determined there is insufficient evidence to prosecute event organiser Ash Sounds Pty Ltd in relation to an incident at the company's Falls Music and Arts Festival in Lorne last year (06 November 2017). More...

Marie Boland to lead review of the model WHS laws
The 2018 Review will look at how the model WHS laws are working in practice. An extensive consultation process will explore whether the model WHS laws are achieving their original objectives, and if they have resulted in any unintended consequences (03 November 2017). More...

Newcastle speed boat operation fined for unsafe practices
The owner and master of a speed boat ride in Newcastle have pleaded guilty and been fined a total of $26,000 in a local magistrates court this week for failing to ensure the safe operation of a domestic commercial vessel (03 November 2017). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NHVR On the Road, On the Road, Issue 22, 9 November 2017
On the Road provides important information 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 HVNL.

International: WHO mental health in the workplace guide
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued an information sheet on mental health in the workplace. In a list of 'good interventions', it highlights the importance of workforce participation. A recent WHO-led study estimated that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy US$1 trillion (£0.76 trillion) each year in lost productivity.

In practice and courts

SafeWork Australia: 2018 Review of the model WHS laws
The review terms of reference have been set by WHS ministers (03 November 2017). More...

SafeWork Australia: Five years on: Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy review
The mid-term review of the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 (the Strategy) shows that it continues to be an important tool to shape work health and safety (WHS) activities across Australia. The review highlighted 14 key findings which are being considered by Safe Work Australia Members (03 November 2017). More...

Queensland

WorkCover Queensland: Restricted electrical work licence
Restricted electrical work licences allow people to do electrical work incidental to a particular trade or calling. In all cases, restricted electrical work licence holders can only do electrical work within the endorsement, scope of work and National Restricted Electrical Licence units listed on the licence. Section 57(1) of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 requires electrical work licence holders to comply with all conditions and restrictions included in the licence (16 November 2017). More...

Cases

Safe Work NSW v Ceerose Pty Ltd [2017] NSWDC 313
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – injury to worker. SENTENCE – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – fine – circumstances – objective seriousness – specific deterrence – general deterrence – appropriate penalty. SENTENCE PRINCIPLES – parity – totality – community values – remorse – contrition – onerous penalty – extra curial punishment. COSTS – prosecution costs. OTHER – injuries to victim – pelvic injuries – thoracic vertebrae injury – rehabilitation of victim – ongoing difficulties.

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

Brad Perryman Builders Pty Ltd 138 066 172 06/11/2017
Cranes; Crush injuries; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Failure to provide a safe working environment; Failure to provide a safe workplace; High risk construction work. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); Bendigo Magistrates' Court.

Redback Tree Services Pty Ltd 142 559 340 03/11/2017
Electric shock; Failure to provide a safe system of work; Fatality; Failure to provide a safe working environment. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); Melbourne County.

Bahtiyar Aktepe 02/11/2017
False information; Fraud. Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 581(1); 585(1); 585(3); Dandenong Magistrates' Court.

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made
No 225 Proclamation—Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017
27 October 2017 - By proclamation, the provisions of the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act relating to dispute resolution and right of entry, as listed in the schedule to the proclamation, commenced 13 November 2017.

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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