Australia: Work Health & Safety News – 30 May 2018

Last Updated: 4 June 2018
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2018

In the media

Workplace manslaughter laws to protect Victorians
Employers whose negligence leads to the death of an employee will face up to 20 years in jail under tough new laws to be introduced by a re-elected Andrews Labor Government. Under the proposed new law, employers will face fines of almost $16 million and individuals responsible for negligently causing death will be held to account and face up to 20 years in jail (26 May 2018). More...

Changes date for Chain of Responsibility laws confirmed
October 1 gives extra time for industry sectors to prepare, NHVR says. The reforms complement national workplace safety laws, and place a positive duty-of-care on supply chain parties (22 May 2018). More...

Occupational Health and Safety
The national safety regulator launches an investigation after a CareFlight helicopter allegedly lost control during a search and rescue operation near Darwin earlier this month (22 May 2018). More...

Second company convicted after apprentice seriously burnt
H&A Majestic Plumbing Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge containing two contraventions of section 21(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 in that it failed to provide a workplace that was safe and without risks to health. It was fined $40,000 in the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court and ordered to pay $9,713 in costs (22 May 2018). More...

Protecting our emergency workers: Joint statement
The Andrews Labor Government has given The Police Association Victoria and the Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria assurances that anyone who attacks and injures an emergency worker will receive a custodial sentence (21 May 2018). More...

Coal burst leads to Austar suspension
The prohibition notice will remain in place until a detailed geotechnical assessment is carried out, and the mine operator can satisfy the Regulator that comprehensive risk controls can be implemented to protect workers against the threat of further and escalated outburst events (18 May 2018). More...

Driver competency framework set for new reviews
Austroads will set up a working party to deal with issues rising from its report into the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework (18 May 2018). More...

Trucking company fined over 'preventable' deaths of Irish construction workers
The deaths of two workers were preventable because there were "simple and practical steps" the trucking company, Axedale Holdings, could have taken to ensure the panels were secure, the deputy chief magistrate says (17 May 2018). More...

Builder, scaffold business fined more than $60,000
Whineray Consulting Pty Ltd, trading as Topscaff Scaffolding, was found guilty of three charges, including two of failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace, and one of failing to ensure people other than employees were not exposed to risks posed by scaffolding at the Oslo Apartments Project (15 May 2018). More...

Excavation collapse on apprentice leads to $80,000 fine
A construction company has been convicted and fined $80,000 after an excavation collapsed leaving a 17-year-old apprentice plumber with life-threatening injuries. Olive Construction Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to one charge contrary to section 26 of the OHS Act for failing to provide a workplace that was safe and without risks to health (15 May 2018). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

NHVR On the Road, Issue 34, 14 May 2018
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.

In practice and courts

Current Inquiries

The framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia
On 26 March 2018, the Senate referred the inquiry into the framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 20 September 2018. The closing date for submissions is 6 June 2018. More...

NHVR: Changes to Chain of Responsibility laws confirmed for 1 October
Reforms to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws will be implemented from 1 October. Duty holders who assess their risks and manage them will be complying with both the HVNL and workplace safety law. The NHVR has information available including CoR Gap Assessment tools, role-specific fact sheets, Safety Management System templates and tools, and videos and podcasts. For more information visit www.nhvr.gov.au/cor (22 May 2018). More...

NHVR: EWDs get the green light
The NHVR will accept applications for approval for Electronic Work Diaries (EWDs) from 28 May, after releasing the final consultation. More...

AMSA: Crewing requirements for grandfathered passenger vessels
Exemption 28 has been extended from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2018. Until 30 June 2018, the owners of grandfathered passenger vessels (Class 1) can choose whether to comply with the number of crew required in NSCV Part E (number of crew) or the grandfathered crewing requirements that applied to the vessel on 30 June 2013. More...

New South Wales

Work Health and Safety: Better Practice Procedures
Document number: PD2018_013; Publication date: 14 May 2018
The purpose of this Policy Directive, and more specifically, the attached Better Practice Procedures is to support Agencies to implement an effective work health and safety management system that is consistent with NSW Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation; and provide information to clarify the duties and responsibilities of officers and managers/supervisors in contributing to a safe and healthy work environment. More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 18 May 2018
In this edition Steve Darnley from WorkSafe's Construction Program writes about the need to inspect and test portable electrical equipment on construction sites. More...

Cases

Stefanac v Secretary, Department of Family and Community Services [2018] NSWCATAD 106
HUMAN RIGHTS – complaint of assumed disability discrimination – where employer directed employee to go on sick leave because it was thought that she had a mental illness – applicability of differential treatment element of direct discrimination to assumed disability complaints.

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

Baron Forge Contractors Pty Ltd 160 547 035 18/05/2018
Crush injuries; failure to provide a safe system of work; failure to provide information, instruction, training or supervision; plant. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); 21(1)&(2)(e); Melbourne Magistrates' Court.

H&A Majestic Plumbing Pty. Limited 133 087 760 15/05/2018
Failure to prepare a SWMS; high risk construction work. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1); Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court.

Jeld-Wen Glass Australia Pty Ltd 116 051 391 10/05/2018
Crush injuries; unguarded plant; failure to provide and maintain plant; plant. Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 21(1)&(2)(a); Ringwood Magistrates' Court.

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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