Australia: Work, Health and Safety News - 22 August 2018

Last Updated: 28 August 2018
Article by Charles Power, Benjamin Marshall, Stephen Trew, Michael Selinger and Rachel Drew

Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2018

In the media

Government regulator left inspections of fatal ride up to Dreamworld
Queensland Government safety inspectors did not personally inspect, review or audit the Thunder River Rapids Ride at Dreamworld for almost seven years prior to the accident in 2016 that killed four people (16 August 2018). More...

Worker dies in trench fall
A man in his early 30s has died after falling into a deep trench at a housing estate under construction at Wallan. The fatality brings the number of confirmed workplace deaths this year to 15, compared to 16 at the same time last year (16 August 2018). More...

DELWP worker dies in vehicle rollover
A Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) employee has died after being thrown from his vehicle on a private property at Cheshunt, 70km north of Mansfield on Friday. The fatality brings the number of confirmed workplace deaths this year to 14, compared to 16 at the same time last year (13 August 2018). More...

Worker fatally crushed by prime mover in Queensland
In July 2018, a worker was fatally crushed by a slow moving prime mover. The truck was undergoing modifications and was being moved under cover at the end of the work day. It is unclear at this stage how the worker came to be under the truck. Each year there are around 130 accepted workers' compensation claims involving a worker being struck or crushed by a truck (09 August 2018). More...

Charges filed over occupational violence in residential care facility
The Department of Health and Human Services, three companies and an individual have been charged by WorkSafe following a series of incidents against a number of employees by a client at a residential care facility in Victoria's east (09 August 2018). More...

Rydalmere company charged after worker's fingers severed
A Rydalmere company and its director have been fined $67,500 after a worker's hand was crushed while cleaning machinery. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said Zenger (Aust) Pty Ltd was fined $60,000 and its director Yan Huai Wu $7,500 in the Sydney District Court for failing to ensure the health and safety of their workers (03 August 2018). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Effect of red tape on occupational licensing: interim report
Senate Select Committee on Red Tape, Parliament of Australia: 15 August 2018
This interim report presents the committee's findings and conclusions about the effect of red tape on occupational licensing (licensing inquiry), the impact on health, safety and economic opportunity, particularly for the low-skilled and disadvantaged. More...

In practice and courts

ABCC: Zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol on construction sites
The ABCC regulates the Code for the Tendering and Performance of Building Work 2016. The Code has strict rules about fitness for work. Code covered contractors are reminded that they must ensure all of their sites have an approach to managing drug and alcohol issues in the workplace. The relevant drugs are those listed in Schedule 4 to the Building Code (02 August 2018). More...

SafeWork Australia: Review of the model WHS laws consultation summary
The public submission period for the review is closed and Marie Boland has prepared a summary of the views and experiences raised during the meetings, discussion forums and in written submissions. Read the consultation summary to learn more (17 August 2018).


Energy Safe Victoria: Grimes Review – government response
The Victorian Government released the final report of the Review into Victoria's Electricity and Gas Network Safety Framework with its response. The review was undertaken by Dr Paul Grimes and can be found here (02 August 2018).

Energy Safe Victoria: Updated requirements for DC isolators in Victoria
In July 2018, ESV advised that Amendment 4 of AS/NZS 4417.2 introduced nine additions to the prescribed electrical equipment categories – one of these additions was DC isolators. There are currently 14 certificates for DC isolators listed on the ERAC website, which cover eight brands and over 30 models. You can search the list here. It is an offence under section 57 of the Act to supply Level 3 or prescribed electrical equipment that has not been approved by ESV, another electrical safety state regulator or JAS-ANZ accredited third party certifier (16 August 2018).


QLRC: Civil surveillance and privacy review; Workplace surveillance review
Employers use optical surveillance, data monitoring and tracking devices for a number of legitimate reasons, including to ensure employee health and safety, protect property from theft and damage, prevent fraud and monitor employee performance. The terms of reference can be found here and the QLRC will report back by 1 July 2019 (civil surveillance) and by 30 June 2020 (workplace surveillance).

Electrical Safety Office: Verification of competency
Employers must ensure workers are competent to perform the work they carry out, not just licensed. Competency and training are outlined here For more information download the Managing electrical risks in the workplace Code of Practice 2013 (10 August 2018). More...


Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union v Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (The Broadway on Ann Case) [2018] FCAFC 126
INDUSTRIAL LAW – appeal from a judgment of the Federal Circuit Court – where the primary judge had imposed civil penalties on the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union in the maximum amounts available for six contraventions of s 500 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – whether the primary judge erred by failing to treat the appellant's contraventions as arising out of a course of conduct – whether the primary judge erred by finding that the union official was the public face of the appellant – whether the primary judge erred by treating each of the six contraventions as being in the worst possible category – whether the primary judge erred by imposing a penalty that was, in all the circumstances, manifestly excessive. In all of the circumstances, five of the six maximum penalties of $51,000 that were imposed by the primary judge should be set aside and reduced penalties imposed, leading to an overall total penalty of $96,000 instead of $306,000.

Worksafe Victoria Prosecution Result Summaries & Enforceable Undertakings

Mills Plumbing & Airconditioning Pty Ltd
Geelong Magistrates' Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1) & (2)(a)
Outcome 15 Aug 2018

Timber Imagineering Pty Ltd
Frankston Magistrates' Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1) & (2)(a)
Outcome 13 August 2018

Teren Building Services Pty Ltd
Frankston Magistrates' Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1)
Outcome 13 August 2018


SL No 110 Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018 (Qld)
The policy objectives of the Regulation are to determine the extent of the use of potentially combustible cladding on existing private buildings in Queensland and raise awareness with building owners of the risks associated with potentially combustible cladding. The Regulation commences on 1 October 2018.

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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Michael Selinger
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