Australia: Inside track: Work Health & Safety – in the media, published articles, papers, reports, in practice and courts and cases

Last Updated: 22 May 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, July 2019

In the media

Defence Department charged over fatality
The Department of Defence has been charged with breaching Commonwealth work health and safety laws over the death of a soldier during a training exercise (09 May 2019). More...

Locking pin failure leads to $60,000 fine
A failure to use a simple and effective fencing equipment locking pin that would have prevented a worker being injured has led to a property manager being convicted and fined $60,000 in the Townsville Magistrates Court (09 May 2019). More...

Queensland Government's Safer Buildings Program on track
The Queensland Government's Safer Buildings Combustible Cladding Checklist program has cleared almost 14,000 private buildings, confirming they're safe and secure for tenants and workers (05 May 2019). More...

Changes for white card construction induction training
Training for a Queensland White Card must now be face to face with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). A Queensland white card is recognised in all Australian states and the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. Queensland also recognises white cards issued from each of these areas (30 April 2019). More...

Queensland appoints first Work Health Safety Prosecutor
The Government has announced the appointment of Aaron Guilfoyle as Queensland's first independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor. Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said Mr Guilfoyle would lead a new independent statutory office focused on workplace health and safety and electrical safety prosecutions (30 April 2019). More...

Major miners aim to push safety performance to the next level
A Responsible Mining Index (RMI) report into the workplace culture of 30 mining majors has shown that while safety is a priority for the companies involved, there are still several areas that could be improved (30 April 2019). More...

Vehicle loading cranes audits
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the Department of Transport and Main Roads have been conducting roadside vehicle loading cranes (VLCs) assessments since last year. To date, 673 VLCs have been stopped and assessed with a significant level of non-compliance found (30 April 2019). More...

Newcastle building company found guilty of failing to protect workers from falls
A Newcastle building company has been found guilty of failing to provide adequate fall protection to avoid its workers from falling from heights. The prosecution comes after a SafeWork inspector attended a construction site run by DSD Builders Pty Ltd (DSD Builders) in Speers Point on 27 March 2018 (30 April 2019). More...

Complexity, safety drive construction management software demand
Increasing project complexity and an ongoing push for safer work sites are driving greater demand for construction management software in Australia; a global industry leader says (29 April 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 28 April, there have been 51 Australian workers killed at work in 2019. The numbers and industries may vary from one report to the next, as Safe Work receives more detailed information (to check for updates and more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage).

In practice and courts

NCC 2019
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has completed the three year amendment cycle of the National Construction Code (NCC), and NCC 2019 is being prepared for adoption by all states and territories on 1 May 2019. To assist stakeholders in understanding the changes and new provisions in NCC 2019, the ABCB has released preview copies and supporting material. More...

Federal Safety Commissioner supports Road Safety Week
The Federal Safety Commissioner requires accredited companies to meet a high standard of compliance when managing traffic related hazards on site. For more detail on Accreditation Scheme audit requirements please see the FSC Audit Criteria Guidelines (08 May 2019). More...

OFSC: Changes to Accredited Contractor reporting requirements by 01 July 2019
Key Dates: Scheme Project information, including End of Project information will be reported on the new Scheme Biannual Report from 1 July 2019 and the first Scheme Biannual Report, for the January to June 2019 reporting period, is due by 31 July 2019. More...


WorkCover Queensland: New rope access and fall arrest guide published
The guide includes reference to Australia and New Zealand standards and reviews various types of post-installed anchors (i.e. masonry anchors). It has information on the safe use of post-installed anchors for fall arrest and industrial rope access attachment points used for building maintenance, including both single anchor points and multi-fixing anchor points (30 April 2019). More...

WorkCover Queensland: National guide to reduce work-related road fatalities
The guide applies a risk management process and other work health and safety principles to vehicle use for work-related purposes. It is designed to assist PCBUs and others to manage exposure of their workers and others to road traffic hazards in line with work health and safety and road traffic safety legislative requirements. See Vehicles as a Workplace: a WHS Guide (30 April 2019). More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical safety training for solar farms
Subsidised training is available to upskill workers in preparation for the new code of practice and electrical safety regulation that will commence this month to enhance safety in Queensland's commercial solar farm industry. The Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 came into effect on 13 May 2019 (02 May 2019). More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical safety codes of practice - Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019
The new Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 commenced on 13 May 2019. The new code combines existing electrical and work health and safety requirements relating to solar farms. Commencement of the code of practice is accompanied by a regulatory amendment requiring the mounting, locating, fixing and removal of solar panels at solar farms to be undertaken by licensed electricians.


WorkSafe Victoria: Advisory service extends hours of operation
WorkSafe's advisory service is extending its hours of operation by two and a half hours a day.
Taking calls Monday to Friday from 7.30am and 6.30pm.WorkSafe Advisory Director Kelly Harris said the extended hours were designed to make the service more responsive to the needs of Victorian employers and workers (28 April 2019). More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety alerts

Farmer loses his life undertaking dam repair works
Topics: Plant hazards, excavating and trenching. WorkSafe is warning farmers and others to be aware of the hazards—sometimes fatal—of working in and around dams (02 May 2019). More...

Braking and operational requirements for cranes using workboxes to lift personnel
Topics: Cranes and lifting equipment, Fall prevention, Plant hazards. This alert informs crane owners, operators, manufacturers, and hirers of the requirements for a dual braking system where a crane is required to suspend a workbox for the purposes of hoisting personnel (30 April 2019). More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Newsletter May 2019
News for the construction, utilities, mining and quarrying industries. More...

ESV update: Application date – AS/NZS 3010:2017 Electrical installations – generating sets
ESV has published an update to the application date for AS/NZS 3010:2017 Electrical Installations – Generating Sets. This new 2017 edition of AS/NZS 3010 will be mandatory from 1 July 2019. More...


Connors v Wilmar Sugar Pty Ltd [2019] QDC 73
INDUSTRIAL LAW - INDUSTRIAL SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELFARE - Occupational Health and Safety - Duties of Employer - Whether breach of duty of care - whether reasonably practicable means of avoiding risk of death - whether causation proved
Justices Act 1886 Qld ss 222, 223; Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Qld ss 17, 18, 19, 32, 275; Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 Qld rr 35, 36

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings

Brickwood (Vic) Pty Ltd Moorabbin Magistrates' Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a), Outcome 01 May 2019. More...

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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