Australia: Inside track: Work Health & Safety: In the media, published articles, papers, reports, in practice & courts, recent cases & legislation

Last Updated: 24 September 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

BMA drives equipment safety with original invention
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA)'s Saraji team has invented an alternative way of pulling mobile equipment across the mining industry to reduce a manual handling risk (09 September 2019). More...

Canberra developer fined after teen breaks neck at worksite
The ACT's WorkSafe commissioner says a fine of $180,000, delivered to a developer responsible for safety breaches that saw a 16-year-old student break his neck on a construction site, is inadequate (09 September 2019). More...

Premier warns of 'deadly outcomes' in cladding crisis blame game
Premier Daniel Andrews has warned that lives could be lost unless the state and federal governments work together to resolve the cladding crisis. Mr Andrews said the federal government must also play its role, particularly in relation to importation, customs, labelling and product safety issues (08 September 2019). More...

Worker severely injured by agricultural machine in Queensland
In June 2019, a worker suffered traumatic injuries to both arms as a result of becoming entrapped by a pulling winch. A person conducting a business or undertaking has duties under WHS legislation to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable the provision and maintenance of safe plant (06 September 2019). More...

Queensland safety reset edges closer to completion
The Queensland safety reset has officially reached 96 per cent of the state's mine and quarry workforce despite the deadline being at the end of August (05 September 2019). More...

Ombudsman SA finds SafeWork SA mishandled saleyards investigation
Livestock handlers are concerned about safety regulators around the country understanding the hazards of handling livestock, after SafeWork SA mishandled an investigation into a saleyard fault (04 September 2019). More...

Regulations banning dry stone cutting now in effect
Employers must now ensure power tools are not used to cut, grind or abrasively polish engineered stone unless on-tool water suppression or dust extraction devices are in place and respiratory protection is used. The tough new regulations will dramatically cut workers' exposure to crystalline silica and reduce their likelihood of developing silicosis (03 September 2019). More...

Director, company fined $116K for abusing staff
A Melbourne director and his security company have been convicted and fined a total of $116,250 for repeatedly bullying employees in the workplace. WorkSafe's investigation found that between April 2015 and August 2016, Moncrieff led a culture of entrenched bullying at the company (02 September 2019). More...

South32 resumes NSW coal operations following safety emergency
South32 has temporarily suspended its operations at the Appin and Dendrobium metallurgical coal mines in New South Wales due to a safety issue over mining equipment (03 September 2019). More...

Manufacturing safety climate predicts machine operating behaviours
The NSW Centre for Work Health and Safety is working with metal and wood manufacturing businesses to try to reduce incidents by improving their "safety climate" (02 September 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 29 August, there have been 101 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. More...

In practice and courts

NSW

SafeWork NSW: List of enforceable undertakings to September 2019
Wagga Motors Pty Ltd
BGIS Pty Ltd
Boral Cement Pty Ltd
Delta Pty Limited
Nupress Tools Pty Ltd
Lindsay Australia Limited
Hannewe K
Trinity Constructions (Aust) Pty Limited

Safework NSW: Have your say on the NSW draft formwork code of practice
The NSW Government is seeking feedback on a draft formwork code of practice, which aims to provide practical guidance for workers and businesses when working with formwork and falsework. The consultation period closes 17 September 2019. More...

Queensland

Business Queensland safety alerts

Open gas connection ignites and causes injury at commercial kitchen | Business Queensland
11 September 2019: Petroleum and gas safety alert 93
Commercial kitchen – Open gas connection ignites and causes injury Commercial kitchen – Open gas connection ignites and causes injury. More...

The importance of hazardous area classification | Business Queensland
04 September 2019: Petroleum and gas safety information bulletin 6
Installing the correct equipment in locations where there is potential for an explosive gaseous atmosphere is critical to ensuring safety outcomes. Deficiencies in hazardous area classification have been brought to the Inspectorates attention Subject Electrical equipment; Gases. More...

WorkSafe Victoria

Safety alert: Near miss from falling counterweight
WorkSafe Victoria is issuing a reminder about safety following a near miss when a counterweight hoist failed on a mining site (04 September 2019). More...

Cases

SafeWork NSW v Poletti Corporation Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 491
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of PCBU to other persons – risk of death or serious injury – injury of worker – WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY – fall from height - likelihood of risk occurring – whether defendant had knowledge of risk – whether risk reasonably foreseeable – reasonable practicable – fall prevention - control measures – relevance of Australian Standard – provision of work platforms and edge protection – causation.

SafeWork NSW v ADN Investments Pty Limited; SafeWork NSW v Adnan Yassine [2019] NSWDC 469
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – early plea of guilty – assistance to prosecuting authority – general deterrence – specific deterrence – appropriate penalty – OTHER – excavation below base of wall of adjacent building – work went ahead under time and cost pressures ignoring safety obligations – collapse and eventual demolition of adjacent building.

Safework NSW v K & R Fabrications (W'gong) Pty Limited (No. 2) [2019] NSWDC 457
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – plea of guilty – general deterrence – specific deterrence – appropriate penalty – COSTS - prosecution costs – OTHER – unrestrained bearing housing of gearbox fell on worker causing serious injury – need for bearing housing to be restrained when backing plates of housing were removed – need for SWMS or JSA for task being carried out.

Susan McCarrey, National Rail Safety Regulator v Sydney Trains [2019] NSWDC 453
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – rail safety – duty of rail operator – risk of death or serious injury – SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – plea of guilty – general deterrence – specific deterrence – totality – appropriate penalty – COSTS – prosecution costs – OTHER – railway worker struck and killed by train – worksite briefing and/or induction not undertaken – worksite supervisor's verification of worksite pre-work briefing not undertaken – no diagram or map of worksite protection arrangements produced – system of placing physical signs, tape, barriers or other controls required –OTHER – railway workers – no work on track protection in accordance with NWT 300 Planning Work in the Rail Corridor.

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings

Melbourne Cricket Club
Melbourne Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Section26(1) Outcome 05 Sep 2019

Star (Australia) Constructions Pty Ltd
Moorabbin Justice Centre Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Section26(1) Outcome 04 Sep 2019

Helms Plumbing Pty Ltd
Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 Section21 & regulation 327 Outcome 04 Sep 2019

Legislation

Queensland

Bills

Resources Safety and Health Queensland Bill 2019
Stage reached: Referred to Committee on 4/09/2019
The objective of the Bill is to establish a revised regulatory framework for resources safety and health in Queensland that engenders worker trust, ensures appropriate independence and transparency, and enhances independent oversight of the performance of the regulator.

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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