Australia: Inside track: Work health and safety – in the media, published articles, papers, reports, in practice and courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 8 October 2019
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2019

In the media

'He said he knew what he was doing': Man died after moving coffee machine, inquest hears
A coronial inquest has heard a 56-year-old man who was killed when he was electrocuted at his workplace was trying to move cafe equipment before he died (23 September 2019). More...

Australia ramps up tailings dam safety focus
Australia's minerals industry has committed to the safe and responsible management of tailings storage facilities through the release of the Australian Mining Tailings Communique (23 September 2019). More...

Safe Work dust exposure limit proposal backed by QLD
Queensland is committed to matching Safe Work Australia's recommended standards for dust exposure, due for release before the year ends (23 September 2019). More...

Prohibition notice issued to Maules Creek open cut coal mine
The inspectors considered the nature and prevalence of these breaches constituted a serious risk to the health and safety of workers and consequently a notice under section 195 of the Work Health Safety Act was served on the mine operator (18 September 2019). More...

Government finalises new code in battle against silicosis
Queensland will introduce Australia's first Code of Practice for the stone benchtop industry, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace announced (18 September 2019). More...

Court exposes 'contrived' safety claim: CFMMEU and official penalised $34,500
The Federal Court has handed down penalties totalling $34,500 against the CFMMEU and its former official Brendan Murphy after Mr Murphy was found to have intentionally hindered and obstructed construction work at the Geelong Grammar school in December 2014 (16 September 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 12 September, there have been 111 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

ARPANSA new Radiation Incident Site Preservation guide
The document provides guidance for licence holders, on and off-site first responders, local authorities, and others who may have a role in the event of a radiation or work health and safety incident. The guide outlines expectations for incident management to ensure safe, secure, effective and efficient operations where radiation exposure or contamination is known or suspected to be present (25 September 2019). More...

Safe Work Australia: Managing risk in construction: Prefabricated concrete
This guide will help PCBUs, particularly principal contractors in charge of construction projects, to manage risk when working with prefabricated concrete elements. It outlines relevant duties under WHS laws and provides best practice information on how to work safely with prefabricated concrete elements (17 September 2019). More...


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. For more information and to submit feedback visit open consultations on the SafeWork website or view the consultation the NSW Government's Have Your Say. Submissions closed on 30 September 2019.


ESV: Regulatory Impact Statement released for proposed Electricity Safety (General) Regulations
ESV has released a Regulatory Impact Statement in relation to the proposed Electricity Safety (General) Regulations 2019. Comments and submissions are sought from interested parties on the regulatory impact statement and proposed Regulations including any proposed fees. Submissions close on 8 October 2019 (06 September 2019). More...

ESV: Regulations consultation papers
ESV is calling for submissions in relation to the following proposed regulations:
Electricity Safety (Management) Regulations – explaining key features and changes to the regulations
Electricity Safety (Cathodic Protection) Regulations – explaining key features and changes to the regulations
Submissions closed on 26 September 2019 (05 September 2019). More...

WorkSafe Victoria Safety Alert: Apprentice jockey fatally injured after fall from horse
An alert about hazards and risk controls associated with working within a stable and horse training facility, following the death of an apprentice jockey (19 September 2019). More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 2019
News for the construction and utilities industries. More...


SafeWork NSW v MGK Constructions Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 518
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of serious injury – worker injured – SENTENCING – objective seriousness – deterrence – mitigating factors – no record of previous convictions – good prospects of rehabilitation – remorse – plea of guilty – restoration order – WORK HEALTH and SAFETY – obvious risk – known to the offender – inadequate instructions – risk control measures available at low cost.

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Stephen Reidy Geelong
Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1) & 21(2)(a)
Outcome 24 Sep 2019
Caps and Closures Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1) & (2)(a)
Outcome 19 Sep 2019
Farm Pride Foods Limited
Dandenong Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a)
Outcome 19 Sep 2019
Robert Edward Phillips
Ringwood Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 26
Outcome 17 Sep 2019



Work Health and Safety Exemption (Construction Induction Training Card - Workers) 2019
18/09/2019 - This instrument exempts workers on overseas construction work within the responsibility of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from the requirement to keep a general construction induction training card available for inspection.


Subordinate legislation as made
No 190 Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) (Stone Benchtop Industry) Amendment Notice 2019
20 September 2019
No 192 Electrical Safety (Codes of Practice) and Other Legislation (Solar Farms) Amendment Notice (No. 2) 2019
27 September 2019

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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