Australia: Inside track: Work Health & Safety - In the media, reports, in practice & courts, cases and legislation

Last Updated: 30 November 2019

In the media

Zero-tolerance for unsafe practices
Queensland's Mines Inspectorate has and will continue to take action against mineral mine and quarry operators that fail to put the safety of their workers first (21 November 2019). More...

Hazelwood Power guilty after devastating mine fire
The operator of Hazelwood Mine has been convicted for exposing workers and the public to dangerous conditions during a major fire that burned for several weeks in 2014 (20 November 2019). More...

SafeWork updates legislation for NSW workers
SafeWork New South Wales has made amendments to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017, or WHS Regulation, which came into effect on November 15. The WHS Regulation updated legislation regarding penalties, accommodation for rural workers, explosives and dangerous goods (19 November 2019). More...

Surveyors fined $35K for approving fire-unsafe buildings
A building surveying company and its two directors have been fined $35,000 for negligence after approving three buildings that failed to comply with fire safety requirements. Resolve Group, Scott Michael Roberts and Kieran James Hunt were fined $15,000, $12,500 and $7500 respectively at Western Australia's State Administrative Tribunal (18 November 2019). More...

DV perpetrator training for Queensland workplaces
Businesses and community organisations from all across Queensland will learn what to do about DV perpetrators in the workplace when the second in a series of lunchbox sessions on perpetrators of violence in the workplace gets underway on 21 November (18 November 2019). More...

New licences boost safety for Queenslanders
Queensland hospitals, aged care homes and shopping centres will receive a boost to safety standards as the Palaszczuk Government updates Queensland's mechanical services industry, which are set to take effect in the New Year (16 November 2019). More...

Linfox fined $200,000 after worker crushed by armoured vehicle
Linfox has been convicted and fined $200,000 by the Brisbane Magistrates Court over an incident in which a worker at a Brisbane Army barracks was severely injured. The penalty against Linfox Australia follows an investigation by federal work health and safety regulator Comcare (14 November 2019). More...

Queensland updates concrete pumping code of practice
Those in Queensland with a duty of care relating to construction work involving concrete pumping will soon be subject to an updated code of practice, according to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (13 November 2019). More...

Company fined $650,000 after deadly fall
A construction company has been convicted and fined $650,000 after a labourer fell to his death during the building of a Melbourne high rise (13 November 2019). More...

Where is WHS falling down in emergency preparedness/management planning?
When it comes to emergency preparedness/management planning, about 70 per cent of organisations take their WHS obligations seriously and actively promote a culture of preparedness within their workplace. Emergency management requires both parties (client and provider) to ensure that the best practice is always adapted, and he said there must be a shift away from the "baseline" compliance mindset (12 November 2019). More...

Drones give mining a third eye in the sky
Mining companies are turning to drones to monitor difficult to reach areas, allowing for decreased interaction with hazardous activity (11 November 2019). More...

Coal miners warned of fire safety after Yallourn breach
Earth Resources Regulation has warned coal mine operators about fire safety ahead of the high summer danger period. The warning comes as Energy Australia's Yallourn coal mine in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria was issued with a notice to comply with its approved work plan to minimise fire risks (11 November 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 7 November, there have been 138 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

Safe Work Australia: New resources for storing pool chemicals
Learn about the risks of storing swimming pool chemicals (18 November 2019). More...

Safe Work Australia: Work-related fatalities continue to decline but more work needed
Safe Work Australia has released the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2018 report, which provides the latest detailed national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured through work-related activity (18 November 2019). More...


Amendments to the Work Health and Safety Regulation
SafeWork public notice: 18 November 2019
Amendments to theWork Health and Safety Regulation 2017 came into effect on 15 November 2019. More...

Building Information Modelling (BIM) for WHS management
What is the best practice and implications of using BIM in WHS management?
Timeline of project: Project commenced: August 2019; Project completion: Mid 2021. More...


WorkCover Queensland reminder: Concrete pumping Code of Practice 2019
The Concrete pumping Code of Practice 2019 was approved by the Minister for Education and Minster for Industrial Relations and commences on 2 December 2019. A comparison table outlines the updates made. The Concrete pumping Code of Practice 2019 will apply to anyone who has a duty of care in relation to the carrying out of construction work involving concrete pumping on or from 2 December 2019. More...

WorkCover Queensland: Safety Alerts

Electrical Licensing committee diciplinary outcomes
14 November 2019
Disciplinary outcomes - During September 2019, the Electrical Licensing Committee held disciplinary hearings against five licence holders: The committee's actions were in addition to fines and notices already issued by the Electrical Safety Office.

Elastic spring-back in wear plates on excavator buckets
Updated 30 October 2019
The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risk of elastic energy being released when wear plates on excavator buckets or similar parts on other equipment are being removed or repaired.

Lifting clutch failure
Updated 30 October 2019
The purpose of this health and safety alert is to inform workers, employers, builders and designers of the risk of failure of lifting clutches associated with tilt-up and pre-cast concrete erection.


Worksafe Victoria Safety Alert: Failed rock bolt falls in ventilation shaft during construction
WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about the risks associated with falling objects after a failed rock bolt section fell on to a working platform (12 November 2019). More...

Worksafe Victoria: Safety Soap Box
Issued 20 November 209 - Safety Soapbox November 2019


SafeWork NSW v B & J Benchtops Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 674
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of serious injury – worker injured–SENTENCING – objective seriousness – deterrence – aggravation factors – mitigating factors

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Limited
Warrnambool Magistrates' Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1) & 21(2)(e); Outcome 15 Nov 2019
Western Scaffold Pty Ltd
Melbourne Magistrates' Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 23(1); Outcome 13 Nov 2019




Work Health and Safety Amendment (Public Authorities) Regulations 2019
19/11/2019 - These regulations amend the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 to remove ASC Shipbuilding Pty Ltd from the list of prescribed public authorities for the purpose of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Poisons Standard December 2019
18/11/2019 – This instrument makes a new Poisons Standard and repeals the Poisons Standard October 2019.


Bills introduced Government – 15 November 2019
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Review) Bill 2019

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2019 (2019-545) — published LW 15 November 2019


Subordinate legislation as made – 22 November 2019
No 232 Coal Mining Safety and Health (Use of Particular Electrical Equipment in Sealed Underground Mines) Amendment Regulation 2019


Tabled Documents 15 November 2019

New Bills
Energy Safety Legislation Amendment (Victorian Energy Safety Commission and Other Matters) Bill 2019
Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019

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