COVID-19 updates

How to clean and disinfect your workplace - COVID-19
Safe Work Australia: 27 August 2020
This document provides guidance on routine cleaning, and cleaning and disinfection following a case or suspected case of COVID-19 in a non-healthcare workplace. More...

In the media

Australian leaders join forces as champions of change to end sexual harassment in workplace
A coalition of more than 270 CEO and Board-level leaders have released a new report aimed at ending sexual harassment in the workplace (10 September 2020). More...

$40,000 fine over workplace amputation in Crestmead
A sheet metal fabrication business and a company director have both appeared before Beenleigh Magistrates Court this week over a workplace incident in which a young work experience student had the tip of his finger amputated. Both pleaded guilty to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 over the incident (10 September 2020). More...

WHS Act charge over Sydney Metro incident
Construction company John Holland has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws over an incident that severely injured a worker on the Sydney Metro rail project (08 September 2020). More...

Blitz on unlicensed electrical work and bogus advertising
The Queensland Government is stepping up its blitz on unlicensed operators advertising through online marketplaces like AirTasker to do home electrical tasks illegally. The compliance blitz came ahead of Electrical Safety Week, which begins 7 September 2020 (07 September 2020). More...

ESV to introduce licensing for lineworkers
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) will increase safety for Victorian lineworkers with the introduction of a licensing regime from 1 January 2021. Licensing increases ESV's visibility and oversight of lineworkers, ensuring safety and professional standards are maintained (07 September 2020). More...

WorkSafe ACT teams up with Access Canberra to crack down on dodgy operators
Within hours of setting up Operation Safe Prospect — a WorkSafe ACT project to make residential construction sites safer — three sites in Denman Prospect were shut down (02 September 2020). More...

ABCC alleges CFMMEU official breached right of entry laws and OHS requirements on Perth site
The ABCC has filed Federal Court proceedings against the CFMMEU and one of its officials, Stephen Parker, for alleged breaches of right of entry laws in the Fair Work Act 2009 at the NEXT DC P2 Project in Perth in December 2019. (02 September 2020). More...

Resources to support the transition to GHS 7
Safe Work Australia has published new guidance to help businesses navigate the transition to GHS 7. Australia will begin a two-year transition to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7) on 1 January 2021 (31 August 2020). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
Safe Work has not updated its fatality statistics since our last journal when, as of August 27, there had been 109 worker fatalities notified to the national body. 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

New Australian Standards
AS/NZS 1891.1:2020
Personal equipment for work at height - Manufacturing requirements for full body combination and lower body harnesses Standards Australia
AS 1891.5:2020
Personal equipment for work at height - Manufacturing requirements for lanyard assemblies and pole straps
Standards Australia

NTC: Australian Code for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Edition 7.7)
The Code can be used from 1 October 2020 and is compulsory from 1 October 2021. Until then, either the Code edition 7.6 or the Code edition 7.7 can be used. The Code is an important technical resource to help Australia's transport and logistics industry to operate safely when carrying dangerous goods. More...


NSW Safe Work: Help to improve mental health at work
The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposed guidelines to promote mentally healthy workplaces in NSW. The draft SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for managing the risks to psychological health is being developed to provide simple and practical guidance for workplaces to promote improved mental health.
Individuals and organisations are invited to comment on the consultation paper. Submissions can be made here.
An explanatory paper released with the draft Code, states that fewer than nine per cent of NSW workplaces report having a systematic, integrated and sustained approach to dealing with mental health issues. Go to this page to access the draft Code and the explanatory paper. Comments are due by October 31 (07 September 2020).

NSW Resources Regulator: Four mining compliance priorities
The Resources Regulator has published its July - December 2020 Compliance priorities document which sets out the key compliance priorities for the next six months. Publishing this document serves to increase transparency, community and industry confidence in regulatory activities and increase levels of voluntary compliance.
Between July and December this year the Regulator aims to complete four compliance priorities targeting: Respirable dust (revision to the exposure standards); Progressive rehabilitation; Subsidence management and Non-reporting of incidents.


WorkCover Qld: ESO warns rogues in electricity industry – no licence, no work
The Electrical Safety Office is warning rogue operators against performing electrical work without an appropriate licence. When choosing a contractor, always look for their electrical contractor licence number in any advertisement and confirm they have a current licence before agreeing to any work. Check the status of the electrical contractor licence number through our licence search facilities. For more information on safe electrical work, visit Electrical Safety Queensland (08 September 2020).

Mobile plant contacting energised overhead powerlines | Business Queensland
08 September 2020 | Mines safety bulletin 188
Six recently reported incidents at mines and quarries have involved mobile plant contacting energised overhead powerlines. Subject Electrical equipment. More...

WorkSafe Qld: Electrical safety awareness sessions in regional Queensland
Ahead of Electricity Safety Week (7-11 September), a series of electrical safety awareness sessions have been scheduled around regional Queensland to coincide with local home shows (12 August 2020). More...


WorkSafe Victoria Alert: Worker critically injured after slipping off roof and falling through guardrails
WorkSafe is issuing a safety alert following an incident where a worker slipped off a roof and fell through the guardrail system on a catch platform at a housing construction site (10 September 2020). More...

WorkSafe Victoria Alert: Rock fragments from a quarry blast impact an active worksite in the neighbouring property
Worksafe is issuing a reminder to businesses in the mining and quarries sector about the importance of managing the risks associated with fly rock generated when undertaking shot firing activities (08 September 2020). More...

WorkSafe Victoria Alert: Wind warning for construction sites
Victorian employers must ensure their work sites were secured as potentially damaging winds moved across the state. This was particularly the case on construction sites. It is not unusual for there to be very strong winds in Spring and as we will no doubt see again over the coming weeks. More...

Business Victoria: Construction sector guidance
Sector guidance for construction business under Melbourne's Stage 4 restrictions.
Includes: Stage 4 restrictions; Permitted Work Premises; Business Operating Reductions – Construction; Application (page updated 04 September 2020). More...


Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Katrina Mannix-Bennett
Ballarat Magistrates' Court - Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013
Section 581(1)Outcome 04 September 2020




Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2020 (2020-543) — published LW 11 September 2020

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.