In the media

Cleaning company fined after worker fall A commercial kitchen cleaning company has been fined $30,000 after a worker was seriously injured in a fall from a roof in Geelong. Parkton Enterprises Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Geelong Magistrates' Court on Friday to failing to control the risk of a fall from height, as well as failing to provide instruction and training on working at height (16 January 2020)  More...

Charges laid after school student's death WorkSafe has charged the Department of Education and Training for alleged health and safety breaches, under section 23 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, for failing to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety (15 January 2020).  More...

WorkSafe investigating firefighter death WorkSafe is investigating the death of the Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighter who died on the fireground near Omeo on Saturday. The fatality brings the confirmed number of workplace deaths this year to two, the same number as this time last year (14 January 2020).  More...

$513,880 enforceable undertaking for Blue Mountains City Council Blue Mountains City Council recently accepted a $513,880 enforceable undertaking after it allegedly contravened sections 425(1), 429(2), 445(1) and 479(1) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 in NSW. During the excavation works asbestos fibre cement material was excavated, however, asbestos registers and management plans were not in place for the work undertaken (14 January 2020).  More...

Maules Creek Coal prosecuted over mining truck collision The NSW Resources Regulator has commenced prosecution proceedings against Maules Creek Coal over a collision involving two trucks at the Maules Creek Mine near Narrabri on 21 April 2018. The Regulator said Maules Creek Coal contravened Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, by failing to comply with a health and safety duty under Section 19 of the Act (14 January 2020).  More...

Regulator issues warning about hidden hazards in fire clean-up WorkSafe Victoria recently urged those affected by recent bushfires to be alert about unexpected hazards in the process of clean-up and recovery work. Asbestos, fallen powerlines, fallen or damaged trees and unstable structures are among the risks to health and safety facing those working on fire-affected properties (09 January 2020).  More...

Government and WHS regulators sound caution on outdoor air pollution Federal and State Governments, as well as WHS regulators, recently issued warnings to employers about the hazardous risks of poor outdoor air quality as a result of bushfire smoke and airborne dust. Parts of Australia have experienced major bushfires over recent weeks, and Safe Work Australia said workplaces must have measures in place to protect worker health and safety and manage the risks of working outdoors (07 January 2020).  More...

WHSQ issues asbestos clean-up warning following storm damage Workplace Health & Safety Queensland (WHSQ) recently issued a reminder about the risks of working safely with asbestos following significant storm damage to old buildings containing asbestos. The regulator said Queensland laws prohibit the use of some power tools and work methods on asbestos-containing materials, as they can generate airborne fibres which are hazardous to health (07 January 2020).  More...

VIC: Charges laid over chemical stockpiles WorkSafe Victoria has charged a man from Harkness in Victoria over the alleged illegal stockpiling of dangerous goods at five sites in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. WorkSafe said White failed at each site to take all reasonable precautions to prevent any fire or explosion of dangerous goods in his ownership, control or possession, or neglected to dispose of them safely (07 January 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics As at 21 November, there have been 144 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

Poor Air Quality: What are your WHS obligations? With bushfires impacting communities across Australia, Comcare would like to advise PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking) of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011.  Workplaces must have measures in place to protect worker health and safety and manage risks (6 January 2020).  More...

Adoption of GHS Revision 7 under the model WHS laws Safe Work Australia members have agreed to adopt the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Revision 7 under the model WHS laws for workplace hazardous chemicals. More information on the adoption of GHS Revision 7 will be released in the coming months. To stay informed about the adoption of GHS Revision 7 and transitional arrangements, subscribe to the hazardous chemicals mailing list (10 January 2020).  More...

NSW

Safework NSW: Incident information releases We publish incident information releases to inform duty holders, workers and the NSW community and to prevent similar occurrences.  More...

NSW amends WHS Mines and Petroleum Sites Regulation 2014 In New South Wales, amendments to the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 were made on 18 December 2019, under the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013. The Amendment Regulation will commence on 1 February 2020, and will address work health and safety (WHS) issues, reduce regulatory burden and ensure the policy intent of the legislation is achieved.

Queensland

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical safety codes of practice 2020 Continued guidance on electrical safety standards remains available following the automatic expiry of three electrical safety codes of practice on 1 January 2020. The three expiring codes of practice have been re-made with effect from 2 January 2020, as: Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2020-Electrical Equipment Rural Industry Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2020-Working Near Overhead and Underground Electric Lines Electrical Safety Code of Practice 2020-Works (15 January 2020).  More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical work on high voltage equipment Following several high voltage isolation and access incidents, employers and electrical workers are reminded to ensure all workers involved in work performed under an Access or Test permit have signed onto the permit before work commences (updated 06 January 2020).  More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical licence updates - New look restricted electrical work licence (REL) From February 2020, the Electrical Safety Office is moving to email notifications for electrical licence renewals for workers and contractors. Remember, the easiest way to renew your electrical work licence or renew your electrical contractor licence is online. Not sure of your licence expiry date? Go to electrical licence holder search.  More...

Victoria

Employee killed after accidental operation of remotely controlled crane Safety Alert: 17 January 2020 WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about the use of plant or equipment, after an incident involving the death of an employee who inadvertently activated a bridge crane remote control.  More...

Driver killed after being hit by stabilising arm on container truck Safety Alert: 14 January 2020 WorkSafe wants to highlight the importance of ensuring stabilising arms and outriggers are stowed and secured when in transit.  More...

Fire caused by hot works at a quarry Safety Alert: 09 January 2020 WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about the risks associated with hot works, after a hopper liner and screen caught fire at a quarry.  More...

Proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2020 ESV invites interested parties to make comments on the regulatory impact statement and proposed Regulations including any proposed fees. Submissions must be received by 6 March 2020.  More...

Cases

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings Retpro Management Pty Ltd Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section23; 26 & 109 Outcome 16 Jan 2020 Parkton Enterprises Pty Ltd Geelong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 21(2)(e) Outcome 10 Jan 2020 AAA Above Group Pty Ltd Geelong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & (2)c Outcome 09 Jan 2020

Legislation

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Amendment Regulation 2019 (2019-648) — published LW 20 December 2019 Work Health and Safety Amendment (Traffic Control Work Training) Regulation 2019 (2019-647) — published LW 20 December 2019