In the media

New Worksafe campaign to put employers on notice The Andrews Labor Government is putting unsafe employers on notice with the launch of a new campaign highlighting Victoria’s new workplace manslaughter laws (31 January 2020). More...

Paint manufacturer fined $75,750 after worker burnt while cleaning An industrial paint mixing and manufacturing company in NSW was recently fined $75,750 for two breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and ordered to provide essential safety training to key staff after a worker was seriously burnt during cleaning activities (28 January 2020). More...

Victoria: Controlling the risks of working with trees Employers in the amenity tree and gardening services industry are being urged to follow updated guidance and a new safety checklist to reduce the risks to their workers after a number of deaths and serious incidents (28 January 2020). More...

Extra inspectors hired in Queensland to ensure mine safety Four new mine inspectors are expected to commence work across Queensland to protect the region's 70,000 mine workers (22 January 2020). More...

Victorian cleaning company fined $30,000 after fall A commercial cleaning company has been fined $30,000 after a worker fell 5.5 m from a roof, sustaining injuries to his vertebra, leg and shoulder (23 January 2020). More...

$50,000 fine after young boy injured on inflatable amusement ride The prosecution by the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor against the inflatable amusement ride company and its two directors was finalised in the Holland Park Magistrates Court. The company was charged under s.19 and s.32 WHS Act, with two directors also charged under s.27 and s.32 of the Act (22 January 2020). More...

Comcare clears air on safety obligations Comcare has issued advice to the Australian Public Service regarding its workplace health and safety obligations to staff during the current bushfire season (27 January 2020). More...

Unions and business urge better approach to air pollution health risk The state government will consider a Unions NSW plan to overhaul work health and safety regulations to encourage workplaces to take a more informed and consistent response to managing dangerous pollution levels (22 January 2020). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics As at 31 December, there have been 166 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

Safework Australia: Businesses must have measures in place to protect workers at risk from coronavirus There have been a limited number of confirmed cases of this strain of coronavirus in Australia to date. In Australia, the model WHS laws require a person conducting a business or undertaking to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. This includes providing and maintaining a work environment that is without risks to health and safety (30 January 2020). More...

Safework Australia: Resources on working in heat and air pollution Employers have duties under work health and safety laws to manage these risks and protect worker health and safety. See the resources and guidelines available on the Safe Work Australia website for information about the potential hazards and risks associated with working in heat and air pollution (30 January 2020). More...

Expert develops fact sheets on bushfire smoke ANU releases comprehensive health protection advice fact sheets on bushfire smoke inhalation, and the government issues P2 masks to protect frontline workers (21 January 2020). More...

NSW

NSW Safework: Coronavirus It doesn’t matter if you’re a worker or someone who is responsible for workers (eg a business), you must manage the risk. As a worker, you have obligations under WHS legislation to protect yourself and others. Please ensure you monitor your personal health, consult with your treating professional if you are experiencing symptoms and inform your employer of any infection risk to others (29 January 2020). More...

Safework NSW: Traffic control work Information on the changes to the Work Health and Safety (Traffic Control Training) Regulation was made on 20 December 2019, with the the Traffic Control Training scheme transitioning from Transport for NSW to SafeWork NSW. The new regulatory scheme will commence from 1 July 2020 (January 2020). 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

DNRME statement on safety prosecutions 28 January 2020 - Please attribute to a Department Natural Resources, Mines and Energy spokesperson. More...

WorkSafe Qld: Bushfire damage and asbestos With many parts of Australia reeling in the wake of this summer’s bushfire devastation, rural workers and their communities recovering and cleaning up after the terrifying blazes are urged to be vigilant around exposed asbestos. Read more information about managing the risks from fire damaged ACM in the containment and disposal of asbestos contaminated dust and debris arising from fire damaged buildings guidance document (29 January 2020).

WorkSafe Qld: Electrical licensing disciplinary action In December 2019 the Electrical Licensing Committee took disciplinary action against seven licence holders outline here. The committee’s actions were in addition to fines and notices already issued by the Electrical Safety Office. Further electrical information can be found here (30 January 2020). More...

Victoria

Employee crushed in shipping container Safety alert published: 30 January 2020 WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about the dangers associated with unpacking shipping containers, following a recent incident where an employee was crushed by truck body panels. More...

Security of explosives Safety alert published: 24 January 2020 Following recent thefts, WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about ensuring the security of stored explosives. 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 Matthew John Brain Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court - Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 Section581(1) Outcome29 Jan 2020 Diversion 2 of 2019-20 Melbourne Magistrates’ Court - Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 Section585(1) Outcome28 Jan 2020 Goodstart Early Learning Ltd Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section23 & 26 Outcome22 Jan 2020 Wilsons Sheet Metals Pty Ltd Ringwood Magistrates’ Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome21 Jan 2020 L.E. Constructions Pty Ltd Werribee Magistrates’ Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(e) & 38 Outcome20 Jan 2020