In the media

Company fined $54,000 after elderly woman injured by water tank

A company in Queensland and one of its officers have been fined $54,000 after a woman was injured when a water tank being delivered to her property struck her. Both defendants pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court over breaches to section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to comply with its duty under s.19(2) (06 December 2019). More...

Charges laid following milk processing plant death WorkSafe has charged a Cobram engineering company, a Bendigo crane hire company and a New Zealand engineer following the death of a worker at a decommissioned cheese factory in Leitchville, near Echuca (06 December 2019). More...

Brisbane builder fined over work safety breaches A Brisbane builder was fined $24,000 this week over breaches of Queensland work safety laws. The company was sentenced in the Holland Park Magistrates Court for three breaches of section 193 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to comply with improvement notices issued by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (05 December 2019). More...

Fatal fall at tourist attraction in Queensland In October 2019, a patron died, and another was seriously injured while using a zipline attraction as part of a rainforest adventure tour. A person conducting a business or undertaking has duties under WHS legislation to ensure the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risks to health and safety including safe systems of work (04 December 2019). More...

Charges laid after assault on youth justice worker WorkSafe has charged the Department of Justice and Community Safety for alleged health and safety breaches. Two charges have been filed at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court under section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, for failing to provide and maintain a working environment that was safe and without risks to health (03 December 2019). More...

No stone unturned in major strategy on silicosis risks A cross-industry strategy lead by SafeWork NSW has dramatically increased awareness of silicosis and standardised practices of exposure prevention (02 December 2019). More...

Electrical licensing disciplinary action in Queensland The Electrical Licensing Committee has disqualified an electrical worker from holding an electrical work or contractor licence for five years. He had advertised his services online to perform unlicensed electrical contracting work (29 November 2019). More...

Rumble strips a welcome improvement to roadwork safety Rumble strips help keep workers and motorists safe around roadwork sites and are a simple way to remind drivers and motorists that they are in a higher risk area. (29 November 2019). More...

NSW mining and petroleum WHS laws up for review NSW mining and petroleum work health and safety laws and regulations will be back under the microscope next year for their five-yearly review (29 November 2019). More...

Innovation and intervention to prevent workplace accidents Construction sites, hazardous chemical facilities and sites with mobile plant equipment are some of the workplaces targeted in a new High-Risk Workplaces Strategy launched by the NSW Government (29 November 2019). More...

Paint manufacturer ordered to upskill senior staff in safety An industrial paint mixing and manufacturing company, MMP Industrial Pty Ltd, was ordered to provide essential safety training to key staff after a worker was seriously burnt during cleaning activities. MMP Industrial was also fined a total of $75,750 for two breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (29 November 2019). More...

Industrial gas and liquid supplier fined $200,000 after worker dies from hose whipping A large national company with ties to an international entity which specialises in the manufacturing and supply of industrial gases was recently fined $200,000 for a breach under section 32 of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (28 November 2019). More...

Safe Work Australia urges caution on swimming pool chemical OHS Safe Work Australia recently released a new information sheet for storing swimming pool chemicals for small and medium businesses which do not have major chemical stores/expertise in managing the risks of chemical storage (28 November 2019). More...

Qld mechanical services providers require new licence From 1 January 2020, Qld mechanical services contractors, nominee supervisors and those finishing relevant apprenticeships must hold a mechanical services licence (27 November 2019). More...

HIA: Workplace Manslaughter Bill Passed The Victorian Government has passed the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019. The Bill inserts a new workplace manslaughter offence into the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (27 November 2019). More...

Companies charged following crane death WorkSafe has charged a North Melbourne construction company and a Thomastown crane hire company following the death of a worker crushed by a concrete kibble at a building site in Box Hill (27 November 2019). More...

SafeWork NSW to visit transport industry to warn of fall risks SafeWork NSW inspectors will be visiting businesses in the transport, distribution and warehousing sectors across Sydney/Metropolitan area as part of Falls from Heights Advisory Program aimed at reducing injuries related to falls (27 November 2019). More...

Hazelwood Power guilty after mine fire, court rules Hazelwood Mine's operator has been convicted after it exposed workers and the public to dangerous conditions during a major fire in 2014 (26 November 2019). More...

Queensland contemplates prosecution for safety breach Queensland’s Mines Inspectorate has reiterated a zero tolerance stance for unsafe practices in light of two fatal incidents at Jacks Quarry near Collinsville and Fairfield Quarry near Clermont last year (25 November 2019). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

ABCC industry update November-December 2019 edition This issue includes; ABCC findings from zero drugs and alcohol on building sites campaign; Securing payments for subcontractors and Wages and entitlements - proper record keeping (26 November 2019). More...

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

Safework Australia Managing risks of storing chemicals in the workplace: Guide If you store, handle or use hazardous chemicals at your workplace you need to have a hazardous chemical register. Note: A manifest provides information on hazardous chemicals for use by emergency services, and a site plan helps emergency services by providing information about the layout of the workplace (28 November 2019).

NSW

SafeWork NSW High-Risk Workplaces Strategy The six-year strategy commits NSW to a 30 per cent reduction in work related fatalities and a 50 per cent reduction in the incidence of serious injuries, illnesses by 2022 (29 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 completion: Mid 2021. More...

Queensland

WorkCover Queensland: AS/NZS3012:2019 Electrical installations - Construction and demolition sites AS/NZS3012:2019 Electrical installations - Construction and demolition sites was published on 4 November 2019. A six-month transition period will apply until 4 May 2020 to allow electrical contractors and workers time to gain an understanding of the new requirements (05 December 2019). More...

DNMRE Safety Alerts: Fire on explosive charge vehicle while at a charged face | Business Queensland 04 December 2019 | Mines safety alert 369 An explosives charge vehicle containing explosives, caught fire while at a charged face. Industry: Coal mines; Metalliferous mines. More...

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical Licensing Committee September 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 (28 November 2019). More...

WorkCover Queensland: eSAFE Construction - November 2019 Issuesd on 28 November 2019. 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 commenced 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...

Victoria

Energy Safe Victoria: Making new electricity safety regulations On 26 November 2019, the Governor-in-Council made the following sets of regulations: Electricity Safety (Management) Regulations 2019 to replace the Electricity Safety (Management Regulations 2009; and Electricity Safety (Cathodic Protection) Regulations 2019 to replace the Electricity Safety (Cathodic Protection) Regulations 2009. 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

Safework NSW v Orbit Formwork Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 685CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – plea of guilty – general deterrence – specific deterrence – appropriate penalty – COSTS - prosecution costs – OTHER – fall from height over unprotected edge

Orr v LD Operations Pty Limited [2019] NSWDC 727CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – SENTENCE – objective seriousness – mitigating factors – aggravating factors – plea of guilty – general deterrence – specific deterrence – appropriate penalty – COSTS – prosecution costs – OTHER – underground coal mine – collisions between transport vehicles and roof infrastructure – resulting fracture of W-strap – driver of transport vehicle injured by damaged W-strap

SafeWork NSW v Titan Cranes and Rigging Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 714CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – workers injured – SENTENCING – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – objective seriousness – general deterrence –no record of previous convictions – good prospects of rehabilitation – plea of guilty – assistance to law enforcement authorities – remorse

Meade v Nillumbik Australia Pty Ltd & Anor (Ruling) [2019] VSC 786OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – regulations – interpretation – regulations imposing duties on employers in respect of any task involving a fall hazard or a risk of a fall – ‘Fall’ defined to mean ‘a person’s involuntary fall of more than 2 metres’ – held that regulations do not apply where the task involves no possibility that the whole of the body of the employee will fall more than two metres, measured vertically – held that regulations inapplicable in this case – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 - Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007, Part 3.3.

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings Halpin Transport Pty Ltd Seymour Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 29 Nov 2019 Brickwood (Dandenong) Pty Ltd Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a)Outcome 28 Nov 2019 APTL Beam Builders Pty Ltd Ringwood Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 28 Nov 2019 Mandalay Resources Costerfield Operations Pty Ltd Bendigo Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 27 Nov 2019 Gisborne Golf Club Incorporated Kyneton Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 25 Nov 2019

Legislation

Commonwealth

Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2019Tabled HR 03/12/2019 - These rules implement details of the new regulatory scheme for the introduction of industrial chemicals enacted by the Industrial Chemicals Act 2019 and the Industrial Chemicals (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Act 2019

Victoria

Acts Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Act 2019 Act Number: 50/2019 Date of assent: 3 December 2019

New Bills Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019 Legislative Council Passed 26/11/2019