In the media

Freight company fined following dangerous goods safety checks in Newcastle The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined freight company Vellex Pty Ltd $8000 after one of its contracted trucks allegedly failed to comply with the safety requirements for its load of flammable liquids in Newcastle (28 March 2019). More...

$360,000 in penalties after worker crushed Two Defence contractors have been convicted and fined a total of $360,000 over an incident that severely injured a worker at a Brisbane Army barracks. The penalties against Thales Australia Ltd and Linfox Australia Pty Ltd follow an investigation by federal work health and safety regulator Comcare (28 March 2019). More...

First meeting of workplace manslaughter taskforce in Victoria The Andrews Labor Government’s new workplace manslaughter taskforce has held its inaugural meeting – to discuss tough new laws to keep workers safe. A Legal Advisory Group comprising legal sector stakeholders will also provide advice on the proposed new offence (28 March 2019). More...

Bricklayer fined for Springfield Lakes block wall collapse An Ipswich bricklayer has been fined $18,000 for putting the safety of his subcontractors at risk, following the collapse of a block firewall in 2016 at a Springfield Lakes development site. The magistrate noted the defendant’s early guilty plea and that he had no previous work health and safety breaches (22 March 2019). More...

Safety inspectors to blitz construction sites on both sides of the border Keeping young workers safe and reducing potentially deadly falls at work sites is the focus of the latest Cross Border Construction Program blitz in the Albury Wodonga region. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries for young workers in Victoria (21 March 2019). More...

Vehicles as a Workplace report released The Vehicles as a Workplace – Work Health & Safety Guide has been released outlining the duties and laws that govern firms, organisations and individuals who use vehicles for work purposes on the road networks of Australia or New Zealand (21 March 2019). More...

First independent WHS prosecutor appointed in Queensland The Queensland Government has appointed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions' former assistant director, Aaron Guilfoyle, as the State's first independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor. He will head the new statutory Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, which will focus on WHS and electrical safety prosecutions (19 March 2019). More...

Resources Regulator shuts down Wongawilli mine over serious safety issues Following ongoing issues at Wongawilli Mine, near Appin, the NSW Resources Regulator’s Chief Inspector of Mines has issued a stop work order to the mine operator in accordance with section 51 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum sites) Act (19 March 2019). More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statisticsAs of 21 March, 30 fatalities had been notified to Safe Work Australia. This is nine more than the last update on 28 February. 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 here.

In practice and courts

ABCC: Fitness for work audits underway The desktop audits assess whether code covered contractors that are required to have an ABCC approved Workplace Relations Management Plan (WRMP) in place are complying with the drug and alcohol testing requirements in their WRMP. These requirements are designed to improve the safety of workers and others involved in the building industry. The specific requirements for fitness for work policies are covered in Schedule 4 of the 2016 Code. See fitness for work responsibilities here and WRMPs here (March 2019). More...

Australian Industry Standards – March 2019 All 11 IRCs we support have held their first meetings for the year to finalise the draft 2019 Skills Forecasts and Proposed Schedules of Work which prioritise the skill needs of their industry sectors and propose future Training Package development activity. All industry stakeholders will have the opportunity to review the draft Skills Forecasts and provide feedback from 15 March to 8 April. Each IRC will approve the final version to be submitted to the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) on 30 April 2019. More...

New Draft Standards - DR AS 1940:2017 Amd 1:2019 The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids Standards Australia DR AS 1940:2017 Amd 1:2019

Queensland

Welded flange failure on SMBS pump: Business Queensland 27 March 2019: Mines safety alert 363 A worker was standing next to a mono pump that pumped 30% sodium meta-bisulphite (SMBS) when a welded flange on the discharge failed. Industry: Coal mines; Metalliferous mines Subject Equipment failure or modifications. More...

WorkSafe Queensland: Land-borne inflatable devices becoming airborne The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risk of land-borne inflatable devices (such as a jumping castle or slide) becoming airborne if they are not adequately anchored. It provides guidance to owners, suppliers, hirers and those supervising the operation of the inflatable about minimising this risk (20 March 2019). More...

WorkSafe Queensland: Tower crane hoist rope and brake failures The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks of hoist rope and brake failure on tower cranes. Employers, builders, workers and crane operators should apply the principles in this alert to any crane with a hoist rope (20 March 2019). More...

WorkSafe Queensland: Priority infringement notice offences (on-the-spot fines) Electrical contractors, workers, business owners and others with health and safety duties should make themselves familiar with a new policy outlining how inspectors enforce safety laws – and the issues on which they will particularly focus. The Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Policy explains how the regulator uses regulatory enforcement measures to ensure duty holders are meeting their legislative duties, and create credible deterrents to contravening these laws (19 March 2019). More...

eSAFE Construction Issued on 28 March 2019 – Includes current prosecutions plus priority infringement notice offences targeted. More...

Victoria

Labour-hire licensing scheme commences 29 April 2019 Labour-hire providers will have six months to apply for a licence to operate in the State after this time. To obtain and keep a licence, labour-hire firms will need to pass a "fit and proper person test", which involves demonstrating long-term compliance with Victoria's OHS and workers' compensation Acts. Information sessions will be held from March - April. To find out more visit the events page here. More...

Worksafe Victoria Safety Alert: Employee's foot amputated while conducting mechanical works on the mast of a dual car personnel and materials hoist. An alert about the significant hazards and risks associated with working on dual car single mast personnel and materials hoists, after an employee lost his foot. Industries – Construction (28 March 2019). More...

Worksafe Victoria Safety Alert: Employee fatally injured after fall from horse An alert about hazards and risk controls associated with working within a stable and horse training facility, following the death of an employee. Industries - Sport and recreation (22 March 2019). More...

Update: Application date – AS/NZS 3010:2017 Electrical installations – generating sets ESV has published an update to the application date for AS/NZS 3010:2017 Electrical Installations – Generating Sets. This new 2017 edition of AS/NZS 3010 will be mandatory from 1 July 2019. Read the full update to the determination here (26 March 2019).

Cases

Australian Building & Construction Commissioner v Collier & Ors [2019] FCCA 650INDUSTRIAL LAW – Application made pursuant to ss.499, 500 and 503(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – whether the first respondent failed to comply with occupational health and safety requirements (“OHS”) – whether the first respondent hindered or obstructed workers from undertaking their work – whether the first respondent’s conduct involved actions which were exercised in an improper manner – whether the first respondent made deliberate or reckless misrepresentations that he was authorised to give directions to workers to stop work – Declaration made that first respondent contravened s.499 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) – applications seeking that the first respondent contravened ss.500, 503 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) dismissed.

SafeWork NSW v Grey Colt Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 68 CRIME – prosecution – work health & 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 SENTENCING PRINCIPLES – totality – remorse – contrition – appropriate penalty – rehabilitation COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER – leaking chemicals – contact with skin causing severe burns – failure to report incident.

SafeWork NSW v QSR Pty Ltd [2019] NSWDC 67 CRIME – prosecution – work health & 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 SENTENCING PRINCIPLES – totality – remorse – contrition – appropriate penalty – rehabilitation COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER – hot cooking oil – contact with skin causing severe burns.

Econopave Asphalt Services Pty Ltd Colac Magistrates’ Court; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(b) Outcome 25 March 2019

Vehicle Storage & Engineering Pty Ltd Dandenong Magistrates’ Court; Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 21(2)(e) Outcome 21 March 2019

Legislation

Queensland

Acts Proclamation - Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (Qld)18 March 2019 is fixed for the commencement of the provisions of the Act that are not in force.

Subordinate legislation as made No 27 Work Health and Safety (Amusement Devices—Public Safety) Amendment Regulation 2019 22 March 2019

Victoria

Statutory Rules No 17 Electricity Safety (Equipment Safety Scheme) Regulations 2019These Regulations come into operation on 1 April 2019.