In the Media

Powerline incidents prompt safety warning WorkSafe is urging employers operating mobile machinery near overhead powerlines to put safety first following a spate of electric shock incidents and near misses. Since November 2020, one worker has died and five others were taken to hospital with serious injuries after their machinery contacted powerlines (06 May 2021). More...

ABCC alleges CFMMEU officials breach right of entry laws at QPAC theatre site in Brisbane The ABCC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against the CFMMEU and three of its officials alleging right of entry contraventions at the QPAC construction site, and failed to comply with the site's occupational health and safety requirements (05 May 2021). More...

Hazard 2020 – Scaffolding audit results continue to raise concern The latest Hazard 2020 safety campaign data up to the end of April 2021 continues to show that while accredited companies are making solid progress in improving the safety of mobile plant, compliance with scaffolding requirements remains too low (04 May 2021). More...

WorkWell Toolkit hits 10,000 users Victorian employers are being urged to join the more than 10,000 now using WorkSafe's free online resources to improve the mental wellbeing of their workers (03 May 2021). More...

Unmasking the impacts of COVID-19 on workplace mental health The full extent of the toll COVID-19 has taken on workplace mental health in NSW has been revealed with the release of the results of a landmark study into the psychological impacts of the pandemic (29 April 2021). More...

Disgraceful disregard for safety in asbestos work safety fine A house painter’s failure to protect his workers and the public from asbestos has been labelled disgraceful by a Brisbane magistrate. He also was penalised for not complying with an improvement notice, with the $48,291.09 cost to clean and make safe the property and its neighbours left to the Queensland Government (23 April 2021). More...

Company fined $50,000 after young worker’s hand caught in Hippo mixer A Brisbane and Gold Coast flooring company has been fined $50,000 over a workplace safety incident in which a young labourer suffered serious injuries when his hand became caught in a portable mixer, pleading guilty in the to breaching Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (23 April 2021). More...

NSW probes rise in serious injuries The New South Wales mining sector has experienced a steady increase in serious injuries, mostly at underground mines (23 April 2021). More...

Grosvenor workers return ahead of longwall restart Anglo American has permitted a team of its workers to re-enter the Grosvenor mine in Queensland to conduct safety and compliance inspections underground while restoring power and gas monitoring (23 April 2021). More...

Safety personnel to obtain greater power in proposed law The New South Wales Resources Regulator is seeking public comment for recommendations to the Work Health and Safety Act for mine and petroleum sites (23 April 2021). More...

Electrical worker loses licence for five years The Electrical Licensing Committee disqualified an electrical worker from holding an electrical work licence for five years. He repeatedly conducted defective electrical work across South East Queensland, posing serious risk to the safety of people and property (23 April 2021). More...

Cattle contractor charged after worker, burnt in explosion, was not taken to hospital for six days Four charges are laid against a cattle mustering contractor after an 18-year-old employee was severely burnt but not taken to hospital for six days despite his condition worsening (23 April 2021). More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics As at 29 April, 32 Australian workers were killed at work in 2021. 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

NSW

NSW Government: Incidents, alerts & investigations Safety alerts and bulletins and significant incident and investigation reports to inform the NSW mining industry, suppliers, unions and industry organisations about work health and safety issues and findings. 29 April 2021 – Safety Bulletin SB21-03 Diesel shutdown systems 29 April 2021 – Safety Bulletin SB21-02 Flyrock from blasting activities

Mine Safety News Mine Safety News is an online newsletter regularly published by the NSW Resources Regulator designed to inform, educate and promote the enhancement of the health and safety culture of NSW mining. 29/04/2021 – Mine Safety News

Queensland

Who needs a security clearance for a licence or permit | Resources Safety & Health Queensland 28 April 2021: Bulletin 74 Back to results. Explosives information bulletin no. 74 | 28 April 2021 | Version 4. employees of security sensitive authority holders requiring unsupervised access to explosives in Queensland. Explosives; Explosives theft or misuse. More...

WorkSafe Qld: COVID-19 rescue and resuscitation training exemptions From 1 August 2021, exemptions for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, pole top rescue and low voltage switch board rescue training will no longer apply. More...

WorkSafe Qld: Changes to asbestos regulation From 1 May 2021, low density asbestos fibre board (LDB), also known as asbestos insulating board, will be classified as a friable material in all circumstances. This means LDB can only legally be removed by a class A asbestos removal licence holder. If you’re a class B asbestos removal licence holder and want to be able to remove LDB after 1 May 2021, you will need to apply to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland for a class A asbestos removal licence. More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: Safety Soapbox 2021 Safety Soapbox April 2021 (released 28 April 2021)

WorkSafe Victoria: Mechanic dies while working underneath a car WorkSafe is issuing a safety alert about the hazards associated with working underneath raised vehicles in the auto repair industry following the death of a mobile mechanic (04 May 2021). More...

Elevating Work Platforms industry standard The new standard has been developed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most important safety issues for using EWPs. The standard also covers EWP training and licensing requirements and how to ensure they are properly maintained and inspected for use. For more information visit: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/ewp (29 April 2021).

ESV: The Look Up and Live The campaign calls on workers and operators of such machinery to be aware of powerlines and plan how to safely undertake their work before they begin. For more information go to esv.vic.gov.au/campaigns/look-up-and-live. ESV recommends the following: Understand No Go Zones. These include rules and distances for safety clearances near overhead powerlines. For more information go to our website Look Up and Live page. (04 May 2021).

ESV to introduce Continuing Professional Development Energy Safe Victoria is introducing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to maintain safety, competency and compliance in the electrical industry. The CPD training will roll out in stages and will be a mandatory requirement for electrical licence renewals from 2023. More...

Cases

SafeWork NSW v DIC Australia Pty Limited [2021] NSWDC 143(3) The appropriate fine is $600,000 but that will be reduced by 25 per cent to reflect the plea of guilty CRIMINAL 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 – capacity to pay appropriate penalty COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER – defendant involved in the manufacture of ink products – blockages affected the operation of an ink holding tank and mill – onslow mixer and mill remained in operation while tank was being cleaned – access hatch was removed before anchor blade was electrically isolated – contractor’s leg became trapped between side of the tank and anchor blade – other workers suffered injuries when they entered the tank to assist – electrical isolation system inadequate – absence of an external isolator switch or emergency stop – confined space entry permit had only been partially completed – inadequate audit procedure to ensure job safety analysis and confined space entry permit were being utilised – safety documents on electrical configuration of the tank were inadequate.

SafeWork NSW v JPS Car Wash Management Pty Ltd; SafeWork NSW v SRS Star Management Pty Ltd; SafeWork NSW v Sarjeet Sidhu [2021] NSWDC 148(1) The defendants are convicted (9) The defendants are to pay the prosecutor’s costs agreed in the sum of $40,000.00 CRIMINAL 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 – capacity to pay – totality of sentence - appropriate sentence - parity OTHER – failure to notify SafeWork of a notifiable incident – failure to consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities with other persons who had a duty under s 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

Legislation

NSW

Non-Government – 07 May 2021 Work Health and Safety Amendment (Industrial Manslaughter) Bill 2021