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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

11 November 2019

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Qld abattoir worker fatally crushed by machinery
A worker in Queensland was recently crushed to death after getting trapped in a hydraulically operated stainless-steel bucket while manually handling goat carcasses. From 2014-15 to March 2018-19, 261 entrapment-related workers’ compensation claims were accepted relating to workers being trapped by moving machinery or equipment in the meat manufacturing industry (07 November 2019).  More...

Why is OHS slow to embrace technology? (and what to do about it)
Most Australian companies are generally slow to adopt the latest technology, however, this tendency can leave potential organisational and other benefits on the table, according to an expert in technology and innovation (07 November 2019).  More...

Business condemns VIC industrial manslaughter laws
Business groups have come out against the Victorian Government’s recently introduced workplace manslaughter law, which if passed will impose fines of around $16 million and up to 20 years jail for employers responsible for negligently causing death. The offence will fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (07 November 2019).  More...

Worker struck by 47 kg pin ejected by steam
A worker has been struck by a heavy-duty pin after it ejected unexpectedly from the rear-axle link of a CAT 797 dump truck. The regulator recommended mine operators, equipment suppliers and contract service providers: implement strategies to eliminate or minimise risks associated with thermal lancing and identify safe standing zones for workers (01 November 2019).  More...

$200,000 penalty after worker crushed 
A Defence contractor has been convicted and fined $200,000 over an incident that severely injured a worker at a Brisbane Army barracks (31 October 2019).  More... 

Homebuilder fined $77,000 for safety breaches at two different worksites
A local homebuilder has been fined $77,200 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for seven breaches under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 dating back to 2017. In total, there were three complaints and seven charges laid against the homebuilder by the Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor (29 October 2019).  More...

Building company fined $110,000 over worker impaling
Val Eco Homes was recently sentenced in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, charged under section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, regarding a failure to comply with its work safety duty as a person with management and control of a workplace (29 October 2019).  More...

First prosecution under Queensland’s pioneering industrial manslaughter laws
In a first for Queensland, the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor has commenced a prosecution against Brisbane Auto Recycling Pty Ltd for industrial manslaughter under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Separate charges have also been made against the company directors (25 October 2019).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 24 October, there have been 124 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).

The key work health and safety statistics Australia 2019
Safe Work Australia: Released on 04 November 2019
The report is a high-level overview of national statistics on work-related fatalities, injuries and disease.  More...

In practice and courts

Safe Work Australia: New resources for chemical storage
Safe Work Australia has prepared new resources for storing hazardous chemicals. These resources expand on the information in managing risks of storing chemicals in the workplace, they include tools that can be used to prepare hazardous chemical registers, manifests and site plans. To find out more about complying with work health and safety requirements in your region, contact your local WHS regulator (07 November 2019).

OFSC: Two-phase implementation of national construction code compliance in the accreditation scheme
The Federal Safety Commissioner has published a new fact sheet outlining the two-phase approach to educate and assess Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme accredited builders’ National Construction Code compliance (30 October 2019).  More...

NSW

Building Information Modelling for WHS management
What is the best practice and implications of using BIM in WHS management?
Timeline of project: Project commenced: August 2019; Project completion: Mid 2021.  More...

Resources Regulator: Safety Bulletin
7/11/2019 SB19-15 Rapid face bolter incidents
07/11/2019 SB19-14 Conveyor pulley incidents initiate fires
07/11/2019 SB19-13 Workers injured while installing conveyor boot ends
04/11/2019 SB19-12 Spontaneous combustion of conveyor rubber
04/11/2019 SB19-11 Drive shaft failures cause fires

Queensland

WorkCover Queensland: 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 commences 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 (31 October 2019).  More...

Reminder: Queensland Code of Practice for stone benchtop industry
The Managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in the stone benchtop industry code of practice 2019 will commence on 31 October 2019 and applies to all fabrication or processing, including during installation, maintenance and removal, of engineered and natural stone benchtops.  More...

WorkSafe Queensland: New standard for renewable energy battery storage installations
Designers and installers in Queensland have a duty under the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to ensure their battery storage installs are electrically safe. The installation requirements in AS/NZS 5139 are streamlined for equipment that complies with the Practice Guide: battery storage equipment - electrical safety requirements, V1.0 2018 (23 October 2019).  More...

WorkCover Queensland: Safety alerts
Elastic spring-back in wear plates on excavator buckets Updated 30 October 2019
Lifting clutch failure Updated 30 October 2019
The purpose of this health and safety alert is to inform workers, employers, builders and designers of the risk of failure of lifting clutches associated with tilt-up and pre-cast concrete erection.

Cases

Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Hynes & Anor [2019] FCCA 3145
INDUSTRIAL LAW – Commonwealth – compliance and enforcement – civil remedies – right of entry – entry permit holder – act in an improper manner – assessment of appropriate penalty
Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), ss.500, 512, 546, 550(1), 550(2); Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), ss.117, 134
The applicant submits that by engaging in this contravening conduct, Mr Hynes: flouted the privileges conferred on him as a federal permit holder and a State OHS permit holder

Orr v Hunter Quarries Pty Limited [2019] NSWDC 634
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of person undertaking business – risk of death or serious injury – PROCEDURAL – elements of offence – whether defendant owed a health and safety duty – whether there was a failure to comply with that duty – whether that failure exposed workers to the risk of death or serious injury – PROCEDURAL – reasonable practicability – likelihood of the risk – knowledge of the risk – what the defendant ought reasonably to have known – PROCEDURAL – foreseeability – whether there was a causal relationship between the act or omission and the risk - measures to guard against a risk to safety that are reasonably practicable – guard against inadvertence to fullest extent practicable – not always possible to foresee inadvertence by a disobedient worker – OTHER – unforeseen behaviour of worker – no one could have foreseen operation of the excavator in that location, in that fashion – worker had been instructed to perform other tasks, not to operate excavator on rocky slope – no breach in failing to risk assess potential for excavator to overturn on rocky slope – risk unknown and therefore unforeseen – OTHER – ROPS – Roll Over Protective Structure – excavators not on list of vehicles on which ROPS were required to be fitted – equipment not covered by ROPS standards must be the subject of a Risk Assessment – no ROPS required if excavator used on a flat area – risk of earthmoving machines overturning increases as variables increase – risk of excavators rolling over in mines and quarries

Safework NSW v NSW Formwork Pty Limited [2019] NSWDC 631
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 – appropriate penalty – COSTS - prosecution costs – OTHER – worker fell from ladder onto upright reo bars from which caps were missing – additional risk of fall from height because of lack of edge protection

Safework NSW v HCM Building Pty Limited [2019] NSWDC 632
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 – appropriate penalty – COSTS - prosecution costs – OTHER – worker fell from ladder onto upright reo bars from which caps were missing – additional risk of fall from height because of lack of edge protection

Guilfoyle v Culverthorpe Pty Ltd [2019] QMC 17
Criminal Law – Work Health and Safety – defendant pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to comply with a health and safety duty under section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act – excavation of 3.6 metre deep trench on a farm for laying of large pipes – high risk construction work – employee of defendant working in the trench – employee trapped from waist down as side of trench collapsed – suffered serious injuries – risk of workers suffering from serious injury as a result of collapse of trench walls – sentence
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 Qld ss 3, 17, 18, 19, 26A, 32, 275; Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 Qld ss 289, 291, 297

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Princes Laundry Services Pty Ltd - Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004, Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
Section21, Outcome 06 November 2019

Legislation

NSW

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Rail Safety National Law National Regulations (Application of Law) Variation Regulations 2019 (2019-539) — published LW 8 November 2019
Order regarding volunteers taking part in emergency operations (2019-521) — published LW 28 October 2019
Order regarding volunteers taking part in emergency operations (2019-522) — published LW 29 October 2019

Queensland

Bills

Subordinate legislation as made – 29 October 2019
No 214 Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) (Concrete Pumping) Amendment Notice 2019

Victoria

Acts

Dangerous Goods Amendment (Penalty Reform) Act 2019
Date of assent: 6 November 2019; Act Number: 38/2019

New Bills released this week – 01 November 2019
Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019
Introduces new criminal offences of workplace manslaughter to capture negligent conduct which causes the death of an employee or member of the public

Passed Parliament (will now go to the Governor for royal assent) 31 October 2019
Dangerous Goods Amendment (Penalty Reform) Bill 2019
'10A New section 60D inserted After section 60C of the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 insert – "60D Report on storage, transfer and disposal of dangerous goods

Bills

Building and Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2019
Introduced into Parliament 29 October 2019, 2nd reading moved 30 October 2019 - Makes changes to the regulation of the architect, building and plumbing industries and their governance arrangements The reforms also expand the Victorian Building Authority’s powers to suspend architects and builders that use dangerous building products and undertake unsafe work.

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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