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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

11 November 2020

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Not using golf cart safely around school kids ends in disaster and hefty fine
A not for profit organisation in Brisbane has been fined $100,000 after a golf cart incident left a young child seriously injured. This follows an investigation by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and subsequent legal proceedings in the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court (05 November 2020).  More...

$16,000 in fines for dodgy demolition of house with asbestos containing material
At a recent hearing in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court, a company and its two directors were fined $16,000 for not properly demolishing a house which had asbestos containing material (04 November 2020).  More...

Meat processing company fined after worker falls into tripe washing vat
Australia's largest meat processing company is fined when an employee is left with second and third degree burns after falling into a tripe washing vat in 2016 (03 November 2020).  More...

Cowal mine fall blamed on removed guard rails
The New South Wales Resources Regulator has found that an accident at the Cowal gold mine in 2018 was caused by an attempt to access a scissor lift with removed guard rails (02 November 2020).  More...

Victorian fatality toll continues rise after three separate incidents
Recent Victorian worker deaths — including two within the space of three days — have brought the state's fatality toll to 60 for 2020, four more than at the same time last year (02 November 2020).  More...

Research into future of work begins
To help prepare for workplace issues of the future, the NSW Government has selected four research partners to explore key emerging risks in health and safety. The winners will be allocated $660,000 to conduct this important research project (28 October 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Health monitoring for persons conducting a business or undertaking guide
Safe Work Australia: 25 October 2020.  More...

Health monitoring when you work with hazardous chemicals guide
Safe Work Australia: 26 October 2020
If you are a worker who works with hazardous chemicals, this guide is for you. It explains what you and your person conducting a business or undertaking must do to monitor your health and keep you as safe as possible.  More...

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 22 October, there have been 131 Australian workers killed at work in 2020. 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


Centre for WHS Mentally Healthy Workplaces
The researchers will enable businesses and workers to improve their capability to create mentally healthy workplaces, and effectively manage mental health risks and hazards.
This project is currently open for tender. Find out more here. Tender opens: 12 October 2020.  More...

SafeWork NSW: General diving work – qualifications
The newly issued an exemption for the general diving work qualifications requirements of clause 171(1) of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017. This exemption is granted until 31 December 2022. People who are qualified under AS 4005.2 – 2000 will need to complete three additional units of competency by 31 December 2022 to be legally qualified to undertake general diving work in NSW. Read the exemption.


WorkSafe Qld: Serious injuries following fall from yacht
In August 2020, a worker suffered serious injuries after falling approximately 2.5 metres from the rear of a large yacht docked on a hardstand at a marine maintenance facility (26 October 2020).  More...

WorkSafe Qld: Beware of deteriorated wiring and cabling in older electrical installations
Electrical installations wired prior to 1960 are likely to contain cable insulation known as VIR (vulcanised Indian rubber) or TRS (tough rubber sheathed) which is now coming to the end of its service life (05 November 2020).  More...

Wire Rope Management | Business Queensland
04 November 2020 | Petroleum and gas safety information bulletin 13
Information Bulletin No. 13 regarding Wire Rope Management. Key learnings and recommendations.
Subject Equipment failure or modifications; Falling material or objects.

Persons’ appropriateness for access to explosives | Business Queensland
02 November 2020 | Explosives information bulletin 41
This Information Bulletin is to inform any person who employs the services of another, who may have access to explosives, that they have a duty under Section 33 of the Explosives Act 1999 to ensure that the person having access to those explosives. Subject Explosives; Explosives theft or misuse.


ESV: Licensing lineworkers and CPD for electrical workers
ESV will license lineworkers from 1 January 2021. As part of the development of the new licensing regime, ESV has released a regulatory impact statement (RIS) and the associated regulations for consultation.
Read more and download both documents. Information on making a submission as part of the consultation process on either licensing or CPD, may be found here. We will be accepting submissions until September 25.


R v EK Fabrication Pty Limited; R v Rafayel El-Khoury [2020] NSWDC 679
CRIME – prosecution – work, health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – worker injured FINES – capacity of defendant to pay fines – defendant to demonstrate incapacity SENTENCING – discount for utility of the plea – remorse – contrition.

SafeWork NSW v JBS Australia Pty Limited [2020] NSWDC 678
CRIME – prosecution – work, health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – worker injured SENTENCING – general and specific deterrence – deduction for the utility of the plea – appropriate penalty – remorse – contrition.

SafeWork NSW v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Limited (No. 2) [2020] NSWDC 668
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 OTHER – Unrestrained steel headstock fell on rigger working on a barge – no adequate risk assessment for landing headstocks on barge and working upon them – deck space not cleared to lay headstocks down – no visual inspection of barge despite contractual inspection obligation on defendant.



Bills assented to
Work Health and Safety Amendment (Information Exchange) Act 2020 No 34 — Assented to 27 October 2020
For the full text of Bills, and details on the passage of Bills, see Bills.

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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