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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

14 October 2020

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

COVID-19 updates

SafeWork Australia

Navigating mental health through COVID-19
Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful time for all Australians. While employers might not be able to help the stress workers are facing at home, they must eliminate or minimise the risk to psychological health and safety at work as far as is reasonably practicable (05 October 2020).  More...


Studying the impacts of COVID-19 on workplace mental health
Employees and employers across NSW whose mental health has been impacted by the onset of COVID-19 are being encouraged to take part in a community consultation that will help drive how the NSW Government supports people when they need help most (07 October 2020).  More...


Health and Safety Month helping to navigate COVID-19
WorkSafe has announced that the focus of its first fully virtual Health and Safety Month will be helping employers and workers navigate through coronavirus (COVID-19). Throughout October, WorkSafe will offer 16 free online seminars to help employers and workers maintain safe, healthy and connected workplaces during the pandemic and beyond.  More...

In the media

HIA emphasises the importance of worksite safety during National Safe Work Month
During Safe Work Month, HIA will launch a range videos and resources on themes including safety basics, apprentices matter, mental health safety and how HIA can help businesses meet their safety obligations and maintain safe workplaces (01 October 2020).  More...

Maximum penalties imposed after fatal truck crash
A road maintenance company and its director have been convicted and fined more than $466,000 after the death of a young truck driver in West Gippsland in 2017 (08 October 2020).  More...

Worker dies after fall
A bindery finishing operator has died in hospital after falling about 1.4 metres at a Clayton South marketing and printing business on October 1 (06 October 2020).  More...

Ardent Leisure Limited fined $3.6m over Dreamworld fatalities
After pleading guilty, Ardent Leisure Limited has been sentenced in the Southport Magistrates Court in relation to Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy at Dreamworld on 25 October 2016, where four people lost their lives. The defendant pleaded guilty to three offences contrary to s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (28 September 2020).  More...

Plant and equipment safety on cotton farms — new guide assists farmers
The recently released Cotton Industry Guide to Safety 2020/21 by Pro-Visual Publishing in conjunction with the NSCA Foundation contains information regarding plant and equipment safety, as well as other key safety issues pertinent to the industry (06 October 2020).  More...

Free safety first videos for transport released
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has given prime space to the road transport industry as part of October’s National Safe Work Month. This has taken on greater importance in 2020 due to the repercussions of COVID-19 upon the working lives of all Australians (01 October 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 24 September, there have been 113 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

Comcare: Transition to GHS Revision 7 delayed (News)
Australia will begin a two-year transition to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7 (GHS 7) from 1 January 2021 (28 September 2020).
For more information, Safe Work Australia’s website has information to help businesses understand the changes under GHS 7 and includes classification and labelling requirements for workplace hazardous chemicals, and the duties of manufacturers, importers, suppliers and end users. You can also learn more about chemical labelling and classification.  More....


NSW Safe Work Consultation: Help to improve mental health at work
The draft SafeWork NSW Code of Practice for managing the risks to psychological health is being developed to provide simple and practical guidance for workplaces to promote improved mental health. Individuals and organisations are invited to comment on the consultation paper here. An explanatory paper released with the draft Code. Go to this page to access the draft Code and the explanatory paper. Comments are due by October 31.

NSW Resources regulator: Practising certificates required from 1 October 2020
From 1 October 2020 this year, individuals will only be able to exercise a statutory function at a mine when they hold a practising certificate. The transitional arrangements that have allowed holders of certificates of competence to exercise statutory functions will end on 30 September 2020. Click here for further information on practising certificates, including how to apply


WorkSafe Qld: Worker seriously injured falling from trailer
In August 2020, a truck driver suffered serious injuries falling from his trailer. Preventing a similar incident: A person conducting a business or undertaking must ensure the provision and maintenance of a safe system of work when loading and unloading trucks.  More...

Switchboard wiring investigations
We recently investigated several incidents where switchboard wiring had been damaged, resulting in active conductors shorting to either earthed switchboard enclosures or neutral bars inside the switchboard.
Three common mistakes were identified as contributing factors to these incidents (30 September 2020).  More...

Uncontrolled movement of winch line | Business Queensland
07 October 2020 | Petroleum and gas safety information bulletin 12
Uncontrolled movement of winch line
Industry: Petroleum and gas.  More...

Uncontrolled truck movement due to brake fade | Business Queensland
29 September 2020 | Mines safety alert 380
Uncontrolled Truck Movement Due to Brake Fade
Industry: Coal mines; Metalliferous mines Subject Vehicle collision or failure.  More...


EnergySafe magazine – Spring 2020
In this issue we address how ESV continues to meet its regulatory responsibilities during coronavirus (COVID-19), announce the introduction of a new licensing regime for line workers and answer your electrical questions (30 September 2020).  More...

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 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.


SafeWork NSW v Calibre Construction Group Pty Ltd [2020] NSWDC 603
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury SENTENCING –objective seriousness – deterrence – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – capacity to pay a fine COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER ORDERS – training order made – work, health and safety undertaking order made.

SafeWork NSW v Royal Demolition & Excavation Pty Limited [2020] NSWDC 598
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 – offender engaged in demolition and ground levelling work – young labourer was run over by a reversing excavator while bent over – absence of an adequate risk assessment – failure to enforce an exclusion zone – inadequate worker supervision, instruction and training – failure to provide and enforce the use of high visibility personal protective equipment – non-compliance with an Improvement Notice.

SafeWork NSW v Lendlease Engineering Pty Limited; SafeWork NSW v Bouygues Construction Australia Pty Limited [2020] NSWDC 597
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 – worker was undertaking the task of desludging flow balance tanks – worker suffered fatal crush injuries after a sudden release of stored energy in a pressurised piping system being used to pump waste water and sediment from the construction of an underground tunnel to tanks on the surface – absence of a Safety in Design process – failure to provide a system that minimised uncontrolled release of energy – failure to provide adequate welds attached to the pipe support structure – failure to implement and enforce a Safe Work Method Statement for desludging the flow balance tanks – inadequate provision of information, instruction and training to workers.

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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