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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

15 April 2020

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Australia publishes draft risk assessment reports for pentaBDE and TBBPA
Australia’s national chemical agency, Nicnas, has published a draft risk assessment report on the brominated flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol-A, concluding that it is carcinogenic and persistent in the environment (09 April 2020).  More...

PPE, manufacturing industries called on to support health sector
The personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain has experienced a boost as Queensland Health stocks up on face shields to protect the community from the coronavirus (09 April 2020).  More...

NSW regulator urges organisations to refresh coronavirus measures
The New South Wales Resources Regulator has continued to monitor the implementation of safety controls in managing the risk of coronavirus transmission at mine sites (09 April 2020).  More...

The seven steps every workplace should follow if someone shows symptoms for coronavirus
The Prime Minister says he wants everyone to follow these seven steps if someone at work is worried they have COVID-19 (08 April 2020).  More...

Company fined $300,000 for gas bottle explosion
A Bayswater maintenance firm has been convicted and fined $300,000 after a worker was permanently disabled in a gas bottle explosion in December, 2017 (08 April 2020).  More...

COVID-19: Construction is safe and vital for recovery, Premier says
Daniel Andrews has delivered a message full of reassurance to the construction industry: Not only is it safe to keep working, but we should expect plenty more work in the pipeline (07 April 2020).  More...

$100m support for health workers to fight COVID-19
NSW frontline healthcare workers will be provided with free accommodation to protect their loved ones as part of $100 million in extra measures to support frontline staff battling COVID-19 (07 April 2020).  More...

Qantas crew exempt from quarantine have tested positive for COVID-19
Four Qantas crew members who operated a flight from Chile and did not have to go into quarantine have tested positive for coronavirus, raising concerns future international flights could weaken Australia's defences against the pandemic. Crew members were free to return to their homes under an exemption for airline crew granted by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (06 April 2020).  More...

Supporting workers on the frontline of coronavirus fight
Hospital workers and paramedics on the front line of Victoria’s coronavirus response will get access to free accommodation if they need to self-isolate (05 April 2020).  More...

Clock ticks down to FIFO ban as coronavirus fears sweep coal towns
Communities in Queensland's Bowen Basin fear a COVID-19 outbreak and move to ban the "mass movement" of workers in and out of the region (04 April 2020).  More...

Border controls extend to FIFO mine workers
Only critical interstate fly-in-fly-out mine workers will be allowed into Queensland to protect remote and regional communities and local mine workforces (31 March 2020).  More...

TWU: HSR who stood up for safety stood down by Qantas
SafeWork NSW, the NSW workplace safety authority, is investigating Qantas and CEO Alan Joyce for suspending an health and safety representative who raised concerns about workers being exposed to the coronavirus when cleaning an aircraft that had returned from China (02 April 2020).  More...

Construction hours extended to support industry during COVID-19
Construction sites can now operate on weekends and public holidays under new rules introduced by the NSW Government to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic (02 April 2020).  More...

Mining sector to adopt rigorous COVID-19 protocols despite job lift
The resources industry is set to execute national coronavirus protocols to protect jobs and employees from the threats of the pandemic (30 March 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Manufacture or supply of alcohol-based hand sanitisers
SafeWork Australia Fact Sheet: 09 April 2020
This fact sheet is for businesses who may have recently become involved in the manufacture or supply of hand sanitisers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  More...

In practice and courts

Comcare: Learn with Comcare LMS
While our face-to-face training is currently suspended due to COVID-19, ensure you keep developing your work health and safety capability through Comcare LMS, our secure learning management system (31 March 2020).  More...

OFSO: Minimising the risk of COVID-19 on your building and construction sites
The Australian Government has released building and construction industry specific advice on dealing with these risks. The advice is available from Safe Work Australia and covers topics outlined here (31 March 2020).  More...

Coronavirus disease COVID-19
The following is occupational health and safety advice is based on information from the World Health Organization, the ACTU and other sources, amended to be suitable for HSRs. For advice concerning pay and/or sick leave entitlements, contact your union. NOTE: This material is DRAFT and will be updated and amended regularly (10 April 2020).  More...

Minimising the risk of COVID-19 on your building and construction sites
The Australian Government has released building and construction industry specific advice on dealing with these risks. The advice is available from Safe Work Australia (SWA) and covers topics including:
Industry-specific control measures to managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 (including social distancing and hygiene)
Keep workers informed
Consultation and communicating with workers
Further information and resources
(31 March 2020).  More...

NSW

SafeWork NSW: Regulatory approach to NSW work health and safety legislation - COVID-19
This statement sets out the enforcement approach that SafeWork NSW will take to ensure compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (31 March 2020).  More...

NSW fire safety reforms to be enforced from April 2020
From April 2020, only accredited fire safety practitioners will be authorised to endorse plans and specifications of fire safety systems.  More...

Safework NSW: Traffic control work
Information on the changes to the Work Health and Safety (Traffic Control Training) Regulation was made on 20 December 2019, with the Traffic Control Training scheme transitioning from Transport for NSW to SafeWork NSW. The new regulatory scheme will commence from 1 July 2020.  More...

Queensland

Availability of disposable respirators during the COVID-19
Use this table to select an appropriate respirator. It is important to use a respirator that is certified and stencilled as meeting Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716. Note, respirators manufactured and certified to similar standards to Australia/New Zealand AS/NZA 1716 can be used. View the comparison of equivalent respirator certification standards (08 April 2020).  More...

WorkCover Qld: Worker killed in conveyor crush
Safety Advice 08 April 2020
There can be significant risks associated with using fixed plant, including conveyor systems and associated equipment. Conveyors are used in a range of industries including; agriculture, manufacturing, logistics and construction.  More...

WorkCover Qld: Rescue and resuscitation training during the COVID-19 pandemic
Access to training courses has been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To minimise the impact on industry while still maintaining the safety of electrical workers, we are putting interim arrangements in place (03 April 2020).  More...

WorkCover Qld: Wiring Rules amendment released
Amendment 1 of the 2018 edition of AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules has been released. The changes included in the amendment are highlighted in the text by a marginal bar and amendment number against the clause, note, table or figure. You can purchase the new standard on SAI Global's website (02 April 2020).  More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: Another driver killed working on steep terrain
Safety Alert 01 April 2020
After the latest in a series of fatalities, WorkSafe is issuing a reminder about the importance of managing the risks of working in vehicles on steep slopes.  More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Farm worker killed by reversing trailer in a paddock
Safety Alert 02 April 2020
An alert highlighting the importance of maintaining designated safe areas and effective communication when operating mobile plant in the vicinity of people.  More...

Cases

SafeWork NSW v P&K Bezzina Pty Limited; SafeWork NSW v Paul Martin Bezzina [2020] NSWDC 91
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 – construction of a masonry brick wall – no risk assessment or control measures – no temporary bracing or timber framing installed – no exclusion zone – wall collapsed in high wind and crushed subcontractor of bricklaying contractor

Safework NSW v Hydromet Corporation Pty Limited; Safework NSW v Jeremy Perera [2020] NSWDC 82
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 – battery recycling and hazardous chemical storage and processing business – workers tried to replace ruptured hose – workers not advised that the hose contained waste grade 98 per cent sulphuric acid –workers were sprayed with pressurised acid causing serious injuries – inadequate training – inadequate risk assessment – lack of control measures and emergency procedures – inadequate personal protective equipment

McAndrew v Simmons [2020] NSWDC 81
CRIMINAL LAW – work health and safety – exposing worker to a risk of death or serious injury   SENTENCING – objective seriousness - deterrence – aggravating factors - mitigating factors – substantial harm, injury, loss or damage – no record of previous convictions – prospects of rehabilitation – plea of guilty – remorse – capacity to pay 

SafeWork NSW v Kayrouz Constructions Pty Limited [2020] NSWDC 77
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business to ensure so far as was reasonably practicable the health and safety of workers– whether failure to comply with duty – whether failure exposed an individual to a risk of death or serious injury   SENTENCING – plea of guilty – plea to elements of offence – disputed facts – whether plea of guilty is an admission of all particulars of reasonably practicable measures pleaded in Summons – particulars pleaded in the alternative

SafeWork NSW v NonAbel Concrete Pump Pty Ltd; SafeWork NSW v Bilal Hamdan [2020] NSWDC 65
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 – concrete pumping and placement business – foreseeable risk – compressed air wrongly used to blast out cement from pump hose – concrete hose whipped around and struck worker present in danger zone in the head – use of dangerous coupling – failure to anchor hose – hose too long – no exclusion zone – lack of proper instruction and supervision

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings

New Sector Engineering Pty Ltd
Melbourne County Court, Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a); 21(2)(e) & 23(1)
Outcome 06 Apr 2020

Legislation

NSW

Regulations
Public Health Amendment (COVID-19 Spitting and Coughing) Regulation 2020 (2020-145) — published LW 9 April 2020

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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