Artboard 1Icon/UI/CalendarIcons/Ionic/Social/social-pinterest

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

18 August 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

COVID-19

Queensland prepares COVID-19 vaccination hub for FIFO workers
The Queensland Resources Council has supported state Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young’s decision to include fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers in a new priority vaccination list (09 August 2021).  More...

Scott Morrison rules out mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, says employers must 'make their own decisions'
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out mandating COVID-19 vaccinations at a federal policy level, saying employers must "make their own decisions" when it comes to enforcing jabs for high-risk workers (07 August 2021).  More...

In the Media

Industrial manslaughter charges laid against MSF Sugar Pty Ltd
The Queensland independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor has charged MSF Sugar Pty Ltd, one of the country’s biggest sugar millers, with industrial manslaughter under the Electrical Safety Act 2002, in relation to an electrocution incident near Little Mulgrave in far north Queensland in July 2019 (11 August 2021).  More...

ACT industrial manslaughter Bill passes carrying $16.5m penalty
In the Australian Capital Territory, a Bill passed on 5 August 2021 implementing wider reach and higher penalties for industrial manslaughter, which is now an offence under the Work Health and Safety Act (09 August 2021).  More...

'Inadequate training': Cherry orchard used 'mime' for safety induction, coroner finds
A coroner criticises a cherry orchard for using mime to induct workers with limited English skills after an Ethiopian migrant is dragged under a trailer and crushed (09 August 2021).  More...

Cart incident raises communication concerns
The New South Wales Resources Regulator is recommending plant operators establish positive communications before entering the work area of other mobile plants following a cart accident at an open cut mine site (09 August 2021).  More...

Victoria's on-the-spot fines for OHS non-compliance now in force
As of 20 July, WorkSafe Victoria inspectors can issue infringement notices to individuals or businesses, with penalties of up to $1817.40 for certain offences (06 August 2021).  More...

Fatal fall lands company, director $375,000 fine
In Victoria, a company and its director have been fined $250,000 and $125,000, respectively, after a worker fell from an unsecured cage elevated by a forklift (04 August 2021).  More...

Hazard 2020 – one third of incidents placed workers in serious danger
The Federal Safety Commissioner’s year-long Hazard 2020 safety campaign is now three-quarters complete. Trends from previous months remain largely unchanged with improved compliance with most WHS Accreditation Scheme audit criteria for mobile plant, but limited or no improvement in scaffolding related criteria (05 August 2021).  More...

AMMA framework to aid workforce mental health
The Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) will aim to assist employers with mental health challenges under a new framework (02 August 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 5 August, 67 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

Mine Safety News
05/08/2021 – Mine Safety News

NSW Resources Regulator: Key compliance priorities updated
The Resources Regulator has published the July – December 2021 Compliance priorities which sets out the key compliance priorities for the next six months.  More...

Cases

SafeWork NSW v Epic Machinery Pty Ltd [2021] NSWDC 398
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 OTHER – s 19(1) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW).

SafeWork NSW v Mercon Group Pty Ltd [2021] NSWDC 378
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – worker injured SENTENCING – objective seriousness – deterrence – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – appropriate penalty SENTENCING PRINCIPLES – no record of previous convictions – good prospects of rehabilitation – remorse – plea of guilty – assistance to law enforcement authorities.

SafeWork NSW v CPB Contractors Pty Limited [2021] NSWDC 376
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – worker injured SENTENCING – objective seriousness – deterrence – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – appropriate penalty SENTENCING PRINCIPLES – record of previous convictions under former legislation – good prospects of rehabilitation – remorse – plea of guilty – assistance to law enforcement authorities.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes.
Ace Earthmoving Pty Ltd
Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(2)(b)
Outcome 09 Aug 2021

Legislation

Commonwealth

Regulations

Work Health and Safety Amendment (Public Authorities) Regulations 2021
10/08/2021 – this instrument amends the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 to maintain coverage for Telstra and its employees under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 as Telstra undergoes a restructure.

Victoria

Regulations

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Infringements and Miscellaneous Matters) Regulations 2021 (Infringement Regulations)
This instrument amends the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 by introducing Chapter 7B (Enforcement). This amendment commenced on 31 July 2021 and provides WorkSafe inspectors the power to issue “on-the-spot” fines to employers and other duty holders, including workers, who are found to be in breach of certain provisions of the Act and the Regulations.

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.

Share this