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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

18 February 2020

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Crushed hand leads to $40,000 fine
A Dandenong South health supplements manufacturer has been convicted and fined $40,000 after a worker’s hand was crushed between two rollers. WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety Julie Nielsen said workers were too often exposed to the well-known dangers of moving machinery (14 February 2020).  More...

Culture of bullying, harassment and discrimination in medicine still widespread, survey suggests
One in three trainee doctors in Australia have experienced or witnessed bullying, harassment or discrimination in the past 12 months, but just a third have reported it, according to a national survey by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (10 February 2020).  More...

‘Banal’ factors responsible for Queensland fatalities
Brady Heywood has released a report on Queensland’s mining and quarrying safety performance as part of a state government independent review (10 February 2020).  More...

Company fined $60,000 for amputated fingers
Oliver Projects Pty Ltd was found guilty in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on Thursday of failing to provide or maintain safe systems of work and failing to provide information and instruction (10 February 2020).  More...

Workplace death rate falls
Safe Work Australia has released its latest work health and safety statistics, showing a continued decline in worker fatalities. The Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2019 report showed that in 2018, 144 people were fatally injured at work (06 February 2020).  More...

Developer fined for serious safety failures
A property developer has been convicted and fined $125,000 for putting workers and the public at risk of serious injury or death. Mainline Developments Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne County Court to four charges over safety breaches during the construction of a residential complex at Narre Warren (06 February 2020).  More...

Industrial manslaughter to be enshrined in mining laws
Executives could face up to 20 years in jail if Queensland mine and quarry workers die because of criminal negligence (04 February 2020).  More...

Queensland strengthens explosives laws
The Queensland mining and quarrying industries are set to experience tighter laws surrounding explosives starting this month (03 February 2020).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

ABCC industry update – 13 February 2020
Welcome to the February 2020 edition of Industry Update, our quarterly online newsletter. Industry Update provides updates on the latest activities of the ABCC, industry trends, and emerging issues.  More...

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 30 January, there have been 15 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

Coronavirus and the workplace — what employers need to know
Australian work health and safety laws require persons conducting a business or undertaking to ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace, by providing and maintaining a work environment that does not pose risks to health and safety. Latest updates about coronavirus are provided by the Australian Department of Health website (05 February 2020).

NSW

NSW SafeWork

SafeWork warns of hazards in bush fire recovery
After a bushfire front has gone through and the flames have left, many dangers are still present including smoke and air pollution, asbestos contamination, electrical risks and unstable building structures.  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 (22 January 2020).  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 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

WorkCover Queensland: Premier’s statement on coronavirus
If you are showing symptoms of respiratory illness and have recently returned from China including Hong Kong or have been in contact with someone who has had coronavirus or symptoms and has recently returned from China including Hong Kong, you should contact your GP immediately or call 13 HEALTH (03 February 2020).  More...

Victoria

New: Crystalline silica engineered stone compliance code
The Minister for Workplace Safety has approved the making of the new Managing exposure to crystalline silica: Engineered stone compliance code (code). The code became effective as of 11 February 2020.

Proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations 2020
ESV invites interested parties to make comments on the regulatory impact statement and proposed Regulations including any proposed fees. Submissions must be received by 6 March 2020.  More...

Worksafe Victoria: Contractors working in the vicinity of fire-damaged trees
Safety alert published Tuesday 04 Feb 2020
WorkSafe is issuing a warning to employers and self-employed persons to take extreme care when working in the vicinity of fire-damaged trees, following a recent incident where an employee died after a tree fell on him.  More...

Cases

Safework NSW v Dongwha Timbers Pty Limited [2020] NSWDC 9
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 – timber mill – worker tried to dislodge fillet stick which was jamming machinery – heavy arm of machine fell on worker – no written safety procedure in place

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Syed Nadir NASIM
Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013
Section82(1) & 581(1) Outcome 12 Feb 2020
Arrow Wood Products Pty Ltd
Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 38(1)
Outcome 12 Feb 2020
Volgren Australia Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 21(2)(e)
Outcome 11 Feb 2020
COSMAX NBT Australia Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a)
Outcome11 Feb 2020
Clifford Hallam Healthcare Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a)
Outcome 10 Feb 2020
Oliver Projects Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 21(2)(e)
Outcome 06 Feb 2020

Legislation

Queensland

Bills Updated

Resources Safety and Health Queensland Bill 2019
Introduced by: Hon A Lynham on 4/09/2019
Stage reached: 2nd reading adjourned on 4/02/2020

Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (Qld)
Tabled on 4 February 2020 (amending the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999, the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999, the Explosives Act 1999 and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (the Resource Safety Acts)), fines of up to $13.3 million (100,000 penalty units@$133.45) and 20 years’ gaol time can be imposed on employers and senior officers of a mine or quarry company. 
The Bill also proposes to amend the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act so that only employees of a coal mine operator may be appointed to critical safety statutory roles.

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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