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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

19 March 2019

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Prohibition notices issued to Wongawilli mine
Section 195 prohibition notices have been served on Wongawilli Mine near Appin, preventing the operation of underground conveyors at the site. In response to a series of recent reported roof falls, NSW Resources Regulator inspectors attended the mine to review the risk controls in place to protect workers from roof failure (14 March 2019).  More...  

Palmer's nickel refinery under scrutiny over widespread safety concerns
Documents obtained by The 7.30 Report under Right to Information raise serious safety and maintenance concerns about Clive Palmer's Townsville nickel refinery, which he is promising to reopen (13 March 2019).  More... 

Safety issues before police freezer death apparent for years, tribunal hears
SA Police failed to fix "obvious" workplace safety issues that would have prevented the death of a cook who became trapped in a freezer at a training facility, a court hears (12 March 2019).  More...  

Australian company launches satellite tech for tailings monitoring
Tech start-up Otus has developed a system that can monitor potential safety issues at mine site tailings dams (11 March 2019).  More... 

Tourism operator fined $40,000 for flying fox injuries
A Queensland tourism operator has been fined $40,000 by a Magistrates Court after a woman received serious pelvic injuries following a zipline tour that went wrong in July 2016. The Office of Industrial Relations is considering the Magistrate’s decision in terms of adequacy of penalty (11 March 2019).  More... 

1 in 5 male workers exposed to unsafe noise levels
New research shows that one in five Australian men are exposed to excessive noise levels in the workplace. Almost 5000 Australian workers to understand how many of them were exposed to workplace noise and chemicals that can damage hearing (11 March 2019).  More... 

Recognising family violence in the workplace
The Andrews Labor Government has introduced guidelines to recognise family violence as an issue of workplace safety and help employers support workers experiencing violence. All employers have a legal obligation to maintain a safe working environment, and these new guidelines will help them understand and recognise family violence (08 March 2019).  More... 

Construction company charged over roller death
WorkSafe has charged a Brooklyn civil construction company over the death of a worker crushed by a road roller in Mildura. Multiworks Australia has been charged with two offences under section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to provide a safe working environment (05 March 2019).  More... 

Company fined $100,000 following forklift injury
A logistics company supplying supermarket chains has been fined $100,000 after a worker was injured by a forklift. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Pty Ltd was convicted and fined at Sunshine Magistrates’ Court on 26 February after pleading guilty to a single charge under Section 21(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (05 March 2019).  More...  

Company fined $69K after worker permanently injured
Serious permanent injuries sustained by a WA labourer have led to a $69,500 fine for an underground services company and its director. Sunchaser Enterprises Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe workplace and, by that failure, causing serious harm to an employee, and was fined $45,000 in the Northam Magistrates Court (04 March 2019).  More... 

Ensuring every worker makes it home safe
The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promise to make workplace manslaughter a criminal offence, with work kicking off on the development of the tough new laws (01 March 2019).  More... 

Published - articles, papers, reports

Cost of work-related incidents and illnesses: International comparison
New estimates from an international project show that global work-related accidents and illnesses are considerable. The global cost at EUR 2,680 billion (A$4,267 billion), which is 3.9 per cent of global GDP. Data for individual countries, including Australia, can be accessed. Read the article in English here along with the main findings of the project and the summary (March 2019).  More... 

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
21 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2019. 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.  More...  

In practice and courts

New OHS standards - AS 4431:2019
Safe working on new lift installations in new constructions.
Standards Australia AS 4431:2019 

National safety conference
28-29 August 2019 Save the date.  More... 

National inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces
The focus of the national inquiry is on the nature and prevalence of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, the drivers of this harassment and measures to address sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. To assist interested parties to develop submissions to the inquiry, the Australian Human Rights Commission has also prepared a Conversation toolkit


Mine ERZ Controller sustains injuries trapped by an airlock door: Business Queensland
14 March 2019 | Mines safety bulletin 180
A mine ERZ Controller sustained permanent disabling injuries after his leg was trapped in an airlock door for over five hours.  More...

Overload protection in lifting gear: Business Queensland
14 March 2019 | Mines safety bulletin 179
A maintenance fitter suffered multiple injuries when a hoist he was using fell on him when the upper hook detached from the rest of the assembly.  More...   

WorkSafe Queensland: Worker fatally crushed by steel pipe
Loading and unloading pipe or cylindrical stock includes moving or handling of pipe by lifting, lowering, pushing, carrying, holding, or restraining. Pipe movement may be hazardous, depending on the type of pipe being handled, the nature of the task, and the conditions of the work site. PCBUs responsibilities are outlined here (08 March 2019) 

WorkSafe Queensland: Fatal falls on work sites
Falls are a major cause of death and serious injury at workplaces. There is a risk of a fall when work is carried out at height or near to an edge or opening, e.g. working on a roof, unloading a large truck or accessing silos. These incidents highlight the need to implement fall risk control measures suitable for the individual worksite. PCBU’s action are outlined here (05 March 2019) 


Labour-hire licensing scheme commences 29 April 2019
Labour-hire providers will have six months following the scheme commencement date to apply for a licence to operate in the State after this time. To obtain and keep a licence, labour-hire firms will need to pass a 'fit and proper person test', which involves demonstrating long-term compliance with Victoria's OHS and workers' compensation Acts.  Information sessions will be held from March - April. To find out more click here.  More... 

Employee fatally injured after fall from horse
An alert about hazards and risk controls associated with working within a stable and horse training facility, following the death of an employee (13 March 2019).  More... 

WorkSafe Victoria Safety Alert: Potential for dangerous scaffolding collapse
An alert about a potential fault in the manufacture of scaffolding components (07 March 2019).  More... 

WorkSafe Victoria Safety Alert: Safety when working in confined spaces
A reminder about the dangers of working in confined spaces. For more information about what defines a confined space, refer to the Compliance Code: Confined Spaces here (01 March 2019). 

Safety Soapbox 8 March 2019
The latest edition of Safety Soapbox was posted on March 8. In this edition, Cameron Ellis – Construction OHS Advisor/Technical Inspector - talks about ensuring safety around the solar rebate, recently introduced by the state's Labor Government. The construction industry reported a total of 225 incidents. Access the March 8 edition here.


Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings

Triantafillia ‘Rosy’ Liapis
Geelong Magistrates’ Court Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013  Section 581(1)
Outcome 07 March 2019

AAZ Recycling and Waste Management Pty Ltd
Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section 21(1); 21(2)(a) & 21(2)(e)
Outcome 06 March 2019

Diversion 5 of 2018-19
Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 Section 585(1)
Outcome 05 March 2019



Subordinate legislation as made – 15 March 2019
No 23 Proclamation - Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (commencing remaining provisions)
To fix 18 March 2019 for the commencement of the provisions of the Act that are not in force.
No 24 Electrical Safety (Delegation by Regulator) Amendment Regulation 2019

Charles Power, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9942

Benjamin Marshall, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9864

Stephen Trew, Managing Partner, Sydney
T: +61 2 8083 0439

Michael Selinger, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0430

Rachel Drew, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0617

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 publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. 

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