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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

22 June 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

Bread maker fined $125,000 following machine crush
A food manufacturer has been convicted and fined $125,000 after a maintenance worker was crushed at a Dandenong South factory in 2019. George Weston Foods, trading as Tip Top Bakeries, was sentenced in the Dandenong Magistrates' Court on 11 June after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to provide a safe workplace (18 June 2021).  More...

University of Queensland to improve blasting safety
The University of Queensland has installed an experimental chamber to improve the safety of underground mining applications (17 June 2021).  More...

WHS Accreditation Scheme Projects Surpass $150 billion
The Australian Government WHS Accreditation Scheme has reached a significant milestone this month, with the value of Scheme projects surpassing $150 billion. Over 530 companies currently accredited under the Scheme have contributed to achieving this milestone (17 June 2021).  More...

Making sustainable farming safer
In the bid to keep their land sustainable and profitable, NSW landholders are changing the way they use their land. In their commitment to keeping all workers safe, the NSW Government is tackling emerging health and safety issues facing these workers (16 June 2021).  More...

Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry releases report into Grosvenor explosion
An inquiry into an explosion at a coal mine in Central Queensland has found the mine's gas drainage systems couldn't cope with the rate of production. In a report released, the Board found mine operator Anglo American failed to take meaningful action to control the hazard posed by the gas (14 June 2021).  More...

Unlicensed electrical contractor fined $16,000
Using Facebook to advertise an air-conditioning installation business over the summer of 2018/19 may have been the undoing for an unlicensed electrician who was recently fined $16,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court (15 June 2021).  More...

NSW safety campaign targets worker responsibility
More than 13,000 mine workers have been engaged by the NSW Resources Regulator as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the risk of collisions from heavy mining equipment (11 June 2021).  More...

MineWell app to support health of workforce
The Minerals Council of Australia has launched its latest effort to support the mental health and resilience of its members with the free MineWell mobile app (07 June 2021).  More...

Welding safety at the forefront of new research
To create a better understanding of workers’ exposure to welding fumes in Australia, the NSW Government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety is conducting new research (07 June 2021).  More...

Hazard 2020 – signs of Improvement in scaffolding audit results, but significant room for improvement
Throughout May, the Hazard 2020 Safety Campaign has seen a significant improvement in companies meeting some of the WHS Accreditation Scheme requirements regarding scaffolding (07 June 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia: Updated Psychosocial health and safety and bullying in Australian workplaces
The 6th annual Psychosocial health and safety and bullying in Australian workplaces statement has been published on the Safe Work Australia. The statement identifies data trends in accepted workers’ compensation claims arising from mental stress, and specifically those arising from workplace bullying and harassment (11 June 2021).  More...

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 10 June, 43 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).

ABCC industry update – 10 June 2021 edition
In this edition of Industry Update we look at two recent examples of Code covered entities that have failed to comply with the Code, litigation news and more.  More...

In practice and courts

Comcare important reminder: COVID-Safe workplaces
As Victoria continues its lockdown this week, we wanted to provide a summary of Comcare guidance to help employers and workers stay safe, remain vigilant and maintain COVID-Safe workplaces.
Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to develop our COVID-19 guidance to support workers and employers, including:
Face masks (which are currently mandatory in Victoria)
Maintaining a COVID-safe workplace
Working from home or remotely guidance and checklists
WHS duties and risk management
Looking after your Mental Health factsheet series including responding to uncertainty.
Employers are reminded to notify Comcare of all COVID-19 cases that are work-related, including cases acquired while working overseas, and should follow the public health advice in their jurisdiction.

Provide feedback on Comcare’s redesigned Virtual Office tool
Our popular Virtual Office has undergone a recent 'renovation’ with a new design, layout and content (27 May 2021).  More...

ComCare Submissions open: Proposed removal of a plant registration condition
Comcare proposes removing its imposed condition on duty holders to submit annual notifications of any maintenance, repair, inspection or testing of an item of plant, which includes high-risk machinery such as cranes, vehicles, forklifts, lifts, boilers, gas cylinders and amusement rides and devices. Comcare is inviting submission until 24 June 2021 For more information, Comcare has developed a factsheet.

NSW

Quarterly Safety Report released for January to March 2021
The Quarterly Safety Report for January to March 2021 has been released to assist industry improve safety at their sites. The report details incidents and trends relating to hazard management, in addition to sector specific information (08 June 2021).  More...

Technical Reference Guide: Ventilation control plan
The NSW Resources Regulator has published a new Technical reference guide (TRG) to provide guidance to underground coal mines and underground metalliferous mines on developing and documenting a ventilation control plan (15 June 2021).  More...

Mine safety news
NSW Resources Regulator designed to inform, educate and promote the enhancement of the health and safety culture of NSW mining.  More...

Queensland

Sudden tyre failure ejects rock shrapnel through a dozer’s cabin | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
9 June 2021 | 392
A basalt rock, approximately 400mm in diameter, fell and rolled unnoticed beneath a rear dump that was being loaded by a rope shovel. The truck drove forward over the rock causing a tyre to immediately fail and a sudden eruption causing numerous.  More...

WorkCover Qld: Incident alerts
Contractor seriously injured by wetting auger 15 June 2021
Mobile crane rollover at residential construction site  14 June 2021
Skid steer loader incidents 8 June 2021

WorkSafe Qld: COVID-19 rescue and resuscitation training exemptions
From 1 August 2021, exemptions for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), pole top rescue (PTR) and low voltage switch board rescue (LVR) training will no longer apply.  More...

WorkSafe Qld: Amendment two of the 2018 edition of AS/NZS 3000 Wiring Rules published
The amendment includes adopting the AS/NZS 61439 Low Voltage Switchgear and Control Gear Assemblies series of standards as mandatory when these standards supersede the AS/NZS 3439 series. A transition period will apply until 1 November 2021 to ensure electrical contractors and workers have enough time to understand and comply with the changes. Download the new standard from Standards Australia, Techstreet or SAI Global.

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria Safety Alert: Employee dies when struck by a concrete-placing boom that structurally failed
Employees in the immediate vicinity of a raised concrete-placing boom are at risk of death or serious injury in the event of a structural or mechanical failure of the boom or stabilising outriggers. Inadequate inspection and maintenance of critical components (such as the slew ring assembly, boom pins, bushes, welds, king post) increase the risk of catastrophic structural or mechanical failures (17 June 2021).  More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Dangerous goods regulations
From 1 July, the Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012 will require all duty holders occupying premises with prescribed quantities of dangerous goods to notify WorkSafe at least every two years. Existing duty holders will have six months from 1 July to submit a notification to WorkSafe that complies with the amended regulations.  More...

Proposed Workplace facilities, amenities and work environment compliance code - Public comment
One of the most important Compliance Codes has been redrafted and updated by a tripartite committee and has been released for public comment. The proposed Workplace facilities, amenities and work environment compliance code (proposed code) was made available for public review and comment from 1 June 2021.
There is a dedicated webpage for public comment on the Victorian Government’s consultation platform, Engage, until 28 June 2021. 

Cases

SafeWork NSW v Scharfe [2021] NSWDC 260
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – worker injured.

SafeWork NSW v SNAP Programs Limited and State of New South Wales (Department of Communities and Justice) [2021] NSWDC 259
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – death of worker – death of child in care 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 PV Solar Pro Pty Ltd [2021] NSWDC 258
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – fall from height – death of employee SENTENCING – objective seriousness – deterrence – aggravating factors – mitigating factors – capacity to pay a fine SENTENCING PRINCIPLES – no record of previous convictions – good prospects of rehabilitation – remorse – plea of guilty – assistance to law enforcement authorities.

SafeWork NSW v Rockfield Contracting Pty Ltd (No. 2) [2021] NSWDC 250
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 – Work Health and Safety project order COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER – drill string and drill head containing stored energy broke free from earth and struck a fatal blow to worker – no guidance material identifying the risk available – whether or not the likelihood of risk occurring was low – whether level of culpability is lower when risk is not generally known to industry.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
George Weston Foods Limited
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004,Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 Section21(1) Outcome 11 Jun 2021.

Legislation

Queensland

Subordinate legislation as made – 09 June 2021
No 54 Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) (Scaffolding) Amendment Notice 2021

Victoria

Statutory Rules
No 56 Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Interim Regulations 2021 – 16 June 2021
Safety Management systems
No 49 Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Amendment (Notification) Regulations 2021
Notification to Authority, From July 1, 2021, the Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012 will require all duty holders occupying premises with prescribed quantities of dangerous goods to notify WorkSafe at least every two years

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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