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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

23 November 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

CFMMEU officials accused of disrupting major freeway project – striking health and safety manager
The ABCC is taking court action against the CFMMEU and three officials after they allegedly directed workers to stop work, prevented concrete pours, abused health and safety officers and struck a health and safety manager at the Mordialloc Freeway project site in 2020 (17 November 2021).  More...

End of Hazard 2020 confirms significant problems with scaffolding but improvements in mobile plant safety
The aim of Hazard 2020 was to better understand the causes of mobile plant and scaffolding audit non-compliance and incident occurrence and to drive improved safety performance in these areas. There was improved compliance with the Work Health and Safety Scheme’s mobile plant and worsening compliance with requirements for scaffolding safety (15 November 2021).  More...

Research: FIFO shift workers at high risk of sleep loss, fatigue
An Australian study has shown that the fly-in fly-out roster design has led to shift workers experiencing serious sleep loss and being at high risk of developing sleep disorders (15 November 2021).  More...

Licence scheme to protect engineered stone workers
Businesses working with engineered stone will require a licence by 15 November 2022 under new regulations to help protect workers from exposure to deadly silica dust (15 November 2021).  More...

Victorian regulators emphasise compliance across the building sector
Four Victorian regulators will join forces next week to ensure construction and demolition operators across the state meet safety, environmental, building and plumbing compliance obligations (15 November 2021).  More...

New amendments to NSW Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) laws
New amendments to the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 are now in effect, including in relation to the exposure standard for carbon dioxide in underground coal mines (15 November 2021).  More...

RSHQ recommends risk assessment after incident
Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) recommends repetitive and routine tasks are the subject of comprehensive risk assessments after a coal mine worker was crushed (15 November 2021).  More...

Your workplace rights to paid or unpaid leave and free counselling to escape domestic violence
More Australian employers are implementing policies to fight domestic and family violence, recognising it's a workplace health and safety issue (12 November 2021).  More...

Company fined after trench collapse tragedy
A civil construction company has been convicted and fined $550,000 following the death of two workers after a trench collapse at Ballarat in 2018. Pipecon Pty Ltd was sentenced in the Ballarat County Court after earlier pleading guilty to a single charge of failing to provide workers with necessary supervision (12 November 2021).  More...

Fallen tree branch sparks safety warning
WorkSafe Victoria is reminding all campsite and holiday park operators to check their green areas to control the risk of falling trees and branches ahead of the holiday season. Signs to deter people from camping under potentially dangerous trees should not be relied upon as the only means of reducing the risks associated with falling trees or branches (11 November 2021).  More...

Harvest safety on farms
WorkSafe Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, the Labour Hire Authority and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions have all teamed up to help farmers stay safe this harvest season (11 November 2021).  More...

WorkSafe Victoria launches Mental Health Strategy
WorkSafe Victoria has launched its 'Mental Health Strategy 2021–2024', to build capacity for mentally healthy workplaces and prevent mental injury. WorkSafe CEO Colin Radford said mental injury claims were expected to grow to a third of all claims in the next decade. (10 November 2021).  More...

Work safety to enter building information modelling
Workplace health and safety will be considered far earlier in the planning process with the NSW Government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety researching ways of integrating WHS risk management into Building Information Modelling. For more information or to access the guidelines, visit (08 November 2021).  More...

Hidden asbestos danger sparking a warning
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is to use Asbestos Awareness Week later this month (22-28 November) to show householders and tradespeople where they can find asbestos in homes and what they should do to stay safe (08 November 2021).  More...

Comcare issues new guide for homeworkers
Comcare has released new guidance for people living alone and working from home to help them manage the mental health challenges associated with isolation (08 November 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Work-related fatalities in 2020 report
14 November 2021 - Safe Work Australia has published the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2020 report, which provides the latest detailed national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work. While the rate of work-related fatalities has decreased 25 per cent over the last decade and 50 per cent since 2007, any workplace death is unacceptable. 

In practice and courts

OFSC: New scaffold checklist now available
The Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner has developed a new Scaffold Checklist to help principal contractors manage risk when commissioning scaffolding work. This new checklist has three distinct sections that can be used independently of each other or progressively to keep a record for each scaffold erected (09 November 2021).  More...

ABCC: Fair Work Commission introduces stop sexual harassment orders
As of 11 November the Fair Work Commission now has the power to make stop sexual harassment orders. The legislation enacted several changes based on recommendations from the Respect@Work report prepared by the Australian Human Rights Commission following its inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces, outlined here (12 November 2021).  More...


Mine Safety News
11/11/2021 – Mine Safety News


Pressurised steering accumulators sent off-site | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
10 November 2021 | 401
Pressurised steering accumulators sent off-site.
Exploration; Coal mines: Above ground; Coal mines: Below ground; Mineral mines: Above ground; Mineral mines: Below ground; Quarries; Petroleum and gas: Upstream; Petroleum and gas: Midstream Pressure storage or release.  More...

WorkSafe Qld safety alert: Worker seriously injured by wood chipper disk
Safety issues – although the design of individual wood chippers may vary, they all use a rotating disc or drum fitted with hardened steel blades to chip the wood.
All wood chippers require access to the cutting disc or drum for maintenance, operation and cleaning purposes. View the Safe Work Australia – Guide to Managing Risks of Tree Trimming and Removal Work.
Taking steps to manage risks is a condition of doing business in Queensland. This responsibility is covered by your primary duty of care in the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (11 November 2021).


WorkSafe Victoria Newsletters
Safety Soapbox November 2021 – 17 November 2021

First Aid in the Workplace, edition 1, November 2021
The guidance is not mandatory, however, employers that comply with the Code will be considered to have complied with their duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. The Code offers two options for compliance, the risk assessment approach or the prescribed approach. WorkSafe’s 40-page Code can be accessed at this WorkSafe link.

WorkSafe Victoria: Traffic management worker killed, another seriously injured
WorkSafe is issuing an alert about the hazards and risks associated with traffic management set-ups and the need to keep traffic management workers safe (12 November 2021).  More...

Communicating OHS across languages compliance code
WorkSafe Victoria in collaboration with key stakeholders is undertaking the review of the proposed Communicating occupational health and safety (OHS) across languages compliance code on behalf of the Victorian Government. Help improve workplace safety by completing a submission before 6 December 2021.  More...


Lipman Pty Ltd v SafeWork NSW [2021] NSWIRComm 1088
WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY – improvement Notice issued by inspector following an alleged contravention of the Work Health and Safety Act – application for external review of decision made on internal review – whether there is a reasonable belief that a contravention has occurred in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated – external review upheld.

SafeWork NSW v Saunders Civilbuild Pty Ltd [2021] NSWDC 605
CRIME – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – death of worker.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
Greenham Gippsland Pty Ltd – Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome11 Nov 2021
Next Generation Constructions Pty Ltd – Melbourne Magistrates’ Court
Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome10 Nov 2021



Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Amendment (Carbon Dioxide Exposure Standards) Regulation 2021 (2021-662) – published LW 12 November 2021
The object of this Regulation is to amend the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014 for the following purposes – to prescribe carbon dioxide exposure standards for underground coal mines to ensure the standards and are not exceeded, (b) to make minor amendments in the nature of statute law revision.


Statutory Rules – 09 November 2021
No 137 Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Crystalline Silica) Regulations 2021

Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

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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