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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

27 April 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

Safe Work guide to push workers to safety
Safe Work Australia has announced that its updated workplace management guide is now available. In a statement accompanying the guide, Safe Work Australia said that when managing traffic on a public road, there are actions workers should take to ensure the safety of themselves and the public (22 April 2021).  More...

‘Blood on their hands’: UberEats caught in safety failings over driver deaths
New details have emerged about the deaths of three delivery drivers last year after UberEats representatives gave “deeply worrying” evidence to an inquiry in NSW. NSW’s workplace safety regulator, SafeWork, found UberEats broke health and safety laws on multiple occasions in 2020, noting 74 separate incidents of serious injury (19 April 2021).  More...

Hazard 2020 – significant Improvements in mobile plant audit results
The end of March 2021 saw the 12-month Hazard 2020 campaign pass its half-way point. Against all mobile plant related WHS Accreditation Scheme audit criteria, the rate of non-compliance is down by almost 5 per cent in comparison to the 2017-2019 trend. View the Hazard 2020 - Monthly Data - October 2020 to March 2021 (19 April 2021).  More... 

Resources Regulator seeks comment on proposed amendments to Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) laws
The NSW Resources Regulator is seeking comment from interested stakeholders on proposed amendments to the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013 and Regulation to ensure the laws are achieving their intended aims (19 April 2021).  More...

New Comcare team targets major projects
Comcare is taking steps to sharpen its regulatory focus on major infrastructure projects and has established a specialist team of inspectors to deal with issues that may arise. The new team of inspectors have experience in construction and engineering. They are working nationally to proactively monitor high-risk activities and safety systems on major projects (15 April 2021).  More...

High Court determination settles right of entry permit requirement
The requirement for union officials to hold a valid federal right of entry permit when entering work sites under State or Territory OHS laws has been upheld following a High Court determination. The High Court on 8 April 2021 refused to allow the CFMMEU special leave to appeal a 2020 Full Federal Court decision (13 April 2021).  More...

ESV urges caution after crane hits powerlines
Energy Safe Victoria Commission Chairperson Marnie Williams has called on machinery operators to be aware of overhead powerlines after an incident involving a crane left two people in hospital with serious injuries (13 April 2021).  More...

Mining sector to strengthen sexual harassment response
The Australian Government has announced its commitment to preventing sexual harassment at work and creating reforms that are aimed at creating a safer workplace (12 April 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia Fatality statistics
As at 15 April, 29 Australian workers were killed at work in 2021. The numbers and industries may vary from one report to the next, as SafeWork 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

Safe Work Australia: Updated workplace traffic management guidance
Safe Work Australia has updated its workplace traffic management guidance to include information on working on or near public roads. Read workplace traffic management guidance for practical measures on managing the risks of working on public roads here. This guidance complements information issued by WHS regulators and local road authorities (19 April 2021).  More...

NSW

Review of serious injury and illness notifications report
The NSW Resources Regulator has reviewed the reporting of serious injuries and illnesses by mine operators and reported the findings to the NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council. The review found a significant long-term downward trend in the serious injury frequency rate since 2006 and that one-third of all notified injuries – and often double that of any other bodily location – were hand, fingers or wrist injuries. For more information, view the full report here (21 April 2021).  More...

SafeWork NSW: Licence fees waived for flood impacted communities
We’re waiving the cost of replacing a range of licence and permit fees for people who’ve lost them due to the recent NSW floods. Licence and permits eligible are listed here (31 March 2021).  More...

SafeWork NSW: Asbestos – cleaning and/or removing asbestos containing materials after storms and floods
SafeWork NSW always recommends that a licensed asbestos removalist is used to remove any amount of asbestos. Removal of friable asbestos, or 10 square metres or more of non-friable asbestos materials, must be done by a licensed asbestos removalist (posted 29 March 2021).  More... 

Gig economy roles and responsibilities in WHS: Research update
The Centre for Work Health and Safety’s research into the food delivery in the gig economy is currently underway. Phases 1 and 2 have been completed.
Phase 1 full report Work health and safety of food delivery workers in the gig economy
Phase 2 full report: Work health and safety perceptions of food delivery platforms in the gig economy
New research will establish a better understanding of the WHS perceptions and behaviours in the Australian gig economy context by focusing on the food delivery services Project which commenced: February 2020. Project completion: October 2021.  More...

Queensland

WorkSafe Qld incident safety alert
In March 2021, a worker suffered serious injuries when he fell approximately six metres through a roof after walking on an old skylight panel that had previously been covered. Effective controls for the risk of falling from a height are often made up of a combination of controls. Possible control measures to prevent similar incidents are outlined here (20 April 2021).  More...

WorkSafe Qld incident safety alert
In January 2021, a worker on a private property was fatally injured when a telehandler ran over him. Telehandlers, short for telescopic handlers, are versatile hydraulic lifting units often used in the construction, farming and agriculture sectors. Possible control measures to prevent similar incidents are outlined here (13 April 2021).  More...

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

ASEA: Queensland Asbestos rules amended
Twenty Work Health and Safety Codes of Practice have been updated in Queensland, and asbestos regulations have been changed. These changes will take effect from 1 May 2021.  More...

WorkSafe Qld: Changes to asbestos regulation
From 1 May 2021, low density asbestos fibre board (LDB), also known as asbestos insulating board, will be classified as a friable material in all circumstances. This means LDB can only legally be removed by a class A asbestos removal licence holder. If you’re a class B asbestos removal licence holder and want to be able to remove LDB after 1 May 2021, you will need to apply to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland for a class A asbestos removal licence.  More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria: Major Hazards newsletter
WorkSafe has released the April edition of Major Hazard Matters – Issue 16 (21 April 2021).

WorkSafe Victoria HSR newsletter
WorkSafe has this week issued its latest edition of the HSR Newsletter April 2021 (14 April 2021).  More...

WorkSafe Victoria: Fatality from working with unguarded plant
An alert about the risks associated with operating plant with inadequate guarding, following the death of a worker operating a hay bale pressing machine (14 April 2021).  More...

Cases

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
TTN Stonework Pty Ltd
Dandenong Magistrates’ Court - Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section
Outcome 15 Apr 2021

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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