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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

28 September 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

Speaking up against workplace violence
The Andrews Labor Government is backing a WorkSafe campaign reminding Victorians that work-related violence and aggression is never ok, and ensuring employers are aware of their occupational health and safety obligations (23 September 2021).  More...

Free WHS safety advice for farming businesses
The NSW Government and NSW Farmers have launched a workplace safety program providing education and advice to the agriculture industry to help reduce farm-related death, injury and disease (23 September 2021).  More...

Creating a new digital tool to help manage 'AI' WHS risks
The NSW Government’s Centre for Work Health and Safety is developing a digital Artificial Intelligence (AI) Risk Management Tool to help businesses manage workplace health and safety risks when introducing and using the technology (23 September 2021).  More...

WA and Qld mine accidents under investigation
The Queensland Mines Inspectorate and Resources and Safety Queensland are investigating Gregory Crinum coal mine in central Queensland following an incident involving two underground miners (20 September 2021).  More...

Fatal six-metre trench fall lands company $360,000 fine
An excavation company has been fined $360,000 over the 2018 death of a worker who fell six metres into a trench at a Wallan housing development site in Victoria (20 September 2021).  More...

Laws: Victoria bridges labour hire worker protection gap
The Victorian Parliament has passed new laws to ensure labour hire workers have the same level of protections as other workers and enforce employer accountability (20 September 2021).  More...

NSW Resources Regulator to investigate conveyor incident
The New South Wales Resources Regulator has encouraged mine operators to ensure risks associated with the use of conveyor systems are eliminated wherever possible after a worker was injured after falling in a conveyor chute at Thuddungra Mine (20 September 2021).  More...

Hazard 2020 safety campaign update highlights ongoing problems with scaffolding and mobile cranes
The Federal Safety Commissioner’s Hazard 2020 Campaign Update, published, demonstrates good safety improvements with regard to mobile plant generally, but raises concerns with the way building companies manage scaffolding and mobile cranes (17 September 2021).  More...

Care worker fined $15,000 over pain and injury to vulnerable patient
A Bundaberg residential care worker has been fined $15,000 over a workplace safety incident in which a high needs patient was left in extreme pain after falling out of bed, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (16 September 2021).  More...

Comcare investigators denounce FedEx Covid response: TWU
An investigation by the national work health and safety regulator Comcare criticised FedEx over its response to a worker at the Matraville, New South Wales depot who tested positive in August, according to the union (14 September 2021).  More...

CFMMEU and official hit with more than $50,000 in penalties following “reckless and conceited” conduct at Monash Freeway site
The Federal Court has penalised the CFMMEU and its official, James Simpson, $54,540 for contravening right of entry and occupational health and safety requirements at the $220 million Monash Freeway upgrade project in 2017 (14 September 2021).  More...

Compliance blitz across Victoria
To slow the spread of coronavirus and protect the Victorian health system, a four-week blitz will be carried out by the Government’s Industry Enforcement and Engagement Operation, in partnership with Worksafe and the Victorian Building Authority, to ensure the sector remains open and COVIDSafe (13 September 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 16 September, 84 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).

In practice and courts

COMCARE Regulatory update – removal of a plant registration condition
In accordance with regulation 283 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011, Comcare has considered the submissions received and has decided to cease the condition to submit annual plant maintenance notifications to Comcare from 1 October 2021.
Comcare has developed a factsheet about the condition removal with further details around plant risk factors, legal requirements, reasons for the change and next steps.  More...

Safe Work Australia: New guide on managing the risks of elevating work platforms (EWPs)
The guide steps persons conducting a business or undertaking through the process of identifying the hazards associated with EWPs in their workplace and how to do all that is reasonably practicable to manage the risks to health and safety. Download the guide to Managing the risks of elevating work platforms (14 September 2021).  More...

Asbestos safety and eradication agency
Updated asbestos awareness brochures for fire protection trades, and the automotive industry and historic car enthusiasts (17 September 2021).  More...

NSW

Incidents, alerts & investigations
2 September 2021 – Safety Bulletin SB21-05 – fire risk of battery units for underground battery electric vehicles.  More...

Mine Safety news
16/09/2021 – Mine Safety News

Queensland

Fatality resulting from a fall of ground at an underground coal mine | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
21 September 2021 | 396
A Coal Mine Worker was fatally injured on 14 September 2021 while conducting work in a conveyor drift with two other workers, one of whom was seriously injured, Falling material or objects; Inadequate systems or responses; Loss of containment; Strata failure.  More...

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria safety alert: Side-by-side farm vehicles: Don't ignore the seatbelts
WorkSafe is reminding agricultural employers of their duties in relation to using seatbelts in side-by-side vehicles (23 September 2021).  More...

Safety Soapbox September 2021
Published 15 September 2021 – In this editorial, we look at the current Prevention of Falls Focus Campaign which commenced on 24 August 2021.  More...

Cases

DPP v Crowley Excavation Pty Ltd [2021] VCC 1332
CRIMINAL LAW – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 – early plea of guilty – WorkCover – failure to ensure safe workplace – fall from height – fatality – wictim Impact Statement – serious – culpability – remorse – rehabilitation – DPP v Paul Kenneally & Entire Shopfitting Pty Ltd [2019] VCC 658 – DPP v W.F Montague Pty Ltd [2018] VCC 1553 – Worboyes v The Queen [2021] VSCA 169 – rerceptible amelioration – fine of $360,000.

DPP v St Vincent's Care Services LTD [2021] VCC 1315
CRIMINAL LAW – sentence after trial by judge alone without a jury – offender operator of aged care facility – failure to ensure non-employees (residents) were not exposed to risk to health and safety – risk to residents leaving facility without offender’s knowledge – requiring residents to ‘sign out/sign in’ as a reasonably practicable measure to eliminate risk – isolated failure – previous excellent character – positive attitude of victims towards offender – prompt and appropriate steps taken to eliminate risk – non-conviction fine appropriate.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
Swan Hill and Region Packing Pty Ltd
Swan Hill Magistrates’ Court – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a)
Outcome16 Sep 2021.
Cedar Meats Pty. Limited
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court – Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 13 Sep 2021.

Legislation

Victoria

Acts

Date of assent: 21 September 2021
Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Vic)
Act Number: 36/2021
Date of commencement: 22 September 2021

Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (Vic)
Part 1, sections 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, Parts 4 to 7 of this Act came in by forced commencement on 22 September 2021 s.2(1) Act Number: 36/2021

Victorian legislation can be accessed here.

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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