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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

09 June 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

Painter fined over skylight fall
A painter and decorator has been convicted and fined $40,000 after a sub-contractor was seriously injured on a property near Strathmerton in 2018. Adam Raymond Nelson pleaded guilty in the Cobram Magistrates' Court last Wednesday to two charges of failing to ensure persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the conduct of the undertaking of a self‑employed person (02 June 2021).  More...

Hybrid workplaces present huge risks – here’s how to mitigate them
As vaccination rates continue to rise and many countries have overcome the worst of the pandemic, business leaders are determining their workplace model going forward. Many are learning that this requires hard choices (01 June 2021).  More...

Agriculture industry fatality rate double the next highest
In Queensland, agriculture, forestry and fishing workers had the highest fatality rate at 18.4 per 100,000 workers according to the latest Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report published by Safe Work Australia (31 May 2021).  More...

BHP, Komatsu promote data analysis to identify best work practices
Mining industry leaders have highlighted data analysis as the key to maintaining on-site safety and reducing serious injuries in the workplace (01 June 2021).  More...

Fatal dismount from moving tractor leads to $150,000 fine
A North Queensland produce company was recently fined $150,000 in the Bowen Magistrates Court over the death of a 37-year-old worker who was crushed when he dismounted from a moving tractor (31 May 2021).  More...

Working safely with reusable chemical containers
A recent incident where workers fell ill after exposure to residual herbicide highlights the potential dangers that exist with reusable chemical containers – known as intermediate bulk containers (31 May 2021).  More...

ABCC alleges CFMMEU officials defied safety requests on NSW school project
The ABCC has commenced Federal Circuit Court proceedings against the CFMMEU and two of its officials alleging they contravened right of entry provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 at the Armidale Secondary School construction project in New South Wales (27 May 2021).  More...

NSW formally clarifies psychosocial legal responsibilities
New South Wales has become the first state in Australia to introduce an industry-wide code of practice to formally clarify the legal responsibilities businesses have to address hazards in the workplace that can cause psychological or physical harm (28 May 2021).  More...

SafeWork slides into snowfield's workplaces
SafeWork Inspectors have begun this year’s NSW Alpine Ski Area safety compliance program with an industry roundtable involving all snowfield operators to discuss the safe operation of passenger ropeways including chairlifts, surface ropeways and gondolas (26 May 2021).  More...

Enhanced mental health strategy for NSW workplaces
SafeWork NSW’s Mentally Healthy Workplaces Strategy has been relaunched, aiming to improve workplace mental health in response to significant shifts in ways of working due to COVID-19 (26 May 2021).  More...

Dangerous goods regulations strengthened
Duty holders storing or handling hazardous material above certain quantities will have to follow strict new reporting requirements following amendments to dangerous goods regulations (25 May 2021).  More...

WHS charges over incident at Mint
The Royal Australian Mint has been charged with breaching federal work health and safety laws after a three-tonne coin press almost fell on a worker in Canberra (24 May 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 13 May, 34 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).

ComCare: 2021 emerging evidence alerts
Latest peer-reviewed articles, reports and evidence on a range of workplace health and safety, prevention, recovery at work and return to work topics.  More...

In practice and courts

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.

Queensland

eSAFE Rural
31/05/2021 – eSAFE Rural is a quarterly e-newsletter providing information to subscribers on activities in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.  More...

Building failures during severe weather events | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
1 June 2021 | 195 – recently severe weather events characterised by very high wind gusts, hail and heavy rain were experienced by several coal mines. Infrastructure failure or damage; Weather events.  More...

Dragline Boom Point Sheaves Fall to Ground | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
31 May 2021 | 391 – a major structural failure of the boom point sheaves on a dragline resulted in the sheave assembly falling from the boom point and landing in the pit. Ropped objects; Falling material or objects; Infrastructure failure or damage; Plant failure or damage.  More... 

Victoria

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 Campbelltown Hardware Pty Ltd and Khalid [2021] NSWDC 217
CRIMINAL LAW – prosecution – work health and safety – duty of persons undertaking business – duty of employers – risk of death or serious injury – death of worker 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 – capacity to pay a fine – WHS undertaking.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
Simon Ellis
Sale Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section153(2) & 40(4)
Outcome 27 May 2021
Adam Raymond Nelson
Cobram sitting in the Online Magistrates' Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
Section24(1) Outcome 26 May 2021

Legislation

Victoria

Statutory Rules
No 49 Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Amendment (Notification) Regulations 2021
25 May 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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