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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

09 November 2021

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the Media

$100,000 fine after youth justice workers seriously injured
The Department of Justice and Community Safety has been fined a total of $100,000 following two separate assaults on youth justice workers by children in detention in 2018 (04 November 2021).  More...

New guide helps employers meet first aid needs
Adding new life-saving equipment to first aid kits and encouraging mental health crisis training are among the recommendations in WorkSafe's updated guide to workplace first aid (04 November 2021).  More...

Bureaucratic burden on electrical workers removed through ESVConnect upgrade
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is helping more than 500 Victorian companies improve efficiency by allowing employers to buy Certificates of Electrical Safety on behalf of their licensed electrical workers (04 November 2021).  More...

Coles, Woolworths announce vaccination mandate roadmaps
Coles Group and Woolworths Group have announced new measures to help keep team members and customers safe by introducing new requirements for Australian team members to be vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) in the coming months (01 November 2021).  More...

New workplace exposure standards for respirable crystalline silica and coal dust
Safe Work’s fatality reports do not account for workers who may have lost their lives from debilitating illnesses gained in the industry including lung diseases or other chronic conditions. Recent legislative changes aimed at tightening occupational exposure limits or workplace exposure standards for coal and silica dust in mining & quarry operations is the primary focus of this year’s AR Interactive Guide (29 October 2021).  More...
A new model Code of Practice to help duty holders manage the risks of respirable crystalline silica from engineered stone in the workplace has been released (01 November 2021).  More...

Rio Tinto fined $80K over heat incident that included death
Rio Tinto has been fined $80,000 after three workers were exposed to extreme conditions without adequate training, in an incident that included the death of one (29 October 2021).  More...

Fortescue implements four-drink maximum on site
Fortescue Metals Group will implement several initiatives to enhance the safety, culture and experience across all company workplaces, as a result of feedback from its Workplace Integrity Review (29 October 2021).  More...

Support for young construction workers' health, safety and wellbeing comes through good communication
New research has found that the communication between young construction workers and their supervisors is critical to promoting good health, safety and wellbeing both on site and in life (28 October 2021).  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As at 28 October, 105 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).

Key work health and safety statistics, Australia 2021
Safe Work Australia: 25 October 2021
The report reveals that 194 people were fatally injured at work in 2020, this is an increase from 190 in 2019 (according to the latest source for worker fatalities in 2019). There were a total of 120,355 serious workers compensation claims in Australia in 2019–20; an increase from 114,435 claims in 2018–19:
Key work health and safety statistics, Australia 2021

In practice and courts

Comcare to host Workplace Sexual Harassment National Forum
A national forum will be held on 11-12 November 2021 as part of the Australian Government’s response to the landmark Respect@Work Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report to raise awareness about work health and safety (WHS) risks, management and prevention.  More...

OFSC: Thinking of Using a Franna? New Guidance Published
25 October 2021 – articulated mobile cranes (colloquially known as Frannas) are the most common form of crane on Australian building sites. Incident and audit data collected from builders accredited under the WHS Accreditation Scheme demonstrates significant improvements must be made when using Frannas.
The OFSC’s new infographic “Thinking of using a Franna?” is an easy to follow workflow to help builders work in a safe and structured way on-site.  More...

Updated Guidance Material: Managing the risks of working in heat
Safe Work Australia: 28 October 2021
This guide provides practical guidance for a person conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage the risks associated with working in heat, including information on first aid for heat-related illnesses that reflects updated medical advice.  More... 

NSW

Incidents, alerts & investigations

4 November 2021 safety bulletin
SB21-09 Threaded fasteners – diesel engines systems in underground coal mines.  More...

Mine Safety News
28/10/2021 – Mine Safety News

Queensland

Coal Mine Worker crushed by moving plant | Resources Safety & Health Queensland
3 November 2021 | No 399
A worker suffered life threatening injuries during a routine wash down of a rear dump truck being undertaken by four coal mine workers. Subject: Governance or compliance; Human factors; Inadequate systems or responses; Organisational deficiencies; Visibility.  More...

WorkSafe Qld: Rural plant code of practice review
The Rural plant Code of Practice 2004 (the Code) is currently under review. The review will consider what changes are necessary to ensure the Code remains fit-for-purpose and supports the agriculture industry to meet legislative obligations and ensure worker safety. You are invited to read the Rural Plant Code of Practice 2004 - Issues paper. Consultation closes 29 November 2021.

WorkSafe Qld: Asbestos Awareness Week 2021
This Asbestos Awareness Week (22-28 November), we’re showing householders and tradies where they could find asbestos in homes and what they should do to stay safe. Check out these resources on how to work safely with asbestos for licensed asbestos removalists, professional tradespeople and DIY home renovators.

Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria First Aid in the Workplace Compliance Code
The code replaces the 2008 code, with updates including recommendations to consider adding asthma-relieving inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors (Epipens) to first aid kits and to consider training for first aid officers to assist people experiencing a mental health crisis. The prescribed approach gives prescriptive guidance on complying with the OHS Act and is suited to small to medium-sized workplaces. To view the compliance code, visit here (04 November 2021).

Cases

Orr v Burgess Earthmoving Pty Ltd [2021] NSWDC 583
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 – principle of totality COSTS – prosecution costs OTHER – defendant was operator of a hard rock quarry –flyrock ejected from blast landing in vicinity of both workers and members of the public – lack of any qualified Quarry Manager –inadequate instructions and training provided in relation to working with explosives – failure to maintain safe system of work for blasting operations.

Guilfoyle v AP [2021] QMC 6
Work Health & Safety prosecution – Breach of Duty Category 2 offence – using a forklift with platform not securely fitted per Australian Standards – friend helping electrical contractor (defendant) replace an air-conditioning unit – injury – platform fell from a height – Sentencing factors for first time offender
Work Health & Safety Act 2011 Qld ss3(1)(a), 3(2), 7, 16, 17, 18, 19(1), 19(3), 32.

Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings
Information about the most recent prosecution and Enforceable Undertaking outcomes
Classic Homes Co Pty Ltd
Ballarat Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section26(1) Outcome 26 Oct 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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