In the media

Cost burden on business leads to suspension of new building safety codes
Three health-and-safety codes of practice are being suspended in South Australia because of the cost burden on business. The codes are part of controversial work safety legislation (14 November 2013). More…

Independent Review of Australia’s Aviation Safety Regulation
On 14 November 2013 the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss in Australia announced an independent review of aviation safety regulation in Australia. The review panel will provide its report to the Deputy Prime Minister in May 2014 (14 November 2013).  More…

How safe are your workers
A standard certifier is urging employers and site managers to evaluate the effectiveness of their personal protection equipment. It comes after revelations that some Australian suppliers are offer PPE that fails to meet Australian safety standards (14 November 2013). More…

Worksafe inspectors to focus on border construction safety
Inspectors from WorkSafe Victoria and WorkCover NSW will visit construction sites from November 11-15 to help businesses understand their work health and safety obligations when operating in a border town (11 November 2013). More…

ACTU wants action as workplace violence predicted to affect one in four employees
Up to one in four people will suffer violence in their workplace during the course of their career, with the direct cost running into millions of dollars a year in Australia (11 November 2013).  More…

Work injuries risk higher in central Queensland and Wide Bay
The Office of Workplace Health and Safety says workers in the central Queensland and Wide Bay region face the highest risk of injury at work.  Data from the department shows labourers face the highest risk of harm in the workplace, with construction and mining and factory processing the most at risk (06 November 2013).  More…

Lockyer Valley farms face safety blitz
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will inspect Lockyer Valley farms this week to protect seasonal workers from potential hazards. The group says a similar crackdown in the Burnett in 2009 found substandard living and working conditions for foreign workers in the horticulture industry (04 November 2013).  More…

ABARES identifies regulation worth cutting
ABARES has found that around a quarter of federal agriculture regulations could be improved to reduce the burden for farmers. Broadly those are in the areas of environmental and workplace health and safety regulation, where there is often duplication or inconsistent rules between the state and federal levels of government (04 November 2013).  More…

Retail Employee’s injury “entirely preventable” – SA
Australian footwear retailer, Betts Group Pty Ltd, has been convicted and fined $33,000 plus legal fees in the Industrial Court after an employee was injured at work. SafeWork SA prosecuted Betts Group Pty Ltd under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 for failing to provide and maintain plant in a safe condition and failing to provide a safe system of work (06 November 2013).  More…

Published – articles, papers, reports

Model Code of Practice – Demolition Work
Author: Safe work Australia
This It applies to all types of demolition work and is relevant to demolition contractors as well as persons conducting a business or undertaking who have management or control of workplaces where demolition work is carried out, such as principal contractors (07 November 2013). More…

Guide to handling refractory ceramic fibres
Author: Safe work Australia
This Guide provides information for persons conducting a business or undertaking on how to manage health and safety risks associated with using and removing materials containing refractory ceramic fibres (RCF) and other high bio persistence fibres (HBF) (11 November 2013).  More…

Work health and safety in structural metal product manufacturing: A qualitative research study
Author: Safe Work Australia
The report describes the findings of a qualitative research study on the structural metal product manufacturing industry—an industry with a high rate of work-related injury and illness (11 November 2013).  More…

In practice and courts

Reminder: Draft model Work Health and Safety Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring: public comment
Safe Work Australia has released a draft model Code of Practice for Managing Risks in Stevedoring for public comment. A Consultation Regulation Impact Statement on the model Code will be released for comment once it is approved by the Office of Best Practice Regulation. Public comment has been extended to 29 November 2013.  More…

NSW: WorkSafe Safety Soapbox November 2013
The newsletter has items on cross-border construction visits, a Safety Alert from WorkCover NSW: Unmarked Imported Plywood [pdf] which has the potential to fail, and more. Tthere were 42 incidents reported to WorkSafe Victoria from the construction, utility, quarrying and mining industries. The list can be downloaded from the Safety Soapbox for more information.

QLD:  DEIR alert – Industrial rope access safety
The purpose of this alert is to highlight the risks associated with industrial rope access, particularly the methods used to clean the exterior windows of multi-story buildings, after 2 accidents on the Gold Coast (11 November 2013).  More…


Inspector Cooper v Ward [2013] NSWIRComm 95
The defendant is fined an amount of $6500 with a moiety thereof to the prosecutor.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – prosecution under s 8(1) and s 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 – boatbuilding industry – employees exposed by skin contact or inhalation to chemicals – fatality – general deterrence – specific deterrence – steps taken to reduce or eliminate risks – subjective factors – good corporate citizenship – no prior conviction – plea of guilty – penalty – costs.  More…

Inspector Walker v On Track Community Programs Limited [2013] NSWIRComm 87
The defendant is fined the sum of $115,000 with a moiety to the prosecutor.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY – prosecution under s 8(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 – guilty plea – sentencing – defendant non-government, not-for-profit organisation – sources of funding – HASI program – other programmes by defendant – policies and procedures of defendant – Home Visiting Policy – HASI workers – murder of HASI worker during home visit to mentally ill client – evidence – psychiatrist’s report – nature of risks – capacity to eliminate, avoid or minimise – admission of mental patient to hospital – failure to obtain discharge summaries – relevant principle – objective factors – nature of risk – whether risk could have been eliminated – duty to control and minimise risk – mitigating factors re failure to obtain discharge summaries – moderate impact on objective seriousness – mitigating or exculpating factors – defendant not responsible clinical assessments under program – no observation of psychotic behaviour – risk unpredictable – need for additional measures – defendant knew of violent history – risk reasonably foreseeable – Consumer Safety Audit – simple remedial measures available – steps taken after incident demonstrate flaws in system – defendant had systems in place – not just paper systems – seriousness of injuries – maximum penalty – aggravation – HASI worker acts contrary to policy in home visit – contribution of third parties – failure to prosecute certain entities – deterrence – offence serious – subjective features strong – applications under ss 10 and 10A of Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act refused – verdict – penalty imposed – moiety – costs – orders made.  More…



Proclamations commencing Acts
Marine Safety Act 1998 No 121 (2013-632) — published LW 8 November 2013 and commencement.
8/11/2013 The un-commenced provisions (other than those listed below) commence 8 November 2013 as per Commencement Proclamation under the Marine Safety Act 1998 No 121 (SLI 2013 No. 632.

Work Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2013
An Act to amend the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to make further provision for proceedings for offences and for savings and transitional regulations.
13/11/2013 Passed Council with amendment. More…


No 222:Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2013
State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999, Work Health and Safety Act 2011.
Amendment of s 7 (Meaning of person conducting a business or undertaking —persons excluded).
Section 7(3); Amendment of s 39 (Provision of information, training and instruction) Section 39(3), Amendment of s 82 (Exception for Amendment of s 82 (Exceptions) (1) Section 82(1)—A person who carries out high risk work is not required to be licensed if the work is carried out and other licencing requirements.