WHS News

Workplace Health & Safety News

12th September 2017 

New quad bike helmet design tries to reduce deaths on farms

The all-terrain vehicle industry has come up with a new design to try to convince farmers to wear helmets and reduce fatalities on quad bikes.

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Poultry contractor fined $1.13m over forklift tragedy

A poultry contractor was today convicted and fined $1.13 million over an incident in which a man was struck and killed by a forklift on a farm at Lethbridge, near Geelong in 2015.

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Builder convicted and fined $880,000 over death of apprentice

A Moorabbin building company and its director were yesterday convicted and fined a total of $880,000 over the death of a 21-year-old apprentice at a Caulfield South construction site in August 2013.

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New laws crack down on mine health & safety

Mine operators who fail to keep their workers safe face tough new penalties of up to $126,150 under legislation introduced into Parliament today.

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Billboard workers overhead powerlines electric shock

On 7 August 2017, two workers in an uninsulated elevating work platform contacted an 11 kV powerline with the six metre aluminium sail track they were reinstalling on a billboard. Both workers suffered a severe electrical shock and burns from contacting the high voltage lines.

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Serious falls from height at the Gold Coast

There have been several recent falls from height at the Gold Coast which are being investigated by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).

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Cross-Border Safety Program to Focus on Young Workers

WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW will focus on young workers when they team up in Yarrawonga – Mulwala this week as part of this year’s Cross Border Construction Program.

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Workplace the Focus of New Mental Health Plan

The serious impact of mental health issues in the workplace will be addressed in a new strategy, being launched today in front of businesses, academics and non-government organisations (NGOs).

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North West Businesses Embrace Safety Program

A pilot safety mentor program involving businesses from across the North West has been declared a success at an event in Tamworth today.

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SafeWork Appeals for Information About Unlicensedm Tradies Offering to Remove Asbestos in Western NSW

SafeWork NSW is appealing for information from the public about tradespeople reportedly offering to carry out unlicensed asbestos removal work at bushfire-damaged properties in western NSW.

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Nearly a quarter of miners have a drink before work, 10 per cent of farm workers have 'breaky bong'

Research is showing a disturbing trend towards alcohol and drug consumption before work for people in mining and agriculture.

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17th August 2017 

Canberra teachers paid more than $1 million a year in compensation

Canberra public school teachers have received almost $6 million in compensation since 2012 with new figures showing almost 700 school staff were assaulted in a single year.

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Government hits back at union claims safety watchdog has no bite

WorksafeACT says it has stepped up its workplace inspections and safety awareness efforts, rejecting union claims that the watchdog needs to lift its game. UnionsACT says a new report by Safe Work Australia confirms the Territory as the second least safe jurisdiction in the country.

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What businesses can do to stamp out slavery in their supply chains

Under the Australian Workplace Health and Safety Act, businesses are responsible to look for situations that have the potential to cause harm or damage - and they are required to do something to prevent incidents from happening within the boundaries of their organisation. But at this stage, workplace conditions at overseas suppliers’ plants are not covered by the Act.

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Woolworths worker wins more than $230k in compensation appeal case

A Brisbane supermarket worker who says he felt forced to skimp on safety to lift 2,100 heavy cartons a day has been awarded compensation for an ongoing injury in a landmark Court of Appeal case in Brisbane.

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Injured tradie passes lesson on to trainees

Ipswich chippie Clinton Halliday knows all too well the dangers of workplace safety risks and the importance of using proper safety equipment, especially while working at heights. The young dad's life and 16-year career changed when he fell from a roof less than a year ago and dislocated his knee and broke his leg.

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Injury battle drives home farm safety message

FOR more than 30 years, Dave Gallagher has made a living working with his hands. He's worked across a range of agricultural industries over this time and has enjoyed plying his trade in the ginger fields of Eumundi in recent years. However, Mr Gallagher's life was turned upside down in 2015 when a normal day's work left him with a debilitating injury.

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Bullying and harassment claims in the workplace – employers need to be aware of risks

The modern workplace continually presents challenges for business owners and operators who are trying to manage their enterprises effectively and to foster growth and profitability. One of these challenges lies in managing staff and being confident that interactions with them will not trigger allegations of bullying or harassment.

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Can subsequent section 74 notices trump a work capacity decision?

A recent decision of the Workers Compensation Commission in Lowes v Secretary, Department of Education on 12 July 2017 (Matter No:1435/17), found a change in circumstances and subsequent dispute notices were insufficient to provide the Commission with jurisdiction to decide a worker’s claim for weekly compensation.

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New Work Health and Safety Bill announced for WA

The new WA State Government has green-lighted the development of a Work Health and Safety Bill, which will bring Western Australia's occupational, health and safety legislation into line with the rest of the States and Territories other than Victoria. This announcement marks the start of a lengthy consultation period with stakeholders in which the Bill is expected to be introduced to Parliament two years from now.

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Christmas party venue selection: the foundation for a good, safe time

It might be one of the less exciting aspects of event planning but the wrong choice of Christmas function venue could be a work safety nightmare waiting to happen.

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7th August 2017 

 

Towing company fined $275,000 over truck driver’s death

A towing company was convicted and fined $275,000 over an incident in which an employee loading a boom crane onto a truck parked on a suburban road was struck and seriously injured by a van.

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Manufacturer fined more than $22,000 after ignoring WorkSafe notices

A Moorabbin furniture manufacturer who failed to address WorkSafe notices to fix serious safety breaches has been convicted and fined more than $22,000.

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Not doing routine maintenance has fatal consequences

A waste recycling business which failed to do routine maintenance on an excavator and cost a worker his life has been fined $200,000 in the Richlands Magistrates Court.

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Roofing company exposed workers and public to asbestos

A Brisbane roofing company has been fined $100,000 and convicted in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for failing to handle and safely dispose of asbestos.

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Manufacturer commits $1.5 million to safety improvements after worker injured

Borg Manufacturing Pty Ltd has committed more than $1.5 million for safety programs and improvements following an injury to a worker at their Somersby plant in September 2014.

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Bullying 'prevalent in emergency services' and NSW Parliament wants answers

A former NSW Ambulance employee says workplace bullying and harassment was more devastating to her mental health than any trauma she experienced in her 25 years on the front line.

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Harnessing the power of technology to support safety

Drones, apps, computer simulations and the power of social media are supporting safety in construction by providing new ways to investigate incidents and share safety best practice.

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Recycler convicted and fined $150,000 after worker loses hand

A recycling company has been convicted and fined a total of $150,000 following an incident in Coolaroo in 2014 in which a worker lost his right hand in an aluminium bailer.

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We know too much sitting is bad for our waists — but is it bad for our brains, too?

In many aspects of life where we need to use our brain power, we also tend to sit down: at school, at work, sitting exams or concentrating on a crossword.

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Aldi says Spiral Spring Mixer Tap safe to use, following lead contamination scare

Supermarket chain Aldi has confirmed its Spiral Spring Mixer Tap has passed additional tests and is safe for use, after concerns the product may have be contaminating drinking water with lead.

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New helmets could save lives, reduce quad bike injuries

A newly developed helmet specially designed for farm workers could stem the rising death toll from tragic accidents involving quad bikes, experts say.

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New heavy vehicle cameras boost Queensland's road safety

Queensland's heavy vehicle safety will be boosted with the roll out of three new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras across the state's road freight network.

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4th July 2017

 

WorkSafe investigates North Melbourne scaffold collapse

WorkSafe is investigating the cause of a scaffold collapse at a demolition site in North Melbourne on the 3rd of July.

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Horror morning as stablehand and carpenter die in separate incidents

Two workers have died in less than two hours in separate incidents on the 27th of June.

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Two workers die in country Victoria in less than 24 hours

Two agricultural workers have been killed in less than 24 hours in separate incidents in country Victoria.

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Demolition company fined $25,000 over live power line incident

A demolition company was convicted and fined $25,000 over an incident at Phillip Island in which an excavator pulling down a house collided with live overhead power lines.

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It’s time to renew your WorkCover accident insurance policy

Your accident insurance policy—which covers your business for the cost of any work-related injuries—is due for renewal.

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Stability of stacked material

The purpose of this safety alert is to highlight the risks associated with stacked materials and to ensure a safe system of work is followed.

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SafeWork announces construction industry safety crackdown

SafeWork NSW has today announced a safety crackdown on the construction industry, following a recent spike in serious injuries to workers on Sydney building sites.

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NSW leads the way on quad bike safety

A new research project which aims to reduce the high rates of injury on farms has been announced by the NSW Government, to better understand attitudes and behaviours around quad bikes and their use.

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Construction company fined $90,000 after worker's skull pierced by steel bar

A Sydney construction company has been fined $90,000 over an incident in 2013 where an 18 year old worker’s skull was pierced by a steel reo bar that flew into the cabin of the excavator he was operating.

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SafeWork blitz on food industry

SafeWork NSW has announced a blitz of restaurants, cafes and bakeries using LPG cylinders after a Marrickville baker was critically injured.

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Food delivery cyclists putting themselves at risk without proper training, expert says

Should food delivery cyclists be required to undertake formal training before hitting the streets?

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7 June 2017

Work for the dole is endangering workers without a safety net

The law is failing people engaged on the work for the dole program — inadequate training and fear of reprisal if they raise safety issues can lead to injury, and when they do get hurt at work, there is no safety net for them.

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Workplace Stress is Reaching Toxic Levels in Social Sector

A researcher looking at the high levels of work stress in the social sector has warned work stress and burnout are reaching “toxic” levels and is calling on the sector’s peak bodies to act.

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Queensland Government to create new criminal offence to target deadly workplace practices

The Queensland Government has announced that it will introduce a new criminal offence of ‘negligence causing death’.

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Fair Work Commission suspends investigation and disciplinary process to hear bullying claim

In the recent decision of Lynette Bayly [2017] FWC 1886, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued interim orders preventing the employer from finalising a workplace investigation or imposing any disciplinary action until the employee’s workplace bullying application is heard.

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Are Older Workers Forgotten in Construction Safety?

Considerable attention is rightfully afforded to the safety all workers on construction sites, but often with a greater emphasis upon younger staff.

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NBN contractor fears installer could die during Sky Muster rollout, Labor calls for safety review

A contractor working on the National Broadband Network (NBN) says he fears an installer could die during the rollout because of lax safety standards.

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Court rules on site bans for top CFMEU officials

Victoria's powerful construction union has suffered a major blow in a landmark court ruling that will see most of its senior officials barred from entering building sites without an invitation from management.

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Workplace stress taking its toll on teachers

In February 2016 Kathy Margolis, a Queensland teacher with over thirty years teaching experience made the decision to abandon her teaching career - not to travel around Australia in a caravan or experience a European summer, but in search of a job in another field.

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Surgeon assaulted at Box Hill Hospital 'the tipping point' for safety of doctors, nurses

An alleged assault at the Box Hill Hospital that left a heart surgeon with life-threatening injuries is a "tipping point" when it comes to safety, according to the organisations representing Victorian doctors and nurses.

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Why our school principals are in trouble

The 2017 Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey was released today and the report’s author Associate Professor Philip Riley, 59, East Melbourne, said violence in schools is out of control.

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What lies beneath

A Fairfax investigation into hundreds of sites across NSW that may be contaminated with toxic hydrocarbons

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4 May 2017 

 

Inaccurate data hinders injury prevention

New research from the University of South Australia suggests workplaces are unlikely to be addressing injury prevention adequately because management decisions are influenced by inaccurate data.

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WorkSafe investigates ride incident at Rye

WorkSafe is investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident in which a five-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after falling from a carnival ride in Rye yesterday.

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New pain intervention guidelines

WorkCover Queensland has released new guidelines for medical providers to use for pain intervention billing.

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Quad Bike Safety Training Free For Farmers

Farmers will now receive free quad bike training in a major boost to the safety improvement program aimed at significantly reducing the number of deaths on rural properties across NSW.

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Union official found to be an accessory to adverse action against workers

Individuals are at risk of breaching workplace laws even if their conduct is found only to be silent encouragement of unlawful adverse action, according to the outcome of a recent Federal Circuit Court case.

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Remote nurse safety concerns affecting recruitment, national conference hears

The National Rural Health Conference in Cairns has heard safety remains a major factor in the challenge to recruit and retain remote area nurses and midwives.

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Workplace Health and Safety Penalties – Potential to Increase

The Queensland District Court has this week found that a fine of $90,000 imposed by the Queensland Magistrates Court in Williamson v VH & MG Imports Pty Ltd [2017] QDC 56 was “clearly manifestly inadequate” when compared with fines imposed in other harmonised jurisdictions under the model Workplace Health and Safety laws. The ruling affirms the importance of national consistency in penalties, with the Queensland District Court accepting that its WHS Act permitted sentencing courts to consider comparable decisions from states and territories subject to the harmonised legislation. This decision sets a precedent which may see more lenient courts increasing penalties to the level set by courts nationally.

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Worried about workers' compensation claims? High Court confirms directions to employees must be reasonable.

The High Court has clarified the administrative action exclusion under the Commonwealth’s workers’ compensation laws. In Comcare v Martin [2016] HCA 43, the Court unanimously held that the approach to whether an employer or insurer can utilise the exclusion and protect itself from a workers’ compensation claim is to be based on causation. Under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Cth) (Act), it is now clear that the sole question to ask is whether the employee’s injury or aggravation would have occurred had the reasonable administrative action not been undertaken.

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Survey finds whistleblowers need more protection

The survey has confirmed that while organisations may have processes which encourage and facilitate staff reporting of wrongdoing, and deal with alleged wrongdoing, often the weakest elements have been the mechanisms for protection and support of staff who report.

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Mandatory licensing to crack down on rogue labour hire operators

Mandatory licensing of labour hire companies will be introduced in Queensland in a bid to crack-down on rogue operators who are exploiting and mistreating vulnerable workers.

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6 April 2017 

 

Heavy vehicle safety a priority in Debbie’s wake

The NHVR is advising heavy vehicle operators travelling in Queensland coastal areas to be aware of emergency arrangements for areas impacted by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

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Study finds possible link between pesticide exposure and farmer health

A study has found farmers' nervous systems might be impacted by exposure to the some of the most widely used pesticides.

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Call for star safety ratings for quad bikes following hundreds of deaths in six years

A spate of accidental deaths around the country has prompted a joint call from the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and the Rural Doctors Association for a star safety rating system to be introduced for quad bikes and side-by-side vehicles.

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Elite male boxers to leave head guards at home for Adelaide championships

DElite male boxers will fight at this week's national championships without head guards, while all other competitors will don the safety gear after an exemption was granted under state law.

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WorkCover not liable for teacher’s fall during work-approved activity

The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) has dismissed an appeal against the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Regulator that an injury sustained by a teacher while attending a union event during ordinary paid hours did not arise out of or in the course of her employment.

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SafeWork NSW Fast-Tracking Asbestos Assessments On Flood Damaged Properties

SafeWork NSW is waiving the five-day asbestos removal work notification period to allow immediate clean-up of asbestos debris from storm-damaged properties in north east NSW.

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The link between stress and muscle strain

Occupational stress can increase a worker’s risk of developing a musculoskeletal disorder, more commonly known as a ‘muscle strain’.

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Supporting older workers in the workplace

As our Queensland population ages, so does our workforce, and while older workers are often the most skilled and productive employees, they may also be the most vulnerable.

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Ride operator receives record fine after death of worker at a school event

A sole trader operating an amusement ride business has been fined a record $80,000 after a worker was fatally crushed by an amusement ride at Collingwood Park State School’s Christmas Carols in 2014.

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Third tractor incident in a week claims another life

WorkSafe is calling on all workplaces to prioritise safety following the death of three workers in separate incidents all involving tractors.

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Farmer crushed in tip truck incident

A farmer has died after the tipper trailer he was operating collapsed and crushed the cabin of his prime mover.

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14 March 2017 

 

Bakery fined $40K after worker's fingers amputated

A bakery in Altona North has been fined $40,000 for an accident which caused a worker’s fingers to be amputated.

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Warnings ignored: forklift driver fined $11K for death

An employee has been fined $11,000 and ordered to pay $1745 in costs after his forklift struck and killed a co-worker at a hay bailing workplace. He had twice been warned not to drive with the forks raised.

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Milestone workplace prosecution in Queensland continues

Two family-owned businesses and their respective directors have been committed to stand trial following a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation into the death of a 62-year-old roofer.

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Industry call for change to quad bike culture to prevent more deaths

"Do you want to have your kids, or do you want them to have a bit of fun riding a quad bike?" That is the question roll bar designer Dave Robinson believes parents should be asked.

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Safety and innovation rewarded in rural transport

Rural operators who create a safer and more innovative heavy vehicle industry will benefit from an industry award, announced at the combined Australian Livestock and Rural Transport Association and Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland Conference in Toowoomba today.

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Heavy vehicle safety initiatives – have your say

Consultation has opened on the next round of heavy vehicle safety programs to be administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

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NHVR backs heavy vehicle safety program for kids

The NHVR has joined forces with the Australian Trucking Association's Safety Truck to drive children to become more aware of safety around heavy vehicles.

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Earthworks buisness fined $90,000 over worker injuries

A Bathurst earthworks business has been fined $90,000 for failing to comply with safety standards that led to two workers being injured in January 2015.

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Safety inspection to target falling materials at construction sites

WorkSafe Victoria’s three-week inspection blitz will target falling building materials and equipment at construction sites that may cause injury or death.

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Painter dies in hospital after 4m fall

A 69-year-old man who suffered critical head injuries on Sunday after falling four metres at a construction site at Merricks North on the Mornington Peninsula has died in hospital from his injuries.

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Two dead and one injured in horror weekend

Two men were killed and another suffered critical head injuries in three separate incidents at the weekend

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20 Dec 2016 

 

ACT and NSW join forces to improve construction industry safety

A new project to improve safety in the construction industry on either side of the NSW/ACT border has been launched by WorkSafe ACT and SafeWork NSW.

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The Ripple Effect: Helping farming communities deal with suicide and mental health

The Ripple Effect is being run by the National Centre for Farmer Health based in Hamilton, Victoria, where researcher Dr Alison Kennedy estimates the rate of suicide within the farming community is twice that of other Australians.

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Canberra light rail worker 'extremely lucky' to be alive after electric shock

A worker on Canberra's light rail project has escaped serious injury after receiving an electric shock at a construction site along the route.

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ACT Industrial Court prosecutions criticised in case of cleaner who fell from plane

The ACT Chief Magistrate has lashed out over Industrial Court prosecutions saying they are plagued with a lack of diligence, as she considers whether to dismiss a case about a man who fell from the door of a plane he was cleaning.

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Companies and directors charged over Mt Waverley excavation

Following a comprehensive investigation, WorkSafe has charged three businesses and their directors with a number of breaches of the 2004 OHS Act in relation to the collapse of an excavation at a development site at Mt Waverley in July 2015.

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Fatigue creates ‘perfect storm’ for injuries

Fatigue puts worker safety at risk, particularly over the busy festive season and so it’s important to keep the focus on injury prevention as the year comes to a close.

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Workers must help manage safety too

WorkSafe ACT Commissioner Greg Jones would not be human if he said he wasn't feeling frustrated at the spike in serious safety incidents in the Territory's construction industry in recent weeks.

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Avoid heat stress and solar UV radiation exposure this summer

With South Australian summers renowned for being very hot and dry, SafeWork SA reminds employers to manage risks associated with heat stress and solar UV.

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New system for labelling of hazardous chemicals

In 2017, there will be changes to the way hazardous chemicals used in workplaces are labelled. The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, which was adopted in Australia in 2012, will come into full effect in the Northern Territory and other Australian states from 1 January 2017.

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Company convicted after worker maimed

A Geelong packing and supply business was this week convicted and fined $26,000 in the Geelong Magistrates Court following an incident in which a worker had all of the skin from his right hand ripped off by a machine.

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Remote area nurses in NT to be accompanied on house calls following attacks

Remote nurses attending after-hours call-outs will soon be accompanied by a trusted local community member to increase their safety following attacks on health workers, the Northern Territory Health Department said.

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NSW: Spate of tradie incidents and injuries

There has been a spate of incidents involving tradies in NSW, according to SafeWork NSW, which cautioned local tradies about safe approaches to work.

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4 Oct 2016

 

Work Health Safety Updates – Small to medium businesses most at risk

Work health and safety is an area which requires ongoing attention and commitment by businesses to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety not only of workers but also non-workers impacted by the operations of the business. For many small to medium businesses this can be a difficult task, but as recent events show it is a task which must be given sufficient priority.

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National Safe Work month

National Safe Work Month, held in October each year, aims to improve awareness of work health and safety, encourage discussion about safety at work and share positive workplace stories from across Australia.

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WA: Working with pesticides - Overview

Pesticides are often classified as hazardous substances and can harm workers, other people or the environment if not used correctly. This resource provides information about how to work with pesticides safely.

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QLD: Medical Advisory Panel review

As part of WorkCover Queensland's ongoing commitment to improving services, a review of the Medical Advisory Panel is underway.

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Bus driver attacks prompt safety review, union calls for cashless ticketing

The safety of Queensland bus drivers is under review amid concern over a growing number of assaults on drivers.

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Almost a fifth of midwives 'suffering PTSD', study finds

Almost a fifth of midwives meet the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, new research has found.

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Government won't act on UN ruling defence base firefighting chemical is toxic

The Australian Department of Health is not changing its health advice on a defence base contaminant, despite a United Nations (UN) toxins committee ruling the chemical is linked to serious disease.

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Trucking boss Peter Colbert 'showed no remorse' over driver's death caused by faulty brakes

A former trucking company boss found guilty of manslaughter over the death of one of his drivers due to faulty brakes has not shown genuine remorse for his actions, an Adelaide court has heard.

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Aviation industry encourages pilots to come forward with mental health problems

Australia's aviation industry has been trying to change a culture among pilots of under-reporting mental health conditions, particularly since the issue came into the spotlight during the Germanwings disaster in March last year.

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WA: Reminder on fall protection measures in workplaces

WorkSafe has issued a reminder to employers to use every means at their disposal to protect workers from falls from height.

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Drug & Alcohol policy: Does yours stack up?

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission raised the significance of having a thoroughly detailed drug and alcohol policy in place, which clearly identifies conduct that will or will not be tolerated, and the ramifications of breaching the policy.

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Dangerous driving & disregard of safety procedures: Patrick O’Sullivan v Qube Logistics

The recent Fair Work Commission decision of Patrick O’Sullivan v Qube Logistics (SL) Pty Ltd T/A Qube Logistics [2016] FWC 5581 (Qube Logistics) examined the time-old question of what is deemed to be a valid reason for terminating an employee in the context of various alleged safety breaches.

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21 Sept 2016

 

Employee not entitled to compensation for injury sustained while working flexibly from home

Employees will not necessarily be entitled to compensation for injuries arising from private activities they engage in while working flexibly from home.

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Don't cut old drums

Flammable substances can still be present in old drums. Even if they have been cleaned and rinsed, the introduction of an ignition source can create a disastrous explosion.

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Essential Energy fined $300,000 over worker death

Essential Energy has been convicted and fined $300,000 following the death of an electrical worker at Bulahdelah in September 2013.

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Scientific evaluation of workplace exposure standards

Safe Work Australia has announced it will evaluate the workplace exposure standards for more than 600 chemicals to ensure worker health and safety in Australia is comparable with latest evidence and international best practice.

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New report focuses on health and safety in the agricultural industry

Safe Work Australia has released a new publication, Work Health and Safety in the Agricultural Industry. The report identifies key risks faced by workers in the agricultural industry and provides statistics about injuries, fatalities and workers’ compensation, including how the agricultural industry compares with other industries.

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Vivid Festival inquest: 'No emergency plan' on night of man's death

An inquest into the death of an Irish tourist at Sydney's 2014 Vivid Festival has heard there was no emergency plan and staff had never practised for such an incident.

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WA: Inspection program looks at accommodation industry

WorkSafe is undertaking a proactive inspection program looking at safety issues in the accommodation industry.

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TAS: Review of Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011

An independent review is being conducted of the Asbestos-Related Diseases (Occupational Exposure) Compensation Act 2011. Comments close 14 October 2016.

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Perth Children's Hospital asbestos report prompts call for temporary ban on Chinese building materials

The construction union has called on the Federal Government to consider a temporary ban on the importation of some building materials from China.

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Public service declared safe as compensation claims dwindle

Plunging rates of workers compensation claims in the public service show that bosses are getting the message on workplace safety, according to insurer Comcare.

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More inspectors out in Victorian workplaces

Seventeen recruits have completed an intensive training course and graduated as Occupational Health and Safety and Return to Work inspectors.

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Enhanced safety measures aimed at curbing violence against Queensland health workers

More doctors and nurses will use body-worn cameras, CCTV cameras will be upgraded at several hospitals and more security officers will be hired to reduce the 3,000 annual reports of physical and verbal violence against health workers across Queensland.

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5th Sept 2016

 

Risks for new workers

It makes sense that it takes a while to learn a new job. Without someone to show you a task and supervise you while you make your first attempt, it’s likely that you won’t get it right. What if that task is something that could put you at risk of an injury, or worse even, put your life in danger? While this sounds extreme, this is the reality of some workplaces where a proper risk assessment has not been done and a new worker tries a risky task.

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Existing wiring dangers at construction and demolition sites

Workers have received serious electric shocks on sites where existing wiring has been damaged during construction or demolition activities. In several of these instances the wiring was either not identified or not correctly isolated from the electricity supply before the work was carried out.

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QLD: Lifetime care and support for injured workers

The Palaszczuk Government has passed legislation to provide lifetime treatment, care and support to workers catastrophically injured in the workplace.

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Fears asbestos-contaminated road base is being used on Sydney's WestConnex road project

There are fears a Sydney excavation company has supplied asbestos-laden road base to the WestConnex project, as well as the Blue Mountains National Park and many private homes.

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Finally, the proof why you really shouldn't come to work sick

When people bring their infectious illness to work, it spreads - and when sick people don't have a financial incentive to show up to work, fewer people get sick, according to a new working paper by the non-profit US National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Four steps to manage hazardous manual task risks in the workplace

Risk management is a four-step process for controlling exposure to health and safety risks associated with hazards in the workplace.

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Key to black lung prevention is in site monitoring and education, conference hears

While a resurgence of black lung in Queensland has drawn headlines recently, no cases have been reported in NSW, which has had strict dust management guidelines in place for decades.

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ALERT: Hydraulic equipment and systems - hazards and safe practices for operation and maintenance

This alert provides guidance to owners of hydraulic equipment, operators, and service technicians, as well as designers, manufacturers, suppliers and installers on the hazards and safe practices around the operation and maintenance of hydraulic equipment, or items of plant with a hydraulic system.

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ALERT: Working with hot oil

Working with hot oil can cause burns as well as slips, trips and falls. Watch this video safety alert for tips on how to avoid hot oil injuries in your workplace.

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ALERT: Forklift load handling

If you work with forklifts, watch this video for simple steps to handle loads safely.

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24th Aug 2016

 

Roadmap to guide the way to workplace safety

SafeWork NSW today launched a new work health and safety Roadmap for NSW which sets a number of ambitious targets to reduce the rate of injury, illness and fatalities in NSW workplaces.

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Cleanaway charged over Adelaide truck crash

Federal work health and safety regulator Comcare today began legal proceedings against national waste management company Cleanaway over a truck crash that killed two people in Adelaide.

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Consultation now open – review of the model Work Health and Safety Regulations for diving work

Safe Work Australia is seeking feedback on how the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations for diving work could be improved.

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National Safe Work Month resource kit now available

Safe Work Australia is inviting businesses to get involved in National Safe Work Month this October. To help, they have developed a National Safe Work Month Resource kit with suggestions on how to get involved and easy to use banners, factsheets and statistics that can be printed and displayed in workplaces around Australia.

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Court of Appeal confirms no duty of care assumed by a principal with respect to the employees of its subcontractor

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Lee v Wickham Freight Lines Pty Ltd [2016] NSWCA 209 reaffirms the accepted position that, generally speaking, a principal does not owe a duty of care to the employees of its subcontractor. However, the case stands as a critical reminder of the circumstances in which liability can be imposed on a principal.

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Quad bike court case and $12 million payout: What does it mean for farmers?

The head of Primary Employers Tasmania is encouraging farmers across the country to take heed of a recent court decision about quad bikes.

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Barangaroo worksite: Injuries, hazards and near misses amongst highest in NSW, data reveals

The highly publicised Barangaroo worksite on Sydney's CBD waterfront has one of the highest rates of injuries, hazards and near misses of any worksite in New South Wales, a freedom of information request has revealed.

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Asbestos investigation into Yuanda spreads to UK after Australian building projects contaminated

Australia's asbestos controversy has spread to the UK with authorities launching an investigation into whether Yuanda's British arm has imported building products tainted with the deadly substance.

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Powerline electrocution deaths prompt safety warning

A spate of incidents involving overhead power lines has left two people dead and seven others seriously injured - and the state's safety regulator claims all could easily have been avoided.

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Worker fined $6000 over burns to fellow worker

An employee of a civil contracting company has been fined $6000 (and ordered to pay $517.50 in costs) after a fellow employee suffered burns when brake cleaning chemical he had been sprayed with ignited.

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Black lung: Queensland parliamentary review into disease resurgence approved

The Queensland Government will set up a parliamentary review into the re-emergence of black lung disease in the state.

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Inspection program finds continuing problems with vehicle hoists

A second WorkSafe proactive inspection program looking at safety issues in workplaces with vehicle hoists has resulted in continuing concerns.

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9th Aug 2016

 

Ill and injured employee update

There has been a flurry of recent cases concerning the management of ill and injured employees that provide useful guidance for employers.

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Working in an office poses same health risks as smoking

Research published in The Lancet has revealed that sitting for at least eight hours a day could increase the risk of a premature death by up to 60 per cent.

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Sydney builder fined after worker falls 12 metres

A Sydney construction company has been fined $87,500 after a labourer fell 12 metres from a scaffold at a Lane Cove construction site.

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Asbestos importation review released

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has released the Asbestos Importation Review Report completed by KGH Border Services AB.

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How does Safe Work Australia collect and report information on Notifiable Fatalities?

Safe Work Australia produces several reports that provide information on the circumstances of work-related deaths in Australia. The most up-to-date figures are available on the Safe Work Australia's online worker fatalities statistics page.

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New guide on managing risks with tree trimming and removal work

Safe Work Australia has published a new guide to help arborists, tree climbers, horticulturalists, gardeners, tree workers, landscapers, builders, developers and others involved in the amenity tree industry.

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