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Inside track: Work Health & Safety

15 April 2019

#Workplace Relations & Safety

Inside track: Work Health & Safety

In the media

Powercor pleads guilty and fined for line clearance breaches
Electricity distribution company Powercor has entered a guilty plea and has been fined $374,000 for numerous powerline clearance breaches and three fires.  ESV prosecuted Powercor for 51 charges, incorporating 189 breaches of Electric Line Clearance regulations along a corridor from Benalla to Mildura. Trees or other vegetation touching powerlines can cause electrocution and bushfires (10 April 2019).  More...

New safety code to make Queensland solar farm jobs safer
A new code of practice and electrical safety regulations will be put in place next month to enhance safety in the growing commercial solar farm industry. The new regulations mean only licensed electricians can mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels on solar farms with a total rated capacity of at least 100kW (09 April 2019).  More...

Resources Regulator takes Peak Gold Mine to court over death
The NSW Resources Regulator has begun prosecution proceedings in the District Court against Peak Gold Mines Pty Ltd over a work-place death at a mine near Cobar in April 2017. The Resources Regulator will allege Peak Gold Mines contravened section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, by failing to comply with a health and safety duty imposed by section 19 of that Act (08 April 2019).  More...

SafeWork continues its investigation of Macquarie Park scaffolding site
SafeWork NSW is continuing to investigate what led to the scaffolding collapse in Macquarie Park on Monday 1 April 2019 where one person tragically died and another was critically injured (05 April 2019).  More...

Waste recycler to stand trial over worker death
Yatala based Oil Tech International Pty Ltd and company director Michael Reid are facing reckless conduct charges under section 31 of Queensland’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011. A Workplace Health and Safety Queensland investigation focused on the lack of a safe system of work to prevent ignition sources contacting flammables (03 April 2019).  More...

Coffs Harbour KFC fined $60K after young worker suffers serious burns
SafeWork NSW is reminding all businesses of their workplace health and safety obligations after a KFC franchise in Coffs Harbour was recently fined following serious injuries to a young worker (02 April 2019).  More...

Abattoir fined $95,000 after forklift injures worker
Warrnambool's Midfield Meat International Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of failing, so far as was reasonably practicable, to eliminate the risk of powered mobile machines colliding with pedestrians (02 April 2019).  More...

Welding electric shocks rising in mining sector
An increasing number of welding electric shock incidents in the mining sector have recently been reported to the NSW Resources Regulator. The NSW Resources Regulator has made a number of recommendations for mine operators to reduce the risks of this type of incident (01 April 2019).  More...

Worker fatally crushed by skid steer loader
In February 2019, a worker was killed while repairing a skid steer loader. Early investigations indicate the safety prop was not engaged to ensure the bucket arms could not be lowered. It appears the mechanisms which enable the hand controls to be isolated were inoperative due to general wear and tear on the machine (29 March 2019).  More...

Published - articles, papers, reports

New safety guide provides safety information for the HVAC&R industry
Pro-Visual Publishing, in partnership with the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association of Australia (AMCA) has released the latest edition of the HVAC&R Contractors & Engineers Guide to Safety 2019 (01 April 2019).  More...

Safe Work Australia fatality statistics
As of 21 March, 30 fatalities had been notified to Safe Work Australia. This is nine more than the last update on 28 February. 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

OFSC: Scheme rule changes: Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) (Accreditation Scheme) Rules 2019
The new rules (effective 21 March 2019) repeal and replace the Fair Work (Building Industry – Accreditation Scheme) Regulation 2016 which prescribe the WHS Accreditation Scheme (the Scheme) for persons who wish to carry out Commonwealth funded building work. The remade Rules reduce regulatory burden and clarify the operation and application of the Scheme. For further information about the Rules, see the Scheme Rule Change fact sheet or contact the FSC (08 April 2019).

OFSC: Changes to Accredited Contractor reporting requirements from 1 April 2019
Following feedback from Accredited Contractors, the reporting requirements for the WHS Accreditation Scheme have again been streamlined.
Key Dates:  Scheme Project information, including End of Project information will be reported on the new Scheme Biannual Report from 1 July 2019 and the first Scheme Biannual Report, for the January to June 2019 reporting period, is due by 31 July 2019 (01 April 2019).  More...


NSW Resources: Weekly incident summary
The NSW Resources Regulator's Mine Safety unit publishes a reportable incidents summary each week (08 April 2019).  More...


WorkCover Queensland: Worker fatally crushed by skid steer loader
A safe system of work should be implemented to manage the risks associated with inspection and maintenance of plant. The manufacturer’s instructions should be included in a safe work procedure on how inspection and maintenance should be carried out (01 April 2019).  More... 

WorkCover Queensland: Electrical safety codes of practice - Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019
The new Construction and operation of solar farms Code of Practice 2019 will commence on 13 May 2019. The new code combines existing electrical and work health and safety requirements relating to solar farms. Commencement of the code of practice is accompanied by a regulatory amendment requiring the mounting, locating, fixing and removal of solar panels at solar farms to be undertaken by licensed electricians (10 April 2019).

Incident alert: Form workers suffer heat stress
In February 2019, two workers were taken to hospital with one admitted for heat syncope (a mild form of heat illness). The workers had been preparing formwork for a concrete pour at a construction site. Three other workers also reported feeling unwell and were treated onsite by emergency services (27 March 2019).  More... 

Using non-slewing mobile cranes: Business Queensland
09 April 2019: Mines safety bulletin 181
Non-slewing mobile cranes continue to be involved in incidents in the Queensland mining and quarrying industry. They are used regularly around sites and have particular hazards associated with them such as: travelling with a load and lifting.   More...


Labour-hire licensing scheme commences 29 April 2019
Labour-hire providers will have six months to apply for a licence to operate in the State after this time. To obtain and keep a licence, labour-hire firms will need to pass a "fit and proper person test", which involves demonstrating long-term compliance with Victoria's OHS and workers' compensation Acts.  Information sessions will be held from March - April. To find out more visit the events page.  More...

Worksafe Victoria Next month: Inspector focus on powered mobile plant beginning 1 May 2019
Inspectors will check workplaces are identifying powered mobile plant striking a pedestrian or colliding with other powered mobile plant as a risk. Details to follow (10 April 2019).

Worksafe Victoria Safety Soapbox April 2019
The latest edition, 10 April is available here.


SafeWork NSW v Macquarie Milling Co Pty Limited ; SafeWork NSW v Samuels [2019] NSWDC 111
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 – appropriate penalty – relevance of insurance policy – training orders, due diligence plan, work health and safety undertaking. COSTS - prosecution costs OTHER – unguarded rotating shaft – employee dragged into machinery – inadequate training and documentation 

Victorian Prosecution Result Summaries and Enforceable Undertakings

Effective Electrical Pty Ltd
Ballarat Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21 Outcome 09 Apr 2019

Yuxue Yan
Ringwood Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section32 & 40(4) Outcome 04 Apr 2019

Fresh Delight Trading Pty Ltd
Ringwood Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section23(1) Outcome 04 Apr 2019

Civicast Pty Ltd
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004,Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 Section21(1); 21(2)(a) & 327 Outcome03 Apr 2019

Glass Recovery Services Pty Ltd
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 03 Apr 2019

Neville Victor Handcock
Wodonga County Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 145 Outcome 03 Apr 2019

V & R Solid Plastering Pty Ltd
Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) Outcome 03 Apr 2019

BTB Australia Pty Ltd
Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 Section21(1) & 21(2)(a) Outcome 01 Apr 2019. 




Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Amendment Regulations 2019
03/04/2019 – These regulations amend the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (Licence Charges) Regulations 2018 to increase the annual licence charges by varying amounts as determined by a cost recovery review and makes other amendments to named licence holder charges and source charging method.



Land, Explosives and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018
Assent Date: 29/03/2019 Act No: 7 of 2019 Commences: see Act for details. Includes: Part 5 - Amendment of Explosives Regulation 2017 - 99 - Amendment of s 31 (Licence to transport explosives) Insertion of new s 31A; 143 - Amendment of s 147 (Employer’s obligations about employees engaged in using explosives) 

Subordinate legislation as made – 05 April 2019

No 40 Health Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2019
Amends the Radiation Safety Act 1999 – to update the definition of transport code of practice to refer to the 2014 version of the Code for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material published by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

No 46 Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019
73A Work involving PV modules at solar farms (1)A person must not perform work on a PV module at a solar farm unless— (a)the person is a licensed electrical worker;

Subordinate legislation as made – 09 April 2019

No 47 Electrical Safety (Codes of Practice) and Other Legislation (Solar Farms) Amendment Notice 2019
Part 3 Amendment of Work Health and Safety (Codes of Practice) Notice 2011



Electricity Safety Amendment (Electrical Equipment Safety Scheme) Act 2018
Date of commencement: 1 April 2019; Sections 1-18 of this Act came into operation on 1 April 2019 (SG517 30.10.2018) Act Number: 43/2018 

Charles Power, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9942

Benjamin Marshall, Partner
T: +61 3 9321 9864

Stephen Trew, Managing Partner, Sydney
T: +61 2 8083 0439

Michael Selinger, Partner
T: +61 2 8083 0430

Rachel Drew, Partner
T: +61 7 3135 0617

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 publication is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. We are not responsible for the information of any source to which a link is provided or reference is made and exclude all liability in connection with use of these sources. 

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