A tourism operator has been fined for WHS breaches, including failing to follow a manufacturer's instructions, which led to a woman sustaining "cannon ball" injuries. Meanwhile, regulators have issued alerts after two fatal falls and two serious crane incidents involving counterweights.
Safety regulations for exclusion zones and equipment in the construction industry could be overhauled under recommendations from an inquest into a young worker's death, which led to the first reckless conduct charges under Australia's harmonised WHS laws.
Employers in the public health system are required by WHS laws to take all rather than just some reasonably practicable steps to stamp out workplace bullying, independent reviewers have stressed in a concerning report on the ACT's health services.
In this article, OHS Alert reviews all the major WHS and workers' comp developments from the final quarter of 2018, including the release of ISO 45001 as an Australian Standard, record-breaking safety fines and enforceable undertakings, and legislative changes.
A company director has successfully argued his safety breaches didn't warrant the near-record fine imposed on him, with an appeals court finding he had been negligent rather than reckless. Meanwhile, a number of employers have been charged and entered undertakings after a child was killed and a young trainee fell six metres.
In sentencing a PCBU for multiple breaches of WHS regulations, a judge has suggested that prosecutors detail the costs saved by companies by ignoring their duties, so that courts can set fines that adequately deter such offending.