Past inconsistencies in disciplining workers for safety breaches can still undermine the validity of dismissals after employers tighten their enforcement of rules, a commission has highlighted in a case involving a worker sacked for leaving a designated pedestrian walkway.
In a decision highlighting the importance of consistent zero tolerance drug and alcohol policies and disciplinary processes, a major employer has been ordered to reinstate a worker who tested positive for cannabis.
A Commonwealth agency breached the WHS Act in over-relying on contracted helicopter pilots to assess the safety of landing sites in Antarctica, in the lead up to a pilot's death from hypothermia, a court has found. The helicopter company was found not guilty of breaching the Act.
The director of a company with a long history of safety and entry contraventions had a "deliberate policy" to breach entry laws because he believed he was being targeted by a union, the Federal Circuit Court has found in fining the director, the company and a supervisor.
A worker sacked for falling asleep on a high-risk job has unsuccessfully argued that his cough medicine made him drowsy and his dismissal was unfair. Meanwhile, the CSIRO has been fined $7,500 for taking adverse action against an injured worker through the actions of a senior HSE manager.
A worker's dismissal for failing a random alcohol test was unfair because his employer's policies allowed for less severe disciplinary actions, even in cases of serious safety-related misconduct, a commission has found.
A worker sacked after a third-party psychological assessment found him unsuitable for his role has been granted access to his testing data and psychologists' notes, in the second of two similar cases in a matter of months.
The Fair Work Commission has refused to reopen a worker's anti-bullying application, despite a WHS regulator issuing improvement notices to her employer and advising the parties to seek clarity from the FWC to avoid further conflict.