Western Australia has announced a two-level industrial manslaughter offence, revealed plans to beef up its safety inspectorate and released a draft WHS framework. Meanwhile, Victoria has introduced a new reckless conduct offence with $6.4 million fines for employers.
In a case involving a charity drive and entry breaches, the Federal Court has rejected a regulator's assertion that workers' subjective "feelings" about how safe their sites are can't justify a stoppage.
An employer and three of its managers have been fined for preventing union officials from investigating suspected safety breaches, while the Federal Court has dismissed claims that a union official "negated" a Western Australian employer's choice to operate after an ACT fatality, which led to multiple reckless conduct charges.
In a long-running case that clarified right-of-entry laws for assisting health and safety representatives, the Federal Court has found a union official's breaches only deserved a low-range fine, in part because they probably improved the safety and efficiency of the relevant site.
A court has fined a union and a "recidivist" official $137,000, after the latter entered a worksite over suspected WHS issues but put workers at risk by climbing onto an operating crane and ignoring requests to follow safety rules.