Excessive prescription of opioid medication is doubling the risk of long-term disability among injured workers, and highlights the need for workers' compensation schemes to take urgent action, says a leading occupational health researcher.
A PCBU that failed to identify the risks posed by a damaged footpath outside a worksite has become the second entity to be convicted over the death of an elderly man in a mobility scooter crash, and been handed a significant penalty.
Queensland has introduced new safety laws to avert the risk of regulatory capture and hand the prosecution of "serious" offences in the resources sector to the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, in the latest of a series of reforms including $4 million fines.
A Sydney Trains worker was not shown which areas of a worksite were protected from passing traffic before he was fatally struck by a train, a court has found in convicting and fining his employer for two breaches of a national safety law.
WHS offences with long jail terms have a direct impact on decision makers and force them to turn their minds to the best available protections for workers, a union secretary says. But an industry representative has claimed that "penalties don't save lives".
The widow of a worker who contracted a rare disorder at work in 1986, and died from a similarly rare condition 30 years later, has been denied $400,000 in death benefits because of a gap in the scientific literature on the link between the conditions.
NSW's WHS laws are likely to be amended to prescribe an exposure limit for diesel emissions if Safe Work Australia declines to add diesel to the workplace exposure standards. Meanwhile, a regulator has warned that 50 per cent of respirable dust exceedances result from maintenance cleaning.
An employer that allowed a substation where a double fatality occurred to be used as a storeroom has been fined for access and egress breaches, while the Department of Defence has been charged with three category 2 WHS breaches, after a man's leg was amputated.
Two leading universities, including Australia's Monash University, will join forces to investigate how to best support workers diagnosed with silicosis, which now number more than 168 in Queensland alone, the State's Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced.