High-profile health and safety lawyer Michael Tooma has raised serious concerns about proposed vaccine-related amendments to WHS statements of regulatory intent, while the Victorian Government has urged people to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible, in reintroducing its permit system for workers.
A workplace fatality, which led to a $250,000 WHS fine, occurred in circumstances where the contrast between the instructions provided to workers with limited English and what supervisors allowed to occur gave rise "to an understandable level of confusion about what was, and was not, permitted", an inquest has found.
An employer has been ordered to produce its first-aid records and incident reports from the past 10 years, for an injured worker's bid to show the workplace's vibrations and "jolts" were capable of causing serious neck, back and hand conditions.
In this major report, OHS Alert examines all the key safety developments from the second quarter of 2021, including the move towards mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for workers, the jailing of a company director, inquests into four work deaths, including a murder, important cases, and significant legislative changes.
A superior court has quashed a finding that an occupational physician's incomplete answer in a report on a worker's injury was a deliberate omission pointing to a link between the injury and computer work.
NSW has extended its COVID-19 lockdown and face mask rule for work offices, while Western Australia has retained its workplace face mask requirement under easing restrictions, and Tasmania is applying its check-in rule to more types of venues. Victoria is dropping its face mask rule for many workplaces tomorrow night.
A coronial inquest into a vehicle-rollover death has: stressed that ongoing worker training is not only required by WHS laws but "essential for safe and healthy workplaces"; and made a string of recommendations for an employer's training and operating procedures.