After being flagged in the State budget more than seven years ago, Western Australia has finally introduced a mirror WHS Bill, which includes a two-level industrial manslaughter offence and a new duty of care for "WHS service providers". Meanwhile, the Northern Territory's industrial manslaughter laws have passed Parliament.
Thousands of asbestos-containing materials are still in place in workplaces and homes and employers that disregard the deadly hazard are being targeted, according to warnings issued for national Asbestos Awareness Week this week. Meanwhile, the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency's functions are likely to be expanded under the recommendations of a statutory review tabled in Parliament today.
An Australian employer has unsuccessfully argued that if it is found liable for injuries a worker sustained in a job performed entirely in a foreign country it will be put at a commercial disadvantage, and this cannot be the intent of workers' comp laws.
Victoria has become the third Australian jurisdiction to enshrine the offence of industrial manslaughter in law, with an Amendment Bill (and the country's highest work health and safety fine) passing Parliament without any changes yesterday.
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.
The number of serious workplace falls and related prosecutions is reaching epidemic proportions and will force courts to increase penalty levels, a judge has warned in handing a PCBU a pre-discount fine of $240,000.
In an unusual case, a worker has been denied workers' compensation after a tribunal found his injury probably resulted from serious and wilful misconduct, with his employer asserting he cut his own finger to get out of a jail sentence.
A major employer accused of exposing a travelling salesperson to the risk of serious injury or death has committed more than $5.3 million to safety rectifications and enforceable undertakings, including a strategy aimed at preventing members of the public from placing themselves in the "line of fire" of work vehicles.