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.
Three employers including a repeat offender have been charged with safety breaches, after the deaths of a confined space worker and a backpacker. The latest development in the backpacker's case coincides with two Federal Court rulings on the employment status of workers at the site where she was killed.
Australia's highest work safety fine and the offence of workplace manslaughter are being introduced to the Victorian Parliament today. Meanwhile, regulators have issued a fatality alert and tips on working safely in heat and with elevating work platforms.
In this update, OHS Alert revisits all the important work health and safety and workers' compensation legislative changes from the third quarter of 2019. We also recap the most significant court and tribunal rulings and other developments from across the country.
Employers have been warned there are no excuses for allowing workers to risk their safety by clearing machinery that is not switched off, after a company was convicted over a young worker's injuries. Meanwhile, the employer of a worker killed by a runaway vehicle could be fined up to $9 million, after being charged with WHS offences.
Building workplace cultures where both official and unofficial leaders demonstrate a commitment to health and safety, and workers are shielded from the stigma associated with injury claims, is one of five action areas of a new national return-to-work strategy.