This article examines all the must-know workplace safety, workers' compensation and COVID-19 developments from July, August and September 2020, with highlights including a new WHS Code for the pandemic, the Dreamworld judgment, a record double-fatality fine and gross negligence cases.
A WHS regulator has identified the absence of adequate controls for preventing three-metre-plus falls as a major area of non-compliance in the high-risk construction sector. It has also, coincidentally, accepted a PCBU's bid to enter an enforceable undertaking after a worker fell four metres.
A tribunal has rejected a claim that the permanent impairments in a worker's knees, caused by four months of repetitive ladder climbing and crouching, can't be combined under controversial laws because one knee injury "commenced" two years earlier.
A senior worksite manager allowed his preconceptions of a union to "colour his attitude" when he breached the Fair Work Act, and showed disregard for WHS laws, by ripping up entry notices and telling officials they couldn't investigate serious safety issues until after a site meeting, the Federal Court has found.
A worker's lump sum payment for his "existing injury" must be assessed under the less generous provisions of repealed laws, a tribunal full bench has found in agreeing with a previous judgment in a similar case.
An appeals court has found a woman who separated from her husband before he was killed at work is not covered by a lump sum provision made after the fatality, in an important judgment on injury laws and transitional arrangements.