In this article, OHS Alert reviews all the need-to-know workplace safety and compensation developments from the second quarter of 2020, including Australia's first industrial manslaughter conviction, recklessness cases, work-related pandemic restrictions and wholesale legislative changes.
A worker who claims he was unable to urinate over a three-hour period was lawfully summarily dismissed for refusing to provide his employer with a sample for a drug and alcohol test, a commission has ruled.
> COVID-19 work recovery plans due now; > Workplace COVID-19 controls mandated in Tas; > COVID-19 lift policy and 15-minute rule announced in NT; > Coronavirus construction checklist launched in Vic; and > SA's workplace silica threshold halving in two weeks.
In a long-running WHS case, involving a forklift fatality and a seemingly incongruous category 3 charge, a superior court has found a magistrate should have recused himself from the matter to avoid ruling on particulars of the charge that he himself drafted.
A worker who suffered incapacitating back pain while walking at work has unsuccessfully argued, in an appeals court, that his employment should be characterised as "the" major cause of his condition in the absence of another identified major cause.
The new National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan has marked workplaces as key "outreach sites" for tackling COVID-19-related mental health issues, and identified a wide range of worker groups significantly impacted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, employers have been directed to develop COVID-19 safety plans as pandemic restrictions ease.