A major employer with previous fatality-related convictions has been fined $160,000 for failing to take the non-burdensome steps required to prevent serious crush injuries. Meanwhile, Queensland has issued a fatality alert, and opened its WHS and return-to-work awards.
In this comprehensive report, OHS Alert reviews all the major WHS and workers' comp developments from the first quarter of 2019, including the unprecedented jailing of company directors, the outcomes of the national WHS review, and significant legislative changes in every jurisdiction.
A man who posed as a qualified electrician on online platform Airtasker has been fined $100,000 for exposing individuals to the risk of serious injury or death. Meanwhile, regulators have issued a series of alerts after a worker was killed, two workers were overcome by heat stress and other incidents.
A judge has upheld a $9,000 fine in the first (and "somewhat curious") prosecution involving the WHS duty to "consult workers". He also disagreed with a landmark finding that Queensland's WHS fines should be consistent with those in the other harmonised jurisdictions.
A tourism operator has been fined for WHS breaches, including failing to follow a manufacturer's instructions, which led to a woman sustaining "cannon ball" injuries. Meanwhile, regulators have issued alerts after two fatal falls and two serious crane incidents involving counterweights.
WHS amendments prompted by the Dreamworld disaster are commencing in Queensland in eight weeks, while the national model WHS laws could be amended to prevent devices covered by a prohibition notice in one jurisdiction being transferred to and used in another.