The company director jailed for recklessly endangering a roofer, who fell to his death, over-relied on the diligence of workers and skimped on safety controls, the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations has revealed.
A company director has been jailed for a year, while his company has been fined $1 million, in the latest of a series of cases that show the increasing trend for safety regulators to target individuals and push for harsh penalties, according to a WHS and employment relations lawyer.
A union official recently accused of hindering a WHS inspector in Queensland has been charged with doing the same thing in another jurisdiction, while two of his colleagues have been charged with misleadingly telling workers they were entitled, by WHS laws, to leave an "unsafe" site on full pay.
A WHS regulator has stressed that it is continuing to tackle imminent or serious safety risks under current "work bans", and progressing strategies to protect its inspectors from threats or assaults, after the Federal Government warned that these inspectors are living in fear of occupational violence.
In this article, OHS Alert reviews all the major WHS and workers' comp developments from the final quarter of 2018, including the release of ISO 45001 as an Australian Standard, record-breaking safety fines and enforceable undertakings, and legislative changes.
A worker who broke her leg after smoking on a workplace rooftop prior to starting a shift was on an "ordinary recess" and is entitled to compensation, because her employer required her to attend work 10 minutes early, an appeals court has ruled.
Work safety authorities have issued special heat warnings to employers, which are particularly important to heed given the Bureau of Meteorology's latest annual climate statement and three-month forecast.