Safety regulations for exclusion zones and equipment in the construction industry could be overhauled under recommendations from an inquest into a young worker's death, which led to the first reckless conduct charges under Australia's harmonised WHS laws.
In sentencing a PCBU for multiple breaches of WHS regulations, a judge has suggested that prosecutors detail the costs saved by companies by ignoring their duties, so that courts can set fines that adequately deter such offending.
An employer did not have a common law duty to warn a well-trained worker of all the circumstances in which a work method could not be used, an appeals court has found in dismissing the injured man's damages claim.
A young worker has been awarded more than $500,000 in damages after her employer negligently caused her to sustain an injury that did not prevent her from "engaging in a superficially normal life", but impeded her studies and narrowed her employment options.
The fact that a major employer was one of several PCBUs at a hazardous site did not make it responsible for the performance of all the duties set out in the WHS Regulation for that site, a superior court has ruled in rejecting a worker's damages claim.
A reasonable person in a major employer's position would have foreseen that workers would adopt timesaving and dangerous methods of performing a repetitive task, an appeals court has ruled in upholding a $1 million damages award.
A superior court has quashed a finding that a business was negligent in failing to turn its mind to the possibility that lighting levels on a set of stairs didn't comply with the relevant Australian Standard.
The recent WHS conviction of a company officer drives home the importance of establishing due diligence plans and governance structures for senior management, Ashurst partner Trent Sebbens says in this comprehensive Q&A with OHS Alert.