In a rare case, a PCBU has been convicted and fined under WHS consultation provisions, after its failure to "consult, co-operate and co-ordinate" with other duty holders led to a worker sustaining serious injuries in a fall.
A labour-hire company has been found not guilty of WHS breaches involving inadequate guarding and finger injuries, with a court finding its safety consultation process was "seriously compromised" by the representations of a host employer.
A major employer has been handed significant WHS penalties in two jurisdictions, including for failing to properly respond to two previous workplace fires, which led to a contractor sustaining fatal injuries in a third fire.
The World Health Organisation's workplace health and safety guidelines for COVID-19 are "unacceptably complacent" in parts and overlook evidence on workplace outbreaks, according to an occupational health academic, who fills in some of the "gaps".
Australia's WHS framework is robust and can help duty holders grapple with the ever-changing impact of COVID-19 on health and safety, but mitigating pandemic hazards is not a one-size-fits-all approach, according to department heads from two Federal safety agencies.
An employer has introduced a new injury management database for identifying client sites that pose extra risks to workers, and introduced site-specific pre-employment medicals, among $782,000 worth of rectifications made after a serious incident.
A new WHS Code of Practice has provided PCBUs with clear guidance on their duties to consult with workers, health and safety representatives and other businesses in a COVID-19 context. Meanwhile, Comcare has produced a "micro-learn" video on using face masks at work in the pandemic.
With the release of the national "roadmap" out of coronavirus restrictions, a senior WHS lawyer has urged employers to consult with workers and HSRs, identify COVID-19 risk factors unique to their business, and implement "pandemic plans" for positive diagnoses and transitioning workers back to remote work if the situation deteriorates.