A principal contractor and a subcontractor have been fined a total of nearly $300,000 after a worker was seriously injured, with a court ruling the former wasn't entitled to rely on the latter to implement agreed safety measures.
An employer has been fined $650,000 after a worker died in a 12-metre fall from a platform that was completely unsuitable for purpose, making the fall almost inevitable. Meanwhile, a head contractor has entered a $175,000 safety undertaking after a worker was impaled on an obviously hazardous bar.
There has been little political will to harmonise Australia's workers' comp schemes over the last two decades, but the emergence of the gig economy and a major report on the future of work could force governments to revisit the issue, or at least expand access to workers' compensation.
Three employers including a repeat offender have been charged with safety breaches, after the deaths of a confined space worker and a backpacker. The latest development in the backpacker's case coincides with two Federal Court rulings on the employment status of workers at the site where she was killed.
A supervisor directed a subcontractor to perform a task that resulted in the contractor breaching its own safe work method statement and seriously injured a worker, a judge has found. He ordered the supervisor's company to pay $145,000 in fines and costs over a risk it later eliminated with a $792 investment.
Head contractors on Commonwealth-funded projects cannot satisfy the requirement to conduct a minimum number of random drug and alcohol tests each month by counting pre-employment or for-cause tests, a fitness-for-work audit program has highlighted.
A major employer's duties as the occupier of a premises did not extend to ensuring a specialist contractor, engaged by another company, strictly complied with suitable safe work method statements, an appeals court has confirmed in an important damages case.
An award-winning employer reduced its near miss rate from an average of 18 per month to two, by creating multiple lines of communication with every one of its 250 subcontractors and convincing them of the benefits of safety, its WHS manager says.
A worker who failed to tell his supervisor the area he was directed to work in was wet, before he slipped and fell two metres, was not contributorily negligent because he felt he had to comply with his orders, an appeals court has found.
A major employer in the health sector is implementing a "kiosk system" with status alerts to monitor contractors and safety performance, as part of a WHS undertaking relating to the death of a newborn baby and severe injuries sustained by another.