A model WHS guide has been amended to reflect recent Federal and High Court rulings on entering workplaces to assist health and safety reps. Safe Work Australia has also released new guidance on identifying company officers and their duties, a major fatality report, and safety and workers' comp comparison reports.
A company owner has been jailed for recklessly endangering and killing a worker. Meanwhile, a major employer has been fined nearly $500,000 for threatening an HSR who refused to endorse an unsafe work method, and another employer has been fined over a quarry death.
A worker's frustration over his employer's PPE policy and alleged failure to prioritise safety over cost did not excuse his aggressive and intimidating conduct towards his co-workers, a commission has confirmed.
A union official's high Fair Work fine (and second personal payment order) is more modest than it might have been, with the Federal Court agreeing that at the time of his offences, it was unclear whether he needed a permit to enter a site at the request of a health and safety representative.
A Fair Work Commission full bench has upheld the dismissal of an elected health and safety rep, whose mistreatment of contractors preceded a suicide attempt. Meanwhile, a Qantas worker has reiterated his claim that he inadvertently consumed more than a dozen standard alcoholic drinks on the night before a shift.
A commission full bench has rejected a sacked health and safety representative's claim that posting unverified and incorrect information on a safety-related shutdown on Facebook was not a serious matter warranting dismissal.
The powers of health and safety reps in one of Australia's most hazardous sectors must be stepped up and aligned with those in the model WHS Act to combat a "culture of fear and reprisal", an inquiry has found. However, Government members of the inquiry warn against harmonisation "simply for the sake of consistency".