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".
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.
A company director who falsely claimed a health and safety representative was a poor performer and sacked him, after the HSR complained to a safety regulator, denied other employees the important protections provided by the elected role, the Federal Court has found.
An employer dismissed a health and safety representative through a "sham" redundancy after it accused him of "running off" to complain to a safety regulator and "unlawfully holding meetings" on the health risks posed by bushfire smoke, the Federal Court has ruled.
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.
Employers planning to introduce new safety or health-monitoring procedures are required to consult with health and safety representatives and workers on the issue of gendered violence, and must not wait for formal reports of gendered violence incidents before addressing the matter, new guidelines warn.
A regulator has been formally asked to investigate claims that Deliveroo committed the serious WHS offence of discriminatory conduct, in allegedly failing to allocate jobs to a worker because of his involvement in negotiations to set up work groups and elect health and safety representatives.
The functions of elected health and safety representatives do not include an express power to attend compulsory examinations conducted by regulatory inspectors and question attendees, a superior court has ruled in a fatality case.