"Work status" provisions in WHS and employment laws should be amended and aligned to remove disincentives to the provision of safety protections for gig workers and others, according to an inquiry, which is likely reignite calls for Victoria to adopt the model WHS Act.
In this article, OHS Alert reviews all the need-to-know workplace safety and compensation developments from the second quarter of 2020, including Australia's first industrial manslaughter conviction, recklessness cases, work-related pandemic restrictions and wholesale legislative changes.
In this latest edition of our long-running quarterly update series, OHS Alert reviews all the key WHS news from the first three months of 2020, including everything you need to know on the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings on Dreamworld's dismal safety systems, caselaw from all jurisdictions, and legislative changes.
The step-downs provisions of Australian workers' comp schemes are touted as a return-to-work incentives, but have been marginally successful at best, and can lead to self-sabotaging decisions by injured workers, public health experts have found.
Employers have been urged to consider workplace interventions to improve the health of workers with prescription opioid use disorder, who require significantly more sick leave than those with other types of injuries and illnesses.
Australia is unlikely to harmonise presumptive laws for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries, but the Federal Government has provided in-principle support for a coordinated national approach to the issue, and could make presumptive provisions under the Comcare scheme.
WHS regulators are increasingly turning to infringement notices to tackle safety breaches, while the number of prosecutions has surged in one jurisdiction following a controversial lull, according to one of four new comparison reports from Safe Work Australia. The agency has also outlined PCBUs' duties involving air pollution.
One in three Australian workers who sustain a physical injury experience serious secondary mental illnesses, but few of these people access mental health services that could accelerate their recovery and return to work, according to a study.