WHS News

Workplace Health & Safety News

16 August 2018

New round of graduates to keep Victorians safe at work

WorkSafe's newest inspectors will begin the task of keeping Victorians safe and healthy at work this month following their graduation from a rigorous 17-week training program. The 15 graduates were presented with their instruments of appointment by WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies and Member for Geelong Christine Couzens at a ceremony at WorkSafe's headquarters today.

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Sydney light rail investigation finds four others received shocks at CBD site

A damning investigation into how a teenager received an electric shock while walking near the Sydney light rail construction site has found four other people were also given shocks from a traffic signal pit that may have been faulty for months. Anna Lambden, 15, was taken to hospital in June after she felt a sensation like pins and needles coursing through her body while walking in wet socks along George Street in Haymarket.

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New boat safety rules requiring self-deploying emergency beacons 'unlikely' to have saved Dianne fishermen, family says

The brother of one of the six men who died in a fishing boat tragedy says it's unlikely new safety measures would have saved the fishermen's lives. Joel Feeney lost his brother Zac and several close mates in Queensland's worst maritime tragedy involving the sinking of the commercial fishing boat Dianne off the central Queensland coast in October.

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A new approach to helping injured workers (that could also help the economy)

Karen Wilson's injury didn't get easier with time, as they say. It became harder. Ten years ago, she seriously broke her wrist after falling over in the car park of a Sydney golf club where she worked as a supervisor. "I've had six operations," she says. "I am up for number seven."

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Workplace exposure standards framework consultation regulation impact statement released

Safe Work Australia has published a consultation regulation impact statement (consultation RIS) for the workplace exposure standards framework. The consultation RIS will assist Work Health and Safety ministers to determine the impact of, and best way to implement an update to the workplace exposure standards. It also explores if the workplace exposure standards should remain mandatory under the model WHS laws or if advisory status is more appropriate.

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First things first - power off before cover off

An incident in Victoria where an electrician received a shock after touching live metal parts is a stark reminder to always double check power has been turned off before conducting maintenance, repairs, alterations or adjustments to electrical equipment. The electrician received an electric shock while making adjustments to a passive infrared (PIR) sensor.

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Sunshine Coast employers can do better on workers' compensation compliance

Businesses in the Sunshine Coast region have more work to do to ensure they are protecting workers against injury with 22% of 188 employers visited during a recent WorkCover Queensland compliance audit found to be operating without appropriate workers' compensation insurance.

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Major changes on the way for amusement ride safety

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced the Palaszczuk Government will set world-class safety standards for the theme park and amusement ride industry.

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Woolworths, Victorian subcontractor charged by NT WorkSafe over death of itinerant man

The supermarket giant Woolworths and a Victorian-based transport company have been charged over the death of a 47-year-old itinerant man, who was run over after falling asleep in a loading dock in Darwin. The driver of a prime mover fatally struck the Maningrida man, who he did not see, while exiting a loading dock at the Hibiscus Shopping Centre in Leanyer on October 7, 2016.

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Research shows tradies take better care of their tools than their health

Aussie tradies are almost twice as likely to take good care of their tools as their bodies despite having one of the highest injury rates of any occupation according to research by the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) released today to mark the launch of Tradies National Health Month. The Empirica Research survey commissioned by the APA revealed that 79 per cent of tradies report taking good care of their tools compared to just 47 per cent who took good care of their bodies.

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1 August 2018

PFAS chemical contamination risk at Gold Coast Airport not explained, workers claim

When Craig Anderson raised concerns about PFAS contamination at the Gold Coast Airport, he says he was told the levels were so low the water would be safe to drink. The plumber spent about 18 months wading through groundwater to lay pipes for a major airport extension, starting in 2016 and finishing in August last year.

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Thousands of Australians turning up to work on methamphetamines

Thousands of Australians are turning up to work under the influence of methamphetamines, according to a new report from South Australia's peak business lobby. SafeWork Laboratories forensic toxicologist Andrew Leibie - who worked on the report - said almost a quarter of a million Australians were high on ice at work "on any given day".

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Afternoon update: Richmond crane incident

Work to disassemble the crane damaged by high winds in Richmond is progressing, with the majority of the recovery tasks expected to be completed this afternoon. Favourable weather conditions allowed for construction experts to begin the task of removing the crane this morning, and the crane's jib and A-frame have successfully been taken down.

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Farmer dies in tractor incident near Mansfield

A farmer has died in an incident involving a tractor on a farm at Barjarg, near Mansfield yesterday. The 56-year-old man was working alone about 3pm when the incident took place.

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OHS charges laid over Carlton's Corkman Pub demolition

WorkSafe has charged the owner of the Corkman Irish Pub site in relation to the identification and treatment of asbestos at the 2016 demolition of the historic hotel. The sole proprietor of the Carlton site, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd, is charged with breaching Section 26 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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Precast wall panel failure

The purpose of this health and safety alert is to inform workers, employers, builders and designers of the risk of falling concrete elements attached to the perimeter of buildings under construction.

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New safety guide released for renewable energy electrical equipment

The Best Practice Guide: Battery Storage Equipment - Electrical Safety Requirements has been released to provide electrical safety guidelines for lithium-based battery storage equipment. It is the result of extensive collaboration between manufacturers, importers, safety regulators and other industry bodies.

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Workers foot amputated in screw conveyor

In July 2018, a worker was cleaning a decanter when he stepped back through an open grate into an operating screw conveyor, which amputated his foot just above his ankle. Also in July, a worker's arm was crushed when it became entangled in the chute of a ribbon mixer. Initial inquiries indicate that the machine guarding was inadequate to prevent a person coming into contact with the mixing blades.

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Driver fatally crushed by own truck

In June 2018, an owner/operator truck driver was reversing his single deck truck up to a loading ramp to load cattle used in a rodeo as part of the local annual show. It appears he placed the truck in reverse and began to idle backwards - the gearing of the truck in reverse was sufficiently low that it did not require the driver to have his foot on the accelerator. He then opened the door and stood on the running boards of the truck holding on to the steering wheel to manoeuvre the truck while looking backwards to where he was going.

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Workers hand crushed by mobile piling rig

In June 2018, a worker's hand was crushed when a mobile piling rig he was operating in crane mode rolled over. The operator was part of a team replacing a wooden railway bridge. Initial inquiries indicate that the piling rig was carrying a load across the tracks when it rolled over on to its side, squashing the cab and crushing his hand. Investigations are continuing.

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Musculoskeletal disorders symposium 2018

Join us on 8-9 November in Sydney at our Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) Symposium where we will share research and ideas about best-practice approaches to managing hazardous manual tasks and prevention of MSDs in the workplace

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Driving down deaths in construction industry

A new plan has been launched today to reduce deaths and accidents in the NSW construction industry. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said it was critical to get construction safety right, with $80 billion to be spent on NSW infrastructure over the next four years.

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Quad bike safety gets (virtual) reality check

Farmers will now be able to experience quad bike safety on a whole new level, with the NSW Government today unveiling an innovative virtual reality training experience. Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean will officially launch the program, which simulates a quad bike accident, at the NSW Farmers Conference in Sydney today.

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Safety taskforce to protect stone industry workers

A new safety taskforce has been established to protect workers in the manufactured stone industry from lung diseases. The Manufactured Stone Industry Taskforce has been convened by SafeWork NSW and comprises industry, peak bodies, medical professionals, unions and other government agencies including the Lung Foundation, Australian Industry Group and Unions NSW. The Taskforce will review safety standards and consider safety improvements to better protect workers from crystalline silica dust exposure which can lead to the lung disease silicosis.

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6 June 2018

Darwin bus drivers suffer 'battle fatigue' from passenger abuse, spitting, rock throwing

Getting spat on, pelted with rocks and even hospitalised has become all too routine for those on the frontline of Darwin's only public transport system. Earlier this month a bus driver resigned after a passenger spat in his face, which came as no surprise to his colleagues.

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Albury in shock as names of two workers dead after toxic gas leak revealed by police

It was a day like any other day for Ben Pascall and Lyndon Quinlivan. The two men went to work, as they usually would, at the Norske Skog mill near Albury in New South Wales. But they didn't come home that night. The two co-workers, both locals of the area, were carrying out routine maintenance at the plant on Thursday when they were overcome by fumes, thought to be deadly hydrogen sulphide gas.

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Worker dies in timber mill incident

A man in his 20s has died in a workplace incident at a timber mill at Benalla. It is believed the man died after becoming entangled on a conveyor belt about midday yesterday.

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Stone suppliers guilty after worker loses toes

A Brooklyn company has been fined $50,000 without conviction, and ordered to pay costs of $29,000, after a 182kg stone benchtop fell on a worker's foot, resulting in the loss of three toes. Baron Forge Contractors, trading as PazGroup, was found guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court of committing two offences against section 21 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

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Second company convicted after apprentice seriously burnt

A plumbing company has become the second business to be convicted and fined over an incident in which an apprentice was seriously burned when he made contact with powerlines. H&A Majestic Plumbing Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to one charge containing two contraventions of section 21(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 in that it failed to provide a workplace that was safe and without risks to health.

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Worker run over by forklift

In May 2018, a worker was struck and run over by a forklift in the loading bay of an industrial workplace on the Gold Coast. Initial inquiries indicate he was standing in the loading bay when the forklift reversed away after returning product to an outside rack. The forklift hit him, seriously injuring his leg and shoulder. Inquiries are continuing.

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Power line risk sparks innovation at Bishopp Billboards

Installing billboard signage can be a dangerous business, especially when working near overhead power lines. Sadly, there have been a number of incidents where billboard sign installers have been seriously injured by coming into contact with overhead power lines.

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Students to shine light on farm safety with calendar competition

Education and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has launched the 2019 farm safety calendar competition as part of Governing from Mackay this week, with students from Eton State School. Ms Grace said the competition, run by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, was a big hit with students in rural and regional Queensland.

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Worker crushed by hoist

In May 2018, a worker was pinned and crushed by a personnel and materials hoist on a multi-storey building project on the Gold Coast. He was working on the roof of Car 1 of the dual carriage hoist and was connected via a safety harness attached to Car 2. Our investigation to date indicates that Car 2 started automatically and as it moved up, he was lifted by his harness and pinned against a structural tie. The hoist operator then activated the emergency stop button bringing the hoist to a halt.

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When one time is one time too many: Serious safety breaches lead to fair dismissals

For the third time this year, the Fair Work Commission has upheld an employer's decision to dismiss an employee who was found to have breached a cardinal safety rule in the workplace. In each case, the breach of the relevant safety rule did not result in either incident or injury.

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Further primary producer Chain of Responsibility myths busted

The NHVR has released a second round of common questions raised by primary producers about changes to Chain of Responsibility laws. NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the information was gathered at a series of recent workshops for primary producers across Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria.

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22 May 2018

Flammable cladding fix on government buildings set to cost tens of millions of dollars

The Queensland Government is preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars to make dozens of government buildings safer, following its investigations into the use of flammable cladding. A year-long inquiry has found about 880 buildings need further investigation but at least 70 will require rectification work. The audit looked at the extent of combustible cladding in Queensland following the deadly Grenfell Tower disaster in London last year, in which dozens of people were killed.

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Delay in stab-proof vest rollout putting police officers' lives at risk: SA Opposition

The South Australian Government is putting the lives of police officers at risk by delaying the rollout of stab-proof vests, the Opposition says. Labor said it gave SA police $4 million in February - while it was in government - to buy stab-proof vests and tasers for all frontline police officers. Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas said the Government is now insisting on trialling the vests.

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SafeWork SA to face public inquiry after 'a number of complaints and reports' over five years

SafeWork SA has come under fire with confirmation of an evaluation into its practices, policies and procedures following several complaints against its integrity over the last five years.

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New safety plan launched to help protect NSW workers

Workers will be better protected thanks to a new safety plan that aims to reduce injuries and fatalities in the manufacturing sector, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said. Mr Kean said manufacturing is one of the state's highest risk industries, and employs more than 240,000 workers. "The manufacturing sector is one of the state's most significant industries, producing a wide range of goods and injecting thousands of vital jobs into the economy," Mr Kean said.

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Don't cut old drums

Flammable substances can still be present in old drums. Even if they have been cleaned and rinsed, the introduction of an ignition source can create a disastrous explosion. Cutting old drums isn't worth the risk - watch this video safety alert for more details.

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Forklift load handling

If you work with forklifts, watch this video for simple steps to handle loads safely.

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Trucking industry blasts underspending on rest stops, fears it will take major accident to spark change

South Australia's trucking industry has slammed a lack of funding for vehicle rest stops, saying it could take up to 50 years before there are enough stops to meet the Government's own standards. According to the SA Road Transport Association (SARTA), Federal Government requirements stipulate there must be an available rest station for truckies every 80 kilometres.

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Trucking company fined over 'preventable' deaths of Irish construction workers

A trucking company has been fined $160,000 over the deaths of two Irish workers who were crushed by falling concrete panels at an East Perth construction site. Axedale Holdings pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to ensure the safety of Gerry Bradley, 27, and Joe McDermott, 24, who died while working on an apartment development near the corner of Bennett and Goderich streets in November 2015.

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Uncontrolled movement of a concrete truck

In April 2018, a concrete truck was parked on a wet, sloping driveway at a private property in Buderim in readiness for a concrete pour. The operator placed rubber chocks under the front wheels and timber chocks under the rear wheels of the truck. The operator stopped the mixer from turning to commence the pour. It is believed this caused the truck to move and the chocks to begin sliding. The truck slid down the driveway, across the road, into another property (narrowly missing the house) and off a 1.5 metre retaining wall before rolling onto its side and stopping against a tree. There were no injuries and investigations are continuing.

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Update to lower limb surgery guidelines

WorkCover Queensland has updated guidelines for medical providers to use for lower limb surgery billing and requests. The lower limb surgery guidelines have been developed by WorkCover with the assistance of relevant stakeholders, doctors and medical associations.

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Farmer dies after being struck by trailer

A man in his 70s has died after being run over by a trailer at a property near Ouyen. It is believed the man was standing alongside the moving trailer, feeding hay to sheep when he was knocked to the ground about 9.30pm on Monday.

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Excavation collapse on apprentice leads to $80,000 fine

A construction company has been convicted and fined $80,000 after an excavation collapsed leaving a 17-year-old apprentice plumber with life-threatening injuries. Olive Construction Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court to one charge contrary to section 26 of the OHS Act for failing to provide a workplace that was safe and without risks to health.

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Builder, scaffold business fined more than $60,000

Two Melbourne companies have been convicted and ordered to pay a total of $62,000 in fines in relation to scaffolding at a Bentleigh East development site.

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7th May 2018

Workplace study unveils mega trends

A new study released by Safe Work Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Data61 group reveals that robots and automation generally will make work safer for future generations. The Workplace Safety Future report explores how six mega trends - ranging from advancing automation and the gig economy to rising screen time and an ageing workforce - will impact on work health and safety (WHS) and workers' compensation in the next two decades.

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Tree safety goes digital with new SafeWork NSW campaign

A targeted digital campaign to promote safe tree work has been launched by SafeWork NSW today. Over the next six weeks, the campaign will reach tree work industry businesses, workers, their families and friends through sites like Facebook, eBay and Gumtree. SafeWork NSW Acting Executive Director, Operations, Tony Williams said the campaign aimed to raise awareness about safety in an industry that suffered too many serious injuries.

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Who is responsible for safety in a gig economy?

Safety in the `gig economy' is again making headlines, with Unions NSW taking on Airtasker once more as a source of potential unsafe work practices. Last year, Unions NSW focused on Airtasker from an employment law perspective after raising concerns about potential misclassification and underpayment of workers sourced through the company's website.

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International day of mourning

On 28 April each year, countries around the world pause to remember loved ones who have lost their lives due to a workplace incident or occupational disease. The International Day of Mourning is a sad reminder to all of us to take a moment to think about the significance of work health and safety and how workplace incidents affect those around us.

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High pressure water spray on asbestos roof

In April 2018, a contractor used a high pressure water spray on a roof believed to be asbestos containing material (ACM) which he had been engaged to clean and repaint. ACM debris was distributed throughout part of the property and the neighbouring property. The site was made safe, including an area where run-off from the roof downpipes had resulted in ACM debris being deposited into the road guttering.

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The framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia

On 26 March 2018, the Senate referred the inquiry into the framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report by 20 September 2018.

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Housing sites on notice to reduce the risk of falls

WorkSafe inspectors are focusing on fall hazards in an effort to reduce the number of workers injured at housing construction sites. Since February 1 this year, 40 serious incidents involving falls at construction sites have been reported to WorkSafe.

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Fine for scalping incident increased to $150,000

A Shepparton fruit packing company has been convicted and fined $150,000 on appeal following an incident which left an employee with horrific scalping injuries. In January last year, WorkSafe charged Kalafatis Pty Ltd with failing to provide and maintain a safe plant, and one charge of failing to maintain a safe system of work.

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Ricegrowers Ltd fined $260,000 following maintenance worker's death

Agricultural processor Ricegrowers Ltd has been convicted and fined $260,000 following the death of a maintenance worker at a stock feed plant in Tongala. Ricegrowers pleaded guilty to one count of failing to provide or maintain plant that was, so far as reasonably practical, without risks to health and safety. The Melbourne County Court heard the 53-year-old man was performing maintenance on the inside of a surge bin at the time of the incident in September, 2014.

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SafeWork SA investigation into show ride death of Adelene Leong scrutinised by ICAC

South Australia's ICAC has launched an inquiry into the state's workplace safety watchdog, after it dropped charges over a fatal show ride accident that claimed the life of a young girl. Adelene Leong, 8, was on holidays from Malaysia when she was thrown from the Airmaxx 360 ride at the Royal Adelaide Show in September 2014. She later died in hospital.

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Mount Wellington cable car project on-hold as company instructed to stop preliminary works

The company seeking to build a cable car to the top of Mount Wellington has been told to stop all preliminary work and remove equipment, with the State Growth Minister announcing he is considering revoking the company's works authority because the project appears to have changed. The Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) was granted permission to start drilling and surveying on the mountain behind Hobart - which is also known by its Aboriginal name kunanyi - just days before the March state election was called.

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24th April 2018

49-year-old man faces serious fraud charges

WorkSafe has charged a Roxburgh Park man with dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by allegedly receiving more than $700,000 in unlawful workers compensation payments.

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Fall from edge protection system

In March 2018, a 19 year old worker sustained fracture injuries to both kneecaps, partially severed fingers on one hand and a severe laceration to his calf when he fell approximately three metres from a roof.

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Cable and connector voltage ratings for photovoltaic (PV) installations

Designers and installers of PV installations need to ensure cables and cable connectors being used in the PV installation will be operating within voltage ratings specified by the manufacturer.

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Q fever risks associated with birthing cats and dogs

Seven workers associated with an animal shelter recently acquired Q fever, a zoonotic disease of animals. This included animal attendants and veterinary staff. Two of the workers were hospitalised due to their illness.

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Worker fell through formwork void

In March 2018, a worker sustained serious spinal injuries as a result of falling approximately three metres through a void in formwork at a multi-storey construction site. Initial inquiries indicate the void was covered with fibrous cement sheeting which broke when the worker stood on it.

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How to identify suitable duties after a workplace injury

Returning to work safely as soon as possible after a work-related injury is the best outcome for an injured worker. Research has shown that `doing' promotes recovery as the worker is able to return to their normal life.

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NSW Government doubling down on quad bike safety

SafeWork NSW and the NSW Police are joining forces to help keep farmers as safe as possible at work on the farm, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.

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Falls through skylights and plastic roof sheeting

In March 2018, one worker died and two others received serious injuries, including fractures and spinal injuries, after falling through a skylight or plastic roof sheeting.

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Worker killed by explosion while welding

The incident happened whilst a worker was making a tractor counterweight by welding empty fuel drums to a steel frame. When the worker placed the welder to the top of a drum, there was an explosion, engulfing him. The fuel or ignition source hasn't been confirmed.

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Jacobson urges heavy vehicle drivers to Tell a mate

The NHVR has teamed up with one of Australia's best known TV and big screen personalities to talk heavy vehicle safety.

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14th April 2018

Quad bike safety under spotlight as ACCC calls for tougher safety regulations

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has become the latest in a series of regulatory bodies to propose major changes to improve the safety of quad bikes, saying the death and injury toll is too high.

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Yoga injuries land more people in hospital than ever before, study finds

The number of people with a yoga injury serious enough to send them to their local emergency department has increased by almost 80 per cent in just seven years, according to a new study.

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Worker dies after being struck by tractor attachment

A man in his 20s has died after being struck by a tractor attachment at a property at Carwarp, near Mildura.

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Man dies in farm truck rollover near Warragul

A worker in his early 30s has died after the fertiliser spreader truck he was driving rolled on a steep hill north-east of Warragul yesterday afternoon.

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Company fined $380,000 after Mt Waverley pit collapse

A structural engineering firm which drew up the plans for excavation works at a Mt Waverley construction site has been convicted and fined $380,000 after the pit collapsed, leaving homes teetering on the edge of a 10 metre drop.

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Second worker dies following Delacombe trench collapse

A second worker who was trapped in a trench collapse at a subdivision site at Delacombe, near Ballarat, has died in hospital.

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Company fined $350,000 after death of client's son

A Carrum Downs concreting contractor has been convicted and fined $350,000 after the son of a client died while using the company's earthmoving equipment.

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Inflatable water balls - electrical equipment near water

When inappropriate electrical equipment is used or placed near water, there is a greater risk of serious injury or death from an electric shock as water conducts electricity.

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Uncontrolled starting of amusement devices

A Wave swinger amusement ride unexpectedly started to rotate at high speed while patrons were getting off the ride.

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Excavated wall collapse

In February 2018, a worker's foot and ankle were injured when part of a three metre high near vertical excavation face collapsed. Excavation failures are particularly dangerous because they can happen quickly, giving no chance for workers or others in the vicinity to escape, especially if the collapse is extensive.

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9th March 2018

Charges laid over swim school injury

The Department of Education and Training and a private swim centre operator have each been charged by WorkSafe following an incident involving a Ballarat student in 2016.

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Company fined $500,000 after worker crushed

A Keysborough concrete pumping contractor has been convicted and fined $500,000 after the death of a worker who was struck by a large section of tubing.

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Workers injured by glass sheets

Three workers received severe lacerations when one of several large glass sheets in a racking system fell to the ground and shattered.

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SafeWork NSW launches forklift safety blitz

SafeWork NSW has launched a week-long forklift safety blitz after three workers were killed and more than 1,300 were injured in two years.

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Hot Work Safety Alert

This safety alert reminds people of the precautions required when carrying out hot work in the workplace, for example grinding, welding, oxy cutting or other processes which produce a flame or other ignition source.

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Mango grower fined $35,000 after workers suffer electric shock

A Gilbert River mango grower has been fined $35,000 for a 2015 incident where two of his pickers suffered an electrical shock.

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Bullying allegations at major WA ports described as 'toxic', probed by Worksafe

Worksafe is investigating the State Government authority in charge of three major Western Australian ports amid claims of a "toxic" culture of workplace bullying.

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Bakery admits fault after worker loses top of finger in crumpet machine

Tasmanian bakery Cripps NuBake has admitted fault after a trainee lost the top of a finger when it became trapped in a crumpet-making machine.

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Parents of drowned pearl diver Jarrod Hampton 'overwhelmed' by news of planned industry code

The parents of a young pearl diver who drowned off WA's coast say they are overwhelmed by the "monumental" news of a planned safety code to be tailored to the pearling industry.

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New Global Workplace Safety Standard

For workplace safety professionals, March 12 is a big date. On that date, the world will learn of a new global standard for safer workplaces that has been in development for five years and involved input from more than 75 countries across six continents.

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12th February 2018

NSW Fire and Rescue say research settles smoke alarm safety debate, critics disagree

Many of us feel safer knowing we've got smoke alarms installed in our homes, but how many people are aware of a raging - and disquieting - debate over their efficacy?

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Crane fails and sends 32-tonne concrete structure crashing

WorkSafe is making inquiries into a serious incident in which a precast concrete structure weighing 32 tonnes fell while being lifted by two cranes at a factory in Dandenong on Tuesday.

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Truck driver dies in Victoria's north east

A man in his 50s has died after the tip truck he was driving made contact with overhead powerlines on a dairy farm at Kergunyah, south of Albury Wodonga, on Tuesday evening.

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Car repairer fined $40,000 after crush injury

A Dandenong automotive repair centre has been convicted and fined $40,000 after a man was crushed when a car fell off an incorrectly operated hoist.

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Company fined $25,000 for unsafe scaffolding

A Ballarat construction company has been convicted and fined $25,000 for ignoring WorkSafe directions to fix unsafe scaffolding at a Mount Clear worksite.

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Two workers die inside agriculture tanker

In January 2018, two men were found dead in the bottom of a fibreglass tank on a trailer. The tanker/trailer is a purpose built tri-axle trailer built for the transport of dunder and molasses.

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Company fined $200,000 after death of employee in kiln explosion

An environmental services company has been fined $200,000 after pleading guilty in the Gladstone Magistrates Court today to breaching the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 following the death of worker Mark Chapelhow in 2015.

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Worker burned in pump room explosion

On 11 January 2018 a worker was seriously injured in an explosion at a waste treatment plant at the Townsville golf club.

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Property owner's $9,000 clean-up bill leads to asbestos safety warning

SafeWork NSW is urging homeowners to ensure they take the necessary safety precautions after the owner of a Sefton property was left with a $9,000 asbestos clean-up bill when an unlicensed handyman demolished a garage at his property.

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Always follow the manufacturer's directions

A recent NSW case has highlighted the significant penalties that will be imposed by a court if a business modifies equipment to purposely remove in-built safety features.

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Not what the doctor ordered: Responding to a Health Ombudsman complaint

Patients may make a complaint for a number of reasons, for example, the patient may be dissatisfied with a health service and want an apology for any distress caused, or may wish to improve the service for the public...

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30th January 2018

Worker fatally crushed by elevating work platform

In December 2017, a 22 year old worker was killed while operating a boom elevating work platform (EWP) on a construction site.

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Worker fatally crushed while unloading forklift from a trailer

In November 2017, a worker was killed when a forklift fell from the loading ramps of a flatbed trailer while it was being unloaded, crushing him.

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Automotive mechanic run over by vehicle

On 9 January 2018, a worker was run over by a vehicle while servicing it on sloping ground. Early investigations indicate the worker was underneath the vehicle while the driver was sitting in the cab with the engine running.

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Regulation of the labour hire industry in Queensland

Queensland will establish a mandatory labour hire licensing scheme from 16 April 2018 to protect labour hire workers and safeguard labour hire providers that are ethical and responsible.

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Department of Justice fined $300,000 over Ravenhall unrest

The Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation has been convicted and fined $300,000 for putting staff at risk in the lead-up to a riot at the Melbourne Remand Centre in 2015.

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Worker's foot amputated after being crushed by crane

A silo manufacturing company in Rochester has been fined $30,000 after a mobile crane ran over an employee's leg and crushed his foot, which later had to be amputated.

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Make Safety a Priority in the Shearing Shed: Safework NSW

SafeWork NSW has urged farmers and sheep shearers to review shearing shed safety following an incident in November 2017 where a 20-year-old female suffered serious head injuries at Gulargambone.

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Unpacking Glass Sheets

This safety alert reminds people who handle packs of glass sheets not to rely on the packaging to support the contents when the package is being lifted or opened.

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Sexual harassment isn't a women's issue: it's a workplace health and safety problem

The prevalence of sexual misconduct, assault and harassment in Australian workplaces warrants employers treating this as a serious health and safety hazard and responding accordingly.

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Summernats tears into Canberra after two major safety incidents in past year

The Summernats car festival has returned to Canberra for the first time since a man died after falling from the back of a ute and revellers were sprayed with burning fuel at a sister event.

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NSW Fire and Rescue say research settles smoke alarm safety debate, critics disagree

Many of us feel safer knowing we've got smoke alarms installed in our homes, but how many people are aware of a raging and disquieting debate over their efficacy?

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12th December 2017

Farm fatality rates show no signs of improvement, study shows

There are calls for more to be done to boost farm safety after a report found work-related death rates had not improved for more than a decade in New South Wales.

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Tip Top trucks deemed defective after inspections reveal safety issues

All Tip Top-owned bread delivery trucks at its western Sydney depot have been issued with defect notices after an inspection by road safety authorities.

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Ageing Tasmanian fire trucks putting lives at risk, union warns

Tasmanian firefighters are being let down by old equipment, including failing brakes on fire engines and issues with replacement hoses and uniforms, the union says.

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Work safety must improve on farms, industry leaders warn

More people working in agriculture die than in the construction and mining industries combined, data reveals, as industry leaders urge an improved focus on work safety.

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Cleaning company fined $30,000 after worker’s hand crushed

A commercial cleaning company has been convicted and fined $30,000 after a worker’s hand was crushed at a Cobram meat processing facility.

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One dead, one seriously injured at Leitchville

One man has died and another has sustained life threatening injuries in a workplace incident at Leitchville near Echuca.

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VicRoads and roadworks firm fined $1.55 million over worker’s death

VicRoads and roadworks firm Downer EDI have today been convicted and fined a total of $1.55 million over the 2011 death of a traffic controller.

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Multiple reckless conduct charges laid for 2016 Eagle Farm deaths

Nine complaints and summonses have been issued to four people and one business for their alleged involvement in the deaths of two workers at Eagle Farm Racecourse on 6 October 2016.

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