Category Archives: Workplace safety

Safety Breach Leads to $1M Fine

A Victorian business has been fined $1.130 million for failing to ensure employees wore hi-vis PPE. Tragically whilst working late at night in dark conditions, a worker was struck & killed by a forklift in 2015. The employer has since been found to have breached their safety duties.

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Business Fined $375,000 Over Death

A NSW business on the Mid North Coast was fined $375,000 over the death of a worker in 2015. The employer pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 32 of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act 2011 for failing to comply with its duty under Section 19 (1) of the act.

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Safety Regulators Crackdown

Did you know that certain state Safety Regulators are cracking down on safety for specific industries? Due to a recent series of serious injuries & fatalities, the industries in focus are Construction in NSW as well as Retail & Transport in WA.

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Machinery & Equipment Dangers

Employees who operate machinery & equipment as part of their job are at risk of major injury if the correct safety precautions are not taken. There are specific laws for working with machinery & equipment. Recent data from SafeWork NSW highlight risks.

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Business Fined $1M for Safety Breach

Do you understand your business’ safety obligations required for WHS compliance? If not, we hope this article might help encourage you to revisit this important aspect more closely. A NSW small business was recently fined a record $1 million for Work Health & Safety (WHS) offences. The NSW District Court found that WGA Pty Ltd had breached it’s safety obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 by exposing a sub-contractor to risk of death or serious injury.

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Mental Health

Mental health issues are the 3rd most frequent health condition after cancer & health disease.  This means supervisors are likely to be managing workers suffering from a mental illness. We have identified common mental health hazards & workplace risk mitigation strategies.

An increasing concern for many businesses are the risks of mental health related incidents, injuries and resulting workers compensation claims. We have covered this topic previously and with psychological claims being 7-8 times more expensive than physical injuries the impacts of being reactive is a risk too large for many businesses.

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Fall Related Incidents

Recently we have been involved with an increased number of fall related incidents. The injuries sustained, & the resulting workers compensation claims, can often be complex & costly. In addition to claim related costs, employers also face material fines for unsafe work sites.

After providing advice and support recently to various clients with workers having sustained injuries (5 metre + 10 metre falls to concrete and an employee falling down fire escape), we wanted to provide greater insights into fall related incidents.

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Construction Site Safety

construction-site-safetyConstruction related work is considered one of the more dangerous or high risk occupations. Heights, heavy and large equipment, complex machinery and unstable ground are just some examples of what workers face in undertaking their work. With the number of construction industry workers having grown by 33% over the last 11 years, site safety is increasingly important and front of mind for most businesses in this industry. No matter how well trained or careful workers claim to be, due to the nature of their jobs construction workers are constantly exposed to hazardous conditions and dangerous situations. To highlight Australia’s National Safe Work Month, here are 5 steps to assist in making construction sites safer.

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Australian Bullying Guidelines

Stopping Workplace BullyingIn Australia, all employers have a responsibility to prevent discrimination, harassment or bullying from occurring in the workplace and to make sure that their employees, and people who apply jobs with them, are treated fairly. Under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation, employers and employees are required to comply with practices and behaviour that promote health and safety in the workplace. Because of this responsibility, employers are required to minimise or if possible eliminate the risks to employees’ health and safety caused by workplace bullying. Safe Work Australia has recently updated two publications on workplace bullying to provide guidance and assistance for managers and workers on how to prevent, respond and deal with this issue.

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Occupational Violence

Occupational ViolenceOccupational violence is an incident where a worker is physically attacked in the workplace or during work related activities. It also extends to if a worker is threatened in a way that causes them to reasonably believe they are in danger of being physically attacked. With an ageing population, ensuring aged and other care workers are able to cope with the at times aggressive behaviour associated with some types of dementia or disabilities is an important issue for care providers. Recent data shows care workers represent more than 9 percent of NSW workers compensation claims with over 12,000 physical and mental claims made in the recent 3 year period. Addressing workplace bullying and violence be challenging yet SafeWork Australia provide recommendations.

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