OHS Regulator News

Victorian news
Joint inspection blitz
A joint inspection blitz by WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW will focus on keeping young workers safe and reducing potentially deadly falls at work sites in the Albury Wodonga region. Inspectors are this week visiting construction sites as part of the Cross Border Construction Program to help keep them injury free.

WorkSafe says that construction is one of the most dangerous industries for young workers in Victoria. Two workers aged 15-24 were killed on Victorian building sites last year, meanwhile 3766 construction workers across all age groups were injured. Falls remain a leading cause of serious injury and death for construction workers of all ages, with five workers dying as a result of falls on construction sites in the past two years. Read more: WorkSafe media release

Tasmania: Australian-first PTSD legislation introduced
The Tasmanian Government has introduced a Bill providing presumptive compensation to all public sector workers with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder), and says it will consider extending the presumption to more occupational groups, and the laws will reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions. 
If passed, the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Presumption as to Cause of Disease) Bill 2019 [pdf] will introduce a rebuttable presumption that PTSD suffered by a relevant worker is work-related for workers' comp purposes.

Relevant workers include those employed by the Crown or appointed under a Tasmanian Act, and workers employed by a Government business enterprise or State-owned company within the meaning of the Government Business Enterprises Act 1995.  This definition covers volunteers engaged in firefighting, ambulance, police or emergency management operations, State Building and Construction Minister Sarah Courtney told Parliament.  Source: OHS Alert 

QLD: first independent WHS prosecutor appointed
The Queensland Government has appointed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions' former assistant director, Aaron Guilfoyle, as the State's first independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor – a role recommended to improve public confidence in the WHS prosecution system. He will head the new statutory Office of the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, which will focus on WHS and electrical safety prosecutions, and provide related legal advice to government, State Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said in announcing the appointment.  She said establishing the independent role was a key recommendation of Tim Lyons' 2017 best practice review of Queensland's WHS regime, which was prompted by the multiple fatalities at the Dreamworld amusement park and Eagle Farm Racecourse construction site in October 2016.  Read more: Minister Grace's media release Source: OHS Alert

Safe Work Australia news
Fatality statistics
As of 21 March, 30 fatalities had been notified to Safe Work Australia. This is nine more than the last update on 28 February. Five of those killed worked in Transport, postal and warehousing. The workers killed have come from the following industries:

  • 10  Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 10 Transport, postal & warehousing
  • 4 Construction
  • 2 Public Administration & safety
  • 2 Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 Mining

To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage and in particular, here.

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