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Australians dedicated to safety have been awarded Australia Day honours for 2016.

Recognised for his work in the petroleum transport industry through emergency response safety training, as well as service to the community of Yass, Brian Joseph O’Connor from New South Wales has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia.

In Queensland, Mark Andrew Brimble has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community through the promotion of safety for cruise line passengers.

For his work in occupational health science and service to professional associations and tertiary education, Dr Barry James Chesson of Western Australia has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia.

In Victoria, Margaret Catharine Darton has been awarded the Public Service Medal for service through contributions to state and national food policy and safety regulation, as well as to dairy food research and strategic development and investment.

Other honours for safety and various achievements have also been bestowed.

For more details, visit the Australia Day Honours

Published on 28 January 2016 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today

02 Oct 2015

New safety Minister appointed

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A new Federal Minister responsible for work health and safety has been appointed this week.

Senator Michaelia Cash was appointed as the Employment Minister following the recent change in the Australian Prime Ministership and subsequent Federal Cabinet reshuffle.

Senator Cash replaces Eric Abetz, who had held the portfolio since the election of the Coalition in 2013.

Before stepping into the Employment portfolio, Senator Cash was the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

In addition to Employment, she has also been appointed to the reinstated portfolio of Minister for Women, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.

Before entering parliament, Senator Cash worked as a Senior Associate for law firm Freehills from 1999 to 2008. She holds an Honours Degree in Law from the University of London and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the University of Western Australia.

For more details, visit the Parliament of Australia

Published on 24 September 2015 in the NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin enewsletter – available free every fortnight direct to your email. Subscribe online today.

An ACT company director has become the first officer of a corporation charged under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

The charges follow an incident in which a truck driver died from an electric shock in 2012, says a Norton Rose Fulbright report.

The director has been charged under the ACT WHS Act for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure Kenoss Contractors complied with its WHS duties and failing to comply with his health and safety duty, the report says. He faces a potential maximum penalty of $300,000.

Although he has been charged in connection with Kenoss Contractors, the accused was not a director of this company, but a director of a related company, the report adds.

The case goes to trial in December. The director has already pleaded not guilty in an earlier mention of the case last week.

Kenoss Contractors has also been charged with breaching the ACT WHS Act in connection with the same incident. However, the company has gone into liquidation and the court will need to determine if the prosecution can go ahead, the report noted.

Since this report, the court has decided the prosecution of the liquidated company can proceed. The case will be heard at the same time as the director’s case, according to The Canberra Times.

The corporation faces a potential maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

For more details, visit Norton Rose Fulbright.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Queensland health and safety representatives are being stripped of their power to direct workers to stop unsafe work.

The power downgrade is among a raft of changes in the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, which was introduced into the Queensland Parliament earlier this month.

As previously reported in the e-bulletin, the Queensland Government has been planning these changes for some time.

Late last year the ACTU criticised the proposal to remove the health and safety representatives’ powers.

“Expecting workers to individually speak up about their safety concerns will ultimately mean that many will not speak up or could lose their job if they do,” ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick said at the time.

Another controversial proposal included in the bill is for unions to give between 24 hours’ and 14 days’ notice before entering a workplace to investigate suspected WHS breaches.

This move was also criticised by the ACTU in late 2013. “Forcing unions to give 24 hours’ notice before visiting a workplace where suspected safety [breaches] are occurring would take pressure off employers to ensure workplaces are always safe,” Borowick said at the time.

The bill also allows for codes of practice adopted in Queensland to be approved, changed or revoked without needing national consultation, as currently required under the Queensland WHS laws.

For more details, visit the changes to the laws.

Published on 27 February 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

An investigation is underway into the first work-related death reported in South Australia (SA) for 2014.

An Anglicare worker died at work on 6 January. SafeWork SA is conducting the investigation into the incident.

SafeWork SA executive director Bryan Russell described the incident as a “tragedy for the woman, her family and her co-workers and clients”.

“This is unfortunately the first workplace fatality in 2014. One fatality is one too many,” Russell said.

Meanwhile, a number of new work health and safety regulations took effect in SA on 1 January.

Some of these regulations include establishing safe work method statements for high-risk construction, having management plans for dealing with naturally occurring asbestos, and implementing new competencies for diving work, including qualifications and a dive plan.

For more details visit SafeWork SA.

Published on 16 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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