An employer's WHS duties to the operators of heavy vehicles, and the members of the public they encounter, go far beyond ensuring drivers are properly licensed, a recent superior court case involving a double fatality and a dozen WHS charges has shown.
Comcare's revised claims management approach has been "remarkably successful" in cutting the number of claims that go to the AAT for resolution, with matters on foot in the Tribunal dropping from more than 1,100 in 2017 to just 300 now, Comcare's acting CEO Aaron Hughes has told the Comcare National Conference.
WHS managers should think more about building adaptive resilience in their safety systems, rather than continually writing new rules that have little impact on improving frontline safety, according to global safety expert Professor Sidney Dekker.
If there is one silver lining from dealing with COVID-19, floods and fires over the past few years, it's that workers and others are now more willing to accept that their mental health can be affected and reach out for help, National Mental Health Commission CEO, Christine Morgan, has told the Comcare National Conference.
The national model Work Health and Safety Act, Regulations and related materials have been amended to reflect a wide range of recommendations from Marie Boland's independent review of the laws. Some states have already adopted some of the changes, while other jurisdictions are likely to follow suit soon.
Companies and officers accused of WHS breaches could bear the onus of proving they took all reasonably practicable steps to prevent an incident occurring, while the offence of industrial manslaughter will be added to the national model WHS Act, with Labor taking power in the Federal election on the weekend.
John Holland Pty Ltd has been granted permission to enter a $1.2 million enforceable undertaking in lieu of prosecution over a worker's seven-metre fall through a hole on a major infrastructure project, and will develop a freely available virtual reality app for identifying height risks.