Workplace safety laws and safety-bonus schemes are likely to be overhauled, with an inquiry into a methane explosion, which seriously injured five workers, finding a major company's gas control measures couldn't cope with its high production levels, and should have been subjected to greater scrutiny from the regulator.
Employers have been reminded of the carcinogenicity of welding fumes and their duty to keep on top of the latest health and safety developments, with a WHS regulator releasing details of a project examining fume exposure levels and control measures.
Tighter workplace exposure thresholds and product bans are needed to curb Australia's growing silicosis rate, according to the ACTU. Meanwhile, workplaces are being urged to address parking locations in their safety plans, after a worker was killed by a light vehicle.
Australia's first WHS Code of Practice on eliminating and minimising psychosocial risks has taken effect in NSW, and will, according to the State Government, remove the "guesswork" from tackling the issue. NSW has also launched its work safety awards for 2021.
One of the first unfair dismissal cases involving a worker's refusal to have a flu vaccination has been decided in an employer's favour, with the Fair Work Commission finding the employer's pandemic-inspired mandatory vaccine policy is lawful and reasonable.
A PCBU has been fined $240,000 for its "reckless" approach to dust control over a period of nearly seven years, which appears to have resulted in at least four workers developing the deadly lung disease silicosis.
A safety regulator has urged employers to review their operations to identify all "potential" confined spaces, and share a video produced in response to a double confined-space fatality, a record WHS fine and a court order.
A narrated video presentation tendered in the NSW District Court outlining a wide range of improvements to safety procedures has helped a PCBU reduce its WHS penalty, in relation to an 18-year-old employee passing out in a confined space.