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.
A major government employer has successfully stayed two WHS improvement notices aimed at its violence prevention processes, with a commission finding the notices could be overturned, and having to comply with them in the meantime would not be fair on the employer.
An employer has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million in damages to a worker with white finger syndrome, for allowing him to operate machinery with dangerous vibration levels for far more hours per shift than advised by engineers and safety guidelines.
An employer is not liable for a worker being urinated on by an intoxicated colleague, but companies do have a safety duty to protect personnel from "unpleasant" interactions in accommodation facilities, a superior court has found.
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.
Australia's WHS ministers have agreed to amend the model WHS Regulations to prescribe control measures for psychological risks, and significantly increase safety penalties, but proposed industrial manslaughter laws were voted down at their meeting yesterday.