Employers are not required by workplace health and safety laws to "hold the hand" of experienced workers, but must take steps to ensure they have the skills to spot risks and select safe work methods, a court has found in upholding a worker's damages claim.
In a rare category-3 WHS case, a PCBU and its director have been convicted and fined after a balustrade at their site was removed by an unknown person, resulting in a worker sustaining serious fall injuries.
One of four entities charged over the death of a 17-year-old worker, in a 12-metre fall, has been fined $320,000, after a court heard its fall-prevention strategy required personnel to disconnect their harnesses when moving from one high area to another.
A PCBU contending it did not "permit" workers to carry out a task unsafely has been found guilty of WHS offences, after its failure to add a verbal safety instruction to a safe work method statement led to a fatality.
The High Court has rejected a regulator's bid to appeal against a ruling allowing an injured worker to "combine" his impairments, and dismissed a PCBU's challenge of its $400,000 fatality fine and conviction.
As more workplaces reopen under easing COVID-19 restrictions, employers have been warned to proactively tackle all hazards, and reminded of "mangle", shock" and "sever" risks. Meanwhile, a regulator has urged employers to get rid of their forklifts, where reasonably practicable, following two recent fatalities.
A PCBU and a supervisor it engaged to act on its behalf have been fined heavily for permitting work to be performed at a site before crucial safety measures were in place - a failing that resulted in a teenager sustaining serious injuries in a fall.