A commission has rejected a worker's claim that his employer discriminated against him when it sacked him for scratching a rash-prone area under his shorts, finding there was no evidence, from an employment medical assessment or otherwise, that he had a skin condition at the time.
Employers will be required to prepare a "silica hazard control statement" and obtain a special licence under proposed Victorian regulations affecting four sectors and 24 sub-industries. Meanwhile, tighter workplace exposure thresholds, including for diesel emissions, take effect in NSW next week.
In this major report, OHS Alert examines all the must-know work health and safety, workers' compensation and work-related COVID-19 developments from the fourth quarter of 2020, with highlights including a series of important legislative changes and near-record WHS fines.
An employer has failed in its bid to stay a WHS improvement notice, by claiming a safety inspector's limited enquires led to him relying on outdated documentation and proposing remedial measures that "were incapable of being complied with".
A timely study, given the need to deep clean workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, has re-emphasised the strong link between occupational disinfectant use and developing asthma. Meanwhile, researchers have warned of overlooked risks faced by workers handling fruit and vegetables.
A worker has been permitted to pursue a claim that her employer unfairly dismissed her by placing her on indefinite unpaid leave for declining to receive a flu vaccination, which the employer mandated for the COVID-19 pandemic.