Australian employer groups are out for blood

For some reason several Australian newspapers on 16 February 2010 carried articles about the possibility of prosecuting the Federal Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, over recent deaths associated with an insulation rebate scheme, he launched and his Department administers. The employers are drawing a long bow to support their calls.  They are linking several related OHS … Continue reading “Australian employer groups are out for blood”

OHS debate is over, says Deputy PM

Deputy Prime minister and Workplace Relations Minister, Julia Gillard, has told the Australian Financial Review (only available online to subscribers) that the OHS law changes were finalised at the recent Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council. Gillard again rejected the trade union movement’s concerns about weakened worker protection.  The Minister emphasised that substantial economic benefits would flow to business as a … Continue reading “OHS debate is over, says Deputy PM”

New approaches on OHS fines and penalties

At the moment Australian OHS professionals, lawyers and businesses are preparing submissions to the Government on the harmonisation of OHS laws.  One of the areas that the Government is seeking advice on is penalties.  The Discussion Paper asks the following Q17. Are the range and levels of penalties proposed above appropriate, taking account of the levels set for breaches … Continue reading “New approaches on OHS fines and penalties”

Nice comparison on Directors’ complaints

In the Australian Financial Review in October 2009  there was an opinion piece (not available online) from the CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), John Colvin, expressing concerns about the accountability of directors under legislation including the proposed OHS laws in Australia. According to a report by Adam Schwab in the Crikey newsletter of 23 October 2009 (also … Continue reading “Nice comparison on Directors’ complaints”

National OHS Law Review – First Report released

The first report of the National OHS Law Review panel was presented to the Australian Government yesterday. The best initial assessment of the report can be found at a safety blog operated by Deacons law firm.  In that report by Michael Tooma and Alena Titterton, the following points are made: there should be a general … Continue reading “National OHS Law Review – First Report released”

Construction site deaths and union calls for manslaughter charges

Last weekend two Queensland workers fell 26 storeys from swing scaffolding to their deaths.  They were patching concrete on a building from a platform similar to those used by high-rise window cleaners. According to a 24 June 2008 ABC news report: “The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says the men were wearing harnesses …

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