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VICTORIA - Workplace Manslaughter Enshrined In Law

LAW PASSED LAST WEEK

COMPANY FINES OF UP TO $16.5 MILLION

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INDIVIDUALS IN JAIL FOR UP TO 20 YEARS

Under the new laws, which deliver on an election promise, employers who negligently cause a workplace death will face fines of up to $16.5 million and individuals will face up to 20 years in jail. The legislation will also apply when an employer’s negligent conduct causes the death of a member of the public.

The new laws will cover deaths caused by mental injuries, including trauma from bullying or other forms of abuse, sustained on the job as well as accidents and illnesses caused by unsafe workplaces.

Worker killed after tyre explosion

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In September, a truck driver was killed while inflating a tyre. Initial indications are the transport firm employee sustained fatal injuries when the tyre he was inflating exploded. Investigations continue.

Preventing a similar incident

Inflated tyres, particularly truck tyres, contain a large amount of stored energy. Tyres are designed to withstand this, but if they are damaged or have been used while flat (or significantly underinflated), they may fail. Tyre damage due to underinflation cannot always be detected by external inspection. If a tyre fails during inflation, the explosive force can be released resulting in a destructive air blast and the ejection of high-speed particles. If the wheel is not restrained, it can fly through the air. The rapid release of this explosive force from a ruptured tyre can result in serious injuries or even death.

Is your workplace safe?

There have been multiple workplace deaths in Victoria this year, resulting in families who are now missing a father, mother, brother or sister.. These deaths are the reason WorkSafe inspectors are out in force - because one death in a workplace is one too many.

Keeping your employees safe is your job. Making sure you do it, is ours.

It is our job to enforce the law and help keep workplaces and employees safe. From construction sites to retail outlets, our Inspectors are visiting more workplaces to make sure every Victorian employee is safe.

More Inspectors. More inspections.

With more Inspectors out there, if you're running an unsafe workplace, you will be caught.

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Learn more about your obligations and find practical ways to reduce health and safety risks in your workplace.

Wood-chipper fatality

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A group of workers were felling branches and vegetation at a school in Lindfield NSW. A male worker was feeding the branches into a wood-chipper when he was pulled into the machine, sustaining fatal injuries.

SafeWork NSW inspectors responded to the incident, attended the site.and have commenced an investigation to determine the cause and circumstances of the incident.

You must consider ‘reasonably practicable’ control measures to manage the risk of tree trimming and removal work. Control measures that may prevent a similar incident include:

  • Conducting pre-start checks, to ensure equipment and systems are working correctly.

  • Making sure nothing is entangled in material before it’s fed into the wood chipper.

  • Keeping unnecessary ropes away from the work area.

  • Ensuring emergency stops and control bar are functioning properly.

  • Operating the wood chipper according to manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Ensuring teams consist of at least two competent workers, who have been given specific training on the individual machine being used

  • Feeding branches off the centre line. Where reasonably practicable, the operator feeding the branches into the wood chipper should do so from the side.

  • Using a ‘push-stick’ at least 1.5 metres long, to feed shorter material into the machine.

  • Stopping the rollers before reaching into the chute.

  • Making sure the wood-chipper is never left unattended while operating.