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Category Archives: Workplace Health & Safety

Formal ‘stop bullying’ order made by FWC

The Fair Work Commission has handed down a rare ‘stop bullying’ order after a formal finding that two employees had been bullied. The employees of a small real estate business each made an application for an order to stop bullying. The employees alleged bullying conduct by a particular Property Manager, who was subsequently relocated to…

Unreasonable performance targets contribute to successful adverse action claim

The Fair Work Commission has recently found that an employer had taken adverse action against its employee when it unilaterally imposed unreasonable performance targets. The employee was employed by a real estate agency in a number of roles throughout her employment. In May 2014, the employee began what became a long health related absence, which…

The beard goes, or you go

The Fair Work Commission has dismissed an underground truck driver’s unfair dismissal application after his employment was dismissed following his refusal to shave off his beard. The employee had been employed by a major mining operator for 6 years and had worn the goatee and moustache since he was 19 years old. His employment was…

No damages due to noncompliance with manual handling training

A recent decision of the District Court of Queensland has found that where appropriate manual handling training had been provided to an employee and their injury arose from a failure to comply with that training, the employer or host employer will not be liable for that injury. In Tawera v BDS Recruit Pty Ltd &…

Drug taking employee’s unfair dismissal finding overturned

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has overturned a decision earlier this year to reinstate a ferry captain who was involved in an accident and was subsequently found to have consumed marijuana before commencing his shift. The employer had in place a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy and had terminated his employment.…

Employer duty to warn night-shift workers of driving risks

In Fraser v Burswood Resort (Management) Ltd, the employee worked as a croupier at the Burswood Casino.  The employee had finished her shift and about half an hour into her journey home, the employee lost control of her motor vehicle which rolled four or five times.  The employee was seriously injured and has ongoing disabilities.…

Principal contractor found liable for sub-contractors injured employee

A principal contractor has been found liable for injuries to one of its subcontractor’s employees after the principal contractor took over a higher level of responsibility for the safe systems of work to be undertaken by the subcontractor. The employee of the subcontractor was engaged to dismantle scaffolding and fell 8 metres onto a concrete…

Breach of cardinal safety rule justifies dismissal

In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission, it was confirmed that breaching a ‘cardinal’ safety rule was a valid reason for dismissing an employee. Interestingly, the employer did not actually rely on the employee’s breach of its safety rules as the reason for his dismissal. Instead it relied on the employee’s repeated dishonest…

Failure to respond to WHS risk costs employer $400k

The County Court of Victoria has imposed a $400,000 fine for a work related accident which resulted in the tragic death of a worker. Whilst investigations into the cause of the worker’s death were not conclusive, it was found that the worker slipped into a hole in a walkway that was left as a result…

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