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Tag Archives: Workplace Safety

Attempt to widen motel sex case decision dismissed

In a recent case concerning a tanker driver and his application for workers compensation, Justice Bromberg of the Federal Court of Australia rejected the employer’s interpretation of the much discussed ‘motel sex case’. Motel sex case revisited To understand the implication of this recent case, it is necessary to revisit the details of the famed…

Unfairly dismissed despite serious safety breach

In this case, an employee dismissed for a significant breach of safety procedure has been successful in his unfair dismissal application. Facts The employee was engaged by the employer on one of the country’s largest natural gas operations. The employee was appointed to the role of Acting Permit Coordinator in 2012.  He was subsequently terminated…

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…