Articles

Articles

Not Such an Excellent Decision

The contractor in the Arkwood matter has been fined a paltry $15 k for failing to ensure (and in fact proactively encouraging) an unqualified truck driver to operate a crane that struck overhead powerlines and seriously injured two workers. In addition, the contractor failed to comply with his own safe work method statement which emphasised

Read More »

An Excellent Decision

In the NSW District Court, a contractor has been found guilty and fined $600K for injuries sustained when labour hire workers were lifted to height in an excavator bucket. Apex Building Systems (Principal Contractor) hired an independent contractor, Greater Civil, to undertake demolition work. Labour hire workers to assist Greater Civil were supplied by Astute

Read More »

Getting The Right Advice!

See my latest podcast with Lawyers Weekly talking about the importance of getting the right advice about safety, and particularly contractor safety management. It was a lot of fun. Thanks for the opportunity.

Read More »

Kozarov – A Bit of A No Brainer

The High Court has confirmed that where a risk to health and safety is obvious and foreseeable an employer must take proactive steps to reduce that risk. Uh how is this news and why on earth was the case appealed by the employer (a State Government department) all the way to the High Court. It

Read More »

Occupational Violence in Customer Service

I am pretty sure banks do not consider occupational violence risks when they set up their processes to deal with customers on the phone. Customer service officers bear the brunt of customers being put on hold for extended periods of time, then being redirected or even being told to hang up and call another number.

Read More »

Alphabet Soup – The Murky Side of Safety

ust the sound of all the acronyms used in safety makes me need a lie down and a bex. JSA, SWMS, SOP, WI, AFARP, ALARP, HAZOP, ICAM…… Not only is the use of acronyms effective at shutting “non-safety” people out of safety, they are usually used so loosely and exchangeably that they lose all meaning.

Read More »

Categorizing Contractors. There is a Better Way.

I usually find contractor management systems attempt to categorise contractors by ht level of risk they pose to the organizations hiring them. Whilst it can be helpful to flag contractors whom you may wish to have a higher degree of involvement with in terms of consulting with them about how they are going to manage

Read More »

A Bit Chuffed…

For 5 weeks I will be delivering a lecture series on contractor safety management at Federation Uni in Ballarat Victoria. The course starts on 26 July 2022 and I am really excited to be a part of bringing the safety profession along in this largely misunderstood area of law and safety practice. Thanks for the

Read More »

Not Pulling Any Punches

Here are some pithy comments from a very well-respected legal colleague on a position articulated by someone who should know better: “It is entirely illogical (if not plainly idiotic) to suggest that on one hand a PCBU should be able to rely on the expertise of a contractor in relation to work which the PCBU

Read More »

Love to See You at the WHS Show 2022

On 25-26 May 2022, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre will host Australia’s biggest and brightest minds in health and safety for the Workplace Health & Safety Show 2022 (that includes me!). My session titled “Baiada 10 Years On” will look at what has changed in the contractor safety management space since this landmark case.

Read More »

A Fantastic Decision

Western Australian District Court Judge Troy Sweeney has confirmed the importance of clearly delineating the work of contractors and coordination of that work by a Principal Contractor and confirms that a Principal Contractor is not responsible for directing the methods of work of those contractors. The case is very very long but very very good

Read More »

FM Association Conference

To all my facilities management colleagues I am presenting at the FM Association Conference. Hope to see you there. Click here for more information Sue

Read More »

Be Warned – Meddle at Your Peril

In a recent case, two employers, a Principal Contractor and a Contractor, were fined after a worker was killed when operating a pile driver. Why was the Principal Contractor prosecuted and fined I ask? As usual, the Principal Contractor got themselves involved in the work methods of the contractor When pile driving the contractor’s worker

Read More »

Happy Friday

“The contention that a Principal Contractor is responsible for the methods of work employed by an independent contractor, including their management of safety in respect of that work is one of the greatest health and safety myths of all time. Sue Bottrell Lawyer/ Chartered OHS Professional

Read More »

Contractor Safety Management on Hazardous Sites

In a fantastic workshop yesterday in Melbourne, there was a great discussion about contractor safety at hazardous worksites. In line with case law, Principal Contractors at hazardous work sites are entitled to rely upon contractors to manage risks arising from their work, BUT must take greater care to confirm that contractors are aware of site

Read More »