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DYS Issue 63 - October 2018


Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces is Common

Kate Jenkins, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, addressed the National Press Club on the 12 th of September about the results of the 2018 Sexual Harassment Survey.

“Our survey findings indicate that sexual harassment is endemic in Australian society, across all areas of daily life. When we look at the experience of Australians over the course of a lifetime: 85% of women and 57% of men have reported being sexually harassed on at least one occasion.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a common experience which has increased since our last survey in 2012. One in three workers in Australia reported being sexually harassed at work over the last 5 years, compared with one in five from our 2012 survey and one in ten in 2003. Half of us have experienced it or witnessed it.

To an increasing degree this is a young person’s problem. What is clear is that this conduct begins the moment people enter the workplace, and that harassers prey on those less powerful than them. One in five 15-17 year olds said they had been sexually harassed at work in the past five years. Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 were the most likely to be sexually harassed at work.” MORE

Report on Industrial Deaths in Australia Delayed

The framework surrounding the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia has been under inquiry by the Commonwealth Senate Committee, the Education and Employment References Committee, since the 20th March 2018. The Committee’s report was due on the 20th September but that has been extended and the report is now due on the 17th of October 2018. So we must wait a little longer to see if there are recommendations in this report which may eventually lead to changes in the WHS Act with a new offence included of industrial manslaughter.

Concerns About Lack of Protection Against Bullying

Alex Grayson, a principal employment lawyer who manages the Employment and Industrial Relations Practice at Maurice Blackburn is concerned that local government employees are unable to access the Fair Work Commission for a stop bullying order. She points out that there are gaps in protection against bullying for all local and state government employees that needs to be addressed by legislation. MORE and MORE

NSW in Third Place for Lowest Work-Related Injury Fatalities

Safe Work Australia has released their Work Related Injury Fatalities – Key WHS Statistics Australia 2018 on their website. Victoria has the lowest per capita rate at 1.1 per 100,000 workers. WA is second lowest at 1.5 per 100,000, and NSW is in third place at 1.6 per 100,000 workers for a total NSW number of fatalities in 2017 of 62 workers. MORE

October – The Benefits of Safe Work Month This article reviews the benefits of participating in National Safety Month in October and links to the resources and rewards available from Safe Work Australia and SafeWork NSW. MORE

Changes to the SIRA Training Requirement for Return to Work Coordinators This article provides a short review of the current arrangements for SIRA approved training for RTW Coordinators and SIRA’s plan to introduce SIRA online learning for RTW Coordinators. The change in the delivery of the training is due to take effect on the 1st of June 2019. MORE

What is a “Reasonably Foreseeable Hazard” Part 1 This article considers the meaning of “reasonably foreseeable” in the context of a PCBU’s legal obligation to identify “reasonably foreseeable hazards” and their associated risks. MORE

What is a “Reasonably Foreseeable Hazard”? Part 2 This article considers a number of actions that a PCBU could take to identify “reasonably foreseeable hazards” in their workplace as required by WHS Regulation 34. MORE

A WHS Risk List Here is a list that could help workers such as HSRs, Committee members, Managers and Supervisors, to identify WHS matters in their area of the workplace that may need attention. MORE



This publication provides general information about WHS. It is not a legal opinion and does not represent a comprehensive statement of the law to be applied to a particular problem.

Brought to you by Courtenell Pty Ltd, Work Health & Safety Training Specialists.

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