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All OHS legal cases reported in the Daily Digest are stored in this cases archive. Case reports provide updates on key case law developments relating to OHS in the workplace.
The cases archive is fully searchable by keywords, industry and jurisdiction via the search facility.
Damages cases: back injury, exercise injury, more
Serious injuries may give rise to common law claims for damages. These four cases involving damages claims from three jurisdictions cover: Back injury — large damages award | Fitness instructor liable for injury to student | Care worker fails in damages claim | Medical panel acted appropriately.
Sick leave sacking: adverse action, reinstatement unlikely
Author Maria Karlsson-Lilas 5 December 2013
A 64-year-old manager who was dismissed shortly before the end of her employment contract (while she was on sick leave) brought an action against her employer, successfully arguing that the dismissal was adverse action. She was also seeking an injunction to delay the termination of her employment until the proceedings were finalised, but this was denied.
WHS prosecutions in NSW District Ct okay: Ct of Appeal
4 December 2013
The NSW Court of Appeal has confirmed that the District Court has jurisdiction to hear WHS prosecutions under NSW legislation.
Lessons on ineffective forklift policy, inadequate guarding
Author James Harkness 3 December 2013
The failure to enforce a policy for separating pedestrians from forklifts led to catastrophic injuries to a worker when he was crushed by a 1.7 tonne load. Meanwhile, another worker would not have suffered a serious arm injury had a dangerous machine been properly guarded — his employer should have assessed the risk of the plant jamming.
‘Not my job’: steelworker reinstated
Author Maria Karlsson-Lilas 2 December 2013
A steelworker dismissed for ignoring a gas alarm has been reinstated, with the Fair Work Commission ruling that the decision to dismiss him had been based on an inadequate investigation and involved inconsistent treatment of employees.
Fighting dismissal upheld, despite supervisor from hell
Author John Golden 29 November 2013
The dismissal of a worker who was provoked into fighting with an aggressive and intimidating supervisor, has been upheld (by 2:1) by a Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission.
Overwork aggravated heart disease, death compensable
Author James Harkness 29 November 2013
In a case that highlights the importance of preventing work–life imbalance, the three children of a worker who suffered a fatal heart attack after working excessive hours in a stressful job are each entitled to almost $150,000 in compensation from the employer.
Back injury from unsafe work — over $1m in damages
27 November 2013
A sawmill in the ACT that required an employee to carry out heavy physical work without instruction and with inadequate equipment, in breach of manual handling regulations, has been found liable for the employee’s back injury. A damages award of over one million dollars was made.