Table 30: Notifiable incidents notified to Comcare under section 38 of the WHS Act
|Type of notifiable incidents||2013–14||2014–15||2015–16||2016–17|
|Total notifiable incidents||1797||1560||1408||1354|
|Assessed as worker fatalities||8||9||14*||15|
|Serious injury or illness||579||524||523||539|
*Investigation results confirmed two incidents did not meet the requirements for notifiable incidents reducing the 2015–16 result from 14 to 12.
Table 31: Number of investigations and inspections commenced
*Activities counted under the label ‘Investigations/inspections’ include liaison inspections, compliance inspections, verifications, stakeholder engagements and information and advice.
Note: In July 2016, Comcare introduced a Compliance and Enforcement Policy (C&E Policy) that realigned its approach to delivering regulatory services. On 1 April 2017, Comcare implemented business process changes that align regulatory operations with the C&E Policy.
Table 32: Number of notices and directions under the WHS Act
|Notices issued under section 1918||26||8||18||8|
|Notices issued under section 1959||15||6||8||9|
|Notices under section 19810||8||1||2||14|
During 2016–17, Comcare made eight seizures under section 175 or 176 of the WHS Act.
During 2016–17, Comcare took no remedial action under sections 211 or 212 of the WHS Act.
During 2016–17, Comcare did not accept any written WHS Undertakings under section 216 of the WHS Act.
During 2016–17, three applications for internal review under section 224 of the WHS Act were received by Comcare. No applications for external review under section 229 of the WHS Act were received
During 2016–17, Comcare did not issue any infringement notices under section 243 of the WHS Act. The WHS Regulations do not currently prescribe any provision of the WHS Act that is enforceable by infringement notice.
In 2016–17, Comcare concluded two and commenced one criminal proceeding under the WHS Act.
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions v John Holland Pty Ltd (AMC-15-8243)—completed
On 29 May 2017, the Magistrates Court of South Australia in Adelaide imposed an aggregate penalty of $281,250 plus court costs against John Holland Pty Ltd in a criminal prosecution for three offences under section 32 of the WHS Act. The proceedings related to an incident on 26 July 2013 at the Urban Superway Precast yard (part of the Urban Superway project at South Road, Angle Park, South Australia) where a portal crane collided with an occupied elevated work platform.
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions v Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd (DCCRM-16-2405)—completed
On 19 April 2017, the District Court of South Australia imposed a penalty of $650,000 against Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd (Cleanaway) in relation to one offence against section 32 of the WHS Act arising from a flashfire/chemical burns incident. The proceedings related to an incident which occurred at Cleanaway’s Wingfield solvent distillation plant on 25 July 2013, where a flash fire emerged from a chemical distillation still during the process of distilling a new chemical product.
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions v Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd
On 15 August 2016, criminal proceedings were commenced in the Magistrates’ Court of South Australia in Adelaide against Cleanaway Operations Pty Ltd (Cleanaway) for offences against section 32 of the WHS Act. The proceedings relate to a crash involving a Cleanaway sewage tanker on Adelaide’s South Eastern Freeway on 18 August 2014.
8 Issue of improvement notice.
9 Issue of prohibition notice.
10 Issue of non-disturbance notice.