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Are you getting the best advice when it comes to health and safety compliance?

When we deliver legal briefings, both in Australia and internationally, top-of-mind for Boards and Senior Executives is the health, safety and welfare of people affected by their operations. This is how it should be – so everyone breathe a collective sigh of relief (insert sigh).
When it comes to seeking commercially sound legal advice on these issues – whose advice should you be seeking? Continue Reading A word of advice, on advice

PokemonOur colleagues in the US recently published an article on Pokémon GO, Nintendo’s augmented reality game involving scrambling around real-world locations to ‘catch’ virtual beasts with your smart phone. (There’s a sentence I’ll never write again!).

The article explains that, despite the game’s popularity, employers have cause for concern in relation to data and security and workplace safety.

Pokémon GO is similarly taking our fair shores by storm. It seems all too easy to poke fun at this new gaming mobile app. However, as the article highlights, if employees are out to ‘catch ‘em all’, employers could very well find themselves caught in a nasty game of software security, privacy and workplace safety issues.

Anime (see what I did there?), that’s enough from me.

I hope you enjoy the read – Pokémon NO: New app creates risks for employers

LuggageA takeover of one business by another can be a lot like a visit from your mother-in-law.

On Mother’s Day, we enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of bubbles with our mums in recognition of all their hard work and sacrifice. We give thanks for the tips, advice, guidance and life-long lessons only they can proffer. I recall with great fondness my Mum’s unwavering enthusiasm during the tears, tantrums and pre-stage jitters of my jazz-ballet/hip/funk/tap performances. For Mum, an exhaustive commitment of pick-ups and drop-offs, elaborate hair do’s, dress rehearsals and toe-tapping her way through yet another Robert Palmer tribute. Every time, through the haze of Cedel Hairspray Extra Firm, there was my Mum.  Continue Reading Mum’s the word on safety during takeovers

Getting access to a service provider can be like a game of snakes and laddersPhone.

A colleague in our office has been trying to update her new bank details with a service provider. Her attempts to provide that information and resolve the issue have been challenging to say the least.

Interactions included numerous unsuccessful calls to their customer service line, navigating through complex main menu options, voice recognition failings, and the final assault, enduring the repetitive melody of some 16th century/German-born composer during lengthy wait times. Continue Reading Are your HSE reporting processes a game of snakes and ladders?

15 Australian workers have been killed so far in 2016, and based on statistics below, an additional 175 people may die in work related incidents this year.

Workplace fatality stats

Whilst many organisations properly devote vast resources and time to managing health and safety, and have processes in place to respond in a time of crisis, many don’t have a plan for managing the people issues during a crisis. Continue Reading Confronting the confronting questions

Seyfarth Shaw is excited to announce that Jane Hall has joined the firm as a partner from Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Jane is one of the country’s leading health and safety lawyers, with almost 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors.

Jane has extensive experience in both litigation and advisory work and has been involved in numerous investigations, coronial inquests and prosecutions. Jane’s experience working in-house in legal and operational roles, including as a senior executive for a safety regulator, have provided her with a unique understanding of clients’ needs in a crisis.

“We are excited about the expertise and profile that Jane will bring to the firm, further enhancing our reputation for high stakes litigation and advisory work for leading employers”, said Australia Managing Partner, Darren Perry. “Jane’s knowledge and experience in workplace health and safety is a natural fit for our firm as we continue to focus on responding to the complex workplace law needs of our Australian and international clients.”

Jane will continue to service clients from Melbourne and will work closely with Paul Cutrone who joined Seyfarth Shaw last year.

The NSW work health and safety regulator has brought a successful prosecution against a company director resulting in a criminal conviction and fines against the director and the company. An order was also made requiring the director to pay the costs of the prosecution. It appears that this is the first such successful prosecution under the harmonised Federal safety legislation in NSW. However, the fines imposed in this case ($15,000 against the director and $150,000 against the company) were low given the specific circumstances of the case. Continue Reading Director prosecution and conviction in New South Wales

Bullying behaviour comes in all shapes and sizes.  Identifying and deciding how to respond to diverse bullying behaviour by a worker (or workers) can create challenges for employers.

Recent headlines have cautioned that unfriending on Facebook could be considered bullying. That this seemingly innocuous action has been elevated to “bullying” has been the subject of many concerned water-cooler discussions since hitting the mainstream press. Continue Reading Death threats and unfriending – what is bullying?

We recently attended the Health, Safety, Environment and Community Conference convened by the NSW Minerals Council. The Conference drew together participants from across the mining industry in NSW to look at what miners are facing and how they are dealing with the challenges. Continue Reading The latest challenges in health and safety in the mining industry