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Thursday 25th March 2021

Mar 25th 2021

Thursday 25th March 2021

NSW flood effect residents exempt from waste levy.

Areas across New South Wales (NSW) have been declared Natural Disaster Areas due to floodwaters.

The NSW Government has announced the waste levy fee will be waived for residents disposing of flood generated waste.

"First the drought, then the fires, a global pandemic and now floods – our communities have been devastated by unprecedented, consecutive challenges, and we must do everything we can to support our citizens," said Environment Minister Matt Kean.

The exemption applies from 10 March 2021 through to 30 June 2021. Residents in the 34 declared natural disaster areas can dispose of all building materials, furniture, and any other flood generated waste on both private and public land.

Read the full media release on the EPA NSW website

Jumping castle business fined after avoidable fire.

A Gold Coast-based jumping castle rental company was recently found guilty of an offence against section 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the 'Act'). It was alleged the company failed to meet its primary safety duty, exposing workers to a risk of serious injury or death.

The jumping castle rental business employed casual workers to drop off, set up and collect the amusement devices. Trucks were used to deliver the castles; to inflate them, either a mains power source or a generator was used, depending on the location.

To begin their shifts, the workers would collect a truck along with a 'run sheet' containing details of the day's deliveries or pick-ups. Supervisors pre-packed these trucks; the workers did not check them prior to their shift.

A buddy system, where a less experienced worker would be paired with a more experienced worker for a day or so, was the company's training method. There was no formal safety training in place or specific guidance into the use or transportation of generators.

In February 2018, three casual workers who the company had employed for six months or less were delivering their last jumping castle for the day. Upon arriving at the location, the workers opened the truck's back doors and noticed petrol fumes. On inspection, the generator had overturned due to not being secured, causing a puddle of petrol on the truck's floor.

Two of the workers entered the truck to clean up the spill. While retrieving the generator, the workers noticed a battery hanging off the side by a wire. One worker attempted to put the battery back in place when the wires sparked, and an explosion occurred. Two men suffered significant burn injuries.

The company hadn't fitted the truck with fire safety equipment. After the Queensland Police Service examined the fire scene, expert evidence stated the generator should've been secured while being transported.

The company was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay professional and court costs of over $4,000.

The complete court report can be found on the OWHSP QLD website

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