Objection to WPH&S Prohibition Notice
The owner of a pastoral holding was issued a Prohibition Notice by Workplace Health and Safety requiring motor bike riders performing mustering duties to wear helmets. The Department of Workplace Health and Safety issued the notice following the death of one of the employees during a mustering exercise on a motorbike. The employee did not wear a helmet. The Grazier believed that this was an unfair and unnecessary imposition on work practices of a cattle station.
A notice of appeal was lodged with WPH&S. The grounds of appeal included:
There was no investigation into whether the use of a helmet would have made any difference.
The issue of the notice was made on personal assumptions and not on any scientific medical or engineering evidence to support the belief.
Substantial evidence was secured to the effect that wearing a helmet whilst on mustering duties creates a further set of dangers: dust and debris is trapped inside a helmet affecting concentration and vision and hearing are impaired. Heat builds up accelerating fatigue.
There was no particular directive from WPH&S requiring the use of helmets on private properties where mustering occurs.
The dynamic landscape is far different in the open paddock then it is on the open road with traffic.
The prohibition notice was rescinded.