Work Health & Safety

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Roberts Legal has an expert team headed by Jeremy Kennedy who is a nationally regarded and awarded practitioner who can assist your business in dealing with the entire gamut of workplace related matters.

Our team are considered leading experts in Workplace Health & Safety Law and assist in serious incident management, regulator investigations and prosecutions throughout Australia.

We are available 24/7 to meet your needs and provide timely and practical strategy and assistance in managing your workplace issues.

Roberts Legal works with businesses and their officers to manage work health & safety (WHS) issues from serious and catastrophic incidents to legislative and regulation compliance audits.

Our team knows the importance of comprehensive systems to ensure that businesses & officers are meeting their WHS obligations and are leading edge and strategic in their approach to providing the best outcomes and legal protections for their clients.

From developing tailored systems to providing a rapid and thorough response following an incident, Roberts Legal’s team are considered almost the most experienced and sort after safety lawyers in Australia.

Click here to find out more about how we can help.

Experience

Mining Industry

Yancoal Ltd (Ashton Coal)

Acted on behalf of Ashton Coal and Yancoal and the companies Directors/ Officers in relation to a high-pressure drilling incident involving a third-party contractor’s employee who was severely injured. This included a two (2) year investigation by the Department of Mines. The matter involved attending interviews of some 25 witnesses and responding to extensive formal notices for documents and information. Jeremy Kennedy undertook an Internal ICAM Investigation on behalf of Yancoal / Ashton including obtaining expert evidence which proved to be exculpatory and following extensive submissions to the Department resulted in no prosecution of Yancoal / Ashton or their directors and officers. The contractor company and its officers were successfully prosecuted.

Idemitsu Coal Ltd (Boggabri Coal)

Acted on behalf of Boggabri Coal in relation to response to an investigation by the Department of Mines with respect to a fatality involving a third-party contractor’s employee who was killed in an incident involving an elevated lift platform (ELP). The outcome involved no prosecution against Idemitsu/ Boggabri Coal as the PCBU / mine operator.

Hunter Quarries Pty Ltd

Acted on behalf of Hunter Quarries and its officers and directors in relation to a fatality at Hunter Quarries at Karuah involving an excavator operator who rolled an excavator down the wall of the quarry sustaining fatal crush injuries. The matter involved significant negotiations with and management of regulators and investigators from three (3) separate entities including the NSW Police on behalf of the Coroner, the Department of Mines (up to seven (7) inspectors) and SafeWork NSW. Successfully negotiated outcome for access to recover the body and initial response around the clock for 24 hours/seven (7) days.

Lake Coal Pty Ltd / Chain Valley Mine / LD Operations Pty Ltd

Acted on behalf of the mine operator and related entities and officers in the Department of Mine’s investigation and prosecution against multiple entities following an underground fatality involving a large slab of coal falling upon an operator. The matter involved a two (2) year investigation and 45 records of interview and formal responses to over 35 formal notices from the regulator and a response with over 5,500 documents. Jeremy Kennedy was able to negotiate an outcome where the officers of the coal mine and related entities were not prosecuted and a successful guilty plea involving relatively low fines only one company.

Cobbora Coal Mine Proposal, Ashton Coal, Whitehaven Coal, Boggabri Coal, Muswellbrook Coal

Providing advice to Greenfields and expansion coal mine projects on set up of WHS Management Systems and WHS Mines Act for appointment of coal operators / contractors during construction and operational stages of projects.

Maritime Industry

Newcastle Stevedores Pty Limited

Acted on behalf of Newcastle Stevedores in a multi-faceted investigation by Workcover NSW, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Police/ Coroner in relation to a fatality occurring on board a ship whilst loading for the transport of aluminium ingots where a stevedore was fatally injured when the ingot packs collapsed in the ship’s hold. This including formulating a comprehensive enforceable undertaking in order to achieve no prosecution of the company or its directors.

Port of Newcastle

Acted in relation to investigation into fire and explosion at Kooragang Wharf 4 when a large gantry crane was being demolished and hot works caused a conveyor belt to catch on fire. This included investigation by the Coroner, SafeWork NSW and NSW Department of Environment. As a result of the legal response to the investigation no prosecution occurred.

Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG)

Provided comprehensive advice on the WHS regulatory systems and jurisdictions applicable to a coal loading facility and port operation for rail transport, storage and loading of coal onto ships in Port of Newcastle. Undertook complete review of systems and compliance and conducted training for senior management and the executive board on WHS compliance and responsibilities. Also dealt with protestor access to site and advice on utilisation of WHS legislation for prosecution of protesters and trespassers to site.

Agricultural Industry

JBS Australia Pty Ltd / Coorona Feedlot

Acted on behalf of JBS / Coorona into and investigation and prosecution by SafeWork NSW into a fatality occurring at the feedlot when a contractor suffered fatal burns following his excavator catching on fire whilst battling a stubble fire at the feedlot caused by spontaneous combustion.

Macleay River Protein Pty Ltd

Acted on behalf of the abattoirs in a fatality matter involving an operator who was fatally injured following being crushed by forklift which had a hand break malfunction and pinned the operator to a wall whilst involved in cleaning the vehicle. This included attending interviews and providing responses to SafeWork NSW investigation notices and advice on prosecution and plea in mitigation.

Engineering & Manufacturing Industries

J & S Engineering Pty

Acted on behalf of J & S and its directors in relation to a workplace fatality that occurred at its manufacturing site at Rutherford when a contract transport company’s employee was fatally crushed when a drilling rod being loaded onto a trailer rolled off and hit and crushed the driver.

ABC Tissues Pty Ltd

Acted on behalf of ABC Tissues in relation to a serious incident when the operator of a tissue rolling machine sustained a partial amputation of his hand when he had disabled safety curtains to access a restricted area. This included acting for the company and officers during the SafeWork investigation and undertaking an internal investigation into forging of access keys by staff to enable access to restricted areas.

Rail Industry

Downer Rail

Acted in relation to a fire/explosion as a result of hot works at Port Pirie Rail Yards and investigation and prosecution by Workcover SA.

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)

Provided advice on contractor management systems for management of large rail/track shutdowns and maintenance projects and provided training to 250 managers/ supervisors on legal issues associated with contractor management.

For Emergency After Hours Support
Contact Jeremy Kennedy on 0434 499 523

Whatever business you’re in, creating a safe work environment is the most important investment you can make for the business and its people.

Speak to a Work Health & Safety Lawyer today about your legal responsibilities.

Roberts Legal can assist by offering the following services:

WHS Investigations

  • Conducting and assisting investigations from complaints, safety incidents or fatalities
  • Scope analysis – what needs investigating
  • Interviews – independent and insightful
  • Evidence – gather, review and assess
  • Analyse – identify missing pieces
  • Report – concise findings and recommendations
  • Review – HR processes
  • Acting – representing businesses in prosecutions, litigation or coronial inquests

Incident Management & Safety Regulator Investigations

  • 24 hour / 7 days a week access to our legal advisors
  • Serious incident management strategies
  • Establishment of legal professional privilege
  • ICAM (Incident Cause Analysis Method) investigations
  • Improvement & prohibition notice review and appeals
  • Responses to formal notices for documents and information
  • Regulator interview preparation and representation
  • Enforceable undertaking development and submissions
  • Coronial inquests
  • Prosecution representation
  • Pleas and hearings

Stakeholder Management and Advice

  • Business to business dealings – consultation requirements and liability issues
  • Union access and pacification
  • Media management
  • Insurance interaction/coverage
  • Injured worker management/support
  • Workers compensation insurance/ premium reviews

WHS Management System Reviews

  • Compliance audit on existing systems
  • Risk management reviews
  • Developing and implementing risk minimisation strategies
  • Insurance reviews and recommendations
  • Post-incident strategic review
  • Assistance in drafting bespoke & compliant policies and procedures
  • Off the shelf compliance products for SME’s

Workplace Health & Safety Training

  • In-house training for all personnel on WHS
  • Officer/management coaching and training programs on due diligence requirements
  • Advice on due diligence approach and systems

Special Counsel

Principal, Senior Solicitor

Articles

Downer Mining

Jeremy Kennedy acted on behalf of Downer Mining in 35 unfair dismissal applications commenced by the CFMEU on behalf of mining workers terminated from Boggabri Mine due to loss of mining contract and downsizing of workforce. Jeremy negotiated a successful outcome including the redeployment of the majority of the workforce to other Downer Mining sites.

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Downer Mining (Boggabri Mine)

Jeremy Kennedy acted on behalf of Downer Mining in relation to an industrial dispute arising from a proposed changes to shift/roster where industrial action was taken on the basis of a Work Health & Safety risk due to a high percentage of the work force being drive in drive out with long distances to travel

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Downer Mining (Wambo Coal Mine)

Undertook a significant investigation into allegations of fraud involving mine resources for personal use by an employee in the construction of his own home where evidence of impropriety was forensically identified, and the employee terminated and with a police investigation being undertaken. Need Help? Call Jeremy Now, 1300 553 343

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International Gaming Technologies Australia Limited

Jeremy Kennedy acted in Federal Court proceedings commenced by an employee terminated for failing to attend a medical examination with respect to Work Health & Safety risks by the employer when the request was made as a lawful direction. The Court’s Judgment resulted in a precedent case for employers to have the power to make

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Boeing Australia Limited

Jeremy Kennedy undertook an internal investigation against senior managers in relation to alleged culture of bullying behaviour at a Boeing regional site resulting in a significant report and recommendations on requirements for cultural change and potential liabilities. All of the investigations and recommendations were actioned by the client and resulted in disciplinary proceedings being taken

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Forbes Local Council

Jeremy Kennedy provided advice in relation to proceedings commenced by former Work Health & Safety Manager with respect to unfair dismissal, unlawful termination when terminated following a worker’s compensation claim. Negotiations resulted in the exit of the manager with no payment of compensation or damages based upon expert medical evidence obtained. Need Help? Call Jeremy

Read More »

Testimonials

His understanding in several areas of practice has no doubt saved us time, money and given us confidence that we are in good hands whenever needed.

“Jeremy Kennedy has consistently given quality advice to both our business, and others whom we have referred. His understanding in several areas of practice has no doubt saved us time, money and given us confidence that we are in good hands whenever needed.

His communication, attention to detail, and insights are always welcome.

We highly recommend him and his team.”

Hack Marketing

Jeremy brings integrity, experience and professionalism to every matter he completes.

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Jeremy Kennedy for a number of years on a number of WHS matters of significance in sectors such as mining and not for profit. Jeremy brings integrity, experience and professionalism to every matter he completes and I look forward to continuing to work with him into the future.”

James R

Jeremy is very much on the front foot with communication and action and I have complete confidence in his expertise and attention to detail.

“Jeremy Kennedy has had a number of very large and complex matters referred to him by my company.  He is first on my list when it comes to serious legal matters relating to WHS matters and what my clients are potentially exposed too in the workplace.

Jeremy is very much on the front foot with communication and action and I have complete confidence in his expertise and attention to detail.

I am delighted to recommend Jeremy Kennedy of Roberts Legal.  I am pleased to have someone of his calibre in my business circles.”

Denis K

Jeremy and his team were committed to ensuring that all options considered and discussed and were open and sharing with their expertise and knowledge.

“I had the pleasure of working with Jeremy when we engaged him to provide expert legal advice to a client on a sensitive and intricate IR issue. In guiding the business to finding a resolution, Jeremy and his team were committed to ensuring that all options considered and discussed and were open and sharing with their expertise and knowledge.”

Kerstin D

Jeremy develops robust long standing and trusting professional relationships.

Jeremy develops robust long standing and trusting professional relationships by consistently demonstrating competence in WHS legal expertise.”

Warren E

Jeremy was able to talk me through the basics of a pending case I was mounting in clear English.

“Jeremy Kennedy was able to talk me through the basics of a pending case I was mounting in clear English. Really convenient, really appreciated, thanks Jeremy.”

Veronica H

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Key Practice Contact

Jeremy Kennedy​

Special Counsel ​

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