In August 2018, CFMMEU official Blake Hynes used his ‘Right of Entry Permit’, issued under s 512 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), to enter the Enco Precast work area on Queensland’s Gateway Motorway Upgrade Project. Hynes also possessed a ‘State Entry Permit’ issued under section 132 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld). Hynes outlined that in entering the premises, he did so in accordance with section 117 of the WHS Act to enquire into suspected health and safety contraventions. Instead, whilst Hynes was ‘in the company of some other people’, opted to verbally abuse the General Manager of Enco, Steven James. No investigation was performed by Hynes into the alleged work health and safety breaches.
Fair Work Act section 500 outlines that a permit holder ‘must not intentionally hinder or obstruct any person, or otherwise act in an improper manner’. Hynes was fined $4,400 and the CFMMEU ordered to pay $34,650. Hynes referred the matter for the ‘harsh and unreasonable’ revocation of the permit for 3 months.
The Commission was not persuaded that the right of entry and anger management courses undertaken by Hynes should reverse the decision.
Case note: https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FWC/2020/97.html?context=1;query=work%20health%20and%20safety;mask_path=