The harmonisation of various State & Territory safety laws is now over 1 year on, with NSW, Qld, ACT , NT, SA, Tas and The Commonwealth (Comcare) having introduced new Work Health & Safety laws. The new laws have adopted a uniform model of legislation, regulations & codes of practice.
At this it is still uncertain when Victoria & Western Australia will adopt some or all of the model provisions to achieve harmonisation of our WH&S laws.
10 key changes under the WHS Act
The 10 most significant changes that employers should be aware of include:
New and important definitions that have been introduced, including:
what reasonably practicable steps are;
how an employer is defined, now referred to as a PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking); and
what an officer is
Primary duty of care
New positive duty of care on officers to exercise due diligence
Increase in penalties
New role of health and safety representatives
Health and safety committees
Broader consultation requirements
Wider right of entry for the unions
Notification of incidents
Investigations by inspectors
For further details, please contact David Fuller. Alternatively, you can go to the relevant state or territory WH&S site for more details.
Below is the list of state based websites that will assist members with their Occupational Health and Safety requirements & compliance obligations. Please click on your state or territory for the link to the relevant WorkCover / WorkSafe Authority.