Safe Work Australia seeks feedback on improving WHS laws

Monday, 24 June, 2019

Safe Work Australia seeks feedback on improving WHS laws

Safe Work Australia is seeking feedback on recommendations for improving the model work health and safety (WHS) laws, following an independent review in 2018.

Last year, Marie Boland reviewed WHS laws on behalf of Safe Work Australia and the ministers responsible for WHS. The report, from the review, was published in February 2019.

“Overall, the review found that the model WHS laws are operating as intended, but identified some areas where stakeholders are experiencing confusion or consider the laws to be overly complex. The review’s final report made 34 recommendations to address these issues,” said Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter.

The key recommendations include:

  • introducing regulations dealing with psychological health,
  • new arrangements for health and safety representatives (HSRs) and work groups in small businesses,
  • clarifying workplace entry of HSR assistants and WHS entry permit holders,
  • providing a process for resolving disputes about WHS issues, including gross negligence as an element of the Category 1 offence, and
  • introducing an industrial manslaughter offence.

Before implementing the recommendations, Safe Work Australia is calling for anyone who may be affected by them to provide feedback via their Engage page.

Consultation will be open for six weeks and written submissions are due by 5 August 2019.

Safe Work Australia has also set up a consultation page with information and details on how to participate.

Image credit: © Kneschke

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