Industry Consultation of 2018 Review of the Model WHS Laws

In BICSI Bytes, Newsby info@bicsi.com.au

Safe Work Australia is inviting feedback from various industry groups on the recommendations that came from the 2018 independent review of the model Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws

The recommendations were published by Safe Work Australia in February this year. 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.

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 HSRs with choice of training course;
  • 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.

Commenting on the review, Safe Work Australia CEO, Michelle Baxter said: “I encourage everyone who may be affected by the recommendations to provide feedback. Your input will play an important part in deciding how the model work health and safety laws may be improved.

“We were pleased with the high level of engagement during the Review. We want to hear from those who have already provided comments during the Review, as well as those who have not participated before.”

Written submissions to the Consultation can be made by midnight AEST 5 August 2019.

Safe Work Australia has set up a consultation page on its website, where information can be downloaded, including a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement and the recommendations, as well as a portal to submit comments.