New work safety and health laws commenced within the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, the Commonwealth, and the Northern Territory on 1st January 2012.
There are important modifications to workplace health and safety under the brand new laws and differences from state to territory. We highly suggest that you check with your state or national authority for comprehensive info about the developments inside your jurisdiction, but here are the top 5 changes that apply across the board.
There are tougher penalties being enforced under the brand new laws.
The term ‘company’ that employed in most occupational health and security laws is replaced with the term ‘individual running a company or undertaking’ (PCBU) and ’employee’ is replaced with a generally defined term of ‘worker’. Duty of care is really no longer explained by the essence of employment relationship. The term ‘worker’ includes workers, volunteers, contractors, subcontractors, apprentices, work experience pupils and labour hire staff. An ‘official’ on the other hand is really a senior executive who makes, or participates in making, choices that change the whole, or a large part, of the company or endeavour. An ‘policeman’ must exercise due diligence to make sure that the PCBU complies with WHS legislation. This obligation can’t be delegated.
The term ‘workplace’ in most jurisdictions will probably be expanded to include any place where a worker goes or will probably go while at work. Authorised union representatives will possess the right to enter workplaces for health and security purposes.
There’s a fresh duty to consult, cooperate and coordinate activities with several other duty holders. Employers should demonstrate they’ve provided training in OHS Consultation and actively promote responsibility holders working jointly on security problems. Where more than one duty holder accounts for exactly the same work health and security issue to ensure duty holders work with each other to control work health and security risk this duty intends to address situations.
There are important changes to OHS laws but employers who currently comply with all the various health and security laws across Australia should be well placed to comply with all the new regulatory system. Should you haven’t already done so, now’s a great time to run a review of your firm’s current workplace health and security systems to make certain your business complies with the WHS laws to prevent a possible infraction later on.