Unions have been noted as a threat if Health and Safety laws are not altered in the residential sector. The commercial building industry has issued a warning.
Before visiting a workplace, it requires all unions to issue a 24hr notice as told in a proposal by Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie. It was also mentioned in the proposal that the health and safety representatives (nominated by fellow workers), will lose the authorisation to stop work even in a case where the safety of the worker is in question. If the law is passed, it will prevent unions from closing down workplaces on grounds of poor safety conditions.
“The main focus of the change is to draw attention to critical situations in the work place… In one instance the forum heard, a three day closure of a construction site was declared due to a broken toilet”
Displeasure against the law has already been expressed by the Unions claiming that it will lead to a series of fatalities.
The employers group endorsed the reforms on Wednesday in a forum held in parliament. The Housing Industry Association Executive Director, Warwick Temby, said unnecessary interference from the union leads to disputes, low production and reduced profit margins. In one instance the forum heard, a three day closure of a construction site was declared due to a broken toilet.
Mr Temby reported that “there will be negative impact on small and medium business if such entry provisions move towards the residential sector.
The main focus of the change is to draw attention to critical situations in the work place. The changes call for enhanced response to critical incidents within the workplace.
He also added that “the plans have to be revisited as they realised they lack proper obligations to handle critical incidents without the involvement of the union for a minimum of 24 hours.
It was informed by the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) president John Battams, that the idea behind the reforms is to balance the influence of unions.
He also added that the reform proposal is to restrain both the unions and health and safety representative who hold importance.
An independent observer would feel that the removal of these two representatives would deteriorate health and safety conditions.
Majority of the employers want to do the correct thing but there are employers who try to cut costs putting the safety of workers at stake.