The first half of this year had seen amendments made to the model work health and safety (WHS) laws. The amendments implement a number of recommendations from the 2018 Review of the model WHS laws. They include amendments to:
- the model WHS Regulations to deal with psychosocial risks;
- work group provisions;
- health and safety representative training provisions;
- remove the 24-hour notice period for entry permit-holders;
- align the process for issuing service of notices to provide clarity and consistency;
- enable inspectors to require production of documents and answers to questions within 30 days of any inspector’s entry to a workplace;
- clarify that a WHS regulator’s power to obtain information relevant to investigations of potential breaches of the model WHS laws has extra-territorial application;
- clarify the circumstances in which WHS regulators can share information between jurisdictions;
- include gross negligence as a fault element in the Category 1 offence;
- improve regulator accountability for investigation progress;
- prohibit insurance for WHS penalties;
- improve record-keeping and operator training for amusement devices and passenger ropeways;
- stipulate that compliance with Standards is not mandatory unless specified; and
- give effect to recommendations that are minor or technical in nature.
Remember that the amendments do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction. For the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations to have effect in a jurisdiction, they must be enacted in that jurisdiction.
Click here to find out more about these amendments and further recommendations from the 2018 Review that are being implemented.