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Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2015

Work Health and Safety laws in Queensland have changed as part of the election commitments made by the Queensland Government in its Improving safety for Queenslanders at work policy.

The Government committed to restoring elements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) that were changed following a review of the model work health and safety (WHS) laws in 2012. These amendments:

  • allow WHS entry permit holders to enter a workplace immediately if they suspect a contravention has occurred and provide notice of entry as soon as is reasonably practicable afterwards, removing the requirement to provide at least 24 hours’ notice of entry
  • reinstate the power for a trained health and safety representative (HSR) to direct a worker in their work group to cease work if they have a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious and immediate or imminent risk to their health and safety
  • allow HSRs to request the immediate assistance of any person at the workplace, removing the requirement for at least 24 hours’ notice before the assistant can access the workplace
  • remove the penalty for failing to provide notice of entry to inquire into a suspected contravention of the WHS Act, consult and advise workers and make copies of documents relevant to a suspected contravention. This penalty does not exist in the model WHS laws
  • reduce the maximum penalty for contravening WHS entry permit conditions from 200 penalty units to 100 penalty units, to restore consistency with the model WHS laws.

These amendments commenced on 22 October 2015. 

Amendments have also been made to the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to improve electrical safety by re-instating the Commissioner for Electrical Safety, Electrical Safety Education Committee and Electrical Equipment Committee, which were abolished in 2012. These amendments will commence by proclamation, once appointments have been considered by the Government.

More information on the provisions of the amendment Act can be found at the Queensland Legislation website.

Last updated
02 July 2018

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