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Work health and safety laws - clarified and stronger


20 May 2024

  • Legislative changes are now live from the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024.
  • Key focuses on worker representation and rights of entry permit holders.
  • Delivers on the Government's commitment to implement recommendations from the Review of Queensland's Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

A number of legislative changes by the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024 have come into effect today.

The changes reflect improvements for industry and will deliver greater support mechanisms for Government to better administer work health and safety laws.

Workers and businesses should be aware of who can represent workers in line with these changes. Suitable entities that may represent workers include relevant unions and other entities such as engineers or physiotherapists.

The rights of workplace health and safety entry permit holders have also been clarified in that they can enter and remain at a workplace, and where they have remained at a workplace, interview people and request access to documents without issuing further notice.

Further, where a person is requested to answer enquiries from a work health and safety inspector, they will have more options to communicate via audio-visual tools like video calls.

A number of administrative amendments were also endorsed to improve efficiencies, including an extended timeframe to request Category 1 and 2 offences be brought to court, and additional stability for the approved codes of practice.

Learn more about the changes, and your responsibilities as a worker, entry permit holder or business.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Director General for the Office of Industrial Relations, Peter McKay:

"These changes signify our ongoing commitment to implementing first-class enhancements to our Work Health and Safety Act, and will go a long way towards making Queensland workplaces safer, fairer, healthier and more productive.

"These changes were informed by the recent review of the Work Health and Safety Act and bring clarity to industry and Government to move ahead with even greater confidence.

"I know these changes will strengthen and protect our workforce, and I thank all businesses and workers for complying with the legislation."

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