Amendments to Australia’s model work health and safety laws have been published on the Safe Work Australia website.
The amendments implement a number of recommendations from the 2018 Review of the model WHS laws. The amendments have not yet been enacted in Queensland, but will be considered over the coming months. They include:
- regulations dealing deal with psychosocial risks
- work group provisions
- health and safety representative training
- aligning the process for issuing service of notices to provide clarity and consistency
- enabling inspectors to require production of documents and answers to questions within 30 days of any inspector’s entry to a workplace
- clarifying that a WHS regulator’s power to obtain information relevant to investigations of potential breaches of the laws has extra-territorial application
- clarifying the circumstances in which WHS regulators can share information between jurisdictions
- including gross negligence as a fault element in Category 1 offences
- improving regulator accountability for investigation progress
- prohibiting insurance for WHS penalties
- improving record keeping and operator training for amusement devices and passenger ropeways
- giving effect to recommendations that are minor or technical in nature.
Removal of the 24-hour notice period for entry permit holders will not apply in Queensland as this amendment was made to the state’s Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in 2015.
Go to the Implementation of the WHS ministers' agreed response to the Review of the Model WHS Laws web page for a more detailed overview of the amendments or visit: