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Safety Reps No Longer Able to Shut Down Unsafe Sites

QLD GovtHealth and Safety Representatives no longer have the power to direct workers to cease unsafe work under amendments to Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

Amendments to Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws came into effect on 16 May 2014 in Queensland.

These amendments implement findings from the Queensland Government’s review of national model WHS laws which commenced in Queensland on 1 January 2012.

The Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (amendment Act), amends the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in the following way.

The power of health and safety representatives to direct workers to cease unsafe work is no longer in effect. Workers, however, still maintain the right to cease unsafe work.

Health and safety representatives will now have the power to issue provisional improvement notices.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking are no longer required to provide a list of health and safety representatives to the WHS regulator. However, a current list of health and safety representatives must be displayed in the workplace.
WHS permit holders are now required to give at least 24 hours’, but not more than 14 days’ notice that they are entering the workplace to investigate a suspected contravention.

Penalties have now increased to $20,000 for failure to comply with any WHS permit conditions.

WHS permit holders are now able to be penalised for failing to comply with the WHS permit notification requirements.

Any person assisting a health and safety representative is required to give at least 24 hours’, but not more than 14 days’ notice that they are accessing the workplace.

Codes of practice in Queensland are now able to be adopted, varied or revoked without national consultation.

Visit the WHSQ website for more information about right of entry or to download a copy of the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014.

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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