Update On National OHS Laws

The public comment period for the draft model Work Health and Safety Regulations and 12 draft model Codes of Practice closed on 4 April 2011 and Safe Work Australia is currently reviewing over 1300 submissions made across Australia.

Issues raised in these submissions are being considered by jurisdictions and employer and union representatives, with plans for a final package of model Work Health and Safety regulations to be considered by ministers in June 2011.

Additional model Codes of Practice being developed by Safe Work Australia will also be released for public comment.

These include:

  • a range of construction codes (eg scaffolding, demolition, tilt up construction, falls in housing construction)
  • forest safety
  • first aid
  • abrasive blasting
  • chemicals risk management
  • welding
  • traffic management
  • spray painting.

A model Work Health and Safety Bill has been developed and agreed under the Inter-Governmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety and the Queensland Work Health and Safety Bill was introduced into the Queensland Parliament on 10 May 2011.

The harmonised Work Health and Safety laws are scheduled to start on 1 January 2012 and it is anticipated that many of the model Codes of Practice will also start at the same time.

Improving open communication and consultation channels in your workplace is not only an OHS requirement in New South Wales, but essential to maintaining happy, motivated and productive staff. A little more talk can go a long way…

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The newly introduced Harmonisation Laws require all employers to consult regularly with employees on safety matters. More importantly they need to demonstrate how they consult on safety matters and show that theses skills are held by the employer or their officers. Safety Concepts has partnered with a Registered Training Organisation to offer the fully accredited course BSBOHS402B Consultation in the Workplace which is designed to satisfy the requirements of the new Harmonisation Laws. You can complete this training course for only $200 per employee using our online learning platform. Busy employers, managers and supervisors do not have to attend classes or lectures – it is all online.

Click here to enroll now for this Government Approved OHS qualification.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our regular updates in the coming months which will provide businesses the opportunity to find out more about the new laws and how to prepare for the transition to a harmonised system.

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About the Author

Joanne Wallace is our resident "Safety Guru". Joanne has provided advice on safety management for the past 10 years and written hundreds of articles on safety issues and tips. Joanne has experience in many industries ranging from manufacturing, food processing, timber milling, retail, office and wholesaling providing her with knowledge and experience managing risk and injuries in these industries.

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  3. Maud says:

    I am forever indebted to you for this information.

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