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14 key amendments to the model work health and safety laws

The first half of this year had seen amendments made to the model work health and safety (WHS) laws. The amendments implement a number of recommendations from the 2018 Review of the model WHS laws. They include amendments to:

  • the model WHS Regulations to deal with psychosocial risks;
  • work group provisions;
  • health and safety representative training provisions;
  • remove the 24-hour notice period for entry permit-holders;
  • align the process for issuing service of notices to provide clarity and consistency;
  • enable inspectors to require production of documents and answers to questions within 30 days of any inspector’s entry to a workplace;
  • clarify that a WHS regulator’s power to obtain information relevant to investigations of potential breaches of the model WHS laws has extra-territorial application;
  • clarify the circumstances in which WHS regulators can share information between jurisdictions;
  • include gross negligence as a fault element in the Category 1 offence;
  • improve regulator accountability for investigation progress;
  • prohibit insurance for WHS penalties;
  • improve record-keeping and operator training for amusement devices and passenger ropeways;
  • stipulate that compliance with Standards is not mandatory unless specified; and
  • give effect to recommendations that are minor or technical in nature.

Remember that the amendments do not automatically apply in a jurisdiction. For the model WHS Act and model WHS Regulations to have effect in a jurisdiction, they must be enacted in that jurisdiction.

Click here to find out more about these amendments and further recommendations from the 2018 Review that are being implemented.

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