Over the past year, Safe Work Australia has been completing a review of the Model Work Health and Safety Laws. The Model Law is the foundation of the laws that most states and territories in Australia will use for their WHS acts. The review is meant to be released in the early months of this year and can be expected to make changes to the Model Law. Below are three main issues that Safe Work will be looking to remedy with changes to the model WHS law, and therefore, are what might be binding for your workplace by the end of the year.
The new Australian laws would reflect current Queensland laws for Industrial Manslaughter. This means that individuals could face 20 years imprisonment and companies could be fined up to $10 million.
These changes will help enforce accountability and reduce workplace deaths.
Recommendations have been made to clarify who has the ‘Primary Duty of Care’ for a worker. This applies to labour hire and other employment arrangements where an employee may report to multiple organisations. This will benefit temp or agency workers, as they have been tend to fall through the gaps of WHS safety conditions. It will be able to clarify which organisation has the ultimate responsibility for a workers safety.