Recommendations on new Work Health and Safety laws for WA released

Feedback is being sought on recommendations for new Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws in Western Australia.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel last week released its recommendations for new WHS Bill.

It comes after Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston formed the panel in July 2017 to advise on the development of a new and improved WHS Act, based on the national model WHS Act.

The new WHS laws will cover all workplaces in Western Australia including mines, petroleum and general workplaces, and be aligned with the legislation in other Australian jurisdictions.

The development of the Bill will involve extensive consultation with stakeholders and the community, prior to expected introduction to State Parliament in mid-2019.

The recommendations can be found here. The public consultation period closes on August 31, 2018.

For the list of recommendations, and information session details, click here.

AMMA reported last year WA’s push to a more nationally harmonised WHS legislation, however, specific regulations for the resources industry will allow employers to continue traditional a risk-based practices for work health and safety in the state.

NSW Labor proposes country’s toughest industrial manslaughter laws if elected

Employers could face up to 25 years’ jail for serious negligence leading to death, if a Labor Government is elected in New South Wales.

It comes as proposals to overhaul the state’s industrial manslaughter to be the toughest in Australia were revealed at NSW Labor’s annual conference last week.

The proposed new laws would provide heavy penalties for corporations where workplace death result from breaches of work safety obligations, and significant jail penalties, in appropriate cases were individuals are found to be morally culpable for a death.

Importantly the new law would be carefully drafted to ensure individual workers were not made scapegoats for corporate failures.

Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle MLC said a NSW Labor Government  will significantly increase work safety law compliance and enforcement.

“A key part of this will be a new law to properly address the issue of workplace death where it occurs as a result of breaches of work safety obligations,” he said.

“We will consult with unions, employers and the community about the best model and the level of penalties, including length of jail terms, bearing in mind that manslaughter has a maximum penalty of 25 years jail.”

“There will be appropriately harsh penalties for both corporations and individuals where that is warranted.

It comes after tough new proposed laws were unveiled in Victoria, with employers facing 20 year jail terms if their negligence leads to the death of an employee.

Feedback sought on NT’s review of workplace regulator

A discussion paper has been released for public feedback on the Northern Territory workplace regulator, NT Worksafe.

As part of a six month independent review, a discussion paper has been drafted seeking input into the review.

The review will look at the policies, procedures and activities in place and consider how best practices can be implemented to support staff and stakeholders.

The discussion paper is now open and may be accessed here with a final report due later this year.

Submissions close on 31 August 2018 and should be sent to [email protected]