FORMER ACTU assistant secretary Tim Lyons is expected to report to the Queensland Government by mid-year on the state’s review of the effectiveness of Work Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ).

Lyons was appointed to head the review following tragic fatalities at Dreamworld and an Eagle Farm worksite in 2016. He is considering the effectiveness of the WHSQ’s functions in light of contemporary regulatory practice, with key issues including:

  • Inspections;
  • Investigations;
  • Prosecutions;
  • Enforceable undertakings;
  • Research;
  • Strategy and policy development;
  • Information, education, and, awareness campaigns.

Specifically, the review is considering whether an offence of ‘gross negligence causing death’ should be introduced and whether current penalty levels under the work health and safety laws act as a sufficient deterrent to non-compliance.

Other considerations include:

  • The appropriateness of WHSQ’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy;
  • The effectiveness of WHSQ’s compliance regime, enforcement activities, and dispute resolution processes;
  • WHSQs effectiveness in relation to providing compliance information and promoting work health and safety awareness and education;
  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the administration of public safety matters by WHSQ any further measures that can be taken to discourage unsafe work practices, including the introduction a new offence of gross negligence causing death as well as increasing existing penalties for work-related deaths and serious injuries.

Mr Lyons is assisted by a tripartite reference group in providing commentary and advice on the matters to be considered as part of the review.

The findings and recommendations from the review will be presented to the government by the middle of the year.

AMMA will closely monitor the progress of this review, including any preliminary findings or calls for further input, and will consult with Queensland members if consequences arise for the resources sector. Comments or queries should be directed to [email protected]