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Release of Work Health and Safety bill 2019 - WA

November 26, 2019

On 27 November, the Western Australia (WA) Government tabled the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill in Parliament.

The Bill seeks to harmonise WA’s WHS laws with the model WHS laws operating in the Eastern jurisdictions.

Some of the key changes sought to be introduced through the Bill include:

  • Industrial Manslaughter provisions, which such offence will carry a maximum penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for an individual and a fine of $10 million for a body corporate;
  • Prohibition on insurance for monetary penalties: insurance companies cannot provide insurance to indemnify entities against monetary penalties imposed under WHS laws; and
  • Workplace health to be defined as both ‘physical and psychological health’, to emphasise the importance of considering psychological health in the design and management of work.

HIA made submissions during the consultation periods in response to the proposed WHS Act in 2018 outlining concerns that a new framework will impose unnecessary additional cost, red tape and regulation at the expense of genuine, positive regulatory reform or improvement.

Earlier this week HIA provided submissions to the proposed WHS Regulations that will support the proposed WHS Act. In these submissions HIA highlighted:

  • Overlapping duties between principal contractors and other persons who may be conducting a business
  • Working at heights and the lack of clear threshold for physical fall protection
  • Broadness of Definition of ‘Construction Work’
  • Monetary Threshold for principal contractors and associated obligations
  • Construction Safety Plans and Safe Work Method Statements

Keep up to date

A HIA Industry Breakfast will be held on Friday, 6 December 2019 with Darren Kavanagh, Worksafe Commissioner and Melissa Adler, HIA Executive Director – Industrial Relations and Legal Services to present an overview of the anticipated WHS reforms in Western Australia. Register for this event.

HIA will continue to keep members up to date by way of e-news and member alerts as further information comes to hand.

For more information please contact a Workplace Advisor on 1300 650 620