In important, breaking news, a comprehensive final report was released on 26 February 2019 on the first national review of the model Work Health and Safety laws, which was independently conducted by Marie Boland, the former Executive Director of SafeWork South Australia, in December 2018 (the Review).
The Review includes 34 recommendations to amend legislation and improve the current Work Health Safety laws in Australia.
Key recommendations include:
- Increasing WHS penalties;
- The introduction of a nationwide industrial manslaughter offence to apply “….where there is a gross deviation from a reasonable standard of care that leads to a workplace death”;
- The development of additional regulations on how to identify psychosocial risks in the workplace and the appropriate control measures to manage those risks; and
- Banning insurance policies that companies are using to cover fines imposed for breaching WHS laws.
The Review was undertaken at the request of ministers with responsibility for WHS matters, and the WHS ministers are now expected to respond to the recommendations later this year. It has been agreed that the content and operation of the model WHS laws will now be reviewed every five years.
In our next Autumn edition of ‘Safety in the Workplace’, we will look further in depth at the 34 recommendations made in the Review, the impact of the Review, and the reaction to the Review over the coming months.
Read the full Review here: Review of the model Work Health and Safety laws
If you have any questions relating to the Review or how it may impact on your business, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Stevens, Jane Murray or Angharad Owens-Strauss.