Are we singing in harmony yet?
Latest article by Sarah Jane from Riskology – see it HERE
It’s been nearly 9 months since the majority of Australian states introduced the new Work Health and Safety laws. Things have been a little quiet lately so here is an update with the states who are still getting a wriggle on.
End of March in Tassie the Legislative Council considered and passed Bills intended to give full effect to the new laws and also to the Explosives Bill 2011. The reason for the change from the Dangerous Substances (Safe Handling) Act 2005 to the Explosives Bill was because the new WHS laws covered some of the items in the Dangerous Sub Act therefore the amendment was required. Tassie during WorkSafe Month 2012 in October are concentrating on the new laws and are on track to go live 1st January 2013.
SA were scheduled for Jan 2012, but further debate on the bill was required. SA is still aiming at moving towards these laws but subject to the passage of the Bill through Parliament and a go live date is aimed at 1st January 2013.
WA are conducting a public consultation period. Papers have been prepared highlighting the differences between the current WA laws, and the model laws and an independent firm are assessing the public comment results and will submit to the Government for consideration.
Victoria is cutting her nose to spite her face. Victoria has decided not to pass the new laws due to the cost to Victorian small businesses. Yes this was done through analysis by PWC, an external organisation although for multi-state businesses this will increase costs due to Victoria holding out. If I was one of these businesses I personally would think Victoria was being irreverent. Maybe they are calling bluff to get more funds to get this tall poppy cut in due time? Either way, I believe it’s inevitable that they will move towards these laws if WA, Tassie and SA leave the dark side. So businesses only operating in Victoria count your lucky stars as it’s business as usual.
Businesses operating across multiple states now need to comply with Victoria, WA, TAS, SA and the states that have the new laws. Talk about confusing! I say adopt ‘best practice’ if you are a multi-state business.
Keeping in mind that the goal posts of best practice has changed since the introduction of the new laws, such as the Director and Officer duties and consultation.
So, are we singing in harmony yet? Well the shows not over till the fat lady sings.
Sarah-Jane (AKA The Safety Nerd) x