Are we singing in harmony yet?

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

Safety Nerd

Owner and Principal Consultant at Riskology
I’ve been in safety my whole career. Well nearly my whole career, I started off as a secretary for a recruitment company, then dabbled in HR whilst stumbling onto safety, which I fell head over heels ….literally in love (I know safety nerd alert) with safety after reading the book Lessons from Longford by Anthony Hopkins at the age of 19 and haven’t looked back since. I had a few friends that had been permanently injured in their early 20s and my Dad nearly lost his foot in a workplace accident when I was a twinkle in his eye and the Lessons from Longford book made so much sense to me. I started my life in safety knee high to a grasshopper working for Aristocrat in the 90’s, a gaming machine company in Sydney where I introduced national safety handbooks, alerts, industry focus groups and decided this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life; during this time I also headed off to Uni and completed an MBA specialising in industrial relations, the closest qualification at the time related to safety, since then there’s been an explosion of courses so I then got my teeth into a masters of safety. I then went onto a safety role at Coca Cola Amatil and tackled the logistics of ensuring multiple sites were compliant from call centres to sales to manufacturing workers. This was an interesting time when new manufacturing plants were opening and becoming fully automated, never a dull moment in the world of safety. I’m a bit of a car buff so then moved into a safety role at Inchcape, you know the guys that own Subaru. I was looking after the safety for 45 sites and came up with some great strategies to get them all confident and running with safety. After saving my employers in total over $1.5million in workers comp and setting up some great strategies I decided to jump ship and moved away from the big smoke for love. That was a couple of years ago now and that’s when Riskology was born. I love helping other businesses create safer workplaces helping them through the minefield of legislation with simple easy solutions with the end goal of making workplaces safer. The safety industry has changed significantly in recent years, with new legislation and tougher penalties. Small businesses are expected to comply just as much as large businesses, that’s where I come in, helping to bridge the gap and cut through the jargon. Safety doesn’t have to be the elephant in the room, good safety practices is good for business. Qualifications Master’s degree in Occupational Health and Safety Master’s degree in Business Industrial Relations Accredited Lead Auditor Graduate Certificate Health and Safety Management Systems Cert IV – Workplace Training, OHS, HR(and Dip), Secretarial

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