Harmonisation of Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Legislation
Some useful info from Noel Arnold – Visit their siteWhat do you need to know? As of the 1st January 2012, the new harmonised National Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) legislation (Model Workplace Health and Safety Act and Model Work Health and Safety Regulations) will come into force. The period for public comment has now closed and with less than 6 months until the legislation is introduced now is the time to understand how the changes affect you and develop a plan to manage the transition. How will the new legislation affect you? The Model Act Some new definitions:
• Officer: someone who makes or participates in making decisions that affect the whole or a substantial part of, a business or undertaking.
• Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU): has replaced the definition of employer and includes any person conducting a business or undertaking. Controllers of Premises (i.e. Facility Managers, Property Managers, etc.) are included under this broader definition.
• Worker: has replaced the definition of employee and has been expanded to include a number of person(s) including employees, contractor/ subcontractors, labour hire employees, apprentice/ trainees, work experience students and volunteers.
Section 17 of the Model Work Health and Safety Act requires PCBUs to eliminate risks as far as reasonably practicable. Section 27 of the Model Workplace Health and Safety Act (2010) states the positive due diligence requirements of Officers within a PCBU. It is important to determine who in your organisation (or who in the management of the building) has duties under this Section. Is it the Building Owner? How does this affect you as a Facility Manager?
These due diligence duties include, but are not limited to, having an up-to-date knowledge of workplace health and safety matters and ensuring that resources and processes are available to eliminate, or mitigate risks. The Model Regulations The Model Work Health and Safety Regulations are currently in draft. The period for public comment closed in April and as such a revised version is expected in the coming weeks.
With regards to the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations it is vital that you understand how the changes affect you. Read more…