New Laws, New Words….S#@#! – Latest blog post on the Safety Toolshed
Posted on September 19, 2011 by The Safety Nerd
Okay, so after years of teaching everyone what OHS means it changes on us. Not only that, but there is a whole dictionary of jargon that’s been thrown in.
Here is a quick and dirty run down of the jargon in the new OHS or shall I say, WHS laws:
- WHS – Work Health and Safety
- PCBU – person conducting a business or undertaking. I’ll explain this in a blog on it’s own in the coming weeks. In a nutshell, this this is the employer who’s responsibility for health and safety, but quite a bit broader. It can include a self employed person and the controller of the premises.
- Worker – the concept of employee has been broadened to anyone who carries out work for a PCBU in any capacity. This includes contractors, subbies, labour hire, outworker, apprentice, work experience or volunteers.
- So far as is reasonably practicable – the PCBU must ensure a duty of care to workers and those that the work carried out affects.
- Officers – this replaces the term for Directors and Managers as defined by the Corporations Act 2001. Officers of PCBUs have a duty to exercise positive due diligence to ensure compliance obligations are met.
- Health and Safety Representatives – this replaces your OHS Reps and will have an increased function, which I’ll blog about in the coming weeks.
- Health and Safety Committees – this replaces OHS Committees but has similar functions.
- WHS Entry Permit – union officials can apply for this, and it allows them to enter workplaces to inquire about suspected breaches and consult with workers.
- The workplace – any place where a worker goes, or is likely to go, while at work.
- Provision of safe structures – included in general duties of PCBUs and within the duties of designers.
- Business or undertaking – activities carried out by, or under the control of, a person, regardless of if they work alone or with others and regardless of if the business or undertaking is conducted for profit or gain. This does not include a person who is engaged solely as a worker, or as an officer of that business or undertaking or acting in the capacity of an elected member of the local government authority.
- Others – in the context of ‘PCBUs must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable that the H&S of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out….’ – others includes persons other than workers such as visitors, customers and members of the public.
So….there we have it….in one foul swoop the game is changing. I’ll give you a full explanation of each of these points over the coming weeks, so no changing careers yet clever clogs.
The Safety Nerd x
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