OHS Harmonisation: Safe Work Responds to Media Reports on Volunteers

WHS act 2011Safe Work Australia has responded to media reports that they’ve labeled “inaccurate and alarmist”. The media reports are regarding volunteers and the OHS Harmonisation or Work Health and Safety laws.Safe Work is concerned that the reports may discourage volunteers and future volunteers from undertaking work.Chair of Safe Work, Tom Phillips stated that the harmonised OHS laws would not apply to every type of volunteer activity or organisation.

Phillips stated that the laws only apply if the volunteer organisation also employs staff ( in conjunction with volunteers) to carry out work for the organisation. Phillips stated that this stipulation is not new since even the old legislation specifically applied to volunteer.Phillips continued, stating that the duty to ensure a safe workplace remains the primary responsibility of the employee, not the volunteer.

Chief Executive of Volunteering Australia, Cary Pedicini stated his organisation’s support for the OHS harmonisation laws.

Pedicini claims that the harmonisation with result in a higher level of protection for volunteers wherever they decide to volunteer, which Pedicini states is a good thing for volunteers.

In related news, Ordained ministers will no longer be considered simply as “servants of God” according to the OHS harmonisation. Instead they will be known as “workers” who can thus be prosecuted for safety breaches in the church.

Naturally, the changes have alarmed some religious organisations because they also mean that many elderly church volunteers can now be prosecuted for safety breaches and subsequently face fines of up to $300,000 or five years imprisonment.

Source: 

http://www.psnews.com.au/Page_psn29710.html
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/church-volunteers-face-jail-under-tough-new-ohs-laws/story-e6frgczx-1226246810395

Latest OHS news

James Hardie Pay Out Handyman in Asbestos Settlement

In a landmark settlement, asbestos manufacturer James Hardie settled with a local Adela...

Read more

How WHS Laws Can Send PCBUs or Business Directors to Jail

Australian courts are holding individuals accountable for major work health and safety ...

Read more

Labour Hire Business: What Are the Top Health and Safety ...

Due to the constantly evolving nature of employment, more organisations now rely on lab...

Read more

Ep 26 Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family, exp...

Read more

What Participants Say

“In over 20 years of training, this was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended.”

- Queensland Rail

“Great! The instructor made it interesting and enjoyable”

- Leighton Contractors

” We heard that AlertForce delivers one of the best courses around so the boss decided to send me to Australia from New Zealand.”

- Participant Public Course

“I liked the trainer’s positive outlook and uplifting approach towards completing the long day.”

- Visionstream

“Very competent training course. Trainer was very knowledgeable on subject.”

- Servicestream

“AlertForce provided an excellent trainer,  knowledgeable on the topic and allowed for active questioning.”

- DHS

“Informative and concise training delivered at the right pace.”

- AFMA.gov.au

“The Trainer was very engaging”

- Fair Work Commission

“Interesting, informative, relevant.”

- Airservices Australia

Payments & Security

Awards & Accreditations

Make an Enquiry: