New legislation purposed with aligning South Australia’s workplace safety laws with the nation’s harmonised standards, are now being implemented.
Starting January 1, the states WHS Act 2012 took over where the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986 left off. This change means that SA has joined NSW, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory in their adoption of the OHS Harmonisation laws.
SafeWork SA acting director Robin Scott reports that the new legislation will basically be aligned with existing requirements resulting in a minimal impact on businesses throughout the state.
“The new laws are consistent with the old, familiar laws but provide a new approach that clarifies everyone’s roles in workplace safety – from the employers, to the health and safety representatives, to the employee,” Scott says.
Scott commented on SA position as the only state to meet national targets of reducing injuries in 2012, as evidence of the state’s already strong safety record.
Scott the new legislation ensures consistency nationally, creating opportunities for solving safety issues and reducing injury rates for workplaces.
OHS Harmonised laws are expected to ensure consistency in protection and national recognition of certification and training for interstate workers in addition to reducing compliance costs for employers who throughout various states.
Despite coming to an agreement in 2009 at the Council of Australian Governments to harmonise the OHS laws,the national harmonisation of Occupational Health and Safety Laws in Australia have come to a standstill in Victoria and Western Australia .
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