SA Moves Towards OHS Harmonisation

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 .
More info on OHS Harmonisation 

SA Risks Nixing on $33 Million OHS Harmonisation Award

OHS lawsSouth Australia risks missing out on the $33 million incentive payment it would have been awarded had SA decided to pass the OHS Harmonisation laws.

Early last week, the Upper house voted to delay the WHS bill. The Government desired to have the bill passed this week in order to implement it from January 1. Now that it is delayed the bill will not be discussed until later next year. South Australia  has essentially turned down $ 33 million in COAG payments by not implementing the Harmonised OHS bill by Jan 1, 2012.

Since the legislation was not passed by SA, then the Commonwealth must reconsider whether or not the payment can be awarded to SA.

.The Opposition’s frontrunner Rob Lucas has accused the Government of neglecting the anxieties from Industry organisations.Opposition frontbencher Rob Lucas, who moved to delay the Bill, has accused the Government of ignoring the concerns from industry organisations.SA Unions have strongly supported and campaigned for the implementation of the new laws, since they believe the laws are needed to prevent fatal workplace injuries.

The concern of some is that the new laws would essentially give union bosses the power to enter work sites themselves when they have OHS concerns, and cost an additional $20 thousand for a new house.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/safety-bill-may-cost-south-australia-33m/story-e6frea6u-1226211767084

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