Easy OHS

National Safety Laws - One Step Closer

Friday, May 29, 2009

Australia:  A National system of workplace safety laws was endorsed by state and federal ministers in Western Australia this month.  The new system places responsibilities for workplace safety on both employers and employees. 

Harmonisation of the laws and the fundamental principle that businesses should have a duty of care to do everything that is 'reasonably practicable' to ensure a safe workplace is a more balanced approach and a positive outcome for all parties. 

It is understood the proposed laws closely resemble those in Victoria and are significantly different than the NSW legislation.  The new legilsation will provide employers the opportunity to defend themselves where they can demonstrate due diligence has been achieved.

A unified system makes sense and will also assist businesses who have national networks and hopefully reduce compliance costs for training and certification. 

By shifting responsibility from being solely on the employer to include both employer and employee we can only hope that safety outcomes are improved.   It is clear that businesses should be in a position to demonstrate they are doing everything 'reasonably practicable' to maintain a safe workplace.


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