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New Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws have finally progressed in Western Australia. The WHS Bill was introduced into the WA Parliament on 27 November 2019 and is expected to progress without amendments.
The Bill adopts the Model WHS laws that were introduced in most other Australian jurisdictions in 2011 and 2012, with some minor amendments.
A key change from the current WA Occupational Safety and Health laws is a new duty on officers to exercise “due diligence” to ensure that the business complies with its obligations under the laws. A new offence of industrial manslaughter, applicable to corporations and officers, will also be introduced.
Ai Group was heavily involved in the development of the Model WHS laws, ensuring we understand both the detail and the rationale for the various provisions. Since the WHS laws were introduced in other jurisdictions, Ai Group has been working with employers across Australia to help them to understand the key obligations of the WHS laws, and how officers can be confident that they are meeting their due diligence obligations.
We will be bringing our highly successful WHS laws training to WA in April 2020. This half day training session will focus on the WHS Act and provide practical guidance on what is needed to comply; if the Regulations are finalised prior to the training we will also touch briefly on key areas of those changes for WA. The training would be suitable for anyone involved in managing WHS within a business – Officers, Managers, WHS Managers/Advisers.