Australia's state and territory governments have all agreed to examine ways to reduce the "red tape" associated with the model WHS Act, while Tasmania looks likely to be the next jurisdiction to significantly amend its version of the laws.
In this update, OHS Alert examines all the important OHS and workers' comp legislative changes made in the second quarter of 2013. We also recap the most significant court and tribunal rulings and other developments in each jurisdiction.
Harmonised WHS Acts have commenced in South Australia and Tasmania, while in other jurisdictions new Codes of Practice have taken effect, and some transitional arrangements have expired or been extended.
Mirror WHS Acts take effect in South Australia and Tasmania in less than two weeks. In this article, OHS Alert points SA and Tas readers to the resources they need to prepare for the new laws, and looks at the ongoing transitional arrangements in other jurisdictions.
Company officers are among the many workers who are unaware of their duties under both old and new OHS laws, according to Tasmanian regulators, who say the model Codes of Practice provide the key to understanding the harmonised Act.
Endeavour Energy commits to saliva drug tests at end of FWA dispute; Tasmanian employer outlines its harmonisation-preparation steps; Safe Work Australia looking for safety ambassador of the year; South Australian RTW winners announced; Audit of South Australian asbestos removalists launched; and Western Australian haulage employer fined for multiple fatigue breaches.
The Tasmanian Government will consider strengthening its mirror WHS Act, or developing stand-alone legislation, to improve the health and safety of workers under the age of 19, according to a review of the State's child-labour laws.
Western Australia commits to OHS harmonisation in State budget; NSW shift caps retained under national rail safety laws; New harmonisation guide released for Tasmanian miners; and Northern Territory high-risk licences about to expire.