A global employer will down tools and conduct meetings on minimising occupational cancer risks, for World Day for Safety and Health at Work today. World safety day has also prompted renewed calls for Australia-wide industrial manslaughter provisions and an accelerated response to the review of the model WHS laws.
The Federal Government has been urged to use its "deciding vote" to add industrial manslaughter provisions and s-xual harassment controls to the national model WHS laws, while Comcare has released a series of guides on preventing workplace s-xual harassment and implementing early intervention programs for injured workers.
Western Australia has taken a critical step closer to implementing industrial manslaughter laws and joining the harmonised WHS regime, with its Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 passing the Upper House with amendments last night.
"Work status" provisions in WHS and employment laws should be amended and aligned to remove disincentives to the provision of safety protections for gig workers and others, according to an inquiry, which is likely reignite calls for Victoria to adopt the model WHS Act.
In a significant development, given the recent safety scandals involving the importation and use of asbestos-containing materials, the model WHS Act has been amended to make it mandatory for regulators to issue notices when they believe "prohibited asbestos" is present at a workplace, with maximum fines of $500,000 for those that fail to comply with a notice.