Queensland has introduced new safety laws to avert the risk of regulatory capture and hand the prosecution of "serious" offences in the resources sector to the Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, in the latest of a series of reforms including $4 million fines.
WHS offences with long jail terms have a direct impact on decision makers and force them to turn their minds to the best available protections for workers, a union secretary says. But an industry representative has claimed that "penalties don't save lives".
NSW's WHS laws are likely to be amended to prescribe an exposure limit for diesel emissions if Safe Work Australia declines to add diesel to the workplace exposure standards. Meanwhile, a regulator has warned that 50 per cent of respirable dust exceedances result from maintenance cleaning.
Western Australia has announced a two-level industrial manslaughter offence, revealed plans to beef up its safety inspectorate and released a draft WHS framework. Meanwhile, Victoria has introduced a new reckless conduct offence with $6.4 million fines for employers.
> Draft WHS Code targets 6,000-plus workers and fall risks in NSW; > New OHS Regulations deliver on silicosis plan in Vic; > WHS Regulations for lead and diving amended in NT; and > WHS innovation and research grants offered by Tas.
> Employers without "safety resets" to be named in Parliament; > WHS Amendment Bill improves accountability in ACT; > Workers' comp changes for police pass in Tas; and > New dangerous goods guide for all WA duty holders released.