New health & safety laws
Right of entry changes – October 2015
Recent amendments to work health and safety laws came into effect on 22 October 2015 which no longer requires WHS entry permit holders to give 24 hours’ notice on entry to investigate safety contraventions.
These changes have been made as part of the election commitments made by the Queensland Government , restoring elements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) that were changed following a review of the model work health and safety (WHS) laws in 2012.
These amendments will:
- Allow WHS entry permit holders to enter a workplace immediately if they suspect a contravention has occurred and provide notice of entry as soon as is reasonably practicable afterwards, removing the requirement to provide at least 24 hours’ notice of entry.
- Reinstate the power for a trained health and safety representative (HSR) to direct a worker in their work group to cease work if they have a reasonable concern that to carry out the work would expose the worker to a serious and immediate or imminent risk to their health and safety.
- Allow HSRs to request the immediate assistance of any person at the workplace, removing the requirement for at least 24 hours’ notice before the assistant can access the workplace.
- Remove the penalty for failing to provide notice of entry to inquire into a suspected contravention of the WHS Act, consult and advise workers and make copies of documents relevant to a suspected contravention. This penalty does not exist in the model WHS laws.
- Reduce the maximum penalty for contravening WHS entry permit conditions from 200 penalty units to 100 penalty units, to restore consistency with the model WHS laws.
Right of entry & regulation changes – May 2014
Regulations in relation to asbestos removal, including Class B asbestos removal licensing requirements, clearance inspections after Class B asbestos removal work and asbestos registers have changed.
New provisions in relation to rollover protective structures on earthmoving machinery and audiometric testing have also been amended.
For more information about the amendments, visit the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland website.
Harmonised health and safety laws – 1 January 2012
State and territory health and safety laws underwent a complete overhaul, and a new set of national, harmonised health and safety laws have been formed.
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act 2011) was enacted 1 January 2012, replacing the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995.
The changes are definitely daunting, but Master Builders is here to help.
Members are encouraged to:
- Read more about key changes under the WHS Act 2011
- Refer to the Queensland Government Workplace Health and Safety website for an overview of the new laws and transitional provisions.