In 19 February 2018, Safe Work Australia (SWA) “launched” the independent review of Australia’s Work Health and Safety laws under former Executive Director of SafeWorkSA, Marie Boland. SWA has released a 49-page discussion paper, a summary and a list of questions. Below is an initial response to some of those questions.
What are your views on the effectiveness of the three-tiered approach – model WHS Act supported by model WHS Regulations and model WHS Codes – to achieve the object of the model WHS laws?
The structure works well, when business owners know of the relevant documents.
The latest push for Industrial Manslaughter laws in Australia has appeared as part of the Tasmanian state election.
The Tasmanian branch of the Australian Labor Party released its policy platform for jobs in February 2018 which makes specific and vague commitments on workplace safety which require scrutiny.
The Tasmanian Labor Leader, Rebecca White, states that
“Labor is committed to addressing casualisation and the outsourcing of work…”
The Victorian trade union movement is preparing for the November 2018 State Election with one element of that campaign being the advocacy of Industrial Manslaughter laws.
At the end of January 2018, the unions “kicked off” their campaign with a meeting which reviewed the challenges and wins for injured workers in 2017 and outlined their intentions for 2018. The Industrial Manslaughter Action Kit included a petition which says: Continue reading “Victoria is ripe for Industrial Manslaughter laws”
In the middle of 2017 SafetyAtWorkBlog asked why the Victorian Government was slow in releasing the report of an independent review into its occupational health and safety (OHS) regulator, WorkSafe. Victorians have received a Christmas present with the release of the report of the Independent Review of Occupational Health and Safety Compliance and Enforcement in Victoria and the Government response.
According to the Minister for Finance Robin Scott’s media release, dated 18 December 2017,
“The review was a Labor Government election commitment and made 22 recommendations – all of which the Government supports in principle.” (emphasis added)
On 12 December 2017, part of Australia’s screen and television industry held a forum in Sydney about sexual harassment in the sector and what could be done to reduce this workplace hazard. This initiative occurred a day before an open letter was published about sexual harassment in the music industry. There is a momentum for change on sexual harassment in the workplace, but it is at risk of resulting in a fragmented approach which will generate turf wars, confusion and, ultimately, ineffectiveness.