Changes from OHS Act 2000 – WHS Act 2011

Some changes from OH&S – WH&S Act 2011

Item Change
Management of Risks Duty for obligation holders to ensure health and safety by eliminating risk and, if not possible, to minimise those risks so far as is reasonably practicable.
Workers As well as employees, workers will also include contractor, subcontractor and volunteers.
Officers The concept of “officers” is introduced, which includes those that sit at the top of a company management structure. Officers will now have a positive duty to manage workplace health and safety and a clear duty to ensure compliance.The officer will be liable if they do not comply with that duty, though the onus of proof will be on the regulator to establish whether due diligency has been exercised.
Consultation and Health & Safety Representatives (HSR’s) There are increased obligations for consultation, including dermining work groups, the training of HSR’s and actions to resolve health and safety concerns that are raised by workers.Under certain circumstances, HSR’s will be able to issue provisional improvement notices to employers, instruct workers to cease work and refer issues to the Regulator.
Monitoring Health & Condition of Workers Additional requirements to monitor health and conditions of workers.  Monitoring of health and conditions include such things as noise monitoring and atmospheric monitoring.
Discriminatory, Coercive & Misleading Conduct The Act will prohibit discriminatory, coercive and misleading conduct for work health and safety matters and establishes criminal and civil causes of action in the event of such conduct.
Workplace Entry by WHS Entry Permit Holders The rights of a person who holds office in a union, or is an employee of a union, to enter workplaces and exercise certain powers continues, with WHS entry permit holders not required to disclose names of workers.
Securing Compliance The Act extends powers and accountability of inspectors, as well as creating an offence to assault, threaten or intimidate an inspector.

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