Last week the Queensland Government passed legislation to amend the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (9 April 2014). The start date to implement the amendments will be set in the near future.
The key changes to be implemented are:
- Health and safety representatives will no longer have the power to direct workers to stop unsafe work.
- Employers are no longer required to provide a list of appointed health and safety representatives to Work Health and Safety Queensland.
- Permit holders are now required to give at least 24 hours’ notice to enter a workplace to inspect a safety breach.
- The maximum penalty for breaches of permit conditions (including the requirement to give notice prior to entering a workplace) has been increased from $11,000 to $22,000.
The changes are being rolled out to address concerns—raised by the construction industry—that union officials have been misusing their right of entry powers; and to implement recommendations from the Queensland Government’s review of the national model work health and safety laws.
We will continue to bring you Stop Press News items to keep you up-to-date and informed about changes to legislation as they happen.