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Legislation and Guidance
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The Western Australian (WA) Government is seeking to consolidate its state resources safety laws and have one government body regulate the laws.

The government wants mining, petroleum and Major Hazard Facilities (MHF) safety laws regulated by one Act and the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP), or two Acts and the DMP.

Currently, six Acts cover resources safety, and WorkSafe and DMP regulate safety at MHFs, with WorkSafe regulating general work health and safety (WHS), and DMP regulating process safety.

A consultation paper discussing the government’s proposal plus other options for administering the laws has been released for public comment.

Other options in the paper include partially consolidating the laws into separate safety-specific Acts, as well as retaining the status quo of six separate Acts and two regulators.

Changing the content of the laws is not a consideration of this consultation paper.

Public comment closes on Friday, 19 December 2014.

For more details, visit the consultation paper

Published on 20 November 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

An ACT company director has become the first officer of a corporation charged under the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

The charges follow an incident in which a truck driver died from an electric shock in 2012, says a Norton Rose Fulbright report.

The director has been charged under the ACT WHS Act for failing to exercise due diligence to ensure Kenoss Contractors complied with its WHS duties and failing to comply with his health and safety duty, the report says. He faces a potential maximum penalty of $300,000.

Although he has been charged in connection with Kenoss Contractors, the accused was not a director of this company, but a director of a related company, the report adds.

The case goes to trial in December. The director has already pleaded not guilty in an earlier mention of the case last week.

Kenoss Contractors has also been charged with breaching the ACT WHS Act in connection with the same incident. However, the company has gone into liquidation and the court will need to determine if the prosecution can go ahead, the report noted.

Since this report, the court has decided the prosecution of the liquidated company can proceed. The case will be heard at the same time as the director’s case, according to The Canberra Times.

The corporation faces a potential maximum penalty of $1.5 million.

For more details, visit Norton Rose Fulbright.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A number of proposed changes to New South Wales mining laws are open for public comment.

The proposed draft NSW WHS (Mines) Regulation 2014 includes a number of amendments that differ from the model mining regulations developed as part of the National Mine Safety Framework.

NSW along with Queensland and Western Australia determined that more detailed mining regulations were required in their jurisdictions.

Under the proposed NSW regulations, for example, a mine operator can only be appointed if the person has the skills, knowledge, experience and resources to exercise the functions of the mine operator, in addition to the requirements included in the model laws.

A number of proposed NSW codes of practice are also open for public comment, including safety management systems in mining, strata control in underground coalmines, inundation and inrush hazard management, emergency planning for mines and roadway dust analysis in underground mines.

Comment on the draft regulations closes 27 June, while comment on the draft codes closes 11 July.

For more details, visit NSW mines.

Published on 19 June 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

Federal safety bodies and the commonwealth workers compensation scheme have been spared the axe in the Federal Budget.

As reported in the previous e-bulletin, the Australian Government’s commission of audit recommended consolidating Safe Work Australia; the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency; Comcare and other safety bodies within the Department of Employment.

It also recommended that Comcare’s claims management be outsourced, having the private sector underwrite its workers’ compensation insurance scheme.

However, none of these changes are in this year’s Budget.

For more details, visit the Budget 2014.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

A number of changes to the Queensland work health and safety (WHS) laws started last week.

Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 commenced on 16 May.

As reported in an earlier e-bulletin, the amendment removes the power of health and safety representatives to direct workers to stop unsafe work. However, workers will continue to have a right to stop unsafe work.

Among other changes, it also allows codes of practice adopted in Queensland to be approved, varied or revoked without requiring national consultation. However, local consultation will continue.

Work Health and Safety and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014 also commenced on 16 May.

It removes a number of requirements, such as that requiring certain workers to undergo audiometric testing, fitting rollover protective structures to earthmoving machinery, and the requirement that an applicant applying for class B asbestos removal licence to nominate a supervisor to the WHS regulator when.

Among other changes, an asbestos register is not required if a workplace was:
• constructed after 31 December 1989 (instead of 31 December 2003), and
• no asbestos has been identified at the workplace, and
• no asbestos is likely to be present at the workplace from time to time.

For more detail, visit the changes.

Published on 22 May 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.


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