Fed Govt seeks zero tolerance and a rethink
The Federal Government wants a zero tolerance approach to safety breaches and for judicial bodies to rethink the direction of their decisions.
Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz delivered this news in his keynote address at the 2013 NSCA/GIO National Safety Awards of Excellence last week.
He acknowledged the “huge” social as well as economic dimensions of safety, and said the Government would be taking a zero tolerance approach to safety.
He said the chances of achieving zero injuries and deaths were unlikely, but the Government would set out to reach this goal.
The Government would also be looking at the regulatory regime and encouraging judicial and other bodies to consider the direction their decisions have been heading.
He referred to a Fair Work Commission decision that ordered the reinstatement of a worker who had been dismissed for not wearing protective equipment.
After his speech he said the Government had no plans to change the Fair Work Act in response.
He also repeated the Government’s line of wanting to reduce red tape and employer costs and to take a practical and common-sense approach to safety. However, he was unable provide any details at this stage.
He said bringing Victoria and Western Australia into the harmonisation tent was on the agenda. But again no detail was available about how he would do this.
During his speech, he also acknowledged the good work of the outgoing Safe Work Australia CEO Rex Hoy, noting that Hoy did more than warm the seat.