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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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