Workplace Health and Safety Queensland: Introduction of the Work Health and Safe...

Source: Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

On 13 February 2014, the Honourable Jarrod Bleijie MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice introduced the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 into the Queensland Parliament.

The Bill implements findings from the Queensland Government's review of national model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws which commenced in Queensland on 1 January 2012.

The Bill will amend legislation to:

  • require at least 24 hours, but no more than 14 days, prior notice by WHS entry permit holders before they can enter a workplace to inquire into a suspected contravention. This will align with other entry notification periods in the WHS Act and the Fair Work Act 2009
  • increase penalties for non-compliance with WHS entry permit conditions and introduce penalties for failure to comply with the entry notification requirements
  • require at least 24 hours, but no more than 14 days, prior notice before any person assisting a health and safety representative can have access to the workplace
  • remove the power of health and safety representatives to direct workers to cease unsafe work
  • remove the requirement under the WHS Act for a person conducting a business or undertaking to provide a list of health and safety representatives to the WHS regulator
  • allow for codes of practice adopted in Queensland to be approved, varied or revoked without requiring national consultation as currently required by the WHS Act
  • increase the maximum penalty that can be prescribed for offences in the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 to 300 penalty units.

The amendments are yet to be debated in Parliament.

The Government is still finalising its response to other issues that were considered by the roundtable review.

The Bill and explanatory notes are available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.