Further guidance on Western Australia harmonising its WHS legislation

Further guidance on Western Australia harmonising its WHS legislation

In 2017 the Western Australian Premier announced that work would commence to modernise the work health and safety laws for WA. When implemented in 2022, all Western Australian workplaces will come under this single Act, replacing the

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984;
  • Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994;
  • Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967;
  • Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982
  • Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969

Separate Regulations will be prepared applying to mining and mineral exploration operations (WHS Mines Regulations) and onshore and offshore petroleum, pipeline and geothermal energy operations [WHS PAGEO Regulations].

The new laws are largely based on the model WHS Act and Regulation used in other states and territories (other than Victoria). Some changes were made to the national model WHS Bill for adoption in Western Australia, based on extensive consultation and on recommendations made by recent reviews and enquiries. Key changes announced by the Government include:

  • industrial manslaughter;
  • union right of entry was retained in the Industrial Relations Act 1979 and not included in the WHS Act;
  • prohibition on insurance for monetary penalties;
  • HSRs have the right to choose their course of training; and
  • a specific duty is included for providers of work health and safety services to ensure those services do not pose a risk to persons at the workplace.

Transitional arrangements will provide sufficient time for duty holders to adapt their safe systems of work to the new requirements. The WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has released the attached guide providing an overview of the key requirements under the WHS (General) Regulations.

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