New WHS legislation for 2012 

Some information below is directly extracted from WorkCover NSW website. An INTERIM BILL has been introduced to the NSW Parliament which will amend the current NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 ( when passed ) will mirror the NATIONAL model laws in the lead up to the 1st January 2012 implementation of the National Work Health Safety Act and then National Work Health Safety Regulations. The NEW NATIONAL model laws will offer more clarity and uniformity in Work Health Safety legislation throughout Australia.

The key amendments will remove the:

  • right of an industrial organisation of employees to prosecute
  • reverse onus of proof’ for employers by qualifying their primary duty of care by what is reasonably practicable (rather than them having to prove that compliance was not reasonably practicable)
  • deeming of liability for directors and managers of corporations for a breach of the Act. Officers will need to demonstrate they have exercised all due diligence but will now only be liable for their own acts or omissions.

The Key benefits of the new laws

The new introduction of work, health and safety (WHS) laws is and will continue to be supported by all governments across Australia.
With the introduction of the new WHS legislation scheduled for implementation on 1st January, 2012 the expected benefits will be:

  • a reduction in compliance costs and red tape for employers
  • retention and maintain of NSW’s strong work, health and safety framework
  • continuing to keep businesses accountable for Work Health Safety (currently known as OHS)
  • and make WHS laws easier to understand while continuing to protect workers.

The new WHS laws will give everyone in the workplace NEW health and safety responsibilities and roles and allow more people to have a say on health and safety in their workplace.

Very useful and educative information can be obtained from the WorkCover NSW website at:
or telephone them on 13 10 50

My suggestions are to view WorkCover NSW sub-sites such as:

  • The Legislation Overview
  • The model Work Health and Safety ( WHS ) Act
  • AND frequently asked questions

All sub-sites will provide easy to read information for employers, workers, community groups and employee representative bodies.

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