View Full Version : WHS

29-07-2011, 04:15 PM
Hi All,

I was wanting to find out everyone's thoughts on the WHS legislation, how does everything think this will affect modern workplaces?

29-08-2011, 06:55 PM
Great question and unfortunately I see that you have gotten little response, which is a shame. Depending on your organisational structure, WHS can be seen as merely a 'safety' issue and is someone else's problem. In fact, more HR managers should be more aware of what is going on given its impact on employees and contractors.

In response to your question, WHR legislation will have a differing impacts on an organisations, depending upon the state that they are operating. Within Western Australia, WorkSafe Wa will not be signing up to certain parts of the proposed legislation from my understanding. Right of Union Entry and increased penalties for safety breaches are two that I know of off-hand.

I work for a safety training organisation in WA, AVELING, and we are watching this space closer as the legislation forms up. One of the notable items is the emphasis on organisational executives that make decisions without due consideration to the impact of the decision on the safety of the organisation (e.g. does the decision reduce current levels of safety or does it introduce new hazards for which control mechanisms has not been identified).

For example, if an executive decision has been made to fast track a project and this decision causes a workplace accident, then they could, theoretically, be held accountable; regardless of what did or didn't happen operationally to mitigate any hazards introduced as a result of the decision.

Although this has always been the case to a certain extent, it is my understanding that this duty of care at the executive level is more explicit in the new legislation (at least in WA anyway).

If interested, I can dig out the "legalese" reference to this if anyone is interested.

30-08-2011, 08:59 AM
Thanks for your response, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

There are most certainly some considerations to think about with this legislation coming in!

I am sensing that people don't think it is much of a difference from the current OHS laws but I think there will be implications that come following the introduction of the new legislation. For example the responsibility employers will have for volunteers will increase substantially.