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Best practice review of workplace health and safety in the NT

Date: 
Tuesday, 6 August, 2019 - 10:45
Category: 
Policy & legislation
Location: 
Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Government has supported, and supported-in-principle, 23 of the 27 recommendations from the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety in the NT by Independent consultant Tim Lyons.

A six-month review of the Territory’s workplace regulator, NT WorkSafe, looked at current policies, procedures and activities, and considered how best practices can be implemented to support the industry.

The NT Government will undertake a three-phase implementation plan of the supported recommendations, which will include:

  • Creating a new offence of industrial manslaughter with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for an individual or a fine of up to $10 million for a body corporate.
  • Formalising an Investigations Unit within the NT WorkSafe Inspectorate to focus on investigating serious incidents and fatalities.
  • Working with the Work Health and Safety Advisory Council and Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Advisory Council to improve the support offered to families of victims of workplace incidents.
  • Strengthening approval processes and communication around enforceable undertakings.
  • Completing a review of NT WorkSafe’s decision making and development processes around the publication of Safety Alerts following serious incidents.

The three-phase implementation process ranges from Phase 1 Immediate action – within 1 year, Phase 2 medium – within 3 years, and Phase 3 longer term – within 5 years.

Lyons has previously completed a similar review of the Queensland regulator and worked closely with industry while compiling his NT WorkSafe review.

“Territorians deserve to be safe when they are at work and implementation of the recommendations will help us provide the best possible Territory regulator, to protect Territory workers while supporting Territory businesses,” said NT Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Natasha Fyles.

“We are introducing these changes to ensure we create the right balance between enforcement, prosecution, education and awareness.”