The Queensland Government has accepted all 31 recommendations from an independent review of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), which seek to clarify and enhance existing frameworks and ensure its overall effectiveness.
In August last year, Queensland Minister for Industrial Relations, Grace, announced an independent review of the WHS Act. The review report has now been published along with the Government’s response.
The primary recommendations in the review report, alongside 55 sub-recommendations, relate to elevating the role of health and safety representatives (HSRs) in the workplace; clarifying the rights of HSRs and worker representatives and streamlining dispute resolution procedures.
A key finding from the review was that safety outcomes improve when workers are empowered to have an active role in safety, and where there are high levels of cooperation between workers and employers.
The review also noted the need for more education on the rights of HSRs and worker representatives.
An Amendment Bill is expected to be introduced later this year which will cover the majority of the above recommendations.
The Bill will also include amendments addressing recommendations made in an earlier national review of the model work health and safety laws.