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Safe Work Australia calls for feedback on WHS law review

Tuesday, 9 July, 2019 - 14:00
Policy & legislation
National News

Safe Work Australia recently invited feedback on the recommendations of the independent review of the model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws conducted by Marie Boland in 2018.

Overall, the review found that the model WHS laws are operating as intended, but identified some areas where stakeholders are experiencing confusion or consider the laws to be overly complex.

Safe Work Australia published the final report of the review in February this year and the review’s final report made 34 recommendations to address these issues, said Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter.

The key recommendations include:

  • Introducing regulations dealing with psychological health
  • New arrangements for health and safety representatives (HSRs) and work groups in small businesses
  • Clarifying workplace entry of HSR assistants and WHS entry permit holders
  • Providing HSRs with choice of training course
  • Providing a process for resolving disputes about WHS issues
  • Including gross negligence as an element of the category 1 offence, and
  • Introducing an industrial manslaughter offence.


Baxter said Safe Work Australia now invites interested stakeholders to consult on the Review recommendations.

“I encourage everyone who may be affected by the recommendations to provide feedback,” she said.

“Your input will play an important part in deciding how the model work health and safety laws may be improved.

“We were pleased with the high level of engagement during the Review.

“We want to hear from those who have already provided comments during the Review, as well as those who have not participated before.”

Written submissions are due by Monday 5 August 2019 and Safe Work Australia has set up a consultation page with information and details on how to participate.