WHS laws finally passed in SA

For regular followers of our safety blog it will come as no surprise that harmonised Work Health Safety legislation has recently been passed in SA. Over the past 12 months we have maintained close links with Safework SA and have kept you up to date with the latest news, predicting several months ago that the legislation would pass during spring 2012 with an early 2013 start date.

WHS was finally passed as legislation last week on Thursday 1 November 2012 and will come into effect on January 1, 2013. We can only image that many business owners will be panicking at the thought of what the new legislation means for them, especially in light of the fact that penalties have tripled and for the first time can include a jail term for individuals who flaunt the system.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP!

From the many conferences and information sessions we have attended on the subject to the experiences of our customers in NSW, NT and QLD, we can assure you all of a few things.

To ensure your business is on track to meeting the new legislation next year, the best place to start is right here with this article >   WHS how can I be ready? It is a no nonsense guide to preparing your business for the changes that are coming.

 

For those of you looking to engage new providers of safety services, training or buy new PPE to bring your company up to standards, ensure you are dealing with a reputable provider. We have become very aware in this country of fly by night businesses cropping up in industries for the short term to make a quick $ when the government introduces either a cash bonus or new legislative requirements such as  Solar Companies, Insulation Companies & restoration/building companies in flood/cyclone damaged areas. Our new online safety store (whsstore.com.au) is still under construction, however we have access to over 300 items of common PPE and safety equipment at below retail cost, please feel free to email us for a price if you looking for something info@affa.net.au

 

Personally my best advice is to know and understand the Australian Standards, industry requirements and other laws which govern your industry and be sure that you are compliant with what they require. Do not take the word of a provider; the onus is upon you to ensure you are receiving the correct information. One of the most significant changes to a common legislation that affects all businesses with premises that is either open to the public or employs more than 1 non family member is AS3745-2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities. The training requirements in section 6.1 of this standard have now become a requirement under WHS and require all staff trained to assist in an emergency situation (first aiders, wardens etc) to undergo some form of training not less than once, in every 6 month period. Don’t get caught out updating your first aid every 6 months, contact us now to find out how to meet these new requirements without breaking the training budget.

 

THe pasing of WHS in SA leaves on WA and VIC lagging behind, click here to read the official announcment from Safework SA

WHS – who will enforce the new laws?

New National Work Health Safety laws are coming to Australia soon. The team here at Australian Fire & First Aid have been doing their research to be able to provide you with the best, most accurate information that is currently available on the subject including:

New National WHS explained?

How laws are made in Australia – this is important as it will help you understand why the word ‘proposed’ is used a lot.

When will the new laws be passed and come into effect?

How long will we have to comply with the new WHS laws?

Who is going to enforce the new laws?

What you can do now to be ready?

New national WHS laws are coming January 1st, 2012

Before you read how laws are made in Australia, have you read our previous article How long do businesses have to comply? You may find this article easier to follow if it is read in order.

WHO WILL ENFORCE THE NEW LAWS?

The same bodies and authorities who currently enforce the state and territory based Occupational Health & Safety laws will enforce the new national WHS laws, such as unions and Workcover.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – what you can do now to be ready.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – What you can do now to be ready

Copyright Australian Fire & First Aid 2011. Reproduction of this article must be in its entirety and credit ww.affa.net.au

WHS – how long do business have to comply?

New National Work Health Safety laws are coming to Australia soon. The team here at Australian Fire & First Aid have been doing their research to be able to provide you with the best, most accurate information that is currently available on the subject including:

New National WHS explained?

How laws are made in Australia – this is important as it will help you understand why the word ‘proposed’ is used a lot.

When will the new laws be passed and come into effect?

How long will we have to comply with the new WHS laws?

Who is going to enforce the new laws?

What you can do now to be ready?

New national WHS laws are coming January 1st, 2012

Before you read how laws are made in Australia, have you read our previous article When will the new laws come into effect? You may find this article easier to follow if it is read in order.

HOW LONG WILL BUSINESSES HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE NEW WHS LAWS?

To date the only concrete information we have received is ‘businesses will be given a reasonable length of time to comply’ sounds a little like that old question ‘how long is a piece of string?’ but common sense will dictate what a reasonable length of time is. For example if a business is required to undeRtake a safety service such as Electrical Tagging & Testing every 3 months and they have not undertaken that service in the past, it would not be reasonable for them to book their first service in May 2012. Sometime within the first 3 months of 2012 would be far more reasonable. A business which is already undertaking a service that will require increased frequency due to WHS will be given a little more leniency to adjust their service or training schedule to meet the new laws. It is widely expected that safety companies will be inundated with new requests over the normally quiet period of December and January from businesses seeking to be compliant with the new laws. Not everyone will be able to receive the training they require immediately. If you are able to prove you have booked in for required services or training and have been given the next available date you should be covered.  At Australian Fire & First Aid we provide our clients with a booking confirmation letter which shows the date the enquiry for services was first made and the date of the course/service booking. If your staff require a particular type of training every 6 months it would not be reasonable to wait 5 months to make an enquiry and then produce a booking confirmation for 3 months later. Penalties will apply to businesses who do not comply with the WHS laws.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – Who will enforce the new laws?

Copyright Australian Fire & First Aid 2011. Reproduction of this article must be in its entirety and credit http://www.affa.net.au

WHS – when will the new laws come into effect?

New National Work Health Safety laws are coming to Australia soon. The team here at Australian Fire & First Aid have been doing their research to be able to provide you with the best, most accurate information that is currently available on the subject including:

New National WHS explained?

How laws are made in Australia – this is important as it will help you understand why the word ‘proposed’ is used a lot.

When will the new laws be passed and come into effect?

How long will we have to comply with the new WHS laws?

Who is going to enforce the new laws?

What you can do now to be ready?

New national WHS laws are coming January 1st, 2012

Before you read how laws are made in Australia, have you read our previous article How Laws Are Made In Australia? You may find this article easier to follow if it is read in order.

WHEN WILL THE NEW LAWS COME INTO EFFECT?

Once the parliamentary process is completed the bill is sent to the Governor General (for National/Commonwealth Law) to give the Queens seal of approval, this process is usually a formality however the Governor General does have powers to refuse approval but they are rarely used. The date the Governor General stamps the seal of approval is the day the law comes into effect unless the bill includes a clause stating the law will commence on a specific date. In the case of the new national WHS legislation the proposed date that the law will commence is January 1, 2012. This means that the bill suggesting the WHS legislation will need to pass both houses of parliament and receive the Queens seal of approval from the Governor General before December 31st, 2011.

At this stage there is no public suggestion that anybody or relevant group will suggest changes to the proposed legislation before it is presented to parliament, or that either house of parliament will seek amendments to the bill before passing it. The current model legislation is expected to be passed as law with little or no changes. This is why no one can confirm 100% what will or won’t be included in the new laws as we can’t be certain until it has gone through the parliamentary approval process.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – How long do businesses have to comply?

Copyright Australian Fire & First Aid 2011. Reproduction of this article must be in its entirety and credit http://www.affa.net.au

WHS – how laws are made in Australia

New National Work Health Safety laws are coming to Australia soon. The team here at Australian Fire & First Aid have been doing their research to be able to provide you with the best, most accurate information that is currently available on the subject including:

New National WHS explained?

How laws are made in Australia – this is important as it will help you understand why the word ‘proposed’ is used a lot.

When will the new laws be passed and come into effect?

How long will we have to comply with the new WHS laws?

Who is going to enforce the new laws?

What you can do now to be ready?

New national WHS laws are coming January 1st, 2012

Before you read how laws are made in Australia, have you read our previous article New National WHS Laws Explained?

HOW LAWS ARE MADE IN AUSTRALIA

Laws are made in one of two ways in Australia, either by the courts which is called case law, or by parliament which is called legislation. The new national WHS laws will be created by legislation via the national parliament in Canberra.

Before anything can become law or as it is known an item of legislation, it has to be proposed, this means it has to be suggested as an idea for a new law. When an idea is proposed to parliament it is called a bill. A bill is also used to raise proposed changes to an existing law.

Proposals for new legislation, or amendments to existing legislation, can be created by many different groups or bodies including both the governing and opposition parties of government, or through suggested amendments to existing laws received from bodies like the Australian Law Reform Commission. A member of parliament (from any political party) must present the prosposal to either the upper or lower house and explain what the law or amendment entails, why it is being proposed. The other members of parliament are given an opportunity to ask questions relating to the bill before being asked to vote on it and amendments to the original bill can be made. If the bill is passed it is then presented to the other house and voted upon, if the second house requests any amendments before passing it must be sent back to the original house so that the amendments can be approved.

Once this process is completed the bill is sent to the Governor General (for National/Commonwealth Law) to give the Queens seal of approval, this process is usually a formality however the Governor General does have powers to refuse approval but they are rarely used.

This is the process the new model WHS legislation must go through before it beomes law.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – when will the new laws come into effect?

Copyright Australian Fire & First Aid 2011. Reproduction of this article must be in its entirety and credit http://www.affa.net.au

New National WHS laws explained

If you’ve been trying to make sense of the proposed national Work Health Safety (WHS) laws and can’t get any straight answers you are not alone. We’ve spoken to as many official bodies around the country as we can to get some straight answers including SA’s premier business advocacy group Business SA, WorkSafe SA, Safe Work Australia, Work Cover SA, VIC & NSW just to name a few. The short answer is no one can say for sure what will and won’t be included in the final legislation until it is finalised. We can however give you some idea of what the new WHS laws are all about, what they will be based on, when they will come into effect, how long you will have to comply with the new laws and what you can do now to be prepared. Very few companies or official bodies are willing to do this right now but after reading all of the almost 300 pages of the model legislation, the 16 regulations the legislation is based on and most of the Australian Standards the regulations are based on, we feel confident in the advice we are about to give you.

Each topic will be covered in a separate post to make it easier for those searching the internet to find the answers they are looking for. We will do our best to explain what we know in easy to understand terms. If you have a specific question regarding the new national WHS laws that you would like answered please send it to us in writing info@affa.net.au and we will seek an answer for you, or you can ask a question in the comments section at the bottom of this page, or post on our facebook page

WHAT IS WHS?

WHS is the acronym used for Work Health Safety. The proposed new national Work Health Safety (WHS) legislation is being developed to replace the existing state/territory based OHS legislation/laws.

WHY DO WE NEED NEW LAWS?

At present each state and territory in Australia has their own set of OHS laws, the new national laws are being developed for two reasons: 1) To implement the best safety practises in Australia, all around the country and 2) To provide uniformed safety practises all across Australia and regions governed by Australian law.

WHY DO WE NEED UNIFORMED PRACTISES?

Imagine you are an employee who is sent interstate for work purposes and every state you travel to has a different set of rules regarding how you should behave at work, what level of training you require and different rules regarding the responsibility for your safety. It can be mind boggling keeping up with all the differences. Now image you own a business which has locations in several states across Australia, it can be very time consuming and costly just trying to keep up with all the different sets of laws not to mention confusing. WHS will simplify these issues by ensuring the same set of rules apply to all businesses and work sites across Australia.

WHAT IS WHS BASED ON?

The new national Work Health Safety legislation is based on the best safety practises from around Australia and also take into consideration the Australian and or International Standards which are used as guidelines in related industries. For example the guidelines which recommend the type and frequency of Fire Training required by Australian businesses are found in AS3745-2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities, these guidelines are expected to be passed as law making them compulsory in all states and territories of Australia. From our understanding, this means that all Australian Standard recommendations will no longer be recommendations they will be law. This cannot be 100% confirmed until the legislation has passed which will not occur until after consultation with industry bodies, experts and leaders’ is completed. This consultation is happening right now in the last few months of 2011.

CAN I HAVE A SAY?

Yes you can, the model legislation is currently open for feedback and comments from the public however comments have closed on the WHS model regulations. The WHS model code of practise and regulations for the mining industry is also currently open for public comment – you can access information on how to have your say here on the Public Comments page of the Safe Work Australia website. We suggest you download and read the documents before commenting.

WHERE CAN I GET A COPY OF THE MODEL LEGISLATION?

The model (WHS Act) legislation and the model regulations can be downloaded from Safe Work Australia website. The model (draft) documents are currently open for review and comment. They can be downloaded to your PC as PDF documents or word documents. If there is a particular part of the new laws you are concerned about we suggest you download and review the applicable content as soon as possible to ensure you have your chance to have your say.

If you would like to speak to Australian Fire & First Aid about Fire Training, First Aid Training, Safety Training or Safety Services please give us a call on (08) 8596 4243, we provide training and services Australia Wide.

Our next article is entitled WHS – how Australian laws are made

Copyright Australian Fire & First Aid 2011. Reproduction of this article must be in its entirety and credit http://www.affa.net.au