Easy OHS

State of Play - Harmonisation Mess

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Unfortunately the harmonisation process can only be described as a shambles. Not all states and territories have transitioned and it appears that WA and Victoria will not be moving towards the harmonised WHS Act and Regulation any time soon. 

National companies must now be scratching their heads wondering why they have had to spend large sums of money in changing compliance processes which are still not uniform across Australia. 

The WHS Legislation has had many teething problems and the mess will take some time to unravel. 

Below is a Table outlining the current state of play.  In summary, the Commonwealth, ACT, NSW, NT and QLD have moved to harmonise, and VIC, WA, SA, and TAS have not.  So much for one system!

What this means for your business or organisation is that if the WHS Act and Reg is in place, then you should do a gap analysis of your current systems against the requirements.  There are some substantial changes, the impact of which should not be underestimated.  Also your documents should be updated to reference the correct legislation. 

Key areas of change include duties and responsibilities, consultation processes and contractor management arrangements (in particular contactor management requirements) for construction projects.

 

Jurisdiction Introduced to parliament Passed Date of Implementation
Commonwealth
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 6 July 2011 24 November 2011 1 January 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 Made
7 December 2011
Registered
14 December 2011
1 January 2012
Australian Capital Territory
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 23 June 2011 20 September 2011 1 January 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 19 December 2011 1 January 2012
New South Wales
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 5 May 2011 27 May 2011 1 January 2012. Laws relating to officers’ due diligence duties are already in effect
Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 16 December 2011 1 January 2012
Northern Territory
Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011 27 October 2011 1 December 2011 1 January 2012
Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Regulations 30 December 2011 1 January 2012
Queensland
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 10 May 2011 26 May 2011 1 January 2012
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 Approved on
24 November 2011
29 November 2011 1 January 2012
South Australia
Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 19 May 2011 Parliament voted to adjourn debate on the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Bill until further notice
Tasmania
Work Health and Safety Bill 2011 18 October 2011 13 March 2012 Amended commencement date of 1 January 2013 accepted by the Lower House on 13 March 2012.
Victoria
Not yet introduced The Victorian Government announced it would delay harmonisation
Western Australia
Not yet introduced The Western Australian Government has announced that it is unable to meet the 1 January 2012 implementation timeframe

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