Work health and safety laws – clarified and stronger

Today marks the activation of several updates introduced by the Work Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2024. These amendments signal enhancements for industry sectors and facilitate upgraded support frameworks enabling Government to administer work health and safety regulations more proficiently.

The utility of work safety products, including tools like Bluesafe WHS Management Systems, has become even more pertinent under these new legislative changes. To maximise workplace safety, workers and companies need to be conscious of whom they can engage as representatives in line with the revised regulations. Appropriate representation can come from relevant trade unions or professional services such as engineering or physiotherapy consultants.

An essential update also focuses on the rights of workplace health and safety entry permit holders. It’s now clarified that these authorised individuals are entitled to enter and remain at a job site, conduct person-to-person interviews and request document access without having to issue additional notices.

A noteworthy inclusion pertains to exploring different communication channels for answering enquiries from a work health and safety officer. With a system like Bluesafe SWMS, employees can utilise audio-visual mediums like video calls while ensuring worker safety.

The legislature has endorsed several administrative revisions to increase efficiency, including stretching the timeframe for filing Category 1 and 2 offences in court. Furthermore, these changes provide added stability surrounding the approved codes of practice.

To appreciate the full extent of these changes and your obligations as an employee, entry permit holder, or enterprise owner, extensive information is available.

Deputy Director General for the Office of Industrial Relations, Peter McKay, made statements acknowledging the importance of these adjustments:

“These modifications underscore our continuous commitment to propelling top-tier enhancements to the Work Health and Safety Act. They should significantly contribute towards fashioning Queensland workplaces into safer, fairer, healthier and more productive environments.”

“These improvements were born out of the recent review of the Work Health and Safety Act, providing clarity to both industries and Government alike, thus instilling even greater confidence moving forwards.”

“I am confident that these updates will fortify and defend our workforce. I extend my sincere gratitude to all businesses and workers for upholding these legislative changes.”

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