National harmonisation of OH&S laws – update
OHS harmonisation means national uniformity of the OHS legislative framework (comprised of a model OHS Act, supported by model OHS legislations and model codes of practice) complemented by a nationally consistent approach to compliance policy and enforcement policy.
Victoria, along with WA, has called for a 12-month delay in implementing the model OHS Act, taking it beyond the 1 January 2012 deadline.
At this stage only Queensland, NSW and ACT have passed the Model Act.
The Victorian Government says that it supports the principle of OHS harmonisation, however they need to be able to assess the benefits and costs to Victoria to ensure that the proposed package is in Victoria’s interests. So at this stage it’s business as usual for 2012.
Given that the proposed Act is largely based on the Victorian model, we are not disadvantaged by the delay. Other states stand to gain the greater protections that the Victorian legislation — particularly that of the powers of HSRs — provides for.
For a detailed report on the harmonisation of OHS laws, read David Moody's report for Work Safe Victoria.
More in Safety Matters, AEU News May 2011