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THIS DOCUMENT IS NO LONGER CURRENT AND IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE FOR HISTORICAL PURPOSES ONLY.
The public comment period on the Work Health and Safety Regulations for Western Australia closed on 26 November 2019.
All submissions received by the department will be provided to the Minister in order to facilitate his decision in relation to adopting the model WHS regulations in Western Australia.
This Consultation Package has been prepared to facilitate consultation with stakeholders in relation to the regulations that will support the proposed Work Health and Safety Act for Western Australia (WHS Act (WA)). The proposed WHS Act (WA) will be applicable to general workplaces, mining and petroleum/geothermal operations industries. Therefore, the proposed regulations will cater for all these industries. The Consultation Package contains links to relevant documents and explains the structure and content of the proposed regulations.
On 3 July 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) formally committed to harmonising the occupational safety and health laws in Australia by signing the Intergovernmental Agreement for Regulatory and Operational Reform in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS IGA). The primary goal of the OHS IGA was to develop harmonised legislation, regulations and codes of practice that could be adopted in all Australian jurisdictions.
To facilitate the process of modernising Western Australia’s safety and health laws, in June 2017, Cabinet established the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work Health and Safety Reform (MAP). The purpose of the MAP was to provide the Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Industrial Relations (Minister) with advice on the development of a single harmonised and amalgamated WHS Act (WA) and based on the national model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Act. The WHS Act (WA) is intended to cover general workplaces, mines and petroleum and geothermal energy operations in Western Australia.
The MAP’s WHS Act (WA) proposals were approved by the Minister for a public consultation period that commenced on 1 July 2018 and ended on 31 August 2018. The Minister has provided proposals to Cabinet.
Now that the public consultation phase in relation to the WHS Act (WA) has progressed, the Minister has:
The proposed three sets of regulations are:
In conjunction with the introduction of the three separate sets of WHS regulations, the OSH regulations and workplace safety and health provisions in related mines and petroleum regulations will be repealed. The:
The three sets of proposed regulations are based on the following general principles:
As a result of these requirements, the bulk of the WHS Regulations will not apply to the Petroleum and Geothermal sector.
To avoid unnecessary duplication, it is anticipated that the following Parts of the model WHS Regulations will apply to Petroleum Operations:
Other than the Parts listed above, it is proposed that the remainder of the WA WHS regulations will be dis-applied from petroleum and geothermal energy operations.
Dangerous goods and major hazard facilities will remain under dangerous goods legislation. However, the approach to dangerous goods, including major hazard facilities, will be reviewed within two years of the WHS Act (WA) being proclaimed in Western Australia, with a view to determining whether dangerous goods and major hazard facility regulations are brought under the WHS Act.
Because the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004 and its regulations will continue to operate, there will be some overlap between the dangerous goods legislation and Chapter 7 – Hazardous chemicals of the model WHS regulations. To address this overlap, it is proposed that some model WHS regulations are deleted. The proposed deletions, with explanation, are detailed in: Proposed deletions in Western Australia to remove overlap with the Dangerous Goods Safety Act 2004.
Schedules (11, 12 & 13) are also proposed for deletion.
Matters covered by these hazardous chemicals regulations include, packaging and age restrictions for supply, manifest quantities, placard requirements, emergency plans, storage and handling systems and pipelines. There will also be consequential amendments to definitions and Schedules in the WHS regulations.
The diagrams below:
The December 2018 Review of the national model Work Health and Safety laws – Final Report (WHS review report) was prepared at the request of the Ministers with responsibility for work health and safety matters. The review of the national model WHS laws was conducted in 2018 by Ms Marie Boland (an independent reviewer) and examined how the model WHS laws are operating in practice. The review found the laws are largely operating as intended, but that some changes are needed to provide clarity and to drive greater consistency in the application and enforcement of the laws across jurisdictions.
The WHS review report has 34 recommendations. Many recommendations are technical, relating to inspectors’ powers or relating to specific regulations such as amusement devices and asbestos registers. You may want to consider the WHS review report to help inform your submission. The WHS review report provided by Ms Boland has been published and is available from Safe Work Australia.
The Commission for Occupational Safety and Health (Commission) has endorsed consideration of the following suggestions during the consultation process. The endorsement does not necessarily reflect the view of individual members of the Commission. Suggestions are:
When providing your views in relation to these matters identified by the Commission for consideration, please provide reasons for your views and supporting evidence.
Safe Work Australia published the Model Work Health and Safety Regulations - Transition Principles (SWA Transition Principles) which:
It is intended that the SWA Transition Principles will similarly apply in Western Australia during the process to adopt WHS regulations. If you would like to make comment about the SWA Transition Principles, please include those comments with your submission.
The Minister has approved DMIRS commencing consultation to develop recommendations for the proposed adoption of the national model WHS regulations. The Minister may decide to adopt the package of WHS regulations with changes to suit Western Australia as identified during the public consultation process.
The public consultation period:
In order for advice to be prepared for the Minister as requested, submissions are requested from industry stakeholders and others interested in workplace health and safety to provide comments about:
All submissions will be published on the DMIRS website soon after the public comment period ends, unless you specify that your submission is confidential.
The purpose of this Consultation Package is to encourage workplace participants, or any person interested in workplace health and safety in Western Australia, to provide comments about adopting the WHS regulations for Western Australia.
It is important that new WHS regulations are appropriate for Western Australia. Your views:
In providing your views, you might consider the following questions:
Please also note:
Anyone with an interest in workplace health and safety is invited to make a submission on any matter relating to the:
All submissions must be accompanied by the Coversheet Work Health and Safety Regulations Submission.
Your completed coversheet and submissions may be sent by email or mail as outlined below:
Mail: WHS Reform, Locked Bag 100, EAST PERTH WA 6892
PLEASE MARK YOUR ENVELOPE ‘FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, SAFETY REGULATION – SUBMISSION ON WHS REGULATIONS
Note: All commonly accessible electronic formats will be accepted for submissions but Word documents are preferred.
After the public consultation period ends, the submissions will be provided to the Minister in order to facilitate his decision in relation to adopting the model WHS regulations in Western Australia.
WHS Consultation Package includes a number of links to documents. A list of the links is provided below and categorised in alphabetical order under the three sets of regulations.
The department has produced following videos to provide information regarding the consultation process:
In addition the department will be holding public information sessions.