November 2020 - Work Health and Safety Act 2020 receives assent

The Work Health and Safety Bill 2019 was passed as the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) and assented to by the Governor on 10 November 2020. The WHS Act will not commence until proclamation.  The WHS regulations have to be finalised before proclamation occurs.  Work on  the WHS regulations will progress through 2021.

The Safety Levies Amendment Act 2020 (Levies Act) was also assented on 10 November 2020.  The Levies Act amends the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994 (MSI Act) and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Act 2011 to ensure the levies raised in these acts are correctly imposed as a consequence of the WHS Act.  The MSI Act and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967 are being amended to remove elements related to work health and safety as they will be covered by the WHS Act once it commences operation.

The new Work Health and Safety Act 2020 (WHS Act) will replace the current Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, and elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection Act 1994, the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Resources Act 1967, the Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969, the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1982, and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Act 2011 that relate to work health and safety.

This provides workplace participants with time to become familiar with the provisions of the WHS Act.  Transitional arrangements will also be in place to provide sufficient time for duty holders to adapt their safe systems of work to the new requirements.

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety is developing resources to assist workplace participants in adapting to the new laws.  These will be available closer to the date the new laws become operational and will include information about the new regulations.

Further information

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