WHS Changes in WA

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By Daniel Hill, Special Counsel

What is changing?

The date of finalised drafting of the three sets of new WHS regulations (WA) – General, Mining and Petroleum of which are needed to allow the related WHS Act to be proclaimed has been pushed back due to the complexity of the work involved.

The Government now expects to have exposure drafts of the WHS regulations for the three sectors online and publicly available in late December 2021.

Publication in the Government Gazette of the Work Health and Safety Regulations for the three sectors and transition to the new laws, which was originally scheduled for January 2022, is now expected to be completed in March 2022.

When is it changing?

WA Minister for Mental Health, Aboriginal Affairs and Industrial Relations, Stephen Dawson has today in WA parliament announced that the commencement of the WHS Act (WA) has been pushed back 2 months until March 2022.

What does this mean for our WA business?

This provides an opportunity for businesses in WA to become more acquainted with the proposed changes – some of which are quite extensive (i.e. due diligence obligations on officers and workers, broader definition of employer, wider array of recognised employee arrangements, prohibition on insurance for monetary penalties, specific duties for providers of WHS consulting services) amongst many others.

What can WA businesses do now?

WA Worksafe is looking for WA businesses to move towards a whole of business risk management approach. In line with this WA businesses should review the adequacy of their own internal WHS governance framework as to the new draft WHS Act (WA) and ask what are we missing?

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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